Benjamin Rush, an American Founder who opposed slavery, on why the Bible should be in schools.


By Dr. Benjamin Rush (1745-1813), distinguished physician and signer of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

Dr. Rush was an outspoken Christian, statesman, and pioneering medical doctor. He was a prolific author, publishing the first American chemistry textbook. In 1797, President John Adams appointed Rush as Treasurer of the U.S. Mint, a position he held until 1813. He also founded America’s first Bible society. At the time of his death in 1813, he was heralded as one of the three most notable figures of America, the other two being George Washington and Benjamin Franklin.

Dear Sir:

It is now several months since I promised to give you my reasons for preferring the Bible as a schoolbook to all other compositions. Before I state my arguments, I shall assume the five following propositions:

I . That Christianity is the only true and perfect religion; and that in proportion as mankind adopt its principles and obey its precepts they will be wise and happy.

2. That a better knowledge of this religion is to be acquired by reading the Bible than in any other way.

3. That the Bible contains more knowledge necessary to man in his present state than any other book in the world.

4. That knowledge is most durable, and religious instruction most useful, when imparted in early life.

5. That the Bible, when not read in schools, is seldom read in any subsequent period of life.

My arguments in favor of the use of the Bible as a schoolbook are founded.

I. In the constitution of the human mind.

1. The memory is the first faculty which opens in the minds of children. Of how much consequence, then, must it be to impress it with the great truths of Christianity, before it is preoccupied with less interesting subjects.

2. There is a peculiar aptitude in the minds of children for religious knowledge. I have constantly found them, in the first six or seven years of their lives, more inquisitive upon religious subjects than upon any others. And an ingenious instructor of youth has informed me that he has found young children more capable of receiving just ideas upon the most difficult tenets of religion than upon the most simple branches of human knowledge. It would be strange if it were otherwise, for God creates all His means to suit His ends. There must, of course, be a fitness between the human mind and the truths which are essential to its happiness.

3. The influence of early impressions is very great upon subsequent life; and in a world where false prejudices do so much mischief, it would discover great weakness not to oppose them by such as are true. I grant that many men have rejected the impressions derived from the Bible; but how much soever these impressions may have been despised, I believe no man was ever early instructed in the truths of the Bible without having been made wiser or better by the early operation of these impressions upon his mind. Every just principle that is to be found in the writings of Voltaire is borrowed from the Bible; and the morality of Deists, which has been so much admired and praised where it has existed, has been, I believe, in most cases, the effect of habits produced by early instruction in the principles of Christianity.

4. We are subject, by a general law of our natures, to what is called habit. Now, if the study of the Scriptures be necessary to our happiness at any time of our life, the sooner we begin to read them, the more we shall probably be attached to them; for it is peculiar to all the acts of habit, to become easy, strong, and agreeable by repetition.

5. It is a law in our natures that we remember longest the knowledge we acquire by the greatest number of our senses. Now, a knowledge of the contents of the Bible is acquired in school by the aid of the eye and the ear, for children, after getting their lessons, read or repeat them to their instructors in an audible voice; of course, there is a presumption that this knowledge will be retained much longer than if it had been acquired in any other way.

6. The interesting events and characters recorded and described in the Old and New Testaments are calculated, above all others, to seize upon all the faculties of the mind of children. The understanding, the memory, the imagination, the passions, and the moral powers are all occasionally addressed by the various incidents which are contained in those divine books, insomuch that not to be delighted with them is to be devoid of every principle of pleasure that exists in a sound mind.

7. There is in man a native preference of truth to fiction. Lord Shaftesbury says that “truth is so congenial to our mind that we love even the shadow of it”; and Horace, in his rules for composing an epic poem, established the same law in our natures by advising that “fictions in poetry should resemble truth.” Now, the Bible contains more truth than any other book in the world; so true is the testimony that it bears of God in His works of creation, providence, and redemption that it is called truth itself, by way of preeminence above other things that are acknowledged to be true. How forcibly are we struck with the evidence of truth in the history of the Jews, above what we discover in the history of other nations. Where do we find a hero or an historian record his own faults or vices except in the Old Testament? Indeed, my friend, from some accounts which I have read of the American Revolution, I begin to grown skeptical to all history except that which is contained in the Bible. Now, if this book be known to contain nothing but what is materially true, the mind will naturally acquire a love for it from this circumstance; and from this affection for the truths of the Bible, it will acquire a discernment of truth in other books, and a preference of it in all the transactions of life.

8. There is wonderful property in the memory which enables it in old age to recover the knowledge acquired in early life after it had been apparently forgotten for forty or fifty years. Of how much consequence, then, must it be to fill the mind with that species of knowledge in childhood and youth which, when recalled in the decline of life, will support the soul under the infirmities of age and smooth the avenues of approaching death. The Bible is the only book which is capable of affording this support to old age; and it is for this reason that we find it resorted to with so much diligence and pleasure by such old people as have read it in early life. I can recollect many instances of this kind in persons who discovered no special attachment to the Bible in the meridian of their days, who have, notwithstanding, spent the evening of life in reading no other book. The late Sir John Pringle, physician to the queen of Great Britain, after passing a long life in camps and at court, closed it by studying the Scriptures. So anxious was he to increase his knowledge in them that he wrote to Dr. Michaelis, a learned professor of divinity in Germany, for an explanation of a difficult text of Scripture a short time before his death.

II. My second argument in favor of the use of the Bible in schools is founded upon an implied command of God and upon the practice of several of the wisest nations of the world.

In the sixth chapter of Deuteronomy, we find the following words, which are directly to my purpose: “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”

It appears, moreover, from the history of the Jews, that they flourished as a nation in proportion as they honored and read the books of Moses, which contained the only revelation that God had made to the world. The law was not only neglected, but lost, during the general profligacy of manner which accompanied the long and wicked reign of Manasseh. But the discovery of it amid the rubbish of the temple by Josiah and its subsequent general use were followed by a return of national virtue and prosperity. We read further of the wonderful effects which the reading of the law by Ezra, after his return from his captivity in Babylon, had upon the Jews. They showed the sincerity of their repentance by their general reformation.

The learning of the Jews, for many years, consisted in a knowledge of the Scriptures. These were the textbooks of all the instruction that was given in the schools of their Prophets. It was by means of this general knowledge of their law that those Jews who wandered from Judea into other countries carried with them and propagated certain ideas of the true God among all the civilized nations upon the face of the earth. And it was from the attachment they retained to the Old Testament that they procured a translation of it into the Greek language, after they had lost the Hebrew tongue by their long absence from their native country. The utility of this translation, commonly called the Septuagint, in facilitating the progress of the Gospel is well known to all who are acquainted with the history of the first age of the Christian church.

But the benefits of an early and general acquaintance with the Bible were not confined to the Jewish nation; they have appeared in many countries in Europe since the Reformation. The industry and habits of order which distinguish many of the German nations are derived from their early instruction in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible. In Scotland and in parts of New England, where the Bible has been long used as a schoolbook, the inhabitants are among the most enlightened in religions and science, the most strict in morals, and the most intelligent in human affairs of any people whose history has come to my knowledge upon the surface of the globe.

I wish to be excused from repeating here that if the Bible did not convey a single direction for the attainment of future happiness, it should be read in our schools in preference to all other books from its containing the greatest portion of that kind of knowledge which is calculated to produce private and public temporal happiness.

We err, not only in human affairs but in religion likewise, only because we do not “know the Scriptures” and obey their instructions. Immense truths, I believe, are concealed in them. The time, I have no doubt, will come when posterity will view and pity our ignorance of these truths as much as we do the ignorance sometimes manifested by the disciples of our Saviour, who knew nothing of the meaning of those plain passages in the Old Testament which were daily fulfilling before their eyes.

But further, we err, not only in religion but in philosophy likewise, because we “do not know or believe the Scriptures.” The sciences have been compared to a circle, of which religion composes a part. To understand any one of them perfectly, it is necessary to have some knowledge of them all. Bacon, Boyle, and Newton included the Scriptures in the inquiries to which their universal geniuses disposed them, and their philosophy was aided by their knowledge in them. A striking agreement has been lately discovered between the history of certain events recorded in the Bible and some of the operations and productions of nature, particularly those which are related in Whitehurst’s observation on the deluge, in Smith’s account of the origin of the variety of color in the human species, and in Bruce’s travels. It remains yet to be shown how many other events related in the Bible accord with some late important discoveries in the principles of medicine. The events and the principles alluded to mutually establish the truth of each other.

I know it is said that the familiar use of the Bible in our schools has a tendency to lessen a due reverence for it. But this objection, by proving too much, proves nothing. If familiarity lessens respect for divine things, then all those precepts of our religion which enjoin the daily or weekly worship of the Deity are improper. The Bible was not intended to represent a Jewish ark; and it is an anti-Christian idea to suppose that it can be profaned by being carried into a schoolhouse, or by being handled by children.

It is also said that a great part of the Old Testament is no way interesting to mankind under the present dispensation of the Gospel. But I deny that any of the books of the Old Testament are not interesting to mankind under the Gospel dispensation. Most of the characters, events, and ceremonies mentioned in them are personal, providential, or instituted types of the Messiah, all of which have been, or remain yet, to be fulfilled by Him. It is from an ignorance or neglect of these types that we have so many Deists in Christendom, for so irreftagably do they prove the truth of Christianity that I am sure a young man who had been regularly instructed in their meaning could never doubt afterwards of the truth of any of its principles. If any obscurity appears in these principles, it is only, to use the words of the poet, because they are dark with excessive brightness.

I know there is an objection among many people to teaching children doctrines of any kind, because they are liable to be controverted. But let us not be wiser than our Maker. If moral precepts alone could have reformed mankind, the mission of the Son of God into our world would have been unnecessary. He came to promulgate a system of doctrines, as well as a system of morals. The perfect morality of the Gospel rests upon a doctrine which, though often controverted, has never been refuted; I mean the vicarious life and death of the Son of God. This sublime and ineffable doctrine delivers us from the absurd hypothesis of modern philosophers concerning the foundation of moral obligation, and fixes it upon the eternal and self-moving principle of LOVE. It concentrates a whole system of ethics in a single text of Scripture: “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you.” By withholding the knowledge of this doctrine from children, we deprive ourselves of the best means of awakening moral sensibility in their minds. We do more; we furnish an argument for withholding from them a knowledge of the morality of the Gospel likewise; for this, in many instances, is as supernatural, and therefore as liable to be controverted, as any of the doctrines or miracles which are mentioned in the New Testament. The miraculous conception of the Saviour of the world by a virgin is not more opposed to the ordinary course of natural events, nor is the doctrine of the atonement more above human reason, than those moral precepts which command us to love our enemies or to die for our friends.

I cannot but suspect that the present fashionable practice of rejecting the Bible from our schools has originated with Deists. And they discover great ingenuity in this new mode of attacking Christianity. If they proceed in it, they will do more in half a century in extirpating our religion than Bolingbroke or Voltaire could have effected in a thousand years.

But passing by all other considerations, and contemplating merely the political institutions of the United States, I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them. We profess to be republicans, and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government; that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible; for this divine book, above all others, favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws, and all those sober and frugal virtues which constitute the soul of republicanism.

Perhaps an apology may be necessary for my having presumed to write upon a subject so much above my ordinary studies. My excuse for it is that I thought a single mite from a member of a profession which has been frequently charged with skepticism in religion might attract the notice of persons who had often overlooked the more ample contributions, upon this subject, of gentlemen in other professions.

With great respect, I am, etc.


Attack on First Amendment at School Board! Speaker silenced!

On Wednesday, October 18th, 2018, we had a School Board Meeting, and in that meeting, once again, as she is in the habit of doing, Board President Marianne Kearney-Brown, decided to take a recess when she heard ideas she did not approve of.  She has an idea that if a speaker has something to say that she disagrees with, she will interrupt them and declare a recess.  What it is is a passive aggressive power play, to enforce her ideas on her fellow board members and the audience.  It is totalitarianism.  The video of it is here. 

This time she ended my right to speak, and totally decided to deprive me of my First Amendment Rights.  Included is an e-mail exchange with Ms. Brown.

Ryan Messano:

Last night was another instance of Board Member Marianne Kearney-Brown overreaching her authority and attempting to usurp the liberty of members of the community to speak. Her tactic, which she has commonly used, is to say that opinions are off topic, and to silence fellow board members and members of the audience if she does not like what they have to say. 
I agree with her on a lot, but her desire to silence dissent is very dangerous, and she repeatedly does it, after having been repeatedly warned not to.  Last night she specifically said this was the board’s meeting, and that audience opinions were not welcome.  Apparently, she thinks she runs the board, and she will allow opinions she likes.  David Horowitz of Front Page Magazine, has a great quote.  “Inside of every progressive is a totalitarian screaming to get out.”
She later approached me and said that she was stressed with family matters.  I understand and sympathize, but just because any of us has family issues does not mean we can silence fellow citizens to attempt to ease our pain over our loved ones illness.  Elected leaders have a duty not to allow personal matters to interfere with their public judgement.  If Marianne cannot refrain from her personal life clouding her public judgement, she ought to resign.  I understand and sympathize with personal pain, but I certainly don’t agree that that is an excuse for us to mistreat other people.  Life is 10% what happens to us, 90% how we respond to it.  We choose our response, we don’t choose our circumstances.  Our circumstances reveal us to ourselves. 
She displayed hypocrisy, as an audience member, one of her staunch supporters, came up and vehemently criticized me, and Marianne let her go on without interrupting her once.  Ten minutes later she is busily engaged in lecturing me on what I can and cannot say, unblushingly.  So we see, Marianne’s supporters are allowed to say whatever, and those she disagrees with are silenced.  This audience member, who I admired actually, and was shocked to hear her attack, said she shuddered to think of her children being in schools with me as trustee, called me and others an idiot, questioned my math skills ( preposterous as I was in the Nuclear Navy)  and said I was unfit to be on the school board because I didn’t have children.  That’s interesting, because I never saw the requirement that school board members have children.  Matter of fact, since we are in America, and our nation was founded by men who were all Christian, Christians get instruction on raising children and family from two men who history shows were both single and childless, and that would be Jesus and Paul.  The audience member had no reasons for  her opinions at all, but simply let loose on an emotional and hysterical rant, and thought that that was quite reasonable.  It’s not.  If I disagree with someone for a position, I do so for concrete reasons, not based on feelings.  I asked this audience member if she had read my reasoning on my website, and she said she hadn’t.  Said she didn’t want to.  So, she doesn’t care to evaluate my ideas and words, but doesn’t mind getting up in public and disagreeing with them strongly.  Does that sound like critical thinking to anyone?  If parents, teachers, and board members have these attitudes, how are we supposed to teach kids critical thinking?  
We are not in China.  We are in the United States of America.  It would be one thing if I were using profanity, lying, or stating ideas that were demonstrably false.  That would justify silencing me.  But I am not.  So there is no reason to silence me, unless we have totalitarians running loose.  I am not a slave.  As such, the idea that I can be silenced just because is a reprehensible one.  It is fascinating that in 1861, when the Civil War broke out, slaves were not permitted to read, and this kept them in slavery.  Today, we are in a near slave state, with 20% of the population below the poverty level, and our utopian leftist billionaire overlords in Silicon Valley aren’t giving one dime to help kids read.  Why?  Because they love the idea that they are the masters, and we are the peons and need to shut up and let them rule in peace.  They like it that we don’t read.  It helps  prevent us from getting uppity and escaping the Democrat plantation.  This is why I am very disturbed at 70% of Vallejo’s children not being able to read. The idea that we are creating mindless drones who are being shaped into the pattern that the utopian tyrants want should disturb every sane human who has read “Fahrenheit 451”, “Brave New World”, “1984”, or “Animal Farm”. 
  Free speech does not require the consent of those in authority.  I shouldn’t have to come to school board meetings or city council meetings and wonder if the audience or school board will let me talk.  I have the right to talk because I am a human being.  That is a basic right.  If Marianne does not like what I have to say, or anyone else, then you can be quiet and listen, and express your disagreement when IT IS YOUR TURN TO TALK, OR IN PRIVATE.    You do not interrupt people because you disagree with them.   Ruscal has a funny idea that if ideas are disturbing or cause people discomfort, that means they are bad, and not to be tolerated.  That is ridiculous.  By that definition, anything that causes Ruscal or Marianne to feel bad must be wrong and cannot be tolerated at school board meetings.  The school board meetings are not a safe space.  If people don’t like the ideas, then bring their own ideas.   Ruscal makes up his own rules, and reads a blurb that essentially menaces audience members with removal for opinions he doesn’t like.  This doesn’t bother Ruscal, as he does not understand totalitarianism very well, apparently, and doesn’t realize he is imitating the mistakes of past tyrants. 
It’s pretty amazing we are in America, and our very nation was created when a King tried to silence the free speech of his subjects, and we fought a Revolutionary War, to establish that all men are created free and equal.  Yet, here we are, two centuries and change over, and we are repeating the exact same mistakes. 
I appreciate Board Members Lawson, Ubalde, and Worel for upholding free speech, and request that Ruscal and Marianne take free speech training.  They are coming dangerously close to inviting a First Amendment lawsuit that the District can ill afford. 
It’s wise to remember the words of Henry David Thoreau, which were echoed by Martin Luther King Jr. 
“Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.”
If speaking the truth to power, means going to jail, then I would be happy to go!! 
I respectfully request that my right, as a citizen, to speak be upheld, and that frivolous interruptions over claims that I’m off topic, which not one has been substantiated, be stopped immediately! 
If people don’t like what I have to say, and don’t want to hear me speak, then may I recommend ear plugs?  We need to put our big boy and big girl pants on, stop being snowflakes, stop being easily triggered, and recognize the school board meetings are not Safe Spaces!  I am not coming to board meetings to flatter anyone, and I am not an obsequious sycophant, like so many I see at the board meetings, who think never disagreeing with anyone is a virtue.  It’s not, its called cowardice.  Healthy families, communities, businesses, and organizations are based on everyone being allowed to air their opinions, and where dissent is not silenced.   
I would appreciate it, Marianne, if you would share this with Dr. Schussel, and Ms. Sears, and any of your other supporters who are tempted to come up and unreasonably let loose in public on audience members. 
I am sending this to everyone, as I assume everyone on this list is interested in what goes on at the school board.  If any are not, please let me know, and I will remove you from the mailing list.
Elected officials, and public employees have a duty to hear all opinions, so this does not apply to them. 
Criticism is very productive.  The absence of it is very unhealthy.  It refines us, and makes us what we ought to be. 
Here is a great article on why criticism is good for us.  If our ideas are right, then the criticism is unfounded.  If not, then we can make them better.  There are no negative aspects of criticism to the wise person.
There is a great quote on how we get wisdom, from suffering.
“He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain, which cannot forget, falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.”
It was quoted by Robert F. Kennedy when he announced Martin Luther King Jrs death to a tense crowd. 


Thank you!
Marianne Kearney-Brown:

Dear Mr. Messano,

The applicable code here is Section 54954.3 of the Brown Act which states:

(a) Every agenda for regular meetings shall provide an opportunity for members of the public to directly address the legislative body on any item of interest to the public, before or during the legislative body’s consideration of the item, that is within the subject matter jurisdiction of the legislative body, provided that no action shall be taken on any item not appearing on the agenda unless the action is otherwise authorized by subdivision (b) of Section 54954.2. However, the agenda need not provide an opportunity for members of the public to address the legislative body on any item that has already been considered by a committee, composed exclusively of members of the legislative body, at a public meeting wherein all interested members of the public were afforded the opportunity to address the committee on the item, before or during the committee’s consideration of the item, unless the item has been substantially changed since the committee heard the item, as determined by the legislative body. Every notice for a special meeting shall provide an opportunity for members of the public to directly address the legislative body concerning any item that has been described in the notice for the meeting before or during consideration of that item.

Section 54954.3 governs meetings of legislative bodies in California. It gives the public free speech rights to address an the item before the legislative body, either before or during the
the legislative’s body’s deliberation on that item.  It does not recognize any right to speak on matters other than the item on which the board is deliberating.
Agenda item 8.12 was to consider  the approval of a contract for Chon Renee Dance Studio to provide after school dance classes. We gave you an opportunity to address the consideration of this contract. You used this time to give your opinion on other issues.  The VCUSD Governing Board had no legal obligation to allow you time  to speak on any matter other  than the Chon Renee contract during its deliberation on the Chon Renee contract ,.
Marianne Kearney-Brown
Ryan Messano:
Dear Ms. Kearney-Brown,
I was addressing the fact that we are paying lots of money for programs that are after school, when we aren’t even educating kids on basic science, math, English, history, and Civics.
I very much appreciate Trustee Lawson’s remarks last  night on history, as that is the root of our problems.  None of our problems are new, and they were successfully dealt with in schools just a century ago.  The trick is to find out how did they use their time, and what habits did they have, and then learning to imitate them.  To the argument that we are in a different day and age, and can’t go back, yes we can.  Technology changes, but human nature never does.  Our biggest problems are that Silicon Valley and other tech billionaires had $3 trillion of wealth poured into them, and this technology has not helped children at all, and it has gone a long way in making them corrupt, uninformed, uneducated, and given them the attention spans of hummingbirds. 
That government governs best which governs least.  It’s entirely within the purview of a citizen of this community to criticize the use of taxpayer money for community organizations and after school programs. 
In 1912, our children tested way better than today, without us giving one dime for public schools.  We also didn’t have after school programs.  It is not the job of the taxpayer to be paying for this stuff.  While I dearly love my mother and father and am grateful for my childhood, welfare had a deleterious effect on my family, and I saw it in person.  Before Wilson and FDR, we didn’t have welfare in America, and the American spirit was alive and well. 
A big part of the problem is shown here.
Chon Renee Dance studio, the soccer contract, the Kajukenbo contract, and others are all expenses that are not necessary to educating the children.  If parents love these services so much, they can go work, make the money, and pay these businesses out of their own pockets.  And if these businesses love the children so much, they can provide the services for free.  As a business owner, I never sought to profit off of schools.  I would be invited to advertise my business at schools, where I donated sums of money, and I rarely did.  In my mind, I was involved with the schools to volunteer, not to make money off of children. 
When we are running million dollar deficits, it’s time to cut the fat.  Let the parents take care of their own children.  It is not Joe Taxpayers job to take care of the children outside of educating them.  It’s the job of the wealthy and the churches to take care of the fatherless children, and we now have half of our children being born outside of marriage.  That is radically different from just fifty years ago, and it is a fact that is routinely ignored at school board meetings.  It will be said its not our job.  Well, whose job is it then?  It’s a problem in our community, and it’s every member of the community’s job to speak out on problems so they get addressed.  Complacency, apathy, and cowardice will never solve problems.  Also, force the parents, the wealthy, and the churches to live up to their obligations, and stop passing their issues on the taxpayers.  The school also should not be paying any funds, or have any employees involved in passing this bond with taxpayer money.
I pulled cards on all the after school programs, and had plenty of material to present on why paying all this money out is a bad idea for all involved, when you decided to end my speaking time, which was a gross violation of my First Amendment rights.  Further, it did not seem to bother you when Ms. Sears got up and gave a searing and emotional testimony of her dislike for me.  Her attack on an audience member, when I was unable to rebut and defend myself, is unprecedented in public meetings I attended, and I’m pretty sure Robert’s Rules don’t allow for that. 
We have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak, and in the future, I would appreciate if I am allowed to speak uninterruptedly.  It really is an insult that I even have to discuss my right to speak, or even, somehow ask for it.  We just got done fighting for civil rights for everyone in the 1960’s, and now, your actions are attacking my civil rights.  I don’t interrupt you when you are talking, nor do I interrupt anyone else, and I strongly disagree with plenty, and see plenty that is off topic as well.  I expect the same treatment in return. 
I have found out many valuable things when I was patient and listened to ideas I didn’t like.  If you consider what I am saying, that may be true for you as well.  Impatience is not becoming of a leader.  Neither is being impetuous and inconsiderate.  You may also elect to ignore my remarks and refuse to consider them, but you do not have the right to suppress them.  Rather than seeking to suppress ideas you don’t like or understand, it would be wise to let speakers have the benefit of the doubt, and let the audience decide.  If you or members of the audience disagree with what I say, you are free to express that publicly as well. 
Thank you,
Thank you for reading, and please attend School board meetings.  We need more citizens in Vallejo who are willing to learn the issues and to speak up for liberty and justice.  If we do not do it, fellow citizens, who will?