The Challenge for Every Christian Parent (4)

Watch yourself that you make no covenant with the inhabitants of the land into which you are going, or it will become a snare in your midst. But rather, you are to tear down their sacred altars and cut down their Asherim- for you shall not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is jealous, is a jealous God (Ex.34:12-14).

People have always tended to live out their religious beliefs. Pharoah was a humanist, and he lived out his. He saw that the Hebrew population was rapidly expanding and could be a threat, so he said to the Hebrew midwives,

When you are helping the Hebrew women to give birth and see them upon the birthstool, if it is a son, then you shall put him to death; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live (Ex.1:16).

Herod was the same.

…when Herod saw that he had been  tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under…(Mat.2:16).

Hitler was a humanist. He commanded that

All of the German youth in the Reich is to be organized within the Hitler Youth. The German youth, besides being reared within the family and schools, shall be educated physically, intellectually, and morally in the spirit of National Socialism…through the Hitler Youth.[1]

Now, you might be thinking, “Well, what’s that got to do with us, today in Australia?” Our previous humanist, feminist, pro-abortion Prime Minister Julia Gillard, whilst the Federal Minister for Education in 2008, said in Parliament in August 2008, that

               parents of school-aged children are obligated to send them to school.

Why was school so important for Julia? Because this granted government teachers the power for humanistic indoctrination. She was utterly indifferent to the wishes of parents. Gillard was reflecting the attitude of all socialists, historically. In 1918, a Congress of Soviet educators was told that

We must remove the children from the crude influence of their families. We must take them over and, to speak frankly, nationalize them.[2]

There is something Christians have been slow to understand. To our lasting shame, our enemies have understood the power of governmental educational indoctrination, far more than we have. And if you have fallen for the old and tired idea that we could teach them godly principles at home whilst they went to the State School, you haven’t realised how quickly this foolish notion falls down in practice.

Why?  Parents don’t recognise the religious war being waged against their children through Public Education. As North commented,

The modern State seeks to steal the legacy of the faithful: the hearts and minds of children. The educational bureaucrats today have imposed a massive system of ideological kidnapping on the voters. This is the inherent nature of all compulsory education, regulated education, and tax-funded education. Education is not neutral. The bureaucrats have built a gigantic system of humanist indoctrination with funds extracted from all local residents in the name of common-ground education.[3]

Religious neutrality in education is a fraud, because all education is religious. Why?

All education is based on values. The question is, “Whose values?” Someone dictates the values communicated in public schools, and over the last couple of generations those values have been progressively secular; God doesn’t get a mention. Almost every text book in public education reflects this fact.

God gave the responsibility for education to parents, because all education is religious. They would be on the spot. Parents love their children, and they have a vested interest in what their children are believing and why, for it is their children who will be at least playing a role in caring for them, in their old age.

The scripture commands us,

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? (II Cor.6:14)

When you send your child to a State school, you implicitly bind your child to the ideology of that school; its curriculum, its staff and its peer-group pressure. You may not want to, but that’s what enrolment really means. Is it any wonder that in our era, such a high proportion of children from Christian families depart from the faith? In our folly and naivete, we have taken our children’s hands and walked into the lion’s den of public education, and seen them over time, religiously mauled.

If we want to be faithful to God, obeying the implications of the New Covenant, this will have to stop, now.

 

 

[1] Hitler, December 1, 1936, quoted in William Shirer, “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,” 1968, p.349.

[2] Quoted in “Separating School and State: How to Liberate America’s Families,” Sheldon Richman, p.xv.

[3] Gary North, “Inheritance and Dominion,” 1999. Ch.28.

The Basics of Success Are Not Taught in School

By Gary North, 6/6/2017

A site member provided a long testimonial about his success:

Learn, learn, learn. Practice, practice, practice. Over a long, long, long time. Are you prepared to make this sacrifice? There is no other route. Don’t forget this.

This is a reasonable formula for success.

I think these two principles, which boil down to learn and sacrifice, are best taught in an environment of personal mentoring by somebody who has been successful. Probably the best movie I ever saw on this was a teenage flick, The Karate Kid. The trainer, Mr. Miyagi, was the incarnation of self-discipline. He knew what was required for the young man to be successful. The young man had to start out doing grunt work and mastering it. It was not clear what the relationship was between the grunt work of waxing the cars and success in karate. But, later in the movie, we learn the connection.

There are movies about teachers who take a classroom of misfits and turn them into competent kids. Some of them may even be true. But it takes a remarkable teacher to do this. We all know from personal experience that there are not many of these remarkable teachers. It is a Pareto distribution curve.

I think success takes a combination of factors. One of them is basic talent. I have only two of these: the ability to write clearly and the ability to speak clearly. I was also able to persuade people. That is a matter of rhetoric. Nobody taught me how to do this. I learned it on my own initially, and then I continued to do it for over 60 years. I got good at it. But I had the basic skills, which I think were innate. Not everybody has these.

Then there is the question of opportunities. Doors get closed. Windows open. It is not clear why these windows get opened. I had a few of these. I probably had a lot more than I remember. One of the reasons why we ought to keep diaries is to remind ourselves in retrospect of the doors that closed in the windows that opened. It would make us humbler.

I think tenacity is innate. I don’t think it can be taught. Anyway, I don’t know how to teach it. Winston Churchill spoke of tenacity as being crucial. So did Thomas Edison. He called it perspiration, and he made a contrast with inspiration. He was a great believer in perspiration. And yet it is obvious that he was one of the most inspired inventors in the history of man. He brought good ideas to fruition, and he developed a series of procedures that enabled lesser men to do the same.

The combination of innate talent, a mentor who develops this talent in a young person, and a tenacity toward opportunities is unique. It cannot be programmed.

I think tenacity can be developed. Any innate skill can be developed. But it takes tenacity to develop it. It takes a willingness to stick to your knitting.

Of all of the capacities that I would look for in a young person to train, it would be ethics. The ability to distinguish right from wrong is crucial. This can be taught, and it must be taught. Then there is the secondary ability: the ability to move from theory to practice. This used to be called casuistry. It is the ability or part of applying general principles to real-world situations. It takes years of decision-making to develop this skill.

This is why I think the most important single goal that somebody can have is wisdom. The book of Proverbs is devoted to this topic. Wisdom basically is the ability to be a successful casuist. Somebody sees a situation, he understands the fundamental moral principles involved, and that he has the courage to apply the moral principles to his role in the situation. This ability is exceedingly rare. I am a providentialist. I believe that this ability, above all others, is the one that is blessed with success. Success means greater responsibility. It may mean greater money. It may mean greater power. But, above all, it means greater responsibility.

We live in an era in which people do not want responsibility. Every era is marked by this, but ours seems to be afflicted by this burden. People will not step up to the plate. They do not want to be responsible for the outcome of difficult decisions. A person who will not take responsibility is not going to wind up a leader by default. There are people who are irresponsible in terms of their judgment, yet they wind up leaders. They have this in common: they are not afraid of responsibility.

In my book, the classic person in this mold is George W. Bush. He spoke as though he were a fool. He made bad decisions. I don’t think he was stupid. I don’t think anybody gets through Yale University and the Harvard Business School who is stupid. Critics kept saying he was stupid. Not so. He just had bad judgment. He surrounded himself with people who also had bad judgment. They worked as a team.

Hillary Clinton is also such a person. Her husband had bad judgment ethically, but he always got away with it. He charmed his way out of it. He did do this in a society that winks its eye at corruption. That is what our society does. In contrast, Hillary had no charm. She also had no charisma. She was exactly what she appeared to be: an opinionated, screeching, bad-tempered woman with poor judgment, beginning with the bad judgment of marrying Bill Clinton. She never recovered from that. She never recovered from her switch from Goldwater conservatism to Saul Alinksy radicalism. She adopted Saul Alinsky, and she wound up with a man who preferred Monica Lewinsky. Somebody could write a chapter on this: “From Alinsky to Lewinsky.”

Bad ethics pollutes everything a person has of real value. It doesn’t matter what your skills are. It also doesn’t matter what your opportunities are. If you are morally corrupt, you will foul your own nest.

Students don’t learn good ethics in the public schools today. It is illegal to teach good ethics in the public schools today. Immoral people who have formed immoral groups work together to control the public schools in order to reproduce themselves. The good sense and decent ethics of young people do restrict the success of the corrupters in this task, but it is getting worse and worse for young people to survive the system without losing their integrity. It usually begins with the loss of their virginity. Their enemies know this. This is why they created coeducational dorms on university campuses. They know exactly what they’re doing.

Parents can teach good ethics. Anyway, righteous parents can do this. They may not be great mentors. They probably don’t have tremendous teaching skills. They turn their children over early to other specialists who teach them specialized skills. But if the parents know right from wrong, and they teach their children to understand the difference between right and wrong, they can make a major difference in the lives of their children. If the parents don’t get this right, the children will be disasters.

I knew a man in prison when I was involved in a prison ministry. He was regarded by those around him as fearless, and not a man to be tampered with. He was a Christian, but he had been a really bad man. He told me that he had been taught his skills as a criminal by his father. His father was a thief, and he taught the son to be a thief. The son learned his lesson well. That was why he was in a maximum-security prison. From father to son, the moral corruption spread. I think of the Kims of North Korea. What better examples do we have than this trio?

Then we have oddities of history. Consider the father-son duo of Marcus Aurelius and Commodus. The father was known as a philosopher. In all of history, he may have been the best example of a classical philosopher king. He wrote philosophy. He was also a war monger. He was a persecutor of the church. His son was debauched. He had hundreds of concubines, both male and female. But he left the church alone. The church was better off under the corrupt son than the philosopher king father.

There are sons who do not learn the lessons their parents taught them. Parents have complained about that from the beginning. It started with Adam and Eve. But people with bad ethics usually get overturned by the outcomes of their decision-making. If this were not true, we would live in a world almost totally evil. We don’t. Bad decisions eventually undermine the decision-makers. If we believe that this is a cause-and-effect universe, we believe that this is the case. But the modern public school system does not teach such a view of causation.

This is one of the great problems of our age. It is why I think homeschooling is the wave of the future. Parents who want their children to be educated in a moral environment are going to pull their children out of the public schools eventually. This, I believe, is the most important single institutional challenge facing the modern world. We are winning in a lot of areas, but it is slow going in persuading people to pull their kids out of the public schools. The lure of free education is just too great. It is worse than the lure of Social Security and Medicare.

The Challenge for Every Christian Parent (3)

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Mat.28:19-20).

From the days of the early church, Christians have recognised that the Great Commission didn’t commence with their government or neighbours, but with themselves and their children, at home.

Furthermore, the Great Commission doesn’t begin and end with the New Testament. How do we know this?  Because Jesus told the Jews, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am” (Jn.8:58), and “I and My Father are one” (Jn.10:30). Paul also reminds us that “Whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction…” (Ro.15:4).

Thus Christian must go back to Genesis to begin to appreciate all of the commands of Jesus, and familiarise themselves with all of scripture as it applies to education. Hezekiah for instance, tells us that “…a father tells his sons about Your faithfulness” (Isa.38:19).

Consider Abraham in relation to the subject of education and discipleship. God said of him,

For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him (Gen.18:19).

This means that education is a parental responsibility. Aspects of it may be delegated, but if we delegate, we must ensure that those entrusted with this responsibility will hold the same attitudes and philosophy that we do. Otherwise we are merely giving our children over to the godless, and the Bible tells us that “…bad company corrupts good morals” (I Cor.15:33).

Over 100 years ago, Dabney commented,

It is the teaching of the Bible and of sound Political ethics that the education of children belongs to the sphere of the family and is the duty of parents. The theory that the children of the Commonwealth are the charge of the Commonwealth is a pagan one, derived from heathen Sparta and Plato’s heathen republic, and connected by regular, logical sequence with legalized prostitution and the dissolution of the conjugal tie.[1]

All State or Public education, and even education under the authority of an Education Department falls into this category. It is good for a Christian school to employ Christian teachers, but that’s only one aspect of education. What if those that ultimately oversee the curriculum have no time for God and His Word? The integrity of the educational process will quickly be trashed.

Luther observed this nearly 500 years ago. He wrote that

I am very much afraid that the universities and schools will prove to be the very gates of hell, unless they diligently labour in explaining the holy scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of youth. I advise no one to place his child where the scriptures do not reign paramount …every institution in which men are not unceasingly occupied with the Word of God must become corrupt.

But we in the modern Church haven’t taken a lot of notice of this of late. Our eyes have been on social acceptance, the money and the potential careers for ourselves, and this has led to no end of compromise.

Perhaps because we were educated at Department registered schools, we’ve said to ourselves for a hundred years, “Education means school.” But Departmentally registered schools merely perpetuate a worldly system with no relationship to scripture, so that children continue to be chronically separated from their parents whilst being educated, when parents were the ones charged by God with educational responsibility from the beginning.

The American Presbyterian theologian J. Gresham Machan recognised this. He wrote in 1926:

I think that when it comes to the training of human beings, you have to be a great deal more careful than you do in other spheres about preservation of the right of individual liberty and the principle of individual responsibility; and I think we ought to be plain about this — that unless we preserve the principles of liberty in this department [of Education] there is no use in trying to preserve them anywhere else. If you give the bureaucrats the children, you might as well give them everything else as well.

Moses did not say to the children of Israel after they had left Egypt, “Get those kids back through the Red Sea each day. That way, they’ll get educated.” No, concerning education, Moses passed on to them the commands of God (see Deut.6 & 11). That meant direct parental responsibility: no monopolising Department with power over other people’s children, no bureaucracy, no schools, and no onerous taxes for education: presently some $15,000 for each state schooled child, annually.

Education by parents, using the law of God, should have been the foundation for Israel’s future godliness, liberty and prosperity. Isn’t it about time we in the Church took our marching orders seriously, threw out the world’s pagan influences, and followed suit?

Now, that would be exciting!

 

 

[1] Robert Dabney, “Discussions,” 4:194 quoted in Gary Demar, “God and Government,” Vol.3, p.272.

The Challenge for Every Christian Parent (2)

They did not destroy the peoples, as the Lord commanded them, but they mingled with the nations and learned their practices, and served their idols, which became a snare to them. They even sacrificed their sons and daughters to the demons, and shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with the blood (Ps.106:34-38).

Humanism is a religion which deifies mankind. Of course, it all began in the Garden, when Satan promised Adam and Eve, “you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen.3:5).

The most obvious manifestation of humanism of our era, is Public Education. Leftist politicians generally are humanists, and great believers in Public Education. Public education is a means of indoctrinating the population with values which suit the political rulers of the nation.

Anything intrinsically wrong with that? Think of it this way: all education involves indoctrination. The question is, indoctrination in what? And this is what Christians have been most reluctant to face up to, for four generations. We’ve habitually said to ourselves, “education involves learning how to read and write, and how to relate to others in society. So, the children will go to the State School. We’ll teach them spiritual values at home.”

In the early years of the 20th century, the Fabian Society of England came out strongly in favor of state aid to independent Christian schools. When a board member resigned in protest, George Bernard Shaw rebuked him strongly. Nothing, Shaw held, would more quickly destroy these schools than state aid; their freedom and independence would soon be compromised, and, before long, their faith. Events soon proved Shaw to be right.[1]

How foolish and disobedient we have been to God’s Word. The Psalmist in the above text (recorded around 1,000 BC) offers a Holy Spirit inspired historical commentary on what the children of Israel had been doing 500 years earlier.

And what has the modern Church done? We have essentially followed the same practices. In sending our children to the public school, we have “mingled with the nations and learned their practices, and served their idols, which became a snare to them.” They were disobedient then, in 1,500 BC. Today, we repeat the process.

Now there would be some who will quickly be saying,

That’s not fair Andrew. We send our children to the Christian school, where the education is so much better.

My response is, “Who is controlling the Christian school?” If you threaten the supply of tax-monies from the Education Department to that school, that school’s leadership will cross flooded streams and crawl over broken glass to make sure their funding supply is secure. The school’s attitude is, “No funding-no school.” (In some “Christian” schools, government funding accounts for 90% of all of the school’s budget). Everything else is up for negotiation, including the curriculum.

And if the Department (dominated by humanistic bureaucrats) asks hard questions about the school’s 6-day Creation Science course, or school policies about anti-discrimination for homosexual teachers or a host of other things, which way will the school jump? Anyone can pretty well predict. The school will follow whatever path is necessary, to ensure the supply of funding continues.

Even if a school doesn’t come under direct pressure from the Department of Education, there is the implicit kind. Think of it this way. If the school gets all 125 boxes ticked for complete Departmental approval for the next 3 years, everything is hunky-dory. And if you have gone to a great deal of effort to do all the work, and committed the time and resources of the school to that project, what then do you have left, if you want to implement a Christian curriculum?

Chances are, you’ll have had enough. Chances are, you’ll say,

We’re over the line now for the registration and funding. Happy days! Do we really want to be bothered going the extra mile to press for that curriculum improvement? That would mean going back to the Department for a whole new registration process. The School Board doesn’t care. Most of the parents don’t care. The teachers are happy. What’s the problem?

So, the average “Christian” school plays the middle of the road game. The Department is kept happy, along with parents (who were never taught about this from the pulpit), and teachers.

Is this God’s way? If so, show me the scriptural validity of governments ever being involved in the education process. It’s not in the Bible, but parental responsibility is, both in the Old and New Testaments (see Deut.6; Prov.22:6; Eph.6:4).

The notion of taxes being collected for the purpose of educating children, assisting to press the national tax rates over 30-40%, only means two things. Firstly, we are a nation under judgment, and secondly, God’s way for education has been rejected.

This is what God said of Israel in Samuel’s day (see I Sam.8): God said, “…they have rejected Me from being king over them” (v.7), when the tax rate got to 10%.

Rushdoony was right, again:

Children are a God-given inheritance for our conquest of the world for Christ. They are a means of subduing the earth and exercising dominion under the Lord. If we give our children to state or private schools which are not systematically Christian in their curriculum, we are then giving the future to God’s enemies, and He will hold us accountable for laying waste our heritage.[2]

Conclusion:                                                                                                                                        The body of Christ has a lot of searching of heart to do, today. We will have to apply ourselves in faithfulness to Christ, to our children’s education. This will require some major changes in how we do things in the future, if we really want to please the Lord of heaven and earth.

Refusing to commit our children to godless institutions and people for their education will be the first step.

Is that what you’re ready for?

 

 

[1] Rousas Rushdoony, “Roots of Reconstruction,” 1991, p.446.

[2] Rousas Rushdoony, “In His Service,” 2009, p.20.

The First Church Of Christian Gnosticism

By Gary DeMar, Dec 31, 2019

Many Christians believe and teach a form of factual neutrality where some subjects, for example, science, geography, politics, mathematics, can and should be taught without any regard to religion since “facts speak for themselves.” This is most evident in education where a self-conscious sacred-secular divide is maintained and supported by Christians. Ninety percent of Christian parents send their children to government schools. Since these parents believe that math is math and history is history, the religious stuff can be made up at church.

One hour of Sunday school and an hour at Youth Meeting each week and maybe a mission trip in the summer can’t make up for five days a week, six hours each day, 10 months of the year, 12+ years of a government-developed curriculum that is humanistic to the core. The humanists understand the importance of education in creating worldview shifts and control, so why don’t Christians? Charles Francis Potter, who founded the First Humanist Society of New York in 1929 and signed the first Humanist Manifesto in 1933, made no secret of the purpose of the American public schools:

Education is thus a most powerful ally of Humanism, and every American public school is a school of Humanism What can the theistic Sunday-school, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?1

  1. J. Rushdoony pointed out the Humanist design for education in his books Intellectual Schizophrenia(1961) and The Messianic Character of American Education(1963). According to Rushdoony, modern government education “is erosive and destructive of all culture except the monolithic state, which is then the ostensible creator and patron of culture. When it speaks of the whole child, it speaks of a passive creature who is to be moulded by the statist education for the concept of the good life radically divorced from God and from transcendental standards.”2 Rushdoony was not the first to understand the goal of statist education. Robert L. Dabney (1820–1898) saw it more than 100 years ago:

[T]he Jeffersonian doctrine of the absolute severance and independence of church and state, of the entire secularity of the State, and the absolutely equal rights, before the law, of religious truth and error, of paganism, atheism, and Christianity, has also established itself in all the States; and still the politicians, for electioneering ends, propagate this State education everywhere. By this curious circuit “Christian America” has gotten herself upon this thoroughly pagan ground; forcing the education of responsible, moral, and immortal beings, of which religion must ever be the essence, into the hands of a gigantic human agency, which resolves that it cannot and will not be religious at all. Surely, some great religious body will arise in America to lift its Christian protest against this monstrous result!3

What would America be like today if the Church of Jesus Christ had heeded Dabney’s warnings and some “great religious body” had arisen to make the break from an educational system that was designed to be the indoctrination center for the State and its messianic motives? The usual Christian response is to reform the public schools, to get more parents involved, sue to get a moment of silence, prayers at sporting events and commencement exercises, release programs, and legislation to teach the Bible as literature as they’ve done in some states.4 There will be pressure groups in some cities to teach the Koran. Then there’s the question of how the Bible will be taught. Will the Old Testament be taught as myth? For example, NBC News anchor Chuck Todd has said that “Trump voters ‘want to be lied to’ since they believe in ‘fairy tales’ — like Noah’s Ark.”

Will someone teaching on the Olivet Discourse point out that Jesus was mistaken about His coming?

Some years ago, I received an email from a woman who asked me if I could direct her to some information that refutes Gnosticism. She wrote that a friend of hers “claims to be on an extraordinarily intense spiritual ‘pilgrimage’ of ‘really pressing in to know God intimately’—but this guy has in effect divorced himself from the material world and from all relationships (including his wife and 10 children) which he views as a hindrance to his spiritual growth.”

Gnostics claim to have special knowledge (gnosis is the Greek word for “knowledge”) on how to live the Christian life that is not revealed to “ordinary Christians.” God’s revelation in Scripture is not good enough or sufficient to give direction on how to live the Christian life. Of course, this refutes what the Bible says when it states that Scripture is “adequate” and equips the Christian “for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:17). She went on to say that this friend, a farmer, “was putting up hay recently and needed to get it in as they were expecting rain. Before he finished, he remembered that he had scheduled a Bible study, so he left his hay in order to keep the ‘spiritual’ duty. The rain came and the hay was lost, but he felt justified that he had chosen the higher calling.”

Another feature of Gnosticism is the belief that there are two separate realms—“one spiritual, the other material. The spiritual realm, created by God, [is] all good; the material realm, created by the demiurge, all evil. Man [needs] to be saved, not from Original Sin, but from enslavement to matter.”5

A further expression of Gnosticism was expressed by someone who “doesn’t believe in voting because that is a ‘worldly affair,’ and he wants only to be engaged in truly spiritual activities.” For the Gnostic, the material world is on a lower plane. Only “spiritual things” are useful and profitable. A Gnostic-like belief might forbid marriage while advocating “abstaining from foods” even though “God has created these things “to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth” (1 Tim. 4:3). Godliness for the Gnostic is defined as a retreat from the world and despising the things of the world.

[The Gnostics] devised a dualistic cosmology to set against the teachings of the early Christian Church, which, they claimed, were only common deceptions, unsuited for the wise. The truth was esoteric. Only the properly initiated could appreciate it. It belonged to a secret tradition which had come down through certain mystery schools. The truth was, God could never become man. The Gnostic secret is that the spirit is trapped in matter, and to free it, the world must be rejected.6

For the Gnostic, life “must be escaped at any cost.”7 But if there can be no immediate material escape, then a spiritual escape is a good enough substitute. The Gnostic escapes from the responsibilities of history. But for the Christian, history is the realm of decision making, and, therefore, is anti-Gnostic. If we are not responsible for history, then we are not responsible for decision making. Even a casual reading of the Bible will show that our faith is to be lived out in the world so that “fruit”– good works — is manifested for the world to see and for Christians to judge (Matt. 7:15–23). No restrictions are placed on where this fruit is to mature.

One of the central issues that divided gnostics and orthodox Christians in the early Church was their understanding of the relationship between religion and politics. The Church Fathers accepted the political worldliness of the Jewish faith, contending that religion and politics are interconnected and inseparable. The early Puritans and even Jonathan Edwards, following classical Calvinism, would have been clearly orthodox in this regard. The world of politics, of human institutions, was for them an essential locus of God’s redemptive work.8

What is contemporary Gnosticism like? While it might not manifest itself in ascetic practices like pole-sitting, it does reveal itself in an institutional escape. Institutional escape is not in the Protestant tradition, however. Our nation’s earliest Christian citizens did not view escape, eschatologically, ascetically, or institutionally, as being biblical. Education, publishing, law, science, medicine, and politics, to take just some worldview areas, were to be governed by the Word of God as were ecclesiastical affairs. Modern-day Gnosticism thrives in a climate of escapism which means a retreat from this world and responsibility to do anything to change any part of it. If this world means nothing, then I am not responsible for its evils.

  1. Charles Francis Potter, Humanism: A New Religion(New York: Simon and Schuster, 1930), 128. Quoted in David A. Noebel, J.F. Baldwin, and Kevin Bywater, Clergy in the Classroom: The Religion of Secular Humanism (Manitou Springs, CO: Summit Press, 1995), vi. []
  2. J. Rushdoony, Intellectual Schizophrenia: Culture, Crisis and Education (Vellecito, CA: Ross House Books, [1961] 1998), 10. []
  3. Robert L. Dabney, Discussions of Robert Lewis Dabney: Secular, C. R. Vaughan, 4 vols. (Harrisonburg, Virginia, Sprinkle Publications,1994), 4:548. []
  4. David Van Biema, “The Case for teaching the Bible,” Time(March 22, 2007). []
  5. Dusty Sklar, The Nazis and the Occult(New York: Dorset Press, [1977] 1989), 140–141. []
  6. Sklar, The Nazis and the Occult, 147. []
  7. [1]Philip Lee, Against the Protestant Gnostics(New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), 122. []
  8. Lee, Against the Protestant Gnostics, 123–124. []

The Challenge for Every Christian Parent (1)

Great are the works of the Lord; they are studied by all who delight in them (Ps.111:2).

We Christians must acknowledge one thing today: the Church has been letting a lot of things slip over the last hundred years or so, and it’s got us into no end of trouble.

Why has this happened? I believe it’s been because the Church has believed things that are not true. For example, Jesus explained to Pilate that “My kingdom is not of this world…” (Jn.18:36).

Does this mean that Christians are never to have a role, or play any part in the affairs of the world that we live in, that we are not to speak with confidence or authority about important issues in the life of the community or nation, and that we should just shut up and watch the world go by, to destruction? The Bible doesn’t teach us that.

Jesus was showing Pilate that the origins of His kingdom are not from this world. Jesus’ authority and kingdom came from God, and are not derived from a human, earthly source. But because God has made the world and all things in it, and He called Adam and Eve (and representatively, us) to “rule and have dominion” (Gen.1:26-28), Christian people are obliged under God to understand how we are to live and serve Him, so that we can give a good account to Him.

This means a lot of things. It means that we are firstly, to see all of life from God’s perspective. There is no subject or area of understanding that ought to be separated from the knowledge of God, or seen apart from scripture, for God has laid out in His Word His commands for life, and they are all encompassing.

Let me give you an example. The Bible teaches us that

You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbour fairly (Lev.19:15).

Government instigated graduated taxation (where high earners pay a higher rate of tax) is in violation of this scripture, because it is “partial to the poor.” If there is to be income tax, it ought to be at a flat rate. But we in the Church have systematically ignored this scripture for all of the twentieth century, and now “progressive” tax rates are with us, all over the world. The politics of envy have triumphed over godliness, and now it’s hurting.

According to the law of God in Deuteronomy 6, education is a parental responsibility. It’s not a task that God has given to government to perform. But 150 years ago, the Church said, “That’s all right. We’ll let the government look after that. We won’t have to bother.” So now, we have Public Education: the most evil, wasteful and inefficient system of education known to man.

Why did this happen? The modern Church decided that when Paul said, “…you are not under law but under grace” (Ro.6:14), we had a licence to throw all of God’s law out the window.

The results have been catastrophic, both in the Church and in the world.

Paul was not advocating the rejection of God’s law. What he was doing was showing that obeying God’s law has never been and can never be the basis of our justification. Only the substitutionary death of Jesus on our behalf could accomplish that. The law of God teaches us how to live.

So as we think about our children’s education, we’re going to have to go back to God’s law to give us our marching orders.

The education of children for God is the most important business done on earth. It is the one business for which the earth exists. To it all politics, all war, all literature, all money-making, ought to be subordinated; and every parent especially ought to feel every hour of the day, that, next to making his own calling and election sure, this is the end for which he is kept alive by God-this is his task on earth.[1]

 

[1] Dabney (circa 1890), quoted in Bruce Shortt, “The Harsh Truth about Government Schools,” 2004, p.356.

Teacher Tells her Child Her Mother is not Her Teacher

By Gary DeMar (www.godfatherpolitics.com), 26/11/2014

Cassidy Vines recently began noticing a change in her daughter’s behavior. The kindergartener began to ‘snap’ at her mother when she tried correcting the little girl’s homework.  ‘She told me that I was her mommy, not her teacher.'”

Cassidy asked her daughter, “Is somebody telling you this at school?”

“She said, ‘Yes, I’m only allowed to learn from my teacher,'” Vines remarked.

There you have it. It doesn’t matter what you and I know and can find out on our own; it’s only what government-trained, and government-paid teachers are required to teach over any knowledge parents might have.

There are many teachers who want to be good teachers but are not allowed to teach anything but what the curriculum dictates.

When one mother objected how Thanksgiving was being taught, she called the principal “to point out that Thanksgiving was when the Pilgrims thanked God. The principal responded by saying ‘that was her opinion’—the schools could only teach what was in the books!”

If you ever sat through a college history class or even a high school history class, you will most likely be taught that there was a period called the “Dark Ages,” and it was all blamed on evil and ignorant Christians.

Nothing could be further from the truth, but in many cases there is no other view being taught. Art, science, architecture, music, literature, and so much more developed during the period that too many historians describe as “dark.”

The Enlightenment did not burst on the scene fully formed. There was a long development of progress preceding the area of a so-called enlightenment…

BN-CD488_edp_bk_ER_20140330172035

Take a look at Rodney Stark’s book How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity.

The perception that there has always been a war between religion and science is of recent vintage. The myth finds its most formal statement in the nineteenth-century works of John William Draper’s History of the Conflict between Religion and Science (1874) and Andrew Dickson White’s History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom (1896).

White introduces his work with the claim that he is ‘letting the light of historical truth into the decaying mass of outworn thought which attaches the modern world to medieval conceptions of Christianity and which lingers among us—a most serious barrier to religion and morals, and a menace to the whole normal evolution of society.”

Tom Shachtman writes in his book Gentlemen Scientists and Revolutionaries: The Founding Fathers in the Age of Enlightenment (2014):

“It is also important to note that the Founding Fathers’ science was in no way opposite their religion. The notion that science and religion were antithetical is a nineteen-century construct” falsely popularized by Draper and White. “To split the Founders’ religious beliefs from their scientific ones creates a schism that did not exist in the Founding Fathers’ time. The Founders saw and felt no space between their faith in science and their faith in a Deity.”

And what did Cassidy Vines do? She took her child out of the government school and is teaching her at home. There are many educational opportunities available to parents these days that avoid the government education gatekeepers.

Counting the cost of national maths failure

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WHAT’S five times four? Geophysicist Peter Ridd was gobsmacked to see a first-year university student pull out a calculator to work out the no-brainer equation.

The James Cook University professor blames the dumbing down of a generation of Australian students on modern teaching philosophies that deride rote learning as “drill and kill”. His alarm is echoed by eminent maths, science and education professors concerned that under­qualified teachers, “student-led” pedagogy and assignment-based assessment methods are rendering a generation of Australian children innumerate.

“Modern educational theory says you don’t need knowledge because it’s all online; there’s Google,’’ Ridd tells Inquirer. “But you ultimately do need a basic proficiency in spelling and numbers; you need knowledge inside your head. I’ve seen uni kids, when I’ve asked them ‘What’s 61 x 0?’, pick up a calculator.’’

Scientist Jennifer Stow, a former Harvard University researcher with a PhD from Monash University and a postdoctoral degree from Yale, shares Ridd’s dismay. As laboratory head at the University of Queensland Institute for Molecular Bio­science, and a principal research fellow with the National Health and Medical Research Council, she teaches science to undergraduates and trains PhD students.

Stow is “flabbergasted” by what she views as substandard skills in maths and English among many Australian undergraduates. Foreign PhD science students outnumber the locals in her field, she says, because local students are so far behind in maths.

“They can’t do basic maths,’’ Stow tells Inquirer.

“A lot of them haven’t learned the times tables at school, they haven’t been drilled in spelling and they come to university not being able to do division.

“There are lots of international students at university now, and kids from places like Singapore have got much better reading, writing and maths skills than the Australian kids.’’

The sliding standards are spelled out in the latest results from the OECD’s Program for International Student Assessment. The international PISA test, last conducted in 2012, reveals the numeracy levels of Australian teenagers have plunged so far in a decade that four out of 10 lack “baseline” maths skills.

student ranking

Australia’s maths performance in Year 10 fell by the equivalent of six months of schooling between 2003 and 2012. Australia dropped from 11th to 19th place in the league table of 65 countries. China, Singapore, South Korea and Japan topped the class; the average 15-year-old from Shanghai is 1½ years ahead in maths than a typical Australian student. Just 15 per cent of Australian students were top performers, compared with 55 per cent in Shanghai. One-fifth of Australian students were ranked among the poorest performers in maths, in contrast to 3.8 per cent of Chinese students.

The national curriculum for maths has won broad support from maths teachers and university educators. Kevin Donnelly, one of two educational experts appointed to review the curriculum for the Abbott government, believes style and quality of teaching count as much as the content.

“If it’s not rigorous, and teaching isn’t explicit and well structured, you do get into trouble,’’ he tells Inquirer. “There needs to be rote learning, memorisation and mental arithmetic so it becomes automatic. The fashion for the past 20 years has been very much against memorisation and we need to bring that back.’’

The steady decline in mathematics performance in Australian schools has resulted, in turn, in a shortage of qualified maths teachers. Thousands of children are being taught maths by teachers who specialised in humanities subjects at university.

“At high school the person teaching physics is more likely to be a physical education teacher than someone qualified to teach science,’’ notes Ridd.

Forty per cent of Australia’s maths teachers are “out of field”. Queensland’s Auditor-General has revealed that one in eight maths B teachers in years 11 and 12, and one in three maths teachers in years 8 to 10, lacks a tertiary qualification in maths. Four times more phys-ed teachers graduated from Queensland universities than maths teachers in 2012. The audit noted a shortage of maths, science and technology teachers in high schools — but an oversupply of physical education, music, drama and dance instructors.

Stephen Norton, a senior lecturer in mathematics education at Griffith University’s school of education and professional studies, tests the numeracy of all his would-be teachers. The results are worrying: the average undergraduate teacher has the maths skills of a Year 7 student. Half would struggle with a Year 9 National Assessment Program — Literacy and Numeracy test, which measures basic levels of literacy and numeracy for 14-year-olds.

Norton believes most univer­sity teaching courses fail to demand “reasonable levels of numeracy’’ from trainee teachers. Instead, course lecturers concentrate on teaching “learning theories, the role of technology, mathematics of indigenous cultures, learners’ attitudes towards mathematics and curriculum trends”. A typical four-year teaching degree, Norton says, dedicates just 32 hours to the teaching of maths.

“Every year I test my students and they’ve got the understanding of a Year 7 or Year 8 kid,’’ he says. “Maybe 25 per cent have a good knowledge. They struggle with fractions and proportional rea­soning and anything to do with algebra. I believe it is our res­ponsibility in universities to make sure we can remediate that.’’

Norton is critical of schools’ emphasis on “inquiry-based teaching” at the expense of drills and memorisation. Performance is falling, he says, “not because our kids are dumber; it’s because they haven’t got the basics”.

“We’ve got to find a balance where we don’t stifle creativity but we give students the basics to apply in higher order ways,” he arg­ues. “On the one hand, we want kids to discover how to do things themselves and be persistent and resilient. But what happens when you have inquiry-based pedagogy, with teachers who don’t ­really know the discipline and don’t emphasise the basic skills, is that children end up falling behind.”

One example of the modern “student-directed learning” style is the maths homework set for 10-year-olds at a Brisbane state school this week. “Write a reflection that highlights at least 2 areas in maths that you feel more confident about as we draw to the end of Year 5,’’ it says. “List at least two target areas that you would like to work on and explain what strategies you will use to take responsibility for your learning.”

Ridd, the James Cook University scientist who despairs at the reliance on calculators for simple sums, is highly critical of Queensland’s unique but controversial assessment methods for high school maths. While other states and territories rely on regular external testing of kids’ maths ability, Queensland high schools set a series of written assignments that can be 10,000 words long.

“We (scientists) want someone who can solve an equation and add fractions,’’ Ridd says. “The Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority wants someone who can write an essay. The problem for us is the mark that comes down from the high school is a very poor predictor of whether the students can do simple maths. The subject has been hijacked by education theorists who have no idea what’s going on.”

A Queensland parliamentary inquiry has recommended that external testing be introduced for 50 per cent of students’ marks in years 11 and 12 — in line with the southern states — with a limit of one written maths assignment each year.

The Liberal National Party government, having sat on the findings for 14 months, is now promising a “draft response” by Christmas. This week it published a vague “30-year vision” on education reform, which referred to the need to “attract, retain and reward the best and brightest teachers”. It will appoint 300 “master teachers” to 463 schools next year. Queensland is also reviewing its OP system, which ranks students on their “overall position” in relation to other students, without external exams.

It is telling that Education Queensland’s selective Academy of Science, Mathematics and Technology — reserved for the state’s brightest students — has shunned the official curriculum. Instead, its students study the International Baccalaureate Diploma, which the academy describes as a “program for rigorous learning and assessment”.

Matthew Dean, a researcher and former first-year lecturer at the University of Queensland school of mathematics and physics, believes teachers who let kids use calculators at primary school are “ruining children’s lives”.

In a submission to the national curriculum review, Dean explained that technology had a “smart end” consisting of the creators, and a “dumb end” of consumers. “Rather than making all Australian students and parents pay to be at the dumb end of technology, a good education system would give students the freedom to one day be at the smart, creative end, if they so choose,” he wrote. “The way to this freedom and ability is through mastering mathematics — the power of thought behind science and technology.”

Dean likens reciting the times table to learning musical scales on the piano: boring and repetitive but essential to mastering more advanced pieces. Having lectured first-year maths students at university for five years, he notes that many have knowledge of mathematical concepts but not the skills to solve problems. “It’s as if they’ve done a mathematical appreciation course,” he says. “They know of things but don’t have the skill to do it themselves.”

Nationally, the number of Year 12 students enrolled in advanced maths has fallen 22 per cent in a decade, choking the supply of graduates for research institutions and industry.

The Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute is warning of a looming skills shortage for industries such as banking, mining, information security, IT, biotech and communications.

Stow, whose groundbreaking medical research is tracking the movement of proteins within cells, complains that high school students are getting “dumber by the minute”. She champions a return to the times tables and spelling bees in primary school. “There is no substitute for rote learning and it is the only way to build neural networks and imprint things into your brain,” she insists.

A surgeon, Stow argues, has no time to Google in an emergency. “You can’t operate that way,” she says. “You need a certain amount of basic skills and instant recall to do the job properly. You’ve got a computer; it’s called your brain.’’

Published on

 

Natasha Bita is national affairs writer for The Daily Telegraph. A Walkley Award winning journalist, she is a former Education Editor, Consumer Editor and National Correspondent for The Australian. She has cov… 

Absent Without Leave: Fathers and the Education of Their Sons

Gary North (www.garynorth.com), March 06, 2018
What if fathers in homeschooling families agreed to accept all of the responsibility associated with educating their children starting in the sixth grade? Would their wives resist?
This would mean that the fathers would have to teach chemistry, calculus, physics, business, personal finance, and everything associated with earning a living in a technological world.
Are most fathers prepared to do this? No. They are not academically prepared. Until the advent of the Khan Academy, fathers also were not prepared in terms of the time that it would require for them to do this and also earn a living.
This has been the #1 social problem of Western civilization since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, which was approximately in 1800. Fathers began to go into factories, where they would spend 12 hours a day, not counting the time it took them to get to and from work. At that point, throughout the West, there was a new principle of education. Throughout the history of mankind, fathers had taught their sons how to earn a living, and mothers had taught their daughters how to run a household. But in English-speaking North America and the British Isles, this tradition was abandoned, family by family. Industrialization led to an historic increase of per capita wealth. It changed all of society. But the price of this transformation was that husbands abandoned the training of their sons to women.
In the second half of the 19th century in the United States, the public school system began to take children out of homes. They turned these children over to unmarried young women who had minimal educations. These young women taught in what we like to think of as the little red schoolhouse. They taught everything from first grade through high school.
Not that many young men went to high school. They went back to their families’ farms, where the rural fathers finally regained some control over their education. Others went into factories. But after World War I, that tradition also ended. Compulsory education laws forced children to stay in high school, where there were sometimes male teachers. There were no male teachers before high school.
In Western civilization since at least World War I, education has been based on females’ control over the education of boys prior to high school. In high school, there have been male and female teachers, with males dominating the natural sciences. Higher education has always been dominated by males, especially in the natural sciences. The forced hiring of women — the EEOC’s quota system — has led to the political correctness of the modern university, with safe spaces and all the rest of it. Higher education is being increasingly feminized. The educational system from kindergarten through graduate school will soon be in the hands of women and men who act on behalf of women. The main exceptions will be physics, chemistry, engineering, and the rigorous natural sciences.
Here is the economic bottom line: for classroom-based education, women are cheaper than men to hire, and therefore price competition will always favor women in the classrooms.
The reconstruction of Western society has to begin with the willingness of fathers to reclaim control over the education of their sons. Anything less than this will simply accelerate the feminization of the West.
THE INTERNET
Internet-based education is the one area in which men can reclaim their lost authority over the education of their sons. That is because price competition is so fierce that it drives down the cost of education to such an extent that men can regain control over their sons’ education by assigning courses at the high school level and even the middle school level as digital courses produced by men.
The question is this: will the male heads of households insist that they are responsible before God and other men for the education of their sons, and therefore make the decisions regarding what is taught to their sons and by whom? If they have access to online curriculum materials that are taught by men above grade 6, they can safely defer the education of their sons to male-based curriculum programs. But to do this, they have to reassert their authority in their households. They have to insist that they are in charge, and their wives are not in charge.
That is the problem. They are not in charge. They have deferred responsibility to their wives over education of their sons, as their fathers did, and their grandfathers did, and their great-grandfathers did. The only exceptions to this are the two Tyler brothers, whose grandfather was John Tyler, who was born in 1790. Their father was the president of William and Mary College. But with the exception of these two men, the legacy of education in the United States has been one of feminization.
We hear a lot about a subculture of men who are reasserting their authority. I regard this as posturing. We will not see men reasserting authority until they reassert control over the education of their sons. Spare me the burning pyre celebrations every year in the desert. I want to see homeschooling that has mostly masculine instructors above the sixth grade. In the long run, it would be better to have male instructors from kindergarten through high school, but that will be a task for a future generation.
I have no objection to women teaching girls. They have taught their daughters from the beginning of time. But the moment we say that there is equality of educational opportunity, men should take over the educational system for the sake of the sons, and the daughters will be allowed to tag along. If there were completely feminine-based curriculum materials online, and these were assigned by fathers to their daughters, that would be fine with me. I am opposed to the idea of equality in education generally, because I think the genders are different. But to the extent that we want to train our daughters to serve as men in business, government, and even the military, then we have to accept the fact that the daughters ought to be trained by men or highly successful women.
CONCLUSION
My problem as the marketer for the Ron Paul Curriculum is that mothers make the curriculum decisions, not fathers. I think they would be willing to surrender control over the education of their sons if their husbands demanded it and took over. But the husbands don’t demand it. They are absent without leave. Mothers have been forced for the last two centuries to intervene in the formal education of their sons. That was why the public schools gained such tremendous support after 1840. Mothers found a way to remove this obligation from their lives, and their husbands voted for politicians who recommended the creation of tax-funded educational programs. After women got the vote, men and women voted for the modern public school system.

The Day Solzhenitsyn Chickened Out

Gary North – December 12, 2019

Alexander Solzhenitsyn did not fear the Soviet establishment. But he feared a humanist twerp educator, so he remained silent in the face of petty tyranny.
I learned of this only this week. I was astounded at what I’m about report.
This much is well known. In 1978, Solzhenitsyn gave a lecture at Harvard against the humanism of the West and specifically the United States: A World Split Apart. He accused the West of a loss of courage.
Maybe the most striking feature which an outside observer notices in the West in our days. The Western world has lost its civil courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, each government, each political party and of course in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling groups and the intellectual elite, causing an impression of loss of courage by the entire society. . . . Should one point out that from ancient times decline in courage has been considered the beginning of the end?
He then said this:
In today’s Western society, the inequality has been revealed of freedom for good deeds and freedom for evil deeds. A statesman who wants to achieve something important and highly constructive for his country has to move cautiously and even timidly; there are thousands of hasty and irresponsible critics around him, parliament and the press keep rebuffing him. As he moves ahead, he has to prove that every single step of his is well-founded and absolutely flawless. Actually an outstanding and particularly gifted person who has unusual and unexpected initiatives in mind hardly gets a chance to assert himself; from the very beginning, dozens of traps will be set out for him. Thus mediocrity triumphs with the excuse of restrictions imposed by democracy.
Two years later, he faced a test. He then imitated the weak-willed, frightened bureaucrats whom he had criticized at Harvard.
In November 1980, Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter in the presidential election. The following brief story was published in The New York Times almost a quarter century later. It was reprinted on the Free Republic site the next day.
A Cold Morning in Vermont
By JOHN TIERNEY
Published: June 13, 2004
IGNAT SOLZHENITSYN understands why so many people have warm thoughts of Ronald Reagan, but one of his earliest memories is on the frigid side.
In 1980, Ignat was an 8-year-old transplanted to Vermont by his father, the famous chronicler of Siberia’s gulags. As Ignat tells the story, on the morning after the presidential election he got a taste of American political re-education at the progressive private school he and his brothers attended.
In response to the Reagan victory, the school’s flag was lowered to half-staff, and the morning assembly was devoted to what today would be called grief counseling. The headmaster mourned “what America would become once the dark night of fascism descended under the B-movie actor,” recalled Mr. Solzhenitsyn, who is now the music director of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. “At one point he interrupted himself to inquire if anyone present did not share his gloomy view of the Reagan victory.”
The only students to raise their hands were Ignat and his two brothers, Yermolai and Stephan. After a stony silence, he recalled, they were sent outside, without their coats, to meditate on the error of their ways underneath the lowered flag. Vermont in November was hardly Siberia, but there was frost on the ground, and they spent an hour shivering and exercising to stay warm. Still, Ignat said, their political exile was a relief from sitting in the auditorium listening to the party line.
The American education system from kindergarten through graduate school is dominated by narrow-minded, arrogant, gutless little twerps like the headmaster of that unnamed academy in Vermont. They have run the show since about 1950, and they have behaved, on occasion, just like the petty fondling headmaster. They are gutless wonders, but in dealing with subordinates who are completely under their jurisdiction, they like to push people around. This is nothing new.
What was new was this: the father of these boys remained mute. This story did not reach the public until 2004. Solzhenitsyn died in 2008.
If he had had an ounce of courage in the face of that spineless headmaster, he would have called a press conference. From around the nation, reporters would have come. He then would have told them the story of what the twerp did to his sons. The story would have been reprinted in every major newspaper in the country. I suspect that the TV networks would have been there, too. Then they would have gone to the spineless twerp for an explanation. The spineless twerp, half chameleon and half jellyfish, would have folded. He would have apologized. He would have crawled on his belly in front of the media. If the Board of Trustees had recognized the threat to donations, they would have fired him. But he got away with it. He got away with it because Solzhenitsyn chickened out. Solzhenitsyn crawled on his belly in private. He ran for cover. He would not defend his sons.
He had not buckled to the threat of the Gulag Archipelago, but he buckled in the face of a spineless twerp who was in charge of some unknown, overpriced educational safe haven for rich liberals in Vermont.
If you refuse to defend your young sons, you are lacking in courage. If you can take on the American establishment in a paid speech at Harvard, but you can’t take on a spineless twerp who treats your sons like this, there is something missing in your worldview.
Why didn’t he pull his sons out of that school?
I regard him as probably the greatest single voice of prophetic courage in the 20th century. More than any other individual, he was responsible for undermining the reputation of the Soviet Union in the West, putting the lie to half a century of mild-mannered, halfhearted criticism of the USSR by the American intellectual establishment. Yet when push came to shove where it mattered in the lives of his sons, he ran for cover. He huddled in the corner afraid to say anything.
How can this happen?
It happens because people really are afraid of the American intellectual establishment, whose authority extends downward into the school systems. Parents learn early to shut up, buckle down, and fork over the money. This is true of the public schools; it is also true of elite private schools. People send their children to Harvard, Princeton, and Yale, where their own worldviews are undermined by the faculties. They keep doing it, generation after generation. It began at Harvard in 1805, when Congregational Calvinists sent their children to be educated in moral philosophy by the newly appointed Unitarian who held the position. The practice is still in force.
He ended his Harvard speech with this call to action.
Even if we are spared destruction by war, our lives will have to change if we want to save life from self-destruction. We cannot avoid revising the fundamental definitions of human life and human society. Is it true that man is above everything? Is there no Superior Spirit above him? Is it right that man’s life and society’s activities have to be determined by material expansion in the first place? Is it permissible to promote such expansion to the detriment of our spiritual integrity?
If the world has not come to its end, it has approached a major turn in history, equal in importance to the turn from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. It will exact from us a spiritual upsurge, we shall have to rise to a new height of vision, to a new level of life where our physical nature will not be cursed as in the Middle Ages, but, even more importantly, our spiritual being will not be trampled upon as in the Modern era.
Yet when push came to shove, he buckled. He paid a small fortune to send his three children to be educated by humanists, and his children paid the price early.
Christians should stop paying this price. They should stop paying humanists to educate their children.
In 2018, a literary magazine financed by the U.S. government published this article: “A Tiny Village in Vermont Was the Perfect Spot to Hide Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.” It may have been perfect for him, but it was not perfect for his sons.