Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Creepy Spend a few moments perusing this website, dedicated to the proposition that Christian parents have an obligation to remove their kids from Godless, government-run schools. Thier feature item is a lengthy resolution enumerating their grievances with the public schools. Here are a few of the whereases:

Whereas, teaching our children everything that Jesus commanded involves their learning to think biblically about all the spheres of human thought, activity, and life (Dt. 6:4-9) so that they take every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).

Whereas, our thinking is not to be conformed to this world's way of thinking, but our minds are to be renewed and sanctified by the truth of God's Word (Rom. 12:2; Jn. 17:17).

Whereas, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Pr. 1:7) and in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col. 2:3), any instruction that does not begin with the fear of the Lord, teaching the centrality of Jesus Christ for understanding all of life cannot properly be said to impart wisdom or knowledge to children.

Whereas, Jesus said, “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters” (Lk. 11:23), the government school system that claims to be “neutral” with regard to Christ is actually anti-Christian, so that children taught in the government schools are receiving an anti-Christian education.

Whereas, the Bible says, children are like arrows in the hand of a warrior (Ps. 127:3-5), we must understand that children are weapons (arrows) to be aimed for the greatest impact in the kingdom of God. Just as it would be foolish for the warrior to give his arrows to his enemies, it is foolish for Christians to give their children to be trained in schools run by the enemies of God.

Whereas, the millions of children in government schools spend 7 hours a day, 180 days a year being taught that God is irrelevant to every area of life.

The resolution contains many other provisions along the same lines.

Take every thought into captivity to the obedience to Christ? Children are weapons to be aimed? Creepy.

When I read this sort of extreme rhetoric I am reminded of just how fragile fundamentalist faith really is. The things they believe are in such defiance of all facts, logic and common sense, that merely being exposed to differing viewpoints at too young an age is enough to damage their faith forever. The burden of being a fundamentalist parent must be almost too much to bear. When I was a child, if I told my parents I thought they were wrong about whatever they would just shrug and laugh it off, maybe correcting my grammar along the way. But if the child of a fundamentalist decides his parents are wrong, those parents live with the knowledge that their ineptitude has led to the eternal damnation of their child's soul. Parenting is hard enough without further burdening yourself with such responsibility.


At 5:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't want to sound uncompassionate, but if fundamentalists are that unhappy with the public schools, then they should pull their kids out. At least they won't be burdening the rest of us with their right wing idealogy, and creationism. It would also reduce the overcrowding and therefore class sizes. Perhaps the public schools could actually get back to the purpose they were created for - educating the nation's young.

At 6:28 AM, Blogger John Wendt said...

The resolution sounds a lot like the Islamic fundamentalists.

As to relieving overcrowding: Funding for public schools in my state (Indiana) is based on the number of students in a school. If lots of students leave, income goes down, without much decrease in costs. Separation, particularly noisy separation, also increases the polarization in the U.S.

At 7:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I know. In my state (Texas) school funding is based on attendance, also. But there comes a time that, when one's belief's are constantly insulted, a relationship with an institution shoud be dissolved.

Fundies claim that this is case, hence they should pull their kids and unburden the rest of us. Also, by their very statements, they have already polarized the situation.

In the words of Timothy Leary: "Turn on, tune in, and drop out."

At 3:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of what you reference is indeed creepy, taken out of context. That context is a thorough love for Jesus Christ and a soul-level comprehension of what He has done for us (all of us, believer or not). I have often echoed your sentiment in how followers of Christ choose to dialogue with nonbelievers. Vivid imagery, communicated through arcane phrases such as "washed in the Lamb's blood", while beautiful to a believer who accepts and appreciates Christ's atoning self-sacrifice, are off-putting to someone not similarly accepting or appreciative. Followers of Christ need to remember that the first lesson of communication is to know one's audience. The internet is a worldwide public entity and as such, it gives a website a potential audience of everyone with a compatible browser.

To your points about the actual proposition that Christians remove their children from public schools, I am of mixed opinion on the matter. I would have to handle it, as I try to do in most situations, on a case-by-case basis. A follower of Christ should first ask himself if he is doing everything he can to educate his children, independent of formal education, in a manner that communicates to them God's Truth. Schooling does not end with the end of the school day. Children are voracious learners and will pick up both what you intend to teach them and what you do not. So, my question to a Christian parent is further: "are you living a life consistent with what you wish your children to learn?" If this is the case, more or less, and your children are not thriving in a manner consistent with an understanding of the Truth, then by all means, you owe it to them to formally educate them in a more beneficial environment.

Followers of Christ are called to be the salt and light of the earth (that is, be an example of Christ's teachings to others). Taking Christian children out of the public schools, en masse, would seem to contradict Christ's intentions.

At 10:36 PM, Blogger Jason said...

Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I'm afraid I don't see any charitable interpretation of the clauses I singled out as creepy.

When I lived in Kansas I had the opportunity to attend a home-schoolers convention. All of the invited speakers were young-Earth creationists, and all of the science curriculum materials on sale promoted the young-Earth viewpoint. I had the chance to speak with quite a few of the parents who attended and the fearfulness I described was on clear display. Whenever I asked people why they decided to home-school, for example, they always spoke in terms of protecting their child from the World.

I'm always happy to get off a good rant against fundamentalists, but mostly they make me sad and frustrated. I spent a lot of time reading their books and listening to their radio stations while I was in Kansas, and I found that the arguments they made in defense of their views, whether about science or about more liberal forms of Christianity were simply awful. And yet millions of people find them convincing. I don't understand it.

When I decided I wanted to learn about evolution and creationism, I spent many, many hours reading every creationist book and website I could find. I don't think any of the parents I met at the home-schoolers conference had done the same from the other side.

At 10:25 AM, Blogger JimVijay said...

Home schoolers are missing the point from the pov of their own scriptures. They are to "go forth into the world", not "hide their light under a bushel". They are to believe in an omnipotent god (well, except for iron chariots ;), who will protect them, as he does the sparrow. Etc. So why the fear of a few science teachers?

At 12:20 AM, Anonymous zenegra said...

penis enlargement pill
buy viagra
Buy Viagra




mp3 players
buy mp3 players
cheap mp3 players
wholesale mp3 players
portable mp3 players


purchase viagra
buy Cialis
buy Cialis


Post a Comment

<< Home