by ProfDave, ©2021
(Nov. 10, 2021) — Children matter. Last week’s voting reveals a groundswell of parental objection to the cultural revolution. Who do children belong to? The public schools? They are the future of their families, their communities, their nation and their species. Amongst all competing worldviews, the family, the community, the nation will be theirs. Will they build their world on their heritage or squander all they have received? Whoever possesses the developing minds of young children will rule the future, as Lenin would say. This isn’t just about the three R’s, but ideas, definitions and values – worldview foundations that parents are supposed to teach but have become too busy to pay attention – until Covid-19.
We have become aware that progressive education departments and teachers’ unions may not be working from the same worldview as many parents. The character that they are trying to form, what is right and wrong, and the life they are trying to socialize the child to live in may be entirely different. The title of Stonestreet’s article, “Kids Are Given to Parents, Not the State” (Breakpoint, 11/5/21) says it all. From the Christian worldview, children are given – not owned – but full responsibility to God belongs to the parents who bore or adopted them and are raising them.
Particularly useful is Stonestreet’s explanation of the history of this issue. Back in the day there was a modicum of cultural unity between school and community. The school was a neighborhood institution. Standards, morality, assumptions, and broad Judeo-Christian perspectives were shared between parents and teachers. What happens when they are not? Angry school board meetings, to begin with. In a day of multiple diverse worldviews, the preservation of America depends on finding a way to live together in peace and freedom without taking advantage of each other’s impressionable children.
Although we expect faith-based organizations with “family” in their name to care about children, the popular culture of our day has bigger fish to fry – specifically wealth, pleasure and power. Focused on our own pleasures and careers, children can be secondary or encumbrances. We have birth-control and abortion for that. Or daycare. But for parents, intentional or not, who actually care about their children, the shaping of their minds and hearts matters. And for any of us who actually care about America – children matter.
Although the line may be thin between indoctrination and education in some subjects, no parent wants their child ridiculed or attacked for their skin, their gender, their heritage or their faith. No Democrat wants their kid coming home Republican and no Jew wants their child coming home Muslim. There is also a fine line between comprehensive sex education and explicit obscenity. Most parents are not much pleased when little Susy comes home as little Ben. Teachers are entitled to their own persuasions but hands off the kids. What happens in the teacher’s bedroom is their business, but what is said and shown in the classroom is the parent’s business.
The underlying issue is worldview. Due to Columbus and the adventurers and refugees that have followed him, the world and America have become thoroughly globalized. Our republic began under the umbrella of Judeo-Christian assumptions and our constitution was based on Judeo-Christian morality. Ends did not justify means and might did not make right – at least in theory. We had a civil religion, vaguely Christian, vaguely Deist, and committed to tolerating minority views and cults. That is no longer the case. We must live, either in peace or in war, with people of multiple worldviews. What is called “tolerance” has turned to cancellation. If we are to live together in a free society – we must find a way to get along without oppressing or cancelling those of different worldviews – particularly their children.
Teachers and school officials protest that curriculum and standards are set by the state and federal government. So much the worse. Are teachers being forced to teach contrary to their consciences? Are these things imposed by unelected bureaucracies? So much the worse. One family organization has been warning, “The public schools are on fire, get your children out.” But for many low- and middle-income working people, alternatives are not feasible. Parents are tax-paying citizens. They are already paying for public education. Many private schools do the job for half the price, but why pay twice? How about school choice and vouchers? If not, public schools need to serve all worldview parents with objective, neutral education.
The Leninist tactic of indoctrinating children (either left or right) in federalized public schools is simply wrong, unfair and unamerican. It should not and cannot be done without totalitarian force. A house divided against itself cannot stand – and one united by cancellation cannot be free.