Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Friday, September 1, 2023

What Should Schools Teach?

Parents can strengthen their family, community, and nation by being involved in the education of their children on several levels and making sure that they are taught truth. The first level is showing the children that education is important. This includes making sure that they get to bed on time to be rested for school the next day, receive proper nutrition, and get help with homework and assignments.

I always told my children that school was their work. Just as their father worked hard to provide for our family, they needed to work hard in school to learn what they would need to know in a successful life. In parent-teacher meetings, a teacher would usually mention that my child was a joy to have in class – got along with other students, paid attention, etc. I thought that teachers told every parent the same thing until I became a substitute teacher’s aide in elementary schools. I quickly learned that not every child is a joy to have in class! Successful students start at home!

Another level is being involved in the classroom and in the school. If at all possible, help in the classroom or go on field trips. This helps a parent to get to know the children in the class and to watch the teacher interact with individual children.

A third level is being aware of what is being taught in the classroom. Shutting down the schools during the COVID-19 pandemic hurt children in numerous ways. However, something really good came out of children doing their schoolwork over Zoom: parents became aware of what was being taught. Parents learned that the schools were not teaching “reading, writing, and arithmetic” but were teaching racist doctrines, gender issues, and other hurtful topics.

In an article published in The Daily Signal, Dennis Prager wrote, “Most of our schools teach almost nothing of importance, and nothing is more important than the study of good and evil.” He continued: 

In the United States today, nearly all schools, from elementary through graduate, concentrate on teaching about racism, sexism, preferred pronouns, homophobia, transphobia, LGBTQIA+, climate change, diversity, equity, inclusiveness and white guilt. In other words, most of our educational institutions, including the most prestigious, do not educate.

Here are a few proofs.

It is almost certain that the great majority of American high school and college students (with the obvious exceptions of Christian students) could not name the four Gospels (presuming they even know what they are); five of the Ten Commandments (presuming they know what those are); or the names of two Shakespeare plays.

Most American students know little about the American Revolution, let alone about the French or Russian Revolutions. The same holds true for the Constitution and every other American founding document. It is doubtful that, other than Washington and Jefferson having owned slaves, American students know anything about these men or could name two other Founders.

When it comes to evil, the ignorance is enormous, often almost total. For example, according to Pew, about half of Americans ages 18-39 cannot identify Auschwitz or any other Nazi death camp.

And there is every reason to assume that much fewer than half could identify the Gulag Archipelago (20 million-plus murdered); the Ukrainian forced famine (5 to 6 million murdered in a little over a year); Mao’s Great Leap Forward (about 60 million murdered); or Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge (about one in every four Cambodians murdered).

As noted, almost no one outside of Russia has ever heard of the Russian Civil War, let alone knows anything about it. One reason is that the winners, the communists, had no desire that people know about it. Yet, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, about 10 million people, the great majority noncombatants, were killed.

After asking why students do not know about the great evil in the world, Prager gave several reasons. “The first reason is that nearly all the genocides of the 20th century were committed by communists, and the Left, which runs virtually all educational institutions, has always had a soft spot for communism.”

Prager further explained that the Left would lose much of its power and appeal if people recognized that “communism has been the greatest source of evil in the modern age in terms of numbers murdered, number of lives destroyed, liberty stolen, and the sheer amount of human suffering inflicted….”

A second reason given by Prager is “the foolish notion that people are basically good.” …

[As I read Prager’s explanation, my mind went to the words of King Benjamin, a prophet king in ancient America, who taught his people: “For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Ghost, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father” (Mosiah 3:19). (Emphasis added.) This tells me that most people are basically evil – NOT good.]

Prager’s third reason is based on his second. “With the exception of the mass murder of the Armenians (which was committed by Muslim Turks), the genocides and the other horrors of the 20th century were committed by secular regimes. Given the centrality of secularism to leftism, this fact has been kept from young people.” Prager added that young people are not taught that “all these genocides were committed by big governments” “because big government is also central to left-wing ideology.”

So, instead of teaching the truth about the evils of the world, Leftists teach about “made-up evils: American systemic racism, transphobia, capitalism, carbon emissions, sexism and former President Donald Trump, to name a few.” According to Prager, young people do not know about evil because the “Left doesn’t want them to know about it.”

Remember the teaching of Jesus Christ: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Parents can strengthen their family, community, and nation by ensuring that their children are taught the truth and remain free. 

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