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John Foust - The Power Team
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This the response I posted to the Texas Hold 'Em blog. Except the moderator wouldn't approve them. So I'll post them here instead.

- John

You've cornered me. I don't think we should have evangelists promoting revival meetings in the public schools. It's not about fear or bigotry. It's about respecting everyone's rights to their own beliefs, and respecting the fact that parents have placed their children in the care of the schools during the day. Do you think every principal and teacher should have the right to feed them their own favorite religion or politics during the day?

As for Sykes, he hung up on me at 40:16 in the podcast. As in no kiss goodbye and I'm left saying "hello hello" because I think my cell phone's gone dead. He had to break for the traffic report. I say he didn't want to talk to me any longer. I was civil, I was polite, I answered his questions. I'll sing myself to sleep tonight with the thought that he hung up on me because I was getting the best of him. I wasn't taking the bait to fulfill his notions of what makes for entertaining talk radio.

It is hypocritical to suggest that the children will be attracted to character education messages by the glitzy showmanship, then suggest that they won't be attracted to attend the evening religious presentation to see more of the same - especially if the Church has engaged in a blitz of advertising to promote the evening events, and especially if the Team verbally invites them or hands out flyers during the public assembly. Just like billboards or newspaper ads, the Power Team school assemblies are a well-worn way to promote the the evening events. It's like the circus of old: they'd parade the elephants down Main Street to lead the kids to the fairgrounds. This time, it will be the rolling billboard of the Power Team truck in the school parking lot.

I think the Power Team debases character education. It demeans the actions of all those education professionals who have quietly accomplished the same goals. Jefferson School District works hard at this. They host a Char Ed conference in the summer in Waukesha that's attracting national attention. We don't need circus acts or professional wrestling or blaring music to promote these messages. Our teachers do it every day, through teachable moments tied to the curriculum. We shouldn't be glamorizing dangerous stunts in the name of positive character traits. No one would consider having an assembly with these same outrageous parlor tricks if the supposed character education angle wasn't present.

Careful. Based on the videos clips on YouTube, the Power Team does pump a lot of rap and hip-hop music through the amplifier during school assemblies. Don't worry, though, it's all artists who leveraging their Christian beliefs to market their music, so it's OK. Sort of like what the Power Team does.

As for your silly suggestion that I'm an extreme lefty, is it only because I'm pro First Amendment, pro separation of church and state? What did you see on my site that's left-wing?

If you haven't seen the recent Boondocks episode regarding the return of Martin Luther King, I wholeheartedly recommend it. Search Google Video for "Return of the King." You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll kiss 22 minutes goodbye.

I didn't say Jesus was a socialist. I said MLK would "still be fighting for Jesus-like care for the poor and downtrodden." Again, more bait. How about answering some of the actual questions I posed? You say you would've been marching with King - tell me, what was this hypothetical march about? Which issue would MLK march about today, and would you join him?

As for the other distraction about the Muslim curriculums... Those sorts of exercises so often go wrong, don't they? Teachers are asked to come up with exercises to teach sensitivity to other people's beliefs or demonstrate the effects of prejudice, and they come up with stuff like this. If it's not splitting the class into two by religion, it's declaring one half blue and the other red, and they're given cards telling them to behave in a bigoted fashion, and next thing you know, little Billy's in tears and a parent's enraged. And there's the never-ending demands, usually from politicians, to teach about Islam or Wisconsin's dairy industry or who knows what. It all gets stuffed into the 180 days of curriculum - unfunded, of course, and they still want them to teach to the test so we can pass State requirements. Yes, I'd like it if students were smart enough to know the difference between Sunni and Shiite. Heck, I'd like it if grown-up elected officials knew the difference. Same for Catholic and Lutheran and Baptist and Jainist and Buddhist. It's hard to teach. How would you teach respect for religious belief?

As for civil behavior and proper values, I'm not the one calling names. Where does this value come from? On this page, I'm called a crank, a moonbat, a fascist, a bigot - and those are just the comments from Peter. So many are so quick to presume all sorts of characteristics for me - I'm a Socialist? An Extreme Lefty? By no means. Does it make you feel better, or does it settle your argument, by so quickly and easily pigeon-holing? Don't you know any conservatives who are pro First Amendment? Or have all the other First Amendment defenders been shot by those defending the Second Amendment?