How did you complete this statement? Over the past three to four decades how people would complete this statement has undergone radical change. This should come as no surprise to you and me since our country has become more and more secular with each passing day. Today, many adults believe that children belong to the state or the community and not to parents. Here is some evidence of how today’s society views our children. The first three quotes are taken from Dinesh D’Souza’s book, What’s So Great About Christianity?
Some children are raised in such an ideological prison that they willingly become their own jailers…forbidding themselves any contact with the liberating ideas that might well change their minds. Parents don’t literally own their children the way slave owners once owned slaves, but are, rather, their stewards and guardians and ought to be held accountable by outsiders for their guardianship, which does imply that outsiders have the right to interfere. Daniel Dennett
How much do we regard children as being the property of parents? It’s one thing to say people should be free to believe whatever they like, but should they be free to impose their beliefs on their children? Is there something to be said for society stepping in? Richard Dawkins
Parents, correspondingly, have no god-given license to enculturate their children in whatever ways they personally choose; no right to limit the horizons of their children’s knowledge, to bring them up in an atmosphere of dogma and superstition, or to insist they follow the straight and narrow paths of their own belief. Psychologist Nicholas Humphrey
We have never invested as much in public education as we should have because we’ve always had kind of a private notion of children. Your kid is yours and totally your responsibility. We haven’t had a very collective notion of these are our children. So part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families and recognize that kids belong to whole communities. Once it’s everyone’s responsibility and not just the household’s, then we start making better investments [emphasis mine]. News Anchor Melissa Harris-Perry (MSNBC promo)
Of course, this idea that children belong to the “village” is not new. This is clear from the old African proverb that states, it takes a village to raise a child. Whenever a society believes that it owns the children, it then declares that it has the right and the responsibility to educate children in whatever way society thinks is best.
The education of all children, from the moment that they can get along without a mother’s care, shall be in state institutions. Karl Marx
Give me four years to teach the children and the seed that I have sown will never be uprooted. Vladimir Lenin
We who are engaged in the sacred cause of education are entitled to look upon all parents as having given hostages (their children) to our cause. Horace Mann
The youth of today is ever the people of tomorrow. For this reason we have set before ourselves the task of inoculating our youth with the spirit of this community of the people at a very early age, at an age when human beings are still unperverted and therefore unspoiled. This Reich stands, and it is building itself up for the future, upon its youth. And 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 up bringing. Adolf Hitler
Secular professors in the universities ought to arrange things so that students who enter as bigoted, homophobic religious fundamentalists will leave college with views more like our own. Students are fortunate to…have escaped the grip of their frightening, vicious, dangerous parents. We are going to go right on trying to discredit you [parents] in the eyes of your children, trying to strip your fundamentalist religious community of dignity, trying to make your views seem silly rather than discussable. Dr. Richard Rorty, professor at University of Virginia
Let me control the textbooks and I will control the state. Adolf Hitler
Dr. Irwin Lutzer in his book, When a Nation Forgets God, explains how Hitler saw the youth of his day as belonging to the state. Because of this belief, he took total control of the education that children received. The first thing Hitler did was to declare public education compulsory in 1938. Then, he held the parents responsible for the raising of the child’s body. What a child ate was the parents’ responsibility. Finally, he took the steps to make sure that the Reich would educate the child’s soul. What the child believed and felt was the responsibility of the Reich.
What you have just read is in direct conflict with what God’s Word says about the family, children and education. I will address God’s perspective in future posts. However, here are some questions that you and I must answer now.
- Have you started to think that the government should determine what your children are taught?
- Have you relinquished the education of your children to society?
- Do you realize that how you answer the above questions, indicates whether or not you believe that children belong to the “village” and not to the family?
How we complete the statement in the title of this blog is not found in what we would say or write down on a quiz. The way we fill in the blank is found in how we educate our children. Because how one educates his/her children is a snapshot of who we believe owns the children.