Free speech, freedom of religion, and civility are at an all-time low in America, and it is a direct result of what has happened to and through education in this country.
Public schools in America were birthed with noble ambitions. The founders knew that education is an essential building block of civilization. They recognized that schools must teach wisdom, morality, and knowledge. We needed a common foundation to foster and protect freedom for everyone. Religion was not to be coerced, but it was to be respected.
However, in the past decade, America became one of the top countries in the world seeing a rise in both governmental restrictions and social hostility toward religion. There are efforts to silence any speech that offends a politically correct viewpoint. We are seeing continual protests against speakers on college campuses, and some are not only disruptive but violent as well. Young people, around ninety percent of whom are products of public schools, seem increasingly unwilling to allow any differing viewpoint to be heard, especially if it is out of step with the liberal left dogma they have been spoon fed.
Realistically, the role of the schools in fostering the current climate cannot be ignored. As naturalistic thinking began to take over in the universities and moved down to elementary and secondary schools, more emphasis was placed on changing how children think and removing old standards. Traditional studies like history and civics gave way to include feminism, alternate life styles, and tolerance for worldviews that deny absolute truth. Basic skills took a nosedive, and so did responsible behavior. Calls for reform only resulted in more confusion.
Reformers always claimed to pursue excellence through higher standards and critical thinking skills. However, programs and curriculum that arose continued to focus on beliefs and social behaviors in opposition to America’s founding principles. There was a push to centralize all public education under common national goals. The intention was for every child to reach the same outcomes. Many good teachers frustrated by the absurdities became discouraged or gave up altogether.
It will take a spiritual awakening and revival of the church to really change the culture in America. However, changing public schools is no longer an option. Because of the entrenched power of “intellectual supremacists” and their post truth worldview over education, we will be locked into national decline until that power is taken away.
Next to prayer, school choice is our best weapon to force necessary changes in the direction of our society. All parents deserve the opportunity to protect the minds of their children from unwanted indoctrination and be able to teach them to become civilized individuals. They also deserve schools that will keep their children safe from bullying, assault, and violence. Competition from a choice environment could also force government schools to become more responsive to parental oversight.
We are at a critical time in our nation’s history and cannot afford to ignore it. Christians must return to the Lord in our thoughts and actions, and we must ask ourselves why so many of us have more in common ideologically with Hollywood and unbelievers than we do with other Christians. That must change if we hope to have a positive impact on society.