In his Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690), John Locke hypothesized that a child, when born, is a blank slate. This understanding of human nature slowly but surely began to displace the historic American understanding, inherited from Protestantism, namely that the child, far from being a blank slate, is, because a descendant of Adam, a sinner from the womb (Psalm 51:5; 58:3; Gen. 6:5; Rom. 5:12). Locke’s understanding of human nature was taken by those promoting universal public education, and made a foundation stone.
In 1814, Robert Owen, who believed that all of society’s problems were caused by religion, published his multi-volume A New View of Society: Essays on the Formation of the Human Character. Building on the foundation laid by Locke, Owen promoted a socialistic view of education as a tool to build a populace, trained by the elite, who would be citizens transformed and conformed to what the state desired. Toward the end of his life, one of Owen’s followers, Orestes Brownson, a Unitarian clergyman, candidly confessed, “The great object was to get rid of Christianity, and to convert our churches into halls of science…schools from which all religion was to be excluded, in which nothing was to be taught but such knowledge as is verifiable by the senses, and to which all parents were to be compelled by law to send their children…this much I can say, the plan has been successfully pursued, the views we put forth have gained great popularity, and the whole action of the country on the subject has taken the direction we sought to give it.” Did you hear that? I encourage you to read that again and ponder it! Then look around and observe - “the plan has [indeed] been successfully pursued, the views [they] put forth have gained great popularity, and the whole action of the country on the subject has taken the direction [they] sought to give it”! Government education, often touted as a giant failure, has been a magnificent success. This success is not measured in children becoming educated, but in children being conformed to the desire of those who drive and direct the course of government education.
In 1821 the first public high school was opened. One year later, the first teacher’s college was established with the publically avowed goal of training teachers who would be part of the universal, compulsory education system. Teacher’s colleges would standardize teacher training which would result in standardized children - cookie-cutter kids, primed for manipulation by the state; this was their goal and still is.
In the next few decades a number of infamous characters entered the public school effort either directly or through their philosophies. Horace Mann rejected the Bible and in 1843 visited Prussia where he witnessed state funded, compulsory schools, with state certified teachers. He brought this vision back to America. Karl Marx’s influence began to be felt about 1848 when he and Friedrich Engels wrote the Communist Manifesto, in which document, plank number ten demanded free education for all. And do you suppose this “free education” was out of their concern for children? Not a chance! It was to move the entire population, generation by generation, toward socialism. I again invite you to take a look around. We are undeniably becoming a socialistic country. More and more people are employed by some aspect of government, and a continually growing percentage of the population is living on government handouts (welfare, Wick, subsidized housing, etc; also consider government takeover of private industry).
In 1867 the Department of Education was created. In 1889, G. Stanley Hall, first president of Clark University, took Darwin’s theory of evolution and applied it to children by developing age segregated education where children were required to learn with children their own age whether or not they were at the same level in skill and knowledge. Mann also was President of the American Psychological Association; he brought Sigmund Freud to the United States. Mann taught that religion could be set aside in favor of reason and science.
As government schools in America were gaining popularity, Robert Lewis Dabney, Chief of Staff to Stonewall Jackson, warned American society saying, “Any training which attempts to be non-Christian is anti-Christian. God is the rightful Supreme Master and owner of all reasonable creatures. Hence, to train a soul away from Him is robbery of God. He has not indeed committed to the state the duty of leading souls to Him as its appropriate task. This is committed to the family and to His church.”
Before Princeton Seminary was taken over by the Unitarians, E.E. Hodge was principal there. Hodge warned the Christian public, “Public education is anti-Christ! It is the catechistical arm of a godless government. It is an idolatrous institution aggressively hostile to your faith. Its intention is to purge the knowledge of Christ and Christianity from the minds of your children, and own them for the god called State. A comprehensive and centralized system of national education, separated from religion, as is now commonly proposed, will prove the most appalling enginery for the propagation of anti-Christian and atheistic unbelief which this sin-rent world has ever seen.” I ask you again to pause and look around. Has not Dr. Hodge’s prophetic warning come true?
Our contemporary, John Taylor Gatto, toward the end of his career, was twice awarded the Teacher of the Year. He quit his prestigious government education career because he came to believe the system broken and irredeemable. Mr. Gatto asks, “Is there an idea more radical in the history of the human race than turning your children over to total strangers who you know nothing about, and having those strangers work on your child’s mind out of your sight for a period of twelve years? Could there be a more radical idea than that!” Yet most of the children of this country, including 85% of the children of Christian parents, are subject to this twelve year brainwashing.
Jesus gave us good news! It is possible to build upon the rock of doing His Word. He also warned that self-destruction would be the end of those who do not build upon His Word. The government schools began with a faulty foundation. They are not built upon the foundation of God’s Word, upon Christ and the fear of the Lord which are the beginning of wisdom. This government school system, ordained by its creators to extract Christianity from the population, continues its successful campaign. It has borne awful fruit in America. From the foundation up, the government school system is rotten.
Approximately eighty-five percent of Christian children are schooled by the godless government school system. Statistics demonstrate that about eighty-five percent of those Christian children so schooled will leave the church shortly after they graduate from high school. Yet, every Christian parent I speak to insists that the school his child attends is different - different because their’ school has Christian teachers, or a Christian principle. In other words, Christian parents are in denial, a denial that has produced a cancer within the Church which is slowly, and surely, producing death. The only answer is to turn from this and call upon God to give us renewal. Nothing short of the faithful obedience called for by Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Ephesians 6:1-4, and Matthew 28:18-20 will answer the deterioration the church in America is experiencing. Oh that each of us might realize this - “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7 Oh that we Christian parents would not be fools who despise wisdom and instruction! God requires Christian parents to give their children a thoroughly Christian education (2 Cor. 10:5). The options for Christian children include Christian school, Christian homeschool or some form of thoroughly Christian education. Education into any other worldview is unfaithfulness to the God who has called Christian parents to disciple their children for Christ. It is unfaithfulness to God to give our children to a system that is against Christ, is socialistic, relativistic, Darwinian and unbelieving such as the government school system in America.
Training our Children in the Christian worldview is one of the highest and perhaps the highest priority God has given Christian parents. Certainly higher than career, owning a home, owning a newer car, saving for retirement, recreation or creating a college fund. God calls Christian parents to make whatever sacrifices must be made to bring up their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Government school is decidedly not an option for pursuing this requirement! Grandparents are also called by God to help in the pursuit of this endeavor.
Here are a few children you might have heard of who were homeschooled: George Washington, Robert E. Lee, Patrick Henry, William Pen, Alexander Graham Bell, John Quincy Adams, Douglas MacArthur, Benjamin Franklin, Stonewall Jackson, Thomas Jefferson, John and Charles Wesley, Alexander Hamilton, Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln.
We invite you to download from the internet the tract I wrote titled, Government Schools, Parents & Kids: How Will We Answer the Lord, and What Will He Say? I would be happy to mail you a printed copy upon request. Get it at: www.4HisName.com. Also download the ICCP theological document: The Education of Christian Children, from www.ChurchCouncil.org.
Tags: a new view of society, alexander grahm bell, alexander hamilton, christian education, Communist Manifesto, concerning human understanding, Douglas macarthur, Friedrich Engels, G. Stanley Hall, government schools, homeschool, john locke, john taylor gatto, orestes brownson, public school, robert lewis dabney, robert owen, tabula rassa