Repressive, totalitarian regimes are never satisfied with merely controlling the political process. They also seek to control the mind and indoctrinate the youth. Hughes and Mann wrote about the goals of National Socialism:
- From the beginning the Nazis were determined to subvert German youth to their own aims…By the end of 1933 all other youth organizations had been either banned or subsumed into the Hitler Youth…In 1939, two executive orders…made “youth service” compulsory…The Nazis monopolized every free hour and parents dared not object lest they were seen to be troublemakers. Youngsters, living more and more with their comrades, were gradually being weaned away from their families. (Inside Hitler’s Germany, 50-54)
Secular Western nations are quickly following in the steps of National Socialism and its totalitarian cousin – Communism – by indoctrinating children. Even as early as 1973, Dr. W. P. Shofstall, the state superintendent for public schools in Arizona commented that, “The atheists have, for all practical purposes, taken over public education in this country.” The results have been obvious:
- On November 17, 1980, the Supreme Court struck down a Kentucky law that required the posting of the Ten Commandments in public school classrooms. The Court said that the Ten Commandments were “plainly religious…and may induce children to read, meditate upon, and perhaps to venerate and to obey the commandments.” (Erwin Lutzer, The Rebirth of America, 82.
Meanwhile, the Court has raised no qualms about the children venerating pornography or another religion – militant secular humanism:
- Secular Humanism would like us to believe that they are broadminded, pluralistic and neutral in moral matters. They are opposed to censorship, sectarianism and intolerance. The media has done a successful job of getting the American people to believe that it is he so-called right wing religious fanatics who are seeking to “impose morality on society”…Secular Humanism is imposing its own morality on the American public. It does so through the media, the schools and the courts. There is a clear intent to keep Christian thinking out of the mainstream. (83)
- As columnist George Will put it so ably, “And it is, by now, a scandal beyond irony that thanks to the energetic litigation of the ‘civil liberties’ fanatics, pornographers enjoy expansive first amendment protection while first graders in a nativity play are said to violate the First Amendment values.” (84)
However, this insipient totalitarianism doesn't just apply to education. James Schall, S.J. describes it is as a full frontal attack:
- We have been taught to think that “democracy” is automatically “the best regime,” the only alternative to any totalitarian state power. Though it has been coming for some time, within these past couple of weeks, we are seeing clearly that the desire, force, and will to subsume all subsidiary social institutions, especially religion and family, under the control of the state is also endemic in current democratic societies.
Although we don’t have to contend with the Hitler youth, we do have public education which has become increasingly secularized to the point that the Bible is now verboten! Private schools are only an option for those districts that have a voucher system or for those parents who can fork out the big bucks. Consequently, the public system has been awarded a virtual monopoly over the minds of the youth.
Some decades ago, prayer and moral absolutes were rejected and “values clarification” exercises quickly filled the vacuum. These conveyed to the youth that there is no correct moral answer. Consequently, there can be no correct or even incorrect behavior, as long as it didn’t interfere with the schools’ interests. Instead, morality became just a matter of clarifying the subjective and arbitrary reasons that govern our meaningless choices.
In Canada, parents have just sustained an additional blow:
- In the past week we have witnessed the Supreme Court of Canada dismiss the appeal of a Quebec family for permission to exempt their child from that province’s controversial ethics and religious culture course, which critics say is “relativistic,” and teaches that all religious are equally valid. And we have heard a spokesperson for the Alberta education minister state that under the province’s new Education Act even homeschooling parents will no longer be allowed to teach their children traditional Christian sexual ethics. Without the right to educate our children as we choose according to the values we choose, what do we have left? State-imposed orthodoxy. Totalitarianism. These two developments come amidst the ongoing efforts of the Ontario government to impose their “equity” program, “diversity” curriculum, and transparently ideological “anti-bullying” bill on all schools – whether Catholic or public. Already the largest school board in the province has said that parents will not be permitted to exempt their children from parts of the curriculum they deem unacceptable.
This raises an important question that is seldom discussed by our secular establishment. Who should have the primary responsibility for the education of their children? To put it another way – why should parents be denied the right to veto and exempt their children from certain subjects? And why should certain morally objectionable materials be imposed upon private schools and the private and intimate relationship that parents enjoys with their children? What is the compelling national interest, if there is one?
Interestingly, Reich Youth Leader, Baldur von Schirach had expressed more reverence for the authority of the family than do many of our secular institutions:
- The Hitler Youth leader, however, should consider it his duty not only to maintain the best relations with the parents of the youngsters entrusted to him, but also to allow them every possible insight into the work of the organization. [In contrast, our schools are often secretive about the nature of their moral teachings.] He must be ready to answer questions put to him by the parents of his young charges and should try to become the confidant of the family…Every youth movement needs the spiritual cooperation of the parental home…The parental home is in an ever better position to give unqualified recognition to the service of the Hitler Youth, since this service supports the authority of the parents and does not impair it. (Nazi Culture, 296-97)
Ironically, our evolved secular institutions seem unconcerned about the “authority of the parents.” However, both the Hitler Youth [HY] and the secularists win our children by honoring them as “adults.” HY taught the youth the use of weapons, insisting that their youth were vital to their national defense. Similarly, the secularists insist that our children have the same rights as adults. Consequently, they should now report their parents for spanking them. (The communists also manipulated the youth against their parents, encouraging them to report any anti-communist talk or activity.)
While the HY used weaponry, the secularists have used an even more powerful weapon – sex – to convince the youth that their parents are backward and repressive and that the secularists will treat them with more dignity. They have been increasingly insistent that children have a right and even a duty to themselves to explore their sexuality.
No society will last long which turns the youth against their parents, those who truly love them and would sacrifice to protect them. The wise King Solomon realized this, so that when two women came before him – each claiming a certain newborn to be her own – he ordered that the newborn be cut in two, one half for each claimant. This propelled the real mother to cry out:
- "Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don't kill him!" But the other said, "Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!" (1 Kings 3:26)
Our secular institutions are like the second woman. They must have their way despite the mountains of evidence demonstrating that society is faltering under their watch. How odd it is that “even home-schooling parents will no longer be allowed to teach their children traditional Christian sexual ethics” even in the face of unacceptably high levels of out-of-wedlock births, abortions, venereal diseases, and the many resulting social ills.
In the mid-eighties, D. James Kennedy wrote about this irony, claiming that his own Westminster Academy, which had been operating for nine years at that time, had never had an illegitimate birth:
- While the rest of America is marching forward with 600,000 unwanted births among high school students…by innumerable hundreds of thousands of abortions…by epidemic drug use…alcoholism…suicide….while we are marching forward into that brave new world, the Christian schools are teaching people about the moral standards of God…who can read far better than the students coming out of the public schools and are academically superior to them. (126)
What compelling reason does secularism have for its intolerance of home-schooling and Christian education? We tend to think that the proof is in the tasting – the results. However, secularism has proven that their ideology trumps the evidence. Why then is secularism committed to a uniformity in belief and religion – moral relativism, humanism, naturalism - even when this uniformity, this State religion, conflicts with the natural interests of the family and our First Amendment rights?
This brings us back to the question – Who should have the primary say over the education of children? The wise Solomon believed that it should be the biological mother, the one who was willing to surrender the child for his own well-being. Secularism repeatedly casts its vote in favor of State uniformity. But why? Does the secularist/atheist have compelling evidence to justify wrenching the child away from parental authority? Can the secularist/atheist demonstrate that society and its children have clearly benefited from secular indoctrination since the sixties?
All indicators would say, “No” – the highly elevated crime rate, drug rate, abortion rate, divorce rate, venereal disease rate… What then is the justification for continuing this repressive, totalitarian, religious experiment?