By Al Benson Jr.
Literally for decades now I have watched Christians defend public education in this country and subtly denigrate those among their brethren that dare to pass up the questionable benefits of public schooling and educate their children in a Christian way, either via a Christian school or home schooling.
Those who have taken the trouble to do some reading and research have discovered that public education in this country has been in the business of trying to blunt and dilute the influence of the Christian faith here literally since day one. This is not a problem that has arisen since the 1960s, which is what many people seem to believe. This is a situation that has been a major part of the public education agenda since the beginning. I realize that lots of folks reading this will not really want to believe that, but again, go back and do the homework. Read Samuel Blumenfeld’s Is Public Education Necessary? Blumenfeld is an expert in the field of education. Read what he says. Then go from there.
What we see going on in public schools today only corroborates what Blumenfeld and others have written about for the last forty years and more. An article on http://cryandhowl.com for January 8th of this year noted that: “Jesus isn’t allowed in school, but Islam is…” It went on to note an article in The Christian Science Monitor from July, 2007 which dealt with an elementary school near San Diego, California that made time during the school day for Muslim kids to worship. The article noted: “The school’s policy ‘presumes that Christians are less religious and less inspired to worship and praise the Lord and come together’ says Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute. He is asking the school district to set up special rooms where Christians can pray, too.” Wonder if that ever happened. Why does the school “assume” that Christians are less prone to want to worship than others? The person who posted this noted: “Can you believe this line of certified b.s.? In my previous post, I noted some Christian kid couldn’t even hand out a Christmas candy cane with a benign little religious saying on it, but schools will set up rooms and special times during the day to accommodate Muslims and their prayer times.” I don’t know who posted this, but whoever it was, they understand what the game is all about and they are protesting. The post continued: “There are so many Christians who are content to go to their little churches on Sunday and maybe a mid-week service and that’s it. I suppose that’s okay, but Christians need to get involved in politics to a certain extent. ‘Oh, I’m not interested in politics’ you’ll hear them say. Well, they’d better get interested because politics and who we elect to make laws, has a direct effect on our freedom to worship as we choose. One doesn’t have to be into politics to a fault, but…folks, get involved enough so that after Sunday service and IHop and the football game you can make a difference by getting informed and making wise choices. Until Christians do, collectively, the ‘Jesus isn’t allowed in school’ bunch will continue and will get much worse…” This person is most likely trying to reach the same “Don’t worry, the Lord’s in control (so I don’t have to do anything)” bunch that I have been trying to reach. I hope they have more success than I have.
A recent article on http://americanvision.org noted a essay written by an Al Mohler on the problems facing public schools today and the article noted how Mr. Mohler seemed to gloss over some of the history of the public education movement. The article’s author, Joel McDurmon, stated, quite accurately that: “His (Mohler’s) reasoning is that public schools used to be okay because they were locally controlled. Again, this begs the question of whether, from a Scriptural point of view, public schools ever should have been an option for Christians. And this causes problems with his subsequent narrative. It ignores the history previous to the period he highlights, it neglects important facts about the very period he presents essentially as a golden age of public schools, and it simply gets some of its facts wrong. For example, Mohler writes, ‘The earliest public schools in the United Stated were community-bases and parent-controlled. Parents and fellow citizens within a community would establish a school and hire a schoolmaster. The community would establish the curriculum…’ These are very broad, sweeping generalizations that do not represent the majority of the early public school movement, or do not represent it in all its humanistic glory.”
And Mr. McDurmon continues: “Let’s just be honest to start with: socialism is socialism, and statism is statism, no matter how small or large a scale on which you operate them. Public schools are and always have been based on civil government coercion, forced taxation of property, and redistribution of wealth. These principles are unbiblical whether they are nationally controlled or locally controlled—Washington-based or community-based. Further, from day one the public schools were designed to be centers of humanistic indoctrination…” He noted the early Unitarian influence, which is seldom, if at all, discussed or even mentioned. He mentioned the teachers union, the National Education Association, which goes all the way back to 1857. That’s right, 1857, not 1957! How many Christian folks even have a clue about any of this? Those that continue to talks about how good the schools were back in the “good old days” mostly do not know what they are talking about. They may be sincere. I don’t doubt their sincerity, but they are sincerely wrong. Someone who studies the history of the public school movement realizes that there never were any “good old days.” It was humanism and socialism since day one, as Mr. McDurmon has so aptly noted.
It would seem, also, that many of the public school teachers around the country are aware of this. An article on http://www.humanevents.com for October 17th, 2013 and written by Larry Elder gave some interesting statistics. Mr. Elder observed: “About 11 percent of all parents—nationwide, rural and urban—send their children to private schools. The numbers are much higher in urban areas. One study found that in Philadelphia a staggering 44 percent of public school teachers send their kids to private schools. In Cincinnati and Chicago, 41 and 39 percent of public school teachers, respectively, pay for a private school education for their children. In Rochester, New York, its 38 percent. In Baltimore it’s 35 percent, San Francisco is 34 percent…” You get the idea. These public school teachers have sense enough not to trust their own kids to the system they work in.
I recall, years ago now, when I worked for a Christian home schooling program in Illinois. One day a public school teacher, from New York somewhere, I think it was, called up and wanted information about the home schooling program we had. In talking to her I sought to ascertain why she was interested in home schooling seeing that she was a public school teacher. I never forgot her answer. She said something like “I work here every day. No way do I want my daughter going to school here.” I thought “what a resounding vote of confidence for the public school system from one of its own.” Folks, when even the public school teachers don’t want their kids “educated” in the system they work for you know there is something wrong.
Mr. Elder noted that Obama ended up sending his kids to a private school. He brought up Obama’s comment about education being “the civil rights issue of our time. Yet his opposition to K-12 education vouchers guarantees that many of America’s kids will sit in the back of the bus.” And that’s just fine with Obama. If the kids all go to miserable public schools and never learn anything, then they don’t have enough knowledge to ask any questions about the direction the country is going in, they just accept the Marxist agenda because they’ve never been taught anything else.
Those who advocate for “reform” of the public school system don’t have a clue as to what it’s all about. If the system was bad from day one, what do you “reform” it back to??? That’s one no one has been able to yet answer for me. When I bring the question up someone usually replies by telling me how good it was when they went. They simply don’t get it. The only difference between when they went to school and now is that the degree of humanism and socialism back then was not as blatantly apparent then as it is now—but it was still there—and the fact that they so staunchly defend public education proves that it was there and they just didn’t recognize it.
If you can’t reform or improve something, especially if it has always been questionable then you have but one option—you separate from it and seek out a Christian alternative. If you are concerned about the future of your children and their children then this is what you need to do. Christian children do need a Christian education, not humanist indoctrination. In fact they need an education that will teach them how to identify humanist indoctrination when they hear it and how to oppose it.