Posted on June 27th, 2011 in clean government, Colorado Politics, Education, History, liberty, PPC | No Comments »
In yesterday’s Denver Post Perspective section, hoary-bearded columnist Ed Quillen further expounded on his ignorance of 19th century American history, with particular venom directed at the Douglas County Choice Scholarship program. Under the almost-witty headline of “Thou shalt smite vouchers” Quillen takes a leap of faith that goes something like this (I’d insert a direct quote or two but am not interested in attracting the costly legal animus of Righthaven):
- Leading 19th century American politician James Blaine had a Catholic mother; therefore
- The Blaine Amendment he crafted into the state constitutions of Colorado and numerous others were bastions of modern “secular” thought promoting the separation of church and state, as understood by the ACLU and its compatriots; therefore
- Republicans in the 1800s were much more secular and enlightened than their contemporary counterparts; and
- Forget the fact that parents are given a choice, the Douglas County school board is funneling money to religious schools in violation of a benign state constitutional provision.
Really? Bad history may make for clever political potshots, but beyond that it has little practical use. The leading flaw in Quillen’s column is a fundamental (and willful?) misunderstanding of 19th century American public education — which was “nondenominational” Protestant but clearly not secular as the columnist imagines. (more…)