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The Big Picture

'Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates? Morons.' -- Vizzini from "The Princess Bride"

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Christianity and Educating Children

In Sunday's LVR-J, there was an article about Christians and home schooling. As usual, it was nowhere to be found on their pathetic website. So I dug up a copy of it at USA Today.

The money quote [Emphasis mine]:

Though the movement's rhetoric strikes public school supporters as extreme, some of its leaders are influential. They include R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, who last year said the denomination needed an "exit strategy" from public schools, and the Rev. D. James Kennedy, pastor of 10,000-member Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale and host of a nationally broadcast religious program.

"The infusion of an atheistic, amoral, evolutionary, socialistic, one-world, anti-American system of education in our public schools has indeed become such that if it had been done by an enemy, it would be considered an act of war," Kennedy said in a recent commentary.

Before I begin, first, I'd like to say a few words about home schooling. I do believe that parents have the right to teach their children what they want, and to homeschool them. But that that presents some serious problems for the children, problems which border on abuse. First it limits contact with other children especially children of different race, creed, and philosophical upbringing. (I will touch on this again.)

Second, it has the distinct and dangerous possibility of not preparing those children for their lives. An example of this would be mathematics. How many parents (as much as I hate to admit it -- everyone should be proficient in math) are capable of teaching their children algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, differential equations? These are things that children are properly taught in public schools because they have teachers who understand the topic. How is a parent who cannot integrate something as simple x^3 + 5x^2 - 6x - 1 or explain the concept of limits, to teach their children these things? If they are not able, then that child would possibly go off to college in hopes to be an engineer or scientist without even the remedial knowledge neccessary, to accomplish their goal. This puts the child at a disadvantage and leads to frustration.

Of course, the point of homeschooling is not to educate, but to indoctrinate into conservative Christianity. Indoctrination that includes denying science such as physics and evolution; protection from opposing viewpoints such as liberal Christianity, and heaven forbid, sex education. (This is not even to mention atheism -- a worldview that is not mentioned or spoken of at all in public schools for fear of a lashing out by Christians.)

I would like to go on record here as saying that public schools are not perfect, nor is homeschooling perfectly imperfect. But with homeschooling, what is lost is hard to regain later in life -- but not impossible.

So, let us now look at that quote from D. James Kennedy, "The infusion of an atheistic, amoral, evolutionary, socialistic, one-world, anti-American system of education in our public schools has indeed become such that if it had been done by an enemy, it would be considered an act of war," Is there even one single word of truth in that sentence? Even "amoral" is not entirely truthful. It is true that schools leave it up to the parents to teach morality, they do teach some morals; hasn't Kennedy ever heard of anti-cheating policies, respect for fellow students, respect for educators, honesty, gender respect, and responsible sexuality practices (condoms are not a moral, they are responsibility). But atheistic, evolutionary, socialistic, one-world, and anti-American are not things taught in schools.

However, I am not certain what Kennedy meant by evolutionary. The schools certainly should (and for the most part do) teach the science of evolution, but in the context he uses it, it seems to mean changing, as in the nature of educating children changes over time. In that case, it is certainly a lie of the worst kind -- for example, children weren't always taught how to use computers, or the use of computers in educating, so there is some very beneficial use in evolutionary teaching. As for the other non-sensical use of evolutionary in that quote -- that being the teaching of the science of evolution; it is the duty of schools to teach reality, especially the reality of science. Simply that he refuses to accept science does not mean that children who want to become doctors or biologists, or simply learn how things work, should be denied that.

Kennedy really goes off the deep end in terms of socialistic, one-world, and anti-American. He clearly has lost all touch of reality in that regard. Schools teach economics, American history, civics. And all those deal with our current systems of government and economics. The one-world thing is crazy-conspiracy-theory material. How could schools possibility teach that, when the world we all know, can't even handle one government in one country, yet these yahoos like Kennedy think that magically all these disparate ideologies would ever come together and agree on one lone world government. That is real pie-in-the-sky-wishing, and wholly unrealistic at this point in history. Christians want (in the desirous sense) it to be taught and pursued because that fits in with their theology. In other words, they wish so badly that there was a one world government, that they imagine that is what is actually being taught and pursued. They want it to hasten on their end of times prophesies. That is just how insane this statement of Kennedy is, it reveals his inner desires for all to see. He wants it to be true so his worldview will make sense and become real (which it certainly is not now.)

Let us now look at that final part of Kennedy's statement, "it would be considered an act of war." Funny that, living by, and upholding the U.S. Constitution, and the liberty to which it adheres, is considered an act of war. So, if differing views than those of Kennedy's are considered an act of war, what will be the first shot? I imagine Kennedy will take out all those evil and blasphemous Catholic schools in this country, since they are now declaring war on America.. No, that would mean Christians are not in total agreement with Kennedy. Maybe just the public schools then. (Then the Catholic schools.) My point is simple. Kennedy calls differing (and opposing) views to his own an "act of war." This imagery comes so easily to men like him, because they have spent their entire lives singing songs about blood and war, and killing, that they don't see that "war" means killing. His "war," as defined by him, is one not unlike another uniquely American war. One where ideologies clashed to the point where it was no longer rhetoric, but actual and real bloodshed. By labeling this an "act" of war, he is taking this beyond rhetoric, into the reality that was the American civil war. Only this time it will not be limited by state borders, or militias organized by seceeding states, rather one of church versus church, and church versus state. Rhetoric has a funny way of becoming real. (Recall, for instance, Timothy McVeigh, the Christian terrorist who bombed the Oklahoma City Federal Building, or Christian Eric Rudolf, the Olympic and abortion clinic bomber.)

[taking it back down a notch]

Now getting back to a theme I touched on, indoctrination of children in an isolated forum to prevent them from being corrupted by opposing ideologies. As Kennedy demonstrated, the only way for his worldview to come to fruition, is to make it so via deception and delusion via imagery of blood and murder -- that is projection of their desires onto other worldviews, those things one wants to see happen. The only place a one-world government is being taught is to these homeschooled children via deep Christian indoctrination. (Certainly being taught the history of the United Nations, and the hope of peace is not teaching a one-world government.) The only way this will succeed is to insulate those children from the realities of the world. If they're never taught evolution, and that the world is only 6,000 years old from the day they are born, unto they day they are "released" onto the world at age 18. Even then, they are likely to go to a Christian College (if any college at all). For if they go to a public university, or a secular private university, they face the possibility of learning the reality of the world. Especially if they are one who seeks truth through science.

Home-schooled children do run the extreme risk of not being exposed to other (quite possibly better) ideologies. If they never learn anything other than Christianity, then they can never understand why others reject it. If they are never given the tools of skepticism, then they cannot even evaluate their own views adequately.

Without understanding others, and other cultures/races/genders/sexualities, then now peaceful coexistence can occur. In light of the Christian (overuse of) war and blood imagery, crimes against humanity become mere stepping stones to heaven. Without knowing the other side's views, understanding becomes nonexistant. And most importantly, "knowing" does not equate to "accepting." But is does most certainly equate to peace. Nowhere on the fundamentalist Christian side, do you see "peace" show up in their writings. They try to claim Jesus is a god of peace, but then immediately sink into war, killing, and blood. Sometimes, peace means peace.

And sometimes war is the wrong route to peace.


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