ANSWERING FOLLY: PUBLIC EDUCATION

Last supper by  Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)
Last supper by
Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)

The “Right” To An Education?

Supposedly, we have the right to an education.

The right to education is a universal entitlement to education, recognized in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as ahuman right that includes the right to free, compulsory primary education for all, an obligation to develop secondary education accessible to all, in particular by the progressive introduction of free secondary education, as well as an obligation to develop equitable access to higher education, ideally by the progressive introduction of free higher education. (continued here)

If education is a right, what is this “right”? The legalistic definition (see Right to education) will probably leave the average person more confused than informed. Is the “right” to an education the right to go to a school? No. A school is just a building. Hence, Wikipedia provides this definition of education.

Education in its general sense is a form of learning in which the knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits of a group of people are transferred from one generation to the next through storytelling, discussion, teaching, training, or research. Education may also include informal transmission of such information from one human being to another. Education frequently takes place under the guidance of others, but learners may also educate themselves (autodidactic learning). Any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational. (continued here)

When we are properly educated, what is it that we learn? Don’t we each have our own opinion? That is one reason that insisting we have a “right” to an education is idiotic. What exactly is this “right”? Ask ten different people, and we will get ten differing views.

What is the other reason the “right” to an education is idiotic? If the government is suppose to give us this “right,” how is the government suppose to give us this “right” without first depriving someone else of their property rights?  We are the government. We can give this “right” to ourselves. Why involve the government? What does our government have to give us that it does not first have to take from us?slavery

In fact, government constitutes the greatest threat to our right to an education. Ironically, even those who advocate big government (in their quest to stir up racial strife) provide evidence of this. For example, to keep black slaves ignorant and dependent, the legislatures in Virginia and South Carolina pass Acts against the education of slaves.

What Is The Ultimate Point Of An Education?

Young man (Lorenzo Tornabuoni ?) before the Seven liberal arts by  Sandro Botticelli (1445–1510)
Young man (Lorenzo Tornabuoni ?) before the Seven liberal arts by
Sandro Botticelli (1445–1510)

What is the traditional notion of an elite education? That’s an education in the Liberal Arts. Hence, we have several references that describe what that means.

Unfortunately, with the passage of time, what we call a Liberal arts education has become more and more secular. Secular instructors teach their students what to think about this life, but they give no thought to the next. Secularized institutions define success in material terms. Secularized people don’t take the time to contemplate that the treasures we store here will remain here.

Matthew 6:19-21 English Standard Version (ESV)

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Hence too many of us no longer learn that until we know how to lay up treasures in heaven, we know too little of what is worth knowing.

Why Do Politicians Pander To Us?

Why do politicians pander to us? Why do they try to flatter us with their words and their “gifts”? Do they intend any good for us? No.

Proverbs 29:5 English Standard Version (ESV)

A man who flatters his neighbor
    spreads a net for his feet.

The two weavers in "The Emperor's New Clothes" by Hans Christian Andersen
The two weavers in “The Emperor’s New Clothes” by Hans Christian Andersen

What happens when we believe flattery? We can gulled into believing and doing stupid things. That is the point of a child’s fairytale, The Emperor’s New Clothes. The Emperor so much wanted to believe in himself that he allowed two weavers to fool him. They tricked him into believing that they could weave clothes that were invisible to anyone who was unfit for their office. Therefore, when the emperor could not see or even touch the clothes the two scoundrels pretended to weave, he pretended that he could, and, except for a child, all his people followed his lead.

What follows are some real world examples of political pandering and flattery.

Social Security and Medicare

Social Security and Medicare make up the biggest expenses in the Federal Budget. Supposedly, by paying Social Security and Medicare taxes we each set aside part of our paycheck for retirement.  Then when we get old, we expect politicians to take care of us because we deserve it.

What is the reality? Politicians spend all the money we pay in taxes. The Social Security Trust Fund is a fraud. So it is, using the excuse that “we deserve it,” successive generations have already ripped off their children and grandchildren.

Racial And Minority Preferences

What is slavery? Slavery is what results when we flatter ourselves into believing we are better than someone else. Slavery is what happens when one group of people believes they are better than another group of people. When they have the power to put their inferiors into subjection, “superiority” gives “superior” people an excuse to make subject people their slaves.

Do we still have groups who flatter themselves as being superior? Yes, and we also have something twisted. We have victim classes who use their victim status to justify themselves as being more deserving. Hence, our society now wars against white males. Because some white males once abused blacks, women, religious minorities, Indians, the disabled, and so forth, politicians (most of whom are white males) now self righteously design laws to prevent and punish “discrimination” of all sorts.  In fact, using the evil of “discrimination” as an excuse, they interfere in the conduct of private businesses and work assiduously to give special interests (blacks, feminists, Muslims, and so forth) special advantages with respect to laudatory propaganda, government programs, and the market place.  The politically correct phrase for this is affirmative action. What affirmative action means in practice is making certain that justice is not blind.

Homosexual Rights and Same-Sex Marriage

The homosexual rights movement is probably the most absurd of the minority rights movements. Consider the phrase “Gay Pride.” Stick that in Google and you will get almost ten million hits.

Gay pride or LGBT pride is the positive stance against discrimination and violence toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people to promote their self-affirmation, dignity, equality rights, increase their visibility as a social group, build community, and celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance. (continued here)

Homosexual rights activists stridently demand the silence of any who would condemn their behavior, and they openly demand the flattery of “straights.” In fact, in a clear effort to violate the First Amendment, Obama wants to ban conversion therapy for minors (The Washington Post approves, of course => Obama’s move to ban gay conversion therapy, explained), but who is trying to outlaw surgically  transgendering children (Sex-change treatment for kids on the rise)?

When will we stop to think? Is it the job of government — of our leaders — to make people feel good about themselves? Is government suppose to make some people violate their religious beliefs just so other people can sin and still feel good about themselves?

You say homosexuality is not a sin?  Then why do homosexuals care so much about what others think of their behavior? Is it not because they don’t want to be reminded that what they are doing is a sin?

Global Warming

Science is suppose to represent the apex of man’s ability to reason. In practice, science is many other things.

  • With many degrees, a man can make himself appear highly intelligent and capable. If he is foolish enough, he can believe he has all the answers.
  • The less knowledgeable can worship science and scientists as the font of knowledge. If an “expert” says it, it must be true.
  • Those more humble may regard science as act of worship. For these science is the study of God’s Creation. By studying what our Maker has created, we can strive to appreciate His infinite majesty and wisdom.

Is Global Warming real? Are we experiencing Climate Change? In THE CARBON CYCLE AND LeChatelier’s Principle, we considered the matter, and the debate over Global Warming looks a lot like the debate over homosexual rights. If we don’t agree that Global Warming or Climate Change is real, we get called names. That’s scientific reasoning?

The Covenants

We have the Constitution.  That document represents the covenant we have made with each other. We have the Bible. That book represents the covenant God has made with us.

Daniel 11:32-35 English Standard Version (ESV)

32 He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action. 33 And the wise among the people shall make many understand, though for some days they shall stumble by sword and flame, by captivity and plunder. 34 When they stumble, they shall receive a little help. And many shall join themselves to them with flattery, 35 and some of the wise shall stumble, so that they may be refined, purified, and made white, until the time of the end, for it still awaits the appointed time.

Have we arrived at the end times? Are we living in those grim days? Has the anti-Christ arrived? No, but John said (1 John 1:18-27) we already have anti-Christs among us. In any event, we have no shortage of people willing to pander to our lusts and flatter our egos. We have men and women all too eager to induce us to violate both our nation’s Constitution and God’s Holy Bible.

The Lesson From The Last Supper

Before Jesus died upon on cross, He taught His apostles a lesson in humility. He washed each of their feet (John 13:1-20), even the feet of the man He knew was about to betray Him.

Christ washing the Feet of the Disciples by  Tintoretto (1518–1594)
Christ washing the Feet of the Disciples by
Tintoretto (1518–1594)

Why was such an act of humility necessary? Even at that last supper, after three years with Jesus, the apostles had not learned the need for humility.

Luke 22:24-27 English Standard Version (ESV)

24 A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. 25 And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. 26 But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. 27 For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.

When we are full of pride, we insist upon seeing what we see from only our own point-of-view. Except to the extent it affect us, we don’t care what others think. We don’t even care about the Truth. Except to get what we want from Him, we have no need for God. We just do whatever it takes to get what we want for our self.

When we lack humility, other people become objects, objects useful only in so far as they satisfy our needs. When we lack humility, we become savages.

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. — Ronald Reagan (from here)

What Is The Solution?

If putting politicians in charge of the education of children works, then it works poorly. Is that just because politicians suffer too readily from the temptation to pander to and flatter their constituents? No. However, it is a big part of the problem. With the passage of time and the snowballing degeneration of our society, we now see the proof of that truth coming to fruition. We now have too many people who think “it” is all about what makes them happy.

What is the solution? The solution is love. Because they love their children, parents, those people the Bible charges with the care of children, must reassert their responsibility for the education of their children. Otherwise, with each passing generation our children and our children’s children will grow up learning they have the right to call the Truth whatever they most want the Truth to be.

To find other posts in the ANSWERING FOLLY series, just click on the link.

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26 thoughts on “ANSWERING FOLLY: PUBLIC EDUCATION

  1. Can’t live on love. Need a combination of love and wisdom.The flower children of the 60’s are proof. The ones who stuck with love only wound up homeless, on drugs, and/

    or on welfare. The ones who wised up, got jobs, family, homes, children,worries about money, and ambition to work to end their worries about money instead of extending their hands for welfare.
    Regards and good will blogging

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well said, Citizen Tom. The solution really is love. The problem there however, is that humans have a really hard time with that concept, so we tend to really foul it up. Is it love to give a drug addict money? Not really, not if that’s what’s funding their addiction. Is it love to tolerate all behavior? Not if that behavior is harmful to someone. So is it loving to sit back and let someone else experience the consequences of their own actions without bailing them out? Yes, sometimes. So now we’ve got “love” with an edge to it that is not always so “nice,” and that can make people really uncomfortable.

    Like Scatterwisdom said above, the free love of the 60’s is kind of like idealism without wisdom and that same kind of thinking is pretty much what we seem to be struggling with today.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Remember ColorStorm’s meebots. The idealism of the 60’s came from meebots. “Free love” is just a euphemism for easy sex. Love is not free. Love comes with a commitment. To love them, we must actually care about the people we love.

      Some how. Some way. We must make the meebots care, but I suppose all we can do is love our neighbors — pray for them, each other, and ourselves.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. And the Free Love movement in America began as a bizarre Christian offshoot a few years earlier … in 1848. When you eat with Oneida silverware, you are symbolically sticking a fork in America’s moral culture. John Humphrey Noyes’ Oneida community, originally established before the Civil War to provide himself an unending stream of sex partners, ultimately became the flatware company through an odd sequence of events. According to its tenets, Jesus viewed monogamy as impure and inappropriate. The commune branched out and at least one site lasted for a few decades, though most were gone in several years.

        Noyes actually predates Marx’s appearance on the world stage, but his group is now considered among the first of the Bible Communists and is almost synonymous with the term.

        The New York Times barely touches on those origins here:
        http://www.nytimes.com/1999/06/20/business/why-the-keepers-of-oneida-don-t-care-to-share-the-table.html?pagewanted=all

        This is better in detail, though it is a leftist, approving review of Noyes and the community:
        http://www.crookedlakereview.com/books/saints_sinners/martin11.html

        The early Progressive Left tended to be strongly religious, at least by their own lights. And Obama in the 21st century has been surrounded by religious progressive Leftists, from the infamous Jeremiah Wright to the less-well-known communist Jim Wallis today (Obama’s “spiritual advisor) to Chicago’s hard-left Father Pfleger to homicide-stoking Louis Farrakhan (quoted favorably by Obama in his books).

        Each of these. like Noyes, would consider himself a devout man of God. Or Allah, in Farrakhan’s case, or Obama, in Obama’s case. They are “differently religious” in a way similar to my legs leaving me “differently abled.”

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

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Matthew

          Excellent point, Keith. It is the same individuals — Christians and non-Christians — who misconstrue Acts 2 and 4 to advocate socialism or communism. Context, context, and context — historical-grammatical hermeneutic is important.

          Liked by 1 person

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  4. phadde2

    Do we have a right to eduction? Is education is a privilege? The privilege is being born in nation where I have a right to an education!

    An inalienable right –acknowledged in The Declaration of Independence– is the pursuit of happiness as penned by Thomas Jefferson. The question I think which must arise is whether or not for one to pursue happiness in our nation is whether education is an essential ingredient. I, of course, do think it a necessity as Tom knows. Tom, made note that the government educates children very poorly. I think it can be just as equally stated that if parents are responsible for educating their children, many do it very poorly as well. The idea of ‘love’ may make us all warm and fuzzy inside; however, it doesn’t necessarily stamp out ignorance. In many ways the common denominator whether a child is properly educated is funding, whether the family either lives in poverty and lacks the means to properly educate their children, or the state has not been given the authority to properly fund the school system.

    Many equate the idea of right to education with communism and the Soviet Constitution of 1936, and/or FDR’s call for a second bill of rights. However, the idea of governments –and distinctly our own government– aiding their citizens to become an educated citizenry started to really develop during the Enlightenment.

    If we’re discussing elements of Americanism, and American ideals, George Washington advocated for the formation of a National University to further American innovation in science and literature. (Ron Chernow, Washington: A Life (New York, Penguin Press, 2010) 619.) (George Washington, George Washington Writings (New York, The Library of America, 1997) 750.)

    Chernow, in his biography, asserts “At every turn, Washington advanced his pet project for a national university.” (Chernow, Washington: A Life, 705. Although it seems his idea developed at this point as an institution to properly teach students to become statesmen and learn how to participate in government.

    It’s also noted that Washington expressed a “stirring plea for a national university” in his final address to congress on December 7th, 1796. (Chernow, Washington: A Life, 764.) (Washington. George Washinton Writings, 978.)

    It’s also to be noted that George Washington left money in his will to fund a national university in the District of Columbia, where students were to “shed their ‘local attachments and state prejudices’.” He also left 20 bank shares in the bank of Alexandria to educated orphaned and less fortunate children (Chernow, Washington: A Life, 803.)

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    1. An education is a privilege. We can give someone an education, but if someone takes our wealth to educate someone else that stealing. There is no right to steal.

      Anyway, you may find the latest post relevant.

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  5. As usual, Tom, a pithy, succinct post. Economy of words is clearly not a core value around here.

    But, to take snippets from the beginning and the end, it really doesn’t matter if we designate education as a “right”. The fact of the matter is that a society is probably better off in almost every quantifiable (and non-quantifiable) way if the populace has a higher, rather than a lower level of education. Whether or not education is regarded as a “right”, it certainly can be regarded as a wise policy decision to make it as widely available as possible at the highest level any child can attain.

    Of course parents have an obligation to their children not to raise them to be incompetent burdens to the rest of society. But, as Phadde2 notes, not every parent is capable of educating a child to the highest degrees of technical competence required by a 21st century nation. We need engineers, chemists, physicists, biologists, physicians, surgeons etc. etc. at levels that cannot possibly be generated by each and every parent. So we, through our democratic institutions, decide to establish schools where these skills can be taught. We do it for selfish reasons – that our children be able to succeed, but also for collective (scary word, that, but appropriate here) security – so that the Nation can prosper and defend itself in a competitive world.

    It’s a fair critique of public education that its quality is highly variable, particularly at the sub-university level, throughout the nation. At the lower edges of achievement, it is an absolute disgrace, particularly when compared to achievement in other advanced countries. But the idea that there is some inherent vice to educating the Nation’s children through tax-supported schools doesn’t grab me in the least. I suspect that we would be far worse off from an economic and security standpoint if we were to abolish public education and leave everything to the parents. My kids did pretty well, and I like to think I was a positive influence in this, but if they had had to rely on me alone to provide their education, they would be far less capable of contributing to the greater good of the country than they are.

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    1. I am buried in an urgent project, and owe a response elsewhere here. But briefly, do you think that if we abolished the food given by the federal government to every US citizen every day in the federal food delivery fleets, that citizens would have no choice but to attempt to survive from the produce of their own gardens? And that those gardens would be necessarily in front of mud huts and caves if the federal government abolished the provision of federal housing to every American?

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

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      1. phadde2

        I’m confused by your response, Keith. Isn’t the above discussion about whether education is a right? Your examples seem to be irreverent to that topic, so I would imagine fall into the red herring category. Attempting to equate your examples due to the governments role also appears to be false equivalency.

        Unless, I’m confused, and the application of literary devices are not your goal.

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        1. Scout’s statement assumes that if the government did not provide education, the only alternative would be that each parent must provide all education personally. This seemed absurd, and my attempt was to highlight the absurdity with other items provided in the private sector (food and housing) which also have leftists clamoring for them to be made “rights.”

          But I must leave this for others for now.

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

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  6. @scout
    @phadde2

    I am staffing up one of the balloting stations for a firehouse primary. That means I am learning how much getting people to volunteer is like herding cats. I now pity anyone who makes a business of this sort of thing. They are either saints or angels.

    That said, our country used to have much more of a volunteer spirit. That’s when we use to call aid to the poor and need charity, not welfare. There is not much charity in welfare, and without charity, it does little good.

    God and angels don’t get paid even though theirs is some of the most important work around. Ditto for volunteers. ~Cherishe Archer

    Anyway, I will consider your comments more carefully on Sunday. The firehouse primary is Saturday. Otherwise, I think I will just endorse Keith remarks.

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  7. mike and brandy

    It’s probably better and more helpful and encouraging to view education not as either a right or a privilege but as a responsibility. Not just to yourself but to your family and society as a whole.
    Rights and privileges can be withheld and curtailed and we can play the victim of others when they are. But when you view education as a personal responsibility you have no one to blame but yourself for not working as hard as you can or going where ever you have to go or doing whatever you need to do to continue to learn and grow as a human being on God’s earth in the limited time you have been given.
    -mike

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great comment! It brings to mind this part of that definition of education from Wikipedia.

      Education frequently takes place under the guidance of others, but learners may also educate themselves (autodidactic learning).

      Until we learn to find joy in learning, we will not educate ourselves. Until we learn how to learn, we cannot educate ourselves, and until we do start educating ourselves, we are just someone else’s puppet. When someone can control what we know about a subject — because we will not make an active effort to learn — then they can control what we believe about that subject.

      What is an educated person? That is a person who has accepted personal responsibility for his or her education. That person is someone who seeks to know what is true. That is someone who thinks learning is fun. That is someone who is willing to test and examine their own assumptions. That is someone who is not too proud to learn from anyone. That is a rugged individualist, someone who accepts personal responsibility for working as hard as they can to become the person God wants them to become in the limited time our Lord has given them.

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