“I AM MUCH AFRAID THAT SCHOOLS WILL PROVE TO BE GREAT GATES OF HELL UNLESS THEY DILIGENTLY LABOR IN EXPLAINING THE HOLY SRIPTURES, 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 INCREASINGLY OCCUPIED WITH THE WORD OF GOD MUST BECOME CORRUPT.” - Martin Luther (1483-1546)
How prescient was that great, but flawed, man of God, Martin Luther! We all know, by now, that prayer, Bible reading, and the life lessons taught by God’s Word were long ago (1962 & 1963) banned from our government so-called “schools” or, as I prefer to think of them, anti-education, anti-American centers for the un-education and the corruption of our youth.
Many people, both Christians and non-Christians, predicted what the consequences of removing the influence of God’s Word and traditional morality from government schools would be, and their concerns have come to pass, in spades! Martin Luther, in the quote above from the 16th century, was among the earliest to voice his warnings about what happens to a culture when the study of Christian Scriptures and prayers were banned as “dangerous” to our youth. As one Supreme Court Justice observed at the time that Christianity was purged from our nation’s schools, if the Ten Commandments were posted in our nation’s classrooms, students might actually read them and be influenced by them and obey them. What a horrible thought! How fortunate that American civilization was “liberated” from that “repressive” ideology by those ‘saviors’ of progressivism in the Extreme Court.
I recently read a cogent article from the June 21, 2021 issue of The New American magazine titled, “Separation of School and State”, by William Jasper and Dr. Duke Pesta, and it was this article, from which I quote freely, that prompted me to share these thoughts with you.
There was a time in our nation’s history when Americans were demonstrably some of the most literate people on earth. For example, in the 1840 census, around 90% of white adult people were found to be literate. The 1860 census indicated that 94% of free male citizens were literate. And this was at a time when the vast majority of education was done in people’s homes or, alternatively in some states, particularly Massachusetts, in private or church-sponsored schools. Long before that time, way back in 1765, John Adams remarked in regards to the educational attainment of his fellow colonists: “(A) native of America who cannot read or write is as rare an appearance as a comet or an earthquake.” Sadly, the same CANNOT be said of the level of educational attainment among today’s younger American population, especially of the products of so-called “schools” in the larger, liberal Democrat dominated cities.
As the Jasper/Pesta article explained, “When a small group of ‘reformers’ in 1817 petitioned the Boston town meeting to extend the (few) common schools to the primary level, a subcommittee was appointed…chaired by distinguished architect Charles Bullfinch, to survey the city’s educational needs. The Bullfinch report revealed that ‘an astonishing 96% of the town’s children were attending school, and the 4% who did not, had charity schools to attend…. Thus there was no justification at all for the creation of a system of public primary schools, and Bullfinch reported as much to the School Committee, which accepted the…recommendations’.”
So why, it is logical to ask, did the movement to begin widespread “public education” come about, since obviously it was not necessary? Then, as now, the answer to that query had much more to do with “politics” than with educational necessities. By the early decades of the 19th century the people who were the most instrumental in pushing the movement to establish “public” education—influenced and/or controlled by some level of government-- were often socialists and secular humanists—anti-Christians who “were more imbued with the ideas of Robert Owen (the ‘Father of Socialism’) and German philosopher Georg Hegel (Karl Marx’s major mentor) than with the constitutional principles and Biblical morality that held sway during our founding period.”
ORIGINS OF PUBLIC EDUCATION
ROBERT OWEN (1771-1853) was a wealthy anti-Christian industrialist who came from Scotland in 1825, and soon thereafter established his socialist “utopian commune” at New Harmony, Indiana (which dissolved in chaos after three years). Owen discovered a sizeable number of like-minded people among the American intelligentsia, mostly in the northeast. One of these people was a man named ORESTES BROWNSON (1803-1876), who eventually converted to Catholic Christianity (after flirting with cults such as Transcendentalism for several years) and who thereafter exposed the “devious and conspiratorial methods by which the Owenites had fastened statist schooling upon America”. Brownson wrote: “For the Owenites the great object was to get rid of Christianity, and to convert our churches into halls of science. The plan was not to make open attacks on religion although we might belabor the clergy and bring them into contempt where we could; but to establish a system of state—we said national—schools from which all religion was to be excluded, in which nothing was to be taught but such knowledge as is verifiable to the senses and to which ALL parents were to be compelled by law to send their children.” Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
Another worshipper at the altar of “public education” was HORACE MANN (1796-1859). In a private letter, Mann wrote of state sponsored education as a “beautiful and glorious development…the greatest of earthly causes. It is part of my religion to believe that it must prevail.” His opinion was that the common, or public, schools would “create a more far-seeing intelligence and a purer morality than has ever existed among communities of men.” Mann is considered to be the “father” of modern, publicly funded government schools, beginning in the antebellum period. While some of his concepts were innovative at the time, he met with much resistance from educators, from the church, and from parents, who disagreed with Mann’s disregard of teaching phonics and the sounds and names of the alphabet’s letters. He was also attacked for not stressing the teaching of “morality” in schools, although he denied that.
In the early 20th century, one of Mann’s educational disciples was a man named JOHN DEWEY (1859-1952), who is usually referred to as the “father of progressive education”, and was surely one of the most well known and most publicized of the progressive era’s educators. Dewey was a notorious humanist and an atheist, who viewed his brand of “education” in almost a reverential manner. “The teacher,” he pontificated, “is engaged not simply in the training of individuals, but in the formation of the proper social life, (and) in this way the teacher always is the prophet of the true God and the usherer-in of the true God.” Dewey’s “true god” was the state, not the God of Scripture.
Dewey’s philosophy (shared by many after him in the “public” school movement) was that the State—and not God- is the “savior” of mankind. (Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, and Benito Mussolini also believed that). Historian Lawrence Cremin, writing about the zealots who pushed for a “new social order” wrote that “once public schools were established, no evil could resist their salutary influence. Universal education could be the ‘great equalizer’ of human conditions, the ‘balance wheel’ of the social machinery, and the ‘creator of wealth undreamed of’” Ah yes, the “state” is all-knowing, all-seeing (well, it IS good at spying on us), and no other “god” beside the “state” must come between the youth of our nation and ultimate utopia. In our time more and more American parents have become totally disillusioned over the totally failed public school system that our nation has been saddled with for almost 180 years. They are right to be disillusioned!
IS PUBLIC FUNDING OF SCHOOLS BEST FOR AMERICA?
Karl Marx, a virulent anti-Christian, preached in his Communist Manifesto of 1848 that religion must be destroyed in order to “perfect” society. Well, our nation –or at least its powerful and despicable leaders-- have successfully purged all mention of Christianity and God and Christ from our public schools. “Our” government has perpetrated the most horrid and destructive sin that could ever be committed against the young people of our once-free nation by robbing them of their sense of Divine calling and purpose by convincing so many of them that they have not been born in the image of God. What is happening in our schools today is but a consequence of that rejection of God, and the substitution of “the State” in the place of God. Karl Marx would have been pleased to observe how so many Americans have taken his Satanic drivel to heart (Satan was the first ‘Marxist’ you know). To make matters worse, all of us, especially property owners, have been taxed and taxed to support government schools that increasingly are turning our children against their own families, against Biblical teachings and morality, and increasingly against the constitutional republic that our Founders sacrificed so much to give us. Surely the hottest places in Hell are being reserved for those who administer the progressive schools of education, the Marxist teachers unions, particularly The National Education Association, and the hordes of school principals and administrators and classroom teachers who have surrendered to Marxist ‘progressive’ ideology in our day and who are teaching Marxist anti-Americanism, anti-free enterprise, anti-American history, and RACISM to our young people!
Back in the 19th century, the English philosopher, Herbert Spencer, accurately observed: “In education, as in everything else, the principle of honorable competition is the only one that can give present satisfaction or hold out promise of future perfections”. An astute reminder that failing institutions do NOT appreciate competition that makes them look bad, as plainly is the case in modern America when comparing the FAILED government school system nation-wide to the many superior private and religious schools that have burgeoned in recent times. Just look at the dismal SAT scores posted by the products of government schools, versus those same scores earned by young people from private or Christian real schools. There is no comparison! It’s also good for American parents to remember what a recent university professor, Dwight Lee, cogently explained about the political and economic ramifications of government schools: He wrote:
“As long as education is provided publicly, it will be controlled by, and for the benefit of, public education professionals….As long as education is funded publicly, decisions on ‘educational’ policy will be made POLITICALLY (my emphasis), the interests of consumers will remain diffused and unorganized, and dominated by the focused and organized interests of public school professionals.” (The Freeman, July, 1986). And we surely all know by now that it is those “public school professionals”—the two large teacher’s unions particularly, who seem to be controlling ALL the major decisions on “educational policy” here in the U.S. Even the totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL Department of Education is beholden to these huge leftist-oriented unions and to the leftists in control of them, especially the leftists/progressives of The National Education Association.
MIND CONTROL VS. FREEDOM
Way back in the year 1859, the English philosopher, John Stuart Mill, in a treatise titled On Liberty, clearly delineated the dangers of public education. He wrote: “A general state education is a mere contrivance for molding people to be exactly like one another, and as the mold in which it casts them is that which pleases the predominant power in the government, whether this be a monarch, a priesthood or an aristocracy, or the majority of the existing generation, in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a DESPOTISM OVER THE MIND (emphasis mine), leading by natural tendency to one over the body.”
Mill’s ability to foresee our present day is amazing. Our country is infested presently with “educators” who lust after the power that they imagine collectivism will give them, as they try to force the young minds of their state wards (i.e. OUR kids) into their progressive/socialist mold. Even as far back as the early 1900’s, one of them—Dr. Fred Gates, who was in charge of the Rockefeller Foundation’s General Education Board, wrote in that group’s Occasional Paper No. 1: “In our dreams we have limitless resources and the people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. The present educational conventions fade from our minds, and unhampered by tradition, we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive rural folk.” Well, Mr. Gates, your “dreams” have become NIGHTMARES to many present-day American parents. As we fast forward to the present, the time of virtually “limitless” government resources, all of us “ grateful rural folk” are beginning to realize that we were CONNED by the educators and administrators of the government schools, who promised a nation of well-educated geniuses, but who delivered mediocrity, failure, and the curse of mal-educated sameness from America’s classrooms.
It is abundantly clear to all but the most shameless devotee of government (public) financed and controlled schools that our federal government is totally incapable of managing and competently directing our nation’s schools. To begin with, there is NOTHING in the U.S. Constitution that permits a Department of Education that forces states and communities to bow to the progressive demands of the collectivists in Washington, D.C. by bribing them with huge amounts of money. Since federal control of education is UNCONSTITUTIONAL, ALL involvement of the federal leviathan with education should be immediately phased out and returned to the states and local communities where it truly belongs. As the Jasper/Pesta article concluded, “it is abundantly clear that the creation of a public school system was a matter of control, NOT education, one in which compulsory government schools ripped children from families, divorced them from their faith and their local communities, and remolded them in the image of materialists, atheists, and socialists.”
And that is why all parents must now resolve to REMOVE THEIR CHILDREN FROM THE CLUTCHES OF THE FEDERAL EDUCATION ESTABLISHEMENT! Failure to do so will sooner, rather than later, assure the end of a free and independent America. I hope all parents will make the right choice! MAKE THE SACRIFICE: Put your kids/grandkids in true pro-American private or Christian schools—better yet HOME SCHOOL them if at all possible. You’ll be glad you did, and so will future generations!