Years ago my son brought home a note from school informing us that his teacher would be doing a unit on sex education. So I met with the teacher. Among other concerns, I wanted to know what values guided her approach to the subject. Her answer was meant to reassure me: Oh, we are value neutral on these things.
She is not alone in her naïveté. As Christian Overman writes in Why Education? An Essay on American Education with Applications for Christian Educators of All Nations, many people mistakenly believe that the American educational system is “value neutral.” But history tells us otherwise. Naturalism is, after all, religion. To say “there is no God” is no less religious than to say “God exists.” And of course the former has become the default position of America’s public schools. In fact, a prominent theologian, A. A. Hodge, recognized the platform which America’s public education system was granting to atheism and unerringly predicted the consequences:
If it is consistently and persistently carried out in all parts of the country, the United States system of national, popular education will be the most efficient and widespread [means] for the propagation of Atheism which the world has ever seen.
Yet, as Christian indicates, atheism isn’t the biggest concern. Every Christ follower recognizes the folly and danger of atheism. The larger concern is dualism, the dividing of reality into so-called “sacred” and “secular” categories, as if some things are not important to God (and thus secular). Writing as an educator, Christian demonstrates that a child’s education is the better context to identify and reverse the influence of dualism rather than waiting until later.
The Christian dualist doesn’t mix the Word of God with work at the Boeing Company because he or she never mixed the Word of God with math, science or economics over thirteen to seventeen years in school, so why mix it now with the workplace? Building planes is a “secular” endeavor, isn’t it?
Christian writes one of the clearest and most compelling summaries of wholism I have read. Click the link below to read his article at the DNA home page. A few minutes spent reading what he has to say will reap a due reward.
– Gary Brumbelow