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It’s Time to Root Students in Fertile Soil

It’s Time to Root Students in Fertile Soil

I’ve been doing a lot of gardening and landscaping lately, building new flower beds and filling them with salvaged soil, edging them with rocks and planting them. I’ve moved plants to give them more suitable growing conditions—more or less light, or wind, or exposure to street traffic, depending on their sensitivities—plants sort of tell you how they’re doing if you pay attention to how they are growing.

I consider all this work fun, but I’ve also noted an important lesson: in growing plants it’s all about the soil. Plant in rocky or nutrient-poor soil and they don’t grow well, never getting close to their potential.

So it is of children. If they’re not planted in good soil, then none of us can expect them to attain their true potential. You cannot root a child in poison soil—which we do when we tell them they must always be ashamed and feel guilty because they’re white, or that they should always carry a chip on their shoulder or expect to be treated badly because they’re not white, for example—and expect them to thrive.

Yet this is exactly what ideologies such as Critical Race Theory (CRT) teach. This new anti-white religion is a convenient, but false, orthodoxy; a worldview built upon greed, materialism, and selfishness. All you need to belong is to agree, no goodness required.

But you can’t grow squat in such soil, and you cannot sustain a nation for long when you poison it so.

So how do we ensure that our students are growing in good soil? The answer is to educate them well, not only academically, but spiritually.

Once upon a time, education contained spiritual instruction. “In Pennsylvania,” Michael Medved writes in his book The 10 Big Lies About America, “the old law required that ‘at least ten verses from the Holy Bible [be] read, without comment, at the opening of each public school on each school day.’”

Biblical instruction during school hours continued even into the years when I was in elementary school. The Catholic kids went to classes at a local church or Catholic school, and the Protestant kids went up to one of the Protestant churches in our town to learn about the Bible. My family also read the Bible out loud after dinner, and I can still remember some of the verses I memorized then.

Yet such Bible reading—not only in schools, but in homes as well—is long gone. Perhaps that is why the Bible is twisted to suit various political views (think of the “Love Your Neighbor” signs populating many yards, which conveniently seem to forget many of the Bible’s other commands), or perhaps that is why many Christians are completely fooled by trending ideologies.

An education based on mutual respect of people from various backgrounds, if not also on mutual understanding, won’t deny the humanity of any group of people, as CRT seems to do. Education is meant to build us up and make us better, not more selfish and hateful. And a good education should include instruction in our society’s ancient notions of good and evil and law and order—which means some Bible teaching is necessary.

Nowadays, school librarians are offering graphic books of illicit behavior to kids. Why then, is it such a crime to teach the Bible, especially since it gives a good foundation for a child’s life? Time to flip the script and teach immutable truths.

Start with the Golden Rule, then teach the Ten Commandments. Explain the redeeming messages contained within the Sermon on the Mount. Point out that the Bible is a cornerstone of Western literature, and that it underlies our concept of law, as well as many great works of art. Explain that our nation was intended to have a shared moral sensibility and doesn’t work without it, and that our society was founded by Christians who understood this.

Show them sublime love through Paul’s “love Gospel,” which is awe-inspiring and unmatched in world literature. Explain that “Do unto others as you would have them do to you” and “Love your neighbor as yourself” are not simply moral adages, but keys to happiness.

We must raise our children with hope—not hate, racial division, and political discord. Through rooting them in knowledge of great and small (but worthy) Americans who came before them, and by giving them immutable truths from God (where all goodness originates), their hearts will be encouraged by the light of kindness and love, and they’ll grow strong, good, and beautiful.

Image Credit: Pixnio

Jonathan Barnes
Jonathan Barnes

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