WELCOME TO THE CONTINUING COLLAPSE!
By Dr. Bruce Shortt
Exposing Government Schools: The Youth Ministry of the State Church of Secular Humanism
May, Anno Domini 2010
“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies.”
“If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner.”
“Surrender is essentially an operation by means of which we set out explaining instead of acting.”
“He who does not bellow the truth when he knows the truth makes himself the accomplice of liars and forgers.”
THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING [AN EVANGELICAL "LEADER"]
The caption, as some may notice, is a play on the title of an existentialist/postmodern novel by Czech novelist Milan Kundera.
So, just what is the “Unbearable Lightness of Being”?
From an existentialist point of view, we have only one life to live. Consequently, our lives and decisions are ultimately insignificant. This is the “lightness” of being. On the other hand, we want our lives to have transcendent significance, which makes the “lightness” of being “unbearable”.
Consequently, Kundera believes, most humans spend their lives trying to convince themselves and others that their existence has some kind of transcendent meaning just to dull the pain of the “unbearable lightness”. In our core we know it is merely an analgesic charade, but we do it anyway.
Thus sayeth the existentialist / postmodern.
When The Continuing Collapse compares the behavior and the rhetoric of most of our Evangelical leadership, TCC suspects that Kundera would think he has found a perfect confirmation of his worldview and his conjecture about the “unbearable lightness of being”.
The rhetoric of such evangelical “leaders” vehemently declares that life and death do indeed have transcendent meaning, yet their actions betray a lack of sincerity. As Kundera might put it, the rhetoric about God, Christ, eternity, and so on are at bottom just an insincere way to palliate the pain of “lightness”.
What actions would Kundera think betray an ultimate belief in the “lightness” of being among evangelicals?
There are many, but no action is as revealing as the willingness of most of the evangelical leadership and parents to cede the discipline of our children to anti-Christian government schools. Yes, the decision ultimately belongs to the parents, but pastors and others are fully complicit because they fail to speak or teach at all about this gross sin against children. Kundera wouldn’t be surprised at all that when put to the choice between giving our children a Christian education and having more stuff, more personal time, and less responsibility, we choose the stuff, personal time, and less responsibility.
Moreover, it is not as if no one knows how damaging government schools are to Christian children or children in general. No one today can honestly deny that government schools are evangelizing our children out of Christianity and into various forms of paganism.
Here is a story from U.S.A. Today discussing the latest evidence that our so-called leadership is presiding over the liquidation of the church.
Most young adults today don’t pray, don’t worship and don’t read the Bible, a major survey by a Christian research firm shows.
If the trends continue, “the Millennial generation will see churches closing as quickly as GM dealerships,” says Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources. In the group’s survey of 1,200 18- to 29-year-olds, 72% say they’re “really more spiritual than religious.”…
Among the 65% who call themselves Christian, “many are either mushy Christians or Christians in name only,” Rainer says. “Most are just indifferent. The more precisely you try to measure their Christianity, the fewer you find committed to the faith.”…
Many are unsure Jesus is the only path to heaven: Half say yes, half no.
“We have dumbed down what it means to be part of the church so much that it means almost nothing, even to people who already say they are part of the church,” Rainer says.
The findings, which document a steady drift away from church life, dovetail with a LifeWay survey of teenagers in 2007 who drop out of church and a study in February by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, which compared the beliefs of Millennials with those of earlier generations of young people…
Even among those in the survey who “believe they will go to heaven because they have accepted Jesus Christ as savior”:
- 68% did not mention faith, religion or spirituality when asked what was “really important in life.”
- 50% do not attend church at least weekly.
- 36% rarely or never read the Bible.
Neither are these young Christians evangelical in the original meaning of the term — eager to share the Gospel. Just 40% say this is their responsibility.
Even so, Rainer is encouraged by the roughly 15% who, he says, appear to be “deeply committed” Christians in study, prayer, worship and action.
Let us pause here for a moment. The findings, again, reveal an unmitigated disaster…an Epic Fail. Yet, what does Thom Rainer say? He’s “encouraged” that there are 15% who “appear” to be deeply committed.
ENCOURAGED? If Mrs. Lincoln had said in a post-assassination interview that before the shooting she and her husband had been enjoying the play at Ford’s Theater, would Dr. Rainer have commented that he was “encouraged” by Mrs. Lincoln’s comment that at least part of the evening went well?
What is to be done? Why, of course, start new, more “hip” churches – you know, the kind filled with Christian rock and roll and Christian elevator music (i.e. “praise and worship choruses”), “extreme” youth ministries, and cultural “relevance”.
Collin Hansen, 29, author of Young, Restless, Reformed, about a thriving minority of traditionalist Christians, agrees. “I’m not going to say these numbers aren’t true and aren’t grim, but they also drive people like me to build new, passionately Christian dynamic churches,” says Hansen, who is studying for the ministry. He sees many in his generation veering to “moralistic therapeutic deism — ‘God wants you to be happy and do good things.’ … I would not call that Christianity, however.”…
For those who might be tempted to avoid acknowledging the growing catastrophe by claiming that the situation now is no worse than it ever was, the Pew Foundation would beg to differ.
The Pew survey found young people today were significantly more likely than those in earlier generations to say they didn’t identify with any religious group. Neither are Millennials any more likely than earlier generations to turn toward a faith affiliation as they grow older.
Now here’s a thought for our Evangelical “leaders” who always seem to be missing the plot, who have trouble understanding The Great Commission, and who continually confuse process and market research with substance because at bottom they really don’t believe in the sufficiency of Scripture: Don’t start another church – even one of those “really happening hip” churches. Go provide a Christian education alternative somewhere.
Can’t figure out where such a thing might be needed because your government schools are “different”? Not to worry, even though you may be blind or indifferent to having your children discipled by corrupt, pagan suburban or rural government schools, the following trailer for a documentary titled “The Cartel” will give you some ideas about where even the blind can see the need.
LOW INCOME IMMIGRANT PARENTS FIGURE OUT HOW TO “MOTIVATE” HIGHLY TRAINED EDUCATION PROFESSIONALS
It is fascinating that, unlike pastors and Christian parents, a group of parents in a poor section of Oakland clearly understand where the education establishment is vulnerable.
A group of Oakland parents, frustrated by a nearly two-year battle to remove a reportedly abusive teacher, went on strike Thursday, pulling their children out of school and onto a picket line at the district’s downtown headquarters.
Close to 80 percent of Lazear Elementary School’s 300 students didn’t show up for school Thursday – a loss of almost $9,000 in state funding for the day – and apparently a wake-up call for district and teachers union officials who met with the parents Thursday afternoon to try to resolve the issue….
Thursday’s strike exemplified one of the more common complaints in public education. Too often, the solution to bad teachers is to shuffle them to another school to avoid the costly two-year process to fire them – what is known as a dance of the lemons.
Lazear parents said they don’t want the lemons landing in their yard. At the same time, many stressed that they love most of the children’s teachers.
“Our kids deserve better teachers,” González said. “Just because we’re here and not up in the hills, they deserve the same teachers.”…
During the afternoon’s meeting, district officials reiterated to parents that they are working on the problem, giving parents the impression the teacher would not be back next fall, González said. For some parents, that was not soon enough and they vowed to keep their children out of school again today.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/04/16/MN6E1CVBM6.DTL&tsp=1#ixzz0lH6yYlva
YET MORE CONFIRMATION OF THE BASIC TRUTH THAT GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS CAN’T BE REFORMED
Last month TCC reported that government school reformers were all a-twitter because of the unprecedented “reform” legislation passed by the Florida legislature, but TCC also cautioned that it was likely that Florida’s “Republican” governor would veto the bill because he wants to be a Senator, and no one can field a political machine like our highly trained education professionals.
Never doubt TCC’s powers of prognostication:
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist handed teacher unions across the country a gift this month when he vetoed perhaps the most transformative school reform bill any state has passed in a decade.
But the short-term political ambitions of a fading Senate candidate should not derail the vital work of overhauling how teachers are hired, paid, evaluated and, if necessary, fired in this country.
The teacher unions will howl, but their interests do not always coincide with those of taxpayers, parents and students. In this case, they’re in diametric opposition.
Ending lifetime tenure for new teachers, overhauling certification rules, paying excellent teachers higher wages and setting aside millions of dollars to pay instructors with skills in high demand are just the sort of changes that would constitute lasting education reform.
The bill Crist vetoed would have done all of those things, and he had said he’d sign it. But Crist, who is behind in the polls in the race for the Republican nomination for the Senate (but who may try to revive his chances by running as an independent) decided to placate powerful opponents of reform in hopes of blunting their opposition.
Crist’s veto has national implications. Several other states and major urban school districts, including New York City, Detroit, Colorado and Tennessee, are debating reform proposals resembling Florida’s — and teacher unions are fighting back.
Colorado‘s teacher unions vowed to withhold their buy-in from the Rocky Mountain State’s $175 million “Race to the Top” application if the legislature passes Senate Bill 191. It would strip teachers of tenure if they fail to meet performance standards weighted by student academic-growth data. The Colorado Senate Education Committee passed the bill last week.
It’s a scandalous fact that teachers in most states can earn lifetime tenure after three years of “satisfactory” performance evaluations. As the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress shows, reading scores among U.S. fourth-graders haven’t improved, and among eighth-graders they have improved only slightly, since 2007. The “satisfactory” standard is anything but.
Those of us who work outside of a government setting understand our paychecks will be determined at least in part by the quality of our performance. Even companies without bonus pools find ways to reward their best workers.
But not public education. The current teacher compensation system lets excellence go unrewarded and punishes innovation. Consider the late Jaime Escalante, who repeatedly ran afoul of union rules while building his highly successful Advanced Placement Calculus program at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles.
FAT AND STUPID IS NO WAY TO GO THROUGH LIFE
(So why are your children in government schools?)
Nothing is ever what it is represented to be in government schools, not even the school lunch program. Begun in 1946, purportedly to fight malnutrition, the school lunch program really has functioned largely as a way to get rid of excess agricultural commodities that have resulted from government agricultural subsidy programs. Parents addicted to aid-to-dependent-parents have loved the school lunch program and its expansion into breakfast because it relieves them of yet more practical and financial responsibility for their children.
Not surprisingly, school lunch/breakfast program menus have historically been heavily influenced by agricultural commodity producers, which is also one reason why the govenment for decades promoted the farcical and unhealthful “four food groups” model of nutrition. In reality, the government has tended to feed the children in its care the commodities it wants to get rid of. Highly trained education professionals in recent years have added junk food vending machines to the school diet because they generate revenue for the education establishment, and they have actively resisted efforts to get the vending machines out of schools because they don’t want to lose the revenue.
With that background, you can now understand this story about yet more of the fruit of our government school habit.
WASHINGTON – Too fat to fight? Many American children are so overweight from being fed french fries, pizza and other unhealthy foods at school lunchrooms that they cannot handle the physical rigors of being in the military, a group of retired officers say in a new report.
National security is threatened by the sharp rise in obesity rates for young people over the last 15 years, the group Mission: Readiness contends. Weight problems are now the leading medical reason that recruits are rejected, the group says, and thus jeopardize the military’s ability to fill its ranks…
In a report released Tuesday, the group says that 9 million young adults, or 27 percent of all Americans ages 17 to 24, are too fat to join the military. The retired officers were on Capitol Hill advocating for passage of a wide-ranging nutrition bill that aims to make the nation’s school lunches healthier.
The military group acknowledges that other things keep young adults out of the armed services, such as a criminal record or the lack of a high school diploma.
Although all branches of the military now meet or exceed recruitment goals, retired Navy Rear Adm. James Barnett Jr., a member of the officers group, says the obesity trend could affect that.
“When over a quarter of young adults are too fat to fight, we need to take notice,” Barnett said. He noted that national security in the year 2030 is “absolutely dependent” on reversing child obesity rates…
As a final thought, U.S.A. Today conducted an investigation last year of cleanliness in school lunchrooms. The investigation discovered that fast food restaurants such as McDonalds do a vastly better job of protecting their customers from bacteria and dangerous pathogens in meat than do government school cafeterias. Drug resistant salmonella, yum, yum, yum….
MORE ON SAURON’S CANDID CAMERA
In a prior issue of TCC, TCC reported that a school district in suburban Pennsylvania required students to have school-provided laptop computers and that the district’s highly trained education professions had thoughtfully included a handy feature that allowed those education professionals to turn on the laptops’ webcams remotely.
Of course, when caught the district issued the expected denial that the webcams were being used by peeping Toms and Thomasinas. After all, you can’t expect the education establishment to tell the truth – ever.
Now that emails have surfaced indicating how much the district’s highly trained education professionals had enjoyed peeping at children using the webcams, the plot is thickening. The district’s liability insurer is declining coverage for this little indiscretion.
Today has been a rough day for the already embattled Lower Merion School District, the well-to-do suburban Philadelphia school district accused of spying on students in their own homes through school-issued, webcam-enabled laptop computers.
First, Friday morning brought with it a report in The Philadelphia Inquirer that, despite repeated assertions to the contrary by the district, the program designed to remotely access the cameras on the laptops reported lost or stolen had indeed captured “a substantial number of webcam photos” of a number of different students, and that school district officials marveled over e-mail at the access they had to students, saying that it was like “a little LMSD soap opera” and confessing things like “I love it.” In another Inquirer piece, attorney Mark Haltzman–counsel for Blake Robbins, the Harriton High School student who brought the initial lawsuit back in February–insisted that “thousands of webcam pictures and screen shots have been taken of numerous other students in their homes.”…
Of course, because my time with the filing was limited, I’m only guessing at the specifics. I’m guessing that Graphic Arts Mutual Insurance Company had issued a general commercial liability policy to the school district, and that the insurance company was seeking judgment that legal actions arising from the invasion of students’ privacy through the remote access of school-issued laptops were beyond the scope of the policy’s personal injury provisions and, therefore, the insurance company had no obligation to pay defense costs. Again, I cannot reiterate enough that it’s just a guess, albeit a guess informed by eight years of looking at hundreds of thousands of civil filings.
Regardless, it only goes to show that this situation is rapidly unraveling for school district officials. While many parents of students at Lower Merion and Harriton High Schools are surprisingly supportive of the administration and have urged the Robbins family to drop the lawsuit, I cannot help but wonder if their opinions will change once some are shown photos of their own children in various stages of life–and undress, for that matter–in their own bedrooms within their own homes.
Thousands of images. Multiple students. School district officials gossiping about the access as though it were their own twisted version of “All My Children.” And now, ancillary actions like the one filed by Graphic Arts Mutual.
HIGHLY TRAINED SPECIAL EDUCATION PROFESSIONALS IN ACTION
Just in case you, dear Reader, still harbor sentimental notions about the compassion and caring of government schools, here is a reminder of how the most vulnerable children are treated.
INDIANAPOLIS — A teacher and an aide at Perry Meridian Middle School have been charged with neglect after police said they strapped a student with autism to a chair and left him on the floor.
Veteran teacher Catherine Littleton, 52, and Jeffery Stokes, 27, were charged with battery , criminal confinement and neglect of a dependent in connection with a Feb. 18 incident in a classroom…
According to the probable cause affidavit, Stokes taped socks over the hands of a non-verbal 12-year-old student, strapped the boy’s arms to his chest and belted him to a chair. The boy was then tipped over backward in the chair and left on the floor, police said.
“It happened several times over the year…”
And, please, if you are new to TCC don’t go cower in a corner chanting “It’s just an isolated incident, it’s just an isolated incident..” It isn’t. DOE Secretary Arne Duncan was recently forced to confront the issue of the nationwide abuse of special needs children by highly trained education professionals by a GAO study reporting that such abuse is epidemic. Normal students, of course, typically don’t have to worry about being strapped to chairs and left on the floor. They just get to worry about sexual abuse, other forms of physical abuse, psychological abuse…oh, well, if you are rendering your children to Caesar you probably don’t want to hear about it.
BUDGET WOES IN CALIFORNIA ARE LEADING TO CUT BACKS IN POPULAR AID-TO-DEPENDENT-PARENTS PROGRAMS
The horror! Budget problems in California mean that parents may have to be more responsible for their children!
But kids don’t have to worry that their “furlough” will be filled with homework. The teachers unions have explained to the districts that asking teachers to prepare homework for the furlough would amount to asking the teachers to perform “unpaid work.” Whoopee!
Desperate to balance their budgets, school districts on the Peninsula and in the South Bay are increasingly turning to furloughs. But faced with no-school days at unconventional times, parents are scrambling for child care, worrying about how their children will remember square roots and feeling left out of the decision-making.
While a handful of districts, including San Jose Unified, began furlough days last year, hundreds more statewide are proposing the unpaid leaves as they struggle with their worst budget crunch in decades. If labor unions agree, millions of schoolchildren will get from one to five fewer days of school in the 2010-11 academic year.
In scheduling, districts follow no pattern: some, like San Jose Unified, plan an entire week off, Oct. 4-8. Others, like Jefferson Union High School District in Daly City, moved up the end of school—the last day of school this year will be May 28, and next year likewise will be four days short, Associate Superintendent Steve Fuentes said. The Oak Grove elementary district will scatter its unpaid days in October, November and June.
The unaccustomed breaks leave parents in the lurch. “A lot of parents are struggling with finding camps or a safe place for their kids to go,” said David Ginsborg, a parent at Willow Glen elementary school in San Jose…
Whether to accept a furlough, and when to schedule it, is subject to closed negotiations with unions. That’s left some parents upset that districts had given scant notice of proposed furlough dates, and provided little opportunity for public input.
“This was intentional deception,” said David Keller, a parent at Booksin elementary in San Jose said, about San Jose Unified’s furlough-approval process.
Furloughs disrupt not only academics, but other plans as well. Booksin, among other schools, will have to reschedule its annual walkathon, which is traditionally held on the first weekend in October and brought in $170,000 last year.
“I don’t think anybody’s happy that we have to lose five days for our kids,” said Wendy Calia, president of the Booksin Elementary Community and School Association. She added that many preferred that an additional break be scheduled near an existing vacation like the year-end holiday. But, she said, parents are willing to accept furloughs as a price to keep the teachers they love.
Conflicts with fund-raisers are secondary concerns, said parents who are worried about child care and academics. Many, who were just beginning to tackle the logistics of summer programs, feel unable to cope with even thinking about an October break….
However, San Jose Unified isn’t about to ask teachers to prepare homework for the break, because that would essentially be requiring them to do unpaid work, district spokeswoman Karen Fuqua. And, she said, while the district will pass out information from non-profit agencies to parents, it doesn’t plan to orchestrate options. “I don’t think we would start to go into business of advertising child care.”
DOES ANYONE REALLY WONDER WHERE THE ALLEGIANCES OF MANY OF OUR HIGHLY TRAINED EDUCATION PROFESSIONALS LIE?
Some will be shocked by this story, but government school textbooks are worse.
Five Live Oak High School students’ First Amendment rights were challenged this morning when they were asked to leave school because they donned American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo. Officials at the school chose not to comment on the situation, but one student said an official called the T-shirts “incendiary.”
“They said we were starting a fight, we were fuel to the fire,” said sophomore Matt Dariano.
The Morgan Hill Unified School District issued this statement: “In an attempt to foster a spirit of cultural awareness and maintain a safe and supportive school environment, the Live Oak High School administration took certain actions earlier today. The district does not concur with the Live Oak High School administration’s interpretation of either board or district policy related to these actions.”
The five teens were sitting at a table outside during their brunch break about 10:10 a.m. when Assistant Principal Miguel Rodriguez asked two boys to take off their American flag bandannas. The boys said they complied. In the same conversation, sophomore Dominic Maciel said, Rodriguez told the group to “walk with him to the office.”
Dariano called his mother Diana, who spread the word to the other parents, who all arrived soon after to have a conference with Rodriguez and Principal Nick Boden. The group said they were not instigating anything and did what they always do at break – sit and talk and eat.
The boys were told they must turn their T-shirts inside-out or be sent home – and that it would not be considered a suspension – but that Rodriguez did not want any fights to break out among Mexican-American students and those wearing American flags. Dariano said other students were wearing American flags but since they were a group of five “we were the easiest target to cause trouble” according to Rodriguez, he said.
The boys told Rodriguez and Boden that turning their T-shirts inside-out was disrespectful, so their parents opted to take them home.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” said Dominic’s mother Julie Fagerstrom. “I’m an open-minded parent, but it’s got to be on both sides…
A front-desk secretary said Boden was unavailable for any comment on what had happened Wednesday and Rodriguez was busy with testing, the secrectary said.
More than 100 students were spotted wearing red, white and green as they were leaving school. Some had the Mexican flag painted on their faces or on their arms.
Nothing in Live Oak’s dress code policy addresses what transpired Wednesday, but it does state that “the school has the right to request that any student dressing inappropriately for school will change into other clothes, be sent home to change, and/or be subject to disciplinary action.”…
JUST REPEAT AFTER ME: “SODOMITES ARE JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, SODOMITES ARE JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE…”
Here is the latest study confirming what has been known for some time; namely, sodomites are notoriously violent in their “personal relationships”. Yet, our highly trained education professionals are busily promoting various forms of the sodomite lifestyle in the name of “safe schools”, “tolerance”, and “anti-bullying”.
Safety has never been the purpose of promoting sodomite lifestyles in government schools – promoting the sodomite lifestyles themselves is the purpose. The “safety” rhetoric has always been a ploy for confusing the thoughtless and providing excuses for moral cowards.
Lesbians, gays and bisexuals in California are almost twice as likely to experience intimate partner violence as heterosexuals, researchers said.
Elaine Zahnd, a sociologist at the Public Health Institute, partnered with the University of California, Los Angeles, Center for Health Policy Research in conducting the California Health Interview Survey, which found almost 4 million adults in California reported being a victim of physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner.
One-quarter of the 4 million report being forced by their intimate partner to have sex, the researchers said.
Almost 28 percent of lesbian or gay adults in California report intimate partner violence during their adult lives, 40.6 percent of bisexuals report intimate partner violence and 16.7 percent of heterosexual adults report intimate partner violence, the study said.
“These findings should cause us to reconsider our assumptions about the root causes of violence, even as we redouble our efforts to eradicate it,” Zahnd said in a statement.
Women are almost twice as likely to be victims of adult physical violence as men and are eight times as likely to report being the victim of sexual violence since age 18, the study said.
Finally, for those who think that rescuing their children from government schools is an enormous challenge, here is a brief video of a mother who faces vastly greater challenges with grace.
That’s a wrap for this edition of The Continuing Collapse. So, TCC bids you a fond adieu and asks you to:REMEMBER:
- Feel Free to circulate The Continuing Collapse.
- If you aren’t hearing about at least some of these government school problems from your pastor, why is he your pastor?
- FRIENDS DON’T LET FRIENDS SEND THEIR CHILDREN TO GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS
“I had a motive for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics, he is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason
why he personally should not do as he wants to do, or why his friends should not seize political power and
govern in the way that they find most advantageous to themselves. … For myself, the philosophy of
meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation, sexual and political.”
Aldous Huxley (evolutionist, leftist, and grandson of T.H. Huxley, known as “Darwin’s bulldog”): Ends and Means, pp. 270 ff.