Whose Job Is It Anyway? Part II
- Thursday, November 09, 2000
In our last article, we said that the state has weaseled its way into our homes in ways that it has no Biblical right to do so. We showed how this happened. We ended by asking these questions: What is the Christian reaction to the states intrusion into the family? What does God say the role of parents and non-parents is in education? Because the state now compels parents to educate their children, can we just flippantly transfer our authority to someone outside the family unit or church to instruct our children in absentia without any consequence? We think not.
Consider for a moment the unintentional consequences of sending children away to school. The child gets mixed signals. Listen to your teacher, says Mommy. But what happens when mommy and teacher have different opinions? Whose authority bears more weight? Mommys, when she barely instructs in math, reading or science and isnt around? Or a teacher, who is there all day long answering relevant questions? When teacher says, its ok to have sex, and thats the only place that Junior hears about sex (except during recess discussions with other boys) what is Junior compelled to do? He listens to the teacher. He decides that having sex before marriage is acceptable behavior. What do we expect him to do? And with parents oblivious to what is and isnt being discussed in the classroom, how are they to know what is being taught that contradicts family values? Its no wonder that a generation gap developed in the 1960s that has never gone away. Its no wonder that respect for authority is lacking in children today! In humanistic state-run schools, there is also no knowledge of God allowed. That adds to the lack of respect for authority as well.
In numerous places in the Old Testament, God told His people to teach their children. In Deuteronomy 6 parents were called to teach the law when they rise, sit, lay down, or commute (using the modern vernacular). In Proverbs, children are to heed their fathers and listen to their mothers. The role of the parents as educators is obvious. The role of parents is clear. God defined parents as the ultimate instructors of their children. Nowhere in Scripture are parents absolved of this responsibility, whether they believe that or not.
One serious problem is that we have unwittingly failed to define the proper relationship between civil and family governments. Biblically speaking, the civil government has no direct authority over the home. The state and the family are designed to be separate and distinct spheres of government. Constitutionally, the concept of a government whose powers are reserved . . .to the people means just that. If we as the people do not give the civil government the authority to rule in a particular area, its not their place to do so. That is how a constitutional republic-form of government is defined.
There is something else in Deuteronomy 6. When Moses tells the Jewish families to instruct their children, there are no sanctions for disobedience. If it were a state mandate, there would have been penalties of offerings or sacrifices. There were not. Biblically, there is no compelling state mandate to educate children. It is a family government responsibility. By the way, there is also no U.S. Constitutional mandate to compel education. The U.S. Supreme Court has stated that there is a compelling civil governmental interest to see that all children can read and be self-sufficient. But that is all!
How did we then get to the place where the state tries to control education over your children and threats with penalties for non-compliance? It didnt happen overnight. As schools became more locally centralized, and then dependent on non-local dollars, the state has stepped in. What began as parent-directed local education grew to become another parasitic local, state, and federal humanistic government regulating an area in which they have no right meddling. God has clearly differentiated these roles in the Bible. Parents are the controlling authority over their children in family government. The states authority is supposed to be limited to those issues that are clearly civilwhen physical harm is evident and provable, and the civil law has been violated. Nowhere is there a de facto right of the state to oversee or control the family or the child, either due to federal or state interests. Many times social workers will use terms like mental health and psychological damage to gain access to the home. The only reason they do so is because we as parents do not step up and demand that they knock it off.
One of the things that needs to be communicated to the educational community is that teaching our children is really quite simple and straightforward, if done in the home. It is not the sophisticated, high expense process that our educational establishment wants to make everyone think it is. Moms with very little college experience have been able to do it quite well. Many years ago, people like Abraham Lincoln proved that simple education can take place in very difficult circumstances with superior results. The American people are being pilfered, plundered and extorted by cunning educational bureaucrats and politicians into spending billions of dollars to do something that the average home schooler spends less than $500 per year per child to do! It is a scandal!
We as citizens, Christians, and parents must reclarify the authority of the state amongst ourselves and demand that our federal, state, and local governments return to being a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Far too often today officials try to make it appear that we are people of the government instead of the other way around. We must take back the lost ground if we are to see freedom ring once again throughout our land. Otherwise, visions of Orwellian Big Brother will be too close for comfort! It may already be so. Think about it.
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