U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige is being denounced by several organizations and public officials for praising Christian values. “All things equal,” he remarked, “I would prefer to have a child in a school that has a strong appreciation for the values of the Christian community, where a child is taught to have a strong faith.” He also said, “The reason that Christian schools and Christian universities are growing is a result of a strong value system. In a religious environment the value system is set. That’s not the case in a public school where there are so many different kids with different kinds of values.”
Catholic League president William Donohue defended Secretary Paige today and urged him not to apologize:
“Secretary Paige should not apologize for exercising his freedom of speech. He did not lose his First Amendment right to freedom of speech when he became Secretary of Education. Nor can it persuasively be maintained that his remarks were offensive: they simply reflect the sentiments of millions of Americans, including those Americans who have their kids in public schools.
“Shame on the ADL, the ACLU, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the National Education Association, the Islamic Networks Group of San Jose, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, Representative Nita Lowey and others for criticizing Secretary Paige. Their intolerance for freedom of speech is appalling. And their implied defense of the decrepit value system that marks public education, what with its morally bankrupt celebration of moral relativism, is just as bad.
“Secretary Paige has spoken the truth. For that he should be commended.”