Reprinted with permission from Rabbi Shapiro
Won’t you join me in that quintessential expression of American ideals and participate in a vote? In a democracy, voting allows us all to voice our decisions while allowing all to have the same voice. If we can rule by the majority, while respecting minority voices, we are, after all, expressing a fundamental principle elaborated by the founders of our great country!
So, let’s vote on this question, please!
Should water molecules (H20) have one atom of hydrogen or two?
What do you think?
If you are in favor of water molecules having just one hydrogen atom, then please text the word “One” to me at 804-914-4460.
If you are in favor of water molecules having two hydrogen atoms, then please text the word “Two” to me at 804-914-4460.
Next month, I promise to report on the vote so that we can, together, after hearing everyone’s voice, after accepting input from all who wish to participate, decide whether or not water molecules should have one or two hydrogen atoms.
Wait! What? You think this is silly? Then you are just out of step with the mainstream thinking of Floridians and/or our Tallahassee leadership!
You see, the Florida State Legislature has passed, and Governor Scott has signed, a bill that allows parental and community input into the curricular materials, textbooks, etc. that will be used in each county school district. After all, we all pay for our public schools (and too many religious schools, as well, I’m afraid, but that’s a different article in the Freethinker) so shouldn’t we get a say?
Thus, if we can get a large group of us to challenge textbooks that claim that water is H2O and decide that we want to have only materials that teach that water is H1O, we can go to our school board meetings and raise a ruckus!
Not going to happen, you say?
What if we can get a large group of us to challenge textbooks that claim the earth is 4 billion years old and have them replaced by materials that teach that the earth is more like 10,000 years old, just as described in Genesis Chapter 1?
What if we can get a large group of us to challenge textbooks that claim that God is not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution and have them replaced by materials that teach that our great country was founded on Christian principles?
What if we can get a large group of us to challenge textbooks that claim that the Ku Klux Klan holds extremist reactionary positions such as white supremacy, white nationalism, anti-immigration and anti-Semitism and have them replaced by materials that teach that the KKK has “tried to be a means of reform, fighting the decline in morality and using the symbol of the cross, targeting bootleggers, wife-beaters, and immoral movies. In some communities it achieved a certain respectability as it worked with politicians?” (That’s a direct quote from the textbook United States History for Christian Schools, 3rd ed., Bob Jones University Press, 2001)
The “What ifs” can go on and on. The bill signed by the Governor CS/HB 989: Education, already seems to say what A Beka Book and Bob Jones University Press curricula have been pushing, that Algebra II is the work of the devil!!
Elections and rule by the majority have their place, an important place, in our great democracy. But elections can’t decide questions of right and wrong. Nor can the courts. Let us not forget that there are still with us women who were born into a U.S.A. where women could not vote! There was a time that elections and the courts agreed that slavery was OK for our country. Even now, it seems that the electorate, in some areas, and the courts, express the idea that LGBTQ people do not have the same rights as others.
Nor do elections, majority rule, or the courts, get to decide the facts. Sound science and academic integrity tell us that water molecules are going to have two atoms of hydrogen no matter what our justices decide, no matter how the electorate votes!
Through our taxes, we’re all paying for the textbooks and curricular material used in our local school classrooms.
In the name of sound science, academic integrity, the thought processes, the brains with which we are all endowed, please keep an eye out for attempts to pressure our local school boards into thinking otherwise! If you see an assault on our traditional values, on the truthfulness of the textbooks used in our public schools, please scream! Keep screaming all the way to the next meeting of the county school board!