Public schools, we trust, aim to create 'good citizens' with tolerance for other races, creeds and religions. They aim, we trust, to graduate adults who can preserve their freedom and who can carry on a civilization where there is liberty and justice for all.
Meanwhile, at home, at places of worship, and under the tutelage of assorted 'patriotic' role models, children and young people are turned into robots. The schools are helpless to prevent this, or even to discuss it.
By 'robot', I mean a conditioned being, someone who acts on fixed data like a machine - something inflexible, operating on a program rather than on innate intelligence. Billions of these robots have dangerous programs like the Bible, or the Koran. As Sam Harris and others point out, history is rife with 'religious' robots who seek to destroy each other because of programs instilled in them by other robots.
There is reason to estimate that 80% or 90% of Americans are robots - entities whose decisions and actions are based on programs - data that has been instilled in them by their parents and other 'authorities'.
IF A SOCIETY COULD SEE THE DANGER OF THIS SITUATION, ESPECIALLY AS NEW TECHNOLOGY PLACES WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION WITHIN EASY REACH OF THE PROGRAMMED INDIVIDUALS, then public schools, one would hope, would immediately create classes to help the young robots see how they have been programmed, and help them to regain their humanity and innate, flexible, investigative intelligence.
Such a class might consist of a roundtable discussion in which the student robots describe to each other how they have been, and are being programmed by parents, church, mosque, temple, synagogue, biased history teacher, Scout Leader or other seasoned robot. They could explain to each other why they think their program is the one true program, and what they think it would be like to be a free, independent human without a program - to make decisions based on innate intelligence and common sense rather than decisions based on data that has been programmed into their brains.
About a thousand years ago, a Chinese teacher who was interested in de-programming people commented, (loosely translated) "The minute you fixate on the recognition that 'This is IT', you are immediately like a fly on flypaper and can't move around any more. As soon as something is given this recognition, nothing is right, whatever it may be. If you don't fixate on recognition, you can still respond appropriately to new situations."
In other words, it's like a person playing tennis - they'd certainly lose the game if they decided ahead of time where the other player was going to hit the ball.
A new novel touching on this subject - 'Terrorist' by John Updike