The Humanist Design for Education

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Christians often claim that there is something called factual neutrality where some subjects—science, geography, politics, mathematics—can be taught without any regard to religion since “facts speak for themselves.” This is most evident in education where a self-conscious sacred-secular divide is maintained and supported by Christians. Ninety percent of Christian parents send their children to government schools. Since these parents believe that math is math and history is history, the religious stuff can be covered at church. But one hour of Sunday school and an hour at Youth Meeting each week and maybe a mission trip in the summer can’t make up for five days a week, six hours each day, 10 months of the year, 12+ years of a government-developed curriculum that is humanistic to the core.

The humanists understand the importance of education in creating worldview shifts and control, so why don’t Christians? Charles Francis Potter, who founded the First Humanist Society of New York in 1929 and signed the first Humanist Manifesto in 1933, made no secret of the purpose of the American public schools:

Education is thus a most powerful ally of Humanism, and every American public school is a school of Humanism What can the theistic Sunday-school, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching? (Charles Francis Potter, Humanism: A New Religion (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1930), 128. Quoted in David A. Noebel, J.F. Baldwin, and Kevin Bywater, Clergy in the Classroom: The Religion of Secular Humanism (Manitou Springs, CO: Summit Press, 1995), vi.)

R. J. Rushdoony pointed out the Humanist design for education in Intellectual Schizophrenia (1961) and The Messianic Character of American Education (1963). According to Rushdoony, modern government education “is erosive and destructive of all culture except the monolithic state, which is then the ostensible creator and patron of culture. When it speaks of the whole child, it speaks of a passive creature who is to be molded by the statist education for the concept of the good life radically divorced from God and from transcendental standards.” (R. J. Rushdoony, Intellectual Schizophrenia: Culture, Crisis and Education (Vellecito, CA: Ross House Books, [1961] 1998), 10.)

Non-Christians understand this better than many Christians. Nebuchadnezzar understood it (Dan. 1). Modern tyrannies have similar designs on education. Adolf Hitler knew that the way to capture a nation and establish a new worldview was to educate the children.

“When an opponent declares, ‘I will not come over to your side,’ he said in a speech on November 6, 1933, “I calmly say, ‘Your child belongs to us already . . . What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.’” And on May 1, 1937, he declared, “This new Reich will give its youth to no one, but will itself take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing.” (William Shirer, Rise and Fall of the Third Reich New York: Simon and Schuster, 1960), 249.)

Too many Christians, even those who have chosen Christian education for their children, have not truly understood the long-term implications of education. The other side does. Consider the words of John Dunphy in the infamous and often quoted comments that appeared in his article “A Religion for a New Age”:

I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being. There teachers must embody the same selfless dedication of the most rabid fundamentalist preacher, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the educational level—preschool, daycare, or large state university. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new—the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism, resplendent in its promise of a world in which the never-realized Christian ideal of “love thy neighbor” will finally be achieved. (John J. Dunphy, “A Religion for a New Age,” The Humanist (January/February 1983), 26.)

Dunphy gets it. Has he backed off of these comments? Not a bit. He’s made it clear that the battle is on, and “humanism is going to win.”

What would America be like today if the Church of Jesus Christ had heeded the warning to break from an educational system that was designed to be the indoctrination center for the State and its messianic motives? The usual Christian response is to reform the public schools, to get more parents involved, sue to get a moment of silence, prayers at sporting events and commencement exercises, release programs, and pass laws to teach the Bible as literature as they’ve done in Georgia.

There will be pressure groups in some cities to teach the Koran and how the Bible supports same-sex sexuality. I some school districts the Bible will be ridiculed and denounced as hate literature. Will the Old Testament be taught as a myth? Will someone teaching on the Olivet Discourse point out that Jesus was mistaken about His coming? There is the larger issue of funding. Public schools are tax-payer funded. People who have no children are taxed to pay for the education of other children.

The better approach is for parents to take control of the education of their children and get them out of government schools. Humanists and Statists hate educational independence more than anything else is. What they can’t control, they fear and want to destroy. Is it any wonder that a New York Times’ writer wants to destroy Christian schools? They are competition to the secular State.

If you want to take back the country and make liberals go insane, the best place to start is with the future of the country by keeping your children are away from the clutches of government educators.

Is Public Education Necessary?

Is Public Education Necessary?

A colorful history full of fascinating characters and incisive commentary, ‘Is Public Education Necessary?’ challenges American parents to discard the common wisdom concerning public schools—to reshoulder the responsibilities that are rightfully theirs, to fight to keep the liberties they inherited, and to teach their children to do the same.

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Author: Gary DeMar

Gary—who served as President of American Vision for thirty-five years—is a graduate of Western Michigan University (1973) and earned his M.Div. at Reformed Theological Seminary in 1979. Author of countless essays, news articles, and more than 27 book titles, he has been featured by nearly every major news media outlet. Gary also has hosted The Gary DeMar Show, History Unwrapped, and the Gary DeMar’s Vantage Point Webshow and is a regular contributor to AmericanVision.org. Gary has lived in the Atlanta area since 1979 with his wife, Carol. They have two married sons and are enjoying being grandparents. Gary and Carol are members of Midway Presbyterian Church (PCA).