Monthly Archives: November 2017

Christians and K-12 education: A Comment on the Post of November 6, 2017 by Werner (Guest Writer)

The following was a comment made by one of this blog’s readers. It is so long and thoughtful I felt it deserved more attention than it might get just showing up as a comment. Both Werner and I welcome your responses.

A comment that I made on it [post of November 6, 2017 on this blog], got me to thinking that it would be really desirable for Christians to reflect seriously, and to engage in serious conversation with each other, about our role in K-12 education in our world, how we cam impact it, and how it impacts us and our children and grandchildren. I’m sure that many Christians are already thinking seriously about this, and that conversation about it takes place between believers now; but I’d like to add this thread as another venue (where all Christian viewpoints are welcome) where that conversation can take place.

Below, I’ve copied and pasted the comment I mentioned above, just to start the discussion. When time permits, I’d like to add some more thoughts to build on these; but since it’s already a long comment, I’ll stop with this for now. (My apologies to non-U.S. group members for the U.S.-centered focus of what follows; the original blog post was written in a U.S. context!)

The 9th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution specifies that the people “retain” the rights, recognized in common law, which are not enumerated elsewhere in the Constitution itself. This would include the right to procreate, and to direct the upbringing of one’s own children. This provides a sufficient Constitutional safeguard (to the extent that a written Constitution, which is not self-enforcing, can provide any safeguard) for protection of legitimate parental rights vis a vis both the state and Federal governments.

The problem doesn’t arise from any lack of Constitutional protection for parental rights. Rather, it arises from the creation (with the support of both establishment parties) of a legal culture which rejects the idea that written laws, including the Constitution, actually have any fixed lexical meaning that’s binding on either courts or other public officials. In this view, the Constitution and laws currently “mean” whatever judges and officials, with their august wisdom and virtue, determine that they properly “should” mean for the current situation. This legal culture is enabled to exercise jack-booted dominance over the judicial system and over law school education because the vast majority of the populace accepts it. And they accept it because their government school “education” left them both totally clueless about what the Constitution says and convinced that they could never possibly understand it and that it doesn’t matter anyway.

IMO, as long as this state of affairs prevails (and no, I don’t think we should supinely accept it as permanent!), a push for a constitutional amendment to protect parental rights more explicitly would be an unnecessary distraction. It’s important to realize that the process of amending the written Constitution is deliberately designed to require a broad social consensus that it’s a good idea. The Bill of Rights could be passed in the first place because, at that time, there was such a consensus that human beings do have inherent rights, and that these are important. No such consensus exists today. If they weren’t already in place, not one of the first ten amendments could be passed today.

What, then, should be the strategy of Christian and other parents who want to see their children brought up in a wholesome fashion? To the extent that we can contribute to public discourse and influence public policy, I think our long-term strategy should be to educate our fellow citizens in what the Constitution says and the beliefs about human rights that underlie it, and why these matter; and to promote the election and appointment of judges and other public officials who are committed in principle to the rule of written law and the protection of its safeguards.

In the immediate situation, though, I personally feel very strongly that the short-term strategy that would serve us best would be for every Christian parent who can afford to do so to enroll their kids in a Christian school, and for all of the rest to homeschool their kids. I’m painfully aware of the cost of this (my wife and I wound up homeschooling our three girls, starting back in the 90s). I’m also aware of the fundamental unfairness of having to do this while we’re at the same taxed to support the education of other kids in a de facto state religion of atheistic humanism that we don’t share. But that particular “establishment of religion” isn’t going to be dethroned without a long, hard fight, which won’t be won in time to make any difference for the kids who are of school age now; and God never gave us any promise that we could expect the heathen world to treat us fairly or decently. If it’s a fight that’s to be won at all, in time to make a difference in later generations, the education of the present rising generation in a context where they can actually be taught, among other things, about the U.S. Constitution and the tradition of democracy and human rights might contribute significantly to that victory.

Promiscuity or Promised?

 

The name Harvey Weinstein has become as familiar as Winnie the Pooh, but be assured the similarity stops there! He is called a sex addict and predator. He is not alone. We have also heard allegations of what is being called “inappropriate behavior” brought against Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman, Roy Moore, and a long list of others. People are asking “why?” Why is this happening?

If you really want an answer, make it easy on yourself. Go to Chapter Four of my book Who’s Got Dibs on Your Kids? I report there how our kids are introduced to all kinds of sexual immorality as early as preschool. While some sex education classes require abstinence be taught, it is often no more than, “We know the only way to absolutely prevent pregnancy is abstinence; we also know you are going to do it anyway, so here’s how.” Middle school not only teaches a variety of approaches to having sex, but often gives graphic how-to lessons, along with how to safely engage in high-risk sex.

I recommend you take the time right now to jump to the article “Franklin Graham Warns Parents Public Schools are Part of ‘Agenda to Pervert Minds of Children.’” I think you’ll be amazed if you aren’t already aware of how pervasive this kind of sex education material is.

In the article “Sex Ed Pervasive on Campus, K-12” by Bill Korach, he states:

There has been an explosion of graphic sex education classes in colleges and K-12 across America. The classes at all levels of education are both graphic and explicit. And they generally tend to promote sexual experimentation. Pubic school is where official “grooming” of children – preparing them to accept molestation when it happens – is becoming business as usual.

The term “promiscuity” has become old-fashioned—your kids most probably will not hear it in school. If you use thesaurus.com you will find only three synonyms: lewdness, looseness, and indiscrimination. Rather innocuous-sounding descriptions of that behavior. Of course, if you dig deeper by clicking on lewdness, you will find carnality, depravity, dirtiness, erotism, evilness, grossness, impurity, lustfulness, obscenity, smut, vulgarity, wickedness, unchasitity, and so on. You get the picture. Those words put promiscuity into a different frame to hang on your kids’ wall of most-unwanted character traits. Fortunately, many of the young women enticed by the sexual predators of cinema, music, art, and other professions recognize the trap and do an immediate about-face. Some are more naïve, and their lives may be changed forever. Some consent because the enticement of advancement of their careers takes precedence over any other consideration. And, as I am sure you have learned, the sexual predators do not limit themselves to females. Young boys and men are also part of the prey. God addresses this challenge in 1 John 2:15-16:

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.”

So how do you protect your daughter or son from falling into the trap of what God lumps into one commandment: Adultery? What is classed as “sexual impurity” falls into that category: Lust of the flesh and lust of the eyes, whether sexual acts, viewing porn, or dressing seductively are adultery. Advancing your career through adultery because of a hunger to be successful—pride of life—comes to the forefront in the commandments about coveting.

Start with making certain that your kids don’t think adultery refers only to married people. It includes every sexual impurity known, no matter what your age or marital status. But as long as marriage has entered the conversation, teach your kids that from birth their lives have been promised to the man or woman they will at some time in the future meet and marry. They should learn how very precious the union between them and their mate-to-be is. To be able to give oneself to husband or wife at marriage untouched, virtuous, and chaste, fulfills the life-long mindfulness of the idea of “promised.”

If this post sounds too “preachy,” remember the question asked in the first paragraph: Why? Before your kids fall into the trap society and culture set out for them, tell them why this is all happening and then give them good, solid, doable ways to turn their back on it. If your kids go to public school start there with their sex education classes. Make sure there are advance notices of what will be taught, fight for an opt-in form, but if you can’t get that insist on receiving an opt-out form. Let me know what kind of sex education is presented to your kids in your schools.

 

Parental Rights: Do You Have Any?

ParentalRights.org is organizing a campaign to clarify this parental rights matter. They are trying to get an Amendment to the U. S. Constitution that will define parental rights. Here is a ParentalRights.org video you may find interesting. As it stands now, you may not have the right to make decisions for your child in many instances.

Let’s take a look at some defining court cases.

Did you know that your rights as a parent end when your kids go through the schoolhouse door? In the Fields v. Palmdale School District (PSD) lawsuit the United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, in November 2005, decided that issue as regards sex education:

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” . . . 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. (Emphasis added.)

That court also stated parents’ “fundamental right to control the education of their children is, at the least, substantially diminished.” (Please read Chapter Ten in Who’s Got Dibs on Your Kids? for more information on parental rights.)

Created by the Intellectual Freedom Committee 2005-2007, Association for Library Service to Children, a Division of the American Library Association

And in Troxel v. Granville (2000) the Supreme Court tossed a parental rights issue to individual judges and states to apply their own rules to parental rights. I find it astonishing that Justice Antonin Scalia determined that parents have no constitutionally protected rights whatsoever. Only Justice Thomas clearly stated that parental rights receive the same high legal standard of protection as other fundamental rights. However, even that statement is ambiguous because I can find no clear statement (although there may be such a statement that I haven’t found) of exactly what your “fundamental rights” as parents are.

The claim is made that “Laws in a majority of states limit or entirely deny to parents any ‘right’ to be present on school grounds where their child is in attendance.” Check out the status of parental rights laws in your state.

God’s commandments include one to children: “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12 NIV). But Scripture also gives parents instructions: “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

The Bible is full of blessings and admonitions regarding the responsibilities of both children and parents: “My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart” (Proverbs 3:1). “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?” (Luke 11: 11-12). Is what is being taught in many public schools the equivalent of giving your child a snake or a scorpion?

Ask yourself if parents’ rights (and obligations as Christian parents) have been given over to the government, or taken from them by the government. If that has happened, is an amendment to our Constitution the best way to correct that?

I’ll be interested in hearing from you whether you think establishing parental rights by means of a Constitutional Amendment is a good idea.