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Thursday, December 20, 2007
Kengor Repeats False Claim About Teacher And Declaration
Topic: Horowitz

In a Dec. 20 FrontPageMag article, Paul Kengor -- a conservative college professor and author of several books including God and George W. Bush and God and Hillary Clinton (his attacks on liberals in the latter were shockingly panned by Newsmax) -- conducted an interview (apparently in connection with the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College, where Kengor teaches) with Charles Kesler, "director of the Salvatori Center at Claremont McKenna College, and one of the nation’s most respected and thoughtful observers on the American Founding," on the subject of "American exceptionalism." Kengor asked the following question:

In November 2004 there was a case in a public school in the San Francisco Bay area in which a teacher claimed that the school principal prohibited him from using the Declaration (and other Founding documents) because it mentioned God. If accurate, was this merely an isolated case of silly secularists in a public school who lost their minds—and thus of little concern to us—or does it point to a real problem that we should be worried about? Is there a prejudice against the religious component in these documents?

As we detailed, the teacher in question had a history of using his classroom to promote his brand of Christianity -- In fact, parents had complained to the school that Williams's teaching "crossed the line into evangelizing," -- and the handouts in question were only the parts of the Declaration that mentioned God, not the entire document. The teacher later withdrew his lawsuit against the school district, and both sides dismissed all claims, and no school policies were changed.

The false claim that the school district prohibited the teacher from handing out the Declaration of Independence "because it mentioned God" came straight from a press release from the teacher's attorneys at the conservative Alliance Defense Fund.

Couldn't Kengor have looked this up, given that there's no doubt about the incident he raises, instead of throwing in the "if accurate" disclaimer? Apparently not, since the truth would have completely undermined his question.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:44 PM EST

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