Friday, November 18, 2005

Raise up your children (before the state does it for you)

Flickr PhotoThe Brussels Journal reports in its provocatively-named article Hitler's Ghost Haunts German Parents on the plight of German parents who, objecting to the secular corruption emphasis of state classrooms, desire to teach their kids at home or at self-organized Christian schools. Two Baptist couples have lost authority over their children's' education by the appointment of a state truancy guardian, another couple was imprisoned for several days over their refusal to allow their children to attend a school play they considered blasphemous.

As the Journal notes:
Children are not allowed to opt out of classes or school activities and homeschooling is illegal in Germany since Adolf Hitler outlawed it in 1938.
The German mentality, even among its so-called conservatives, is very statist. Parents are considered to be incapable of schooling their own children. In this respect the German mentality does not seem to have changed much since the days of Adolf Hitler, when the Germans were expected to look upon the state as a caring parent.
So here is an example of a modern, Western country that asserts full state control over the teaching of the children. Could such a thing happen here?

Should we care?

I mean, public school education was what most of us Western Christians have had. If it was good enough for us, it's good enough for our kids, right? Sure, they don't teach the Bible, but we can do that at home, or at Sunday school.

We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.
Psalm 78:4-7

I hope over the next series of posts to show that, at least in Canada, in most circumstances the secular school is a poor choice for Christian parents. I also believe that the state is in fact extending its control over our children. I don't think it's through the actions of some government conspiracy, but is a natural result of the direction our culture has been heading. When "tolerance" is the only standard against which morality is measured, then the "intolerant" claims of Christianity become the ultimate crime.

But to begin, I encourage you to read the Journal article. It sent chills down my spine. I hope it will do the same for you.


TwinsK&D said...

wow...that article was sad and disturbing. I didnt know that in germany the state controled education so much...having a state appointed guardian and all. Would the situation be different if the parent was a state approved teacher who was a Christian? Would they be qualified then to homeschool their children? I think parents should have the choice of who should educate their children, after all, children spend most of their younger years in school and along with parent relationships, church, family worship etc it guides and trains them. Thats not very tolerant of them is it? I am so thankful to God that we can educate our children well and have them grow up under Biblical teaching! Glory be to God!! I look forward to your upcoming posts :-)


JLF said...

Why is it that secularists can teach children whatever they want and its great, but when Christians teach their children about the faith it's "indoctrinating"?

I look forward to the upcoming posts. I think that training up your children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord in this particular cultural context is a tough, tough thing. I can't wait to see how you think we should do it! :)