For those of you who have not heard of John Dewey, there is an excellent summary of his role in shaping the modern view of public education in this country at American Thinker today. It can be found here.
I’ve seen other writers complain that Christians often place too much blame on Dewey for the removal of religion in schools. While that may be the case, I think the most telling Dewey quote is one that is not included in the linked article. In Roland Nash’s book “The Closing of the American Heart: What’s Really Wrong with America’s Schools”, he quotes Dewey as follows:
“…faith in the prayer-hearing God is an unproved and outmoded faith. There is no God and there is no soul. Hence, there are no needs for the props of traditional religion. With dogma and creed excluded, then immutable truth is also dead and buried. There is no room for fixed, natural law or moral absolutes.”
It is a tragedy that our government allowed this mentality to become pervasive in the school system. It was, originally, quite different. There are numerous examples and quotations to support the original Christian basis of education in this country. One example is the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 (full text can be found here). This document, when passed by Congress, allowed for the territory expansion into Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. On the topic of education, it included the following:
“Article III. Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever (emphasis is mine) be encouraged.”
It is a wonder how fast “forever” went away. Today we have a Secretary of Education (Arne Duncan) who was instrumental in creating the first public school for homosexuals, and a Safe Schools Czar (Kevin Jennings) who advocates all types of bizarre sexual behavior. Jennings openly promoted this type of behavior to high school kids as director of GLSEN (some details), and he is in charge of keeping school children “safe”.
I’m, often, reminded of a Voddie Baucham quote when I read about these people. When confronted by distraught parents of “government school” educated children who are now unbelievers, in spite of years of church and Sunday school, Voddie said he is tempted to reply as follows:
“You sent your kids to be educated by Caesar and now you are surprised they are Romans?”
Those bent on re-making societies have understood this truth for generations.
“When an opponent declares, ‘I will not come over to your side,’ I say calmly, ‘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 but this new community’.” – Adolph Hitler
In spite of all of this, it is the home school parents who are, more often than not, left to defend their odd decision to educate their children at home.