Schlafly, Bueler Decry Liberal Teachings
Paul Payne, Santa Rosa Press Democrat (CA), Feb. 8
The Rohnert Park teenager who grabbed national attention with public statements about illegal immigration and liberal bias in public schools shared a stage Saturday with one of the nation’s best-known conservatives, Phyllis Schlafly.
Tim Bueler, founder of Rancho Cotate High School’s Conservative Club, and Schlafly, the anti-feminist columnist and author, spoke at the statewide Eagle Forum meeting in Santa Rosa.
Both railed against teachers and professors they said were instilling young people with radical views and lamented the absence of American values--or “God, guns and country,” as Bueler put it--that were once a part of school curriculum.
Schlafly said there is a general “dumbing down” of coursework, even in the Ivy League, and she rattled off a list of complaints about specific schools she attributed to cultural diversity, sexual permissiveness and lack of religion.
“Most parents haven’t a clue as to what’s going on on college campuses today,” Schlafly told about 150 people at the Flamingo Hotel. “A lot of college graduates no longer have elementary knowledge of our great Western civilization.”
Founded Eagle Forum
Schlafly is national president and founder of the conservative Eagle Forum. She fought the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s and is the author of many books.
Throughout her speech, Schlafly referred to a survey of college professors that suggests a majority are Democrats and politically liberal. She criticized speech codes that have cropped up recently to combat bigotry and wrote off courses she said were trivial, such as “Star Trek and Religion,” offered at the University of Indiana.
Her protege, Bueler, said the college problem has roots in public schools like his own, where liberal teachers ignore history, such as the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and focus instead on criticizing President Bush and the war in Iraq.
Bueler said he arrived on campus to find teachers re-writing history he had learned from his grandfather, a World War II veteran.
“They were even replacing Christianity in our schools with Islam in the core curriculum,” Bueler said. “The bias we were seeing was very disturbing to me and my friends, so we decided to start a Conservative Club.”
The club has since stirred controversy and propelled Bueler onto national TV and radio talk shows.
Bueler was criticized for a recent club newsletter he wrote that said “Liberals welcome every Muhammad, Jamul and Jose” who enter the country illegally and strain government resources. On Saturday, Bueler said he stood by the statement. Schlafly commended Bueler for making it.
“I think it was appropriate,” Schlafly said outside the meeting room. “They don’t have the right to be insulted.”
As Schlafly and Bueler spoke, a group of about 30 people demonstrated outside against them.
Portraying herself as God draped with an American flag, retired teacher Alice Waco performed a mock wedding of a barefoot and pregnant woman to a broom, in protest of Schlafly’s views of women, she said.
Waco, who taught in Santa Rosa schools for 39 years, dismissed the charge that her peers have a liberal bias, saying conservatives have mistaken the ability to question established beliefs as left-leaning.
And she criticized Bueler for his remarks about illegal immigration.
“Free speech does not give you the right to incite violence,” Waco said.
Schlafly, who lives in St. Louis, was to speak again Saturday night at a dinner for about 225 people.