Walk down any cellblock in any penitentiary in America and ask the convicts why they’re there. They all say the same thing: They were forced to sing songs in elementary school that included the words God or pray, or made any reference to rowing a boat ashore or holding the whole world in someone’s hands. It’s a miracle any of us ever overcome that kind of childhood trauma at all.
At least that’s the impression the Freedom From Religion Foundation is giving with their insistence that such songs be removed from Okte Elementary School’s curriculum. The Shenendehowa school in Clifton Park, N.Y. teaches kids music with hell-raising lyrics like "Thank you God for everything," "I pray the Lord my soul to keep," "Michael row your boat ashore" and "He's got the whole world in his hands."
Annie Laurie Gaylor, the co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation told Fox News, "This is not minor. It's predatory to conduct this toward a young, captive audience who would be truant if they didn't attend public school.”
I think someone needs to look up “predatory” and “truancy” in the dictionary. They’re kids. They’re learning music. Are they going to wipe out Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star too, because it smacks of sky-worshipping? Besides, science tells us we don’t have to wonder what those stars are – they are big balls of flaming gas. What are we teaching our children by telling them big flaming gas balls in the sky are like diamonds?
Seriously, it is not “predatory” to teach six-year-olds songs about God. Where was the Freedom From Religion Foundation when school children were being taught to chant “Barack Hussein Obama mmm mmm mmm”? Talk about cultist worship …
This religious-hate group swooped in on Okte Elementary School because one parent complained. One! No one is ever going to make everyone happy, and I think only offending one person in an entire school is pretty good. No one is holding that student captive, despite what Ms. Gaylor claims. Millions of children across the country never step foot in a public school, and they’re not considered truant. It’s called school choice, and some parents opt for private or home schooling.
Maybe the debate over education should be focused on how to raise academic standards, rather than eradicating music curriculum of songs that have been sung for generations and never did anyone any harm.
How would you react if your child was asked to sing one of these songs in public school? Would you run to your lawyer?
Image via Horla Varlan/Flickr