Saturday, June 6, 2009

Wisdom from the Woods IX

Wisdom from the Woods is an occasional column that outlines complex issues.

Today's picture is a unique view of where I spent a few years of my life. In the distance is the University of Massachusetts in Amherst framed by the Connecticut River and the Holyoke Range. I learned a lot at that university and my education has carried me a long way. It was at this place in a different time (1970) when my politics changed forever. No other picture could depict "wisdom from the woods" better than this one.

Today I want to say a few words about hate and the teaching of hate that is not only a problem in Islamic counties, it is a problem right here at home. This past week, the Kansas church group (I'm not going to give the official church name) came to Rhode Island to spread their message of hate against Blacks, Jews and Gays. A small group of church goers showed up with their children in tow to make an ugly scene. Actually, the scene was not so ugly because of the counter-protest by students at a local high school. Many East Providence school kids went as far as wearing yarmulkes all day long to support their Jewish friends. Thankfully, there was no violence.

These anti-American extremists from Kansas are sending a dangerous message; largely to their own children. I wonder how many future uni-bombers are being created because of the indoctrination techniques used by these evil people. I suppose that this is the cost of freedom and the protections provided by the first amendment to the Constitution. Is there a Constitutional way to restrict this hateful behavior?

I for one, believe that the Department of Education in the appropriate state should have the authority to monitor what is taught in the schools that these children attend. If this hate mongering is part of a school curriculum, we need to ensure that laws are in place to allow for the arrest of any perpetrators. While freedom of speech remains one of our founding values, freedom to brainwash young minds with hatred does not constitute free speech. I think this is akin to yelling fire in a crowded theater. I believe this needs to be the case even if the school is a private school. As a society, we can not afford to have hatred taught to young people. Any school, private or public should be subject to approved curricula; and if necessary, compliance should be monitored and enforced.

Activities of the Kansas church group and their brain-washing techniques applied to their young are no different than the use of the radical Madrases that teach radical forms of Islam throughout the Middle East. The radical Madrases teach hatred of Jews, Americans and the West the same way some of our radical bible beaters do.

This to me is a scary issue that needs to be considered. Government needs to find Constitutional ways of coping with this complete ignorance. I suppose our radio talk show folks that like to teach hate from their pulpits fit the definition of free speech. Teaching hate in a class room is far different. Teaching hate from a church is just pure evil; but maybe this issue can be appropriately addressed through refined tax codes.

Thank you for our freedom - World War II Vets (65 years ago - D Day)!! You men and women fought hate to preserve the freedom of nations. Your courage is not forgotten.


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