God and country in 1941: An NEA 'coming out' party
By Steve Farrell
When I think of organizations that have worked long and hard to undermine the religious heritage of this great nation of ours – especially in the minds of our children – few can match the record of the National Education Association and the American Civil Liberties Union.
In fact their record is so bad that if the Second Coming were to occur in a public classroom today, the former would insist that a cadre of psychologists swarm in on the community to undue the damage to children, teachers, and family before the school could open again, while the latter would put a restraining order on the Savior, and bring suit against the security guards for letting Him through the doorway.
But it wasn't always that way, at least not for the National Education Association. Proof being that in 1941 they published a little gem called The American Citizens Handbook. It was written for the Committee on New Voter Preparation and Recognition, to prepare children and their parents, immigrants and lifetime residents, for this grave, yet wonderful responsibility we call citizenship.
I feel confident were it republished today it would be banned from the classroom, and shouted down by their reviewers as a pack of dangerous lies. Here's why. Let me quote from the Foreword:
God, the Golden Rule, faith, grace, the traditional family, nobility, moral purity, these are the roots of our glory, and lacking these our motives, achievements and national spirit will become tainted, our hopes of reaching to the stars in the future, dashed?
Let's move to chapter one, paragraph two. Here we are informed that the people of this nation possess "an inspiring … mighty gift such as the people of no other continent enjoy, God-given and eternal."
The text then breaks into a chorus of Katherine Lee Bates, "America the Beautiful," with the prayer that "God shed his grace on thee."
I should hope so.
Then in an unforgivable spirit of flag-waving jingoism and fairytale-itis the handbook speaks of "Our Heritage of Leadership," described as a "mighty heritage that has come to us in the memory of great deeds performed by pioneer men and women who have established this mighty nation."
And then it gets worse.
Under "Charters of American Liberty," it goes so far as to say that "Beyond the heritage which is found in the lives of the men and women who have made America, stands the Republic itself, the greatest example of constitutional government among free men."
The crème de la crème isn't unloaded, however, until the eighth paragraph of the first chapter, where the NEA identifies the foundation principles of this "greatest single document in the entire struggle of mankind for orderly self government." Under the heading "Religious Ideals the Foundation" we read:
It is upon the Foundation of this Higher Law, the handbook concludes at this point, that our "Constitution …[stands] between us and chaos, between us and a return to the brutalities and confusion of earlier centuries."
I read the above quotes to my 14 year old last evening. Her instant, uncoached response was a sarcastic, "Boy have we come a long way!" Indeed.
More on the contents of this 'dangerous' citizens handbook next time.
NewsMax pundit Steve Farrell is associate professor of political economy at George Wythe College, press agent for Defend Marriage (a project of United Families International), and the author of the highly praised, inspirational novel, "Dark Rose" (available at amazon.com). Blog with Steve & friends at LibertyLetters.blogspot.com, for a daily dose of the Founders. Contact Steve.
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