Weatherford Democrat

January 24, 2013

Letters to the Editor - Jan. 24, 2013

Weatherford Democrat

Watch your butts, please

Dear Editor,

I would like to remind people of the extreme fire danger out here. Someone threw their cigarette butt out in our front yard causing a grass fire. Fortunately, my dogs alerted me to the danger before the flames reached my house. Since we live out in Mountain River Estates, it’s quite a ways for the fire department to come out. With the winds picking up I was afraid it would spread to other properties before they got here.

I give thanks to my neighbor, Janet S., who stopped and called them for me and stayed with me as I watered, and to the Millsap volunteer firefighters who (finally) made it out with their super soaker hose. It was the longest 40 minutes of my life!

Please, smokers, remember to use your ashtrays and not the roads for your waste! Next time it could be your place!

Thanks again my heroes and angels of the day.

Carol May, Millsap

A response to the voucher system

Dear Editor,

Most Americans assume that we’ve always had public schools, that they came with the Constitution and are an indispensable part of our democratic system. But nothing could be farther from the truth.

Why did the American people put the education of their children in the hands of government so early in their history? It had nothing to do with economics or the lack of literacy. It was the result of a philosophical change in the minds of the academic elite.

The U.S. Constitution does not mention education anywhere. It was left up to the states, parents, religious denominations, and school proprietors to deal with. This was done to ensure that children learned to read so that they could read the Bible and go on to higher education. But there was much home schooling, private tutoring, private academies, church schools, and schools for very young children. There were no compulsory school attendance laws, and no centralized state control over the curriculum.

This system, or lack of it, produced a highly literate population that could read the Federalist Papers, the King James Version of the Bible and everything else that was published. All one has to do is read a Farmer’s Journal of those early days to realize the high level of literacy that was enjoyed by the general population in America prior to the advent of the public schools. Is there any wonder why private schools experienced phenomenal growth in the past few years?

So what changed all of this? What changed was the change in the religious views of the intellectual elite-centered Harvard University, which was founded in 1638 by Calvinists to train those going into the ministry. By 1805, religious liberalism in the form of the Unitarian heresy had become so strong at Harvard that the Calvinists were expelled. From then on Unitarianism reigned supreme at America’s foremost university, and its influence spread slowly over the rest of the academic world. The Unitarians no longer believed in salvation through Christ, whom they considered to be a great teacher but not divine. Salvation was now to be attained through an education controlled by government. Only government could provide the kind of secular, nonsectarian education that could lead to reason-based moral perfectibility.

By the 1870s, the public school movement had triumphed, and most private academies went out of business. Imported from Europe was the idea of Hegelian statism, the idea that the state was God on Earth. It was this idea that emboldened educators to believe that it was the state’s duty to mold its children – its “most precious natural resource” – into obedient servants of the state.

At the turn of the century the progressives became dominant. They were members of the Protestant academic elite who no longer believed in the religion of their fathers. They put their new faith in science, evolution and psychology. Science explained the material world, evolution explained the origins of living matter, not the Bible in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens ant the earth,” and psychology permitted man to scientifically study human nature and provided the scientific means to control human beings. The Bible was all wrong about man’s innate depravity and his need of a Savior. Fallen man was no longer accountable for his actions. They believed that evil was caused by ignorance, poverty, and social injustice, and that the main cause of social injustice was our capitalist system.

I have said all this to say a voucher system would be the best use of OUR tax dollars to educate our children. We as parents and taxpayers should have the choice of whether we want the government educating our children or some other private entity that lines up with our core beliefs. If our tax dollars are being used to educate our children then we as parents should have a choice as to where our children attend school, public or private.

There are some very dedicated educators in our public and private schools. They are there trying to make a positive difference in our children`s lives, but it is we as parents that should be making the greatest impact in our children. The schools should not be shaping our children, we as parents should be doing that task.

Sadly enough many of us have failed at this undertaking putting careers first and allowing someone at a day care to raise our children, then leaving it up to the schools to do the rest. We then wonder why our children are turning out the way they are and doing the things kids do these days. If you do not like the direction your children are going then maybe this verse from the Bible will help.

Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way they should go: and when they are old, they will not depart from it.”

David Nowak, Weatherford