I actually had come across something like this not long ago as I was researching the NEA and wondering to myself what, exactly, had happened to embitter them so in what is alleged to be an enlightened age.
Of course, before we get too excited about some sort of "hidden agenda" that the NEA might have tucked away deep in the bowels of their humanist creeds, we need context. This is not the manifesto of a modern, atheistic NEA; this was the God-fearing NEA of 1941.
The context, then, is war. A world having entered a conflict as much about ideology as about dominion. A world waiting breathlessly to see if the United States would join the battle and help those who needed our strength, our industry, and our faith. A world filled with increasing hatred and animosity. This was the NEA's considered response to this dangerous time in our country:
The American concept of … government had its roots in religious belief. This ideal of the brotherhood of man roots down into the fundamentals of religion. The teachings of the Hebrew Prophets and of Jesus Christ inculcate the idea of brotherhood. The growth of the idea gave us the concept of democracy in government. It ennobled home life. It emphasized the sacredness of human personality.
Do tell! And where was the ACLU when American children were being spoon-fed this obvious propaganda?
The source, by the way, was an NEA-published document entitled "American Citizens Handbook." It was created to be a resource for anyone, young or old, citizen or immigrant, to prepare to be productive and responsible contributors to society. A noble idea, and one not destined to survive the twentieth century.
In the face of war the NEA advised, "Is it not plain that what the world needs just now is a new devotion to the great religious ideals?"
It boggles the imagination to think that a handbook that was apparently in use throughout the 50's and beyond has, in just a few decades, become obsolete to the mindset of our so-called "professional" educators.
As I say, I've come across similar ideas in American education before. Many of them come from my own experience. Can you ever imagine today having a teacher stand before your class and announce that a prominent American had just been assassinated, and suggest that all bow their heads in silent prayer? Unthinkable, right? And yet, that's what we were counseled to do when, first, Martin Luther King, Jr., and, later, Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated within months of each other during a turbulent 1968 and I was an impressionable 5th grader. I remember going home to discuss these events with Mom, and I remember Mom doing a lot of comforting. With prayer.
Once again we face war. Disasters, both natural and man-made, are increasing in frequency and intensity. (Events, by the way, that have been foretold in the very scriptures that we no longer allow in our classrooms.) In an age of "inclusion," when so much emphasis is being placed on tolerance towards special interests and sensitivity towards all, does it not make sense to remember (and include) those who still believe in the religious principles on which this country was founded? Must we consider that people of faith are "dangerous extremists" and liable to be the cause of all our country's ills?
Some would have us believe that. There are many - a dangerous many - who believe that religion ought to be vanquished and completely removed from society. This sentiment is no different in its practice than was that of all those who fronted the Communist Manifesto as their basis of government. And this sentiment is currently the basis of all propaganda currently being issued by the NEA and all of its affiliated organizations.
In 1950, teachers could advise us to pray.
In 2005 we can sue teachers for even mentioning prayer.
In 1950, teachers could speak the name of God.
In 2005, God is relegated to literature, if at all.
In 1950, teachers could teach the Golden Rule.
In 2005, schools "reprimand" students for using profanity more than five times.
God bless the NEA...