In Defense of Christian Home-Schooling
I. Parents are the Chief Educators of Children
Parents are not only the chief protectors and disciplinarians, but they are also the God-ordained chief educators of their children. After giving His law to Israel, God commands them: “These words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9) Obedience to God’s law is not the only order, but teaching it to your children and assuring their obedience as well.
Children should be thoroughly taught the Holy Bible by their parents. Every childish curiosity, every question, every “Why?”, every opportunity to reprove misbehavior or praise good behavior is an opportunity to talk about God and His law. The Bible says in Galatians that God’s commandments are a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. Teaching the commandments to your children is critical to cooperating with the Holy Spirit to bring them to faith in Christ’s atonement for their sins. The stories, the parables, the commandments should fill their minds from dawn to dusk. “From a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation.” (2 Timothy 3:15)
Education involves not only what you teach your child, but what you keep them from learning as well. If I am trying to teach my child addition at home and he is learning that 1 + 1 = 3 at another place, then I am accomplishing nothing. If I am trying to teach my child to act like Jesus at home and he is learning not to act like Jesus elsewhere, then I am a failure. Parents are responsible to keep evil influences away from their children. Everything your child hears and sees plays a role in the development of their character, and as long as they live under your roof, you are ultimately responsible for their training and education. The parents’ law (Proverbs 4:1-4) is to be a shelter from the evil influences of the world.
II. Parents Should Protect Children From Evil Influences
Ephesians 5:24 says, “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Also, I Thessalonians 5:22: “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” Jeremiah 10:2: “Learn not the way of the heathen.”
Would you, as a parent, let your child “hang out” with foul-mouthed Marilyn Manson? Would you let your child “fellowship” with two Hollywood stars while they writhe in sexual passion under a sheet? Would you let your little boy watch a woman seductively strip down to nothing to entice his mind to lust? Would you let your child go out with friends who you know are partiers, drug-abusers, fornicators, God-haters? Would you let atheists educate your children on the perils of Biblical Christianity and the emancipation of mankind through humanism in the new world order? Of course you wouldn’t! Well, why do we let our children “fellowship” with them through the television or movie screen, through educational institutions, or through the pages of magazines and books? Why do we let such evildoers teach our children?
We are responsible to protect our children from the titillating seductions of sinful society and the silver screen, and from the confusion and temptations brought to the mind by education within an atheistic framework. We will give an account to God for where our children go and what they do with our permission. The High Priest Eli lost his position of leadership, God’s blessing, and his sons’ lives because of the sins he tolerated in his two sons (I Samuel 2). It would not be unlike God to punish the parents because of the sins they tolerate in their children. Don’t be apathetic at the friends your children choose, the television programs they watch, the music to which they listen, the parties they attend, the friends they keep, the education they acquire, or the movies they pay to see. You lay down the law and enforce it. You must take charge because you are in charge – that’s how God sees it!
If your children are past the age of moral accountability, they will also stand before God and give an account for their sin, but you must be a good steward of what God has given you. If your child ends up taking of the forbidden fruit and winds up in hell, let it not be with your assistance or at the urging of the professional educators you commission to teach your children. Be vigilant, because your adversary the devil roams about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour, and he salivates for the bodies and souls of your children. Public education is one of his most powerful weapons against our nation’s youth. Parents are obligated to protect their children from evil influences, and public education is an evil influence.
III. Public Schools Are the Temples of the New State-Sanctioned Religion
I would be incompetent to speak of the parents’ role to educate their children and not speak of the evils of the government school system. Many parents who send their children to public schools are truly ignorant of what their children are being taught. Let that not be your excuse anymore.
Government schools have become more and more captive to the leftist agenda of the socialists, homosexuals, feminists, earth-worshipers, and atheistic God-haters. My wife graduated magna cum laude with an elementary education degree from Florida State University, and she reports that public schools have become pulpits of liberal dogma.
It was not always this way. Before 1962, prayers were prayed and the Bible regularly read in public schools. Congress approved the first publishing of Bibles in the U.S. in 1782, “a neat edition of the Holy Scriptures for the use of schools.” McGuffey’s Reader, the mainstay of public education from 1836 to 1920, primarily consisted of prayers to God, Scriptural references, and religious instruction to abstain from sin.
The Supreme Court stated in 1892: “Our laws and our institutions (this would include government schools) must necessarily be based upon the teachings of the Redeemer of Mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent, our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian.”
One of our first educational bureaucrats, Noah Webster, said, “Education is useless without God and the Bible.” This sentiment is almost universal in the first generation of public schools in the United States.
It is frequently repeated that teaching religion in schools violates the constitutional wall of separation between church and state. When Thomas Jefferson penned those infamous words “separation of church and state”, he did so in a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in response to their concern that the Federal government would condone a particular denomination as the English government had done with the Anglican church. Jefferson assured them that the government would not hinder the free practice of their religion. The same time that Jefferson wrote those words, however, he was superintendent of the school district of Columbia, and can you guess what the only required textbook was for all classes? The Holy Bible! Thomas Jefferson said, “Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” In his endorsement of a separation of church and state, he never intended to imply that the church or religious people should not be involved in state, but that the state would not hinder the free practice of religion. We’re supposed to be a nation “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” and as long as a portion of the nation is religious, to that extent our nation’s government will be religious.
In spite of this Christian heritage and historical precedent for Christianity’s influence in government institutions, the Federal government has banned the Holy Bible from the public school libraries and from the curriculum, and teaches a pagan, humanistic religion to our nation’s children with taxpayer dollars. That’s right! The government schools are not areligious: rather, they want to force their pagan, pluralistic religion down the throats of the nation’s children! When Christian influences were purged from the public school system, it became atheistic by default. The priests of the government schools have a statement of faith – beliefs about the nature of man, moral obligation, and reality. They even have their sacred texts, starting with the Humanist Manifesto. And the priests of the new religion are just as dogmatic about their religion – atheistic humanism - as any version of theism. Although tolerance to alternative lifestyles is one of their primary virtues, they are extremely intolerant of Biblical Christianity.
The transformation of public education into a tool of anti-Christ religious propaganda came about in part through the anti-Christian sentiment of judicial activists on the Supreme Court. In 1962, the Supreme Court banned the saying of this non-denominational prayer in public school: “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our country.” In 1963, the Supreme Court banned Bible teachings in public schools. In 1980, the Supreme Court ordered the public schools to remove the Ten Commandments from public view. Children and teachers have been expelled for carrying their Bibles to school or for wearing Christian emblems or shirts. The courts have even come against student-led prayer. Students who have the courage to live their Christianity in the public schools through witnessing, prayer, Christian T-shirts, or through verbal opposition to the official dogma are bound to face the wrath of the state.
According to the new dogma, man is not a special creature created in the image of God, but with the advent of Darwin’s theory of evolution, mankind is nothing more than a beast who was the product of a random collision of molecules – a purposeless, cosmic accident. God did not create the earth in six days - this is just a far-fetched myth like Santa Claus and the tooth fairy. The health of the earth, the sanctity of the ecosystem, the threatened extinction of the rodents and insects are of greater importance than the welfare of man. Earth Day is a celebration that takes on a highly spiritual significance, while Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter are displaced from their proper, historical, Christian context. In such an atheistic environment, it is easy to understand why so many students lack an overreaching sense of purpose to life. If Darwin’s theory of the survival of the fittest defines true success, then morality is only practical if it promotes self-interest. Selfishness is the standard.
According to the official statement of faith in the government schools, our nation is not a Christian nation, but a melting pot that accepts all and condemns none. Our nation’s Christian heritage is omitted or desecrated in public school classes on American history. Those Christian influences that are admitted are occasions for shame and scorn. Our American forefathers are not presented as the great religious men whose commitment to the Biblical principles of morality and liberty contributed ultimately to the abolition of slavery and whose character was a model for children for many generations. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams are not spoken of as the men who founded the greatest nation on the planet with liberties unsurpassed throughout world history, but they are presented as racist, bigoted slave-owners who were immoral and degenerate.
According to the government-sanctioned dogma propagated in public schools, morality is subjective and relative, dependent upon one’s circumstances and feelings, culture and upbringing, and not at all objective. What’s right for you might not be right for me, and what’s wrong for you might be okay for me. Relative morality holds that we are free to decide our own standard of morality and we are free to change it at will. The only absolute truth is that there is no absolute truth. Self-esteem and personal satisfaction is the aim of the government education system, not the accumulation of truth and wisdom and the development of character. There is a wholesale rejection of the Biblical ideology that is engraved in our founding documents: the idea the laws of nature and nature’s God were objective and external to self, that an All-Mighty God will hold us accountable to His immutable laws on a future Day of Judgment, and that truth is a dependable, objective reality to which we should conform our intellect and our character. When these foundations have been destroyed, what remains is an intellectual and moral free-for-all. “When the foundations have been destroyed, what can the righteous do?” the psalmist asked. Get out of the building! Build anew from the proper foundations!
IV. The Devastating Intellectual Effects of a Godless Education on Our Children
We should not be surprised at the moral decline of public school students under the tutelage of the priests of the state-sanctioned dogma. The godless code of morality almost guarantees it! Teen suicide rates are up 450% among 15-19 year olds since 1962 (National Center for Health Statistics). Illegal drug abuse among youth has increased 6000% since 1962 (National Institute on Drug Abuse). The criminal arrests of teenagers is up 150% among 14-17 year olds since 1962 (U.S. Dept. Bureau of the Census). We are reaping what we have sown.
This godless philosophy manifests as a version of what has become known as “outcome-based education” (OBE). It is a corrupt socialistic ideology that minimizes the potential of our nations’ youth. Under OBE directives, failing children are given passing grades. The U.S. spends more money on education than any other nation on this planet, and we rank dead last or next to last in the list of industrialized nations for math and science. Teaching reading by way of teaching phonics, the basic building blocks of the language, is out of vogue. “Whole language theory” has taken root in pedagogy, with children often not even being corrected for misspelled words. Classes that were graded A through F in the past are now being taught as Pass/Fail courses. Maximizing self-esteem has taken priority over maximizing character and intellectual achievement.
A study came out recently by the Higher Education Research Institute of UCLA that showed that more and more American students in government schools are acing school, even as they study and learn less and less. Only 33% of this year’s incoming college freshmen spent at least six hours per week studying as high school seniors. That’s the lowest percentage since researchers began posing the question in 1987. Still, 45% of students report graduating with an “A” average, up from last year. The reason? Grade inflation. Alexander Astin, who founded the survey in 1966, said, “Each year we think it can’t inflate any more, and then it does again. The C-grade is almost a thing of the past.”
Anyone who has looked at Bill Clinton’s legislation for public education called “Goals 2000” knows the deep inroads that leftist ideology has made into public education. Unfortunately, the Republican alternative is just as egregious. President Bush has put more money in the government-school monopoly than even his Democratic counterparts, his campaign lip-service to vouchers notwithstanding. He has increased funding to the National Educators Association, which is nothing but a taxpayer-subsidized teacher labor union.
George W. Bush and Ted Kennedy teamed up in the enactment of the ominous education legislation, “No Child Left Behind Act.” This legislation does exactly what it asserts it will not do – leaves children behind! This legislation is similar to what George Bush did when he was Governor of Texas; he mandated that all Texas students take the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills Test. They last took the test in April of 2003. An incredible 89% of students passed on their first try! Local newspapers compared Texas’ educational system an awe-inspiring success. But few newspapers mentioned that the passing score is only 55%! As a matter of fact, since the school districts are graded by the same standards as the students, if 55% of the students in the district score 55%, the school district is deemed successful! That is how the ranking of “recognized” or “exemplary” schools in the school ratings system jumped from 9% to 61% in eight years. Not because students are performing better, but because the skill level that earned a D eight years ago now gets an A! For schools to be acceptable under Bush’s “No Child Left Behind Act”, no more than 45% of students and 45% of schools can be left behind!
V. The Devastating Moral Effects of a Godless Education on Our Nation’s Youth
According to the state-sanctioned religious propaganda, homosexuality is an acceptable alternative lifestyle and only hateful homophobes would ever contradict this sacred notion. In some states, most notably in Massachusetts and California, the homosexual lobby in the public schools is very aggressive. The family has been redefined to normalize perversion. The libraries are stocked with books such as “Heather Has Two Mommies” by Leslea Newman and “Daddy’s Roommate” by Michael Willhoite, and elementary-aged children are daily having their parents’ family values undermined by the propaganda on the school’s preferred reading lists. Many high schools have “Gay-Straight Alliance Clubs”, which provide cooperation with gay advocacy groups. “Homophobia” is blamed for the negative consequences of homosexuality, such as the extremely high suicide rates of homosexuals. Opposition to this sacred tenet is labeled hate, bigotry, and prejudice.
Abortion is presented in public schools as a viable, legal alternative to an unintended pregnancy. Public school health clinics can refer kids to abortion clinics or prescribe abortifacents such as the “morning-after pill” without parental consent. With President Bush granting Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion organization in the world, more taxpayers’ money than any other Administration in history, you and I are paying for these abortions.
Public schools are also the primary peddlers of the government-sanctioned “safe sex” dogma to children. The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS) is the driving force behind condom distribution programs to our nation’s youth in the public schools and elsewhere. They operate many teen health clinics that dispense birth control and discuss abortion alternatives. They actively promote teen homosexuality and endorse exploring one’s sexual orientation.
According to SIECUS’ “safe sex” curriculum, children ages 5-8 years are to be taught about masturbation. Children ages 9-12 should be taught that there are different ways to share sexual pleasure with each other. Children ages 12-15 should be taught where to buy contraceptives. Children 16-18 can be instructed to use erotic photos, movies, or literature to enhance sexual fantasies. SIECUS’ sex ed guidelines focus on sexual roles and “rights”, encourage giving and receiving pleasure, and describe oral sex, mutual masturbation, and “outercourse” as “low risk” behaviors and alternatives to intercourse. Their curriculum encourages youth to be sexually literate and comfortable and seeks to dissolve guilty feelings for sexual pleasures. “Mature teen sex” as is described as “responsible sex”, and of course, they make no reference to marriage.
Here is an excerpt from a sex education curricula from the Centers of Disease Control, labeled “Programs that Work”. Again, this is the taxpayer-subsidized government agency, the CDC, and they are teaching this junk to public school students often without parental knowledge or consent.
“Activity C: Once you and your partner agree to use condoms, do something positive and fun. Go to the store together. Buy lots of different brands and colors. Plan a special day when you can experiment. Just talking about how you’ll use all of those condoms can be a turn-on.” (From “Reducing the Risk: Building Skills to Reduce Pregnancy, STDs & HIV”)
In another section entitled, Class Activity, Session 3: Participants are divided into teams, given condoms, a penile model, lubricant, spermicide and paper towels. The script suggests the teacher say, “One at a time, I want each of you to practice the condom application and removal steps (demonstrated by the teacher earlier)... Your teammates… are going to act like personal trainers. First they are going to give you a round of applause and praise what you did right. Then they’re going to offer some constructive criticism and make suggestions about what you could do differently to improve your condom skills.” (From “Becoming a Responsible Teen: An HIV Risk Reduction Program for Adolescents”)
The Federal government has spent three billion dollars to promote contraception and “safe sex” since 1970, and these efforts have arguably done more to encourage illicit behavior and aggravate the devastating consequences than prevent them. There is, what I like to call, a “Condom Cover-Up” in the propaganda. Condom failure rate is 10-15% according to an article in 1988 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Other studies have revealed failure rates of 15%, 14%, 5-15%, and 31% (respectively, Dr. Dean Edell, NBC, 1992; Esquire magazine, 1990; Consumer Reports, 1989; and Univ. of Texas researcher Dr. Susan Weller, 1993). And this condom failure rate is for pregnancy: a woman can only get pregnant a few days out of a month, and only condom failures during those days will result in a pregnancy. But one can acquire AIDS any day, and the size of an HIV particle is thousands of times smaller than a sperm.
“Four of the nation’s most popular condom brands permitted the AIDS virus to escape in laboratory tests conducted at UCLA…” (LA Times, Sept.12, 1989) Condoms have been peddled with the notion that they prevent teen pregnancy and HIV, but with these rates, condoms are a complete and utter failure to do this. Furthermore, condoms offer no protection from the human papilloma virus, which causes 95% of all cervical cancer and kills more women annually than the AIDS virus!
As would be expected, since the commencement of the government’s “safe sex” campaign, the rate of unwed teenage pregnancies has risen astronomically. Unwed pregnancy increased 87% among 15-19 year olds and abortions among teens rose 67% since the government embarked on its “safe sex” campaign in public schools in 1970. The US Department of Commerce documents a 500% increase in births to unmarried girls aged 15-19 since 1962. There are presently one million unwed teenage pregnancies annually, with 1/3 of those ending in abortion. Sexually transmitted diseases are epidemic among our nation’s youth, with adolscents and young women aged 15-24 comprising 72% of all reported cases of the sexually-transmitted disease chlamydia, which is a common cause of infertility. According to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, it is estimated that 20 percent of all Americans over the age of 11 are infected with genital herpes. Fifteen percent of Americans have the cervical-cancer-causing human papilloma virus, with the highest population being young adults 18-28. Every year, three million teens get a sexually-transmitted disease.
The state-sanctioned dogma as propagated in the public school system manifests in ways that undoubtedly would upset many parents if they were aware of what was being taught to their children. It is for this reason that parents are purposely kept in the dark about the politicizing and brainwashing of their children. However, ignorance is no excuse.
VI. The Remedy for Our Nation’s Youth Crisis
What is the remedy for this crisis in the education of our nation’s youth? First and foremost, parents must repent. If you have not been raising your children up in the fear and admonition of the Lord, if you have been skirting your responsibilities to teach God’s truth to your children, if you have intentionally relinquished this divine obligation to atheists and humanists, if you have been apathetic to the world’s sinful influences on your children, you need to repent.
Parents should get their children out of the buildings with rotting, crumbling foundations, and return to home for a sound, Biblical education. Thanks to the failing public school system, more and more parents are teaching their children at home. There are fantastic curricula available for home-schooling parents. Many churches and communities have vibrant, active home-school groups who come together for lectures and activities to maximize their educational benefit.
If homeschooling is not an option, at the very least, parents should consider private Christian education.
If both parents work outside the home and this is the reason that children are being sent to government schools, perhaps there needs to be a reconsideration of priorities. God’s plan for the family is that the man is the head of the home and the primary “bread-winner”, and the woman is the keeper at home. I realize there may be circumstances in which God would require that the woman work outside the home, but if we are to take the Bible as our standard for family order, these are the exceptions, not the rule. If both parents work out of the home in order to increase your quality of life, and your children are exposed to the pagan philosophy of government schools and are not being educated and trained sufficiently in the ways of God, then it’s time to downsize. Sell one of the cars – if the woman stays home to teach the children and fulfill her God-given role of keeper at home (very hard to do when you have a secular job out of the home), then only one car is necessary anyway. Move to a smaller house, if need be. You must do whatever it takes to bring your family into the center of God’s will. Don’t squander the eternal souls of your children for the temporary crumbs of this world. Your children are your only possessions from this world that you can take to heaven with you.
As long as the philosophy behind public education is humanistic, atheistic, and anti-Christ, Christians should strongly consider boycotting public schools. Neither should citizens be coerced through Federal taxation to pay for an educational system that is corrupt, wasteful, and contrary to their religious beliefs. This is absolutely unconscionable. Parents should be financially responsible for the education of their own children, and should not be forced by the Federal government to pay for the pagan education of other people’s children. Vouchers and educational tax credits are insufficient band-aids on a gangrenous wound.