In a free country, parents would choose the when, where, whether and how of the educating of their own children. They would not have a mandate from a government that chooses the curriculum and sets the standards. Likewise, in a free country, those individuals, to whom God has given the gift of being educators, would be free to educate with all of their intellect, ability and God-given gifting according to their own conscience. No education bureaucracy would tell them how to teach. In a truly free country, the education of children would be determined exclusively by parents and those educators whose assistance parents might choose to employ.
As the framers of the United States Constitution understood, government does have a role to play in creating an atmosphere in which the general population can fare well, or as they put it, to “promote the general welfare.” To that end, government does have a role to play in encouraging education and creating an atmosphere in which it can flourish, understanding that freedom is the atmosphere in which education will flourish best.
Government’s greatest responsibility with regard to education is that of preserving the sovereignty of the family unit and protecting the God-given right and responsibility of parents to exercise exclusive jurisdiction where the education of their children is concerned. Beyond this, the only proper role for government in the field of education is to ensure that there is freedom of choice and competition in the marketplace of ideas.
When government creates an atmosphere that sets education free to flourish, there is liberty. When government mandates education, dictates the curriculum, controls the infrastructure, requires the general population to fund the system and compels parents to have their children taught according to the government prescribed standards, then there is tyranny.
Peck, R. W. (2016). Education: Set it Free. Conservative News and Views. Available http://www.conservativenewsandviews.com/2016/08/17/education/education-set-free/. Last accessed 19th Aug 2016.
The conventional wisdom is “You can’t shelter your children forever.” While this may be true when those children become adults and leave their father’s household, it is certainly not true in those formative years. The Bible says that children lack wisdom, and:
- Parents are to guide them every step of the way.
- Children are required by God to obey their parents
- Protecting children from sin is a God-commanded function of parents and all adults,
- as well as teaching respect for adults
- and fostering family and spiritual affections.
Trumbull, C. in Dix, S., ed. (2013). Outlawed! How Anthony Comstock Fought & Won the Purity of a Nation [ebook]. Location 2498-2505
One newspaper reviewer paid a real tribute to the substantial character of the work that [Anthony] Comstock had done [against obscenity, abortion, contraception, and gambling], but said that it was a glaring pity that his biographer had not dealt with the man and his work in a common sense way, instead of mixing the whole thing up with the religious views of Mr. Comstock—as though religion had had anything to do with the real results that this practical man had accomplished!
The biography, the critic felt, would have had much greater value if religion had been left out and the “real” and tangible facts alone had been set before the reader in an unprejudiced and normal way.
This critic of Comstock’s old-fashioned views did not realize that “if religion had been left out” there would have been no biography to write, no work to record. For the story of Mr. Comstock’s life is supernatural from beginning to end. He was a practical man because he was a religious man—a Christian.
Trumbull, C. in Dix, S., ed. (2013). Outlawed! How Anthony Comstock Fought & Won the Purity of a Nation [ebook]. Location 2444-50
Some years ago a man who had grown weary of the privilege of supporting his wife decided to repudiate her and shift the burden. Her counsel brought suit against him for non-support. The husband denied her wifehood, or even any knowledge of her.
But it was learned that [prosecutor Anthony] Comstock had once arrested the man, and he was subpoenaed to appear before the referee. Before going into court Mr. Comstock examined the records that he had made at the time of arrest, as filed in his office, and he took them with him.
As they waited for the court to open he saw his former prisoner standing nearby, and spoke to him, calling him by name. “You don’t know me,” said the man; “you never saw me before.” “I do know you,” said Mr. Comstock. “On —— date [about five years before] I arrested you down in Wall Street, and you came to my office to beg me not to prosecute you.
“You brought with you and introduced to me your bride, who is this woman here in court; and you wanted me to let up on you for your wife’s sake, as you said you had just been married.”
Then Mr. Comstock gave the facts under oath, on the witness stand, and the wife won her case.
Trumbull, C. in Dix, S., ed. (2013). Outlawed! How Anthony Comstock Fought & Won the Purity of a Nation [ebook]. Location 1854-64
The infidelity of today [away from God] is weak, because it asserts that it cannot know God. Agnosticism is really infidelity with a fool’s cap on. It has given up the battle and stands before the world as an ignoramus in all matters that pertain to God. It is wicked, as proved by this ethical code of its advocates.
In its best form it is moral deformity covered with mental finery. It is a poisonous vine, with gaudy flowers, whose odor is death. It is a vampire bat which sucks the life blood from its victim, while it fans him with the wings of melodious words. It is Epicureanism after it has been rotting for 2,000 years.
Trumbull, C. in Dix, S., ed. (2013). Outlawed! How Anthony Comstock Fought & Won the Purity of a Nation [ebook]. Location 1441-45
A man named Thomas Holman was known to have a printing house on the corner of White and Center Streets, in New York, where the Criminal Court Building now appropriately stands. When [prosecutor Anthony] Comstock visited him, Holman kept racks full of [Charles] Spurgeon’s sermons and tracts for free distribution in his office, while within a few feet of these racks, on the other side of a board partition separating the office from his press room, he had just printed the sheets of 10,000 copies of obscene books.
These sheets had been sent to a bindery across Center Street…when Mr. Comstock entered the premises and seized the stock…Mr. Comstock took several tons more of bound books, making about eleven tons in all. And from Holman’s vaults he took almost six tons of stereotyped [printing] plates. The plates were broken up and sold to the Rogers Locomotive Works as old metal.
The books were taken in sealed cases to the Platner and Porter Company Paper Mills of Unionville, Connecticut, where the cases were opened, one at a time, and the contents thrown into large vats of soda ash and ground into pulp in Mr. Comstock’s presence…The proceeds of these sales of metal and paper, more than a thousand dollars, were subsequently turned over to the widow of Jeremiah Farrell.
Trumbull, C. in Dix, S., ed. (2013). Outlawed! How Anthony Comstock Fought & Won the Purity of a Nation [ebook]. Location 919-30
Last week I read a biography of Anthony Comstock, a Victorian era prosecutor against obscenity, contraception, lotteries and abortion:
The federal and state courts were kept busy prosecuting cases in which the [New York] Society [for the Suppression of Vice] was the complainant. But the newspapers continued to advertise the lotteries freely, until one day the Grand Jury asked Comstock why the newspapers were not prosecuted, and asked if evidence against them could not be submitted to that body. He replied that he would be glad to secure such evidence—and in so saying he knew well that the moment he made this move the press of the country would be practically a unit against him and all his efforts…
He proceeded to secure evidence against every newspaper in New York City that advertised lotteries. He presented his evidence to the Grand Jury, and an indictment was found in every case…One paper, it was claimed, carried over five hundred dollars daily of paid lottery advertisements, often having more than a full page of such advertising in a single issue.
It was not surprising that, when it became known that the newspapers had been indicted on Comstock’s complaint, the New York Chief of Police remarked, “The fool’s hung himself.” A test case was tried. It resulted in conviction. The paper appealed to the Supreme Court of the state. The conviction was confirmed. Then the newspapers ceased to violate the law. It was not Comstock that had hung himself.
Trumbull, C. in Dix, S., ed. (2013). Outlawed! How Anthony Comstock Fought & Won the Purity of a Nation [ebook]. Locations 1120-23 and 1338-34.