I reported the other day that new school chief John Barge chose his new leadership team, including chief of staff Joel Thornton, who is now president and CEO of the International Human Rights Group and a former classroom teacher at St. Mary’s Catholic School and Model Middle School in Rome.
Several readers sent me a link to Thorton’s own blog, which they found troubling and felt portended a blurring of the church/state dividing line.
I am not sure if we can judge how Thorton will run the state Department of Education based on his blog musings, but after spending some time on Thornton’s blog today, I note that he doesn’t write about what I consider the core questions facing Georgia public schools, teacher quality, curriculum, testing and rigor.
His references to public education deal with the elimination of God from the schools and what he perceives to be a growing hostility to Christianity in schools in America and beyond.
Here are long excerpts from the blog. Take a look yourself. (V, I am very interested in your view):
We no longer have that moral center. Now, we find ourselves in a culture that not only does not believe, but actually mocks belief in one God. We have gone from the place where it is okay to make fun of belief in God in limited cases, like a Hollywood movie or a book. At the same time, it was not okay to make fun of the core beliefs that surrounded the belief in God.
Now we do not have the mockery limited to Hollywood, it is the core of how our average citizen thinks. We cannot offer any type of spiritual help to struggling youth because we have no place for God in our schools. We have nothing to base our moral core on because we suddenly do not believe in moral absolutes.
Here is a blog on homeschooling:
It is important, however, that we find a way to put aside our personal feelings about home schooling when we look at the international movement. I believe that one of the most important requirements of a Christian is to raise their children in the fear of the Lord. We have a great moral responsibility with our children. If they are lost there is little hope for the coming generations.Many school systems in America and abroad are becoming more secular and more hostile to the Christian faith. This hostility is played out in a number of ways. It might be a resistance to any type of Christian faith being shared amongst students. It might also be a curriculum based not just on a lack of faith, but on a hostility to faith.
Modern man is turning further and further from God. The public education system is beholden to the government. Governments around the world are moving further and further away from any foundation of Christian faith. This means that their school systems will, by design and involuntarily, move further from any foundation of Christian faith.
We first saw this in America with the debate over the teaching of evolution in the public schools. The original request by the evolutionists was to grant them equal access to the students on their theories. They turned equal access into access only for evolution. The system that now exists is one that denies any belief in God.
The fight that is accruing in courtrooms around the country is a battle to keep out the simple belief that maybe, just maybe, there is a creator of some type who moved the process of evolution along. Even this is unacceptable to evolutionists.
Many schools are also teaching sex education from a purely secular point of view. This means that any teaching regarding abstinence is not allowed, as this is considered an antiquated religious view of sexual education.
Then there is a lot of new age religious teaching. It might be a teaching regarding spiritual matters without a Christian base—something as simple as controlling the environment in a room by the proper placement of the furniture. Now, I believe the furniture should be arranged properly, but that does not add a spiritual power to the room. It could be teaching regarding other occultist beliefs that might seem harmless to some.
In America we have the ability to opt our children out of these questionable teaching sessions. In Europe most schools do not allow the parents to opt out their children from questionable teaching that contradicts the core beliefs of the family. There is a belief that the children belong to the State when they come onto school property and the parents do not have any right to question the educational choices of the State.
There is something going on here that is much deeper than merely home schooling. Most of the home school families I know in Europe and in America are home schooling because of a sincerely-held religious belief. They believe God has ordained for them to teach their own children.
As to that end, the German Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights both give parents the right to control the education of their children.
So you see, the education of children is a parental right that is often guaranteed by governments. This battle is not merely about home schooling, it goes much deeper than that. The battle is over whether the State or the family has the right to determine what the children will be taught. At its core the question is are children wards of the state, or wards of their parents.
It is a much deeper right than merely the right to educate.
It is a right that goes to the very right of parents to train their children in the ways they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it.
On president Obama:
I miss the days when we were honest about our politics and not hiding behind the politically correct nonsense to stop those we disagree with. Let me say it on the record, when I am against a policy of Barack Obama I could care less that he is a black man. If he were white I would still disagree with policies with which I disagree. I know it seems like a circular argument but that is what we are reduced to making. I used to believe that Jimmy Carter was the worst President we ever had. Take heart Jimma, your incompetence is being challenged.I know there are some who will consider me a racist because I do not blindly follow my leaders, and now my leader is a black man. I guess because he is black I should change my approach to government and trust him. After all, because he is black he cannot be a racist and therefore I should trust him to look out for me.
Let me be perfectly clear, I am against socialism. I do not care what color you are. I do not care if you are Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Canadian, African, or German, I do not think socialism is a good idea. If that qualifies me as a racist, then it seems we have redefined racism.
Green is the new red. Atheism is the new religion. Socialism is the new racism.
Somewhere, George Orwell is rolling over in his grave with one thought on his mind—when I wrote 1984 I was not aggressive enough. I should have had more insight or more courage. What a fool am I?
Well, George, you might have foreseen it, but we have to live with it. Pray for us!
On global warming:
Is anyone besides me glad to finally be getting some manner of the truth from the Global Warming Nuts? It has been colder at my house. Maybe we need to drive our cars more to heat up the climate so that we don’t have to wear our coats everywhere.I have to admit, it is tough giving up the dream of having my Georgia home become beach front property. I guess we will still have to drive to Hilton Head, South Carolina for our traditional summer beach fun. Now I have to live with my property values not getting spike. Of course, this also means that I do not have to worry about hurricanes hitting the house some four hundred miles inland—so I guess it is a fair trade off.
The trouble with the revelations of this week is that we are learning that the new religion, science is not as trustworthy as we have been lead to believe. Remember when we were told that these folks did not have an agenda, except to find the truth and make life better for us all.
In light of this past week’s revelations we have to ask ourselves what else we should not believe. Maybe we should question the theory of evolution—like global warming, evolution has long been shut off from scientific debate.
The most important thing we should to learn from this is that no one can separate their own beliefs from their science. Also, we have learned that you can prove anything if you are willing to ignore critical facts and twist the data to your own ends.
By Maureen Downey, AJC Get Schooled blog