Prayer in Schools: Chris Matthews’ Guest, Libertarian Matt Kibbe, Evades the Issue with Sophistry

When asked if children should be subjected to religious views or practices not their own, Mr. Kibbe said that government should not be involved. Mr. Matthews anticipated incorrectly that Mr. Kibbe meant the Federal government, but Mr. Kibbe objected to State government involvement too. Mr. Matthews chuckled and left off.

There is a crafty sophistic trick here. Presumably we could drill down to city, local and to even smaller units, to the smallest governments. We are expected to understand that whether or not there will be prayer in a school, or even in a particular classroom, will be decided at the school or classroom level. The usual unspoken subtext is that parents should be doing the deciding.

But there is no difference of any meaningful kind between the functioning of a government over large jurisdictions or the very smallest. The principal or PTA of a school, or the parents of the children in individual classrooms all act like micro-governments. There is no way to avoid some people making decisions for, or have jurisdiction over others!

The key for me is that some people deciding for others that they must have what they don’t want is plainly wrong; in a public environment, stopping people from having things at the expense of others is plainly right!

So, to assure that as many people as possible are spared from subjection to the inconsiderate wants of others, the largest governmental authority should have jurisdiction. For us that would be the Federal Government. For the world there is no existing authority, but for the universe it would be God.

About Ghoh

My name is Joe, but username Joe was already taken. I am interested in politics, religion and ideas that are off the beaten path, whatever the subject.
This entry was posted in Ethics, Philosophy, Politics, Religion and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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