My daughter came home from school yesterday and told me that her teacher spent about ten minutes discussing the demerits of Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Said teacher feels that Governor Palin lacks the necessary international experience to be effective as a foreign policy adviser to the President.
My initial thought was, "Great. Abby's teacher has decided to inject her personal politics into her classroom. She has been indoctrinated by the NEA and the MEA and feels it is her personal duty to pass along the bias that she and so many other young educators seem to carry with them."
Then I calmed down a bit - something my wife tells me I should do more of. I reasoned, "It is an election year. It seems reasonable that Abby would be studying the election in her American Studies class. After all, the class is about government, and her teacher's observation about Governor Palin's relative inexperience is not an unreasonable one.
When I asked Abby if her American Studies teacher presented the other side of the coin she said, "Oh . . . this wasn't in American Studies. This was my Anatomy and Physiology teacher."
Anatomy and Physiology? What business does an instructor who should be teaching the position of the appendix relative to the gall bladder have in commenting about the upcoming election? Did Sarah Palin have some sort of surgery of which we all need to be aware? Are the colons of Alaskan residents somehow different than those of Americans living in the lower forty-eight?
Frankly, I am fuming. Teach your subject and keep your personal political comments to yourself!
I said to Abby, "I have a captive audience of four hunderd people each week. Have you every heard me comment from the pulpit about any Presidential or Vice Presidential candidate?" She answered correctly, "No." That is because my personal opinions as they relate to the upcoming election are not relavent to the subject I am teaching - seeking, studying and serving God.
Frankly, I am pretty conflicted about this election. I am being asked to elect a commander in chief. One candidate is a decorated war hero. The other hasn't served a day in uniform. I am being asked to elect a CEO. One is a Washington insider who has been a part of the entrenchment for decades. The other is a fresh voice of change and hope. I don't know who I will vote for in November.
The point is, unless it is germaine to the subject I am handling on Sunday at 10 AM nobody needs to know my thoughts on it.
When Natalie Mains got her tail in a twist several years ago for dogging President Bush at a concert in Europe I read a great article on the subject titled, "Shut Up and Sing." If I were to email my daughter's A&P teacher - something she has forbade me to do - my message would be this: "Shut up and teach." You teach my daughter where her esophagus and stomach are located. I'll teach her to select the politician that is least likely to give her heartburn.