In the aftermath of the recent election, certain disappointed voters
have voiced fear of an impending "theocracy"-a takeover of government
by "fundamentalists" and "extreme right-wing Christians." That fear, of
course, is wholly unfounded, but news from Cupertino, California,
raises the opposite concern.
Steven Williams teaches fifth grade at Stevens Creek School in this
Silicon Valley city. Part of the curriculum is American history, but
Williams has been prohibited by the school's principal, Patricia
Vidmar, from using any historic materials mentioning God. That includes
the Declaration of Independence which refers to "Nature's God,"
"Creator," "Divine Providence," and "Supreme Judge of the World."
Mr. Williams has sued the school, claiming
religious discrimination and violation of free-speech rights. News
reports indicate he is a Christian.
One lawyer familiar with the case stated, "the district has chosen to
censor men such as George Washington and documents like the Declaration
of Independence. [Its] actions conflict with American beliefs and are
According to various news sources, the principal started her crackdown
on Williams last May by requiring him to submit all lesson plans and
handouts for her approval. He claims she systematically rejected any
statements by American founders that mentioned God or religion.
Included in the ban, according to Williams, "are excerpts from the
Declaration of Independence, George Washington's journal, John Adams's
diary, Samuel Adams's 'The Rights of the Colonists,' and William Penn's
'The Frame of Government of Pennsylvania.'"
Williams's attorney, Terry Thompson, notes that "Williams wants to
teach his students the true history of our country. . . . He hands out
a lot of material, and perhaps 5 to 10 percent refers to God and
Christianity because that's what the founders wrote." The suit asserts
that Principal Vidmar did not subject any other teacher to
pre-screening of lessons.
So far the district has neither denied nor confirmed the allegations,
but it hardly seems likely that Williams would make all this up. For
decades crusaders for secularization, aided by sympathetic courts, have
worked diligently to remove all traces of religion from America's
public schools, even engaging in revisionism-rewriting history books.
Secularists view the public school as their exclusive domain where no
child should be exposed to a religious idea. Such a view is just
censorship of Christians. There's nothing neutral about these acts of
discrimination. They prescribe secularism as official doctrine.
And frankly, it makes me mad. When I went into the Marine Corps, I was
ready to give my life for a country that, in the words of the
Declaration, believes that "all men are created equal" and "endowed by
their Creator with certain unalienable Rights." Words that for millions
of Americans through the centuries have been worth dying for are
certainly worth teaching to our young people.