Skip to comments.Who am I to tell Christians to stop supporting government education?
Posted on 07/28/2002 3:29:38 PM PDT by ppaul
My recent RazorMouth article on the Pledge of Allegiance was republished in two other venues, and I received a lot of angry email. One Christian mother from Florida wrote to tell me that, because her sister home-schooled her children, she had prayerfully re-evaluated whether she should do the same. Both she and her husband felt that God was clearly leading them to leave their children in the government schools. In her words:
one of the paragraphs in your article really angered and offended me. You stated, "and those Christian parents who insist on deluding themselves about the wonders of public education will remain where they are." Mr. Babka, if I am being "deluded" about the education of my children, then it is God who is doing the deluding, because it is His voice to which we are listening. She shuddered to think of what our public school system, and the children in it, would be if ALL Christian parents pulled their children out. She went on to point out the wonderful impact Christian kids have in government schools. Then she asked me, How can my children be salt and light if they are doing their studies at the dining room table and not in a classroom full of kids who may have never heard the gospel?
I understand her point, and appreciate her feeling that God is leading her, but we must remember that other parents likewise feel that God is also leading them to abandon the government schools. I would urge her to more prayer, because there are other issues to consider, and more than one way to provide salt and light to the world.
Young children are impressionable. They lack the experience for discernment. And it's a well-established fact that you only get back what you put in. The state has her children for more waking hours than she does. She cant control whom they associate with, or what they hear, see, and read. Perhaps, because her children are teenagers, theyre already prepared to prosper in an atmosphere antagonistic to her values. But it seems risky to expect the same from an elementary school child.
More importantly, we must consider what would happen if all Christian parents removed their children from the government schools. I believe the system would fold for lack of business. Would this increase or decrease the salt and light we provide to the world? And what would be the state of our nations children?
Education would still continue, but now it would thriveas it did before public schools were created 120 years ago (when having an 8th grade education meant that someone was ready for college). It would also cost far less and teenage pregnancy, drug abuse, and other social ills would almost certainly plummet. I believe this would add a great deal of salt and light to the world.
We also need to remember that schools teach according to their own institutional interests.
Catholic schools teach that the Pope, bishops, and priests, and their moral teachings, hold the answers, and that a sacramental life is pretty important.
Evangelical Christian schools teach that the Bible holds the answers, and that personal salvation and godly behavior are necessary.
Prep schools teach that the elites of science, business, and government hold the answers, and that hard work and academic success are necessary to join that elite.
So, what should we expect government schools to teach?
My thoughtful correspondent from Florida believes she is able to control what goes on at her local government school, because she is heavily involved in it. But she is just one person, and the stories of school districts thumbing their nose at parents are legion. Just because it's never happened to her doesn't mean it wont. And given the power of teachers unions, does she believe she could force the school board to change its mind (especially in a major city)?
Now I'm not disputing that her children can be a godly example in their government school, but I do believe that the costs and the benefits dont add up to a net increase for salt and light in the world. Quite simply, I dont believe children are qualified to be missionaries, and they are therefore more likely to be corrupted by the godless environment of the government schools than to effectively change that environment.
Missionaries must meet certain qualifications before they're sent into a mission field. Children do not meet those qualifications. I would like my Florida correspondent, and other concerned parents like her, to seriously consider whether their children will be able to detect when theyre being brainwashed by environmentalism, drug-war propaganda, relative value systems, sex-ed, and diversity training.
Government schools naturally teach children to trust government, and learning to trust government means learning to question parental authority, worship Mother Earth, worship the state (hence the Pledge of Allegiance), and accept as normal that Heather Has Two Mommies.
It seems clear to me that home-schooled and Christian-schooled children can provide more salt and light to the world than government-schooled Christian kids for the simple reason that they are being trained all day, every day, to do exactly that.
Finally, we need to recognize that government schools are based on compulsion. They confiscate the wealth of people without children, and even worse, those who have kids but who are not using the system. In other words, Christian parents who feel God is leading them to teach their children elsewhere are forced to pay twice! The compulsion and confiscation of the government schools violates everything we Christians are supposed to believe in.
How can we end this immoral system?
If all Christian parents would remove their children then the system would collapse, and the money confiscated by the government schools would instead flow toward private, and godlier alternatives. This sea-change would be a sign that Christians have truly accepted their calling to be salt and light, and that God has jurisdiction over both the rearing of our children and our pocketbooks.
Link to article HERE.
There are school systems that are in terrible shape, but there are plenty that are fixable or in good shape, and which need more Christian influence, not less.......more Christian kids, not less. I just happen to believe that it is irresponsible to tell all Christian parents that they should pull kids out of public schools.
Actually, our church does have an educational outreach program in place to inner city children.
There is no answer for the vast majority of American children in your 'solution.'
Yet, to what extent has the problem been caused by socialism, by the government's undercutting of minority families, by the government's crippling "help?"
Correcting the public school system is a far more viable solution, in spite of the problems within the system.
Socialism always delivers "the bads." Socialism is the problem, not the solution, when we are discussing the undermining and erosion of civil society. Socialists remind me of the old hippy cure for a bad LSD trip -- double the dose and try again!
Seriously, though, if you are open to considering non-socialist alternatives, I can recommend several interesting books:
True. Government Schooling also attends to a violation of the Tenth Commandment, and a partial usurpation of the parental rights and responsibilities implied by the Fifth. But I haven't been trying to throw the entire Book at you; I am just making one simple point.
It's your political ideology that if you don't use the public schools, you shouldn't have to pay for them.
It is the Eighth Commandment that if you do not wish to purchase a Good or Service, you should not be forced to pay for it.
It doesn't matter that you believe that you "made a difference" in the Public Schools, and are therefore justified in supporting the THEFT of hard-earned monies from Home-Schoolers and Private-Schoolers. Whether you spend stolen money on Gospel Tracts or prostitutes, it's still stolen money.
As such, you have indeed "made a difference". By supporting the Government Schooling system, you have stolen money and created great financial hardship for many Home-Schooling and Private-Schooling fellow Christians, so that you can force them to subsidize your choices. That is the "difference" which you have made.
I have not called you immoral; I have not called you arrogant; I have not called you pathetic; I have simply pointed out that compelling your neighbor to furnish his monies to subsidize your child's education (and thereby degrading his financial capacity for his own children's education) is a violation of the Eighth Commandment. For this simple (and, to be blunt, blatantly-obvious) theonomic observation, you have responded with insults and ad hominem vitriol.
How very Christ-like of you.
I'm gonna ask this again:
Thou Shalt Not Steal.
Woe unto self-proclaimed "christians" who loudly proclaim what a "difference" they have made, but call the Law of God "hateful".
The majority of public schools are outfitted just as you explain. There *are* however, a few wonderful ps's dotted throughout the country that haven't given in the PC and socialist agenda...yet. ohioWfan's children attended such a school system.
Where I live it's considered 'fairie prairie' complete with alternative lifestyle education to the hilt...and of course the pc slant over everything. There's *no way* we'd send our daughter into the slime pit here.
What is wrong with choice, Especially since it is far less costly and the students score far better? The program is identical to the 50 year history of the GI bill. It proved itself every year. Many present schools prove themselve as total failures every year.
There are very fine public school but unfortunately they are much too rare. These excellent schools are not in jeapordy.
Now back to the main point. The educationists have a lock on the bureaucrocy--parents are helpless by comparison. Godspeed, The Dilg
I am buying more ammo today, in order to be ready for Friday.
In the meantime, I have the satisfaction of knowing that our kids received a quality education and have benefitted in ways you will never understand because of your political ideology, from being part of a public school system.
I hope you know that we do as well, and that we kept our kids in public school because it was better for them spiritually than it would have been to remove them. (And I assume it was better for yours to remove them.)
The years since our older ones have graduated have verified that we were right in understanding what God was leading us to do, and I assume you will find the same to be true yourself.
I wish you God's best for you and your family.
We had a major victory for parents in the school voucher decision, and in the next 7 years, IMO, we will continue to see progress.
It's a huge system, and it will take time, but it can and will change, so that more schools, being held accountable for their actions, will produce a quality education for American children.
From my experience, most Christians don't recognize the voice of God when it is given to them in writing, much less when it is given to them in an intangible form. Look at some of the comments on this thread for examples of cheap shots taken simply to make the commentor feel superior to someone else.
The fact is that a great many 'Christians' are only able be Christian on Sundays and Wednesdays and cannot imagine that others are any different. Likewise, most Christian parenst view their children as weak and impressionable and fear that they will have less of an impression on their kids than the school. Those parents are probably right in their case. But they also project their fears and failings onto others and that is not right.
God may guide, lead, direct, or tell people to do things that do not seem to make sense to others and it is not up to those others to try to pass judgment as long as the revelation does not contradict the written Word.
Which is a sinful? Sending kids to public school or spewing harsh comments and gossiping about them and their families?
BTW, as you may have guessed, I was directed to pull my kids out of a private Christian school in which I was employed to put them back into the local public school. I don't know why, and if I had a need to know why, God would tell me. He hasn't.
Most Christians walk by their senses, not the spirit. Then they fuss about what other Christians do in their lives. This thread is an excellent example.
Can you prove your statement Biblically?
Are you ready to tell any missionary who takes his family into a hostile area that he has defied God?
I didn't think so.
Excellent observation. Anonymous wolves disguised in phony spiritual clothing abound here.
I know of other parents who also had their kids in a Christian school, and God called them to put them back in public schools. Sometimes the reasons are obvious immediately, but sometimes we don't find out until much later.
You are also correct about people not recognizing God's voice, but rather going on feelings. I suspect that many of the parents who claim that God has led them to send their kids to public schools and have had negative experiences, never heard His voice at all, but wanted them there for other reasons.
Interesting that you should bring up missionaries. I brought that up privately with one of the gentlemen on this thread.
To be completely consistent with the 'you are abusive if you send your kids to public school because they are not sheltered from evil' argument, parents who become missionaries are abusive in every case because they are deliberately bringing them into an environment that is hostile to Christianity.
Thanks for your insights, and your 'eagle eye.'
My experience is that parents who don't trust their own spirirtual walks don't trust the walks of others. Unless, of course, those others have titles or credentials.
God does not tell anyone to do more than they are capable of and always make a way to succeed.
When you consider that obedience to God cost Jesus Christ his phyical life and that obedience to God cost Paul many severe beatings, jail time, and other problems, most people today won't obey God if it isn't convenient for them.
Hear hear. Couldn't have said it better, dude.
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