EDUCATION FOR A FREE NATION
105 Peavey Rd, Suite 116, Chaska, MN 55318
November 21, 2005
Teaching American Civics and Government
Examples of the Traditional Approach versus the
1. Human Rights:
Traditional education in United States civics and government
describes human rights as being inherent, God-given and inalienable.
Human rights are seen as being universal and unchanging. Government
exists to protect these inalienable rights. Our Bill Rights is taught as
being an excellent summary of these rights.
The national standards describe the United States view of human rights
as merely being one option among many. The national standards promote the
UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights as being equal to, if not
superior to, our own Bill of Rights. The Universal Declaration of Human
Rights ends with this statement (Art. 29, para. 3.):
These rights and freedoms may in no case be
exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United
That is, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the totalitarian
view of human rightswe have only those rights that government says we
2. The Second Amendment:
Traditional education in the United States teaches that the
Second Amendment is a guarantee of the inalienable right of self-defense
for all persons. The right of self-defense includes the right of
individual citizens to own and bear arms. The U.S. Supreme Court has been
supportive of this doctrine.
The national standards describe the Second Amendment as being
controversial and as perhaps referring to a right of individuals to own
and bear armsor perhaps being limited to the right of states to have
militias. The Second Amendment is viewed as being relevant to our nation
200 years ago but as not being relevant today. In addition, the U.S.
Constitution is described as evolving so any right to bear arms can be
eliminated when the time is right.
3. The rights to life, liberty and property:
As stated above, traditional education describes human rights
as being inherent, God given and inalienable. The rights to life, liberty
and property are inherent, God-given and inalienable. Government exists
to protect these inalienable rights.
The national standards describe the American view of the rights of life,
liberty and property as being one possible view. The national standards
also view our Constitution as evolving and say that our fundamental
principles are subject to change. The national standards promote the UN
Declaration of Human Rights which does not list the right to life as an
inherent right and which also states that all rights, including life,
liberty and property, are subject to the policies of the United