Should Rod Paige Resign? : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

US Secretary of Education Rod Paige has come under heated criticism from liberal political commentators for making remarks about Christian values in the instruction of children. Editorial pages from the NY Times and the Wash Post, those paragons of journalistic value, have expressed their dismay about Dr. Paige's remarks. Barry Linn, President of Americans United for the Separation of Church & State, considers the Sceretary's remarks so offensive that he [Paige]should immediately recant his views or resign since the comments are suggestive that a key government official is "pushing" Christian schools over public schools.

Well, what exactly did this black male and key Cabinet officer really say in the now infamous interview with a Baptist publication. He said, "All things equal, I would prefer to have a child in a school that has a strong appreciation for the values of the Christian community, where a child is taught to have a strong faith. Where a child is taught that there is a great source of strength greater than themselves." Hmmmm.....sounds like Paige is testifying about the truth of Psalm 118: 26-29. No where in the alleged "incriminating remarks" do I read where the Secretary suggests that public school instruction will suffer because of his Christian beliefs. He personally prefers an environment where shared values exist between parent and educational provider. The key qualifer is "all things equal". Is this really worthy of the ultra liberal media assault on a gentleman who is committed to realizing the President's goal of 'No Child Left Behind'?

Why is it when some right of center American politicians articulate their Christian faith the knee-jerk reaction from liberal critics is typically cricitism, ridicule and scorn? The President is a practicing Methodist and seeks Divine Providence in his important decision making activities. His autobiography is titled, 'A Charge To Keep, a song not unfamiliar with our AME liturgy. Yet, the vast majority of our black clergy & members, AME included, cast aspersions on the President's faith and consider him short of an infidel in their public denouncements. Paige, it appears, is being subjected to similar treatment. It seems to be chic to make fun of "ring-wing Christian fundamentalists" but keep a muted tongue when liberal excesses are known like Monicagate, gay rights demands and nefarious income redistribution schemes. Sounds like the only resignations should come from Mr. Linn, for wasting scarce resources with trumped up charges devoid of fact and reason. QED

-- Anonymous, April 13, 2003


Bill I was just reading the latest issue of Christian Century today and the United Methodist church has a full page ad asking President Bush to repent. The ad was also in the NY Times. President Bush is united methodist. The ad also asked the president to speak to the Bishops of the united methodist church since he has refused to meet with any of them. The ad also said they were concerned about his spiritual life since he has turned away from church. I did not vote for President Bush, I am not in agreement with most of his foreign policy. But I was outraged that a christian denomination would take out an ad judging someone's faith. The ad went so far as to say "we apologize for doing this but felt we needed to" the ad accused Bush of not having christian compassion. But I did not see christian compassion in that ad against him. There is a lot of heated discussion in the churches in my town around the issue of Iraqi war. People are walking out of meetings, leaving churches and yesterday in our local paper it said the police was called to a meeting at the university where members of the audience shouted at each other over whether we should be in Iraq. Regardless of what are beliefs are I hope we will all respect one another and that includes respecting our president. Sorry I did not respond to your initial post but I wanted to share this with you.

-- Anonymous, April 13, 2003

Professor Dickens,

Dr. Paige should not resign for telling the truth. I am sure as an academician that you have access to a body of research to suggest that religious schools provide a better education than the public schools. Although, I am not an alumnus of a catholic school, I have been impressed by their graduates. These great schools actually developed because a catholic bishop wanted to protect Irish catholic immigrants from religious discrimination that they encountered when they came to this country in the late 1800's. Quite frankly, the lawlessness that abounds in the public schools does not result in an environment conducive to learning. I remember before integration in 1968 that our black schools were ruled by the iron fist of black teachers and principals. Everybody was obedient and everybody learned because our teachers accepted nothing less. In other words, you had to learn in those schools or suffer " corporal punishment".

Often times, I take an opportunity to share my beliefs at this agency and encourage people to pray even though it is against policy to do so. It's interesting that in some parts of the world you can be executed for confessing the name of Jesus. I believe that we Christians are going to have to suffer persecution for standing up for our beliefs. Despite the polls which suggest that a majority of Americans are Christians, I just find it hard to believe. I think that Dr. Paige should not recant his statement but rather defend it with data. Finally, I have noticed a similar observation that Rev. Rogers made about Christians protesting the war with Iraq. It seems to me that once again religion has broken down in the Christian's response to the war. Although I was for the war against Iraq, I was disappointed to hear a minister I admire preach a sermon supporting the war against Iraq. He basically said that sometimes nations have to go to war to overthrow evil rulers. For some reason, I expected a minister to take the " high road" on this issue. I guess he was in the flesh that day like we all do from time to time.


-- Anonymous, April 14, 2003

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