"It is important therefore that in these schools the precepts of morality and religion should be inculcated, and habits of subordination and obedience formed. One of the greatest blessings which the State can confer upon her children is to instill into their minds at an early period moral and religious truths. ... Thousands of unfortunate children are growing up in perfect ignorance of their moral and religious duties. Their parents equally unfortunate know not how to instruct them, and have not the opportunity or ability of placing them under the care of those who could give them instruction. The State, in the warmth of her affection and solicitude for their welfare, must take charge of those children and place them in schools where their minds can be enlightened and their hearts can be trained to virtue."
by:
Archibald D. Murphey
(c.1777-1832) North Carolina State Senator (1812-1818), founder of the North Carolina public schools
Source:
MURPHEY'S REPORT, Dec. 19, 1816, The Beginnings of Public Education in North Carolina; A Documentary History, 1790-1840. Volume I: Electronic Edition. Coon, Charles L. (Charles Lee), 1868-1927
http://docsouth.unc.edu/nc/coon976/coon976.html
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Reader comments about this quote:
Aahhh yes, the only thing that has changed in over 200 years is the religion and the morality, the propaganda remains the same. An atheistic theocracy has become the national establishment of religion as witnessed by its belief systems taught in the schools with amoral accolades being the standard. I believe that religion and morals should be taught in schools but I don't know how to accomplish that with all the promoted prejudices against the different belief systems. Everything from atheism to zen should be taught with an emphasis on Judaism and Christianity as they are the historical basis and legal foundation of which the founders set forth this great nation.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Looks like yet another pompous ass telling the rest of us what is good for us. The whole "Nanny State" idea is so completely repulsive I could just barf on my shoes. Or better yet...on Murphey's shoes. :)
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    If he had said something, anything, about the three Rs and duty to constitution I might have given him the benifit of the doubt and say he sincerely had best intentions. But it's obvious he had his own agenda (or someone elses) and helped give birth to the modern day brainwashing centers we call public schools.
     -- Dan     
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    Wow.Ya know,there's good and bad in this quote as I see it.Also,alot of truth.Some good truth.Some "not-so-good" truth.Taken n the context of the time it was written in,the original intentions of the writer are honerable and sincere.Over time though,The State has perveted the "goal" esteemed by the writer of this quote.
     -- Me Again     
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    We see things from our own perspective. I believe he was saying this out of love, just as universal education is out of love. Sometimes love can be misconstrued by the receipient. The recent effort to send thousands of bibles to soldiers in Iraq was from the point of view of the senders an act of love. From some folks and some soldiers it could be seen as an act of religious propaganda and terror. Soldiers don't voluntarily submit themselves to being regimented (no pun intended) so that they can then be an easy group to be propagandized by any once else that chooses to do so. That may be their view of this bible thing. Many of them however may appreciate and enjoy the bible gift. Again it is perspective. Also their is the perspective of time. I bet we see the words of the Senator much different than did the people of his time, who welcomed the warmth of the state.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    Hitler would have been proud. I'm sure that he formed the "Hitler Youth" out of the warmth and love in his heart. When tyrants steal your property and your freedoms , it's always for the greater good.
     -- jim k, austin     
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    The warm and affectionate State? This is a purely Fascist statement made before Fascism even had a name. You'll see how warm and affectionate the State is when you don't do as you're told. George Washington knew what the State was. "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master."
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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    Please say he's joking. He's not joking, is he? It also deserves to be said that if we didn't have publicly funded, government run education then it wouldn't matter and we wouldn't have to have nightmares about people like Murphy.
     -- Anonymous     
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    The "state" has gotten a bum rap. I know I have always had warm feelings for the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Penn State and state fairs nationwide and numerous other trappings of what society, in the form of "the state" has brought forth.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    "The State" is a corporate entity -- it is a dead body (corpse). It has no 'warmth' or heart. Only living breathing people can have love. Statism is the worship of the State -- a false idol. Parents, as imperfect as those like Murphey suggest, are still the rightful guardians of their own children. Father knows best -- even if it is not as good as the guy next door. Murphey and others like him do believe themselves to be some sort of 'savior.' I understand where he is coming from -- but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Note that "obedience" to church and state was the primary reason for public schooling -- obedience. Same today as it ever was -- the conditioning of sycophants.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Archer, right on target.
     -- jim k, austin     
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    Look guys, private systems and public systems each have their own merits - I should know, I suffered both. What is wrong in public schools is the move away from teaching and learning to passing tests what ever the cost. The problem also is the leadership and the product of we are using – education needs reform and until then we will continue to lag behind other nations. Discipline is from within and it’s this simple philosophy which should be encouraged and cultivated - warmth and affection are dangerous tools in the wrong hands.
     -- RobertSRQ     
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    Archer...further to your thought - Corporations are by all definitions "psychopathic".
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Reading this, it gets uglier a second time around. "Morality and religion" This reeks of Greek order - that being law is based morality; coming from the mind of man. Constitutional order derived of ancient Hebrew order - that being morality is based on natural law (common law being the administration thereof) Murphey's morality (law) and religion, by the here statement, were legislated and executed compelled compliance. The law of nature and of nature's God (morality) and the religion based on the Christ's teachings are antithetical to Murphey's. Referring to finite legal definitions of religion, his religion is not mine and I don't want my children compelled into habits of a State perceived subordination and obedience. WOW, to do justice to this sick and wrong statement would take volumes.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    How puritanical! A waste of breath.
     -- anonymous     
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    "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master." George Washington

    Amen Ken!
     -- Mike, Pleasant Hill     
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    I think you have all said it! Abraham and Constantine have a lot to answer for. The answer I don't know, but it's definitely not some theocratic school. Morality has nothing to do with religion. Each religion and belief system has its precepts - for instance the Ten Commandments were written in many earlier forms and most roughly say the same thing. If we are going to teach mythology then we should include all known groups. Children should be spared the rod....
     -- Robert, St. Emilion, France     
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     -- Robert, St. Emilion, France      
    Robert, here, I absolutely disagree with you about religion. Religion is: an object of conscience, an ethic(s), a moral(s), a value (system) or an orientation of correctness / enlightenment, believed sufficiently conventional and sacrosanct as to enable an attributable action. Religion’s foundation, through fruition, encompasses self obligated pursuits and devoted interests based on said enablers. When said enablers are drawn upon or referenced as authority, power or reason to enforce, a formal religion is established. A ‘god’ or other ‘relegated source’ of such enablers may or may not be instrumental in defining a religion.

    Religion is: “ real piety in practice, consisting in the performance of all known duties to . . . our fellow men.” (Bouviers Law Dictionary)

    Webster's New World Dictionary - Fourth College Edition uses a slightly different vantage on Bouvier’s “fellow men” by stating, Religion is: “a) any specific system of belief and worship, often involving a code of ethics, morals and a philosophy [the Christian religion, the Buddhist religion, etc.] b) any system of beliefs, practices, ethical values, etc. resembling, suggestive of, or likened to such a system [humanism as a religion] ⋯ any object of conscientious regard and pursuit”

    Another example: The belief in the Christ or a god in and of itself is not religion. I believe in a lot of things like, if I turn the switch on, the fan goes around BUT, because I have no enabling moral affiliation, that belief does not rise to the level of religion. Atheism, in and of itself is not a religion. When an Atheist moves to eliminate other religions from public venues on ethical, moral or orientation of correctness motivations, Atheism rises to the definition of religion. I believe all mythologies should be taught in a well rounded education, even the mythology of Atheism.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Seems parents can no longer compete with the federal education system and media...both denigrate family life and God.
     -- Alias     
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