The Separation of Education and State

That has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?  I say five people in black robes should declare it a part of the U.S. Constitution.  In his piece entitled, “Ignorance Reigns Supreme” Walter E. Williams gives us the reasons why separation of education and state should be an important goal, though he never actually comes to that conclusion.  That’s my own inference, and I hold it up as a self-evident truth.

With limited thinking abilities and knowledge of our heritage, we Americans set ourselves up as easy prey for charlatans, hustlers and quacks. If we don’t know the constitutional limits placed on Congress and the White House, politicians can do just about anything they wish to control our lives, from deciding what kind of light bulbs we can use to whether the government can take over our health care system or bailout failing businesses. We just think Congress can do anything upon which they can get a majority vote.

Yup.  That would seem to explain pretty much everything happening in government today.

I’ve often (OK, virtually always) had to go back to the very, very basics of the meaning of liberty, so as to have any hope of a meaningful conversation on the subject.  Hardly anyone knows what it means.  Most people think it means you can do whatever you want, and, “Oh, but we couldn’t have that now, could we?”

Basically, the default (i.e. massively ignorant) argument can be summarized in one sentence; “Because you can’t fraudulently yell ‘fire’ in a crowded theatre (or because the Earth’s climate has been in a state of constant change for billions of years, or because someone didn’t pay their mortgage on time, et al) the government has the authority to run every aspect of your life. QED.”

That’s what wholesale ignorance, nurtured at the state level, has done to us.  That is why we need a constitutional separation of education and state– so as to prevent the establishment of a state education system; “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of education, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”  It should have been written right there in Amendment the First, as equally important to freedom of religion, of the press, and of free assembly, and for exactly the same reasons.


One thought on “The Separation of Education and State

  1. “‘Because you can’t fraudulently yell ‘fire’ in a crowded theatre…'”

    I remember teachers in school who would correct we young skulls-full-of-mush for improper use of “can’t”–“shouldn’t” or “may not” being proper. I like to think that the above sentence is such an example. I know it’s not, and I hear this mantra in place of reasoning at least once a week. There is, of course, absolutely nothing preventing anyone from yelling fire, save for a physical disability. I believe folks are confused with the difference between prior restraint and consequence.

    Since most people in the U.S. are convinced that their government was always a democracy, they must host some amount of guilt when they realize that they may hold responsibility for all the things government does. Perhaps mindlessly repeating the above–to justify infringement of the First Amendment–brings those people some small comfort.

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