Respecting every opinion in spite of the facts

I recently read an article about a Public High School Principal in Boca Raton, FL, who said that "As a school district employee, he cannot take a position on the Holocaust" - by which he means that not everybody believes it happened and therefore people cannot be "forced to learn about it".

This actually opens some interesting opportunities...since not everybody believes that Jesus existed, let us not teach about it nor about Christianity... and what about Moses? Talk about a controversial figure!; off with the mention of Judaism in Public schools. Since "Many believe" that the Jewish presence in what is today Israel is just a myth invented by the Zionists to disposses the Palestinians... let us get rid of the History of the Jews. Since Jesus is already out, there is no problem with deciding whether he was a Jew or not.

Closer to home, all those myths about Thanksgiving and the first colonies, have not been proved and some belives them to be fabrications. Off with them!. Since some believe Barak Obama was not borm in the States... Off with teaching about his Presidency! Since we cannot agree on who killed JFK, why teaching about his death? Let us not forget that not everybody believes in Darwin's theories... why using this controversial scientific idea when the Good Old Book cfan tell us how everything happen. Oh! wait! Who wrote the "Good Old Book?" - I forgot Jews were off the the table!

Let us go back to the original article: voluminous records of the Nuremberg Trials, as well as testimonies of survivors, and physical evidence of the gas chambers, as well as video evidence of the Camps taken by the liberators, and the personal testimony of Eisenhower (Commander of the US Trrops in Europe and later President) corroborating the facts - they all point to the factual reality of the Holocaust. Those who do not "believe it happen" are denyingt facts which contradict their worldview... the Holocaust is for them an "inconvenient truth". Enabling them to deny the reality of it is enabling each individual to have an alternative version of History - not as the recorded facts, but as a selective collection of facts designed to support their point of view. Once we start down that road, nothing is off limits, not even the US Constitution or the American Revolution.

It is important to learn history because, in the words of the Marquis of Santayana, "Those who forget History are doomed to repeat it". So, "forcing people to learn about the Holocaust" is forcing them to confront reality. Theyt can still have their own interpretations of History - but based on facts. Daniel Patrick Moynihan was a Democrat who served under JFK and LBJ, and later as an advisor to Richard Nixon. If he is not remembered for anything else, in spite of the mark he made in the history of this country, he should be remembered by one thing he said: "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts"

Teaching history is not "forcing opinions on people", it is "forcing facts on people". Once they have the facts, they are entitled to form their own opinions - about the Holocaust, Jesus, Moses, the Israeli Palestinian Conflict, Evolution, and anything else. NOT teaching about history is undermining one of the foundations of Civilization by allowing people to deny reality.

Spanish River Community High School, where the said Principal works, has 2,500 students and one of the largest Jewish student populations in the country...


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