In addition to encouraging you to RTFA, let me strongly encourage you to consider the political position consistently advocated by the paper that published the FA. The Guardian makes no pretense at all of being balanced, centrist, unbiased, or apolitical. This is the British newspaper (and web site) that developed a web site with the names and addresses of registered voters in Ohio, and encouraged their readers to write to them to exhort them to vote for John Kerry rather than George Bush. (Bush won Ohio by a handful of votes--which Ohio politicos attributed to the furious backlash the Guardian created, but that's another story.)
In other words, the Guardian article is an advocacy piece meant to alarm, rather than enlighten. If you're a Brit, this will come as no surprise--if you're as Internet-savvy as a SlashDot reader should be, you shouldn't be surprised, either.
The sun will come up tomorrow, even in Texas...
Despite the panicked anxiety of the writer (and the New York Times, here), it's not terribly controversial to emphasize the strong Christian views of many of America's founders. Which is not to say that America's Constitution is a statement of Christian faith--which is often how this argument is misconstrued. (A standard freshman year American History exam question is to compare and contrast the Christian and Deist views expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.) But it is interesting to know that in most U.S. states you had to be a professing Christian in order to run for political office--it provides a perspective on our First Amendment that is all-too-often missing when discussing what the "separation of church and state" means. (What it meant, then, was that no state could "establish" a church--in the way that the Church of England is established in the U.K., or the Lutheran Church is established in Denmark. They're supported by taxes, their leadership is appointed by government, etc.--they are state religions. Jefferson wrote about a "vast wall separating church and state" to reassure Baptists in New England that they would not face oppression by Congregationalists.).
Isaac Newton vs. military technology:
Well gosh--I can see the insidious hand of Sarah Palin here, too. Or...perhaps, it might be worthwhile to consider that the intentional pursuit of military technology as a means of achieving battlefield superiority has been a hallmark of U.S. strategy since the Civil War. Especially in Texas, home to Ft. Hood, Ft. Sam Houston, Lackland AFB, and most U.S. Air Force pilot training. To me (who majored in Economics and American History) that sounds like a pretty perceptive point to make. I'd include Isaac Newton, too--but presumably they decided something had to give. Oh, well.
TFA breathlessly tells Brit readers that:
The new curriculum asserts that "the right to keep and bear arms" is an important element of a democratic society.
One can understand that this would so shock a Brit that he might drop his second or third pint of Guinness Stout that he'd swilled that day. Which is to say, what a Brit might find commonplace (down two or three pints of Guinness Stout in the U.S. and you're a de facto alcoholic) in the U.S. is seen as entirely normative. Again--given that the entire point of the Second Amendment was a direct reaction to the abuses of British occupation forces prior to American independence--this is a pretty welcome emphasis on the impact of early American history on our constitution and present-day policy. Not to mention, of course, that in Texas even self-avowed liberals emphasize their support for "Second Amendment Rights".
Think critically--read critically
I'm far less bothered by this article (it's the Guardian, for heaven's sake, what would you expect?) than I am by the fact that SlashDot's editors included it. If they had read this with any perception of the source, or any sense of critical examination of what the writer was saying, they would have concluded that TFA failed the "news for nerds, stuff that matters" test. TFA simply doesn't matter--it's red-meat propaganda for a Brit paper that still proudly waves a red flag.