warning: political opinion ahead

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“We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded.” -Obama, 2008

The National Service Bill that was passed yesterday seems like it could be a good thing, until you start reading the fine print. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with encouraging kids to be more active in their communities… but when it becomes mandatory for elementary school children to serve time in “Youth Engagement Zones”, we’re talking indoctrination rather than encouragement.

And it’s not just the children that will be targeted. The Bill includes “recommendations for policies to increase service for adults age 55 or older, including how to best use such adults as sources of social capital, and how to utilize their skills and experience to address community needs.”

Okay, so there’s nothing really wrong with a little social capital either. But isn’t it a little scary to think that the government will be telling us what we have to do? Or even worse, what we aren’t allowed to do? Participants in the National Service Corp will be prohibited from:

“(1) Attempting to influence legislation.(2) Organizing or engaging in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes.(3) Assisting, promoting, or deterring union organizing…..(7) Engaging in religious instruction, conducting worship services, providing instruction as part of a program that includes mandatory religious instruction or worship, constructing or operating facilities devoted to religious instruction or worship, maintaining facilities primarily or inherently devoted to religious instruction or worship”

Nearly $6 billion will be allocated to this program, including funds to “establish or implement summer of service programs (giving priority to programs that enroll youth in grades 6 through 9) during the summer months, including the cost of recruitment, training, and placement of service-learning coordinators”. Oh, and also creating campuses (which, btw, were called “camps” until someone wised up and changed the term to “campus”) for training, buying supplies for the campuses, and providing uniforms for the participants. Uniforms? Yep, the Bill states that “the Director determines appropriate uniforms“.

Let’s hope they aren’t brown shirts ;)

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15 thoughts on “warning: political opinion ahead

  1. Pretty scary. I remember when some of that stuff was floating around during election time and it freaked me out.

    Tanya

  2. oh my goodness i am so with you on this. i am so glad to know there are those out there who ARE REALLY LISTENING. Thanks!

  3. I’m sure you already know that I completely agree with you on this. This bill is downright scary. No real mention of it in the media, either, other than to say that a volunteerism bill passed…of course they leave out the details of mandatory instruction and summer camps for children and the plans for senior citizens.

    I will say that my children will NOT be participating in this in any way, shape, or form as long as I have anything to do with it. Period.

  4. It just gets scary everyday. Thanks for the info. We all need to pray for Obama’s openness to listen to God and for Him to work out the “bad stuff for good”. Remember Joseph’s story.

    I won’t let my children do this either. We’re already involved w/volunteer organizations-church and Boy Scouts and whatever else WE choose to do.

  5. Yep, don’t sound so good does it? I am not even really sure what to say about it except that it is a bit scary to me!

  6. I am not sure what is scary to people, unless it is the request not to mix church and state by not using volunteer programs for religious recruitment.

    AmeriCorp (one of the programs this bill includes) is not different from the military, really. There are many requirements that are used in order to provide streamlines, efficient means to accomplish an objective. In this case, the objective is to help at-risk populations, with a goal of decreasing crime and poverty. Teaching young children that part of their duty as a United States citizen is to help look out for their fellow citizens isn’t indoctrination. It is an opportunity for many children who have never had exposure to concepts like civic responsibility and compassion to learn how to be better adults and to better take their place as caring citizens of a world in desperate need of community.

    For those families like some of the commenters here, who already have a focus on community involvement and an active hand in training their children, I do understand that they wouldn’t like the mandatory component. I would have had a problem with that, too, when my son was a child. However, please recognize that the vast majority of children do not have parents capable of or aware of ideas like service and community. It might be an imperfect implementation, but it is a start at changing a body of youth that is lost in materialism into a group of people with the power to make our country and the world a better place.

  7. Never thought I’d run into Godwin on a stitching blog.

    Don’t worry, I won’t be back.

  8. You go girl!! This bill is more than scary! And its not the only one either~can anyone say FOCA!! I hate to say I told you so(not you personally-but the American people who think this is “Progress”) A president with the media in his pocket looks like totalitarianism to me. After all, they elected him.
    Thanks for addressing this Monique-refreshing!

  9. Oh and Lark-give me a break! Since when is it the governments job to teach people how to think! Sheesh! It is UP TO PARENTS TO CHANGE THEIR YOUTH~NOT GOVERNMENT! Lets start with taking ALL of the inappropriate and innocence-killing programing off of television. We indoctrinate our youth into materialism, and then we turn around and take away freedom when it gets out of control. Sorry Monique, I just had to say…

  10. This is scary beyond words. This is when we should be learning from history. Unfortuately some have no conception of what has gone before us. Our job is to be informed.

    Anohter area the scares me are the health insurance reforms. More government deciding my treatment instead of the Doctor and I.

  11. Amen to Annie! I’ve seen Lark come through the political talk before and Lark, if you want the government to tell you what to do then move some place else. I have no problem with people helping people, but I refuse to allow anyone to tell me HOW to live especially the government. I am in favor of favorable systems, but I am completely opposed to a government thinking I’m too dumb to know the difference. It all starts with education. It’s unfortunate for the unfortunate, but government isn’t the answer. Take some damn responsibility! Haven’t we had enough evidence in the past that government isn’t a reliable source, but we the people are all we need.

  12. The ‘Brown Shirt’ reference was already in my mind as I read the editorial. Look how that worked out!

    The old saying about those who forget history are doomed to repeat it sure seems to have found redemption here in the past few weeks. The speed at which its happening is the most frightening part of it.

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