Should Christians Use Public Schools?
by Pat Goltz
Before reading this article, please see the following link. I wrote before I read it, but it will put my remarks in perspective.
Please note that the domain name, "www.awareamerica.com," appears to be unavailable, or to have disappeared entirely. IF ANYBODY KNOWS WHAT HAPPENED TO IT, PLEASE LET ME KNOW. In the meantime, I have the article on this web site. I am ANXIOUS to link to it again rather than having it here!
A number of my Christian friends send their children to public school. I have wanted to write on the subject of whether this is a wise decision for some time. This short paper is not designed to be rigorous, but merely to present my observations, reasons, and conclusions.
I have studied law, and have investigated certain areas in particular. I will be telling you of my legal knowledge and experiences in support of my view.
Deuteronomy 6:4-7 reads, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."
We who are Christians are not bound by Old Testament law, but are living under grace. Nevertheless, I think that this passage has a definite meaning for us, and is effectively a command for all time. Although most of us are not physical descendants of Israel, we worship the God of Israel. God has made it plain that He wants us to teach our children about Himself, and that the command to do this is not confined to physical Israel. These words from Deuteronomy are in the form of a command. The use of the word "shalt" makes it legally a command. The use of the King James translation here provides some insight into the verses that is not present in more recent translations, because the use of the singular pronoun "thou" has fallen into disuse. But the use of the singular in these verses has significance. It is directed to Israel both as an entity, and to individuals, particularly individual fathers. When you read this passage in the light of New Testament passages concerning the education of children, you discover that the New Testament amplifies this command; it does not do away with it. The command to raise our children in the knowledge of God and in love for Him is not such a command as Christ would have nailed to the cross. It is a command to Christians as well.
The passage indicates that the job of educating children centers on helping them learn Who God is. This is a paramount duty of parents. It can not be delegated to the government. Only under certain circumstances can it be delegated to the church. God made three different spheres of authority. The government is one; the church is another; and the family is the other. God gave each one duties, and gave complete authority to each one over the duties He assigned to it. The duty of goverment is spelled out in Romans 13. Government exists to keep control over wrongdoers for the sake of the rest of us. God did not grant government any authority over the education of children. Such authority was given by God to the family. In the same manner that we may not take the law into our own hands through vigilante activity, in exactly the same manner, government may not take over the role of the family in educating children. The fact that we may temporarily influence the government to teach Christianity in the schools, as was done in the nineteenth century, is beside the point. We do not have the right to delegate this responsibility to the government. The fact that the government schools have destroyed any semblance of Christian teaching in the schools is the fruit of the fact that the government is not designated by God for this purpose. When government arrogates unto itself this duty, it is out of the will of God, and eventually this will appear in the fruits.
The Deuteronomy passage says that we are supposed to teach about God to our children when we rise up and go to bed, and when we go along the way, and when we sit in our houses. Children who go to public school do not spend the day with parents, as parents carry out those activities. They do not see their parents go to bed. They may not see their parents rise up. Although they may be around their parents when their parents are sitting in their houses, it is rare for a child to be with his parents when they are going along the way, which is to say when they are going about their business away from home. Because the schools take children away from their parents for the bulk of the day, children do not live with their parents. They live at school. They merely sleep and eat at home. During the hours they are home, often they are alone, because both parents are at work. They do their homework and watch television. They spend very little time in the actual company of their parents.
Children are under the influence of teachers who, in numerous court cases, have been forbidden to even let children know they are Christians, if they are. Far too many teachers are not. There is to be no reference to God in the classroom. Even children are not permitted to witness to their faith.
The schools teach the theory of evolution, which makes a case that God does not exist and does not need to exist. In my experience, the theory of evolution is a primary factor in drawing children away from God. Often a person must be convinced that the theory of evolution has no scientific basis before he is open to the gospel. Unfortunately, most people are not willing to accept the evidence that the theory of evolution has no scientific basis. John Dewey, who changed the public schools into tools of indoctrination to produce a socialist "utopia," worked to make sure that all reference to God and His creation were taken out of the classroom, and that children are raised effectively illiterate so that they may be controlled by dictatorship. The best safeguard against dictatorship is literacy and the access to written works that present ideas that the regime does not like. Dewey worked to take that away from the children. He succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. Children grow up being unable to learn for themselves that the theory of evolution is nonsense, because they cannot read well enough to learn about this on their own. They will not receive this information at school, and they will not receive it through television. The only place to receive it is either in the rare church that presents scientific creationism, or through books. My personal experience is that the theory of evolution is a major deterrent to the spread of the Gospel. The vast majority of people I have witnessed to over the years have rejected the Gospel because of their belief in the theory of evolution. In all my years, I was only instrumental in undoing the damage in one case.
Many parents are concerned about the illiteracy problem. They do not realize that the people in positions of power are deliberately teaching children to be permanently illiterate. They do not realize that we as small groups or individuals do not have the political clout to remedy this problem. Parents spend years fighting through the PTAs to try to reverse what is happening. They spend their efforts in vain. PTAs have virtually no authority. Parents often spend much time attending school board meetings to get change there. They are relegated to the back burner. Their concerns are unheard. The boards do what they please. Parents lack the political clout to elect enough board members to bring about lasting change for the better. I have witnessed parents in large numbers protesting the presentation of sex education in the schools. Their efforts were almost totally in vain. One board meeting in particular sticks in my mind. The parent turnout flooded the room and the hall, all the way outside the door. One woman had signed up in advance to speak. Most parents turned their names in at the meeting. The first part of the meeting was taken up with the board members awarding each other and certain teachers all kinds of awards, and patting each other on the back. Then the one woman was allowed to speak, and after that, the board announced that they had run out of time, and the meeting was adjourned without any other parent being allowed to speak. The school board did what it pleased about sex education, and paid no attention to the parents' concerns at all. This is the height of arrogance, and school boards are permeated with it.
Why do parents spend so many hours at PTA meetings, board meetings, and in community efforts to try to change the schools when they could be spending that same time directly with their children, doing what God commands?
Do you honestly think that there is anything parents can do to bring lasting change to the schools?
Today a big issue is "socialization." Most parents think children have to go to school to learn how to get along with other people. God made the family for that purpose. God intended for parents to fill their quivers with children. The children are there to teach each other how to get along with people. In a book called The Secret Language of Your Child, the author describes his observations of children in a preschool. Unlike the family, where generally the children are each a different age, in the preschool, the children are all the same age. In the family, there is a natural pecking order. In the preschool, the pecking order must be established. Preschool children do not know of constructive ways to establish the pecking order. In this book, different types of behavior were described. Some children are isolated. Some children try to dominate others through force. Others act out. A few try to get other children to do what they want through persuasion. These children are called "dominant leaders." Probably no more than 5% of the children in a given classroom will show dominant leader behavior. Yet, to my mind it was the only acceptable behavior the author described. Children in preschools are being taught all the wrong ways to interact with others. When they play together, there may well be a teacher watching, to prevent mayhem. The bullies just wait until the teacher's back is turned, and they do as they like to the other vulnerable students. The fruit of this system is the extortion, violence, sex, and drugs that we see in the school scene today. Children go to school, not to learn to socialize, but to be social deviants. I HAVE NOT KNOWN A SINGLE CHILD WELL IN RECENT YEARS WHO HAS NOT DEVELOPED AT LEAST ONE SEVERE PERSONALITY DISORDER BECAUSE OF HIS HAVING BEEN RAISED IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
Do you want your child to learn how to bully others? Do you want him to learn to extort from others? Do you want him to learn violence, drugs, and promiscuous sex? Do you want him to be in fear of his life? Do you want him to learn to hate or ignore God? If not, then why do you want your child to be raised in this vat of poison? This is not socialization; it is destruction.
I have spent some considerable time in the Montessori environment. Maria Montessori designed an educational system which is very different from the schools in general. Few public schools offer Montessori training. Montessori herself traveled to India, and eventually got involved in theosophy. Theosophy is a syncretic eastern religion, and together with the eastern religions from which it was developed, forms the basis for the New Age movement. The Montessori system is compatible with New Age thought. It is, however, also somewhat compatible with Christianity, and exercises designed to teach the Christian faith have been developed. Apart from these considerations, however, the basic groundrules were laid down by Montessori the Catholic, early in her life. She discovered several very important principles which the schools would do well to heed. To begin with, she placed children of different ages in the same classroom. The second thing she did was to structure the environment by space, not time. In the conventional classroom, there is a specific time when each subject is studied. The class studies that subject as a whole during that designated time. In contrast, the Montessori classroom is structured by space. The room is divided into different areas. One area is for teaching reading and writing. One area is for teaching mathematics and science. One area is for teaching practical life, which is the study of how to care for the environment, including how to keep a house orderly. The final area is devoted to sensorial learning. It appeals to the development of the senses. Each area contains materials organized on shelves. The materials can be manipulated by a child working alone, who knows how the material is to be used. The Montessori teacher is in the background. She shows the children how to use each piece of equipment as it is placed into the classroom. A child's efforts are respected. He decides who will be allowed to use the materials with him and when. He learns to ask the teacher questions, and to direct his own learning. The children are kept busy at tasks that they have chosen, so that they do not have the attention to do destructive things to other children. Children who misbehave are isolated until they are ready to keep the rules. Older children help younger children. I have observed many hours in the Montessori classroom. A classroom run according to her rules produces children who are highly socialized, and very comfortable in social situations. They treat each other kindly. The children are also quite capable of taking on the job of educating themselves, and perfectly willing to do so. Montessori produces self-reliance.
The home is a natural Montessori environment. There is plenty to do to keep the child busy. As in the Montessori classroom, the child learns through keeping his environment orderly. He is fascinated with this process, and willingly participates. Montessori demonstrated that young children love to keep their environment orderly. She established a system where children had freedom of choice, but the only choices offered were constructive ones. Under the supervision of parents, children are also offered only constructive choices. Most learning of the basic subjects is incorporated into the daily activities of the modern household. With good books, reading instruction from parents, and carefully selected educational programs and videos, children can be exposed to all of the information necessary to become well educated. In the conventional classroom, children are taught to hang on every word of the teacher. What better training for hanging on every word of a dictator?
Public schools are funded through property taxes. This funding is contrary to federal law, which granted allodial title to land through the land patent system. If you do not pay your property tax, the government will take your land without compensation, which is unconstitutional. Yet this system is held in place through fear, and left unchallenged because people do not have either the knowledge or the means to contest it. Frederic Bastiat wrote a book called The Law. In this book, he writes that the government's duty is to protect the citizens from plunder. Yet, the government is in the act of plundering the people in a way that no private individual could accomplish. We live with an outlaw government that violates the Constitution and seizes our property, all in the name of educating children. When an individual sends his children to public school, he is utilizing a resource provided by the government through plunder. This is stealing by proxy. The parents get the fruits of the government's theft.
Should the Christian steal from others in order to educate his child? Can the Christian honestly argue that he can raise his children in righteousness when the very means he is using to pay for that education is a violation of the most fundamental moral laws that God established? Does the end justify the means? Why do you want to plunder others by proxy to pay for your child's education? What kind of lesson does that teach him?
The public school system is really educational welfare. Why do parents who otherwise understand the destructiveness of welfare become so intimately involved in taking educational welfare?
The public school system is designed to teach children to accept whatever the government does without question. They say, he who pays the piper calls the tune. Since the government pays the public schools, it decides what will be taught. It teaches children for the purpose of perpetuating itself and increasing its power.
Why would you want your children indoctrinated into slavery to the government in the public schools, instead of learning how to be self-reliant and to run a household well?
Many parents think they are incapable of educating their own children. Yet, there are many materials out there to help. God gave each couple the children He wanted them to have. In His wisdom, He selected the parents He knows to be capable of the job. Who are we to argue? Rather, should we not trust that God knows what He is doing, and that He will give us the means to educate our own children? Should we not ask God to show us how, and then through diligent study, should we not learn and apply what we have learned? You think you cannot do the job? I will tell you otherwise.
The first thing I want to tell you should establish the idea that any parent can train his own child. One time, I met with a Hispanic mother. Her son was about 14 at the time. He was functionally illiterate. The mother was bilingual, and because of this, the schools had decided she was mentally retarded. They failed to teach her the most basic subjects. She graduated from high school with a diploma that meant nothing. But she had a burning desire to educate her son, because she could see that he was being destroyed. I had the opportunity to meet her at the point where she decided that she had to educate him, come hell or high water. I asked her, "What is your son interested in?" She said, "Body building." I said, "Get him every book you can find on body building, every magazine. Then just let him have them." She did that. A few years later, her son had gotten his GED and joined the Marines. If she can do it, you can, too. There is nothing mysterious about raising your own children. All you need is the love and commitment that will see you through.
My own experience is as follows: I grew up in a dysfunctional situation. I was a social misfit. Nearly everyone in the school was my enemy, and going to school was living hell. I have seven children. The oldest attended school through seventh grade. The next one attended for two years. The one after that attended for one year. The rest never attended school at all until the college level. I provided a Montessori type environment for them. I did not construct a miniature classroom like a lot of parents do. My oldest son took the tests at the local community college and made the highest scores ever made. He taught himself computer programming, and is working as a programmer, making a good salary. He is faithful to the Lord. My oldest daughter became interested in art and writing. She has won a boy to Christ. She passed the GED with flying colors. She married a man who owns and runs his own taekwondo school, and they run the school together. She attends the local college off and on. She is faithful to God. The next oldest son is adopted. He is seriously gifted in music. He learned to play the violin, starting at age 14. From there, he worked his way up to standard symphony orchestra repetoire in two years. He organized and ran his own swing band as a "high school senior," pulling 24 gifted high school jazz musicians together for a semester; they subsequently performed for the entire city. He earned an all-expenses scholarship to a new music conservatory. He plays violin, viola, trombone, piano, sings (trained to the level of opera soloist) and conducts, and is presently studying, under full scholarship, at the local university, with a major in voice. The next younger son had a learning disability. Yet, I taught him to read when he was 5, and he is now an excellent reader. He is studying to be an Emergency Medical Technician, and is doing very well. What was once almost impossible, learning medical vocabulary from his reading, has now become easy for him. He is faithful to God, and has been witnessing to a Mormon girl. We spend many hours talking about religion; he is fascinated with Christian apologetics. As he puts it, he wants the answers to all the tough questions. He has willingly accepted my parental guidance, even when it was a struggle because he wanted to do things differently. As a result of my experience educating him, I was able to help my sister develop an educational program for her son with Down Syndrome that has resulted in him developing superior intelligence. The other daughter is also gifted in music. She plays the viola. At one time, she played in three orchestras. She is married and wants to become a mother, and she has stayed faithful to God. The next child, a son, is not sure what he wants to do with his life. He is interested in science, and he also plays the French horn. He has been a dream to raise; always cooperative and willing, accepting my guidance willingly, and controlling his behavior so that he is easy to get along with. My youngest son is gifted in classical guitar. He was offered a scholarship, but he has been called into the ministry. He was less cooperative than some of the other children, but the fact that I educated him at home meant that he did not learn all the ways to avoid my guidance that so many youngsters learn. What could have turned into open rebellion was well within my means to handle. We operate under an additional handicap that many families do not share: for several reasons, we have not been able to raise our children in a church. Here is the clincher: not one of our seven children has rejected God or the Christian faith! How many Christian parents do you know who can say that about even two children?
God designed the higher animals such that the mother cares for the young until they are ready to fend for themselves. God designed human beings so that they require this kind of parental guidance. Yet, we thrust our children into an alien, hostile environment while they are still far too young to fend for themselves or defend the faith. This is not witnessing; it is turning our children over to pagans. God expressly forbids this.
Often Christians think that they can influence others for Christ by being involved in the public schools. Whatever influence they exert is more than made up for by the damage the public schools do to children and to the general public. We have raised several generations of illiterates who respect no one. The violence of our cities is testimony to the seeds we have sown. We live in total chaos because we violated God's design.
In the former Soviet Union, Christian parents were compelled to send their children to school. God protected many of these children because there was no way out for the parents. Here, we have a choice. God owes us no protection for deliberately and voluntarily disobeying the design He ordered for our families.
Finally, please pay very close attention to what I am about to tell you. In recent years, government child protection agencies have become a major problem. They seize children from innocent parents and destroy families. They seem to have a knack for finding parents they can victimize. I have seen what should have been happy Christian families with a strong mission completely destroyed by these agencies. They are so bad that in one case I studied, a mother was forbidden to read the Bible to her daughter who was in state custody, when she visited her. All too often, a family is torn apart through a case completely manufactured out of thin air claiming that one of them did something abusive. One of the things considered abusive is godly discipline. This is religious persecution of the highest order.
DID YOU KNOW THAT WHEN YOU SEND YOUR CHILDREN TO PUBLIC SCHOOL, YOU HAVE GIVEN GOVERNMENT CHILD PROTECTION AGENCIES THE LEGAL RIGHT TO SEIZE YOUR CHILDREN WITHOUT WARNING AND SEVER YOUR PARENTAL RIGHTS? DO YOU WANT THIS?
I am firmly convinced that no Christian parent has any business allowing children to be educated in the public schools, and the sooner Christians realize this and act upon it, the better.
Bring your children out of the public schools and educate them yourselves, either at home or in Christian schools. The sooner we can shut down the pagan system through our nonsupport, the better off our nation will be. The sooner we pull our children out of the vat of poison, the better off they will be.
Come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord. Touch not the unclean thing. Blessed is the man who walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. If these things apply to us, they apply to our children also. Let us take back our children and do the job that God gave us to do. Let us be obedient to God rather than man. Then God will prosper and protect our children, and heal our land.