a note to commenter Scott

As this is surely going to be buried in the comment section, I just thought I would post my response to Scott’s comments here.

Judging by the sudden number of hits I’ve had… he’s posted a link to this on some webpage.

Scott, this is where I think that Christians have falsely given up.Think of all the legal wrangling, hassle and money you have invested in homeschool defense. No… take that same zeal to participate in the public school forum for the greater good of both children of believers and non-believers. It’s a matter of access. Since you stand on the outside of the forum… your voice is meaningless. But as a dedicated parent of your school district you have a voice that must be heard.We all know that the seperation of church/state is artificial. It was clearly not the desires of the founding fathers and is a misrepresentation of truth. The Supreme Court was wrong and the congress did not act to defend the constitution as the check/balances are designed to work.On the local level, you will find good people who intend to work for the good of the children. Your voice belongs in that mix and homeschooling is a distraction from that argument.At the end of the day the question becomes… who’s children are they? Are they yours? Are they the states? Or are they God’s? My view is that they are God’s children under my stewardship. As a steward of the child… it is my responsibility to expose them, lovingly and with guidance, to the realities of the world. To do otherwise is unloving as a parent and setting the child up for disaster when they eventually do enter the public forum.Here’s a quick question. If homeschooling is so good… how come no one is paying for research to prove it is? Who is doing longitudinal studies on the ramifications? Where are the numbers? How much $$$ from Christian parents is being wasted on seperatist activity instead of invested in the community? What about time? How many man-hours are spent volunteering for Christian schooling and homeschooling when they could be invested in making life changing impact for non-churches children.My whole point is that it is a shame and a sham that Christian parents are so faithless as to harbor their children away from the world. It is man-centered thinking and only looking at “what’s in it for me?” When the real question should be “what’s in it for others?”Explain to me this… how is it that homeschooling/Christian is morally acceptable in light of these arguments.Isn’t the real issue prayer in schools? All the rest is a mask for an faithless response to a real problem… so someone made Christians angry in the 50s and 60s… should we just take our ball and go home… or should we fight?Thank you for being willing to enter a dialogue. Though I disagree with your position I really do respect your intent.






2 responses to “a note to commenter Scott”

  1. Anselm's Apprentice Avatar
    Anselm’s Apprentice

    No, I didn’t post a link on MY website. I’m not sure why you’ve suddenly gotten hits. Maybe you’re just wildly popular?

    Thank you for such a kind and respectful response to my previous post. I’ve been flamed so often, it’s nice to meet a thoughtful human being for a change.

    You say, “This is where I think that Christians have falsely given up,” and you urge me to “take that same zeal to participate in the public school forum for the greater good of both children of believers and non-believers.” Let’s look at this in a little more detail.

    I have “given up” on the goal of trying to turn the public schools into an instrument of Christ’s Kingdom. In 1990, when I was in law school and spent a summer as an intern at the Rutherford Institute, I tried hard to fight for the rights of Christian students to share the gospel on public school grounds. That was the year the Supreme Court decided that a Jewish rabbi could not offer a non-denominational prayer at a high school graduation. That case led me to conclude that God was not blessing the effort to “reform” the public schools.

    After thinking about the issue long and hard, I finally concluded that I do not support government-sponsored prayer in tax-funded institutions, including schools. If a Jewish rabbi cannot offer a non-denominational prayer at a graduation, then the best we could ever hope for in any school prayer in the foreseeable future would have to be the very lowest common denominator. In my opinion, we would have to repeal the First Amendment before we could have a public school that directly glorifies Christ. But I like the First Amendment!

    That leaves me with a dilemma. In my opinion, any K-12 education that avoids an honest discussion of God is inadequate, but I can’t think of a constitutional way to use tax dollars to pay teachers to lead such discussions. Homeschooling is one way to resolve that dilemma, at least for now.

    You were kind enough to elevate your response out of the comment section last time. I’d love to hear how you would allow a robust discussion of religious issues in the K-12 setting. Maybe we’re not as far apart on this as we might appear!

  2. PA Avatar

    Scott, (sorry about accusing you to the recent influx of hits… I think it’s tied to something else.)

    Again I thank you for the dialogue. Forgive me for summarizing but time is short. Your argument seems to stem from “I’ve given up because of what the supreme court did in 1990.”

    To the individual Christian parent what happens on the supreme court level does not supercede God’s word. God commands all believers to besalkt and light in the world. Does this mean that you may have to put yourself in the way of a lawsuit or even jailtime? Perhaps. But I challenge any administrator to arrest a student or fire a teacher for expressions of opinion or religious ferver.

    Annocdotally, when I lived in CA we had a small group of pastors who met weekly to “pray around a school” since they wouldn’t allow us on the campus to visit our students. We very obediently walked outside the schools property (on the sidewalk) and privately prayed for the needs of the students we knew as well as the teachers, administrators etc. About a month into doing this we were stopped by a security guard who told us that the principal was going to charge us with something and have us arrested. Do you know what we said… “go for it. Call the cops now. We will all gladly be arrested for praying.” Of course this broke the ice… we didn’t get arrested and after a few more months and some e-mails… we got a regular prayer request update from the principal.

    I share that story to acknowledge that God is bigger than the supreme court. He is bigger than the school board and he is bigger than the ACLU. It is out responsibility as leaders and parents to model to our children that God is a part of the school. He is a part of our school day, everyday. There’s a bumper sticker on my office door that says “As long as there are tests, there will always be prayer in school!”

    Here’s my point. On the macro “law level” of setting policy and re-interpreting laws to fit today’s culture, you areright… we don’t have many choices. But on the micro level, we are commanded and called to love God, love people and make disciples. There is room for peaceful cival disobedience. There is room for parents to legally get elected to school boards. There is room for school boards to institute policies that are friendly to religious expression without threatening minority positions. Since when is America ruled by the minority? How come such fundamental questions to American society are not left to the ballot but to judges?

    As a parent and a believer. I believe your responsibility is to put your kids in the public school system. I presume either you or your spouse stays home to do this with your children. Would that ministry be better suited to extend to all the children in your kids class than reserved exclusively for your kids?

    I am vehemently opposed to this desire to pull evangelicalism out of the public square and into private expression. To me… the issue boils down to that one fundamental question we all have to answer… who am I in Christ and why am I here on this earth. As parents, our mission is clear. If, as the Clinton book title so proudly says, it takesa village to raise a child… why is it that you don’t try to change YOUR village.

    To me, the story about the 1990 ruling is a farce. I’m not worried about macro-legislation so much as I am worried about the kids right in front of me. I may not be able to change the lives of the millions of chilren in the public arena… but I can sure try to change the lives of those who live in my neighborhood. To hide my children in self-imposed exile for the sake of setting a standard is ill-advised at best and faithless at worse. Again, whose children are they? (Thankfully, we both agree that they aren’t the states!)

    You said “Maybe we’re not as far apart on this as we might appear!”

    We can respectfully disagree here. My position is that there is no room in Scripture to constitute seperation from the world. Your kids aren’t any better than anyone elses… put them in the nearest school to you.

    I absolutely and vehemently think it is wrong to homeschool an adolescent… unless they have special needs. I have seen case after case after case of completely destroyed adolescents. Utterly clueless to the world and receiving a terrible home based education. As if all learning in high school was in books! Ha! I’ve been sugar-coating this… if I were the president, I would outlaw homeschooling beyond the 7th grade.

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