Saturday, April 12, 2014

Written in 2005 With Public School Teachers in Mind

How we spend our time shapes who we are, and how we assemble the persons we are is cause for social concern.  At all times, we must ask ourselves whether or not what we are doing is loving or wise.  Simply having the freedom to do a thing doesn't justify doing it.  Just because it might be legal (such as pornography or immodest dress) doesn't make it right.  Liberty is the freedom to do that which is right.  Being able to discipline oneself for the benefit of others is the very essence of maturity.  What examples are adults, entrusted with the awesome responsibility for their care, to the rapidly maturing next generation who will impact our society positively or negatively depending on to what we expose them.  One of the biggest problems with today's society is that we have almost forgotten the concept of civic and social duty.  We have rebelled against that responsibility, and are forced to live in the pit that we've helped to dig as a result.  Albert Einstein once said, "The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."  We're apathetic, indifferent, sluggish, and retreating when what we need to be is alarmed, outraged, vigilant, and ever on the attack.  We have experienced the natural progression of an unguarded nation towards neglect, corruption and the loss of idealism.  Shantideva said, "All the joy the world contains, Has come through wishing happiness for others.  All the misery the world contains, Has come through wanting pleasure for oneself (at the expense of others)."  To cultivate compassion, experience what it feels like to be on the receiving end of your own behaviour.  When awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, the Dalai Lama said in his lecture, "…For if we each selfishly pursue only what we believe to be in our own interest, without caring about the needs of others, we end up harming not only others but also ourselves…"  

Troubling to me it is when our impressionable children are required to read books as objectionable as The Great Gatsby in our public high schools.  Certainly there are books depicting social class that are more edifying and wholesome?  So what if it is considered to be a classic?  We all need to think for ourselves, and not just do what is considered cool or popular, do we not?  Transcendentalism and literary trends should not simply be accepted as "art" but should be evaluated in the light of student edification.  Reading about affairs, murder, booze and shallow conversation is not laying a good foundation for young people, is it?  It does not seem responsible or caring to me.  There is so much we do not have control over in life that is difficult.  Why require our young people to read such sad, depressing, meaningless garbage?  True to the fallen human condition it may be, but for our children to have to fill their minds with such writing is inappropriate.  Why not fill our children's heads instead with inspirational, character-building literature.  A good dose of beautiful poetry or other imaginative literature can be just the right prescription to make one's spirit soar.  Books on truth, beauty, purity, goodness, justice, courage, faith, joy and humility are my suggestions for our awakening daughters and sons.  Unfortunately, in public schools, students are rarely introduced to men and women of courage, honor, inspiration, or traditional principles.  No, schools, instead, are issuing forth drastic, narrow-minded beliefs.  Innocence seems to be out while indoctrination is in.  In ninth grade, my daughter was required to read I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joann Greenberg.  That is an exceedingly dark, descriptively graphic tale depicting the frightening life of a teenage schizophrenic.  For days after finishing the book, she was mysteriously sad.  We have our entire lives to read, develop and learn.  We do not have to read about such hard subject matter as mere teens (or ever)!  These days, children grow up way too fast!  It would be a good idea to slow that process down rather than continuing to accelerate it.  What do you think?  Why not live as Philippians 4:8 instructs us to:  Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Also quite concerning to me is The Grapes of Wrath for it pokes fun at Christianity.  In the public schools, why is it that other worldviews (such as living the homosexual lifestyle, Islam or evolution) cannot be read about in such a light, but it is okay for students to read about the Christian worldview in such a negative light???  Why does our school system wish to brainwash our next generation against the truth which is Jesus Christ???  Of what is it so afraid???  Unfortunately, many students who are not strong in their faith will succumb to unhealthy, liberal propaganda they are fed in public school.  As Michael Savage proclaims, "We've gone from the three "R's" to the three "D's":  degeneracy, disorientation, and deconstruction."  Radicals are striving to control minds using tactics such as:  drugs, textbooks revised to present history from the biased, manipulative, untrue worldview of liberals, tolerance, socialist indoctrination, deconstruction of patriotism, censorship of Christian and conservative ideas, etc.  Ponder this, if you will.  With no moral framework or baseline of truth to follow, and without historically accurate facts, how can teachers teach students to be honorable, responsible and caring citizens?  One does not have far to look to witness the chaos and devastation caused in our society due to our turning away as a nation from our Judeo-Christian roots.  The narcissism practiced by most is the basic problem in our world.  If we would all simply put God and others above ourselves, what a peaceful, kind, gentle, loving, caring world we would live in.  Having much wisdom, William Jennings Bryan made statements such as, " We do not ask that the teachers in the public schools, colleges and universities become exponents of orthodox Christianity … but Christians have a right to protest against teaching that weakens faith in God, undermines belief in the Bible and reduces Christ to the stature of a man."  He suggested that since Christians build their own schools when they want to teach their doctrines, evolutionists should do the same for promulgating theirs.  Bryan, who was a member of the American Society for the Advancement of Science said, "it is not the facts that do harm"; rather it is the "forced conclusions unsupported by fact."  "All truth is of God," Bryan argued in the August, 1923, issue of Popular Science Monthly, "whether found in the book of nature or in the Book of Books; but guesses are not science; hypotheses such as the hypothesis of evolution are not truths."  Surely parents have a right to guard the religious welfare of their children.  The evolutionary hypothesis is a challenge to the authority of God - the foundation for the Bible, Christianity, and ultimately all of civilization.  All through the ages, societies have based their laws on the "Ten Commandments."  Imagine that!

Catcher in the Rye along with Streetcar Named Desire are two other examples of books that are a waste of valuable time to read.  In them there is absolutely nothing of redeeming value for our lives.  Of course, the books I've mentioned are just a smattering of the inappropriate literature we are forcing our children to read in our public schools across the nation.

Our culture is rotting.  Just listen to the lyrics of popular songs, pick up a book or magazine, view a movie or television show.  Look around at the immodest way females dress.  The dress code in most public schools is appalling!  How can male students possibly be expected to focus on the reason they are there, which is to learn?  How can male teachers be expected to keep their eyes pure?  It is absolute insanity!!!  Be attuned to how many unborn babies are slaughtered and their precious body parts sold for profit by the factories of death.  Pay attention to the violence permeating our communities, the rampant availability of pornography penetrating every home with a computer or television., the disrespect and lack of courtesy displayed by all, judicial tyranny, and the neglect of and abuse directed at women.  (Could this be a direct result of pornography?  Duh!)  Then consider that perhaps we are allowing the wrong input in our lives and the lives of those who have been entrusted to our care.  After all, we are raising our next generation of leaders!!!  Words like diversity, pluralism and tolerance have anesthetized us to the reality of good and evil.  Tolerance is the cultivation of an attitude of indifference to things we see happening around us.  In the name of peace, we tolerate evil.  In the name of tolerance, we accept sin and call it freedom of speech or freedom of sexual persuasion.  We dare not stand up for what we believe for fear of being labeled intolerant.  Tolerance sees your sin and embraces it. Grace sees your sin and hands you over to Christ's healing embrace.

Debate is good, is it not?  Being able to disagree is one of the cherished freedoms upon which this country was founded.  Change would never come about if well-meaning folks did not speak up.  "The humblest citizen of all the land, when clad in the armor of a righteous cause, is stronger than all the hosts of Error," - William Jennings Bryan.  Entrusted with the awesome responsibility of my children's care, I am concerned about how their generation is being raised, to what they are being exposed, and the examples they have in their lives.  Are they being enriched in mind, spirit and character?  They all need highly esteemed mentors to guide them along the path to liberty.  They need to be taught how to, and be encouraged to, think for themselves.  Sadly, too often conformity and control is the name of the game in our schools as well as in society. 

Lastly, bear in mind……..if we don't stand for something, we will fall for anything.  Hopefully, seeking our own pleasure is not the measure of our lives.  We are called to be intolerant in love.