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Declaration of Independence Banned at Calif School

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posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 03:48 PM
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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."

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 to Vidmar for approval, and that the principal will not permit him to use any that contain references to God or Christianity.

Among the materials she has rejected, according to Williams, are excerpts from the Declaration of Independence, George Washington's journal, John Adams' diary, Samuel Adams' "The Rights of the Colonists" and William Penn's "The Frame of Government of Pennsylvania."

"He hands out a lot of material and perhaps 5 to 10 percent refers to God and Christianity because that's what the founders wrote," said Thompson, a lawyer for the Alliance Defense Fund, which advocates for religious freedom. "The principal seems to be systematically censoring material that refers to Christianity and it is pure discrimination."

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case of a California atheist who wanted the words "under God" struck from the Pledge of Allegiance as recited by school children. The appeals court in California had found that the phrase amounted to a violation of church and state separation.

olympics.reuters.com...


Unbeleivable!!!
This just makes me sad to see what my son will be subjected to as he grows up in our horrible school systems! We can keep church and state seperate, but we can't remove God from history, because God was a part of history whether we like it or not.




posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 03:53 PM
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Originally posted by mpeake
Unbeleivable!!!
This just makes me sad to see what my son will be subjected to as he grows up in our horrible school systems! We can keep church and state seperate, but we can't remove God from history, because God was a part of history whether we like it or not.


Oh Christ!


Seriously, I'm a card-carrying liberal and even I think that this is a bunch of tripe. It's unfortunate that some people are so caught up in their desire for power, or their fear of punishment, that they'll abuse the system in this way.

Someone find an island for us smart folks...



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 03:57 PM
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I wonder more and more what kids will be learning in school. It is really frightening and utterly astonding. I fear the bible may replace textbooks.



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 04:00 PM
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From the article, emphasis added:


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.



Apparently, Principle Vidmar has no problem accepting and spending her monies, which have In God We Trust written on them, eh?


seekerof



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 04:05 PM
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Apparently, Principle Vidmar should also have no problem in teaching how many countless Native Americans were also killed...

Were the founding fathers not Diests? If so, then I'am quite sure they were not men with religious convictions. God creating the universe than giving us a grand middle finger certainly did not also interfere with our history..

Deep



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 04:09 PM
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From the article:



"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.


and


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

Among the materials she has rejected, according to Williams, are excerpts from the Declaration of Independence, George Washington's journal, John Adams' diary, Samuel Adams' "The Rights of the Colonists" and William Penn's "The Frame of Government of Pennsylvania."


Is this guy teaching history or making a political point that the founding fathers were christian? Once the point has been made that the Founding Fathers were god-fearing christians - shouldn't he move on and discuss the text of the Constitution, Bill of Rights and/or Declaration of Independence.

Why does every lesson plan continue to rehash the "god/christian" angle? Just my opinion but it looks like this guy is taking every opportunity to inject his religious beliefs into the curriculum.

I want to see one of this guy's lesson plans before I condemn the school in this case.

B.



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 04:33 PM
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Originally posted by Bleys.

I want to see one of this guy's lesson plans before I condemn the school in this case.

B.


I have to go with you on this one. If he is not using it as an excuse to try to preach at them and is just teaching the class I have no problem with it. But it would seem to me that there has to be more to this story than just not being able to show the kids the Constitution or Bill of Rights.

I dont see how you could teach an American History class without the documents and dont think the word God should be censored out of them either. The Pledge is a bit different in that the words "Under God" were added in the 50s and it could be seen as trying to force the kids into a from of worship. Replace the words "Under God" with "Under Satan" and see what would happen. If saying one is not harming the non-christians then saying the second shouldnt harm the Christian kids either



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 04:43 PM
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Originally posted by Bleys

.....since May he has been required to submit all of his lesson plans and supplemental handouts to Vidmar for approval, and that the principal will not permit him to use any that contain references to God or Christianity.



Why does every lesson plan continue to rehash the "god/christian" angle? Just my opinion but it looks like this guy is taking every opportunity to inject his religious beliefs into the curriculum.

I want to see one of this guy's lesson plans before I condemn the school in this case.

B.

Exactly. Its all about context. Why is this one teacher being singled out? I would bet that there is another side to this story...

I'm waiting for TC to see this..lol

BG



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 05:10 PM
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Originally posted by Seekerof
Apparently, Principle Vidmar has no problem accepting and spending her monies, which have In God We Trust written on them, eh?
seekerof


Good point!! How the hell are they ever going to teach Economics with this attitude???



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 05:47 PM
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Stuff like this makes me sick. Just to think that pieces of our nation's history are being tossed out of our school's because they refer to God. Soon we'll be rewriting history
.

It is a fact that our founding father's and the lot of them were religious wheter they be Chirstian or Jew. Just because he's making the point that they were religious does'nt mean that he is preaching to the kids or saying that Christians are good people.



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 05:48 PM
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Like some others said, I'd have to see more about what he was teaching. Everyone knows how controversial headlines = $.



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 07:06 PM
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Williams who considers himself an Orthodox Christian (whatever that is) included the following in his lesson plan:


George Washington's Prayer Journal.''

- ``The Rights of the Colonists,'' by Samuel Adams, which includes passages excluding Roman Catholics from religious tolerance because of their ``doctrines subversive of the civil government under which they live.''

- George W. Bush's presidential 2004 Day of Prayer proclamation, with a supplemental handout on the history of the National Day of Prayer.

- Several excerpts from John Adam's diary, including the July 26, 1796 passage, ``Cloudy ... The Christian religion is above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity, let the black guard Paine say what he will; it is resignation to God, it is goodness itself to man.''


Now this seems to go far beyond the scope of the curriculum IMO. To hand out documents that call for the "exclusion of Roman Catholics" or that puts Christianity above all other religions is preaching plain and simple. This guy has an agenda and is promoting it under the guise of education.

Sad and disappointing.
B.

San Mateo County



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 07:16 PM
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Well as a teacher I have to say that when students covert the constitution in their class I believe in grade 5, the students read it and coment on it.

I have never seen any of the teachers I know making any remark on "God" specifically or have used it for religious reason.

Now if the teacher make religious remark about it then he was not only teaching but also preaching.



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 08:32 PM
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Originally posted by Bleys
Now this seems to go far beyond the scope of the curriculum IMO. To hand out documents that call for the "exclusion of Roman Catholics" or that puts Christianity above all other religions is preaching plain and simple. This guy has an agenda and is promoting it under the guise of education.
Sad and disappointing.
B.


What would you rather they do? Teach revised history? Lie to our own children about history? It seems that the same people who are opposed to teaching the truth about our roots, are also the ones that complain about things like our ancestors treatment of Native Americans not being included. In other words, they want the schools to teach a version of history that supports their personal views rather than the truth. The Liberal extremists want all mention of God removed from history and the Conservative extremists want all negative aspects of our history whitewashed. Most of us who are not extremists, just want our kids to be taught the truth. What exactly is wrong with the truth? Revising history is something that sick societies like the old Soviet Union or the current North Korean government would do. None of this has anything to do with Constitutional Rights. Its just Hate, pure and simple. Where I live, we had a Jewish woman on the school board run all over town telling everyone that Santa Claus was no longer allowed at any of the schools because he was a religious icon (Exactly where in the Bible does it speak of Santa Claus???). The schools had not even considered such a policy and the whole thing was a lie. I know this person well, unfortunately, and she is a hardcore Zionists who makes no secret of the fact that she wants Christianity removed from the face of the earth. The only reason she is on the school board is to avoid the certain lawsuit that would follow her firing. Her own children fled the state the minute they came of age. It makes me sick that people like this are teaching our children. If this does not stop, we can kiss our free society good bye! It matters not what their beliefs are, if they are involved in this, they are part of the problem not the solution. Teach our children the truth and let them make up their own minds when they mature. Get rid of these dictatorial creeps that have infected our schools like a cancer. They want to control our children, not teach them.



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 08:50 PM
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IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

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. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes;
www.ushistory.org...

I'm not a religious man, but this is just to much. If the words Creator and Nature's God are not allowed, we are in bigger trouble than I thought. Such a historical document and for something so trivial....shakes then hangs head in shame...



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 08:54 PM
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Originally posted by Blaine91555
What would you rather they do? Teach revised history? Lie to our own children about history? It seems that the same people who are opposed to teaching the truth about our roots, are also the ones that complain about things like our ancestors treatment of Native Americans not being included.


Age appropriateness comes to mind first of all. There are many nasty little truths in US (and world) history. Susan B Anthony immediately springs to mind as someone who was not all she appeared to be.

A 10 year old should learn about the declaration of independence - period. Discussion and debate of why Adam's thought the Catholics were vile or an examination of Washington's prayer journal is not appropriate for a 10 year old.


Revising history is something that sick societies like the old Soviet Union or the current North Korean government would do. None of this has anything to do with Constitutional Rights. Its just Hate, pure and simple.


My objection has nothing to do with hate or a desire to revise history and I don't appreciate the accusation. My objection has to do with a self-proclaimed "orthodox christian" using history as an excuse to prostelytize to children. The "selected" excerpts he is using show a clear agenda.

B.



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 08:58 PM
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Originally posted by ZeroDeep
Were the founding fathers not Diests? If so, then I'am quite sure they were not men with religious convictions. God creating the universe than giving us a grand middle finger certainly did not also interfere with our history..

Deep


No, they were not Deists, and yes, they were men of faith. The one the social reengineers try to hold up as the Great non-Christian, Thomas Jefferson, was even in favor of Christianity, said that Christianity is the faith of the nation, and was even in favor of government sponsored spreading of the Gospel among the Native Americans. The notion of them not being Christians is part of the history revisionism just like this principal's maneuver.



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 09:00 PM
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I can agree with that Bley, but then that brings us back to the heart of the problem: why was the Declaration of Independence banned and not the teacher?



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.




seekerof

[edit on 24-11-2004 by Seekerof]



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 09:02 PM
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Bleys, trying to remove Christianity from the foundation of this nation in and of itself removes the motive and reason for the creation of this nation. You cannot even rationally and correctly discuss the creation of the first states without doing so.

In a Christian nation, there should be no reason not to discuss such topics to a 10 year old. It was done every day when I was a 10 year old.



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 09:06 PM
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This teacher was intentionaly trying to teach his religious beliefs in a public school.

It is unfortunate that the story is being reported as "the Decleration of Independance banned" since it was this teachers lesson that was banned.

I am a conservative as most of you know. But I wouldn't want this guy teaching my kids. They should learn religion at home or in the church I think is best for my family. When they grow up, they can strike out on their own quest if they desire.

Tell me, would you be defending him if he was using history to teach Islam? or Buddhism?

Or ist it becuase his beliefs match yours that you see no problem?




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