Monday, April 04, 2005

So, who else flew flags at half mast because of the Pope?

I arrived at school at 6 a.m. today, to find the following memo attached to the teacher mailboxes:

The Governor has ordered all flags to fly at half mast thru the end of the week in honor of the Pope's passing. This is for all Federal and State Buildings.


Oh really?

I also found this:

Presidential Proclamation: Honoring the Memory of Pope John Paul II
A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

As a mark of respect for His Holiness Pope John Paul II, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half staff at the White House and on all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset on the day of his interment. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half staff for the same period at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this second day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty ninth.

GEORGE W. BUSH


Listen, I'm not some Christian bashing left-winger. Let's get that out in the open right now. But the demand by the President, and the Governor, raises serious questions (again) about the ethics that this administration portrays regarding the separation of Church and State. And don't insult my intellegence by telling me that the United States is mourning a Head of State. Yes, he was a Head of State. No, we are not honoring that fact as much as we are honoring the fact that the head of the Catholic Church died.
I don't know. I'm not one that usually gets riled up by these kind of things. Take a look at my BC/AD rant at the bottom. Some things have their place in government. In my humble opinion, this does not.

On other fronts, my classes were excellent today. Classes A,B,E (Intro) all had a ton of questions about the Pope. The luxury about teaching Intro classes is that expectations regarding subject matter are low, which means I can focus on very relevent issues. Simply keeping them in the classroom is good. Today, they were enthralled with a short history of Christianity and the line of succession for the Pope. Then we watched a Newshour piece on Creationism vs. Evolution in the public schools and had the students do a Response (a 1-2 page opinion paper). Again, very interested. Classes C,D (college prep) also had questions about the Pope. We discussed it a little, then I gave a quiz. I was mean this Spring Break. I assigned a textbook chapter to study for the Break with a quiz following. 80% failed the quiz. Almost every one of them stated something along the lines of "Maybe I should have read the information".
Ya think?
The class accepted the blame and we moved on to Market Structures notes. I'm planning on showing the Frontline Wal-Mart piece this week. Check it out online. Click on the Frontline link to the right and you can watch it for free online!!!
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