Does Education Prevent Children From Coming to Jesus?

Strahlen

My son was a third grader when he first faced prejudice in his classroom.

“Mommy, we went to the front of the room to put our tally marks under who we are voting for,” he said. “When I put mine up, the teacher called out my name and said, ‘I am SURPRISED at YOU!’ Everyone laughed, and no one else put his mark under my guy.”

My son had “voted” for a very pro-life, very Conservative candidate. The other students, some of whom had parents rooting for this man, laughed as my son hung his head and walked back to his seat. Not one other student put his or her tally mark under that candidate. Most chose to put tallies under Obama’s name, choosing their teacher’s approval over their parents’ values.

Maybe I should be grateful that my son made it to third grade before meeting any prejudice. I know there are many places in the world where children don’t get to go to school at all or fear for their lives because they go, so why would I have an issue with a little bit of a hurtful comment?

I may have let it go, if I’d thought this teacher, who I don’t think was a “bad” person, was an anomaly, but she is far from it.

Over my years of teaching in public schools (and even in many Catholic schools!), I have seen an increasing number of students ostracized for their beliefs, and with all that is going on in the world today, with so many atrocities being played out against Christians worldwide, I cannot help but wonder if that kind of drastic persecution could ever reach our Western nations and how that might get started. Are we, when faced with locked schools and closed classroom doors trading short term safety while losing our children to the beliefs of their teachers rather than the beliefs we have held dear? If so, what does that mean for our long term safety and the continuation of our faith?

I remember one particular conversation I had with our middle school US history teacher who I worked with for only one period. In that one period I learned that as the Pledge of Allegiance is said each day, this man makes an obvious show of turning his back to the flag and not saying the pledge. To some, this may not seem like a big deal, but this teacher who sports a long, bushy black beard and jokes about people wanting to racially profile him for looking like a Muslim, has a huge influence on the minds of our 13 year olds.

Walking around the room, I noticed two boxes of the Axis of Evil finger puppets on display. The first held Kim Jong Il, Saddam Hussein, Hitler, and George H.W. Bush. The second held George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condaleeza Rice, and Donald Rumsfeld. When I asked the teacher about this, he made a comment about teachers who have Pro-Life stickers on their cars (me) where everyone can see them.

My concern over this Axis of Evil is great, not only because of a political viewpoint, but because of two greater issues. The first is that the teacher is rewriting history, making our Christian leaders comparable to some of the most evil-consumed men in history.

The Bible tells us:

I warn everyone who hears the prophetic words in this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words in this prophetic book, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city described in this book. Revelations 22: 18-19

Now, obviously the Bible is of far greater significance than our middle school history text books, but if we are to be modeling our lives after Biblical teachings, after the life of Jesus Christ, and trying to convey Truth in all we do, are we not also responsible to report history without adding to or subtracting from it? Our leaders have made mistakes. Innocent people have been killed wrongly in wars whether just or unjust, but to compare that to the suffering of those under such tyrannical dictators as Kim Jon Il, Hussein, and Hitler not only hurts Western thinking, but also belittles the decades of intense suffering our brothers and sisters have suffered worldwide.

Perhaps even more disturbing than this rewriting of history is the way it is being rewritten. The teacher had an issue with my publicly displaying my Pro-Life views, but he had no issue with delivering his views to our children quietly, behind the “safely” closed doors of his classroom, behind building walls where parents need state approved reasons to sign their children out and where those parents are almost never welcomed into the classroom.

Which makes me question how many parents really know what goes on in our children’s schools?

With schools sponsoring things like The Day of Silence and Mix It Up Day and classroom doors sporting those endearing, “Safe Space” rainbow stickers, I wonder how many children and parents understand what goes on behind those classroom doors. I wonder if a Catholic child would be welcomed if she believes in one man one woman or if she would be “enlightened?” Would a boy be protected if he wanted to wait for marriage and the guys in the locker room were giving him a hard time or would he be told to understand their point of view? Would the child of a homosexual find he is made into a poster child there, pressured to promote his parent’s behavior when he really wants anonymity and to just get an academic education?

Jesus told the disciples,

Let the children come to me and do not prevent them. Luke 18:16

But, with the declining numbers of Western Catholics and Christians, with closing churches and schools worldwide, I question whether our children are being prohibited from coming to Jesus. How greatly does what goes on behind those locked doors of the classroom affect our faith? Are our children receiving an education that is intended to pull us all away from our faith? How many parents know what is truly going on behind the locked doors of our children’s schools and how many are willing to risk ridicule and more to stand up to it? How many take the time to sit with their children and talk to them about the issues and give them the power to stand up for their beliefs in school? How many children are comfortable in doing so?

As the new year starts, our children are in fact AT RISK, but not in the way our educational professionals write it up in Educational Journals. Today, the greatest risk to our children is the deprivation of their moral character.

Do you know what goes on in your child’s school? As a tax payer, do you know what you are funding? What can you do to, not only stop anti-Catholic teachings, but to promote Christian values?

As the new school year begins in so many areas and as busy schedules threaten to take away family time, be aware of what goes on even in places we should trust, like in our children’s schools; take the time to talk to and listen to your child; ask questions; read some of the books from the school library; and speak up. You are still your child’s greatest teacher. Let him see you stand for your faith.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on google
Google+
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

25 thoughts on “Does Education Prevent Children From Coming to Jesus?”

  1. Pingback: Patriarch Calls for Eradication of Islamic State - BigPulpit.com

  2. Having been a public school high school principal for 30 years and now retired, let me iterate my principles about public education:
    …no teacher has a right to advocate any religion nor personal religious viewpoint in a public school
    …no teacher has a right to advocate for any particular politician or political viewpoint in a public school with students
    …no teacher has a right to share their personal religious, political with students in a public school
    …whenever a controversial issue is part of classroom curricula both side should be objectively presented, ie when does life begin (at conception or at first breathe)
    …no teacher in a public school should teach as science any view which is patently unscientific, ie young earth
    …every teacher in a public school should protect and defend every defined constitutional right (state or federal) and every determination by the SCOTUS, no matter what their personal belief system…these are the law of the land and foundations of our society

    1. Thank you for reaffirming my beliefs. I have taught in public schools and cannot imagine having political or religious posters, displays, or other such items or actions on display. I am not sure why some feel it is okay to do so, but I have seen it many times in the 20+ years I’ve been in the classroom as a professional and, more recently, as a parent.

      How would you suggest countering things like the Day of Silence or displays such as the one above? What can be done in your opinion?

    2. Sorry Phil, maybe I should have explained better. Thanks for asking. The Day of Silence is to represent the oppression of the LGBT community. Students are asked to wear a sticker or even put tape over their mouths to show how LGBT people are treated in society and how we must be more open and accepting them. It promotes sexual exploration and a number of other anti-Catholic, anti-Christian, anti-faith-based curriculum measures, and students worldwide participate each year.

      Here is the link to the main website: http://www.dayofsilence.org The FAQ section has more info.

      Personally, I think that while there are some who discriminate against LGBT people, there is a far greater oppression of domestic violence victims, rape and abuse victims, unborn children, faith-filled children and even adults (and that can be of many faiths, Christian and Jewish primarily), there are several victims with a far greater oppression and far less voice than the LGBT community. Any discrimination is wrong, but when we promote our own agenda and convince/encourage children to violate those of their parents’ in public schools or anywhere…that is just wrong.

    3. I am familiar with the Day of Silence as presented and I will try to answer your question as objectively as possible. There are many forms of discrimination which are simply wrong; all abuse and bullying are wrong. Now the way public schools can deal with these issues is dependent on two issues: Civil rights arising from the federal government and rights defined by states. Gender orientation, to my knowledge, has never been defined as a civil right on the US Constitutional level. What has been defined is in a case Tinker v DeMoines, where student were punished for wearing black arm bands protesting the Vietnam War….the SOCTUS said in essence that students do not leave their constitutional rights at the school door. Short of proving material disruption of school, students have freedom of expression. The Day of Silence expresses a first amendment right of speech, period! The Day of Silence is rarely if ever sponsored by the school, but usually by a Gay-Straight Alliance Club. The Equal Access Law on the federal level simply states that if a school allows non-curricular clubs (open forum), it cannot prohibit specific clubs. If there is a club meeting time before, after, at lunch, then specific clubs cannot be prohibited. If you have a Key Club (mini-Kiwaniis), then you must allow a Bible Study club, a Gay-straight alliance, Jr ROTC, whatever. These clubs can equally access announcement systems, bulletin boards, use posters to promote the club and meeting time. The Day of Silence usually stems from a club and the use of silence is probably protected speech by students. Staff are not part of the equation because you cannot have unfettered speech with a “captive”audience.
      States compound the issue. I live and worked in MA and the MA courts have held that the MA constitution extends civil rights to GLBT students, etc. MA has specific regulations regarding bullying, reporting, alliances, accommodations for transgender students, etc. Gay-straight alliance are encouraged and supported by the state. Gay marriage is legal in MA, so teachers cannot depict something legal as immoral in a public school. Homosexuality is a civil right in MA, so teachers cannot convey the notion that it is disordered. Bob Drury is right in that this emulated, for better or worse, the Prussian model of education which goes way back. Sex education, contraception and abstinence, etc. is mandated in MA.
      Now what can schools do to help parents who hold opposing views. Essentially, there is one thing alone….communicate. Schools should communicate to parents the law and why we allow what we allow. We need to alert parents to the Day of Silence, to Bible Clubs, to all coming events so that parents can have a discussion with their children from their faith based perspective. In most cases, even Catholic Church going parents do not agree on issues like homosexuality, gay marriage, contraception….overwhelming numbers support these. So if parents are aware of a Day of Silence coming up, they can communicate their values to their children.
      In MA, schools must give notice to parents of any lessons in any curriculum area which touch on sex education. Parents can “opt out” students from those lessons if they choose, but for students this can be stigmatizing, but there is choice.
      In short public schools should communicate objectively upcoming events to parents and never censor legal events. Whenever possible schools should give parents the right to opt out. Communication with parents is the sole way to respect certain faith based tenets. Countering a faiths objections to legal issues is a matter for the home….We, as administrators, too often, fail to communicate and leave parents out of the equation.

    4. Being ranked number one in a nation that does so poorly when compared with other nations is no big deal. Clearly something is wrong with American education. I would say too much time spent trying to socially mold children, not enough on math and science.

      “American adults lag well behind their counterparts in most other developed countries in the mathematical and technical skills needed for a modern workplace, according to a study released Tuesday.

      The study, perhaps the most detailed of its kind, shows that the well-documented pattern of several other countries surging past the United States in students’ test scores and young people’s college graduation rates corresponds to a skills gap, extending far beyond school. In the United States, young adults in particular fare poorly compared with their international competitors of the same ages — not just in math and technology, but also in literacy.

      The United States ranked near the middle in literacy and near the bottom in skill with numbers and technology. In number skills, just 9 percent of Americans scored in the top two of five proficiency levels, compared with a 23-country average of 12 percent, and 19 percent in Finland, Japan and Sweden.”

      There is no reason for pride for any American state when it comes to education.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/08/us/us-adults-fare-poorly-in-a-study-of-skills.html?_r=0

      As to being the number 3 Catholic state, that merely means that a great number of Irish live in Massachusetts. Massachusetts is ranked near the bottom of every poll of church attendance. MA, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine are the only states under 30%.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_the_United_States

    5. Massachusetts might possibly be 3rd in baptized Catholics (if current child-bearing generations in Massachusetts are still baptizing infants in Church, or even having babies instead of contraception-using, non-married relationships), but I doubt it’s high on actual practicing Catholics let alone Catholics in love with the faith, Christ & His holy Bride the Church (like St. Francis of Assisi or Chesterton or St. Paul the Apostle or St. John Paul II). These polls are based on “self-identifications” so some who claim to be Catholics might not even be baptized at all (because they’re parents were lukewarms or “fallen-away” Catholics). Massachusetts is actually has one of the highest numbers of “Ex-Catholics”, lukewarms & “fallen-away” Catholics (who for some cultural reason still call themselves Catholic).

    6. Massachusetts is actually has one of the highest numbers of “Ex-Catholics”, lukewarms & “fallen-away” Catholics (who for some cultural reason still call themselves Catholic).

      We do this so as to better contrast (we) Catholic sinners with (you)Catholic saints

    7. I agree. No student (or anyone!) should be bullied or abused in any way for any reason. I have nothing against a person who is gay, and even if I did, I still have no right to do anything but Love him or her. That is what we are called to do. God gave us free will. Far be it for me to try to force someone to my way of thinking; however, God also expects us to Stand for what is right, and the day of silence and the GLBT agenda take things too far and kids who do not support that do get bullied. I’ve seen it first hand, and in the school districts where I’ve seen the day of silence take place it is very much teacher led. Teachers put up the posters. Teachers lead the club. Teachers encourage students to participate. Teachers openly, continuously, and often unkindly question students who do not.

      It is definitely better for a school to inform parents about what is going on. I am so glad to hear you always did this. I am telling you that is not always the case, and in many instances it is definitely not the case. The only way I knew about these events was because I worked in the school and because my children came home and talked to me about them. I am glad I have that kind of relationship with them, but I shouldn’t have to. I do not send them to school for this brand of education, and I think many parents feel the same. We all also know that many times the attitude toward teaching things like abstinence is a poor one at best. It may be mandated by the state, but the state can’t mandate equal enthusiasm.

      I have seen assemblies promoting equality, respect, acceptance – all the sound-good buzz words – but really meaning promoting anti-Christian, anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, anti-pretty-much-anything beliefs – equality, respect, acceptance, but only if your views match mine.

      Whether or not, the followers of the faiths actually believe in the ideals of their faith or not is beside the point. We have small groups of individuals speaking out against and banning The Pledge of Allegiance because “under God” offends them, and yet, despite large numbers of the faithful speaking out against sex ed the way it is taught in our schools and at the ages it is taught, there is nothing that is done. One voice silences the Pledge. Many voices do nothing to change the promoted sexual agenda.

      So, while yes, in an ideal world, schools would inform parents and parents would know they could “opt out,” this doesn’t always happen, and kids who do opt out are also then bullied. What is done to protect them? I’m guessing very little – especially when it is a teacher who is putting the student on the spot.

      Phil, I think you would be hard pressed to find many schools in our liberal states like MA, NY, CA, IL, etc where children who are pro wait for marriage or pro one man, one woman for life are not more bullied than the GLBT children. Did we, as a nation, trade our values and exchange one set of bullies for another? There must be room for all and no agenda should be taught in the public schools.

      We also got caught up on the day of silence. I want parents to look at the entire picture. Please go to your children’s libraries – see what is on the shelves, read some reviews or even some entire books, get some like-minded people and split up the reading. Look around your child’s classroom. What clues are given there? Question the history taught. Question your child. Listen. Make your views known. Be a voice.

    8. The present conundrum of what the government should teach children in grades K to 12 in the government schools is inherent in the Prussian origin of compulsory government education. Children in K to 12 should be taught what their parents desire, not what any government agency or court decides, including the SCOTUS. Yet, it is essential that teachers and administrators within the system check their minds at the school
      house door. As an agent of the government, as a soldier, theirs not to reason why.

    9. Phil Dzialo, so if the SCOTUS defines that owning Black Human Beings as Slaves is a Constitutional Right (& you should know basic US History to know that it’s happened before), should every teacher in a public school protect & defend every defined constitutional right & every SCOTUS determination (including owning slaves)? I feel sorry for the kids that had you as a principal.

    10. @Catholic Pilgrim….a very lopsided comment hidden in the cloak of anonymity. Anonymous people can say anything, however inane, without accountability…anonymity allows for snarky, mean-spirited commentary. Respecting your comment of blacks and slavery, might I remind you that the Old Testament and Paul speak to the rights of slave masters and treatment of slaves…where are the pernicious roots of this evil inhumanity? When people evolve in consciousness things change, for some it’s a slow process.

      And yes “I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;….” from all enemies…domestic.

    11. So you answered my questions with Ad Hominems instead of actually engaging with logic & reasoning. Nice.

    12. You said (Catholic pilgrim):

      1.I feel sorry for the kids that had you as a principal.

      2.& you should know basic US History to know that it’s happened before

      3.Phil, take some science & logic courses.

      And , you accuse of of ad hominem argumentation because I confront anonymity which is snarky ? Nice….

    13. Phil Dzialo, btw, Biology teaches that life begins at conception. At conception a unique human DNA is formed. The zygote human cell has all the potential to develop into an adult body. This is biology. Why are you so insistent on your Pro-Abortion ideology that you deny simple science? What if I believe that life begins two years after a human is born? Do I have a right to terminate a baby that has been one year outside the womb? Phil, take some science & logic courses.

    14. I am not pro-abortion so stop the bullying tactics and wild imaginings. American and international bioethicists still debate about the moment life begins all the time. This is the USA not the Vatican State….

    15. And you are quoting Peter Singer of Princeton U to make your point. Peter Singer is the bioethicist who supports infanticide and advocates the abortion of disabled fetuses…differentiates between “human beings” and “persons” and is open to sex with animals? Great source….read well before you share a man’s quotes.

    16. Birgit Atherton Jones

      Exactly! You brought in the scientific approach, so I ran with it. Even someone like Singer (and the secular scientific community) knows when life begins – from the scientific, not moral position. Shouldn’t it follow that Christians, having the fullness of faith, could do no less?

    17. Yes, yes…but there is no definitive statement equating “life” with personhood or “human being”. A zygote is the initial stage of life, so is a mushroom spore, so is a fertilized chicken egg….so?

    18. Birgit Atherton Jones

      <>

      If it’s a human zygote and it’s deemed as life, what else would it be? It’s not a chicken or mushroom. It’s a human, needing nothing but time, nurture, and a safe environment in which to mature.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.