Great Commission Films sent us the DVD IndoctriNation to review. IndocriNation is a documentary about the removal of Christianity from the public school system by Scottish film maker Colin Gunn. It is 102 minutes and addresses the questions:
1) Who established the American school stystem?
2) Are my kids physically and morally safe in the schools?
3) Are the public schools religiously neutral?
4) Should Christians try to be "salt and light" in public schools?
5) Can the public school system be fixed or redeemed?
Okay friends, this review is going to be a bit different than others, so here goes.
When Poppa and I decided to homeschool it was in obedience to the Lord. Our gracious Father put many reasons before us and this documentary shows numerous reasons that Christian families choose to homeschool, many of the reasons that we homeschool.
Before Ceesa came along, I was a teacher, a Literacy Coordinator in the public school system. And as a teacher, I know similar stories and I know stories that are frankly appalling. Stories that I won't repeat. But friends, I want you to know that I was in tears just a few minutes into watching this video. In fact, I had to watch it in chunks. Why? Because it is true.
What Struck Me
Having been in the trenches, already knowing, what really struck me was the foundations of the system. Yes. I took the class about the history of education in America when I was taking my classes for my MA, but, well...I must not have been paying much attention or only part of the story was told.
This quote read by Samuel Blumenfield is very profound to me...James G. Carter wrote..."A Teacher's college, a state controlled teachers college can be an engine to sway the public sentiment, the public morals, and the public religion more powerful than any other in the possession of government."
Or what about this quote from John Dewey, "We can't make socialists out of individualists. Children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming, where everyone is interdependent."
The beginnings of the school system in the United States were based on socialistic, humanists, Unitarians, Utopians, evolutionists, and atheist psychologist. And, yes, this was rather shocking to me.
And if you think things have changed and are based on a more "American" idea...consider these two stories from the book "God's Smuggler" (pg. 110-11) about schools in communist countries in the 1940's:
...he introduced me to a peasant woman who had a ten-year-old son.
"Tell Brother Andrew why Josif is not here," said Nikola.
"Why is my Josif not with me?" she asked. Her voice was bitter. "Because I am a peasant woman with no education. The teacher tells my son there is no God. The government tells my son there is no God. They say to my Josif, 'Maybe your Mama tells you differently, but we know better, don't we? You must remember that Mama has no education. We will humor her.' So? My Josif is not with me. I'm being humored."
A few days later in another town, we were visiting a Christian family when I saw a little girl playing in the dust outside the house in the middle of the day.
"Why isn't she in school?" I asked Nikola.
From the mother he learned the story. Marta was accustomed to saying grace before meals at home. When it came time for the school lunch, Marta had given thanks aloud as she always did, without even thinking about it. The teacher had been angry. Who had supplied this food, God or the people through their own good government?
"That was a wicked thing to say, Marta. You will fill the other children's minds with nonsense."
But the next day, so deeply was the habit ingrained, that Marta did it again, and for this she had been expelled.
Does it sound familiar to you? It certainly does to me. When a judge can tell a child that her faith is too strong and she must go to a public school, so that it can be watered down, when children aren't able to speak the name of the Lord without being accused of telling lies, when curriculum that violates God's law is forced on children, it sounds very familiar to me.
One Important Note
I would never send my children into a mission field alone. And I truly believe the public schools are a mission field for the teachers, aides, school employees, and volunteers that spend their time there. The documentary points out the fact that teacher's are often fired for speaking the name of Jesus and a true confession is not possible for Christian teachers. I will say that this is true to a certain extent, but that isn't the whole story.
Bare with me here...remember I've been there, in the trenches...the public school system is a closed country. For missionaries, a closed country is a country where they can't profess the name of Jesus openly or publicly or they will be thrown out of said country or jailed or martyred. Does this mean that missionaries can't be in those countries? Does this mean that the word of God is not spread, does not spread? No way!
Just as a missionary in a closed country spends their days loving the people and talking of the Lord with those that see their light, a Christian teacher can do the same. Christian teachers are able to host prayer meetings and form clubs. If a school allows clubs to meet there and use their facilities, they can't withhold the right to Christian clubs (yet). Poppa has done these things when he was an eighth grade teacher. He has had students come to him for prayer, for support, for encouragement because he was there and they could see the light of Christ in him.
I actually appeal to Christians looking to serve the Lord to consider the public school system. Learn about the rules of the country and then shine your light.
We recommend this DVD for Christian parents who are on the fence about homeschooling their children.
Wishing you homeschool blessings,
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