Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Cross is Still a Scandal

In today's zero-tolerance-for-common-sense government schools, we have such Onion-like spectacles as a 2nd-grader sent home for drawing a crucifix. And he was not just sent home, but subjected to a psychological evaluation (which, by the way, was commonly done to Christians in the Soviet Union). And notice the passive, hand-wringing reaction of the brainwashed father! Once again, the world has officially gone mad.

And listen to a bizarre interview here. This edu-crat, while somewhat sympathetic, seems to have little idea of what a crucifix is, or that Christianity is not some bizarre cult embraced by a dozen people. Does she think we shrink heads and read chicken entrails? How myopic must your existence be to find a crucifix to be a strange curiosity?

Instead of making the little kid "prove" his innocence, essentially putting the child on trial, how about criminally charging the tax-feeding "teacher" for religious harassment, and firing her for sheer stupidity and lack of common sense? Nah. In the real world, she'll probably be running the place in a few years.

There are a few exceptions, but the quality of "public" education is plummeting and getting weirder by the year.

Unless your public school is a rare exception, you parents might want to seriously consider a private or parochial school, or else homeschool your children. I keep wondering when the American people will have had enough of this nonsense and start defending their children (and the faith!) from institutional know-nothings who make their living from tax dollars. I'm not surprised that the world is still offended at Jesus and scandalized by the cross, but why in heaven's name do people allow their children to be subjected to such things? Why won't people stand up for their own kids?

I'm honestly baffled.





19 comments:

Jonathan said...

I thank God for our Lutheran Schools. I cannot imagine sending kids to get a public school 'education.'

Chris Jones said...

Of course what happened to this little boy is outrageous (and I'm ashamed that it happened in my home state), but I can't agree with making this incident into an indictment of public education in general.

I am biased because my wife is a public-school teacher, serving children whom most private and parochial schools would be unprepared and unwilling to serve. I am also biased because we have had the experience in our own family of a parochial school which was unable (though not, in this case, unwilling) to meet the educational needs of an unusual child. (I am also biased a bit in the other direction because I am the product of a mixture of public and parochial education, and I had a very good experience in parochial school.)

The fact is that given the sort of society we have at the present time, it is undeniably part of the common good that every citizen should have a basic level of education. As such, it is not unfitting for the state to undertake to guarantee it for every citizen, and that is what the state, as a sovereign power, has chosen to do. To denounce public education in principle is tantamount to refusing the obedience to the civil power that is our duty as Christians.

Private and parochial education is not set up to provide that universality. Until it is, public education remains a good and necessary thing (even though it occasionally produces nonsense like what happened to that poor child in Taunton).

Ariel said...

I'd say if the world is going mad, then it'd be a short trip there.

fooser77 said...

Chris Jones said...

"To denounce public education in principle is tantamount to refusing the obedience to the civil power that is our duty as Christians."

Ummmmmmmm...... NO!

I'm afraid Mr. Jones has been a bit too brainwashed by the Prussians. Next time you read Romans 13, for the purposes of the United States, when reading 'governing authorities,' insert The Constitution. Then let it permeate your synapses.

We do NOT owe any allegiance to a bureaucracy, or ANY one govt entity or official. ALL govt officials, most importantly including the POTUS, take an oath to the Constitution. That is their governing authority, as it is ours.

Nowhere, does the Constitution make any provision for public/govt education. In fact, it makes no provision whatsoever for education in general -- period! Education, so far as the Constitution is concerned, is a 10th Amendment issue.

The dept. of Education, is blatantly unConstitutional, and is more in line with the Communist Manifesto.

Mr. Jones, I need to introduce you to John Taylor Gatto. You are so misinformed. If you are in fact, Lutheran, then pay special attention, to Gatto quoting Bonhoeffer...

After reading Gatto, then please refresh yourself concerning Luther's "Appeal to the Ruling Classes." (1520) Well, I'll help you out here...

"Though our children live in the midst of a Christian world,they faint and perish in misery because they lack the Gospel in which we should be training and exercising them all the time. I advise no one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount. Schools will become wide-open gates of hell if they do not diligently engrave the Holy Scriptures on young hearts. Every institution where men are not increasingly occupied with the word of God must become corrupt."

Now you tell me, if Dewey and Luther were on the same page? We have every duty to denounce this monstrosity, that completely defies our 'governing authority,' -- The Constitution of the United States...

Chris Jones said...

fooser77,

I quite agree with you that education is a 10th amendment item. If the Constitution were being followed, there would be no Department of Education and no Federal role in education whatsoever.

However, the several states are also sovereign and it is definitely within their purview to provide public education. You (or I) may not like it, but every state in the Union has sovereignly decided to provide public education. You are right that there is nothing in the Constitution authorizing the Federal government to be involved in education; but there is also nothing in the Constitution forbidding the states from doing so.

If I may be so bold, I should advise you to make your arguments in a more dispassionate way, without the insults ("misinformed," "brainwashed by the Prussians," and so forth). It would be more persuasive. As it is, I am unimpressed by your bluster.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Chris:

There is an old saying about the way to hell (the good intentions saying, not Chrysostom's saying about piests' skulls).

Public education is mandatory in Germany, where homeschooling has been illegal since the 1930s. A group of Baptists who were not interested in their children being taught pro-homosexual pro-evolution diabolical lies homeschooled their children and the state took their daughter from them.

Legal or not, this kind of thing is evil. The state is a necessary evil, but let's not start kowtowing to the state as a demigod - especially in this day and age. Don't think the state is the friend of the Church. Some local schools are wonderful, but the underlying premise is they can teach your children contrary to the Christian faith, and you have very little say in the matter. In fact, if they think you are abusing your children, they might even take your kids from you.

I don't think we are too far from the time when the teachers' unions will push to either outlaw homeschools or require teachers' certifications for parents. The unions already advocate such a criminal syndicate approach to the whole thing - even though when the Republic was founded, 1) there were no public schools, and 2) the literacy rate was higher.

In my state, if I were to send my son into the local public school, it would border on child abuse. In the NOLA area, more than half of all parents send their kids to private school because the public schools are less than worthless.

If the parochial school can't or won't teach certain children, maybe the parents ought to do it - especially grade school material. Some public school teachers act like you need all sorts of college education and specialized certifications to teach a child basic reading and math. What a scam!

Homeschooling for Christians would be better than having evolution jammed down their throats and having the children taught how to use condoms rather than how to use rhetoric. Heck, in most cases, just teaching half of the children how to read would be an improvement for the public schools.

I think the wisest thing would be to separate school and state. Education is too important to be left in the hands of government.

How long before people stop making excuses for this kind of thing?

Just my two cents...

Chris Jones said...

I think the wisest thing would be to separate school and state. Education is too important to be left in the hands of government.

I have no quarrel with this. I would be fine with a system which recognized that education is, in the first instance, the responsibility of the parents, and in which the role of the state was limited to helping the poor with the cost of educating their children.

But it has to be recognized that that is not the system that we have, nor is it likely that the situation will change. When St Paul speaks of "the powers that be," he means the governing authorities as they are, not as we should wish them to be, nor as we might think, in the abstract, would be just and right. The actual governing authorities at the time St Paul was writing were decidedly not friendly to our faith, but St Paul enjoins obedience to them all the same. What was true then is true now, that the only relationship to the governing authorities that is enjoined upon us by the Scriptures is a relationship of obedience. When we kick against those goads, that is the Enlightenment talking, not the Gospel.

I am certainly not saying that we have to like the public education system as it is, nor that we must submit our children to it (we still, by God's mercy, have enough of our liberty left to choose otherwise). But to speak of it as if it were fundamentally illegitimate is not, in my view, permitted to us. Our sovereign has decided otherwise.

Peter said...

I am grateful for public schools, and agree we need to be vigilant concerning the God-given right to homeschool. On the other hand, I know so very many good public schools, so many good public school teachers, and so many contented parents. In many places, public schools work because they really are a reflection of the good communities in which they are located. I'm sorry that New Orleans doesn't have such schools, but I know other places that do. (Again, I see nothing sacred about public schools, but see no reason to demonize them all either)

Peter said...

I am grateful for public schools, and agree we need to be vigilant concerning the God-given right to homeschool. On the other hand, I know so very many good public schools, so many good public school teachers, and so many contented parents. In many places, public schools work because they really are a reflection of the good communities in which they are located. I'm sorry that New Orleans doesn't have such schools, but I know other places that do. (Again, I see nothing sacred about public schools, but see no reason to demonize them all either)

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Chris:

The early Christians would not even serve in the Roman Army. St. Paul never told parents it would be a sin not to force them into schools that teach them that he (St. Paul) and the Word of God lie in Romans 1, nor schools that teach evolution (are there any "public" schools in the U.S. teaching creation?). Just a pinch of incense, yes?

How can anyone justify public schools when they compel children to "learn" such things as there is no God and we're all descended from amoebae?

I just don't think that's my duty as an American nor as a Christian. And I will not sing the praises of such an institution.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Peter:

I'm not grateful for educational institutions that compel Christian children to listen to their faith being maligned by ridiculous theories (superstitions) that deny God's existence. Of course, many parents literally have no choice - but what a shame when parents do have the choice but choose to spend money on bigger houses and swankier cars instead of paying tuition to educate their children in a private school, or have mom stay at home and provide the children with a Christian education.

And even in the "best" public schools - such as those in Massachusetts - Christian children are subjected to nonsense like in this account, or being forced to accept the fairy tale that two men can be each others' spouses.

And if Christian parents are "contented" with that, it's all the the more sad. It reflects an ever-lowering standard of how much encroachment on our faith we will put up with.

Again, sometimes there is no other choice. But sometimes there is.

If people want to put their kids in such schools, that's their choice. But of course, those who get double-whammied by paying tuition *and* taxes for the government schools don't have a choice about how their taxes are spent.

And again, I'm not maligning good teachers who happen to work in these schools. I'm expressing an opinion about a government-run education *system* that is not getting the job done. If it was working so well, we would not have the outrageous juxtaposition of a large number of high school graduates and a high number of functionally illiterate people. For crying out loud, American universities now have to have *remedial* classes because of the large number of failed public schools churning out uneducated graduates.

As president Bush asked: "Is our children learning?"

Jonathan said...

Our son attended second grade in a public school in when we lived in central California where we had no Lutheran or Christian school. He was doused with evolution. I fear it still affects his world view. Faced with it again, we would definitely home-school.

Peter said...

How funny. I meant my opening line to be, "I'm thankful for Lutheran Schools." My bad.
As for public schools, I agree with the injustice of the double whammy, and think they have generally gone downhill, and are too agenda driven. Parents who send their kids to public schools have a bigger job to do than I, especially when it comes to a question like evolution. The best public schools, I think, are the ones that represent their community and its values. My niece's school was academically excellent beyond anything I've seen. I know our own public high school, Carroll, is top notch, and that their kids are as well educated as any Athenian or Spartan ever was. On the other hand, most public school teachers in Chicago send their own kids to private schools. And, humorously, the politicians who support public schools the most would never send their own kids to one.
The fact that this horrible incident made the news means that it not the norm. Still, it is inexcusable, and, I agree, should put us on alert.

christl242 said...

Public education is mandatory in Germany, where homeschooling has been illegal since the 1930s. A group of Baptists who were not interested in their children being taught pro-homosexual pro-evolution diabolical lies homeschooled their children and the state took their daughter from them.

I heard of that incident a while back and was utterly shocked.

When my mom was growing up in Germany the public schools had religious instruction as part of the curriculum. If you were Lutheran, you received that Catechesis, if you were Catholic, the same.

I wonder, if this American boy had been writing portions of the Koran during class if he would have been similarly censured?

I, too, am a product of public school education and am grateful that in my day it was a very good one. But the NEA has far, far too much power now in shaping kids towards views that should properly be the purview of their parents.

Christine

Pastor Eckert said...

Pr. Beane,
What I have discovered in my own pastoral practice is that talking about and teaching about such things as: the biblical roles of men and women--and the value of wives as full-time mothers and homemakers-- and the choice of schools for our children-- is that people will receive it as accusatory for it contradicts the choices that they have made. It is very difficult for these folks to think about these issues in a detached, unemotional kind of way. What I have also discovered is that addressing these topics in pre-marital counseling is oftentimes too late. Financial decisions have been made that will drive the family structure for years to come. It is very sad indeed for almost always the couple is receptive to what the Bible has to say about the value of a traditional family structure but they simply feel they have no choice but to move forward with a dual-income, day-care, public school family structure. Now I address these topics beginning in confirmation and then into high school. The value and worth of traditional families is something that resonates with young people--since so few have them--they simply don't know how to bring them about and the decisions that must be made very early indeed to do so.
Pr. Eckert
St. Paul Lutheran-Kingsville, TX

Peter said...

Ok, there is truth to what you say Pastor, but what's the diference between a "public school family structure" and, say, a parochial school family structure? Or am I missing something? (Very possible, I'm sure)

Pastor Eckert said...

Peter,
What I meant is that, when it comes to education, a Christian parent's first responsibility is not to make sure that their child has acquired a certain amount of data at a certain age--which a public school can do and do well--but is to make sure that their child knows Jesus Christ who is the Wisdom of God. This, the public school cannot do. A lifestyle that facilitates this--either by choosing a parochial school--or by home schooling--by necessity (in nothing more than economic terms) means that the parents have thought and planned well in advance of the school years to make that sacrifice possible. It seems to me that we do (overall) a poor job of setting before young people the blessings and responsibilities and sacrifices that come with the vocation of marriage and family. Again, I intended no rebuke of anyone with my words but I have noticed a tendency, when I present these matters to my congregation, for people to become defensive. Even if we have made choices that are perhaps in hindsight not the best, I believe that we have a responsibility to set before our children the best that we know when it comes to marriage and family life and show them how to get there by God's grace and help.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Peter:

Yep, that changes thing a little bit. :-)

Sometimes the fingers have a mind of their own at the keyboard.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Jonathan:

If you haven't already, you might want to have a look at this book