Monday, November 28, 2005 

Should We Pull Christians Out of Public Schools?

I have been busy lately, but comments made on my last post have given me cause to think a great deal about Christians in politics and Christians in the public schools. My friend Theresa wrote an interesting comment on the last post and I wanted to repost it here as a springboard to discussion on the topic of educating our Christian children in public school systems. And of course, I can never skip over a chance to quote Martin Luther, as she has done. Here it is:

Hey. This is interesting to me. Maybe instead of fighting battles that will not be won, Christians should pull out of the public school system all together. Will it not be our responsibility as Believing parents to provide our children with a Christ-centered education? Can we expect a non-believing government to do that? Should we expect that? Check out "Excused Absence: Should Christian Kids Leave Public Schools?" by Douglas Wilson. I know he is over the top sometimes but this is great.Anyway, I think that pulling out would benefit our children far more than insisting on being out of school for Christmas and Easter. Remember pals, Non-believers cannot act like Christians for Christ is not in them. Let's not be unfair and expect them to. I will end with a quote from the great reformer Martin Luther."I advise no one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not increasingly occupied with the Word of God must become corrupt...I am much afraid that schools will prove to be the gates of hell unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraining them in the hearts of youth."What do you think?
Yes, indeed -- What DO you think? Do you agree or disagree with Theresa's assessment of the future of the public schools and her solution (taking our kids out of them in favor of Christian education)? Additionally, what do you think about what Luther said and do you think it still makes sense for today? By the way, if you are going to comment, please do us the courtesy of defending your statements logically and Biblically. It makes for a better discussion that way.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 

More Public Schools' Craziness

It appears that the Tampa school district has jumped into the middle of the liberal ridiculousness that is being perpetuated in our public schools today. They have decided to cancel all overtly religious holidays from the school calendar because they think that in some alternate universe than the one founded in reality that not doing so constitutes an advocation of certain religious views (i.e., any religious belief whatsoever). So from now on only secular holidays will do.

Today, I saw John Gibson on FoxNews discussing his new book, The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought. He noted that while many secularists claim that the Christmas Holiday is really a winter holiday, they know they are lying to themselves. His point was that holidays in the schools exist because they know no one will show up if they are not there. As a current employee of a non-traditional school, I can say that this is the absolute truth. We just gave the entire school a three day break for the Islamic holiday, Ramandan. Was this because we were trying to promote Islam? Certainly not! It was simply because we were told by the Muslim students (who represent the majority) that they would not be coming, regardless of whether the school was open. The administrators hands were tied. So the holiday was given to all.

This just goes to show that once again, there is evidence that our school systems are now proving grounds for advanced liberal agendas. When will the madness stop?!!

Sunday, November 06, 2005 

Girls Who Get It

I am glad to see that there are still some girls out there in the up and coming generation who get it. I know of many who don't. And these girls don't just get it for themselves, they are calling others to get it as well. And in doing so they are taking on one of the biggest purveyors of scandelous clothing for the "way-too-young" -- Abercrombie & Fitch. A&F has thrived on its controversial image and, in the article about the girls mentioned above who are proposing a "girlcott" on all things A&F, a couple of marketing gurus claim that in the end A&F will benefit from all the free advertising, just as they did when they put naked men and women in a 2003 catalog.

While boycotts rarely work and I don't often support them, especially an open-ended one like this appears to be, I appreciate these girls for trying to get a message out regarding an organization that preys on girls who think very little about the implications of wearing shirts with slogans like "Who Needs Brains When You Have These?" Society will continue to crumble into a mess of sexual inebriation unless men AND women stand up against organizations that build a culture of sexual delusion. Here are a few resources that you might want to read regarding A&F, girls, and the sexual culture:

The Allegheny County Girls as Grantmakers Girlcott Site
Kevin McCullough on A&F
Concerned Women For America on A&F
Boundless Webzine on A&F
Dr. R. Albert Mohler on A&F
No Kid Thongs! Petition Against A&F
American Decency Association Boycott Campaign

Friday, November 04, 2005 

Parental Rights and the Public Schools

Let me preface my post here by saying that I am a product of public school education. With the exception of my first two years of schooling, I attended public schools for all of my formidable years. I don't have a problem with the educational quality of public schools, per se, but I do have a problem with the increasingly liberal agenda of many public school educators. I think that we have come to a place in this country where many local governments feel that it is their duty to usurp the authority of parents in regard to their children. "After all," they think, "we are much better at teaching their children than their parents are." And what came down yesterday from the 9th District Court of Appeals, I believe, is a landmark decision which will continue to push public educators further down this path. Thanks to Justin Taylor at the Between Two Worlds Blog for posting this snippet from the majority opinion:

...there is no fundamental right of parents to be the exclusive provider of information regarding sexual matters to their children, either independent of their right to direct the upbringing and education of their children or encompassed by it. We also hold that parents have no due process or privacy right to override the determinations of public schools as to the information to which their children will be exposed while enrolled as students. Finally, we hold that the defendants' actions were rationally related to a legitimate state purpose....In summary, we hold that there is no free-standing fundamental right of parents "to control the upbringing of their children by introducing them to matters of and relating to sex in accordance with their personal and religious values and beliefs" and that the asserted right is not encompassed by any other fundamental right. In doing so, we do not quarrel with the parents' right to inform and advise their children about the subject of sex as they see fit. We conclude only that the parents are possessed of no constitutional right to prevent the public schools from providing information on that subject to their students in any forum or manner they select.
Additionally, I found these paragraphs disturbing:
Although the parents are legitimately concerned with the subject of sexuality, there is no constitutional reason to distinguish that concern from any of the countless moral, religious, or philosophical objections that parents might have to other decisions of the School District -- whether those objections regard information concerning guns, violence, the military, gay marriage, racial equality, slavery, the dissection of animals, or the teaching of scientifically-validated theories of the origins of life. Schools cannot be expected to accommodate the personal, moral or religious concerns of every parent. Such an obligation would not only contravene the educational mission of the public schools, but also would be impossible to satisfy.

As the First Circuit made clear in Brown, once parents make the choice as to which school their children will attend, 15074 FIELDS v.PALMDALE SCHOOL DIST. their fundamental right to control the education of their children is, at the least, substantially diminished. The constitution does not vest parents with the authority to interfere with a public school's decision as to how it will provide information to its students or what information it will provide, in its classrooms or otherwise.
The main problem that I see here is that the 9th Circuit Court decided to not only rule against the parents in this situation, but to take the opportunity to set forth a precedent that states that parents have absolutely no right to be the exclusive provider of education regarding any subject that the state feels should be included in their curriculum (notice the subjects open to public educational curriculum in the above paragraph include "guns", "gay marriage" and evolution). This clears the way for the state to include any type of educational training in their curriculum without informing the parents of their intent. How did I arrive at that conclusion? Remember that this case was about the withholding of information to parents regarding questions of a sexual nature that would be asked to their children participating in a study aimed at "establish[ing] a community baseline measure of children's exposure to early trauma (for example, violence)." The problem the parents had was that while they were consented on the goals of the study, they were not given the details regarding what types of questions would be asked, several of which were of a sexual nature. So, what we have here is a court ruling that paves the way for school districts to teach whatever they desire to our children, without consulting parents or even giving them a heads-up in regards to the curriculum. Could this mean that even religiously informed views like those regarding same sex relationships could be usurped by the school systems? Where are the advocates of religious freedom on this one? Shouldn't Americans United For Separation of Church and State be up in arms? Is it still any surprise that Christians who are serious about giving their children an open-minded education no longer want to send them to public schools? And to think, the most controversial topic we discussed in high school was evolution, which our parents knew full well we were being taught. There is no telling to what a precedent like this could be applied.

About me

Paul was not interested merely in the ethical principles of religion or of ethics. On the contrary, he was interested in the redeeming work of Christ and its effect upon us. His primary interest was in Christian doctrine, and Christian doctrine not merely in its presuppositions but at its centre. -- J. Greshem Machen.

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