When one declares oneself to be a conservative, one is not, unfortunately, thereupon visited by tongues of fire that leave one omniscient. The acceptance of a series of premises is just the beginning. After that, we need constantly to inform ourselves, to analyze and to think through our premises and their ramifications. We need to ponder, in the light of the evidence, the strengths and the weaknesses, the consistencies and the inconsistencies, the glory and the frailty of our position, week in and week out. Otherwise, we will not hold our own in a world where informed dedication, not just dedication, is necessary for survival and growth.

William F. Buckley Jr., Feb 8, 1956, NR

Saturday, January 3, 2009

"The Call to Dunkirk" Launches Mass Exodus From Public Schools

Christians called to mass exodus from public schools and it's about time!
Critics of America's public school system have launched a new effort highlighting the need for Christians to exit the system.

The initiative -- dubbed The Call to Dunkirk (video posted below) -- was launched by Dr. Bruce Shortt, author of The Harsh Truth About Public Schools; Rev. Voddie Baucham, author of Family Driven Faith: Doing What It Takes to Raise Sons and Daughters Who Walk with God; and the founder and director of the Exodus Mandate Project, retired U.S. Army Chaplain Lt. Col. E. Ray Moore.
*snip*
For more on this story go here.

I've often said if I had children who were young enough to be in K through 12 grades, I would do everything in my power to keep them out of the public school system. The video I've posted below does a good job of explaining why. I know several people who have chosen to homeschool, and I congratulate them on having made that choice. I will pray for this effort by The Call to Dunkirk initiative to be a great success!

The Call to Dunkirk


Cross posted at Dragon Lady's Den

49 comments:

Dan Trabue said...

Do you think that withdrawing from the World is the best way to live out our Christian faith?

What becomes of the children left behind?

"Just as they were trapped by the Nazis, so our children are trapped by public schools."

Rather an ugly statement.

I certainly have problems with public schools (too conservative for my tastes), and I am sympathetic to the notion of withdrawing from it at times, - and I wouldn't condemn the individual families for choosing homeschooling - I think the problems of withdrawing are larger than the problems of remaining and I find this sort of effort distasteful. Especially with the implications that the school system is akin to Nazi Germany.

For the record, my eldest child is about to graduate from the public schools and he has had a wonderful education. My youngest is in middle school and is thriving even more than my son.

Our children's education is what we make of it - whether they are educated in public schools or in homes. Or so says this public school product and parent.

And for what it's worth - the finest educators that I have known (and I've known many public, private and homeschooled, having been a teacher very briefly) have been public school teachers.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Dan Trabue: "Just as they were trapped by the Nazis, so our children are trapped by public schools." Rather an ugly statement.

I couldn't agree more!!! It seems conservatives are the first to argue in defense of the Constitution and the principles of the Founding Fathers, yet conveniently ignore the anti-establishment clause on matters of religion. How contradictory and hypocritical.

Gayle, if you don’t want to send your offspring to public school, that is your business; but to imply that those of us whose support of public education is akin to National Socialism, your attitude is disrespectful of other religious denominations and persons of conscience who hold different views.

Do you mean to imply that Jewish Americans, whose ancestors were killed in the Holocaust, are now consorting with Nazis just because they send their kids to public school? Your post is not just ugly, it is OFFENSIVE!!

I used to think Christianity meant, “Love thy neighbor” and “dignity and respect” for others.

Suppose I called you the “Anti-Christ” for equating supporters of public education with Nazis? There is nothing Christian nor democratic about this post.

What you espouse is intolerance in the extreme. More than offended, I am appalled to the point of outrage!!!

Robert said...

I typically try to refrain from commenting until readers have had some time, but I think I have to march to the front on this one.

Dan, I didn't find it so much as an ugly statement, but I think I would have found a better analogy. It makes the point of seperation, yet from a larger perspective it isn't as accurate as others. Perhaps equating it with Gettysburg? Pickett's charge that was poorly executed because of tactical errors in placement of artillery? The Tet Offensive, which was a defenseive action which resulted in an enormous American victory, yet no no noticed because of the perspective of the media? Neither of those are very good either. I will come up with one.

Octo, you and I will nto agree on this issue, so I simply counter it with my view. First, the suggestion that the First Amendment bars religion from public schools is absurd and I think it sad that people consider this worthy of debate. The framers had no problems with simply stating that troops quartered in private homes was forbidden, but the left suggests that they "meant" that religion was to be only a private matter? This intenet is supposed to have come from delegates to the Constitutional Convention where many were required to be a member of a church to be a delegate?

I did not find this offensive at all. I do not even understand why the federal governemtn has a role in education. This is a function that should be reserved for the states.

Public education, as a general rule, has deteriorated to the point of spending an entire year teaching to pass a single test. I knew more about history, geography, science, and humanities by the 5th grade than my children who are in high school have been taught. It takes a great deal of time to fill in the gaps of the public system. There are good public systems, and I selected where to buy a home based largely on the fact that the system and services of my county are the top sustem in the state. There is tight local involvement, and because we are a red state and red county, our system is mostly rid of the liberal infestation of Al Gore movies and absurd anti-religious views.

The video is correct. Children are indoctrinated in a public school system that is liberal and biased. I find it admirable that people are willing to stand up, make sacrifices, and place the needs of their children above political correctness.

Christianity does not meet dignity and respect. There is no dignity in being stripped naked, flogged, and crucified before the eyes of an entire city. What it means is teh accept the love of God, live a life as closely to his commandments as we can withing the reality that man is frail and weak, and to spread the love of God and the sacrifice of Christ to others. Nowhere does it say that we are to humble ourselves before other religions, nor to place them on a level field with Christianity.

Had my say, please continue.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Robert: Nowhere does it say that we are to humble ourselves before other religions, nor to place them on a level field with Christianity.

Nowhere does it say that thou shalt piss on people either.

Where I grew up, I witnessed firsthand a controversy unfold that left my community devastated and divided.

In the 1950s, the Jewish kids of my community during Christmas time where moved to the back of the classroom and given paper and crayons to busy themselves ... forgotten and ignored. Meanwhile, the teacher engaged the Christian kids in Christmas festivities.

Yes, it made the Jewish kids feel separate and inferior, although their parents paid good tax money to support a school that discriminated against their children.

In my family, there are Catholics, Methodists, Jews, Mormons, and Presbyterians ... who love and respect each each other. But if you think religion confers a license to discriminate and disenfranchise anyone who does not conveniently fit your credo, then I'll have no more commerce here.

Robert said...

Octo, no need for such anger. I don't think anyone was speaking of "disenfranchisement" but merely the fact that there is such a liberal agenda and anti-religious attitude in the school system, that Christians feel as they are needing to take action to guarantee the proper education of their children.

Excuse me for saying so, but the level of hyperbole regarding Nazism is a bit much. The comparison of Dunkirk and the use of brainwashing is merely analogy, not suggestion for racism.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

No, Robert, the inferences are all too painfully clear, and there is no rationalization for what is tantamount to "closet discrimination."

What you call a "liberal agenda and anti-religious attitude in the school system" is frankly getting old. It is the same crap I heard in the community of my childhood where dogmatic, self-righteous, so-called "Christians" heaped anti-Semitic scorn upon the Jewish families who were merely trying to protect their children from outrageous discrimination in the public school system. I've been there, seen that. No thank you!!!!!!

I am a contributor to the Interfaith Alliance headed by Reverend Gaddy. You people disparage him as one of those "liberals" because you are so fond of name-calling. But Reverend Gaddy believes in the separation of church and state as written in the Constitution and confirmed by the Founders (contrary to your lame re-interpretation of historical documents). Why does a theologian take this position?

Because one denomination that attempts to write its credo into Law and dictate public morality threatens all denominations, a point you don't seem to understand. If fundamentalists attempt to reverse the anti-establishment clause (and yes, there are those who want to do this and have so stated their positions in public), there will be blood in the streets.

This is not a threat; this is a promise. And you're damn right I am angry!!!!

Robert said...

Those who wish to change the Constitution on this issue draw my ire as well. I have no desire for any denomination to be arbiters of public morality laws nor do I care for a government to establish a state religion.

Your assertion that the desire for Christians to properly educate their children is tantamount to racism and anti-semitism is absurd. And the denial that there is aliberal bias in the education system is simply ignoring the facts.

I defy you to give me one document from the hands of the framers that suggests that government acknowledgement of God is against the Constitution.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Robert: Your assertion that the desire for Christians to properly educate their children is tantamount to racism and anti-semitism [sic] is absurd. And the denial that there is aliberal [sic] bias in the education system is simply ignoring the facts.

Almost two years ago, you wrote a blog post about Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church who targeted military funerals to advance his brand of anti-homosexual theology. In your post, you expressed outrage at the emotion distress inflicted upon families during a time of mourning. In your view, Phelps was an example of extremism run amuck, and you applauded efforts to insulate bereaving families from his hurtful demonstrations. I shared your viewpoint and your outrage.

In later posts, you condemned any and all efforts to curb religious expression in public places. In your view, all other forms of religious expression were perfectly acceptable, even obligatory, but not those of Mr. Phelps. How contradictory and hypocritical! Please note: I am not making excuses for Mr. Phelps. I am merely pointing out that Mr. Phelps has no business advancing his brand of anti-homosexual, anti-Semitic, anti-Swedish, anti-Irish, anti-flag idolatry, and anti-freedom-of-speech theology at military funerals, or any other place supported by taxpayer money.

Phelps represents an extreme example. But no less extreme than Jewish children being shunted aside during a Christian holiday in a public school. No less extreme than a Protestant child being forced to sit through Catechism, or a Catholic child forced to sit through Hebrew school, or the child of atheist parents forced to sit through a religious invocation. Yes, that’s right, atheists pay taxes that support public education and have rights too, although you may not think so.

If you are Catholic and want a religious education for your children, there are weekly Catechism classes at a nearby church or a full-time parochial school available in most communities. It is not the job of a public school to provide a Catholic education. Similarly, it is not the job of a public school to provide Hebrew lessons for Jewish kids. Religion has no place in public schools, and if you think I espouse a liberal conspiracy, you are dead wrong. No child deserves discrimination within a public school, and there are religious denominations that DO DISCRIMINATE, although you may not think so.

Don’t tell me that religious freedom is under siege in America. Religious education is freely available in churches, mosques, and synagogues wherever they are located, or at home if that your preference.

With respect to the writings of the Founders on the subject of religious establishment, you can google those citations for yourself. More at issue is not the citations but what you choose to read, believe, or deny despite the cited references. Do this on your time, not mine. Not my job.
- - - - - -
Homosexuals and Jews dominated Nazi Germany... just as they now dominate this doomed U.S.A... The Jews now wander the earth despised, smitten with moral and spiritual blindness by a divine judicial stroke... And God has smitten Jews with a certain unique madness, whereby they are an astonishment of heart, a proverb, and a byword (the butt of jokes and ridicule) among all peoples whither the Lord has driven and scattered them... Jews, thus perverted, out of all proportion to their numbers energize the militant sodomite agenda... The American Jews are the real Nazis (misusers and abusers of governmental power) who hate God and the rule of law.
- - - - - - - -
Reading shit like this is one of many reasons why I don’t want religion in public schools. Using "liberal" and "nazi" in the same blog post offends me even more, and if you can't understand why, then I don't need to come back here.

Dan Trabue said...

...the fact that there is such a liberal agenda and anti-religious attitude in the school system, that Christians feel as they are needing to take action to guarantee the proper education of their children.

I'd suggest that this is mostly a matter of perspective. From where I sit, I am concerned about our schools because of how conservative (in negative ways) they are. My children are in public schools. I grew up in public schools. There is simply not an anti-Christian bias in schools (at least not in Kentucky and I rather doubt much anywhere else).

Yes, absolutely, we could find instances of slightly unfriendly attitudes towards Christianity in schools. JUST LIKE we can find instances of slightly unfriendly attitudes towards our Jewish, atheist, muslim or other brothers and sisters in public schools. Schools are peopled with, well, people, and sometimes, people simply aren't perfect. I find no harm in that. It's the human condition.

But there is no evidence of a systematic "liberal agenda" or bias. If you have such evidence, feel free to post it. But I'm there first hand and it simply isn't there.

What you and I can cite are instances of individuals with an agenda (pro-Christian, anti-Christian, etc, etc) because people are people and that happens. But that's not the same as systemic bias.

And I want my children in public schools - despite my concerns about it being too conservative - because part of the education my children need to receive is in dealing with all sorts of people in all sorts of settings. School is good for that.

In addition, as I have noted already, if Christians remove ourselves from schools, then what remains? Where is the Christian witness in that?

Dan Trabue said...

I will say this to Octopus, who said:

Religion has no place in public schools...

I agree that I don't want religious indoctrination in schools (one reason I don't want teacher led prayers in schools), but people are religious oftentimes. I don't want schools to be uncomfortable places for those from faith traditions.

If a Jewish, Muslim or Mennonite child wears a head covering to school, they should not be teased about it. Students - and teachers - should be able to offer opinions based on their religious upbringing, it's a free country, after all.

I don't want religious indoctrination, but I feel uncomfortable suggesting religion has "no place" in schools. As long as schools have people in them - including religious people - there will be traces of religion in schools. I would suggest that it should be respected, even taught ABOUT (historically and evenhandedly) just not taught.

Always On Watch said...

Parents, particularly conservative ones, need to look very carefully at what their children are being taught in public school classrooms. Not only should the curricula be scrutinzed but also what's included in class discussion and on handouts. Much of what is being taught is kept from parents. Indeed, classroom sets of texts and handouts are often off-limits to parents; this obfuscastion has been going on since at least the 1970s.

Students spend more time in school and involved in school activities more than they spend with their parents. Consider the effects of that time on young minds!

By court ruling, religion is no longer allowed in the public school classroom -- mustn't force those views on those with different views. Yet, parents expect their children to stand up against or somehow be immune to leftist indoctrination? If we don't expect students to reject religious teaching in the classroom and therefore removed them, how can we expect them to stand up against leftism, which is, in many respects, a religion or much like a religion?

In my 35+ years as a teacher, I've come to realize that no method of education is perfect -- not public education, not private education, and not homeschool education. But which of those most closely supports the ethos being taught at home by parents?

I've worked in all three of the above venues for education. I have to say that, overall, homeschooled students have a better grasp of academics and of a character of integrity. And certainly homeschool education allows for the most political incorrectness so as to counter the inevitable pc and other leftist teachings later on -- in society and at the university level.

BTW, homeschooling in most states is not wide open in that some supervision by the state superintendent of education is involved: standardized testing, curriculum submitted for approval, etc. Also, most universitites have some kind of screening tests, be they SAT's or other measurement tool.

Dan Trabue said...

By court ruling, religion is no longer allowed in the public school classroom -- mustn't force those views on those with different views. Yet, parents expect their children to stand up against or somehow be immune to leftist indoctrination?

By court ruling, religion can't be pushed in public schools. Students can still pray (who could stop you), students can still write about their summer missionary trip in English, they can still write an essay explaining what Ramadan or Christmas means to them (if the topic were open-ended), etc, etc.

Religion of any sort can't be pushed and shouldn't be unduly criticized and that is as it should be. As a Christian, I don't want Mr. Falwell - the Christian science teacher - telling my children why they're going to hell or explaining why God wants us to think the world was created in six days.

Religion talked about, learned about, even celebrated, this is good and acceptable (within limits). Religion pushed or condemned in general is unacceptable and rightly discouraged. Seems to me.

I agree with "Always" that any category of education has its problems and I'd point out that research shows that the #1 indicator of academic achievement for students is parental participation.

We all have a responsibility to watch what our children are learning and that's as it should be, too. Public schools can be great, that is my experience - "Right wing agenda" of the schools notwithstanding...

Patrick M said...

I'm more of a mind to try to take the schools back. We outnumber the radicals, and I'm just loud.

Of course, I live in small town Ohio, so the radicals don't have control here.

Pasadena Closet Conservative said...

I agree with Patrick M. Instead of doing a mass exodus, make enough noise to change it from the outside in.

Dan Trabue said...

I'm curious: What changes are you wanting to see? I mean, I'm sure you agree with me that you don't want teachers proselytizing to Christianity, right? Do you want teachers (who may or may not be Christians and, even if they're Christians, who may be of a different tradition than you) leading students in prayers?

I'm seriously wondering what changes you'd like to see that you can't do already?

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Here is a very partial list of known hate groups, operating as Christian ministries, that support (one or more): Anti-Semitism, bigotry, homophobia, racism, sexism, and the removal of the Constitution in favor of establishing a theocracy in America:
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
American Center for Law and Justice. Headed by Marion "Pat" Robertson, this group advocates the assassination of foreign leaders, the subjugation of women, and the outright oppression of gays.

America's Promise Ministries. An anti-Semitic group that claims white people as the "chosen ones."

Aryan Nations. A group that advocates anti-Semitism and the murder of homosexuals.

Bill Bright, Campus Crusade for Christ. A hate group that seeks to replace the Constitution with their own theocracy.

Christian Association of PrimeTimers. Targets senior citizens and uses their retirement money to work toward shelving the Constitution and installing their own theocracy.

Chalcedon Foundation. Seeks to discard the Constitution and install themselves as leaders of a theocracy.

Christian Coalition. Headed by Ralph Reed, this group seeks the replacement of public schools with fundamentalist Christian schools paid with tax dollars.

Christian Reconstructionism. Another hate group seeking to overthrow the Constitution in favor of theocracy. Advocates the execution of racial minorities and homosexuals.

Citizens for Excellence in Education. Seeks the replacement of public schools with fundamentalist Christian schools paid with tax dollars.

Collegiate Network. Seeks the replacement of public schools with fundamentalist Christian schools paid with tax dollars.

Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church (Ft. Lauderdale FL). Led by D. James Kennedy, this hate group advocates violence towards gays and women and seeks the installation of their branded of theocracy.

Council for Conservative Citizens. Foments racism with a special focus on anti-Semitism.

Council for National Policy. Seeks to discard the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and impose their own theocracy in America.

Focus on the Family. One of the most vocal, best-known homophobic groups in America.

Jack Chick Publications. Publishes comic books that allege a world-wide conspiracy of "Satanists" and "witches" who kidnap, torture, murder, and eat 300,000 babies. Since there is no evidence, law enforcement agencies are linked to these conspiracies.

Jim Wickstrom. Leader of a cult that blames abortions on "Jewish Doctors" who then blast aborted fetuses into space.

Ku Klux Klan.

Landmark Legal Foundation. Advocates the replacement of public schools with fundamentalist Christian schools paid with tax dollars.

Lifeline Long Distance. Fiinances domestic terrorist organizations like Operation Rescue and the so-called Army of God.

Operation Rescue. A domestic terrorist organization responsible for the murder of abortion providers. Headed by cult leader Randal Terry, this group preaches hatred and the submission of women to male masters. The cult's leadership advocates the abolishment of the Constitution and the removal of women from the work force.

Parental Freedom in Education. Their goal is to replace public schools with fundamentalist Christian schools financed with tax dollars.

Pete Peters. Claims Jews control the world in conjunction with a so-called "New World Order" within which the United Nations will take over the United States.

Policy Research Institute. Agenda includes the replacement of public schools with fundamentalist Christian schools paid with tax dollars.

Phineas Priesthood. Advocates the murder of mixed race couples. The "Phineas" title is used by numerous Christian hate groups in the United States.

Promise Keepers. Advocates the violent "taking back" of male dominion over women.

Rodney O. Skurdal. Advocates the removal of women from the workplace.

The Army of God. Like Operation Rescue, this is a domestic terrorist group that has claimed responsibility for several abortion clinic bombings, including the infamous double-bombing intended to murder rescue workers aiding victims of the first blast.

The Bradly Foundation. Advocates the replacement of public schools with fundamentalist Christian schools paid with tax dollars.

The Church of Jesus Christ Christian. Similar to Aryan Nations and Ku Klux Klan, this an anti-Semitic group that supports violence.

The Heritage Foundation. Finances racist research.

The Institute for Historic Review. An anti-Semitic hate group that denies the Holocaust.

Jewish Defense League. The FBI lists the JDL as a terrorist organization.

The Order. A hate group that focuses on racism and abortion.

The Sword and the Cross. An anti-Semitic hate groups that operates worldwide.

Traditional Values Coalition. An anti-homosexual hate group that denies there is a separation of church and State.

U. S. Tax Payers Party. Supports the domestic terrorist group, Operation Rescue.

Westboro Baptist Church. Headed by Fred Phelps, this group pickets churches, schools, businesses, and military funerals to rail against homosexuality. Those who disbelieve their way of thinking are labeled as “faggots."

White Aryan Resistance. A hate group led by Tom Metzger, who advocates abortion for non-white mothers and forced birth at gun point for white mothers.

Virginia Trinitarian Pro-nomian Alliance (VTPA.) A hate group seeking to overthrow the Constitution and remove the Bill of Rights to install their own theocracy.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Last, but by no means least, I add the Exodus Project, the group highlighted by Gayle in the above blog entry, as a hate group because the real reason why this group advocates a Dunkirk-style Exodus from the public school system is to mask their anti-homosexual theology, just like the Westboro group headed by Fred Phelps, among others.

TAO said...

One other question...

If you believe that our children can only learn to walk with God when they are enrolled in Christian Schools then shouldn't one question their parenting skills rather than the school system.

So, if that is the case then will we expect companies in the future to provide "Christian" work places?

It is just hard for me to understand how a society, that literally has a church on every street and in every neighborhood all of the suddent has issues with every other public institution because of a lack of religion?

My new neighbors are both teachers and they go to church twice a week...I can only wonder why they leave their religion at home when they go to work?

Gayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gayle said...

I apologize for not coming into this thread earlier, since after all, I'm the one who wrote the post. I'm having a computer problem so don't have time right now to be arguing with those in this thread who want to argue.

Robert, thanks so much for your input.

I will say I stand by what I have written. I never thought that anyone would object to Christians teaching their children the way they want them to be taught! (Silly me!)Whose children are they, anyway? They certainly aren't the governments!

I would never enroll my children (if I had any of school age anymore) in a public school. I absolutely object to many things going on in public schools these days, even in my own Red state of Texas. It would be my right to homeschool my children or to put them in a private school, and there is absolutely no argument that can be presented that will convince me otherwise.

May everyone here have a blessed and wonderful day. I'm going to go try to solve my computer problem.

Dan Trabue said...

Miss Gayle, WHO has written that Christian parents (or any other parents) ought not teach children the way they want to be taught? No one here has suggested that.

What I've said here is this:

1. The Nazi comparison is uncalled for and hatefully ugly in the extreme and does not speak well of the conservative types who would compare teachers and school systems to Nazi Germany. I expect better from Christians.

2. While I don't care if the individual family wishes to homeschool - I have dearly beloved friends who do so - I don't like these calls for Christians in general to abandon schools. Shall we abandon work places, too? Shall we abandon our public parks since "bad people" might be there?

Finally, I still wonder what it is that you who are so troubled by schools would want different? Do you want to force feed everyone Christianity? I doubt that is what you're saying. So what is it that you'd like to do or see that you are not seeing currently?

Good luck with your computer (the generic response, or if you prefer something more "Christian" in nature...)

God's blessings upon your computer.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

“Love thy neighbor.”
“Good will towards men.”
“All men are created equal …”

Oh naïve of me to think these were once Christian concepts.

There are dozens of religious groups listed above (refer to my last comment, January 5, 2009 12:47 AM) who advocate the overthrow of the Constitution and the installation of their own theocracy. NOT ONE OF YOU UNDERSTAND THE IMPLICATIONS!

Your precious freedom to worship will disappear if any of these groups succeed. Separation of church and state guarantees your freedom to worship, but somehow you idiots think otherwise … while blaming “liberals” for the precious freedoms you enjoy.

There was a time in the history of our country when people were lynched, when interracial marriage was banned, when Irish Catholic immigrants could not find work, when Jews were persecuted, and witches were burned at the stake … all in the name of religion. Segregationists rationalized their bigotry on the basis of “separate but equal.” You disguise your own bigotry under a rationale of “separate and superior,” while referring to “liberals and Nazis” in the same sentence. This offends me to the core!!!

By all means, have your “separate but equal” or your “separate and superior.” There is no law stopping you. By all means, find a dry place in the desert and scream all you want from your pedestals. I wouldn’t my children or grandchildren tyrannized by your ignorance and bullshit.

I’m done, finished, outta here!!!

Chuck said...

First, great blog. I was reffered here by Mustang and am glad I was. Gayle, I am sorry I did not find this sooner from you posting at my site, I have no good explanation.

Good post Gayle and you sure stirred a hornet's nest. Reading some of these comments, I have to wonder if the issue is Christianity, not school choice.

I have three children in public school, grades 3 - 10. We live in a fairly conservative area so our children not only get a good education but one that is fairly balanced. We, of course, talk to the teachers and officials on a regular basis and find them to be mostly like minded with us so I am comfortable with them educating my children.

I do believe however that most schools, from my personal exposure and antecdotal evidence, strongly participate in forcing a far left agenda on children. For this reason, I support pulling kids from these schools. Nothing sends a stronger message for change than having a school come up short on count day.

Robert said...

Chuck, thanks for dropping in and for your time spent commenting. Please make us a regular stop on your daily route!

We had an extended holiday lapse here, so go back to November and catch up on the creation and growth of the blog!

Headed over to visit your place now.

Dan Trabue said...

I do believe however that most schools, from my personal exposure and antecdotal evidence, strongly participate in forcing a far left agenda on children.

Again, I'd ask for some support. "Forcing a far left agenda on children"?? Who is doing that? What does that look like?

We live in a fairly progressive city (Louisville) and so our children ALSO get a good education and one that is fairly balanced. I worry sometimes about how conservative it can be, but that can be a good thing, too.

As far as any agendas, our teachers have an agenda of teaching our kids to read, to understand algebra better than I do (math never came easy for me). They have an agenda of teaching our children history and science. There is no "far left agenda" happening in our schools. Where are these schools at that you all hear about anecdotally ("anecdotal" being the correct spelling of the word - normally, I don't point out spelling errors, as they mean very little, it happens to all of us. But since the topic is education, I thought it might be appropriate) that have this agenda and what is it?

rockync said...

Having raised four children to adulthood, all with a public school education, I have found out some simple truths.
Young people are not sponges, nor are they stupid or that naive.
You will raise your children instilling your beliefs in them and they will gather further information from TV, school, their friends, etc. In the end, if you have done a good job of raising your children to be free thinking adults capable of making their own decisions and conducting their own lives, they will form their own opinions and beliefs that will aggravate you to no end!
The key to a good education is to be involved. By all means,look at your childrens' papers, ask them about their classes, if you have doubts, request to monitor a class. (I'm sure most of you do these things already.)
I had one child (the phycisist) who had English in 7th grade with a female teacher and went from an A to an F in one semester. Upon questioning my child and then talking to a few other parents I discovered this teacher did not like boys and was rather abusive to them.
I made an appointment with the principal, presented my case and demanded my son's removal from the class. I also informed him that doing an investigation of her teaching methods would be in his best interest as I would be filing a formal complaint with the school board and the state board of ed. And that is what I did.
I guess I could have pulled him out of that school but then he would have lost his social network. I think my son learned something far more important; that there are ways to work within the system and don't piss off Mom! :)
That was not the first or last incident in which I intervened. But my sons were made VERY aware that if I thought their actions just or their treatment by another unfair, I would be right up front defending them, but if I found out they had put a toe over the line...
It isn't a perfect world and as much as we want to protect our children,they will grow up and leave our protection.
If you really want to home school, I think you should. But be aware of not only what your children will gain but what they will lose.
Personally, I didn't have too much trouble with the cirriculum until it came to science. When my children were learning about dinosaurs and evolution, etc I made a point of explaining that this was a THEORY and then I made sure they understood the meaning of THEORY. I pointed out theories that later turned out to be wrong (like the world is flat) and those that turned out to be correct (like the theory of relativity). My sons are wonderful men, solid citizens, honest and compassionate.
My conclusion is that much more important to a child's education is YOUR actions and words - it is YOU from whom they are taking their cues. Watch your child and you will see a mirror of the way YOU act and react to situations.
Many religions DO have their own schools so this is not a new idea. And home schooling isn't a walk in the park either.
A mass exodus from public school will NOT solve this country's social ills and I hope you will take time to consider whether your desire to home school or go to a "Christian" school is just a knee jerk reaction or truly in your child's best interest.

Gayle said...

Thanks, Chuck. Don't be a stranger! Again, thank you too, Robert.

Wow! I didn't realize liberals were so against people deciding how they want their own children to be educated. Rather naive of me I suppose. This thread is definitely an eye-opener.

I maintain we parents have a right to choose what sort of education we give our children and if we want them taught both sides of every issue, it isn't being done in the public school system.

That's my last word on it. I'm an American, and we still have freedom of choice in this country whether liberals like it or not. Public school, private school or homeschool. It's up to the parents, period.

Dan Trabue said...

Miss Gayle, who are you arguing against? No one has said anything about telling people how they should educate their children. No one has said that parents don't have a right to choose their schooling.

What I said was that I supported parents raising their children how they wish.

Liberals DO like freedoms, that's why we fight for them so hard.

Does anyone have any responses to the questions I actually raised, as opposed to comments that weren't made?

From my point of view, rocky is right on. Yes, you may indeed run across situations you disagree with, just like in real life. And part of the greatness of public education is the chance to resolve those situations in an adult manner that works for everyone involved.

PhantomMan said...

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Joe said...

WOW! Any objective person reading the above can feel the anger drooling from the lips of peace-loving folks like Octopus, Dan, et.al.

I went to public schools in Oklahoma, Texas, Washington State, and Georgia.

We had devotions in home room every day in all but one of the above, Washington State.

The Jews in our classes were invited to join us or to have their own devotions, or not to have any at all.

There being no such thing as "separation of church and state" in our Constitution, I like the above solution best of all; ie: maintain EVERYBODY'S freedom, not just the atheists'.

Oh, and we home schooled our son, without failing to provide plenty of social interaction...on a much superior level than he got the one year he wanted to try public school.

Dan Trabue said...

Joe said:

WOW! Any objective person reading the above can feel the anger drooling from the lips of peace-loving folks like Octopus, Dan, et.al.

I wonder how Joe discerns anger in any of my words? In truth, I'm not especially angry. Although, it IS extremely disgusting to make a Nazi comparison to liberals and one ought to be angry at such an immoral, irresponsible statement. Unfortunately, I've seen too much of that sort of bad behavior from folk who call themselves conservative to be especially angry, just a bit sad.

I'm sure you agree that when people make horribly offensive statements, some righteous anger is appropriate, yes?

But beyond that bit of outrageousness, there is no anger in my questions, just curiosity. What "liberal agenda" is in place? What evidence do you have of this conspiracy? What would you like to see done differently? What freedoms do you want to see in place that aren't there now?

I find it interesting (nothing that makes me angry, just curious) that people seem to have strong opinions about the school, but they have not answered any of these sorts of questions.

So, sorry to disappoint you, Joe. No drool here, angry or otherwise. And what anger expressed by Octopus or myself is justified, I'd suggest. I would think you would agree - if someone suggested that conservative preachers were Nazis, would you not find that outrageous?

Dan Trabue said...

I like the above solution best of all; ie: maintain EVERYBODY'S freedom, not just the atheists'.

Specifically Joe, I'm wondering what freedoms you feel you are not being maintained. Can you not worship as you wish? Can you not pray as you wish? Can you not raise your child as you wish?

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

The Octopus Report in response to this post.

Joe said...

Dan: Nope. I can't worship as I please, because I please to be able to worship in public...including public schools.

I wish to pray in public...including public highschool football games.

I wish to be able to properly discipline my child according to my own set of values...and risk a neighbor turning me in to Child Protective Services if I so much as look at my child the wrong way.

Liberals have been very effective at usurping those and many other of our rights.

But you already knew that.

As to the anger, you proclaimed not to be particularly angry and then proceded with incindiary remarks.

Interesting.

(Forgive me CC, I hate when people beat up on each other in the comment sectin of someone elses' blog, but I couldn't stop myself.)

Dan Trabue said...

When you say you want to worship in public schools, what do you mean?

I mean, we all can worship God in truth wherever we are. I can hear a kind word from a student to a despondent friend and praise God for friendship, I can look out the window and praise God for the trees and the wind. No one will stop me from doing that.

On the other hand, I can't and oughtn't think it okay to break out in a song merely to express my "right" to worship God that way. This is not what you're wanting to do, is it? Are you wanting to hold a church service with preaching right in the middle of a classroom? I find it hard to believe you'd want to do that.

Or, are you saying you want to be able to hold church (mosque, temple, etc) services at the school buildings? In some places you can do this - it's sort of a district to district call as to whether or not they want people in their buildings, and that's as it should be, too.

And you CAN pray at public high school football games. It happens all the time. Sometimes, it even happens publicly, but certainly people are able to pray in arenas if they want. OR, are you saying you want to hold a football crowd hostage and make them listen to your prayers? That is a different thing. But you still have every right in the world to pray. Just as I have a right not to want to hear your prayer. Are you wanting to force your prayer upon me? I'd find it hard to believe you'd want to do that, but you tell me.

And you ARE free to discipline your child as you wish. You aren't able to beat them, though, and that's as it should be, too, don't you think?

I don't think you've lost any of the rights that you think you've lost. That is, unless you think forcing others to listen to you is a good thing (ie, depriving others of their freedom of religion).

As to the anger, you proclaimed not to be particularly angry and then proceded with incindiary remarks.

Joe, honestly, I don't know what you're talking about. There is no "beating up" going on on my part. I'm asking questions, that's all, trying to ascertain your views and help you understand mine. What "incendiary remarks" do you think I made??

I think you're reading things into what I've said that simply aren't there. Perhaps that's just a limitation of the medium, but seriously, no great anger, no incendiary remarks coming from me. For what it's worth.

(although again, I would ask you: Don't you think some righteous anger is appropriate when people make outrageous remarks? Octopus clearly was angry, but righteously so, it seems to me.)

Patrick M said...

I'm going to cross-post this comment over on 8pus's response post as well (as he seems really pissed). Perhaps it will clear the air and hopefully lead to everyone getting a big virtual hug a-goin':

First of all, I finally watched the whole video (as opposed to just enough to get the gist (I do this often)).

My simple comment to the entire argument was that we should just take back the schools. However, I could see myself butting heads with this bunch of "Faith Nazis" just as fast as the "liberal fascist menace" that they seem to so violently fear will suck the country to at least Heck's reception area, if not Hell's lake of fire (where they have to have metal playing 204/7!).

But as usual, the lines were drawn between those who believed liberalism was turning children into little brown shirts worshiping Holy Mother State, and those who think the Christians are trying to break out with Inquisition 2.0.

But the problem is, as usual, more complex.

Yes, Christianity has left government school system, but a civic morality (which is simply the Golden Rule w/o God attached) went away with it. And far too many people forgot that the purpose of school was to educate, not conduct social experiments. And as education became less personal and more institutional, we started having the bottom of the barrel crawling into the profession of teacher.

So now, because no one has figured out what the real problem with education really is (as in, it's not about education anymore), we fight over ashattery such as this.

Gayle, Robert, it's this embrace of the religion-is-everything crowd that drives away people that could be swayed to conservative viewpoints, because I've found far too many Christians that are more intolerant than the intolerant any time their line of beliefs is crossed. And their supposed well-understood comments that resonate among the faithful hit a wall (like a certain excreted substance) the moment they leave the church. The danger of video is that it is easy to splatter imagery and anger people. In that vid, they lost my kind interest when they started with the Columbine footage (which is where I initially stopped and assumed). So you really need to look at some of these vids from another angle before you use them to spread conservatism. Converting people to a conservative worldview means not pissing them off.

8pus, as the angered party, you probably need to realize that many things that were understood as parts of civil society (as a general consensus on faith (as opposed to specific dogma) in America was) have been swept away in the rush to our modern world. And when have you ever seen someone react well when their ingrained faith is challenged? The excesses of the Christians today is in response to everything we have learned over my lifetime alone (and I'm not that old). But getting pissed and running away means you lose a battle, and perhaps a chance to convince the angry to embrace something better. It's something that has made the angriest liberal have problems arguing with me.

So.

Now that I've got my thoughts out (and burned a bridge or two), let's all get on that hug:

*hug*

Gayle said...

Hugs back at you, Patrick! :)

You make some good points about the video. I personally would be glad to see Americans - whether Christians or not - homeschooling or sending their children to private schools. Whether religious or not, many values Americans do hold dear are being lost in the public school system. With this post I did not mean to anger anyone. But as a Christian and as a Conservative I stick by this post.

For those who don't mind that their children are being taught only one opinion, public school is fine and dandy. If people don't care whether or not their daughter has an abortion without their permission, it's also fine and dandy. For those who don't care about the homosexual agenda being pushed in public schools, it's fine and dandy too. For people who do mind, they can educate their children somewhere else. That anyone should be angry about this post or my opinion speaks volumes.

Thanks again, Patrick.

Gayle said...

By the way, Patrick, for me my faith is everything. Why should that anger anyone? For me, without God I am lost. That I believe in Him is not something that should anger any rational person. That it does also speaks volumes.

Dan Trabue said...

Thanks for trying to make some middle ground points and for your efforts at peacemaking. Yet, there remain some unproven and simply wrong assertions in your response.

You said:

Christianity has left government school system...

Oh, has it? How does "Christianity" leave anywhere? Is Christianity not generally going to be where Christians are? I am a Christian. My children are Christians. We all went to public schools and our Christianity went/goes with us.

Christianity has not left the school system. Now, what HAS happened is that we have removed some vestiges of an enforced Christianity in schools. We no longer force children to sit through prayers uttered by the teachers, for instance. But that is a good thing, seems to me. I don't want a teacher to be teaching my children how to pray (perhaps wrongly, in my estimation). That is my role. It has no place in public schools.

Now, as a Christian, does that mean I despise prayer? That is a ridiculous assertion, of course I don't. I just don't especially want teachers leading prayers for my children. My children are still 100% free to pray in schools if they wish, but they don't have it coming at them from a teacher. That's the difference and it is a good thing, says this Christian.

You continue...

...but a civic morality (which is simply the Golden Rule w/o God attached) went away with it.

Again, this is an unsupported and mistaken claim. The Golden Rule is gone from schools? Schools DON'T want their teachers and children "doing unto others"? Says who? Do you have any support for such a claim.

The golden rule is a standard of living that "the schools" can't take away. You can choose to live by the golden rule or not. Teachers daily encourage it, just not using religious terminology.

Again, that is how it should be. I don't want a teacher whom I don't know to be teaching my child about how to live out their religion. I guarantee you that many people here, if I were their child's teacher, they would not want me to teach them about religion - even though I'm a Christian.

School is the place for education, not being indoctrinated into a given teacher's specific religious views.

You continue...

And far too many people forgot that the purpose of school was to educate, not conduct social experiments.

That is what I'm saying above. Some here seem to be saying (although they don't answer questions, so it's hard to tell) that they want to conduct a social experiment in teaching religion in schools. I don't. School is the place for education, not Dan's or Gayle's or Mohammad's prayers and sunday school lessons.

You continue...

And as education became less personal and more institutional, we started having the bottom of the barrel crawling into the profession of teacher.

As a person with many friends who are dedicated top-notch school teachers, as a parent whose children have nearly universally had excellent school teachers, I reject this statement as biased, unproven and simply false.

Are there SOME bad teachers in our public schools? To be sure, I've run across some. But this sort of "bottom of the barrel" falsehood is the same sort of despicable lies as the "schools/liberals are Nazis" falsehoods.

Come now, let's be reasonable. If you want to assert that there are bad teachers out there, make that assertion. If you want to make the claim that some educators are hostile to Christianity, make that claim. THOSE claims are supportable. But these blanket condemning statements are demonstrably false and childish.

It is time to put away childish things, if you want to have decent adult conversations about important issues.

And, for the record, no slobber coming from my mouth, no anger in my heart. I'm just challenging some unsupported statements, as a good and reasonable person should.

I would hope that you all could accept that in the peaceful, seeking-understanding spirit it is offered.

Patrick M said...

Gayle: Let me clarify. There is a distinct difference between allowing God to guide you in life and applying your religion to everything. Taken to extremes, someone can begin to demand that government continue to enforce biblical teachings when those who don't believe find themselves unable to express themselves?

Just a couple of examples:

Would you support legislation to apply a moral code to the Internet, specifically to target porn?

Would you support the continuation of FCC rules that control content on the "public" airwaves?

Would you support legislation that defines the family?

If so, China would be the country for you, because that's what they do. Or Saudi Arabia. One is without religion (except for statism), the other with, but they both use their beliefs to infringe on personal liberty.

The danger of applying a religious viewpoint in a clearly secular area is that, to satisfy your demands, others must surrender their self-determination.

However, as I mentioned in my education post, our system as it is is seriously broke. But trying to replace one dogma with another in teaching children will produce similar results.

Dan: quick clarification (as I have to make lunch):

The comment on Christianity leaving the schools - With a few exceptions, the sense of the Judeo-Christian ethic has left the schools, and the moral backing it provided along with it. I don't mean to refer to the actual teaching of religion, which is not the purpose of schools.

The departure of civic morality is not gone in the sense that teachers try to enforce it, but gone in the sense that the culture does not support them enough to allow them to enforce it.

An example would be the oft-repeated stories (that I lack the time to reference) where schools levy a punishment and the parents of the little bastards respond my setting lawyers on them. Especially when the rules are clear.

As for the bottom of the barrel, I remember all the excellent teacher I had as well. I have the advantage of being in a small town, where education is better (my worst teachers were actually in my Catholic school years). But too often, good teachers are driven to areas where they can teach in peace while other places get what's left. And combined with all the other things teachers face today, there's a point that many of them reach where it's about collecting a paycheck and not getting bludgeoned.

It is hard not to generalize sometimes in a comment, so if I seemed to be doing so, I stand corrected. But I am trying to get into the middle of ideology slinging. And that always makes it a challenge.

Dan Trabue said...

Understood. Still...

With a few exceptions, the sense of the Judeo-Christian ethic has left the schools, and the moral backing it provided along with it.

This is your opinion, but you have stated it as if it were a fact. If you have some evidence of your assertion, feel free to back it up.

It has been my experience that the sense of Judeo-Christian ethic is very much in our schools generally, along with a sense of moral rectitude.

School administrators and teachers don't want children to behave other than the Golden Rule. They very much DO want everyone to treat others as they want to be treated. With NOT A SINGLE exception, that has been my experience. While that is anectdotal, it is so pervasive, I'd have to see some evidence to support a claim that "the sense of Judeo-Christian ethics" have left schools.

You are welcome, of course, to your opinion. Just understand that it is that - only your opinion. Perhaps it would communicate better if you said, "it seems to me..." or "in my experience..."

Same for the teachers. I have not met a single teacher who was what I would call "bottom of the barrel," or who weren't there at least partially out of a sense of calling to minister - even the non-theistic teachers. I have met some teachers who aren't as good as I'd like, who needed some help, who were overloaded and underappreciated, but not the first Nazi, not the first "bottom of the barrel."

In my experience.

Dan Trabue said...

Thanks for the clarification, though, Patrick.

CB said...

Good post Gayle! Sorry I'm just getting around to commenting. We really tried to work with the indoctrination centers with my 5 children but there was more battling going on than learning, so we pay twice for school because have chosen Christian education.

They could quote Antonio Gramsci, the Marxist theorist who first proposed infiltrating the public schools and the media to advance their objectives that could not otherwise be won. Communists have taken the long view, we as Christians, are supposed to have a longer view.

Dan Trabue said...

CB, perhaps you could describe what it is that you describe as "indocrination," that you objected to at public schools?

CB said...

Ok Dan, I'll bite. Global cooling, I mean, warming, I mean climate change, no, sorry, climate crisis. Evolution, which is, after all a theory - a very leaky (no pun intended) theory being taught as fact. Revisionist American history. Political correctness and sensitivity to "alternative" lifestyles and family structures. Even in one of the Christian schools, we had to battle one teacher's outright advocacy for a political candidate in the classroom (this was in high school). Various notions of "compassion" etc., it goes on and on, remember, I have 5 children.

Dan Trabue said...

Okay, so you had some courses your teachers taught with which you disagreed. That has happened for me on occasion, as well. Fortunately, I am the parent and I have my child for more hours than any one teacher and so I can also instruct. I have not found that so difficult.

But let me ask you this: You are in the minority if you think the world was created in six days, if you think that this is a legitimate topic for school study. I don't suppose you think that schools ought to teach ALL theories, even theories that are rejected by the educational/scientific community fairly soundly, just because a student happens to come from a family that believes in that theory?

That is, if a family believes that JFK was murdered by a coalition of mafia and FBI agents, sponsored by aliens, do you think the history teacher ought to cover that material so as to be PC and not offend that family?

Ought we teach that the earth is flat or that the moon can support life, if a student comes from a family that believes that?

I'm sure you would agree with me that far-fetched and/or faith-based (ie, not based on science) theories and hunches ought not be taught just because a student's family believes in it. You have, after all, just decried political correctness and sensitivity to "alternative" lifestyles.

For my part, coming from the peace church tradition, we don't believe in war-making. However, I recognize that our family is in the minority on this point. So, when classes come along that glorify war, I have to be sure to give my children the other side of the story. I also have to make sure that teachers aren't demeaning of the pacifist tradition (or the creationist tradition or the flat world tradition) because we ought to respect one another, and that's a good thing and part of the learning process.

My point is, if you are in a small minority on a particular viewpoint, yes, you can expect that your viewpoint won't be given time and may even be belittled. As a matter of respect, we can ask schools not to belittle the alternative lifestyle views (which you seem to oppose, interestingly enough), even if they don't "teach" it.

For myself, I don't have a problem with any of that, it is as it should be. Again, I don't want schools teaching religious doctrine, we do that at home and at church.

A follow up question: Why the hostility towards notions of "compassion," and sensitivity? These are good Christian (albeit not exclusively) values, the very thing that you all seem to be wanting. I find that confusing, perhaps you'd like to explain that?

Regardless, thanks for the answers you've given thus far. Honestly, as a person having minority views, I can appreciate the concerns that some parents have, I have them myself. It's just that I don't want the schools teaching my minority religious views, just out of a sense of PC and sensitivity to my lifestyle.

Dan Trabue said...

re: Global cooling, I mean, warming, I mean climate change, no, sorry, climate crisis

The scientific concern here is over the problems of possible anthropogenic global climate change, if you want the most accurate descriptor. "Global cooling," "global warming" and "climate crisis" are all political catchphrases that describe legitimate scientific research in the area of global climate change and its possible anthropogenic causes.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

A post-mortem: THE NEW LEPER COLONY: FOR WOMEN ONLY

CB said...

Dan,

Remember, this group is calling for Christians to separate themselves from public schools, not the general populace. If we believe that God created the earth in 6 days and rested on the 7th, then we can feel free to believe that and teach biology, chemistry and physics without the political baggage in a Christian context, which is what our schools do.

On the question of anthropogenic climate change, there is substantial debate on whether or not any variances in temperature over time have anthropogenic origin or whether the man made impact is significant enough to call for changes in the economy.

Dan Trabue said...

And as I've said, I'm fine if individual parents decide that's what's best for their. My problem (beyond the stupid Nazi allusion) is with the call for ALL Christian parents to do so. I'd suggest it's best decided on a child by child and family by family basis.

I guess I was also wondering what the problem is, as some have suggested that they are somehow having "rights" lost to them as Christians, and that's just not the case in public schools.

Others have sounded like they're suggesting they want Christian rituals practiced and taught in public schools, something I, as a Christian, object to strenuously.

Thanks for the answers, CB.