Skip to comments.Religion Today (Southern Baptists Unhappy With public Schools)
Posted on 12/03/2004 1:06:08 AM PST by nickcarraway
SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Frustration with public education seems to be growing among the nation's Southern Baptists, with supporters of Christian schools and home schooling arguing that if God is absent from the classroom then their children should leave, too.
``What has happened is not so much that the Christians are leaving the public schools as that the public schools have left the Christians,'' advocate Ed Gamble said.
Gamble is executive director of the Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools, an Orlando, Fla.-based group that supports the more than 600 Southern Baptist schools created in the past eight years.
``As the public schools have become increasingly secular and increasingly intolerant of things Christian, people who are openly Christian have said, 'I guess they are not part of our team anymore,''' Gamble said.
The number of conservative Christian schools grew by nearly 11 percent between 1999-2000 and 2001-2002, to 5,527, according to the U.S. Department of Education's latest statistics.
At that rate, Christian schools are growing faster than private schools as a whole, and have increased their share to nearly 1 in 5 private schools in the country.
Earlier this year, a resolution proposed at the national meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention -- which guides the nation's largest Protestant denomination -- urged parents to withdraw their children from ``officially Godless'' ``government schools'' in favor of religious education.
While the measure was rejected, interest in faith-based schools has continued to spread among Baptists at the state level, particularly in Tennessee, Missouri, Florida, South Carolina, Illinois, Texas, Virginia, North Carolina, California and New England, according to Exodus Mandate, a Columbia, S.C., group that promotes private, Christian and home-school education.
A recent resolution promoting Christian schooling easily passed the Missouri Baptist Convention but was quashed in committee at the Tennessee Baptist Convention meeting in Sevierville last month.
The Missouri resolution talked about the ``inherent dangers of secular educational philosophies that now permeates America's public education system'' and affirmed ``the importance of systematically training ourselves and our children in the ways of authentic, biblical Christianity.''
``What we are saying is that God has given us some very specific commands that we are to train our children in the ways of the Lord, not in the ways of the world,'' said the Rev. Roger Moran, of Troy, Mo., the resolution's author and a member of the Southern Baptist Convention's executive committee.
That means teaching creationism over evolution, that life begins at conception, and that homosexuality is immoral, as is sex outside of marriage. But it is more.
``It hits everything, when you realize the reality of life is (that) life was created by God and the entire universe is his creation. Therefore, everything has meaning and reflection on his nature, whether it is math or history or science. Two plus two equals four because God created them that way,'' said Glen Schultz, who heads the Baptists' LifeWay curriculum program for church-based schools and homeschoolers.
The Tennessee resolution came one step short of asking Baptist parents to pull their children from public schools.
``I wanted to be positive in promoting Christian education. I didn't want the resolution to be portrayed as attacking public education,'' said the Rev. Larry Reagan, of Dresden, who wrote the measure.
But the Rev. Mike Boyd of Knoxville, outgoing president of the 1 million-member Tennessee Baptist Convention, worried about the divisiveness of the issue.
``It was not wise, is all I am saying,'' added the Rev. Grover Westover, of Whiteville, chairman of the resolutions committee.
Reagan's resolution would have promoted more ``Kingdom education'' schools following LifeWay's lead. Schultz said the program has reached some 150 churches since 1996.
``We encourage our members to pray for this ministry and we encourage the promotion of an adequate system of Christian schools,'' Reagan said.
Boyd agreed there were ``some serious issues in the public schools'' to resolve but said the focus should be on supporting the teachers working in them, including many Baptists, and parents.
``Historically, Baptists have been pretty staunch supporters of the public school system, and they still are,'' said Gamble, who was not surprised to see the convention resolutions fail.
``But this is a bottom-up movement, as it is a bottom-up denomination. This is not a movement that is being led so much by pastors as it is being led by moms and dads who are frustrated.''
``And some day, I don't know how long it will be, most of the kids will be educated in Southern Baptist schools or in their homes.''
If I ever manage somehow to procreate someday, my kid(s) will go to public school only if I can move to a much more remote area of SD, otherwise it will be private, faith-based.
It's not just Southern Baptists, either. This conservative Methodist won't even consider sending his little girl to a public shool.
Parents! For the love of your children, DON'T put them in goobermint skrewls!
Parents for the Love of your Children, Throw out those who are pushing the Socialsit Agenda and replace them with God Fearing Men and Women.
Read a Cal Thomas article many years ago that said unless those that held Judeo-Christian values pulled their kids out of public school, en masse, that the schools would not be forced to change.
It was what convinced us to homeschool until our son was old enough for college. My homeschooling days are over now, but we are reaping the benefits of homeshooling still and the benefits are so much more than just a "good education."
True, very true; and I endorse and applaud your statements.
However, "goobermint skrewls" are now doing things that go FAR beyond the three R's, including liberal indoctrination, allowing minors out of school for "private medical procedures" (read Abortions), and pushing a pro-homosexual agenda.
If you are not capable of homeschooling, and are unable to aford private schools, then you have no choice but to put your kids into public schools. As far as the "Church" is concerned, they are doing more harm than good with their dogmatic dictates.
Keeping track of what the publik screwls are doing to your kids is far more costly and time-consuming than many would believe, IMHO.
EVERYBODY is unhappy with public schools!
The most telling statistic I know is that the occupational group which sends most of its children to private schools is not lawyers, doctors, dentists, etc. but - public school teachers!
Who knows better than them what goes on in gubmint schools?
If they won't eat their own cooking, why should the rest of us?
"If they won't eat their own cooking, why should the rest of us?"
Because that's classic librul thinking: It's not for me, but it's for you. I'll get into my car and drive to a protest against oil companies, but you should be taking the bus.
By Joseph Farah
Some people say America's government schools are performing so badly and miseducating children so profoundly that the dumbing down process must be part of a deliberate conspiracy.
I tend to disagree because, knowing the nature of government and how inefficient it is, if government were deliberately trying to make our kids dumber, they would likely be much smarter.
Such is my faith in government's ability to achieve results even bad results.
But whether or not it's a deliberate plot to dumb down our kids intellectually and morally it's time for you to put a stop to it.
What can you do?
People often ask me what they can do to restore freedom and righteousness in America.
"Please don't tell me to write my congressman," a typical letter says. "I've tried that. They are all unresponsive. They don't care. They are part of the problem ignoring the Constitution, passing more and more laws and spending my money on a growing list of programs that are illegal, immoral and detrimental to the health of the nation."
I tend to agree with such sentiments.
Congress is unresponsive. Congress is clueless. Congress has forgotten or ignored its responsibility to follow the Constitution.
Let me tell you about one surefire way to get Washington's attention and get our country back on track. I guarantee it will work if even 10 to 20 percent of Americans follow my advice. And, best of all, this strategy is something that will save your children from unhappiness, ignorance and abuse by the government even if it does not touch off a freedom revolution.
I'm talking about pulling your children out of the clutches of the government schools.
It's the right thing to do for your kids and for your country.
Some 2 million kids in America are now being taught at home a direct result of the declining standards of government schools.
When that number reaches 5 million, critical mass will have been reached. The whole system will begin to implode. It will mark the beginning of the end of the government monopoly on schools in America. It will mark the beginning of a peaceful revolution not unlike the one we witnessed a decade ago in the Soviet Union.
It starts with people saying no. It starts with awareness and resistance. It starts with saving your kids from abuse and indoctrination.
Whenever I present this message, I have some Christian parents who tell me separation from the broader culture is wrong that it's not what Jesus preached.
Listen to the Apostle Paul (II Corinthians 6:14): "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?"
Many Christians are familiar with this verse and take it to heart when it comes to issues such as marriage. But why doesn't it apply to the schooling of our precious children? Why do we feel OK about casting them to the wolves of the world?
Paul continues (II Corinthians 6:17-18): "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."
Jews, you have been likewise commanded. Read Isaiah 52:11: "Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out of thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord."
No, believers, you are not supposed to expose your children to unrighteousness, nor put them under the yoke of pagans and infidels and false gods. I don't know where you get this mistaken belief. Your job as a parent is to protect your children, raise your child, not to run your child over to non-believers to be raised.
You want to know how to fix your family and your country? The most important step you can take is to pull your kids out of school and to start fulfilling your principal responsibility as a parent educating them.
It's not your congressman's responsibility. It's your job. Take it seriously. It's summertime and the living may be easy. Come September, don't sacrifice your kids on the altar of the most high secular state.
Make a difference in your child's life, and be part of a gentle revolution to take this country back.
Mandating this throughout the Church increases the possibility of child abuse and neglect situations.
I wish President Bush and the Republicans would revive the idea of 'School Choice'. Public Schools are created by Socialists, for Socialists, and if I could choose, I would choose not to fund them with my state/federal tax dollars. Let Matt Damon put his 'spare millions' of dollars there if he wants to.
?.......public?....naw,....they are 'state' (NERO) schools period!
.........................Rome lives again against christians.....Nero's schools etc.
...............................Rome lives again against 'public' christianity.....
/sarcasm.....and church bells 24/7
Why do you say this is balognia?
You must really hate me, I homeschool, and I'm an atheist.
What a racket!
The reality is, you were homeschooling your daughter anyway.
The government "school" is just warehousing kids - free daycare for two-wage earner families, that's all.
They get all the tax dollars, and you get to educate your children after school hours.
Such a deal!
Romans chapter one......love God.
You cannot produce one shred of empirical evidence to support your outrageous statement. You are merely parroting the NEA line.
Obviously, you did not read my entire posts. That is one of the reasons that I was called to homeschool. Believe me, there is more to homeschooling than just the basic "R's", if that what your mindset is. I also have to work at social interaction, extracurricular activities at my own expense (because we are not allowed to participate with the public school's in my state, even though we pay for it in our tax dollars).
But I stay strong in my conviction that homeschooling IS NOT for everyone. It is difficult work, and it requires patience, persistence, and a total modification of lifestyle. And I will add from the female perspective it is emotionally draining at times.
Some may not be capable of handling this lifestyle, and as I said, it is a choice a person makes and you cannot falter once you make that decision.
I understand where the Church is headed with this idea, I just don't think every parent can do this form of education. And I don't want to be scrutinized as a result of a Church mandate.
There are all kinds of options out there to pay for a private education. I for one would starve to death to keep my children and grandchildren out of government schools.
And can you shed any evidence to state otherwise that abuse or neglect won't happen?
I just know from where I am at, a homeschooler, and seeing some of my friends with their children who do not homeschool, can see things a little differently.
I used to push homeschooling on everyone who had a problem with PS's. But after observing some of my friends for a time, I can honestly say they may not be good candidates for homeschooling; patience at a minimum, and organizational skills are seriously lacking.
Well, we tried to get into every private school in our area, but did not fare to well. Since we live on a shoestring budget, and my husband already works 2 jobs, homeschooling, as it turned out, was the best for us.
I think private schools are wonderful if it works for the family, and am glad to see the numbers are growing. Hopefully, it will push the idea of vouchers for school of choice.
There are too many Baptist teachers and school administrators and school board members in the South who would lose their jobs and influence if these resolutions passed and parents actually followed Ps. 111:10: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. A good understanding have they that do His commandments. His praise endureth forever." Politics being what it is in every church denomination, it is up to each parent to make the judgement as to whether godless government ought to be in charge of their child's soul.
The mandate failed at the last conference. But is was brought up at the last conference. My point was this was a bad idea on the part of the Church and I am happy it did not come to pass.
I agree completely that public education is unhealthy for children. Why else would I homeschool? I just don't want to see homeschooling pushed on families that my not be able to do it.
I am totally with you on finding private schools if it is at all possible.
When $ is a problem show up on a Catholic School's doorstep and tell them your problem. If it caused by the purchase of beer... it ain't gonna work. You are going to have to provide proof of income (only if subsiized). We're spending $4000. per kid and we can afford it. Being able to afford it IS not the point. The point is... a portion of our dollars go to subsidize those who can NOT afford the education. AND... there are other sources of funds to pick up part of the tab as well. AND... there is such a thing as a FREE RIDE... especially in High School... but the little darlings have to something very unusal to garner that FREE RIDE. For the Freebie... A's. Partial Freebie... A's & B's. Well... Praise the Lord. OH yes... uniforms! Three sets per kid and you will save enough on school cloths and crap they just "gotta" have to put a serious dent in the school cost.
Bottom line... private education... is doable and most just ran out of excuses.
You know... I don't know a thing about other church schools but I'll wager they offer programs along the same line as well.
Homeschoolers are already scrutinzed. It only took one wacko woman to accomplish that. More homeschoolers isn't going to make it any different.
There are enough video instruction series now in comparison to a few years ago that I don't think there is any excuse for a Christian 'not' to homeschool. A person need not be a genius or super organized to homeschool. If a woman is able to go to work every day and produce for her employer she can handle homeschooling her child. The issue is 'if' she will want to. There are so many CINO's nowdays that many don't see the forest for the trees.
The Bible tells us that we are to teach our children. We choose whether to obey that just as we choose whether to obey other instructions to us in the Bible.
I must have missed the word "Madate" in that article.
Didn't see that in the article either.
I am content to homeschool, as a matter of fact, I am grateful for the opportunity. It works for my family.
We did try the private route before it came to me to homeschool. I am not, however, catholic, I am Baptist, so enrolling in a cotholic school is out of the question. As far as other private schools of my faith, I refuse to take the subsidized money that can go to a family who really needs it, we live on a tight budget, but I know there are people who are in much more need than we are.
We educate on aprroximately $800.00 per year per child, not counting extracurricular activities. Financially, that is do-able. And, my daughters have a full-time Mommy to boot. That may be something private school children may miss out on, since there is a tuition to pay.
But let me say this again, so not to rile anyone else up, I think public schools are in a deplorable condition. But we cannot condemn everyone who chooses this type of education for their children.
It is right there after "Batptists"....see it?
There ya go!
Don't run: FIGHT!!!!
You can't win against logic like that.
Give it up, while you still have your sanity.
Mandate was what was happening with the "RESOLUTION". I read between the lines.
Are you REALLY an atheist; or could you be an agnostic instead?
Okay, your right, because you all seem to be misreading my point. I hope you all pray hard about this. I hope you all understand it should not be forced upon people who may not be capable of doing this type of education. I am not going to say homeschooling is the greatest and everyone should do it, that it absolutely insane. It is HARD WORK.
I have served in the military, I have worked for quite a few years in the work force, but none of that was ever working hard in comparison to homeschooling. Of course, the reward is the results, which makes it worthwhile for me and my children.
Now if the Baptists push for vouchers for school of choice, I will back them 100%. But I just cannot get behind the idea that homeschooling should be pushed by the Church, instead of a parent's calling.
And I guess, I will let you all go on saying that it's okay for yet another group to dictate what is deemed acceptable and correct for everyone.
There are no mandates mentioned in the article. The SBC doesn't mandate to me how to educate my children. Never has and never will.
Learn to read what is ON the lines.
You're spending too much time "between the lines".
I do not want to be lumped in with a crowd that has been given orders.
There you go again. What "orders"?
My children were in a Baptist school and the Pastor told the congregation that if anyone took one cent from the government because their children were in church school they would be asked to remove their children from the school.
That was 25 years ago and it was an individual Minister not the SBC.
I have read that article three times and can only say that it is a positive statement by the SBC.
They are advising parents to get their children out of the Godless public schools. (That's a good thing)
They aren't "dictating", "ordering" or "mandating" anything to anybody.
You have read all of those things into it.
The SBC does not have evil intent and they are not wrong to believe that parents should choose alternatives to public schools if at all possible.
From the positive statements you have made in your posts I think that you and the SBC are pretty much in agreement about how and what values children should learn. Don't be so hard on them.