- Paperback: 142 pages
- Publisher: Crisis Books (1 November 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1883357993
- ISBN-13: 978-1883357993
- Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 1.3 x 22.2 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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Mere Creatures of the State Paperback – Import, 1 Nov 1994
About the Author
William Bentley Ball is a member of the firm Ball, Skelly, Murren & Connell in Harrisburg, PA. For three decades he has been a persistent defender of religious civil rights. He has tried cases on religious freedom in education in the courts in 22 states and presented ten such cases before the U.S.Supreme Court.
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The case law history of accepting the flimsy shield of protection offered by non profit incorporation is nothing other than a series of ever changing band of constrictions and the loss of privacy for you and your group. For example when a non profit group signs form 1023 or form 1024 for a Title 26, Section 501(c) organization, you have unknowingly agreed to the invasion of privacy by the IRS, Due to the 1954 Johnson Amendment, the IRS has the authority to monitor and regulate speech. The IRS should just collect taxes, not regulate speech or health care.
Maybe it is time to dissolve the bands of restraint by dissolving the non profit corporation and in some cases for profit incorporation, in favor of liberty. The IRS has become the favorite weapon of your political and religious liberty. Learn more as soon as you can! I hope this book get reprinted as every organizational leader needs this information and the updates that could be timely added.
George Washington famously declared in his Farewell Address that "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports." Tax-supported education originally supported this concept, but during the mid-20th century things changed so that now our tax-supported education might not even allow the above quotation to be taught in public schools. "Mere Creatures of the State?" explains how this has happened.
Mr. Ball began this book with the legal rule that the state can only interfere with parental rights when there is cruelty, criminal activity, etc. Yet the cases that Mr. Ball examines dealt with were areas of parents' rights which had nothing to do with criminal activity, abuse, or anything that had a "compelling state interest."
Mr. Ball began this study with a case which originated in Pennsylvania involving state assistance to Catholic schools for secular purposes and "the common good." The Pennsylvania law confomred to previous court decisions. Yet, when challenged, the US Supreme Court Justices showed inconsistency and a veiled prejudice against the Catholic Church. For example, in the 1972 Supreme Court case, Hugo Black constantly referred to Catholic nuns as the only teachers in Catholic schools ignoring the fact that many Catholic school teachers are not nuns and are laity. The suggestion that Catholic teachers would use the Rosary to teach counting was speculated upon without a shred of evidence. As an aside, this reviewer went to a Catholic university for graduate school, taught as a lay volunteer for a Catholic teaching order, and associated with dedicated Catholic teachers. Never was the Catholic Rosary ever used to teach counting.
The Pennsylvania law was overturned by what is known as the Lemon Case. However this legal standard was mitagated later when a blind student at a Bible college was granted public funds for the handicapped, and another student who was deaf was permitted to have a state teacher to help him in a Catholic school.
The Yoder Case (1972)involved Amish who kept their children "on the farm." This case involved the state authorities whose testimony, whether intentional or not, supported the case of Mr. Yoder and his family. The state education "experts," whom Mr Ball repeatedly called the Guardains, tried to make a case that if Amish children did not attend public school, they would become social and legal problems. Yet, the Green County, Wisconsin social welfare authorities testified that the Amish were not involved in drugs, alchohol, pre-maritial sex, abortion, etc. The police authorities also stated under oath that the Amish hardly ever appeared on arrest reports and that the Amish were lawful people who bothered no one. Mr. Ball got to a very important point in this case. The state authorities tried to argue that Amish people are unfit for a technilogical society. Yet as Mr. Ball stated the Pennsylvania Amish were sleeping peacefully while teams of technicians were trying to prevent a nuclear disaster on the Suquehanna River on Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania. The word utlity will be explored later in this review per Mr. Ball's observations.
Mr. Ball had a very good explanation of a case in Kentucky when the state "education authorities" tried to get the Evangelical schools to conform to the state curriculum or face closure and criminal prosecution. A staged media event was held to hopefully expose the teachers, parents, and administrators as "ignorant rednecks." The scripted media event exploded in the face of the prosecution and media. The Evangelical pastors, teachers, parents, and administrators presented themselves as articulate, intelligent, thoughtful, and knowledgeable men and women. Mr. Ball and his co-counsel showed the "education experts" for the thoughtless, inarticulate, burearucrats they were and still are. These bureaucrats tried to fool the court with such buzz words as "excellence," "revelance," and "flexibility." When these "experts" could not explain and offered nonsense as definitions, those in the courtroom knew the bureaucratic frauds for what they were. The state also lost the "excellence" arguement when the standardized test scores from the religious private schools were exponentially higher than the the public school students.
Mr. Ball returned to the position of the Catholic schools. He commented in the 1950s and even in the 1960s, Catholics were building and staffing elementary and high schools. The teachers and students excelled in these schools. Mr. Ball warned Catholics that government aid means government control, and the fact that Catholic schools were declining was the fault of the Catholics themselves. This trend began in the 1970s, but this was a time when Catholics were wealthier and more prosperous than their immigrant ancestors who were poor but who made sure there were good Catholic schools.
Mr. Ball had an important final note re utility of teaching and learning. Some of the cases had state "experts" who stated that teachers and students in private religious schools were unfit. Mr. Ball raises the question unfit for what? Readers who are enamored with former Federal Judge Bork should note that he disapproved of court decisions of freedom of religion and the right of parents to have their children taught in religious institutions which taught honesty, religious convictions, etc. Conservatives beware. The untility arguement is dangerous. Those who are not deemed useful can be disposed of or "liquidated" (mass murders and concentration camps). In fact, some of the "education experts" testified as much in some of the court cases.
On a personal note, this reviewer knows of parents who taught their children foreign languages at home. These parents also read good books to their children. Yet, the "education experts" tried to stop it with the explanation that it interfered with their "offical reading programs and official curriculum." The results were that those parents who took an interest in teaching their children had children who were successful adults. Many parents who fell for the "education experts'" nonsense had children whose reading and thinking ability was seriously lacking.
This is a good book. Those parents who are concerned with their children's learning should read this book and take it seriously. Readers should know some of the greatest scholars and teachers did not follow the advice of "education experts." A good case is Socrates (470 BC-399 BC)who befuddled the "edcuation experts" in Athens known as the Sophists.