The superb Neptunus Lex has a very revealing piece over at his place. Complete with his usual witty, cogent, brilliant commentary. Seems a teacher in the San Francisco school system voiced his opposition to the Blue Angels in the SF Chronicle. His reasons are quite telling, and his is an opinion that is all too close to the norm among those who educate our children, both in secondary and higher education.
Of late, the phrase “Civil-Military Divide” has been the topic of much discussion and publication. Varying theories and opinions for this “divide” are offered and bandied about. However, I would suggest that the Civil-Military Divide is in great measure a result of things like THIS and similar events. Four and a half decades of such a viewpoint being front and center in many of our nation’s classrooms. It is a viewpoint that embraces the moral relativism that says those fighting for freedom are no better than those who fight to oppress. That war, in all its forms, is composed of not soldiers but terrorists, who murder without conscience both innocent non-combatant and enemy soldier alike. The above bumper sticker is visible on a number of cars belonging to professors at the nearby Ivy League college, as well as those who teach at all levels of public school. To assert that such opinion does not color what is presented in the classroom, and how it is presented, is to be willfully blind to the realities of human nature.
Here in my small town some years ago I was a bit disturbed to see American soldiers on a mural in a High School classroom portrayed as SS Stormtroopers. When I asked the teacher what the purpose of such a display was, I was informed that he encouraged “self-expression”. I suspect strongly that neither he nor his students knew very much about the symbolism being “expressed”, nor why it was so egregiously offensive and inappropriate.
There is no breaching the divide between those who espouse such a philosophy as the writer of the Chronicle column, or the drivers whose cars are festooned with the bumper sticker, or the teacher who allows such a display in the classroom of a public school, and those who serve in our Armed Forces. Such cannot be reconciled. The great irony of a society that has been so safe for so long is that the absurdity of such a viewpoint as expressed by those people is never laid bare, but instead is allowed to perpetuate and gain legitimacy. The author of the Chronicle piece goes on to assert the following:
I was sitting in a seminar on the Holocaust at the University of San Francisco, completely mesmerized by the personal testimony of William Lowenberg, a Holocaust survivor now recently deceased. As he closed his incredible presentation, reminding us of how important it is to investigate and teach about the past, the Blue Angels flew over Lone Mountain, interrupting with their own thunderous narrative. I wondered what associations such sounds from the sky had in Lowenberg’s mind. I could not fathom the gravity.