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Published: Thursday, 9/4/2003

Separation of church and state?

What separation of church and state?

Our friends on the left are at it again, claiming that Thomas Jefferson and the Founding Fathers clearly intended separation of church and state. All one has to do is go back and look at the evidence for the truth. The following are quotes from some of our Founders that suggest otherwise:

“It is rightly impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible ... Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” - George Washington

“If we will not be governed by God, we must be governed by tyrants.” - William Penn

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.” - John Adams

“No power over the freedom of religion is delegated to the United States by the Constitution.” - James Madison

“Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis - a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? My views are the result of a lifetime of inquiry and reflection, and very different from the anti-Christian system imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions. To the corruptions of Christianity I am, indeed, opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian in the only sense in which He wished anyone to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines in preference to all others ...” - Thomas Jefferson

Words of the man today's liberals claim established “the wall of separation” between church and state. These words put the lie to such assertions.

KEVIN F. DOUGLAS

Maumee

The recently reported state proficiency test scores are fostering many discussions within the community. As opinions and suggestions are shared and the local news media cover this process, I urge all parties to note and remember one statistical detail: Toledo Public Schools missed passing a seventh indicator by only 30 students (out of 3,181 TPS students taking the reading test).

Had that seventh indicator been attained, the district's classification would have risen from “academic emergency” to “academic watch.”

This narrow shortfall is significant for two reasons.

First, it demonstrates how close the collective efforts of students, their parents, teachers, and administrators pushed the district to a higher category of achievement. All those who raised TPS closer to improvement deserve much credit.

Second, this near-miss shows that the combination of overall extra effort, tutoring by parents and other adults, and strengthened classroom tactics is working. This process should be improved for even greater success but not thrown out wholesale and totally replaced by other methodologies.

I worry that critics of TPS and persons frustrated by a simplistic or antagonistic interpretation of the test scores will advocate for all new activities in preparing for the next proficiency tests.

TPS representatives at all levels should work with all community residents, of whatever age, who wish to constructively assist in the district's ongoing striving for improvement. I believe that the recent test scores and election results will strengthen TPS' resolve to include everyone with sound ideas and a clear commitment to the students.

That will be a more effective strategy to raise scores than excluding special education students from the test taking, as TPS Superintendent Eugene Sanders noted in a recent radio interview that three other urban districts had done.

DAVID M. NOEL

Heidelberg Road

I'm sitting here fuming. I just learned that George W. Bush, who loves the American little guy, is outsourcing his phone campaign to India.

Frankly, this is not a job I would be good at and it's not a position I envy, but surely it would be a good thing to offer the work to a few of the 8.8 million Americans who are out of work. The Federal Reserve is talking about the specter of deflation, and the Bush campaign is sending jobs “out of town,” as it were. It just makes me shake my head in confusion.

I'm about two steps closer to voting for Howard Dean, who fired a direct-sales outfit for outsourcing his phone campaign off shore.

HARRIET WARNOCK-GRAHAM

Maumee

Here we go again. Someone now wants to make an issue of whether Toledo Public School teachers live within the Toledo city limits.

Well, let me tell you about what I saw this summer.

In July, I received word that the Newbury Elementary baseball team had a problem. The players were going into tournament play, and their coach had been hospitalized with a serious illness. Their coach was their mentor, and the team was demoralized because he could not be with them. They were hurting. Upon hearing about this, the teachers of Newbury came to support the kids.

These were their kids, too, and when the kids hurt, so did they. I saw teachers not only from Toledo, but from Perrysburg, Holland, Luckey, and Monroe. Some even postponed trips to support their kids.

Remember, they were on summer break.

They didn't just sit in the stands, either. They yelled, made banners, jumped up and down, and paced back and forth with encouragement. Their coach, pale and weak, made it back for the last game and watched with us as the kids won the championship.

These are the types of individuals that we want teaching our children in Toledo Public Schools. These teachers made personal sacrifices to support our children. Do we really want to limit our choices of teachers with residency requirements?

I don't think so!

BILL BABCOCK

In the conflict that our armed forces face daily in Iraq, especially since the tragic bombing of the United Nations headquarters, it is time to step back and consider if there is a better policy than the one our country is now following.

The Bush Administration made a decision early to control all parts of the occupation of Iraq: security, restoring water and power, establishing an Iraqi governing council, and deciding how the oil in Iraq is sold and how the revenue from that oil will be used. The U.N. was allowed a role only in distributing humanitarian aid.

This total control by the military has fueled opinions in Iraq and around the world that we are mainly interested in controlling Iraqi oil to serve our own interests. These opinions are not unreasonable, given our dependence on oil from foreign sources for 55 percent of our oil.

As long as the present course is continued, there will be more attacks, more sabotage, and more people - Iraqis, Americans, British, and others - will be killed.

The Iraqi people have been bombed by us in the no-fly zones during the last war and have suffered under sanctions since the first Gulf War. They have suffered two humiliating defeats.

The only way that we can convince the Iraqi people that we are truly interested in handing control of their country over to them and helping them establish a democratic form of government is to go to the U.N. and ask for an international peacekeeping mission under the control of the U.N.

The U.N. was successful in East Timor. This mission should involve other Arab countries. Their presence in the peacekeeping force would help convince Iraqis that this is not a war of westerners against Arabs.

MARY LILLY

Tiffin, Ohio

Let's sleep on it

I've decided that I could care less about Ray Kest's grades, or if he takes courses in remedial reading or ethics. What I want is some of those mints that came off the pillows in those $100-a-night rooms!

CHRIS A. WILLE

Chorus Lane



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