Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tea Partiers Sponsor Christian Summer School in Florida: Children Taught the Me First Gospel

Summer school, anyone?  If you have time and money to spend, and, more importantly, children to train up in the right and godly American way, you may want to consider the Tea Party summer camp being offered in the great state of Florida this summer.  Tampa Liberty School is for children ages 8-12, and will be offered by the Tampa 912 Project at the Paideia Christian school in Tampa.

This Vacation Bible School clone is attracting deserved media attention (see, in addition to the articles cited above, Alex Pareene's report at Salon today).  This indoctrination gulag camp school will assure that your children are trained in the godly principles that built America from its Judaeo-Christian foundations to the present--the principles espoused by godly Christian founding fathers like Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin (both of whom were deists, but let's not confuse ourselves with the facts).  Principles like the following:

1. America is good.  (This comes at the top of the list on the Tampa 912 Project's homepage.)

2. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.

3. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.

And I think that of all the noxious balderdash I see highlighted on this Florida tea party homepage, which will be rammed down the throats of innocent children this summer, it's that final "Judaeo-Christian" principle that sticks in my craw most of all.  Defiant selfishness is decidedly not a Jewish or Christian principle.  

If children need to learn anything at all in our no-holds-barred, free-for-all culture of atomistic individualism, it's their responsibility to and for others with whom they share the world--not the selfishness of Ayn Rand disguised as biblical truth.  American children are not conspicuously well-educated in social responsibility in any schools throughout the nation. 

And so why send to them to special "Christian" schools to indoctrinate them even more in the philosophy of selfish individualism?  Who teaches the youth of the U.S. what any society that wants to remain viable always teaches its youth--namely, that the primary reason we need to pay taxes and build strong networks to protect the least among us is because those networks benefit all of us?

Self-interest ought to dictate that we let no one in our society fall through the cracks, since we all pay a high price when people are not well-fed, well-housed, well-educated, and given access to adequate health care and meaningful employment.  To regard taxation and the social programs taxation supports as a kind of robbery or charitable activity enforced on unwilling citizens whose hard-earned money is being taken from them without their consent: this is just plain dumb.

The plain dumbness of the philosophy of self-defeating individualism is, however, deep-seated in the minds of most Americans, and we hardly need special schools to teach this philosophy to "Christian" children.  To the contrary: educational systems that care about the future of our society ought to be working overtime to show young people the myriad ways in which all of us suffer when we let anyone among us fall to the bottom, and go without the basic necessities of life.

The philosophy promoted by the Tampa 912 Project, which will be drummed into the heads of innocent children at this summer school, is about as Christian as is the contention of the school's founder, right-wing columnist Jeff Lukens, that our society (and, above all, the military) needs a dose of good "old-fashioned" Christo-fascist American "exclusionary attitudes" vis-a-vis gay folks in order to heal itself of its current ills.

Excluding people, informing people that we count and they don't: that's not what the Judaeo-Christian message is all about.  Except in the head of tea partiers.  And countless numbers of other Americans who assume, along with their tea party brethren, that America is unreservedly good and comes first.  And I work hard for what I earn and will share it with those in my own circle, and no government will make me do otherwise.  Since my family and I are sovereign authorities and will not be told by the government what to do.

Imagine building a society that really works around such principles.

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