Obama school address?

It isn’t often that the current administration makes it to my blog – it just isn’t a part of my daily life. Not just that, but I was a pretty strong McCain supporter. And besides, all 4 of you who read this are more interested in things like playdoh puppies and Gymboree sales, right?

My facebook friends are all a-twitter about Obama’s upcoming address to the schoolchildren of the nation. Most of them are encouraging keeping kids home from school to save our kids from this involuntary ‘propaganda’ that somehow violates our civil liberties by forcing our children to listen to the President of the United States without parental consent. Frankly I find the whole discussion a little overbearing and sensationalist.

How many of you clamor about parental consent to say the Pledge of Allegiance? In that very pledge your children pledge their allegiance to the government that runs this nation. President Obama. Do you let your kids watch prime time TV? MTV? Play video games? Watch the news? Your kids hear much more propaganda from commercials. They are influenced more heavily by pop culture than they ever will be by a presidential address. Their peers tell them much worse things than the president will. And yet, so many think it’s worth keeping their kids home from an entire day of education so that won’t be subjected to a 15-minute address from the “leader of the free world.”

There are plenty of other things Obama could be doing besides talking to our children. He could be meeting with leaders of foreign countries. Meeting with military commanders. Pushing legislation. Planning state dinners. Traveling to who-knows-where. But he’s decided to give our kids – my kids – 15 minutes of his time, and I think that’s pretty cool.

Regardless of what he says, it will be a historic talk. No other president I know of has addressed kids in school. Regardless of what he says, I trust my kindergartner to talk to me about it, and I can help her process it. This will teach her about civic involvement. It will teach her that her voice and her opinion are important. I can think of no better way to reach the nations children – from the privileged to the disadvantaged – than by giving them a chunk of the president’s dedicated attention in a place where he has their rapt attention.

I don’t understand why people are so upset about the President talking to our children. Goodness knows the very same people who speak out so vocally against this probably have plenty of opinions they share with their kids about government affairs. I suppose they have no problem with their kids hearing about politics – as long as it’s the right perspective. Come on folks, educate your children well enough, and be involved in their lives. Teach them to listen to both sides and come to their own conclusions.

As for me, I’m excited that the president has something to say to my little girl. I’m just a little disappointed my boys aren’t big enough to be in school yet for this.

Update: Albert Mohler has posted a very balanced article about the talk. I found his perspective helpful in understanding the complexities of the controversy.

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