By Nathan Barton
Just as the Thanksgiving/Christmas season is always flavored (or marred) by political controversies over free speech and freedom of (from) religion, so the high school and college graduation season is frequently marked by clashes on religion in public life, free speech, and decorum. These incidents often show just how society is disrupted by the arrogance of government and our “civil servants” and how they play into the hands of those who want to force change in society.
One recent collision took place on 2nd June in Pennsylvania, as reported by The Blaze. There, a valedictorian was ordered by the school superintendent to “remove all religious references” from her graduation speech. The young woman did rewrite her speech and put in vague references to “blessings” and being thankful, and the superintendent approved it. But at the ceremony, she added something to it, clearly stating she knew she was breaking the rules and then ended her lesson with the traditional ending of a prayer to God, “in the righteous name of Jesus Christ, Amen.” She defied the school and the system, and the woman who ordered her to not do anything like that.
Bravo for her!
But that is not the intent of this commentary. Rather, it is to point out that this incident did not start with the graduate being ordered to revise her speech, nor with her defiance. She was not arrogant in exercising her rights. Rather, she was responding appropriately to the arrogance of others.
Indeed, it did not begin with the immoral and illegal action of the school in having the superintendent review the speech script. That is something called censorship, and a government-run, theft-funded school has no more LEGAL or MORAL power to censor speech than any other government agency at any level.
No, it begins with the idea that government – at ANY level – has any legitimate authority, any inherent power (other than that of the point of a sword or barrel of a gun) to control education of any human being, or to control speech of anyone with whom it does not have a voluntary agreement to do so, as a condition of employment or contracted services. It is this arrogance that damages society, and especially individual people caught in it.
Education under government control can only be justified by one claim: that the state, government (the king even if the “king” is claimed to be “the people”), OWNS those humans which are under its control; that the word “citizen” is synonymous with the words “subject,” “servant” and “slave.” The ungodly, immoral, unnatural idea that one person (or a group of people) can own some part of the life and body of another person. The hideous concept that any person can be obligated or forced to do something to or for any other person or group – even if that group is styled a nation or community. (Onyone may volunteer freely to accept that obligation, of course.) This makes the arrogance even worse.
This is not a matter of civility. A tyrant and his or her minions can be very civil but still be evil, tyrannical and arrogant. It is not a matter of respect for elders or leaders or teachers – you can be respectful but still be disobedient. It is not a matter of obedience, for obedience is obligatory to a very small and select group, which does NOT include (at least) 99.5% of government and school officials. And again, only if the obligation to obey is undertaken freely and voluntarily on the part of the one who obeys.
Rather, it is a matter of arrogance, no matter how civil, no matter how respectful, no matter how well couched it is in claims of divine authority or terms of the health of the body politic or appeals to patriotism or love or brotherhood.
The arrogance, even in this case in Pennsylvania, is not limited to the superintendent, or even to the school board which directs the superintendent’s actions (which is, by the way, a voluntary relationship – when she accepted their employment, she agreed to carry out their orders, presumably within defined limits). Nor is it limited to the voters who elected that board and (through “representatives”) created the laws that allow both the power and the “need” to do things like this.
But the school administration, the school board, and yes, even the people reject any responsibility for treating the graduates (and all those students still trapped in the system) like the dirt beneath their feet – like slaves and idiots and incompetents. But boy, do they get upset when someone, like this girl, rebels. They SHOULD be upset when the rest of the student body acts like sheep and submit to everything demanded.
But that is NOT going to happen as long as the system we have exists. May more and more students stand for what they believe and what they know is right! Yes, some will do the wrong things, and be held to account for their actions, but far better than the destruction of liberty in the minds of young men and women. The best answer to arrogance is not (much as we may be tempted) to defend ourselves violently or even with harsh words and accusations (however much deserved). Rather it is a nonviolent action to show that we reject their attack, their treating us as the dirt beneath their feet. To show them that we are human and will not submit.
Mama’s Note: Standing up for what is right is, of course, the best response in any situation. I think that finding alternate education options for these children is a most important part of that. Leave the slave “schools” to teach the slaves. If parents truly love liberty and want their children to learn in that way, they must be removed from the slave indoctrination. A few may escape otherwise, but far better for everyone if they are not there to start with.