We've all heard the horror stories—schools who allow New Age witches to teach workshops on Wicca and earth-worship, but won't let a local pastor or college professor present a one-hour lecture on Creationism. Or kids who bring weapons to school, and use them. Or the prevalence of drugs, profligate sex, theft, violence and profanity that fills the corridors of United States public schools.
It's natural, even right, for parents to want to get their kids out of such unwholesome and dangerous environments. But are physical danger and obvious anti-Christian indoctrination the main reasons Christian parents should take their children out of government-funded schools? Or are they just symptoms of a deeper, more insidious problem, a fundamental corruption in the schools' framework and operation?
Not that we want to espouse any crazy conspiracy theories. We don't think the Illuminati controls all world trade, or that the House of Rothschild and the Bilderberg Group are breeding the Antichrist in some world capitol. The truth is actually much less weird and much more terrifying. Put simply, the government controls the schools, and since the government is composed primarily of godless men and women, the control they exert on public schools is primarily godless.
Of course, plenty of this godless influence is of the in-your-face variety. Homosexuality, premarital sex, Evolutionism and atheism (to name a fraction) are all shamelessly promoted. But it's what's beneath all these that is the real bad guy—rebellion against God. And it's the fact that this attitude informs the structure, curriculum and instruction found in public schools that makes them no place to be.
The alternative isn't necessarily home education. The point is that Christian kids need Christian education, not the destructive humanistic teaching they get in government schools. If Christ is forcibly removed from any institution, that institution will soon become the antithesis of Christianity—godliness will turn to unrighteousness, and goodness will be replaced by wickedness.
In America (as in China, Russia, England, etc.), it isn't just that prayer and Bible reading have been removed. The void left by such practices had to be filled, and since the Gospel of Christ was deemed inappropriate by secularists, their only recourse was to put atheistic humanism and paganism in its place. Having infiltrated at all levels, it's nearly impossible for kids, even kids from the sincerest, most stalwart Christian homes, to be untainted by the influence of these people and ideas when they're confronted with them every day, unsupervised by parents for hours on end.
The people in charge are pretty much unsupervised as well. Parents are at home or work while their kids are getting filled with pernicious nonsense all day—why are Christians surprised that kids are abandoning the faith and leaving the church? Attending the occasional PTO meeting won't do the trick, either. Knowledge does not equal control.
Neither does money. Americans like to throw dollars at problems they can't fix any other way, and a lot of parents have fallen for the government "charter school" and vouchers tricks. The problem isn't that kids are in classrooms, it's that the government still controls what you can and can't teach your kids; by accepting taxpayer money, charter school parents implicitly accept the government's right to control the curriculum. Charter schools may be a nice idea, but they certainly aren't the answer to public school education. (If the government doesn't take your money in the first place—tax credits—we're totally cool with that.)
It's important to remember that the poor quality of education provided in government schools isn't the main reason to avoid them—the godless atmosphere is. At the same time, by catering to the lowest common denominator and teaching kids not to think, public school educators and administrators are much more able to control their behavior and ideas. Christian kids must be able to think clearly and well in order to guard themselves against constant attacks on their faith.
Young people are simply not equipped to do this. Some folks try to say their kids are missionaries in the public schools, but no one is prepared to spend huge amounts of time with their peers exerting a positive influence in the face of ridicule and opposition, especially children, whose mental powers have not yet fully developed. Besides, even the most disciplined can succumb to peer pressure.
That's especially true when the pressure comes not only from their peers, but from their teachers. The examples mentioned at the beginning (Wiccans welcomed into the classroom, the teaching of atheism, etc.) are simply more extreme manifestations of the kind of anti-Christian philosophy that lies at the heart of the school system. Endorsed by teachers, they become even more compelling and acceptable to impressionable young people.
Our children are given to us by God to raise to love and serve Him, and to protect from the evil that fills the world. This doesn't mean hiding them in holes, but it does mean keeping them out of the line of fire before they're ready to understand what to do there. Because public schools are vertices of godlessness and sin, we are convicted that this means not sending our kids there, and not supporting a system increasingly at odds with everything we support and hold dear.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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