DIVIDED BY THOSE WHO WRITE HISTORY?

History books in a bookstore (from here)

Someone once said that history is written by the victors. He probably was not the greatest of all victors, if only because his name has been utterly forgotten. — Winston Churchill (from here)

Who Is The Victor?

What is a history book? For good or for ill, history is what someone wants us to believe about the past. Here is the origin of the term => history.

What we know about history is either propaganda, true, or most likely, at least partly false. Because whatever we are taught motivates us, our teachers have an incentive to guide our motivations. Our teachers can try to instill wisdom, or they can strive to manipulate us.

This raises a question. Who is the victor? Is it the victor the one fights and wins the battle, or is the victor the one who taught the “victor”?

If the victor is the teacher, then we have come full circle. Propagandists like CNN now use children, still largely ignorant and in the process of being taught, as “teachers” to instill their version of truth into their elders (Parkland student: My generation won’t stand for this (www.cnn.com), for example). Apparently, understanding does not matter to many of us. What matters? Feelings. Otherwise, how did we reach the point where ignorant children can “teach” ignorant adults how they should “feel” about political issues?

Looking Back

Some years back I wrote A GAP TOO WIDE AND TOO DEEP TO BRIDGE. In this post I explained why I had given up on a project to help bridge our differences.

I use to have a page I called Bridge Makers, and I even identified a couple of Bridge Makers:  Bridge Makers: Coming Together to Face the Next Crisis and Bridge Maker Post at the Virginian Federalist.  On this page I acknowledged those bloggers who set aside partisan differences to come to the aid of a neighbor.  My goal was to encourage my fellow bloggers to see other bloggers as neighbors as opposed to Conservatives, Democrats, Liberals, Republicans, and so forth.  Unfortunately, it has been awhile since I saw a blog post I could call a Bridge Maker.  The last I saw was on August 5, 2007.

What is the problem?  Why have Bridge Makers become so rare?  I fear ideological lines have hardened.   Congress’ latest activities illustrate this all too well.  The health care bill the Senate just passed (see here), can hardly be described as bipartisan legislation.  Not one single Republican could be found willing to vote for it.  (continued here)

What is at the heart of that old post? I cited portions of Democracy in America by Alexis De Tocqueville. Tocqueville was a French aristocrat who came to America to study our penal system. He stayed to study America itself. When he traveled about America in the years 1831 and 1832, Tocqueville observed that because of slavery the cultures of the North and the South had become distinctly different from each other. America, he decided, was not one people; it was two. Tocqueville expected the division over slavery to cause real trouble.

The division over slavery eventually led to the Civil War. Many fought with true ardor for their side. In TOO YOUNG TO DIE atimetoshare.me tells the story of John Herbert Kelly, a Confederate General. Kelly was a splendid man, a hero to his cause. At the age of 23, Kelly was promoted to a Brigadier General. Of course, in retrospect, almost all Americans now believe Kelly was misguided; he fought for the South. Still, one wonders at the courage he displayed in support of the South. Why didn’t Kelly understand slavery is a great evil? Apparently, someone had taught Kelly to believe otherwise.

Who Controls What Our Children Learn?

What is a people? What is a country? Is a country about borders or the character of a people? Was not our country a land composed of people with a shared identity? Do we still have a shared identity, or are we divided once again? When we teach our children about our country and our history, what do they learn? Who controls what our children learn?

It was about the time that Tocqueville started riding around America on horseback that New Englanders began to experiment with the public school system. As the decades passed, the New England experiment spread. With the passage of more time, state governments took control of the public schools from local governments. In the 1960’s the Supreme Court completed the secularization of the public school system. In more recent decades officials in Federal Government have sought control over school funding and educational content.

In the America that Tocqueville wrote about, parents controlled what their children learned. In the America of today, school boards, local officials, state officials, Federal officials, and interest groups of every description struggle for control of who teaches and what they teach. Some parents have acquiesced and left their children at the mercy of a hodgepodge that manages the public school system, and others taken matters into their own hands. Therefore, some parents home-school their children, some parents send their children to private religious schools, and the wealthy have nothing to do with the public schools. Others seek compromises. Well off parents buy homes in the best school districts. Less well parents, however, have little choice. Their children go to the worst of the public schools.

Is there anything about these different educational choices that divides America? Yes. Some parents used the options available to them and then struggle as best they can to raise their children in their religious faith. At the other extreme, others leave their children to the mercy of the public school system.

The majority of Americans have a Christian heritage. In secularized schools, which the public schools have become by definition, parents struggle to raise children as Christians. At best, public school systems just ignore the subject of religion. That implies religious belief does not matter, that Jesus does not matter, but this approach at least avoids instruction that is contrary to parental desires. More likely, however, children will encounter instruction in multiculturalism, teaching that all religious beliefs are equally valid, thus all equally invalid. Instruction may even be hostile to religion, especially Christianity, suggesting that belief in the God of the Bible leads to war. Hence, those parents who choose to send their children to public schools must make a deliberate effort to educate their children as Christians, and they must actively repel efforts by the public school system to instill differing beliefs.

Similarly, some parents struggle with the modern mass media. To filter out unchristian teachings and influences, some parents carefully regulate what their children see on television and the Internet. Unfortunately, some do not protect their children from the harmful aspects of the modern mass media.

So what should we conclude? Does the way we teach our children today divide us?  Does the observation that some parents struggle to raise their children as Christians and others accept a secularized education for their children divide us. If so, how?

Politically, our nation is divided into two camps:  Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. Are all the people who make the effort to raise their children as Christians Conservative and all the people who don’t Liberal Democrats? No. Even during the Civil War everyone was not in just one of the two main opposing camps.  During his re-election in 1864, many had serious concerns that Abraham Lincoln might not be re-elected. Everyone in the North was not an abolitionist, and not everyone in the South supported slavery.

Even though the issue of slavery was the root cause of the American Civil War, each individual still chose his side for his or her own reasons, which might not have anything to do with slavery. Similarly, when some people choose to side with Republican politicians (who are not uniformly Conservative) and others choose to side with Democrat politicians (who tend to be more monolithic), each of us chooses our side for our own reasons.

Is the argument over secularization all there is to this? With respect to special interest groups, two stand head and shoulders above all the rest. Consider this item from opensecrets.org.

Teachers unions have steadily amped up their political involvement: From 2004 to 2016, their donations grew from $4.3 million to more than $32 million — an all-time high. Even more than most labor unions, they have little use for Republicans, giving Democrats at least 94 percent of the funds they contributed to candidates and parties since as far back as 1990, where our data begins.

Two organizations account for practically all of the contributions made by teachers unions: The National Education Association (about $20 million in 2016) and the American Federation of Teachers (almost $12 million). Both groups — which compete for members, but also collaborate with each other through the NEA-AFT Partnership — are consistently among the organizations that contribute the most money to candidates and political groups. [Read more Background]

Given that the  partisan the teachers unions are so partisan, is any surprise that our education system polarize us? The free exercise of religion, a constitutional right, obviously implies that we each have the right to choose how we want to educate both ourselves and our children. Nevertheless, government, driven by the activism of teachers unions, fights any form of educational choice.

In fact, our universities have become just as partisan as our public schools. Consider this excerpt from an article in The Washington Times.

A new study confirms what even the most casual observer of higher education has long known — that conservative professors are vastly outnumbered by liberal ones — but it also shows that the problem is getting worse.

Published in Econ Journal Watch last month, the study looks at faculty voter registration at 40 leading universities and finds that, out of 7,243 professors, Democrats outnumber Republicans 3,623 to 314, or by a ratio of 11 1/2 to 1.

The study comes after a tumultuous few years at American colleges and universities, marked by campus race protests, the disinvitation of conservative speakers and the popularization of phrases such as “trigger warning” and “safe space.”

Out of five departments analyzed by the authors, the field friendliest to conservative scholars is economics, where there are only 4.5 liberal professors for every conservative.

Conversely, history is by far the least conservative-friendly department, where liberals outnumber conservatives by a 33 1/2-to-1 ratio. (continued here)

Why are university professors becoming more partisan? Money.

In 2013, federal spending on major higher education programs totaled $75.6 billion, state spending amounted to $72.7 billion, and local spending was considerably lower at $9.2 billion. These figures exclude student loans and higher education-related tax expenditures. (from here (pewtrusts.org))

Conclusion

So it is that our educational institutions have become increasingly partisan, and many people now accept Liberal Democrat propaganda as truth. Fortunately, many still resist, fighting to retain both our nation’s Christian heritage and constitutional republic.

What are some examples of the propaganda promoted through the public education system?

  • Socialism: since the public education system, owned and operated by government, is a socialist institution, its very existence makes a statement. However, polls show students now favor socialism (Millennials Don’t Know What “Socialism” Means (reason.com)).
  • Multiculturalism: multiculturalism is the notion all cultures are morally equivalent, that all religious beliefs are equally valid. Because multiculturalists believe in the moral equivalence of all religious beliefs, multiculturalism is in and of itself a religious belief, albeit an irrational religious belief.
  • Environmentalism: when it needs it, saving the planet is fine idea. Polluting (poisoning) each other is just stupid. However, before we spend lots of money on anything, the science needs to validated first. Surely we don’t need our schools scaring our children and teaching as fact things we don’t know to be true. Global Warming, for example, remains unproven, but that is not the way it is taught.
  • Gun control: recent efforts to involve students in gun control demonstrations make it obvious that students are being indoctrinated that guns, not people, are bad. Inanimate objects have ethics?
  • So-called LGBTQ rights: there has been lots of publicity about this here of late. At this point, Liberal Democrats seem to be pushing for schools to teach students that we each get to choose our sex. What we are born with does not matter. In fact, we should not be surprised if school administrators decide to go with unisex restrooms and locker rooms.

So what is the bottom line? We have a crisis in education. Instead of an educational system designed to teach our children how to think critically and to help them learn what their parents believe and why, we have a system that is increasingly designed to promote ideological beliefs that are contrary to our nation’s heritage and our children’s best interests.

We are at a crossroads. We can recognize the problem and fight tooth and nail, or we can continue to pretend no problem exists. If we love our children, we will fight tooth and nail for their sake.

What Can We Do?

Do you want to protect your country, your children and grandchildren. Then pay attention to the upcoming elections for the U.S. Congress.  In Virginia, Upcoming Elections include primaries on June 12th and a general election on November 6th.

We need to replace some of our leaders. To make a real difference, that means we must take part in the primary elections too.

106 thoughts on “DIVIDED BY THOSE WHO WRITE HISTORY?

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  1. Thought I’d link to this interesting writeup from Global Guerrillas re the “weaponization” of social media as a powerful political force. It’s a common theme on his blog, but this one addresses firearms ownership in particular.
    http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2018/03/when-gun-owners-are-shunned.html

    Warning: John Robb is brilliant. I”ve been reading his material for years and his predictions are scary accurate. But he can come across a little like Dr House.

    “This moral network recently expanded with the addition of the #neveragain movement, after the Parkland shootings. In the past, a movement like #neveragain would be focused on gun control through changes in government legislation. Now that it’s part of this weaponized moral network, that focus is going to change.
    Why? This weaponized network isn’t interested in just changing legislation. It’s far more ambitious than that. It wants to change everyone’s behavior and it is building the means to do it. Here’s how.
    As we’ve seen with #metoo and the doxing of #altright, this network is strongest when it personalizes its attacks. It does this by using the network to discover, document, and then punish the behavior of specific individuals for violations of this consensus morality. So, even if something isn’t illegal or within your rights as an individual, you will still get publicly slammed.
    For example, if you say something considered hate speech online (Jack Murphy is a good example), you will lose your job and access to society (in his case: coaching his son’s Little League team). Or, if a rumor of workplace harassment puts you on a list, you will get fired or (at least) socially ostracized.”

    Like

  2. I have had a look at you old post. When you think of other people in categories of unthinking masses now and parasites back then, do not pretend you wanted to be bridgebuilder. Bridgebuilding begins by seeing the human being on the other side.

    Like

    1. @marmoewp

      Bridgebuilding begins by seeing the human being on the other side.

      Not exactly. What is a human being? Are we perfect little angels? Not hardly.

      Before we can see the humanity in others, we have to admit our own humanity. We have to admit our own sinfulness, and we must repent of our own sins.

      Until we admit our desire to master and enslave others, we cannot forgive those who would if they could master and enslave us.

      When is there peace? When can a bridge be built? That is only possible when both sides have repented of their own sins.

      Consider. Why would the end of a war not bring peace? Why was World War I followed by World War II? Did both sides repent of their sins? No. One just learned to hate the horror of war, and the other side just learned to hate losing. Neither forgave because neither repented.

      Like

      1. “we cannot forgive those who would if they could master and enslave us.”

        It’s this cheerful love of thy neighbor that I have come to appreciate about you. 😉 A human being, who is an enemy of yours, may be persuaded to become neutral towards you, or perhaps even a friend. That is what sets a human being apart from a parasite.

        My observation is not about how others are. It is about how this kind of thinking in dehumanizing categories about others is poisoning your own heart. You are doing harm to yourself, first and foremost.

        Like

        1. @marmoewp

          I find it puzzling that you only quoted part of a sentence. A sentence, not a clause, makes a complete thought.

          Until we admit our desire to master and enslave others, we cannot forgive those who would if they could master and enslave us.

          Have you not read the Lord’s Prayer? When we forgive others, we begin in selfishness. We do so because we realize our own need to be forgiven.

          All men would be tyrants if they could. — Daniel Defoe

          This above is a quote John and Abigail Adams exchanged in their letters. When the framers of our Constitution structured our government, they accepted the fallen nature of man as given.

          Tyranny is hardly a new idea. Plato knew we needed to guard against it.

          This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector. ― Plato

          So did Plato’s star pupil.

          It is also in the interests of the tyrant to make his subjects poor… the people are so occupied with their daily tasks that they have no time for plotting. ― Aristotle

          Hence I would not be surprised if the last administration, the Obama administration, deliberately did more harm than good to the American economy. The incompetence of the Obama administration seemed so great that I often thought it had to be deliberate. Yet otherwise intelligent people voted for the man — twice. So I have to consider the possibility that most Liberal Democrats believe their own nonsense, even Obama.

          Like

          1. I am focusing on how you seem to see others, therefore I qouted only that part where you characterize the other side. You assert, that if only given the chance, they WILL master and enslave you. Is this the way you think about other human beings? Is that how YOU would act if you were them? If not, why do you expect them to behave differently from you?

            Like

          2. @marmoewp

            Why do I have to prove anything? Look at human history. Half of the human race is always trying to enslave the other half, and today is no different.

            Is why a mystery? No. James 4:1-6 (=> https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James+4%3A1-6&version=NKJV) describes what is going on.

            Read Romans Romans 7:14-25 (=> https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+7%3A14–25&version=GNT). Jesus provided a solution.

            Am I any better than the Apostle Paul, the man God inspired to write Romans? No, and he murdered Christians, but then he turned to Jesus Christ.

            We don’t tempt people by giving them more power over others than needed. Once you accept the fact you too are a sinner then you realize how foolish that is.

            Like

  3. I’ve linked to “Professor Doom’s” Confessions blog a few times here.
    He has a new writeup regarding this: https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2018/march/college-student-booted-out-of-class-for-saying-there-are-only-two-genders

    A student was kicked out of class for asserting there are only two genders.
    Now, keep in mind this is a class on the subject of “Christianity 481: Self, Sin, and Salvation”
    Doom aptly notes: ” Now, I don’t honestly don’t know the official view of biologists, but the student did back up his claim, and was only responding to a request from the professor. That said, this is heresy for many with the professor’s ideology, and so we get a scary response:
    The feminist professor booted him from class and asked him not to come back. She referred him to the public university’s Academic Integrity Board (AIB). Ingle needs to complete the class to graduate at the end of the semester.
    —wait…why is a feminist teaching a Christian course?
    A permanent punt from class! Wow, I’ve caught students cheating in extraordinary ways, and admin won’t take them out of the classroom. What happened to higher education that academic fraud isn’t a problem, but speaking words in opposition to the enforced ideology merits removal from a course?
    Now, I don’t have all the facts here, just what the article says, but apparently there was a hearing to address the list of charges against the student (I won’t list them all), and the student was cleared.
    All’s well that ends well? Maybe, but I worry here. Just the fact that the student was brought up on charges for questioning the narrative is going to have a chilling effect on this campus. Students which know about this case, and know the truth, are going to be disinclined to argue when professors speak lies…it’s called “scholarly pursuit” not “scholarly keep-your-mouth shut.”

    Here’s a link to his writeup:
    http://professorconfess.blogspot.com/2018/04/student-in-christianity-class-says.html

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That the kind of wild story that mystifies me. When people come up with absurd ideas, what make them think everyone MUST take them seriously? If we did not have crazy people on our school board pushing such insane nonsense, I would have trouble believing this was a serious news story. Except for the fact it is not written with tongue in cheek, it is like something The Onion would publish.

      Like

      1. Yesterday’s jokes are today’s realities, Tom.
        This is why I am no longer a libertarian.
        At one time I was much more socially liberal…when I didn’t realize “tolerance” would come to mean forced acceptance and publicly funded endorsement.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. @anon

          I have become less “tolerant” as well. Using “tolerance” as an excuse, our leaders would paganize us. We must resist. We must push back. There are some things we cannot tolerate.

          We cannot tolerate what we know to be untrue. When those who would live lies demand that we accept their sins as righteous, we must shake our heads no and call their sins evil.

          We don’t have to flaunt our moral purity. That is not the point. Our problem is that no matter how much we tolerate a sin, a sin is still evil, and God hates it.

          If we “tolerate” what we know to be wrong, God will hold us to account. When we knowingly call a sin good, we also sin.

          Isaiah 5:20 New King James Version (NKJV)

          20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
          Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
          Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

          When Christians choose to call what we know to be evil good, we have no excuse. We have the Bible.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. The course title was “RLST 481-W02: Self, Sin, Salvation”. The 481 series of courses is listed in the course descriptions as follows (no link provided in order to avoid the spam bucket)

      RLST 481 Special Topics var-l-3cr
      Prerequisite: As appropriate to course content
      Offered on an experimental or temporary basis to explore topics not
      included in the established curriculum. A given topic may be offered under
      any special topic identity no more than three times. Special topics numbered
      481 are offered primarily for upper-level undergraduate students.

      The University of Pennsylvania Religious Study program is not restricted to Christianity in the first place, so sticking “Christianity” into the course title is disingenious at best. Also note the repeated use of “disrespectful” and references to unorderly conduct in the citation.

      As for the Pennsylvania University RLST BA program:

      GIVEN THE IMPACT OF RELIGIOUS POWER, STUDYING IT IS CRUCIAL
      Because religion is believed to be the most powerful and widespread force in the world, the Religious Studies bachelor’s degree program will help you understand the relationship between religion and politics, economics, and social structures.

      – Learn about the faiths, world views, and ways of life of people all over the world.
      – Receive a balanced, nonsectarian, cross-cultural perspective leading to a better understanding of the phenomenon of religion in human experience.
      – Develop critical thinking and analytical skills, public speaking, and cross-cultural communication.
      – Gain experience in factual description, comparative and critical analysis, and historical judgment.
      – Enhance your knowledge of cultural diversity and the complexity of diverse world views.
      – Prepare for professions as ministers, priests, rabbis, or careers in international relations and development, religious education, religious journalism, and religious broadcasting.
      – Strengthen your education by complementing a BA in Religious Studies to majors in such fields as anthropology, English, fine arts, history, international studies, music, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology.

      We believe in real-world experience. That’s why we recommend that all of our majors get internships. If you work hard, we will make sure you get an internship that challenges you.

      Like

      1. “The University of Pennsylvania Religious Study program is not restricted to Christianity in the first place, so sticking “Christianity” into the course title is disingenious at best.”

        “Disingenuous at best”?
        Let’s look at the course description
        http://archive.is/20AQ4#selection-225.1-225.370

        “Traces historical developments and contemporary debates regarding Christian understandings of the human as the image of God, sin and salvation. Students will gain an understanding of Christian history and tradition as well as an understanding of the many comtemporary challenges evident in diverse Christian positions on these themes. This section is Writing Intensive.”

        Liked by 1 person

    1. @lynnabbottstudios

      The study of history is a respectable profession, but Liberal history professors far outnumber Conservatives. Unfair discrimination? Probably, but I have no idea when or if the pendulum will start swinging the other way.

      Might be a good idea for your son to contact a Conservative professor and ask some questions about the best strategy for getting that Ph.D. and teaching job.

      Like

      1. Ever considered self-selection? What drives people to study sciences, the past, society? Curiosity and openness to new ideas, to have your preconceptions challenged. To defend your ideas where warrented and pick up new ideas where warrented. Does that sound like an environment appealing to a conservative to you? BTW, you can make more money outside the ivory tower.

        Like

          1. I was an engineering major (initially) in college. I switched to chemistry to graduate earlier (I was married, and we had to move). Both fields seemed very conservative-heavy to me but engineering more so (and the article would seem to back that observation).

            One distinction between engineering and other sciences is that graduates in the former typically find jobs in businesses and industry without government sources of subsidy. By contrast, a large percentage of the folks in other types of sciences rely on government as a very important source of funding (both in academia and outside of academia).

            Liked by 1 person

          2. @anon

            The military is full of Conservatives, but there still plenty of Liberals. There is obvious self-selection in some fields. Nothing wrong with it, but the numbers in academia suggest active discrimination.

            Like

        1. @marmoewp

          You appear to agree with the statement that Liberal history professors far outnumber Conservative variety. Then you chalk it up to self-selection? Why would curious people, people open to new ideas, self-select to get a job where everyone thinks the same?

          There are obviously some selection processes involved, but self-selection alone is clearly insufficient to explain just how skewed these numbers are.

          Don’t overlook anon’s point. Once someone gets a liberal arts degree, the most profitable place to work is in academia. Yet no matter how curious and open to new ideas they may be, those supposedly money-grubbing Conservatives with liberal arts degrees don’t seem to find the job prospects in academia encouraging.

          Keep in mind that if the selection criteria were race or sex Liberals would have no problem finding the statistics alone damning. Yet Liberals in this case, one involving an opposing ideology, have no trouble damning Conservatives. As curious and open-minded as Liberals may be, they do seem to put distinct, self-interested, blinders on their curiosity and open-mindedness.

          Like

          1. Another thing to keep in mind is the administrative layer.
            Administrators push a liberal agenda.
            And then there’s the textbook-writing monopoly, a serious cash cow.
            Universities (coupled with the student government loan guarantees) make bank in a number of ways.
            https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/inside-bill-clintons-nearly-18-million-job-as-honorary-chancellor-of-a-for-profit-college/2016/09/05/8496db42-655b-11e6-be4e-23fc4d4d12b4_story.html?utm_term=.b66618fb53ca

            Bill Clinton made $16.46 million over five years while his wife’s State Dept. pumped at least $55 million to a group run by Laureate’s founder and chairman, Douglas Becker, a man with strong ties to the Clinton Global Initiative. Laureate has donated between $1 million and $5 million (donations are reported in ranges, not exact amounts) to the Clinton Foundation.

            During his tenure as Laureate’s chancellor, the school spent over $200 million a year on aggressive telemarketing, flashy Internet banner ads, and billboards designed to lure often unprepared students from impoverished countries to enroll in its for-profit classes.

            Liked by 1 person

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In My Father's House

"...that where I am you may be also." Jn.14:3

cookiecrumbstoliveby

Life through the eyes of "cookie"

The Lions Den

"Blending the colorful issues of life with the unapologetic truth of scripture." ColorStorm

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