Education for Freedom

Introduction:                                                                               

From time immemorial, people have considered education to be of vital importance in their community and nation. At the same time, there has been a significant division between those who saw education as a parental responsibility (which is the Biblical position), and those from a humanist position who have seen it as a task best carried out by the State.

Deuteronomy, chapters 6 and 11 explain a Biblical educational position. Chapter 6, verses 1-3 give us a brief summary:

Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the Lord your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it, that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly, just as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.

On the other hand, a humanist’s educational position was clearly explained by Hitler.

When an opponent declares, ‘I will not come over to your side,’ I calmly say, ‘Your child belongs to us already…What are you? You will pass on. Your descendents, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.’ [1]…This new Reich will give its youth to no one, but will itself take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing… [2]  These boys join our organisation at the age of ten…and they will not be free again for the rest of their lives.[3]

Unquestionably education is at heart a religious issue, because education is not primarily about academic subjects like Maths, Science or History; it is firstly a matter of values and ethics. The question is of course, whose values? The values and ethics of God as revealed in scripture, or those of humanistic man?

What is the Nature of Government (or Statist) Education?

  1. a) Government education is Messianic: Horace Mann claimed that

the common school is the greatest discovery ever made by man…other social organisations are curative and remedial; this is a preventative and an antidote; they come to heal diseases and wounds; this to make the physical and moral frame invulnerable to them. Let the Common School be expanded to its capabilities, let it be worked with the efficiency of which it is susceptible, and nine-tenths of the crimes of the penal code would become obsolete; the long catalogue of human ills would be abridged; men would walk more safely by day; every pillow would be more inviolable by night; property, life and character held by a stronger tenure; all rational hopes respecting the future brightened.[4]

  1. b) Government education is implicitly or explicitly hostile to the Christian faith, because it assumes the roles and responsibilities of parents in direct contradiction of scripture. Hence

schooling is a form of adoption…you give your kid away at his most plastic years to a group of strangers. You accept a promise…that the State (through its agents) knows better how to raise your children and educate them than you, your neighbours, your grandparents, [and] your local traditions do, and that your kid will be better off…in the key hours of growing up, strangers have reared the kid.[5]

  1. c) Government education propagates a Statist ideology. North has written that

 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. This justification has always been a lie, from Horace Mann’s public schools in Massachusetts in the 1830’s until today.[6]

  1. d) Government education is coercive. Because the statist since the days of Rome will not tolerate rivalry, any educational system or plan that hasn’t been approved will not be accepted. Unregistered homeschooling families throughout Australia when discovered, are often threatened with prosecution, and in Queensland may be visited (at the Department of Education’s behest) by the police. “Education in the hands of the state is coercive, compulsory, and a form of humanistic predestination. In every sphere, the state is coercive because it is anti-God, anti-Christ.”[7]
  2. e) Government education is amoral. “It is not an accident that the de-Christianisation of schools and state [in the U.S.] since World War II have been followed by a great increase in crime, drug use, illegitimacy, sexual crimes, perversions, pornography, and more.” [8] Not surprisingly, it is now illegal for a state school in the United States to display a copy of the Ten Commandments.
  3. f) State education is monstrously inefficient, largely because of a departmental bureaucracy, the hiring of teachers, and the purchasing and maintenance of school properties. The cost of educating a child in the Australian state system is now (in 2011) over $13,000 annually, while parents can competently home-school their child for under a thousand dollars annually.
  4. g) State education is a spectacular failure:

Before the states in America took over education, the United States had the world’s lowest illiteracy rate and a remarkably capable populace. Today…we have our highest illiteracy rate in history. Jonathan Kozol, in “Prisoners of Silence,” (1980) gives us some very alarming estimates, from federal and other sources. The Office of Education estimates that fifty seven million Americans are unequipped to carry out the most basic tasks. This means over 35% of the entire adult population.[9]

How Can this be Changed?

It has already begun, because of the vanguard of determined parents who have been leading the way into educational freedom through homeschooling, especially amongst the Christian community. This has been happening quietly now, for over 30 years.

But what is also required is a substantial change of belief in the grass-roots of the community, whereby the community tires of the inefficiency, the failure, the coercion, the immorality, and the hostility of the state school to the Christian faith.

Conclusion:                                                                                            

Parental control of child rearing, especially education, is one of the bulwarks of liberty. No nation can remain free when the state has greater influence over the knowledge and values transmitted to children than the family…The best way to improve education is to return control to the parents who know best what their children need.[10]

Christians must see past the State’s educational indoctrination process of approval through registration. It is us who have been given the task of bringing godly leaven to our communities. Jesus said that “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened” (Mat.13:33)

The real question then, is this: do we really want our children to be free?

 

 

 

[1] Hitler, Nov.6, 1933, quoted in Shirer, W. “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,” 1968, p.343.

[2] Hitler, 1937, (quoted in Shirer, p.343.)

[3] Hitler, 4/12/1938. Quoted in, A. Klonne, “Youth in the Third Reich,” p.80, 1982. (See “History in Quotations,” 2004, p. 759.)

[4] Williams, E., “Horace Mann, Educational Statesman,” 1937, p.248f . Cited from “The Common School Journal,” Vol.III, p.15, January 15, 1841, Introduction. Quoted in Rousas Rushdoony, “The Messianic Nature of American Education,” 1995, p.29.

[5] John Gatto, “State Controlled Consciousness” 1990 (?)

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

[7] Rousas Rushdoony, “Romans and Galatians,” 1997, p.178.

[8] Rousas Rushdoony, “Roots of Reconstruction,” 1991, p.288.

[9] Rousas Rushdoony, “Roots of Reconstruction,” 1991, p.502.

[10] Dr Ron Paul (U.S. Republican Senator), 2007.