ERIC Number: ED380902
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Nov
The Politics of Theocracy: Public Schools under Attack.
Bauer, Norman J.
This paper examines the rhetoric and consequences of extreme religious right-wing groups' attack on American public schools. The first section identifies two competing world perspectives, the modern and postmodern perspectives. The second section identifies the fundamental principle that enables the two competing perspectives to coexist: the First Amendment to the Constitution, specifically, the church-state separation clause. Some of the political and educational strategies used by the radical Religious Right to achieve its theocratic and educational aims are described in section 3. The fourth section develops suggestions for maintaining religious pluralism and church-state separation, which include: (1) develop a renewed sense of common cultural purposes; (2) defend and preserve the principle of church-state separation; (3) adopt the role of "civic pedagogue"; (4) engage in action to thwart the efforts of those who had declared a cultural war; (5) recognize "civil religion" as the nation's binding element; and (6) replace the metaphor of the "melting pot" with that of the "round table." In conclusion, the assault on American public schools and effort to construct a theocracy is a conflict over the basic way in which people perceive reality. (LMI)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Studies Association (Chapel Hill, NC, November 11-13, 1994).