Skip to comments.Study Shows Secularist Public Schools Indoctrinate Even Christian Kids
Posted on 11/24/2004 7:11:07 PM PST by Aussie Dasher
AgapePress) - A researcher has revealed some disturbing trends regarding the sets of beliefs Christian students in public schools have about the most important issues in life.
Dan Smithwick is the founder and president of the Nehemiah Institute, a group that provides a biblical worldview testing and training service to Christian educators. He is the developer of what is called the "PEERS test," a tool to assess the worldviews of young people, and says the majority of public school students from evangelical Christian homes consistently score in the "socialist" category on the test.
According to Smithwick, this outcome should come as no surprise, considering the fact that secular humanists are currently shaping America. He notes that socialism, a political and economic philosophy that commonly emphasizes government control and redistribution of wealth over personal responsibility and private ownership, often goes hand in hand with secularist attitudes and a generally non-biblical worldview.
Smithwick's worldview test consists of a series of statements carefully designed to identify a person's worldview in five categories: Politics, Economics, Education, Religion, and Social Issues (PEERS). Each statement is framed to either agree or disagree with a biblical principle.
When it comes to major moral and social issues, the Nehemiah Institute spokesman contends there is a dramatic difference in thinking between students in public schools and those in Christian schools. This is because, while Christian school students are generally taught curricula predicated on a biblical worldview, students educated in public schools, even when they grow up in Christian homes, tend to a very high degree to adopt the non-biblical and socialistic worldviews of the secular humanists in control of their education.
"In the last hundred years," Smithwick asserts, "and especially in the last 30 years, this is the audience that is shaping the public square in America, hands down. And they didn't really have to fight for it -- we [in the Church] gave it to them. Somewhere along the way we decided that the public square really wasn't our business. It wasn't our playground; they could have it, and they've had their way with it."
As a result, the Christian education advocate says, even Christian students are growing up to become a part of a society with an increasingly secular-humanistic and socialistic worldview. "Now we've got a mess on our hands," he says, "and it's really our fault. So we've got to change that. We've got to repent before God. We've got to go back and understand that worldview means God is interested in everything he created."
Undoing the Damage Done by Dewey Unfortunately, Smithwick says, many Christian young people today are not being taught to think biblically in all areas of life. That is why he urges parents, pastors and Christian teachers to take advantage of the Nehemiah Institute's worldview testing, training, and resources. And this is why he has been promoting the Institute's programs this week at the Alliance for the Separation of School and State Conference in Washington, DC.
Undoing Dewey -- that's the goal of the program, according to Smithwick. He refers to the secular humanist principles of John Dewey (1859-1952), the philosopher and education reformer whose principles have shaped public education in America. Dewey promoted a philosophy of education with the premise that learning by doing (experimentalism) should form the basis of education, and any idea or concept is validated by its practicality (pragmatism). Some Christian educators consider these ideas to be precursors to "values clarification" and other questionable teaching models that advocate moral relativism, but which are commonly taught in teacher education and used in U.S. public schools.
Smithwick says his program of PEERS testing indicates that Christian students are by no means immune to the secular humanism being taught in public schools, but have in fact been dramatically influenced by it. "The way we got this was by testing youth groups in evangelical churches," he says. "The majority of the kids are in public schools. In many cases, 100 percent of them are in public schools."
The Nehemiah Institute president says many pastors like to call these young people their "best kids" since this group, at least, are involved in a church youth group. Still, he asserts that these kids have not escaped with an intact biblical worldview. "They're in public school," he says, "and they're buying into the philosophy of life that's being put before them five days a week, six or seven hours a day."
Smithwick recommends PEERS testing as an aid for Christians who want to make sure their young people develop a distinctly biblical worldview. He advises Church parents to disconnect from government schooling and, along with pastors and other Christian educators, to engage in worldview assessment and training.
Mao and Stalin would be proud of them.
No big surpirse here.
Parents, for the love of your children; keep them OUT of goobermint skrewls.
A modest proposal: Shouldn't religious students be taught how to live in the secular world as a person of faith, whether they attend a religious school or a public school?
The problem is that although the children may be raised in a very Christian home, they are being taught by another adult for an average of 31+ hours a week. That's a *lot* of time for damage to be done when the children are young and impressionable. You don't always know what's being said, what attitudes conveyed, etc.
...and there is the influence of peer groups etc.
Lambs are not well equipped for battling adult wolves.
And the best way to do that is to teach them at home for about 12 years to prepare them - for the same reason a soldier goes through basic training before you stick him out on the firing line facing the enemy. Duh.
I'm not trying to be tricky here -- but I can find no other way to phrase it: I would hope that every kid is taught at home for more than 12 years, regardless of whether he/she is home schooled or private schooled or public schooled. And yes, the secular world can be intellectually, emotionally and morally dangerous, but it's not the enemy.
There are packs of marauding dogs that unfortunately attack and kill some of his sheep on occasion, and he's noticed something odd about these killers: they're the lapdog pets of local families. Sweet little Fifi poodle, with her sequined collar who "wouldn't hurt a flea." Kid-loving, trick-performing JackRussell Terriers, cute as a button. A collie that looks just like Lassie. A beautiful Lab that's trained as a duck-hunting dog, who's trained to carry prey extremely gently in his mouth. Some little furball that's all hair. And they roam the neighborhood together (when they're not being pampered and coddled by their respective families).
It's when they're together that their temperment changes, and they sort of "feed" off each other's daring, I guess. This shepherd friend says these cute little family pets are as bad as a pack of snarling wolves and easily bring down and kill lambs - he's seen them do it with his own eyes. And when he warns the families that he may have to shoot their beloved pet if they don't keep it contained and away from his sheep, the families scoff in disbelief and horror at him, refusing to accept that their adorable, harmless little fluffball was responsible for hurting anything. They don't know where Fluffy is all day, who Fluffy is hanging around with, what Fluffy is learning, what Fluffy is becoming. But our friend sure does.
Anyway, end of story. It sure made me think about parallels between these family pets and young people today...not just with friends or gangs or activities, but who they are becoming based on what they are learning. The difference between the sheepdogs and the neighborhood pets isn't all that visible on the outside, nor is it based on the love and pampering showered on them by family members. It's what they're taught (be it by master or by peer) that's affecting their behavior.
It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. -- Emerson
Platitudes are nice.
Are you raising children of your own?
I've never in my life ever heard Emerson called a writer of platitudes. Self Reliance is, IMHO, one of the great pieces of American writing.
Is that your final answer?
I don't even know the question. I just felt obligated to stick up for old Ralph.
I don't answer personal questions of any kind on the internet.