Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Brainwashing or encouraging?

I was quite surprised at the outcry over President Obama's plan to speak to America's school children yesterday, commemorating the start of the school year.

Perhaps the strongest response came from the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, Jim Greer, who issued a press release condemning the speech and the President's motives:
September 1, 2009

Greer Condemns Obama’s Attempt to Indoctrinate Students

Tallahassee – Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer today released the following statement condemning President Obama’s use of taxpayer dollars to indoctrinate America’s children to his socialist agenda.

"As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama’s socialist ideology. The idea that school children across our nation will be forced to watch the President justify his plans for government-run health care, banks, and automobile companies, increasing taxes on those who create jobs, and racking up more debt than any other President, is not only infuriating, but goes against beliefs of the majority of Americans, while bypassing American parents through an invasive abuse of power.

"While I support educating our children to respect both the office of the American President and the value of community service, I do not support using our children as tools to spread liberal propaganda. The address scheduled for September 8, 2009, does not allow for healthy debate on the President’s agenda, but rather obligates the youngest children in our public school system to agree with our President’s initiatives or be ostracized by their teachers and classmates.

"Public schools can’t teach children to speak out in support of the sanctity of human life or traditional marriage. President Obama and the Democrats wouldn’t dream of allowing prayer in school. Christmas Parties are now Holiday Parties. But, the Democrats have no problem going against the majority of American people and usurping the rights of parents by sending Pied Piper Obama into the American classroom.

"The Democrats have clearly lost the battle to maintain control of the message this summer, so now that school is back in session, President Obama has turned to American’s children to spread his liberal lies, indoctrinating American’s youngest children before they have a chance to decide for themselves.”
Hyperbole? Over the top? Seems so to me. However you can judge for yourself by watching the President's remarks.

Ironically, ABC News reported on Monday that Jim Greer had changed his opinion of the speech, calling it a "good speech" and one he would actually allow his own children to watch. However, he did not back down from his press release, claiming that his protest caused the President to change the speech and the lesson plan materials being sent to schools by the Department of Education.

I find it hard to believe this stuff actually happens.