CHOOSING THE FIELD OF BATTLE

school.pngRecently, The American Post-Standard provided one of the posts on this blog, “The Morality of Government,” the courtesy of a link.  In We Must Fight the Devil with Firephadde2 recalls how I answered a question with a question.

In the comment section of Citizen Tom’s piece, “The Morality of Government” I asked him, or any who would answer, ‘How can we operate in a world with these people? Those who preach tolerance but lack tolerance, how do we operate a government in our own nation with those who basically say, “I see your facts, but I simply do not care!’

Tom answered:

There is a deeper question. What can we do to help such people? Think about the irony. When Nicholas attacks others because they do not believe what he believes, he becomes the very monster he claims to condemn. Is not a bigot someone who refuses to see the truth? (from here)

What is the issue that raised these questions? The issue is multiculturalism.  In IS MULTICULTURALISM A RELIGION?, we considered educational problem posed by multiculturalism. In this post, I will reemphasize this problem with more examples. Then I will once again sound the call for school choice.

ColorStorm is a new Christian blog that I very much enjoy. Here of late some atheists have visited the blog. Their object is to ridicule the Christian faith. Since I enjoy debate, I have used their visits to point out the inconsistencies in the Atheist faith. To illustrate the educational deficit of some of these atheists, I have included some of their comments and my replies. Of course, ColorStorm, the blog’s author, and other commenters such as Wally Fry also provided noteworthy responses, but mine pertain to the points I wish to make here.

What are the points I wish to make:

  • I am in my sixties, and I am still trying to undo the damage I have received from our education system. The founders received a classical education. That included sound instruction on the Bible as well as the history and the literature of Western Civilization. We no longer provide that to our children, and because we never had such an education ourselves we don’t know what they are missing.
  • The atheists commenters are not stupid. They are ignorant.
  • If we want to save our children’s souls, we must take responsibility for educating them.

For the complete comment trails, please visit Can’t go into detail… and  Here’s a toast to you. What I have provide below are teasers. Please visit the posts.

Example 1: from  Can’t go into detail…

Can’t go into detail… used the Creation story to point out the foolishness of saying no to God. In response to some carping from Atheist commenters, I wrote this.

Citizen TomJanuary 1, 2015 at 1:30 am

What I use to have problem with was the fact God punished all mankind, not just Adam and Eve. I could not understand such a thing. It did not seem fair, but as I grew older, and I finally read the Bible, I realized that the Bible describes as we are. It was the first book to do so.

In my years as a scientist and engineer, I have learned we have a way of fooling ourselves. We think we understand things, but we don’t. When we think we do understand thing, we just betray a serious lack of wisdom.

What scientists do is create models they call theories. These models exist to portray cause and effect relationships. The better the models predict what happens in the “real world” the better the theory works. Nevertheless, it is foolhardy to say we “understand” much of anything. For example, without understanding them at all, we model the effect of gravitational forces on masses. Thus, we can predict the course of a spaceship, but we have no real explanation as to why objects are attracted to each other. We just have more and more questions.

What the Bible does is provide us a model of our character. The Bible predicts how we behave, and it provides us a method for improving our behavior. We may not understand how those “superstitious, scientifically-ignorant Bronze Age men” ever came up with such a book, but we have not been able to improve upon the wisdom they passed onto us in the Bible. With a book inspired by God, those “superstitious, scientifically-ignorant Bronze Age men” changed our world. So it is I finally accept the Bible as the Truth. The Bible may be difficult to understand and accept, but unless we accept the Bible as true — as our Creator’s handiwork — there is so much more that makes no sense.

Example 2: from Here’s a toast to you.

Here I let Arkenaten, one of the atheist bloggers, introduce the topic, what is proof?

ArkenatenJanuary 3, 2015 at 11:17 am

Proofs are generally the preserve of mathematicians.

I asked for verifiable evidence that the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth is the creator god you genuflect to, that’s all.

What has pride got to do with anything?

ArkenatenJanuary 3, 2015 at 11:19 am

Sorry, my comment was chopped short.

Where is this verifiable evidence you say I have? Please can you identify it.

Thanks.

Citizen TomJanuary 3, 2015 at 2:46 pm

Proofs are generally the preserve of mathematicians.

That statement is a good indication of how badly we have educated our young for decades. Mathematics is just a modelling tool that uses simple abstractions to model what we see in the “real world.” Mathematical proofs just prove that a mathematical model is consistent with the abstract assumptions upon which it is based. What such proofs prove is that an abstract concept is “true.” Only in the abstract doe 2 + 2 = 4 (https://citizentom.com/2008/06/22/what-is-mathematical-proof-does-2-2-4/)

Scientists use mathematics to model the “real world.” What scientists do is create models they call theories. These models exist to portray cause and effect relationships. The better the models predict what happens in the “real world” the better the theory works. Nevertheless, it is foolhardy to say we “understand” much of anything. For example, without understanding them at all, we model the effect of gravitational forces on masses. Thus, we can predict the course of a spaceship, but we have no real explanation as to why objects are attracted to each other. We just have more and more questions.

What is the limitation? Mathematical abstractions are imaginary. Consider. If I say a line is defined by two points, what does that mean. Do perfectly straight, infinite lines exist in nature? Do indivisible points? Then what makes any proof in mathematics superior to this observation?

Romans 1:18-23 New King James Version (NKJV)

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

We live in an age when like no others before us we can see and hear the glory of God’s creation. With telescopes we can see into the heavens. With microscopes we can delve into the substance of things, and still we are not filled with the wonder of the One who made it all. Instead, we puff ourselves up with our puny accomplishments and the degree of our understanding. When we should be awed by what is self-evident, set in splendor right in front of us, we demand proof of the existence a Being far beyond any conception of our finite imaginations. When we obviously could not understand the explanation, we still posses the lunatic temerity to demand that God explain Himself. Why? The answer is pride.

Anyway, on my blog, I provide my own reasons for believing in the salvation offered by Jesus Christ. Here are some of my favorites.

  1. Without the inspiration of God, men would not have written the Bible. No other book is like it. The Bible doesn’t flatter us; the Bible holds up a mirror and shows us as we are. The Bible also gives us hope; it explains how God redeemed us from sin. There are about 40 authors, and these tell a coherent story in a book whose writings span 1500 hundred years. Moreover, in spite of the violence and travails of human history, believers have preserved the Bible virtually unchanged for thousands of years. Again I ask, what other book is like that?
  2. Without the God of Israel, the history of the Jews makes no sense. After all that has been done to destroy them, after all they have suffered, the Jews still exist as a nation. No other people has a story so strange and remarkable, not even close.
  3. Without Christ Jesus — without the man who was also the Son of God — the formation of Christianity makes no sense. After His crucifixion, hundreds saw Him — alive. Rather than deny Christ, many accepted death. That includes all but one of His apostles. Only John died of old age. Why? What for? These people had nothing material to gain. In court the testimony of a dying man holds great weight? What is the testimony of a Christian martyr? Is it not the testimony of someone who knows his death, lies just before him?
  4. Christianity makes a difference. As a way of life, loving God and ones neighbors cannot be beat. That’s why 2000 years after the birth of Christ men and women still speak of being born again. Each Christian knows that when they were born again, that birth was real and substantial, not a delusion.

Is  an idiot? No. I suspect he is intelligent, but he is mixed up about mathematics and science. I could list endlessly all the otherwise inexplicable things Christianity explains, and he would continue to deride my “proofs.” Yet there is no perfect proof. Mathematics doesn’t provide such proofs. Science does not provide such proofs. We explain things as best can. Then we must rely upon faith.

Example 3: from Here’s a toast to you.

archaeopteryx1 replied to my comment above. In his reply, he admitted more than he realized.

archaeopteryx1January 3, 2015 at 3:18 pm

With telescopes we can see into the heavens. With microscopes we can delve into the substance of things, and still we are not filled with the wonder of the One who made it all.” – That could well be because when viewed as a magical creation by prestidigitator Yahweh, it’s really rather “Ho-Hum” – I mean, if his billing on the marquee is that he could do ANYthing, why should we be surprised? But to know that it all arose naturally, now THAT’s amazing!

Citizen TomJanuary 3, 2015 at 3:47 pm

archaeopteryx1

It occurs to me that you don’t realize the significance of what you said.

– That could well be because when viewed as a magical creation by prestidigitator Yahweh, it’s really rather “Ho-Hum” – I mean, if his billing on the marquee is that he could do ANYthing, why should we be surprised? But to know that it all arose naturally, now THAT’s amazing!

If it is more amazing (or difficult) to believe that creation just happened “naturally” than it is to be believe God created the universe, then why would you believe that creation just happened naturally? Do you now do you get the point of Romans 1:18-23?

archaeopteryx1January 3, 2015 at 4:06 pm

If it is more amazing (or difficult) to believe that creation just happened ‘naturally’ than it is to be believe God created the universe, then why would you believe that creation just happened naturally?” – What a bizarre question! M. C. Escher etchings constantly amaze me, which, by your logic, means I should stop viewing them and instead concentrate on the works of someone more predictable, say Grandma Moses. With a thinking process like that, it becomes easier to see why you’re unable to come up with the verifiable evidence you promised.

Think about the sheer absurdity. To cover up an illogical assertion, would  have us believe he denies the existence of God for the sake of art appreciation?

Conclusion

What is most precious to us? Our children, right? Trusting politicians to educate our children is dumb. When we don’t trust politicians, why do we trust them to educate our children? For the sake of the children????? It is a good for our children to put them in the care of people we don’t trust?

We can make all kinds of excuses, but the facts are indisputable.

  • We don’t trust politicians.
  • Government wastes lots of money. Private schools cost less and do at least just as good a job.
  • Homeschoolers, without the benefit of government educators, perform at least as well as publicly schooled children.
  • Government-run schools deprive parents of their right to choose who educates their children, how their children are educated, what their children learn, and where their children are educated.
  • Government-run schools teach all kinds of isms. That includes multiculturalism, environmentalism, secularism, socialism, moral relativism….

Are all teachers bad? Are all school board members unscrupulous? No and no, but government-run schools do not respond to parents. Politicians pay the bills.

We have created a political system that no longer looks very much like what the founders created. Instead of electing people to protect our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we sell our votes to politicians for promises, promises they hardly ever keep. Instead, when they don’t do as they promise, they find somebody else to blame. Of course, it is a scam, and we know it. So why don’t we do something?

What is the biggest cost of bad government? Our children receive a bad education, and the worst part of it is how little they learn about the Bible and their Creator. If we want to our children to receive a decent education — for the sake of their souls — we must allow (and insist that) parents take responsibility for the education of their own children. For the sake of our children, we must fight for school choice.

72 thoughts on “CHOOSING THE FIELD OF BATTLE

  1. By definition, there never was and never will be an atheist. In order for one to claim, “There is no god,” which is an absolute statement, he shall possess all knowledge, all wisdom, all truth, and all power, which would make him a god and thus contradicting himself and the term. No atheist exists. Atheists are actually agnostics. By definition, agnostic means professing ignorance or no knowledge. Romans 1 is correct about mankind’s willful rebellion and ignorance against the self-evident before our senses. Even the ancients acknowledged a Creator because the creation was (and is) axiomatic; yet, they worshiped the created, not the Creator.

    I find it amusing how people, who insist they will not believe something without “verifiable evidence,” are more than willing to believe something without verifiable evidence, as long as that alleged verifiable evidence can be used to mock the truth and validity of our Creator and His Word — the Bible. Nevertheless, I am not surprised when people willfully reject the truth and authority of the Word of God in favor of demonstrable lies and empty, deceitful religions and philosophies that allow them to remain in unbelief. After all, Christ Jesus, our Creator and the one, true God, did say to us, “If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead” (Luke 16:31).

    The so-called “skeptic” already denies the self-proving, so how can we, believers, expect to show him proof and he suddenly becomes a believer? He will continue in denial of the self-evident anyway. People witnessed Christ Jesus perform miracles and control temporal events, yet many STILL did not believe Christ was God, though they witnessed His divine nature before their eyes! Again this reiterates Romans 1 and Luke 16. This is why Christian apologists, though I commend their effort and debates in secular circles, will never convert unbelievers to believers. What and who converts one from unbelief to belief? The Gospel and God, and the Gospel and God alone. (Refer to Christ’s discussion with Nicodemus.) If men were simply converted by means of “evidence” or “proof,” then it logically follows that the whole world would be Christian. That is not the case. Why? God would not receive the credit and glory for our salvation; instead, man would credit and glorify himself for his own salvation. As the Word informs us, ALL things, visible and invisible, are by, through, and for God. The Holy Trinity receives all the credit and glory, never mankind. Praise the Lord Jesus Christ for that truth!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your comment and excellent insights.

      As you say, what is in a man’s heart only God knows. John Newton, the author of “Amazing Grace,” stands as an excellent example of how only God knows a man’s heart and only He can save him.
      http://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1701-1800/john-newton-discovered-amazing-grace-11630253.html

      Even if we bring up our children in the faith, there are no guarantees that they will hold onto it. Yet the Bible tells us to bring up our children in the faith, and as Jesus pointed out. A child is more humble than an adult, more willing to listen and to try to understand. Still, it is God who saves. When we choose to accept salvation, we have to hear His knock and open the door to Him.

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    2. I believe also there is really no true atheist.

      In the same way a three year boy instinctively knows he is lying when he is holding the candy behind his back when asked ‘do you have candy?’ so too does the grown man know there is a Creator, for it s stamped on the conscience.

      The (fool) says in his heart, ‘there is no God.’ It is not a matter of simple unbelief, but suppression. There is a conversation that takes place between the mind and the heart, and pride wins the day, at least until a more convenient time.

      Great comment here Matthew

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great article Tom. And thanks for the mention! Honestly, i consider company like yours and ColorStorms to be quite an honor. I admire that you are willing to spend so much time with guys like Arkenaten and David…I tire of the endless questions much quicker. I think those two may be too heart hardened to respond..but we never know do we? I pray daily for them as well as others who might be reading who may be swayed. We just plant seeds and God brings the harvest, right?

    Great article on education; I fear its getting worse by the day as the government gets involved more and more.By school choice, are you referring to vouchers? I just wanted to make sure I got what you were saying?

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    1. I don’t tire because I enjoy debate. Most people find the rancor irritating. So long as I see the other guy really wants to prove his point and not engage in name-calling, I am willing to give it a go.

      But Matthew is right. I cannot convince the skeptic. I can only entice him to consider Christianity. It is God who saves. The honor and the glory belong to Him.

      I prefer educational vouchers (charter schools would be an improvement) to what we have now, but, frankly, I don’t think government-run charity works. If parents need assistance educating their children, then they should turn to relatives, friends and private charities. Otherwise, politicians will use any charity to buy our votes.

      Look at what is going on. We put government in charge of health, education, and welfare, and now leaders lie to us endlessly. If we don’t put a stop to this, they will try to enslave us, and we will be worse off than if we had let the private sector take care of charity.

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      1. Good points. Honestly I am not informed enough to really speak to the issue. I do know that from my own upbringing. ..we were very poor…I guess I fear that even with vouchers I would have not gotten an education. We had nobody to turn to. I am somewhat of a liberal conservative evangelical lol. If that makes any sense.

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        1. I had five brothers and sisters. My father was an NCO. When he was first assigned to Keesler AFB, MS, the public schools were so bad he and my mother sent some of us to Catholic schools. How he and my mother managed to afford that I don’t know. As a 11-12 year old, I did not give the matter much thought.

          Because the government can dip into our pockets whether we like it or not, it can produce an illusion of wealth. Whereas the private charities never seem to have enough money, the government has money to waste. But diverting monies to government creates an opportunity cost. Sure, some people may not be as generous to charity as they should be, but the odds are they will still invest their money in something productive. Moreover, if they have to train workers to make money, they will do it.

          Government, on the other hand, wastes huge sums. As a military officer and a government contractor, I have seen huge sums just frittered away, legally, of course. Because it is somebody else’s money, people don’t care enough, and too many politicians just want to make certain the people who bought them get rewarded. If they have to waste our money to do it, what difference does it make?

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        2. Yes…seen it also. Was also a military officer and worked for the VA. They act like its free money don’t they? Don’t misunderstand me..I’m all for shrinking government. I just feel so much for those who honestly are trapped. But your point about private charity is right on.

          May sound radical…but maybe if we hit the streets and brought these people into the church. ..their church families could do so much. Im pretty simple in my thinking. In my mind…telling people about Jesus solves everything.

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    2. You tire, Wally, because you have no adequate response when your blind faith and ( sadly) ignorance of your own religion is questioned, usually resorting to self-effacing epithets such as ‘idiot’ ‘cave-dweller’ and the like.
      That you choose to remain ignorant and not exercise critical thought is what ‘free will ‘ is all about. You are entitled to your beliefs and although( I consider) it would be better if you didn’t believe such nonsense you must retain the right to choose.
      As a Young Earth Creationist, that you would attempt to indoctrinate children is indefensible.

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      1. Ark
        I am only going to say one thing here, and I am leaving Tom’s blog to Tom. You have just shown why I tire of conversations with you. It apparently upsets you because any question you ask of me…I answer with Scripture as my source document. Ark, that is my final answer…in every case. Say what you want about it; that remains my final answer.

        Then you have the gall to present yourself as some sort of Bible scholar. You have many thoughts on what you wish God’s Word says, but little clue about what is actually says. In fact, what you say it says changes quite often depending on which Christian you are attacking at the moment.

        Self effacing comments? That’s just how I talk, Ark. I am not here to pretend to be any sort of scholar whatsoever. I am not a scientist, archaeologist, mathematician, Bible Scholar or philosopher, nor do I pretend to by any of those.

        It does make me wonder, though, if I am such a waste, why you seem to pop up where ever I might be to launch an assault? Why not just let the fundie cave dwelling pinheads die out naturally? (oops…there I go again!)

        Tom thanks for the space. I’m done with my conversation with Ark here.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. First, I am not a bible scholar in the strict sense, merely an interested amateur.
          I would not mind that you answer with scripture – if you understood it: the etymology,and recognised its ( often) fraudulent nature.
          Oh, the ”fundie cave dwelling pinheads” will die out – eventually. That is a given.
          I would like to see a little more honesty and truth , that’s all.
          And as I have oft said, protect kids( from all backgrounds) from the utter nonsense people such as yourself espouse.
          As an adult, you are free to believe what you like.I would not want it any other way.
          Simply stop preaching it to kids as truth unless you can back up your claims. Especially the hateful and the bullshit nonsense of Original Sin and the fallacious doctrine of Hell.

          That seems reasonable enough.

          However, if you wish to stick to the belief that you must proselytize then you can begin by answering the request I asked of Tom.
          Produce verifiable evidence for the claim that the character, Jesus of Nazareth, is the creator deity you genuflect to.
          Don’t ask me what I would accept. Simply produce verifiable evidence.
          Away you go …..

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        2. Scatterwisdom

          Thanks for that link! Oddly, that was the second time I have seen that message from Proverbs while reading blogs…God sends us messages huh? Thanks and blessings to you!

          Liked by 2 people

  3. As usual, this post runs a bit to the prolix side and much could be said about it. However, to drop to the bottom and focus on one element – public education – I think you are tilting at windmills, to an extent. If your point is that public schools are of highly variable quality around the country, I think everyone would agree. On the other hand, we have an abundance of choice about how we educate our kids, whether it be choosing different districts within the public system, either by where we elect to live or by moving our children to a district other than the one to which they would normally be assigned geographically (my younger daughter did this within the Fairfax Country system and it worked out very well for her). We have quite a few excellent Church schools, particularly, but not exclusively, within the Catholic faith. My older daughter attended one of these and it worked out very well for her. We have a number of non-religious affiliated private schools and academies. We are very permissive (compared to most countries) about home schooling. That seems to work well for some kids. A major key to the success of home schooling is the competence of the parents to teach the subjects the kids study. However, with the internet, and networking between parents, there are a lot of options to overcome deficiencies that parents might have (it would border on criminal for me to try to teach the Calculus to a teen-ager).

    If I read your right, your criticism of the public schools seems repeatedly to come back to their deficiencies in teaching religion – more specifically, a brand of Christianity that you espouse. That strikes me as criticizing the design of a car because it can’t go to the moon. The public schools are in no way intended or designed to be vehicles of religious instruction. I doubt that there are very many folks who take religion seriously who would even want government employees teaching religion, both on constitutional grounds and (much more importantly) because religion is best taught at home and in churches, temples and mosques. The public schools are simply not the place for that and the teachers, however competent they might be in secular subjects, are not qualified to be religious instructors.

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    1. “The public schools are simply not the place for that and the teachers, however competent they might be in secular subjects, are not qualified to be religious instructors.”

      I beg to differ, good sir. Allow me. Historically, children were educated by means of home schooling, churches, or public school houses, which were funded by the parents of the children attending there. Our federated republic was predominately Bible believing Christians, although that has waned throughout the generations, and the curriculum composed of two agendas, to wit: liberal arts and Christianity. Under the liberal arts, children learned the tenants of the English language (i.e., reading, writing, and grammar), logic, rhetoric, science, and mathematics. (Also known as trivium or quadrivium.) Under Christianity, children learned basic Christian theology and doctrine. If you were to ask me, I would ague said education produced many astute members of our society, and they greatly contributed to the American way of life, in both spiritual and secular purpose. Teachers then taught both secular and spiritual topics because the people firmly believed in a true liberal arts education, a well-educated populace, and a well-rounded individual. Additionally, apprenticeships were popular with individuals who desired to learn a profession or trade. These various forms of education had very little — if any at all — government influence and regulation.

      Compulsory education did not exist in these United States until the 1850s. In 1852, Massachusetts was the first State in the Union to implement mandatory education and government funded and operated schools. A tidbit of information, parents who refused to obey the mandate had their children escorted by whom? The military power, yes, Massachusetts used its militias to compel attendance. (You will not learn that fact in our revisionist history textbooks.) Massachusetts adopted the Prussian model of education. Other States soon followed suit. Today, our entire educational system, including higher education, is based on the Prussian model. Our present educational system claims to be “liberal arts;” yet, it is conservative arts. Put differently, the educational system is biased and so not truly liberal arts.

      For instance. I taught criminology several years at the university level as an adjunct professor. Criminology is the study of crime. What causes one to be or potentially become a criminal? Criminologists study crimes, criminals, victims, theories explaining illegal and deviant behavior, the social reaction to crime, the effectiveness of anti-crime policies, and the broader political spectrum of social control. There are two criminological camps, namely, spiritual and secular. Obviously, our so-called liberal arts education is biased toward secular presuppositions and biases. I took the liberty to truly educate my students regarding both spiritual and secular presuppositions and biases to understand criminal behavior and crime; accordingly, my students received a true liberal arts education, not indoctrination. I created a Venn diagram illustrating similarities and contrasts in presuppositions and biases. I expected a rash response from the students. Guess what? I did not and the students complimented me for illustrating both sides, and it encouraged discussion in the classroom from both worldviews.

      I will never forget. I had one agnostic student — not atheist, even though he professed to be an atheist — approach me after class. “Professor, I am an atheist and I completely disagree with the spiritual/religious aspect of crime. But I just want to say my appreciation that you provide two sides fairly and impartially. No other professor ventures to discuss both sides as you do. I now understand the other side’s reasoning. Thanks.” In fact, he became one my favorite students because we discussed spiritual and secular matters after class, even seldom during class. Parenthetically, the Lord our God Almighty granted an open window to minister the Gospel to him. I plant the seed, God grows the harvest. At the end of the day, I told my students this reality, “In both hard and soft sciences, there are two religions, precisely, one secular and the other spiritual. Both religions observe and measure the same facts; however, they interpret those facts differently owing to opposite presuppositions and biases. The former begins with evolutionary presuppositions and biases, whereas the latter begins with creationist presuppositions and biases. We are experiencing a war of worldviews, not only in the classroom, but also in our families, our churches, in knowledge (or science), our workforces, our governments, and the like.” I wish I captured the facial expressions of my students, since they never heard such wisdom. Woe to you teachers! who hold the keys of knowledge and hinder students from admission!

      Question. Does our present educational system, since its inception, produce any good fruit? I have yet to see any good fruit produced from our present educational system. I would argue — and there are studies to illustrate — our educational system has been declining and producing degeneracy, filth, and ignorance. One study showed that our populace reads and speaks at a 5th grade level. Is that progress? We claim to be “progressive.” Our educational system does not educate; instead, it indoctrinates. As a product of our present educational system, I am undoing what I allegedly learned in the classroom. I have been gradually re-educating myself and I am amazed. I encourage you to read “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America” by Charlotte Iserbyt. I witnessed it first hand in higher education.

      Social revolutionaries understand one thing very well. (Read their own words.) To degrade and dumbdown a people, the family must become “dysfunctional” and education must be usurped and controlled by the government to install the religion of the social revolutionaries to future generations. Why? Simple. Who would accept a violent revolution? No one. A less lethal revolution can be achieved via the family, education, media, and courts. Knowing the thoughts and plans of the social revolutionaries, by reading their own testimonies, our federated republic has dramatically changed in the past 150 years, not for the better, but for the worse. I worked with some social revolutionaries who were open and candid about their religious beliefs — frightening to say the least. Social revolutionaries do not think in short-term; rather, they think and plan in long-term.

      Finally, separation of church and State does not exist, neither explicitly nor implicitly, in our federal and state constitutions. The unfounded notion was arbitrarily legislated by the U.S. Supreme Court, which took Mr. Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptist Association out of context. Again we are indoctrinated to believe otherwise in our present educational system. Sad our nation is crumbling and regressing back to the days of first century Rome. No doubt there is a revival occurring in these United States — a revival back to paganism.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I could niggle your history, but it is largely accurate and it is beside the point I was making (despite its great length). If your concern is that the quality of public education is spotty around the nation and, in many cases, completely substandard for what a great Nation should expect, I can grant you that and expect that you would find considerable agreement through all walks and all parts of the political spectrum. I certainly could make common cause with you on that. It is that problem that has led to so much emphasis on Common Core curricula and standardized testing (although there is a lot of very legitimate concern as to whether these measures are the correct response to low quality of pedagogy and comparatively low rankings vis-a-vis students in other nations).

        If, however, you are saying that government schools are places where religious instruction should take place (and you certainly seem to be saying that that is your point), you haven’t convinced me. Think of the number of religions we have in this country. Aside from trying to protect religion from the being degraded by the incompetence of government teachers and officials, a lot of us Christians (just to use one example) would be mighty incensed (no pun intended) to have our tax dollars used to instruct Hindus or Zoroastrians etc, etc. The practical problem is that there isn’t time in the day and at the same time try to turn out a citizenry that can read, write, do sums, and send men to the moon. Tom is complaining about costs. Wait until we add whole faculties of priests covering all the religions of our countrymen. He’ll really be upset then.

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        1. “If, however, you are saying that government schools are places where religious instruction should take place (and you certainly seem to be saying that that is your point), you haven’t convinced me.”

          Government has no role in education, period. The proper function of a government is to protect and defend the lives, liberty, and property of the people, nothing more and nothing less. That government is best which governs least.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I thoroughly agree with Matthew. Unfortunately, politics is the art of the possible. It will take time to dismantle the public education system and replace it with private instruction. In fact, we may never entirely succeed, but that doesn’t mean we should give up and not do the best that we can. The more children we can get out of the public school system, the more children will benefit from a market based system that puts parents in charge.

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    2. Since I cannot top Matthew’s comment, I will address a different point.

      You suggest we already have school choice. That’s disingenuous nonsense. Some years back I wrote the following comment in reply to Hoobie. The same comment also seems appropriate for you.

      To defend the indefensible, you are throwing up a pathetic smokescreen.

      Imagine being taxed $10,000 every year. Regardless of your circumstances, you have no choice to except to pay this tax. Imagine that every four years the government gives you a “free” brand spanking new Yugo. Nonetheless, because you can still buy a car in the private market, nobody is infringing on your rights, right?

      Of course, the Democratic Party would have a fix for this terrible problem. They would increase the tax to $40,000 a year, give you a “free” 500 square foot apartment, and throw in “free” medical care. Wonderful, right?

      Why stop there? There are also your utilities, your household appliances, your food, clothing…. Tax, tax, tax — 100 percent tax, and then everything can be free.

      If you are willing to swallow a “free” education, why not buy off on the entire socialist “solution” hook, line and sinker? What restrictions? So long as you can still buy everything in the private market, they are no restrictions, right? (from https://citizentom.com/2007/11/13/thomas-paines-profession-of-faith/#comment-9711)

      Well, with a 100 percent tax, there would be a problem of having any money to buy anything with.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If we don’t have school choice, Tom, why is it that I and everyone else I know chooses the school which my kids attend? Sure, some choices are more expensive than others, but there is an abundance of choice – private, parochial, public, home-schooling, another public school district, etc. If you are saying that there should be no public education whatsoever, and that all education should be private, I think you have a very tough political argument to make. If you can get majorities in your or other jurisdictions to abolish public education, more power to you. I suspect, however, that not many people would elect to live in those jurisdictions and that their economies would quickly collapse. The democratic (and I emphasize the small “d”) consensus under which we now operate is that public education is a societal good that merits public investment. The obverse is that the absence of public education would impoverish us all sooner or later. I think you have an impossible burden to demonstrate to the citizens that they would be better off without it.

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        1. Yes. I agree. We do have a choice. When a mugger gives me choice between my money and my life, I suspect I will give him my money. Nevertheless, when offered that sort of choice, I still don’t feel any obligation to justify mugging just because it is pro-choice.

          Will the politics of teacher’s unions pro-choice movement be difficult to overcome? Given that teacher’s unions will continue to donate lots of their members’ money to politicians, I suppose so. If something is worthwhile, the odds are good it won’t be easy.

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        2. If we don’t have school choice, Tom, why is it that I and everyone else I know chooses the school which my kids attend?

          Because, “scout,” you and your upper class friends have the ability to throw money at the problem. You can move, or pay for a private school even through the government has already taken support for public schools from the taxpayers’ pockets.

          Where the rest of the US lives, your children must go to the public school whose district you happen to live in, if you cannot afford to throw more money at the choice issue. Many do, at considerable sacrifice; they move (increasing commutes and costs, or forcing a job change) or they buy their way into a charter or private school, or they home-school which is greatly frowned upon by out government from at all levels from national to municipal.

          Poor, inner-city denizens, largely minorities, do not generally have these options. This is why vouchers would allow a black family in the inner city to send their child to a charter school that they cannot now afford. The charter schools would compete for the business, improving their quality. Moreover, the public schools, now having to compete, would improve their quality as well.

          Perhaps, then, public schools will eventually become superfluous, going the way of any number of outdated products and services. That’s a happy outcome — though it will be massively resisted by big-government types who covet the opportunity to indoctrinate children.

          ==============/ Keith DeHavelle

          Liked by 2 people

        3. scout – It seems to me Keith took you more seriously than I did, but I don’t think he did you any favors.

          Saying that the public education system gives people a choice is just so much spin. Such deception is just a self-deceiving lie.

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  4. That you require such terminally long tracts to make a point suggests you are unable to be succinct and thus, like so many religious fundamentalists before you, you choose to obfuscate.
    2 + 2 = 4.
    The above example was adequately demonstrated using apples by one of the commenters.
    If you wish to stretch the credibility of this simple mathematical statement to ridiculous philosophical lengths, so be it.
    It may demonstrate your ability for abstract thought but equally demonstrates you propensity for skulduggery and a desire to confuse and belittle those who would ask genuine questions of their religious counterparts who condemn to ‘hell’ all non-believers.
    That you have ( to date) refused or are unable to produce any verifiable evidence for even a single foundational tenet of your religion demonstrates that you are hiding behind fraudulent claims and simple lies.

    But I will give you the benefit of the doubt and ask once again, please produce one piece of verifiable evidence regarding the claim that the character, Jesus of Nazareth is the creator deity you genuflect to.

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    1. Ark
      Apples? You are referring to the enjoyable debate about the addition of apples following https://citizentom.com/2008/06/22/what-is-mathematical-proof-does-2-2-4/.

      Either you did not read all the relevant comments or you tend to view anything I write with a jaundiced eye. Shrug.

      At ColorStorm’s blog (after saying ColorStorm has none) you asked if I have integrity (here => http://thenakedtruth2.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/heres-a-toast-to-you/comment-page-1/#comment-2766). Don’t you remember how I answered?

      Ark

      Do you have the integrity I wonder?

      Here is where you stand at your greatest disadvantage. I know the extent of my integrity, and I consider myself fortunate I do not have to justify myself before God based upon my own integrity. I accept the fact Jesus died for my sins, that His integrity has become my shield.

      You ask me to back my claims, but where do you stand? On Truth? What Truth? You demand proof, but what proof would you accept? We both know the answer, don’t we? Therefore, your question is disingenuous, and it speaks poorly of your standard for integrity.

      Because perfect proof is not attainable, we must accept some things on faith. Until we are willing to let go of our pride, we cannot do that. (from http://thenakedtruth2.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/heres-a-toast-to-you/comment-page-1/#comment-2772)

      Of course that reply did not please you.

      Since you comment on Christian blogs just to scorn, mock, scoff, jeer, and otherwise show your contempt, I wonder why you bother. At best your behavior serves as nothing more than good example of bad behavior. You represent neither yourself nor anyone who associates with you well. You just make yourself the fool.

      You offer nothing. It appears you are determined to learn nothing, and so you probably won’t.

      Proverbs 14:6 New King James Version (NKJV)

      6 A scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it,
      But knowledge is easy to him who understands.

      Anyway, Proverbs also says it is unprofitable to correct a scoffer. So I suppose I have said enough.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Another tome … Seems you didn’t read my short comment at all And if you did, you certainly didn’t pay attention.

        Sigh. And there you go – again – quoting scripture to an atheist and then try to malign my character because you haven’t got the balls to step up to the late. Hypocrite!
        How much of a damn fool are you?

        Now, are you going to continue to be a silly ass or are you going to provide verifiable evidence for the character Jesus of Nazareth being the creator of the universe. Got any, Tom?
        If not, why don;t you demonstrate this integrity you claim you have and state on record that what you believe in is all based on faith – and nothing BUT faith.
        Are we clear?
        Super …. off you go. Let’s see what you go.
        I am tingling with anticipation.

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        1. Such evidence consists of the accounts in the Bible. Verifiable, in the sense that there are accounts from multiple authors (two accounts of the creation of the universe, four accounts of the life of Jesus). This satisfies your rhetorical game-playing.

          From a strict evidentiary standpoint, you would not find it to be satisfactory proof. I don’t either; I am a lifelong non-theist and do not find the Bible (or the Qur’an, al Hadith, Bhagavad Gita, the Book of Mormon and a couple of others that I’ve only sampled) to be compelling as scientific accounts, though they and do can have other values, and they are quite different from each other.

          I remain keenly interested in religious issues, as I am keenly interested in people and history. Clearly Citizen Tom and others here find Biblical evidence satisfactory, and I accept that.

          Consider the issue of religion to be similar to politics. In much of that arena, the evidence supporting positions is not clear-cut, but you take a position anyway, believe that it is the correct position, and act upon it (including, for many, voting based on it). These actions have consequences, just as Citizen Tom and other Christian acting in accordance with their religious beliefs. There is, in fact, a lot of overlap, and some religions, notably Islam, are both faiths and governing systems at the same time.

          Our host here does not wish to force his Christianty upon you; he’d like you to share his beliefs, just as you’d life him to think as you do. The hostility seems unnecessary.

          And you and I, despite the fact that both of us are non-believers, are likely to have arrived at quite different positions with regard to political issues. I’d like you to be a Constitutional conservative as I am, but I would not force this upon you. Nor will I accuse you of a lack of integrity merely because you hold different political beliefs honestly arrived at. It takes more than that.

          ==============/ Keith DeHavelle

          Liked by 3 people

        2. Such evidence consists of the accounts in the Bible. Verifiable, in the sense that there are accounts from multiple authors (two accounts of the creation of the universe, four accounts of the life of Jesus). This satisfies your rhetorical game-playing.

          The bible cannot be used as evidence of its own veracity, any more than one can claim veracity for the contents a Harry Potter novel.
          We already know that several parts of the bible are interpolations, not least the tail end of the Gospel of Mark, the story of the adulteress in John that does not appear in the oldest manuscripts and books such as 1 Timothy are rank forgeries.
          Couple this with the knowledge that the Pentateuch is myth and all one is left with is a hodgepodge of ridiculous, Bronze age and first century nonsense to which only fundamentalist adhere.

          From a strict evidentiary standpoint, you would not find it to be satisfactory proof. I don’t either; I am a lifelong non-theist and do not find the Bible (or the Qur’an, al Hadith, Bhagavad Gita, the Book of Mormon and a couple of others that I’ve only sampled) to be compelling as scientific accounts, though they and do can have other values, and they are quite different from each other.
          Not just scientific accounts; the bible fails from historical accounts. As it is punted as truth then some evidence for its claims should be able to be presented, especially as this diatribe is indoctrinated into children.

          I remain keenly interested in religious issues, as I am keenly interested in people and history. Clearly Citizen Tom and others here find Biblical evidence satisfactory, and I accept that.

          Good for you. And I find Terry Pratchett’s books satisfactory and I’m sure you would probably accept that as well, but this doesn’t make Pratchett’s books inerrant, god-breathed and/ or historically accurate.

          Our host here does not wish to force his Christianity upon you; he’d like you to share his beliefs, just as you’d life him to think as you do. The hostility seems unnecessary.

          Which merely demonstrates your base ignorance of Christianity. It is a proselytizing religion. You can find that word in the dictionary.
          And because it is a proselytizing religion I will not bother to address the irrelevant political content of your comment.

          Regards

          The Ark

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        3. Keith

          Thank you for your comment.

          We humans have a tendency to see everyone who disagrees with us as the enemy. Instead, we should be curious. We should wonder why someone would disagree with us and then worry about whether any hostility exists.

          There are Christians who think those who don’t believe in God are automatically condemned to Hell, and some of these can be hostile to unbelievers. Yet, oddly enough, even those Christians who see unbelievers as damned are not usually the enemies of unbelievers. Most are more concerned with saving their souls. Unfortunately, most people tend react quite negatively to being told they are going to Hell.

          Is anyone who is not a Christian condemned to Hell? I don’t personally think so. If God wants to condemn lots of people to Hell, then why John 3:16?

          What follows is part of a comment I left at ColorStorm.

          Does that mean one has to be Christian in order to go to Heaven? The Bible suggests otherwise, but exactly how God judges us no one really knows. I know the verses they quote, but I think some pastors go out on a limb. When a Christian says those who know of the message of the Bible and still refuse Christ’s offer of salvation will go to Hell, he risks standing in the place of God. Because only God is God, we should not do that. We can only say what the Bible says, and the Bible says we must put our faith in our Creator. We must love our neighbor because we love our Creator with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.

          When Jesus said He is the Way, he spoke as a man and as God. As a man, He provided an example. That example is known only to Christians, but I expect to see many who never knew of Jesus in Heaven. That is because as God Jesus is known to all who choose to know Him.

          And how do we know of God? We know the work of His Creation. God is the greatest of craftsmen. His creations are marvelous in beauty and detail, carefully and lovingly made. We know His promptings in our heart. We know when we act in love we do right; we know we do wrong when we act in hatred. Thus, I believe that any man who loves his Creator and his neighbor knows the Way and walks with God.

          If we don’t need the Bible to be saved, then why the Bible? I think that has to do with the sacrifice Jesus Christ made on the cross. Even though many may die without ever knowing about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, when they arrive in Heaven they will learn of it. The Bible explains what happens and why it was necessary.

          I also think the Bible is a gift given to people who need it. In our era, we too easily forget that only God is God. Time and again we presume authority and privileges for ourselves that belong only to God. The Bible reminds those who study it that only God is God. It shows us our sinful nature, and it show how much God hates sin. The Bible also shows us the dreadful sacrifice Jesus made to pay off our debt of sin. (from http://thenakedtruth2.wordpress.com/2014/12/29/cant-go-into-detail/comment-page-1/#comment-2882)

          Therefore, while I still wish you would accept Jesus, I still entertain the possibility of meeting you in Heaven even if you do not.

          Because only God knows our hearts and why we do the things we do, only He knows which of us He should bless with a place in Heaven with Him. If God will permit me in Heaven — if He can think of some way to make me tolerable for all eternity — then He can do the same for most people.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I have had the same debate that Arkenaten presents with another Atheist. A great many scientific theories are based on of course the scientific method. Which would be Question, Evidence, Prediction, Experiment, Analysis, and then conclusion.

    The question that he asks for is verifiable evidence that Jesus of Nazareth, as a deity exists. He wishes Tom to have evidence (mathematical) to experiment so that you can analysis it to form a conclusion, which he knows can never present for his very analytical pragmatic mind that would sway his already omnipresent mind that has reached this conclusion.

    Could the evidence simply be faith? Could the experiment be martyrs ?

    Of course for Arkenaten the answer will be, no. Which I feel no need to get into further details with him, simply because it would be futile. I could ask him to use mathematics to disprove that an invisible purple dragon resides on my shoulder, and in the same effect, he could not disprove it, nor could I prove it. This is the impasse.

    There’s no evidence that Tom could provide that would convince Arkenaten, anymore than he could provide me that the State of Iowa exists. They’re simply based within the mind, which one can hold to the doctrine has been created merely evolutionary means. or through godly, or a combination; however, that doesn’t make God, Jesus, any less real in hearts of minds of any human in comparison to a person who sees a picture of the United States from space and yet can point to where Iowa is located.

    Arkenaten will argue its purely imagination on both accounts, but I respect his analytical mind, for it has its uses! Yet, even though Iowa is imaginary, for all practicality; I believe he will still acknowledge its authority while traveling through it!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Not evidence that the character, Jesus of Nazareth is any old deity; there are hundreds of deities, evidence that he is the creator deity of the universe.

      You all obviously believe it, including Virgin Births, Lake Tiberius Pedestrians and dead people rising for graves to go walkabout through Jerusalem while, quite understandably, totally ridiculing such stories such as flying horses visiting heaven etc.
      So ….off you go.

      2+2 = 1.5

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    2. Well said.

      Much of what we assume to be true we cannot prove with science or mathematics.

      When two people choose to love each other and share their lives with each other, what does that have to do with proof? And yet with nothing more than the faith that it is the right thing to do, people spend their lives together.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’ll have look beyond all the typos, I was typing on my phone before work, but what I was trying to convey is an anecdote between what is considered real and what is not with the example of Iowa. I’ve been studying Lincoln extensively here lately…

        However, Acknowledging “mathematics” and subsequently the order in which the universe works within natural law is as we’ve discussed, Tom, the acceptance of divinity as the stoics professed and as you’ve explained through Romans. Its like I said futile to explain as much to anyone who is blinded by their myopic approach to verifying the world. Arkenaten assumes what I believe, and how I’ve arrived at my beliefs, but despite all of the “evidence” to the contrary I continue to have faith. However, I’m completely open to believing something else as soon as I’m shown mathematically how Iowa exists…haha.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. I think I could probably prove that there is a State of Iowa, although I’m not motivated enough by the preceding comment to try.

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  6. I suspect that support for public education extends somewhat beyond the membership roles of the teachers’ unions and politicians beholden to them. I think you and Matthew have a lot of work to do to abolish the practice. The size and difficulty of forming a democratic consensus to eliminate public schools in this country will occupy the two of you 24/7 for some decades, at least. Perhaps that is a good thing.

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      1. No, no. Don’t give it up. Have at it, man. It should keep you more than fully occupied well into mid-Century.

        The causes I have pursued out of passion for history and the Constitution have been more traditional and more achievable (and I feel I have left a positive mark in the annals of the law on the Constitutional front) I admit I lack your energy for the unachievable. Of course, “unachievability” isn’t the end of the discussion. But Public Education is viewed by many of us as something, however flawed, that has made communities and the Nation stronger in virtually every way. To completely eradicate it will take some doing. But I certainly don’t mean to discourage you from trying. I enjoy watching.

        I recommend you start locally and see if you can get a majority of the Prince William County BOS to vote to disestablish public education in that County (on that Board you can always get at least one grasping Supervisor to support almost anything, so you aren’t really starting from scratch). Once successful there, we could have a test bed for generating data on economic impacts of such an approach. Let’s see where the Country is in, say, ten years after the eradication of public schools.

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    1. Challenging? Indeed. Impossible? No. How did the War of Independence begin? One-third of the people wanted independence, one-third wanted to remain with Great Britain, and one-third was indifferent. All it takes is a minority to start a wildfire, even Margaret Sanger used said principle to install her religious beliefs of abortion, sterilization, and eugenics in these United States. With that said, what caused these United States to fundamentally change in the past 150-175 years from individualism to growing collectivism? Simple. A minority of social revolutionaries capitalizing on long-term planning. I worked with these individuals in higher education, governmental agencies, and private sector. They are gradually implementing their religious beliefs of collectivism and secularism. The former Soviet Union, with hundreds of agents in both private and public sectors in these United States, was astonished how fast and easy Americans accepted collectivism and secularism. Go ahead. Read the testimonies and works of social revolutionaries to know their end game for the entire world. Would you like to know how these people view you, Scout? According to social revolutionaries, you, Scout, are nothing more than a gullible, useful idiot — a cog in the machine — to advance their religion. Can the likes of Tom and I revert these United States back to its individualist, Judeo-Christian foundation? Absolutely. All it takes is a minority. Never underestimate the influence and power of one individual or of a minority.

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      1. Good answer! I honestly don’t know what to make of the “point” scout is trying to make. If we think the education system is broken, we are not suppose to care enough to do anything about it?

        scout can’t even give good advice. In Virginia, the state legislature has control over school choice. County governments may have some latitude, but as a practical matter they implement state directives.

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        1. There is a second-level point that “scout” makes, woven throughout his missives on this topic: He does NOT like Constitutional conservatives and fears the effect we might have upon big government, so over and over he notes that he is pleased at the idea that we might occupy ourselves at what he deems an insurmountable task, and thus do less harm to the excesses of government he favors.

          ==============/ Keith DeHavelle

          Liked by 1 person

        2. If you want to start at the state level, that’s fine. I would think cutting smaller bites to begin with might be more practical. Work on getting a resolution through your BCS that public education in Prince William County should be abolished. Build on that. Sure, you’d eventually have to get some state implementing legislation, but I would think the local piece would be a better starting point.

          I don’t hear you talking about fixing a “broken” public education system. As I’ve noted, public education in this country is a mess and needs a great deal of fixing. But (and correct me if I’m wrong) you and Matthew have staked out the position that there should not be public education. So “fixing” is not what this discussion is about.

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        3. The whole idea of government-run education is inherently flawed. So the fix for our broken public education system is to get government out of the business.

          Except for the fact people have trouble resisting the opportunity to indoctrinate other people’s children, there is no particular reason why government has to fund, much less run, a school system to educate children. Hence, the problem is no different than the problem the USSR had with socialism. It doesn’t work.

          Because they stifle the benefits of competition, over time government-run enterprises tend to become less productive. That’s why throwing money at the public school system has not accomplished anything useful, and that’s why I don’t propose to throw anymore.

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  7. You flatter me, Matthew.

    By the way, I had some considerable experience with the Soviets back in the day (I am something of an old fart) and always found them to be anti-religious.

    But, as I told Tom (supra), you should bore ahead with your program. I will follow with interest and a certain degree of bemusement.

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        1. My father could have seen Woodrow Wilson come into office if someone had held him up and pointed him toward the Inaugural Stand. He (my father, that is, not Woodrow Wilson) was born two months previously.

          Re your accusation that I am a self-loathing Constitutional Conservative, Keith – I have never considered my conservatism to be something that I do not like. I am actually rather fond of it and have found, over time, that it provides the most consistent and practical approach to the perennial problem of balancing human liberty against the tendency of Man to live in organized societies.

          You are correct, however, that I consider Tom and Matthew’s effort to rid the land of public education to be a time-consuming, Quixotish venture and that I am content (as indicated earlier in the thread) to have them pour time and energy into that quest.

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        2. “Re your accusation that I am a self-loathing Constitutional Conservative, Keith”

          Nowhere, scout, have I ever made such an assertion, you know that. I categorically deny each part of your purported assertion.

          ==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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  8. Public and private school choice is a dilemma in the US. School vouchers would be my choice if there was some way to regulate private schools to prevent a child from being taught a religious belief it is pleasing to their God to harm or kill another as is being taught in some Mosques or by activist preachers. Who or how to approve a moral teaching agenda for a private school is part of the dilemma.

    There is also presently a terrible unfairness in public education for both poor and middle class school districts caused by government mandates.

    In poor school districts, lack of funds is one issue along with lack of parental responsibility.

    In middle class school districts, government mandates school principals to expend more teachers to teach students who are not fluent in English in order to maintain grade levels. For example, two teachers may be assigned to teach ten students not fluent in English, while only one teacher is assigned to teach thirty plus students who can speak English.

    These are only a mere drop in the bucket of negative school issues in the US. However, there must be some positives because many foreign students are flocking to come to the US for higher education and can afford to pay tuition while many US students cannot afford. .. .

    The dilemma of US education deficiencies is caused by both upside down government leadership and voter apathy as you have stated many times in your blog posts.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    .

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  9. @Tom

    We humans have a tendency to see everyone who disagrees with us as the enemy. Instead, we should be curious. We should wonder why someone would disagree with us and then worry about whether any hostility exists.

    I don’t consider you as an enemy at all. I do consider your foundational religious views/clams ridiculous and without any verifiable evidence whatsoever. But if you, as an adult wish to believe, so be it. This is your right.

    That you wish to impart this belief onto children through proselytizing and indoctrination I take issue with.
    And it is this aspect of religion that you should focus your ”wonder” on, as this is where the primary hostility lies.

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    1. What you are doing is proselytizing. You are spreading your beliefs about religion. I presume you don’t see anything wrong with that. Although I think your are wrong, we each have the right to speak our minds. That includes blogging on the Internet.

      Parents have an obligation to pass what they believe their children need to know onto their children. However, it seems you have appointed yourself the final arbiter of what people have a right to teach children. Do you actually propose to modify our First Amendment rights?

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      1. There is a huge difference between teaching children to think for themselves in a loving, patient environment; to evaluate information and arrive at a worldview based on critical thought than the type of mindless indoctrination religious fundamentalists such as you employ. Along with the vile doctrine of hell. the despicable acts contained in the Old Testament and the myriad other utterly ridiculous clap trap you and your ilk push.
        Parent s do not have an obligation to pass on what they believe.
        They have an obligation to bring up their children in as safe and enlightened environment as possible laying the spadework to produce contented,well-balanced adults.
        Not superstitious morons who consider dinosaurs were once vegetarian and coexisted with man until they were very naughty and the dinosaurs became carnivores and some deranged god flooded the earth and annihilated virtually every living thing on the surface of the earth.
        What bloody stupid idiot would teach this to kids?
        Well, we know the answer to this question, don;’t we? People like you!
        If you wish to champion your damn religion then you should do so solely to adults and furthermore, you have absolutely no right complaining about Muslims, Jews, Hindus or any other Christian sect that differs in its interpretation of the unsubstantiated garbage you would promote as historical fact and the ultimate truth.

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        1. Arkenaten

          You waste your time.

          If we want to debate, then we have to have some conception of what debate involves. All you are doing is making a bunch of absurd statements and juvenile insults. Since that is obvious nonsense, responding would just give credence to empty words.

          If you do some search, you will find that I occasionally review a book that attacks the Christian faith. Of course, I try to show the flaws in the book’s arguments. Nevertheless, I don’t think the Bible requires a defense. What the Bible requires some study, and it helps to read good commentaries.

          So why do I review such books? Evaluating the arguments presented by detractors of the Christian faith strengthens my faith. With a bit of study, I can see their errors.

          With respect to the Bible, you have called yourself “merely an interested amateur,” but it does not appear that you have actually taken much interest in the Bible. You have yet to give me a thoughtful argument worthy of consideration.

          Life is short. If you think attacking people who just want to practice the Christian faith in peace is a good way to spend your time, I am not surprised you are worried about hell.

          In the long run the answer to all those who object to the doctrine of hell, is itself a question: What are you asking God to do? To wipe out their past sins and, at all costs, to give them a fresh start, smoothing every difficulty and offering every miraculous help? But He has done so, on Calvary. To forgive them? They will not be forgiven. To leave them alone? Alas, I am afraid that is what He does. — C. S. Lewis in The Problem of Pain (1940)

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        2. Life is short. If you think attacking people who just want to practice the Christian faith in peace is a good way to spend your time, I am not surprised you are worried about hell.

          Smile ….
          I have no concerns whatsoever if you wish to fill your short life with superstitious nonsense and fully respect your right to practice your ( fallacious) bible based belief as much as your little heart desires. Truly, freedom of choice is what it’s all about, right? Isn’t free will what you harp on about all the time?
          If being a Sunbeam For Jesus is your ultimate goal, then good luck to you. May you find your peace in this form of oblivion.

          The only question that remains is: why the hell have you no respect for the rights of others in this regard; and especially children?

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  10. Well, Keith, you said I don’t “like” Constitutional conservatives and I am one. I sort of assumed that you were saying that there was some sort of internal conflict there. I guess that was an extrapolation I needed to diagram for you. Not only do I like myself (a solid constitutional conservative not without some publicly known accomplishments in defense of the Constitution), but I socialize with quite a few folks of similar bent. Not sure where you got the idea that I don’t like my friends. I don’t think you know any of us.

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    1. “Well, Keith, you said I don’t “like” Constitutional conservatives and I am one.”

      You are not. Period. Even in this post, you are defending extra-Constitutional big government in the form of a federal public education system. You argued for big government programs, or against reducing them, in dozens of conversations here and this is not your first forum of such exhibited hypocrisy.

      You defend big government program after program, all the while protesting your authenticity as a soi-disant Constitutional conservative. This would work better if you ever actually argued for such a position, rather than merely claiming it.

      And when challenged, you are always quick to direct the focus at your tremendous self-importance compared to the poor intellectually challenged person who points out your inconsistency. You’ve a quick draw on the snark-as-distraction, such as your jibe here: “I guess that was an extrapolation I needed to diagram for you.”

      You knew exactly what I was talking about, and you cannot in truth answer the challenge. So, distract, deflect, deceive and demean is what you are left with. It is pathetic, frankly, and based on your practiced faux stupidity of misunderstanding every challenger. As you become too practiced at this, stupidity becomes your normal mode of expression. And I know that you are not stupid.

      ==============/ Keith DeHavelle

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have never supported any government program that is constitutionally prohibited. The Founders were neutral on the size of government programs. How big or small a government undertaking should be is a policy/political judgment. The Constitution doesn’t address that issue. The Constitution only addresses authorities for and prohibitions on Government (at all levels, as things have evolved through the amendment process). Part of the genius of the document is that it permits political flexibility through time to address these issues in the context of external realities.

        And, by the way, I have never supported a federal education system. I consider education to be in the sphere of state and local authority. Education has national security implications, and it is not a matter completely outside the realm of legitimate federal interests, but I would not support (and have not supported) the institution of a federal education system.

        And, finally, whatever our political leanings, the labels we use are all “soi-disant”. You’re no exception. There’s no certifying board on these things that gives out licenses (although I have urged our state Republican Party to auction off the term “conservative” to political wannabes each election cycle as a fund-raising program – the term is so debased here that someone might as well just sell it). I am in a far better position than you to know whether I “like Constitutional Conservatives.” You’ll have to defer to my judgement on that. I like many of them, find some of them not so likeable, but have no reason to believe my reverence for the Document and the Republic it established is insincere or defective.

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        1. Your proclaimed “reverence” for the Constitution is defective in a key way, which you even allude to in your comment here: You’ve never found a big government program for “general welfare” that you couldn’t support.

          You also make clear, once again, your disdain for the term “conservative” as used by Americans. Heavens, it could cause someone to think you had something to do with the Tea Party you revile.

          And come off of it, scout, you were supporting the federal education system here by attacking those who would undo it.

          ==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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  11. Faulty reasoning on your part, Keith. We all have bad days.

    My opposition to Tom and Matthew’s desire to abolish public education in this country cannot be interpreted rationally as support for nationalizing public education. There are huge problems with public education. I’ve acknowledged that frequently. I see very little, if anything, in these myriad problems that would be solved by the national government stepping in. And, beyond that practical issue, I do not see any constitutional authority for the federal government to do so.

    And, by the way, there are plenty of “big government” and “small government” programs that I oppose. To begin to list them would impose on our host’s hospitality.

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    1. Rest assured. If you wish to list all the big and small government programs you oppose, I have no objection. I just want to know why you oppose them. Similarly, if want to list all the programs you favor (which I expect would be a far larger list), I just want to know what you think justifies forcing to people to pay for them.

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  12. Rest assured, Tom, you really don’t want me or anyone else to start listing government programs with which they take issue. Take a look at just the federal budget (let alone state and local programs). Everyone here could spend years listing things they don’t like.

    Speaking generally, however, to your last point, I don’t view it as “forcing people to pay for them [i.e., government programs] if the programs are duly and properly enacted in areas of government authority under the Constitution. Paying for things we buy is simply a manifestation of good ethics and fiscal conservatism. We set up democratic mechanisms to decide what we, as a Nation/society want to buy. There are a lot of programs I oppose that reflect my minority view that the program doesn’t make sense or is a bad use of money or is ineffective at addressing the problem it purports to address. But that’s my problem in that I wasn’t persuasive enough (or engaged enough) politically to win the day.

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    1. Rest assured, Tom, you really don’t want me or anyone else to start listing government programs with which they take issue. Take a look at just the federal budget (let alone state and local programs). Everyone here could spend years listing things they don’t like.

      That comment may explain some of the 3,346 posts on this blog, but it explains very few of your comments, if any.

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      1. Scout is merely confirming that is was never the “impose” aspect he worried about, it was the “expose” part. Were he to honestly outline his own thinking by offering a constellation of programs he doesn’t like, it would expose too much of him.

        I chide him for not being a real conservative, based on nothing more than observing his writing and arguments for hundreds of posts. All he would have to do to put an end to this is to actually become a conservative. And not the made-up version he carries around in his head, either.

        As it is, scout can only insist, Pinnochio-like, “I AM a real boy!” — while the clunky joints of his left-wing arguments make the reality all too plain.

        So he responds with his unearned veneer of superiority and condescending snark. Actually trying on the idea of Constitutional conservatism might actually be easier for him — but I think his reflexive distaste for such people as you and me make this too abhorrent a concept to scout. Only he knows, he believes, what a “real” conservative is — a big-government, general-welfare-is-everything-I-want-it-to-be sort of statist enabler — and all the rest of the country just has it wrong. He looks down his elite nose upon the likes of us.

        ==============/ Keith DeHavelle

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Scout, I can’t speak for Keith, but I would like to say I appreciate the fact you have never made it personal. I wish I could say there is no truth whatsoever in that remark about an unearned veneer of superiority and condescending snark. I would be happier if I could rightly say you have never pretended to be a Constitutional Conservative. But none of that would be honest. So I can’t, and I am sad about that. Why don’t you stop?

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  13. Because to pretend I am something I am not would be dishonest and would compromise the value and credibility of my comments here, Tom. I’m not sure why you would want that. I bring a reasonably well-informed conservative viewpoint to your blog and I think it helps stimulate conversation that might otherwise lack perspective. My comments and the ideas in them either make sense or they don’t, independent of labels. Some will agree, some not, and that degree of agreement will fluctuate from subject to subject, depending on how clearly I express myself, I suppose. But it is a mistake to get hung up on the labels. I have spent a lifetime honing my conservative sensibilities (I probably mentioned that my first campaign was Goldwater’s in 1964). I see no reason to deviate from that course simply because you and Keith are fixated on labels, as opposed to ideas.

    As mentioned above in direct response to Keith’s accusation that there is something defective in my conservatism because it is I who describe myself that way, we all affix the labels to ourselves that we go by. I no more than you or Keith. In the end, however, when we discuss ideas, our utterances have or lack validity because of what we say, not what label we attach to it.

    I generally feel that when people fall back on accusing others of mendacity or treachery (Pinocchio is more comical than treacherous, I guess, but Keith clearly is in the grip of a desire to attack my character) because of a label, all effort at substantive discussion has been jettisoned. To me that is a kind of public policy debate that serves the country poorly. But that’s just my view.

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