Â Â Â Â BOULDER, Colo.â€”About 50 Boulder High School students walked out of class Thursday to protest the daily reading of the Pledge of Allegiance and recited their own version, omitting “one nation, under God.” Â Â The students say the phrase violates the constitutional separation of church and state.
Â Â They also say the daily reading of the pledge over the school public address system at the start of the second class takes away from education time and is ignored or mocked by some students.
Â Â A state law passed in 2004 requires schools to offer the opportunity to recite the pledge each day but does not require students to participate.
Â The protesting students, members of the Student Worker Club, want administrators to hold the pledge reading in the auditorium during each of the school’s two lunch periods for any students who want to participate.
Â Â Otherwise, they said, they plan to walk out each Thursday when the pledge is read and recite their version, which omits the reference to God and adds allegiance to constitutional rights, diversity and freedom, among other things.
Â Â “Boulder High has a highly diverse population, not all of whom believe in God, or one God,” said Emma Martens, a senior and president of the club, which has about a dozen members.
Â Â “We didn’t think it was fair for the whole school to have to listen to it. It’s almost religious oppression,” she said.
Â Â Principal Bud Jenkins told the Camera newspaper on its Web site Thursday the pledge will not be moved, but added he was proud of the students for standing up for their beliefs.
Â Â It was not immediately clear what discipline, if any, the protesting students would face.
Â Â Well, I was just getting ready to have my pick of the week be a stock called Aur Resources (AUR), when I discovered that I pretty much already own it.Â A pick of mine back in January of this year was Teck Cominco (TCK)–which is up over 37% since then, by the way–and this company has bought almost all of the shares of AUR.
Â Â So…I’m going to go with a nice big, boring pipeline company:Â Oneok Partners LP (OKS)–mostly because I’m a little under-weighted in energy in my personal investments.Â (But of course, my fantasy fund at Marketocracy–Pettit Energy Fund–is doing gangbusters…)
Â Â The latest speculation on the fate of little Madeline McCann (her parents now being the main suspects), reminds me of the issue I take with the “Fifth Commandment”.Â (I actually take issue with several of the Commandments–perhaps I’ll discuss the others another time).
Â Â Â Â Â Â “V.Â Honor thy father and thy mother.”
Â Â Now why would the One True God feel that this was so important that it needed a Commandment?
Â Â MyÂ opinion is that this Commandment gets it backwards.Â
Â Â Respect for parents should be earned, not commanded.Â After practicing family law for 31 years–and having now been aÂ parent as well as a child–I have seen that there are many, many bad parents who have done terrible things to their children.Â “Honor your children” should be the Commandment.Â I believe children are born “good”, and if they end up “bad” I believe that much more often than not, it is due to poor parenting.Â
Â Â Do you honor and respect your parents?Â If so, good for you–and I’ll bet that they earned that respect and deserve the honor you give them.Â Â Why should youÂ need to be COMMANDED to have those feelings?Â If you had good parents, you willÂ naturally have those feelings of respect and honor.
Â Â Look at this chart for a moment:
Â Â It shows that about twice as many children are murdered by their parents, than parents are murdered by their children.
Â Â Who needs to be honored by whom?
Â Â I believe that pretty much any parent out there that isn’t feeling honored and respected probably has earned and deserves those sad feelings (because it is the natural order of things that children DO love, honor, and respect their parents).
Â Â But there are millions of children–alive and dead–who have been poorly served by their own parents.Â There are books on parenting out there, folks.Â Â Family counsellors.Â People that you know are good parents, that are happy to give you advice.
Weirdest legal situation I’ve ever seen. I’ve never in my life seen a jury out for that long.
For those of you a little fuzzy on who the Defendant was, here are some Spector-produced songs you’ve enjoyed over the years.Â The first is by his own band, the Teddy Bears.Â At age 17 he had written, arranged, and produced “To Know Him Is To Love Him”–the #1 song in America.
Â Â Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys declared “Be My Baby” to be the best pop record ever made.
So did you know that the picture above was Phil Spector in a cameo playing a drug dealer in EASY RIDER? No? Here’s the first five minutes or so of the movie, including the stirring Steppenwolf opening credits. Makes ya wanna see it again, huh?
The Church of God Choir of Springfield, Ohio, tries to answer that musical question: “Why Should God Bless America?”
Meanwhile, the following story is from a little closer to home. I read Sunday about the (nearby) Red Oak, Iowa, teacher who was fired for suggesting that the Garden of Eden story was a myth. I’ve heard many religious people–including more than one member of the clergy– acknowledge same. (Come ON–talking snakes and magical trees?!!) Anyway, I didn’t post this right away, because I couldn’t stop sobbing…:
A community college instructor in Red Oak claims he was fired after he told his students that the biblical story of Adam and Eve should not be literally interpreted.
Steve Bitterman, 60, said officials at Southwestern Community College sided with a handful of students who threatened legal action over his remarks in a western civilization class Tuesday. He said he was fired Thursday.
“I’m just a little bit shocked myself that a college in good standing would back up students who insist that people who have been through college and have a master’s degree, a couple actually, have to teach that there were such things as talking snakes or lose their job,” Bitterman said.
Sarah Smith, director of the school’s Red Oak campus, declined to comment Friday on Bitterman’s employment status. The school’s president, Barbara Crittenden, said Bitterman taught one course at Southwest. She would not comment, however, on his claim that he was fired over the Bible reference, saying it was a personnel issue.
“I can assure you that the college understands our employees’ free-speech rights,” she said. “There was no action taken that violated the First Amendment.” [Rest of article]