Okay, everybody back? Good.
So, in case you haven't already heard, a New Hampshire court has decided that the wall of separation between church and state doesn't mean that the state can't tell religion what's what:
LACONIA, N.H. — An Alliance Defense Fund allied attorney filed motions with a New Hampshire court Monday asking it to reconsider and stay its decision to order a 10-year-old home-schooled girl into a government-run school in Meredith.What, exactly, does this evil and insidious ruling mean?
Although the marital master making recommendations to the court agreed the child is “well liked, social and interactive with her peers, academically promising, and intellectually at or superior to grade level” and that “it is clear that the home schooling...has more than kept up with the academic requirements of the...public school system,” he nonetheless proposed that the Christian girl be ordered into a government-run school after considering “the impact of [her religious] beliefs on her interaction with others.” The court approved the order. [...]
The parents of the child divorced in 1999. The mother has home-schooled their daughter since first grade with curriculum that meets all state review standards. In addition to home schooling, the girl attends supplemental public school classes and has also been involved in a variety of extra-curricular sports activities.
In the process of renegotiating the terms of a parenting plan for the girl, the guardian ad litem involved in the case concluded, according to the court order, that the girl “appeared to reflect her mother’s rigidity on questions of faith” and that the girl’s interests “would be best served by exposure to a public school setting” and “different points of view at a time when she must begin to critically evaluate multiple systems of belief...in order to select, as a young adult, which of those systems will best suit her own needs.”
Marital Master Michael Garner reasoned that the girl’s “vigorous defense of her religious beliefs to [her] counselor suggests strongly that she has not had the opportunity to seriously consider any other point of view” and then recommended that the girl be ordered to enroll in a government school instead of being home-schooled. Judge Lucinda V. Sadler approved the recommendation and issued the order on July 14. [All emphasis added--E.M.]
It means that this particular New Hampshire court has, in effect, decided that there is no such thing as religious truth. A girl of 10 is not allowed, apparently, in the State of New Hampshire to believe fervently that the religion she practices has anything of truth in it; no, she must be exposed to as many world religions as possible, whether Christian, Jewish, pagan, Muslim, wholly-fake science fiction moneymaking schemes, or even Irritable Atheist Syndrome. She must be able to believe that six impossible religions might be true, or that one true one is likely false.
Religious faith, the faith that accepts the teachings of a particular religion as true, is apparently legally defined as "rigidity." The idea that anyone in the days of old might actually have died to defend his religious faith is taken as a sad reflection on the ancient world's lack of diversity, multiculturalism, and proper diagnosis and treatment of attention-deficit disorders. I wouldn't be surprised if Marital Master Michael Gardner or Judge Lucinda V. Sadler thought that the death of the seven brothers in Maccabees was a courageous, but misguided, attempt to advance the animal rights of porcine citizens, too long oppressed in such high-fat evils as ham and bacon.
So this particular court in New Hampshire looks at home schooling, in the case of this girl, and sees that it is working, they look at her religious instruction, as measured in her faith and joy in that faith, and see that this, also, is working, and they decree that these things must not be allowed to work: this girl must be sent to the Childhood Removal Factory, and taught how to shove condoms on bananas and laugh at religion with cynical scorn, lest she fail to grow up to be as miserable, rebellious, depressed, helpless, and dependent on the government to provide her with everything from employment to toilet paper as all the other children in New Hampshire.
At that point, she will, of course, be as free as her peers to select some politically correct, pro-gay marriage, pro-abortion iteration of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism which will affirm her in her okayness, encourage her to vote for Democrats, and otherwise be a model blue-state citizen; or she can choose not to bother, and be a "spiritual" person who sleeps in on Sunday mornings and worries about the rainforest. Either is fine, so long as she doesn't choose some "rigid" faith and attempt to pass it on to her children; we Can't Have That in modern America.