Saturday, June 02, 2007

more liberal lies from one of my favorite "false teachers"

We have talked before about Tom Ehrich, an Episcopal priest, writer and consultant whose column appears weekly in The Indianapolis Star. I would have to say that he and Jimmy Carter are my two favorite "false teachers," as the Bible uses the phrase, because they are both so earnest in their parroting of the talking points from the so-called "religious" left. As I have said many times before, though, there is nothing authentically Christian about either one of them. Ehrich's latest column is a perfect illustration, and provides another teachable moment.

The first 6 paragraphs of the column are actually pretty accurate. We do have an education crisis in America. Our public schools are a disgrace, and there are three specific reasons why this is true (although Ehrich doesn't address any of these reasons). The teacher unions, and especially the NEA, have made it almost impossible to fire bad teachers, while at the same time they have forced the schools to teach from a secular progressive viewpoint. Also, it has become quite chic for parents to have their children labeled with any one of a dozen different learning disability classifications, so that they can have teams of teachers and instructional aides do their child's school work for them. In the school I teach in, almost 20% of the student body falls under the classification of "resource student," with full access to the resources I have described. Do you think any of them are prepared for college? Thirdly, the modern parent gets quite upset if the teacher requires too much of their child. The modern parent has become something of a "defense attorney," constantly running interference for their child so that the child is never made to feel at all uncomfortable.

Those are the reasons why our kids don't do as well as kids in other countries academically. Of course, Ehrich didn't mention any of this in his column because he's part of the problem. Actually, Ehrich didn't even attempt to identify any reasons why public education is such a mess in our country. After the first 6 paragraphs, he just kind of "jumped the tracks" and launched into his weekly diatribe against conservatives, Republicans, and real Christians. He also (as usual) slipped quite a few outright lies into his screed. Let's use this as a teachable moment.

What does all this suggest?
First, a continued squeeze on the middle class, income falling behind expenses, insecure employment, while home ownership, rewarding jobs and health insurance move beyond reach.

None of that is true. "The median family with children saw an 18% rise in earnings from the early 1990s through 2005. That’s $8,500 more purchasing power after inflation. The wealthiest fifth made a 55% gain in earnings, but the key point is that every class saw significant gains in income." That's from the Congressional Budget Office. The middle class in America has grown stronger financially since the early 90's, and especially since the beginning of the Bush tax cuts.

For the growing lower classes, we see severe economic scarcity of a systemic nature, including minimal access to health care, decent housing, quality education and adequate nutrition.

That's another liberal lie. "A new study by the Congressional Budget Office says the poor have been getting less poor. On average, CBO found that low-wage households with children had incomes after inflation that were more than one-third higher in 2005 than in 1991. Among all families with children, the poorest fifth had the fastest overall earnings growth over the 15 years measured. The poorest even had higher earnings growth than the richest 20%. The earnings of these poor households are about 80% higher today than in the early 1990s." This whole liberal myth about the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer, and the middle class disappearing is just a lot of hooey!

For the privileged few, we find further isolation from community, more retreat into glossy enclaves, and the moral swamp augured by exploiting others.

Wow! That's straight from the writings of Marx, isn't it? The truth is, if anyone is being exploited, it's the rich and the middle class. The top 1% of all wage earners in America pay almost 37% of all federal income tax. The top 25% of all American wage earners pay almost 84% of all federal income tax. The top 50% of all American wage earners pay nearly 97% of all federal income tax. Tell me again just who is being exploited?

I see more pressure to end America's commitment to democracy and freedom.

Now, here's something I agree with. The modern left is absolutely hell bent on ending America's commitment to democracy and freedom in Iraq. Do you think that's what Ehrich was referring to? Me neither.

If graduates were open to reality, what could we say?
First, this is a tragedy with no villains. Just short-sighted behavior and too little grit.
Second, it comes down to values -- basic values such as hard work, honesty, sacrifice and neighborliness. Debating sexual ethics or whether the American flag belongs in church matters a lot less than nurturing a nation whose values we -- and the world -- can respect.
Third, we need more teachers, engineers and inventors, not consumers of entertainment or managers of other people's money. Our only long-term hope is an educated, motivated and inventive work force.
Finally, I say to my colleagues in religion: We need to be educators, not moralizers. We need to be opening schools that teach crucial skills, not phony biblical values. We need to be forming ties with public schools to cut the dropout rate and to expand access to challenging classes for the bright.

Here's your list of liberal lies from Ehrich's ending salvo:
1. There are villains in this tragedy. The villains are the modern liberaliars/socialist secular progressives/cultural Marxists. These are the people who have screwed up public education in our country so badly that it probably is beyond repair.
2. Hard work, sacrifice, honesty and neighborliness are all foreign concepts to the modern liberaliar. Socialism destroys all incentive to work hard. Liberals are the biggest liars in the world, as I have repeatedly demonstrated. Helping to establish freedom in Iraq is the very definition of "neighborliness" and it requires sacrifice on our part, but America's liberaliars want no part of that. I guess Ehrich was lying about those basic values.
3. The debates about gay marriage and the value of thanking God openly in church for allowing us to live in the greatest country in the history of the world are important debates. Of course, a secular progressive America hater like Ehrich would find those concepts to be quite difficult to understand.
4. Ehrich talks about "phony biblical values" ("biblical" with a small "b"? That speaks volumes, doesn't it?). He must be talking about Biblical values like "Thou shall not lie" and "Thou shall not covet your neighbor's possessions." He certainly demonstrates his disdain for those values, doesn't he?


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