State-endorsed Christianity in government schools

When people think of education in government schools, I think too many people are conditioned by the norms of the American judiciary i.e. an attitude of militant hostility towards Christianity in the classroom.

But in other countries, the situation is rather better. I reckon the average Joe tends not to think much about the British education system, but here’s an extract from Wikipedia:

Religion may have an influence on what goes on in state schools. For example, in the UK the Education Act 1944 introduced the requirement for daily prayers in all state-funded schools, but later acts changed this requirement to a daily “collective act of worship”, the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 being the most recent. This also requires such acts of worship to be “wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character”. The term “mainly” means that acts related to other faiths can be carried out providing the majority are Christian.

Quote source

Wikipedia (2017). Religion and Children. Available https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_and_children. Last accessed 22nd Apr 2017.

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Now this is the way, the truth, and the life

The first mistake [when raising children] is to abandon your children to the mercy of daycare, kindergarten, preschool, and school. To strangers, to hirelings who will desert the flock. Instead, in Deuteronomy, parents are commanded to teach their children all the commandments of the Lord, when they lie down, rise up, and so on. In Proverbs, the father constantly exhorts his son to give him his heart, to hear his words, to obey the law of his mother, to receive his instruction. The Great Commission tasks us to make disciples of all the nations, teaching them to obey everything that God has commanded. And Paul tells parents to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Finally, the apostle Bob in his epistle to the Equivocators, tells parents not to shelter their children. Not.

This is a serious job. This is not something that parents can or should easily delegate, certainly not to the state schools. Our children’s curriculum is supposed to be the law of God, everything He has commanded us…in other words, everything in the Bible and everything the Bible applies to, which is the whole of life and creation.

Quote source

Rowntree, S. (2012). Home Ed Apologetics: Some FAQs. Vintage Novels. Available http://www.vintagenovels.com/2012/10/home-ed-apologetics-some-faqs.html. Last accessed 8th Jun 2015.

When homeschooling trumps raising-by-the-village

In the mind of Hillary Clinton:

I really believe that it takes a village to raise a child and the American village has failed our children.

While there’s a fair bit of political baggage in that statement, I much prefer the following, in any case:

I homeschool because I have seen the village and I don’t want it raising  my children

Quote sources

  1. Clinton, H. (2007). The Great Presidential Mashup: The Democrats on education. Slate. Available http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/slate_fare/2007/09/the_great_presidential_mashup_3.single.html. Last accessed 30th May 2015.
  2. Erin (n.d.) Fun Homeschool. Available http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/0b/80/fd/0b80fd8f890f3113ef697be55e772b41.jpg. Last accessed 30th May 2015

Public schools’ infection of Christian children

The only way to protect your children from “public school culture” is not to put them in the public schools. If you think you can protect them from gender coaches, “King and King,” and subtler messages like “The Bible is hate speech” and “Communism has a lot of good ideas” by having a nice, civil chin-wag with a teacher or a principal who’s going to think you’re just another homophobic Christian moron—well, you really need to think again. But this is precisely the kind of fruitless drivel regularly indulged in by the pro-family movement. They dive for minnows in a pool full of sharks. They babble away about 9-year-olds being “salt and light” in schools run by adult immoralists. Somehow it makes them feel righteous.

Quote source

Duigon, L. (2013). A Lesson in Futility. News with Views. Available http://www.newswithviews.com/Duigon/lee216.htm. Last accessed 24th Jan 2015.

Bill Nye refuted on science education

[Bill] Nye claimed what keeps the USA ahead is to embrace natural science (meaning ‘billions of years’ leading to Darwinism).

FACTS: In 1962 America’s public schools rated in the top 10% worldwide in science, math & overall education. Then, in 1963, we removed prayer & creation & began teaching kids they evolved without God. Today, America’s schools rank in the bottom 20%. The Bible Word warns us to avoid false science and today we’re reaping the fruit for not doing so.

Quote source

Miller, R. (n.d). Russ Miller Answers Bill Nye. Creation, Evolution and Science Ministries. Available http://www.creationministries.org/showpage.aspx?page=98. Last accessed 17th January 2015.

Poe’s Law for public schools?

The Australian Education Union has slogans like “Join the campaign for public education — Australia’s future“.

But if American public education is anything to go by—or rather its supporters—I can’t help but think of Poe’s Law:

But it seems to me that if every single parent sent every single child to public school, public schools would improve. This would not happen immediately. It could take generations. Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good…

Reading Walt Whitman in ninth grade changed the way you see the world? Well, getting drunk before basketball games with kids who lived at the trailer park near my house did the same for me. In fact it’s part of the reason I feel so strongly about public schools.

Quote source

Benedikt, A. (2013). If You Send Your Kid to Private School, You Are a Bad Person: A Manifesto. Slate. Available http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/08/private_school_vs_public_school_only_bad_people_send_their_kids_to_private.html. Last accessed 20th Sep 2014.

Christian displays in public schools

In 2008, [John] Freshwater [former public school science teacher] came under scrutiny for incorporating Christianity into the classroom environment, and officials ordered him to remove all religious items from his room, which included a poster of the Ten Commandments, as well as other displays that contained passages from Scripture. He was also told that the Christian materials that he had been using to refute evolutionary theory were concerning. Freshwater agreed to take down the majority of the items, but insisted that the Bible that he kept on His desk had to stay.

Following the incident, supportive students decided to rally behind Freshwater by wearing Christian t-shirts to school and carrying Bibles to class.

My two cents

The bad news was that the Supreme Court of Ohio upheld the decision to fire Freshwater, but it wasn’t a unanimous decision; the ruling went 4-3. If one more went the other way, it may have been a different outcome.

One bit of good news was the classroom students that supported him—good on those students.

I read that Freshwater now works at a private school. What a relief that private schools exist as an alternative to public schools and their humanistic mindset. I hope Freshwater’s current school allows him to put up religious symbols in his classroom.

Quote source

Clark, H. (2013). Ohio Court Upholds Firing of Teacher for Refusing to Remove Christian Symbols From Classroom. Christian News Network, 20 November. Available http://christiannews.net/2013/11/20/ohio-court-upholds-firing-of-teacher-for-refusing-to-remove-christian-symbols-from-classroom/, last accessed 6th Jul 2014.