April 11, 2013

Parental Right to Education

Pope Leo XIII
In light of the recent fracas over the MSNBC ad encouraging parents' abdication of their personal responsibility for raising their children, I offer up this advice straight from the top on a parent's right and duty to raise and educate his/her own children:

"It is then incumbent on parents to make every effort to resist attacks… and to vindicate at any cost the right to direct the education of their offspring in a Christian manner; first and foremost to keep them away from schools where there is a risk of their being imbued with the poison of impiety.

"Where the right education of youth is concerned, no amount of trouble or labor is too much…"

(Pope Leo XIII, Sapientiae Christianae, Jan. 10, 1890)

And here's one straight from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

2221 ....The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute. The right and the duty of parents to educate their children are primordial and inalienable.

2222 Parents must regard their children as children of God and respect them as human persons. Showing themselves obedient to the will of the Father in heaven, they educate their children to fulfill God's law.

2223 Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule. The home is well suited for education in the virtues.
Ooo!  And another from the Catechism:

2229 As those first responsible for the education of their children, parents have the right to choose a school for them which corresponds to their own convictions. This right is fundamental.

It might take a proverbial village to raise a child, but that doesn't mean I am obliged to let my kid swim in the village's community cess pool of immorality and cultural garbage.  It is first and foremost a parent's responsibility to raise and educate his or her own child(ren).

My children do not belong to the collective, The Community.  I do not recall The Community being in labor in the delivery room when each of my children was born.  Yes, my children are being raised to be contributing members of The Community, but that does not imply that The Community owns them.

Government-run schools are only a new practice from about the mid-1800s and the federal Department of Education wasn't established until 1979 by President Jimmy Carter.

We see how well that's worked out.

Other than Switzerland, the United States spends more money per capita on its students than any other industrialized nation in the world.  Yet we consistently fall nearly to the bottom of the list of the top 20 nations' performance standards in such basics as reading, writing, and arithmetic. 

The U.S. federal government can't even balance its budget, pay its bills, nor manage healthcare.  And MSNBC wants me to hand over my children to them!?

Even evil dictators -- no, especially evil dictators -- know the value of controlling the message being conveyed by government-run schools.  To wit:

"When an opponent declares, 'I will not come over to your side,' I calmly say, 'Your child belongs to us already.... What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.' "  (Adolf Hitler)


"Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism, and every American school is a school of humanism. What can a theistic Sunday school's meeting for an hour once a week and teaching only a fraction of the children do to stem the tide of the five-day program of humanistic teaching?" (Charles F. Potter, "Humanism: A New Religion," 1930)

They're right.

Look, let's get back to basics here.

Who made us?  God made us (notice not the federal government; we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights).  Why did God make us?  God made us to know, love, and serve Him in this world and to be happy with Him forever in heaven.

There's nothing in there about goose-stepping to the beat of compulsory government-run schooling.

When you arrive for questioning at The Pearly Gates, the Lord's not going to ask your neighbors or the local school board first whether they raised YOUR kids right.  He's going to ask YOU.

For Your Homework:
Watch this 45-minute video by Dr. Voddie Baucham, "Whoever Controls the Schools, Controls the World."  Yes, I know 45 minutes seems like a looooooong time, but I'll bet your favorite television show is longer than that, and I guarantee you will learn something vitally important for your children's future education.  After about minute-30, he has hard-hitting data on quantitative reasons to homeschool.  Enjoy!

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