President Obama is scheduled to deliver a video message to school children next week. The message, billed as an event to inspire interest in education among students, has created controversy.
Educators, the Department of Education and the White House crafted educational materials to accompany the event. One question in the materials asks students to describe how they could "help" President Obama. It is unclear who designed this particular question, but it has has led to projectile vomiting among conservatives. In response, the White House has instructed educators to delete the offending materials.
Conservatives' Sudden Opposition to "Indoctrination" of Children
Personally, I find the idea of a video message from a president to the nation's young children a bit creepy. I found it even creepier, however, that President Bush was reading stories to children during and after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
But conservatives' sudden opposition to "indoctrination" of children is absolutely laughable -- and pathetically hypocritical. Conservatives have no problem with school officials leading children in Christian prayers or telling them the scientifically impossible myth that the Earth was created in 6 days by an omnipotent being who needed to "rest" after completing the project. They think it is faaah-bulous to force kids to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and salute the flag. And they favor blatant restraints on students' First Amendment rights -- particularly when those students do not subscribe to socially conservative notions of morality. Yes -- conservatives are the ones trying to beat the admirably tolerant "Gay/Straight Alliances" out of public schools and to punish students who protest wars and who make political statements favoring drug use. But now, indoctrination is a terrible social harm.
Give me a friggin' break!