Oh no!! Is the Tea Party targeting schools with those guns they're so fond of clinging to? Are they calling in bomb threats? Sending anthrax laced sick notes to the principal? Are they staging violent protests outside the school? Surely it must be something seriously awful for this to be the TOP STORY on the Huffington Post site - and in 1749-point bold font, no less!
Never mind....it's just a bunch of moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas asking their local schools to follow the federal law requiring a day - one day out of the school year - to include instruction about the Constitution of the United States.
This terrifies the professional left:
"The Tea Party Patriots, Georgia-based but claiming 1,000 chapters nationally, are instructing members to remind teachers that a 2004 federal law requires public schools to teach Constitution lessons the week of Sept. 17, commemorating the day the document was signed. And they'd like the teachers to use material from the Malta, Idaho-based National Center for Constitutional Studies, which promotes the Constitution as a divinely-inspired document."I know, right? How dare they?
Now, to be fair, the founder of the National Center for Constitutional Studies, Cleon Skouson, had some views that were out of the mainstream. He was a "John Bircher" and even his Mormon church considered him to be too far out. However, his most celebrated work, The 5000 Year Leap: Principles of Freedom 101, doesn't venture into any of those areas. It's an excellent book that uses mostly primary source quotes from the Founders and their contemporaries. President Reagan said, "The National Center for Constitutional Studies...is doing a fine public service in educating Americans about the principles of the Constitution."
"It's indoctrination, not education," said Doug Kendall, director of the Constitutional Accountability Center in Washington, D.C. "They're so far from the mainstream of constitutional thought that they are completely indefensible."You can see a few of the lessons for yourself here and download the study guide here. WARNING!! If you're a person who doesn't believe in Natural Law (even though there is undeniable proof that our Constitution and Declaration of Independence were based upon it) and you don't like that DeTocqueville went on and on about how religions the fledgling United States was (because....well...it was), you'll probably hate it.
Tea Party Patriots and their chapters across the country are encouraging members to contact schools in their area to remind them of the Federal law that requires teaching of the Constitution at all schools receiving Federal funds. Public Law 108-447 Sec. 110(b), enacted in 2004 states:
"Each educational institution that receives Federal fundsThe plan for the Tea Party Patriots is to contact as many schools as possible to make sure they're abiding by this Federal law:
for a fiscal year shall hold an educational program on the United
States Constitution on September 17 of such year for the students
served by the educational institution."
"Patriots across the country are justifiably concerned that students in the public schools are not being taught about the founding documents which created our nation. In 2004, Congress passed a law which requires an educational program on the Constitution be taught in all public schools during Constitution Week...Patriots should not have to remind schools to teach the history of the most important document in our country. That we have to do so is an indication of how awful the public school system has become with regard to teaching U.S. history...We have designed a simple plan to achieve this goal. It will be most effective if we can launch a national campaign in all 50 states."The Medina Tea Party Patriots describes the plan:
Very subversive, isn't it? A huge threat to our freedoms, according to the HuffPo. One of the critics cited in their hit piece is The Center for Center for Civic Education which describes itself this way:
"The principal goals of the Center’s programs are to help students develop...an increased understanding of the institutions of constitutional democracy and the fundamental principals and values upon which they are founded..."Oh, so they help students understand the constitutional democracies of Germany and the UK? Because we have NO SUCH THING HERE! Our Founders gave us a Constitutional republic, which provided for limited government, a balance of powers, and a system in which mere majority rule is tempered.
Here we have Exhibit A for the need to teach each and every school child about the Constitution. In a letter to George Wythe, August 13, 1786, commonly called "A Crusade Against Ignorance," Thomas Jefferson linked freedom to an educated citizenry:
I think by far the most important bill in our whole code is that for the diffusion of knowlege among the people. No other sure foundation can be devised, for the preservation of freedom and happiness...My favorite blogger (and friend whom I've not actually met) and now author, Dan Phillips, likes to say that if the Founding Fathers were to come back here they would say, "When were you conquered and by whom?" I think they'd also ask, "When did you get a new Constitution?" We need to get busy!