Photo credit: Mithril Cloud (CC-By-SA 3.0)
Photo credit: Mithril Cloud (CC-By-SA 3.0)

How do you have a good, even a great, country, without good people?

John Adams, our second president, must have thought about that question.  Adams once said: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Indeed, President Washington, in his First Inaugural Address, said that “the foundations of our National policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality.” Clearly, our Founding Fathers realized that in order to have a good country, the people themselves had to be good.

So just how did the nation set out to help instill this sense of private morality in the people of our country?  From presenting Bible stories in the McGuffey Eclectic Readers to printing sermons in the public newspapers, our leaders sought to instill godly principles in the life of our people

How the Progressives Set Out to Mold the American Mind

There were those who didn’t care for this form of instruction.  One individual, in particular, was Norman Woelfel.  Woelfel studied under Dr. George Counts (part of a national commission to redesign the teaching of social studies in the US) and Dr. John Dewey to earn his PhD in Educaiton.  In his book, Molders of the American Mind (published in 1933), Woelfel concluded:

The things of highest value for individual experience and for ethical standards in modern America will not, however, be found out so long as intellectual leaders maintain a sensitivity over the supernatural significance of Christian mythology or a sentimental personal attachment to the character of Jesus. (Emphasis added).

What were the things of higher value that Woelfel believed that Christianity was standing in the way of accomplishing?  At the end of Molders of the American Mind, Professor of Education Norman Woelfel recommended 22 specific objectives of higher education.  Recommendations 15 and 16 read as follows:

15. Centralized organization in public education to … promote as well the construction of attitudes, in the populace, conducive to enlightened reconstruction of social institutions. (emphasis added)

16. A program of public vocational, professional, and higher education integrally organized in terms of a social order wherein all natural resources and the entire industrial structure is controlled by governmental agencies and operated for the equal benefit of all. This portends educational planning in terms of broadly cultural and creative motives and the final disappearance of programs of education based upon the motive of individual monetary success. (emphasis added)

But after 85 years, Woelfel’s efforts to bring about the “enlightened reconstruction of social institutions,” removing God as the source of our nation’s private morality has succeeded only in leading to the Unraveling of We the People.

What might we do about it?  After all, the progressives have spent two generations burrowing into the foundations of every institution in America to bring about “change we can believe in.”  What might conservative educators do?

To answer this question, let me borrow from a lesson from Scripture.

Mastering the Iron of the Culture

When the Iron Age first began, the nation of Israel was at the losing end of the learning curve.  We know that their enemies, the Philistines, had a monopoly on the technology needed to produce Iron.  For example, we read in I Samuel 13:19:  “Now no blacksmith could be found in all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, ‘Otherwise, the Hebrews will make swords or spears’.”

Sometime during the reign of King David, the Israelites acquired the technology to produce iron.  Some have speculated that David acquired this technology during the time he hid from Saul by living among the Philistines (see, for example, I Samuel 27:7).  Whatever the exact chronology of events, we know the Israelites did, in fact, have iron during the reign of King David.

In David’s day, the use of iron was becoming an increasing fact of every-day life.  The same is true of the Internet in our time.  I would like to present 3 ideas on using the Internet based on what we can learn from these verses of scripture. I talk about all three of these ideas in my upcoming book, The Unraveling of We the People:

  1. Launch an edutainment information campaign to introduce the issue to the masses. Such a campaign can be a combination of short, focused public service type infomercials, from humorous satires on the problem, to “Harry and Louise” youtube advertisements as were done against Hillary Care in the 1990s. With today’s technology, many people can now make their own “Harry and Louise” advertisements.
  2. Train Tea Party and similar grassroots organizations activists in how to initiate Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to uncover and publicize outrageous education regulations.
  3. A growing number of public and private schools are using online Learning Management Platforms like Canvas.  Canvas has a “Commons” lessons resource which is available for free to all users of their system.  Skilled conservative educators can create age-specific lessons revolving around traditional civics content, and share it through platforms like Canvas.

It’s one thing to have a message. It’s another thing to communicate it in this ever-changing world of social media, blogs, videos, etc.  To quote I Chronicles 12:32, we need to be like “the sons of Issachar; men who understand the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do.”

It has taken a century of going down the progressive path to get to where we are.  Halting and reversing the unraveling will not be accomplished in a short period of time.  The good news is that Americans are awakening to the need to act.

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