Thursday, November 25

Happy T-Day, The propagation of Republican lies Edition.

Last night Atrios pointed to this piece at Seeing the Forest, about a little fundementalist / Republican victimization propaganda. The author suggested that we keep our eyes open for the appearence of this story in the media, suggesting that it was designed to be used as a wedge, as well as "illustrate the demonization of Christianity by heathen and secular Liberals". I thought as I read the piece, that I was sure that sometime down the road I might be confronted with this "evidence" and be forced to call it for what it is, Bullshit. So lets take a look at the source.
By Dan Whitcomb

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A California teacher has been barred by his school from giving students documents from American history that refer to God -- including the Declaration of Independence.

Steven Williams, a fifth-grade teacher at Stevens Creek School in the San Francisco Bay area suburb of Cupertino, sued for discrimination on Monday, claiming he had been singled out for censorship by principal Patricia Vidmar because he is a Christian.

"It's a fact of American history that our founders were religious men, and to hide this fact from young fifth-graders in the name of political correctness is outrageous and shameful," said Williams' attorney, Terry Thompson.

"Williams wants to teach his students the true history of our country," he said. "There is nothing in the Establishment Clause (of the U.S. Constitution) that prohibits a teacher from showing students the Declaration of Independence."

I would be interested in what constitutes "the true history" of Our country. There seem to be so many versions it is beginning to be difficult to keep track. sorry Attorney dude from some Christian protection association, but every time I hear someone spout off on how religious the Founders were, I want to hurl. Because the next words out of the mouth is usually something along the lines that the country should be a theocracy, and I'v never heard of that first ammendment you keep talking about.

Vidmar could not be reached for comment on the lawsuit, which was filed on Monday in U.S. District Court in San Jose and claims violations of Williams rights to free speech under the First Amendment.

Phyllis Vogel, assistant superintendent for Cupertino Unified School District, said the lawsuit had been forwarded to a staff attorney. She declined to comment further.

Williams asserts in the lawsuit that since May he has been required to submit all of his lesson plans and supplemental handouts [Christian propaganda anyone] to Vidmar for approval, and that the principal will not permit him to use any that contain references to God or Christianity.

now think about it for a moment, The Declaration of Independance banned? because it makes a reference to god? Okie Dokie lets see where and how such refference is made. Me thinks that that something smells in Denmark. From the Declaration.
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
I for one am not bying the "ban", the above are the only references to God or Creator in the entire document. Of course it is here that the fundimentalists will show as an example of our Founding as a Christian Nation. Too bad there aren't any Journalists around who might smell a rat as they are viewing it's rotting corpse. This is a case of a teacher forcing christian beliefs on the students under the guise of historical education. The fact that the Declaration mentions god on one occasion allows them to play this as a ban on the Declaration itself, when in fact it is likely a ban on class time prosthelatizing, or "everyday should be sunday school". The Alliance Defence Fund is supporting this case and let's just say they have an agenda, and it is more insidious than the gay agenda. The People for the American way dossier on the ADF.
Alliance Defense Fund’s Principal Issues:
# ADF is a Christian legal firm established by more than 30 Christian ministries to help defend “family values” and work against the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union).
# ADF defines itself by its ability to strategize and coordinate with lawyers all over the United States. Lawyers who sign up for their “Blackstone Legal Institute” are expected to donate 450 pro bono hours over a three year period.
# ADF has coordinated over 400 lawyers, over 125 right-wing organizations, and many conservative ministries on behalf of ADF-defined Christian legal issues.
# ADF has been involved with 16 “victories” before the Supreme Court, including such high profile cases as Boy Scouts of America v. Dale and Schenck v. Pro-Choice Network. ADF has had success in anti-gay cases all over the US, from Alaska to Massachusetts.
Man they would seem to have their fingers in every slice of the right wing fundimentalist hot button issue. Digby takes it home.
That's the best case for lawsuit reform I've ever heard, right there.

STF points out that this is coordinated to come out the day before Thanksgiving so that they can pound it over the holiday week-end without anybody being able to properly respond. These precious little stories are becoming commonplace these days. I remember the one about the teacher who was allegedly discriminated against because she put a picture of Bush on the bulletin board. It turned out that she had a fucking shrine up there and was insulting 12 year old kids whose parents were voting for Kerry. All the wingnuts keened and wailed about the unfairness of it all, always being the first to claim victimhood. As each tale is debunked they just move to the next.

These little personal stories are a very effective way to spread propaganda. We need to figure out a way to deal with this stuff.
Digby also has some material I may need to swap for my planned piede on the religious beliefs of the founding fathers.