In an article supporting Christian adoption of state education, Amy Julia Becker wrote:
Corey Widmer asks, “What would it communicate to our neighbors if we said, ‘We’re [as Christians] moving into your neighborhood, but we don’t consider your schools and public institutions good enough for our families’?”
But R.J. Rushdoony reveals what that kind of questioning leads to:
Top 10 Fundamentals of Modern Statism:
10. Anything the state operates or does is good, in any and all spheres: education, war, peace, spending, and so on. What is “public” or statist is good; what is “private” is bad.
My two cents
The first quote is a ridiculous argument that reeks of statist and humanistic overtones. It’s treating keeping up with the Joneses as though it were a virtue.
But let’s keep the argument while change some nouns: an atheist anarchist moves his family to somewhere in the Bible belt, in a time when prayer was taught in schools. The father would reason: “what would it communicate to our [Christian] neighbours if we’re moving into your neighbourhood but don’t consider your schools [with daily prayer] or public institutions [like courts with a Ten Commandments monument, and laws banning abortion] good enough for our children?”
That’s a crooked line of reasoning if ever I’ve heard one. Love thy neighbour can’t be twisted to mean “pander to thy neighbour’s humanistic/statist worldview and local community tradition”.
The way the state (and mainstream media) look down on Christians (demonising them for following the Bible), it’s the state that arrogates itself as superior—not the other way around. When the state does values clarification through the public school system, it’s not because the state looks at itself as lowly and meek (and now wants to politely suggest an alternative to Biblical revelation). No, it’s the opposite: Christianity and the Bible are wrong, and it’s the state that knows best, so therefore it embarks upon a mission to lord its own humanistic view over Christians.
With Obama keen to compel Christian employers to subsidise contraception, it’s not because having a full quiver or filling the earth is a superior Christian act, it’s because the state (along with the United Nations) takes it upon itself to further a contraceptive mentality. While fertility is blessed by God, it’s framed as a liability by the state, which then takes it upon itself to be a saviour to save the people from more children (physical gratification is OK though).
Similar analogues exist with public schools and prayer, teaching creation, abstinence, and so on.
It shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to know that the state cannot be the starting point of the Christian’s thinking in education—especially with the state’s swelling, self-righteous, 21st century incarnation.
Little wonder that I’m far more supportive of Christians moving to new areas and doing homeschooling with a deliberate and distinctive Christian worldview. Aspiring fathers don’t need the state to educate their children; they need godly wives who get what’s going on and have the same vision. (I hope there are some aspiring wives left).
- Cited in Becker, A.J. (2012). The New School Choice Agenda: Why Christians in Redmond, Virginia, and elsewhere are choosing to send their children to struggling public schools. Available: http://www.ctlibrary.com/ct/2012/april/school-choice.html. Last accessed 7th Apr 2013.
- Rushdoony, R.J. (1985). The Ten Fundamentals of Modern Statism.Available: http://chalcedon.edu/blog/2012/7/21/the-ten-fundamentals-of-modern-statism-r-j-rushdoony-april-1985/. Last accessed 7th Apr 2013.