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Moral relativism -- a catastrophe for kids
National Post ^ | 01-16-04 | Elizabeth Nickson

Posted on 01/16/2004 2:15:27 PM PST by veronica

The smart young are, of course, already trending conservative -- they've grown up with the hash my generation has made of love and marriage, and they have soldiered their way through the nonsense we have made of education.

But way-left boomers turning right in middle age? Come on. But it's true. A woman around my age, a stalwart, a pillar, a lodestone of the ultra left-wing literary world on Canada's West Coast told me last week, that this year she was going to embrace her Inner Republican. An adorable new friend, Howie Siegel who spent the '70s naked and stoned on Lasquiti Island owns Pagliacci's, the most successful restaurant in Victoria, the Roxy, an art house cinema, and treats the City of Victoria every summer to a free concert in the Park, this year we hope Diana Krall and maybe even Elvis.

Classic barking radical, right? Nope. Early adopters of the tsunami wave to come, both. I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing it wasn't studying the demand curve that changed them, it was their children.

Or rather, the catastrophe that has been visited upon children by moral relativism at home, and multiculturalism in the schools. Two books published just recently, were written by former '60s radicals, pushed right by the terrible plight of kids, and (spare me the invective from the union hate mail tree) by the sheer backwards idiocy that informs the teachers' unions.

The Epidemic: the Rot of American Culture, Absentee and Permissive Parenting, and the Resultant Plague of Joyless, Selfish Children did not hail from some right-wing think-tank, it is written by Robert Shaw, a psychiatrist who practices in Berkeley, Calif. Equally, Breaking Free, Public School Lessons and the Imperative of School Choice was written by Sol Stern, like my pal Howie Siegel, a New York Jew, who first embraced with fervour the once great public school P.S. 87 on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the spiritual home of American socialism, and found that he had to tutor his kids in four out of the five subjects that they were taking. Both books serve as object lessons in why conservatives own the future.

Dr. Shaw lays out what he has seen in his long and (trust me) glittering career, and the only way out, he says, is essentially to sheer off from contemporary culture, somewhat like religious conservatives, and make your family an island. Otherwise, your kids will not be fit for adult life.

School massacres, he points out, almost invariably take place in middle or upper-middle class schools, like Columbine, as do lesser shames like last year's hazing incident that turned into an orgy of violence by upper-middle class girls in suburban Chicago. Not a function of poverty, he says, these homes are considered "ideal" where the child's every need is filled, and the attempted atmosphere, serene, totally self-expressive and free from frustration. Not only that, a whole list of educational leisure time activities is laid on, because everyone is going to Harvard.

The parents are too busy making money to supervise anyone. Caregivers change repeatedly, leaving the kids in charge of their own psychological and moral development. The result? California, Texas, Michigan and Colorado are in the process of redefining standards to reduce, on paper, the number of student failures. The number of students being treated for depression or suicidal tendencies has doubled from 1989 to 2001. In the 2000 Report Card on the Ethics of American Youth, a study of preteens and adolescents, children had no hesitancy or shame when admitting that they stole, cheated on tests, and lied to their parents. Twenty-five per cent of sixth graders have had sexual contact. "The human soul," says Dr. Shaw, "prospers by sharing, caring, relating, understanding, fulfilling. ... many children today are inadvertently being raised to take and never give back, to accumulate but never share, to own but never value."

Consider "inadvertent" in the above sentence. And then consider the results, plausibly linked by Dr. Shaw, brought home by Enron, which required the complicity of thousands of professionals who held the values of power and money and benefit-to-self over any fiduciary responsibility or goodness.

How does this link up with teachers unions and school choice, I hear you asking. Easy. Experts. Sol Stern and Dr. Shaw believe that at home we defer to the "wisdom" published in thousands of books by self-styled "professionals" every year, and in the schools, we bow and scrape to pedagogical madness. Behind both sets of experts lies a grim ideology that is designed to change our culture, starting with the youngest among us. As Stern makes clear, good schooling is now focused on encouraging children to free themselves from capitalism's competitive mindset and false patriotism. In its place race- and gender-centred philosophy of teaching and development.

Put in the plainest language possible, says Stern, children who learn about the plight of Indians and nothing about the American Revolution, come to believe that everyone is racist, even the hundreds of thousands of whites who gave their lives in the Civil War so that slavery would be eradicated; that all business is thievery; and all men oppress women. Students are starved of factual knowledge and basic skills. With such revisionist history, distinguishing between right and wrong is a useless skill, and in any case, not taught either at home or at school. Moral Darwinism has replaced the development of the soul. We are just beginning to reap those results: Enron, the Clintons, Martha Stewart, Global Crossing, 12-year-olds delivering blow jobs in school buses for cocaine.

All this grim pedagogy is enforced by unions or, more correctly gilded education bureaucracies which have political power undreamed of by Che Guevara or even Karl Marx. Union contracts hamstring any school principal trying to improve his school. And the dystopia needed to enshrine union power is perpetuated. Little wonder that Dr. Shaw finds children joyless and selfish. They are taught the world is just that. Boomers created this. They must fix it.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: culturewars; education; educrats; moralrelativism; pc; politicalcorrectness; schools; solstern; teachers; teachersunions; teacherunions; teaching

1 posted on 01/16/2004 2:15:27 PM PST by veronica
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To: veronica
Moral relativism -- a catastrophe for kids and Canada's Judges too!!

Burning Bibles?

/sarcasm

2 posted on 01/16/2004 2:19:13 PM PST by maestro
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To: veronica
read later
3 posted on 01/16/2004 2:32:32 PM PST by LiteKeeper
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To: LiteKeeper
"Boomers created this"

Hey, don't blame me cause I'm a boomer. It's the left wing boomer, who put everything above good parenting and God!
4 posted on 01/16/2004 2:38:23 PM PST by tbird5
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To: veronica
No boomers should not fix it. Specifically leftist boomers are clueless individuals. They need to realize they screwed up, remove themselves to the nearest retirement community and allow the rest of society to move on.

The last thing we need is lefty boomers coming up with one more program that will fix all of our problems.
5 posted on 01/16/2004 2:41:05 PM PST by kuma
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To: veronica
"Sol Stern and Dr. Shaw believe that at home we defer to the "wisdom" published in thousands of books by self-styled "professionals" every year, and in the schools, we bow and scrape to pedagogical madness.

There's that word again. I kind of keep a tally of it, and the two that go with it: "understanding" and "knowledge". Three words you hear in a lot of the writings of false religions and secret societies. They go back to the Book of Exodus, Chapter 31 [they know who they are]. With all their 'wisdom, knowledge, and understanding', they haven't learned much in these thousands of years, such as the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; and the 'wisdom' of this world, is foolishness with God...[1Cr 3:19]. It is encouraging, however, that some parents are realizing their folly. Perhaps they got a little nudge from TRUE wisdom in the form of the Holy Spirit. Prayers of thanksgiving going up here. Thanks for posting.

6 posted on 01/16/2004 2:41:08 PM PST by Ethan_Allen (Gen. 32:24-32 'man'=Jesus http://www.preteristarchive.com/Jesus_is_Israel/index.html)
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To: veronica
bttt
7 posted on 01/16/2004 2:42:06 PM PST by netmilsmom (God sent Angels- Why would I trust them to anyone else?-homeschooling 1/5/04)
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To: Ethan_Allen
Interesting, I came to the same conclusion 14 years ago.
8 posted on 01/16/2004 2:43:36 PM PST by mlmr (Watch out or the chickens willl get you.....)
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To: Ethan_Allen
Not the sort of post I would have expected above such a screen name. But I agree all the same.

I thought of a title for this article: "Reality Strikes". That's what kids are given to us for: to whack us with reality. I have told my elder daughter that the Lord gave her to me so I could see my own life played back to me in "fast forward."

9 posted on 01/16/2004 2:49:09 PM PST by thulldud (It's bad luck to be superstitious.)
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To: veronica
Karl Marx is an educator according to some of my adult ed textbooks.
10 posted on 01/16/2004 2:51:32 PM PST by LauraJean (Fukai please pass the squid sauce)
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To: mlmr
That's interesting, as well....and you are way ahead of me! I was pretty clueless myself 14 years ago. So, maybe there's hope for these other folks!
11 posted on 01/16/2004 2:54:12 PM PST by Ethan_Allen (Gen. 32:24-32 'man'=Jesus http://www.preteristarchive.com/Jesus_is_Israel/index.html)
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To: thulldud
"Not the sort of post I would have expected above such a screen name."

Yup. I found out too late he was a Freemason, but I liked his eccentricity.

"That's what kids are given to us for: to whack us with reality. I have told my elder daughter that the Lord gave her to me so I could see my own life played back to me in "fast forward." "

Kids do have a way of changing things, don't they?
12 posted on 01/16/2004 2:58:07 PM PST by Ethan_Allen (Gen. 32:24-32 'man'=Jesus http://www.preteristarchive.com/Jesus_is_Israel/index.html)
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To: Ethan_Allen
Fourteen years ago I was in my mid-thirties.
13 posted on 01/16/2004 3:37:19 PM PST by mlmr (Watch out or the chickens willl get you.....)
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To: veronica

"You should thank me for bringing moral relativism to all your kids!"

14 posted on 01/16/2004 3:37:50 PM PST by BenLurkin (Socialism is Slavery)
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To: veronica
School massacres, he points out, almost invariably take place in middle or upper-middle class schools, like Columbine, as do lesser shames like last year's hazing incident that turned into an orgy of violence by upper-middle class girls in suburban Chicago. Not a function of poverty, he says, these homes are considered "ideal" where the child's every need is filled, and the attempted atmosphere, serene, totally self-expressive and free from frustration. Not only that, a whole list of educational leisure time activities is laid on, because everyone is going to Harvard.

Hell I ovbserved this when I was a teenager back in the late '70s.

15 posted on 01/16/2004 3:38:12 PM PST by Paleo Conservative (Do not remove this tag under penalty of law.)
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To: IncPen
pedagogical ping to ya...
16 posted on 01/16/2004 3:44:20 PM PST by BartMan1
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To: veronica
BTTT
17 posted on 01/16/2004 4:10:28 PM PST by spodefly (This is my tagline. There are many like it, but this one is mine.)
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To: kuma
No boomers should not fix it. Specifically leftist boomers are clueless individuals. They need to realize they screwed up, remove themselves to the nearest retirement community and allow the rest of society to move on.

The last thing we need is lefty boomers coming up with one more program that will fix all of our problems.

Amen to that!

While it's encouraging that at least some of The Worst Generation (a.k.a. The Baby Boomers)are admitting they screwed up the schools (and everything else) they are still so self absorbed and elitist that they believe they are the only ones who can fix it.

The answer is no, go away. Gen-X and Gen-Y are having and raising the children now and we don't need you to screw up our children like you have done with us.

18 posted on 01/16/2004 4:39:26 PM PST by qam1 (Are Republicans the party of Reagan or the party of Bloomberg and Pataki?)
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To: qam1; ItsOurTimeNow; PresbyRev; tortoise; Fraulein; StoneColdGOP; Clemenza; malakhi; m18436572; ...
Xer Ping

Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social aspects that directly effects Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1982) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.

Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details.

19 posted on 01/16/2004 4:41:24 PM PST by qam1 (Are Republicans the party of Reagan or the party of Bloomberg and Pataki?)
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To: veronica
bttt
20 posted on 01/16/2004 4:44:54 PM PST by lainde (Heads up...We're coming and we've got tongue blades!!)
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To: Tax-chick
Later
21 posted on 01/17/2004 5:49:38 AM PST by Tax-chick (I reserve the right to disclaim all January 2004 posts after the BABY is born!)
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To: Tax-chick
The Epidemic: the Rot of American Culture, Absentee and Permissive Parenting, and the Resultant Plague of Joyless, Selfish Children by Robert Shaw,

Breaking Free, Public School Lessons and the Imperative of School Choice was written by Sol Stern,

Library List
22 posted on 01/17/2004 9:05:51 AM PST by Tax-chick (I reserve the right to disclaim all January 2004 posts after the BABY is born!)
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To: qam1
Making a note of your site; interested in your perspective. Gorgeous pics! Will come back to study when I have more time. I'm tempted to be on your ping list, but I never seem to be able to get to them.


23 posted on 01/17/2004 3:38:29 PM PST by Ethan_Allen (Gen. 32:24-32 'man'=Jesus http://www.preteristarchive.com/Jesus_is_Israel/index.html)
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To: Tax-chick
Click on the urchin's ugly mug.



24 posted on 01/17/2004 6:34:35 PM PST by TheMole
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To: Tax-chick
"Be Intolerant" by Dr Dobson's son is a book on moral relativism written for younger folks.
25 posted on 01/17/2004 6:36:10 PM PST by Archie Bunker on steroids
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To: TheMole
Thanks ... it's not in my library yet, but I'm patient.
26 posted on 01/17/2004 6:37:56 PM PST by Tax-chick (I reserve the right to disclaim all January 2004 posts after the BABY is born!)
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To: veronica
Boomers are unable to fix anything. My only wish is they fade away quikly. AS IF!
27 posted on 01/19/2004 10:16:42 AM PST by ffusco (Maecilius Fuscus,Governor of Longovicium , Manchester, England. 238-244 AD)
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