Home > Bp. Breidenthal, Christian Education, Fisks, The Family > In lieu of authentic Christian Liberty.. Responses to Bp. Breidenthal’s Easter Sermon, (Part 2 of Many)

In lieu of authentic Christian Liberty.. Responses to Bp. Breidenthal’s Easter Sermon, (Part 2 of Many)

29 April 2010

[Elder’s Note:  A continuation of my critique of Bp. Breidenthal’s Easter Sermon.  I’ll try to address one point a week, until I’ve exhausted my list of criticisms.  This week I will be critiquing Bp. Breidenthal’s exhortation for support of Public Schooling. ]

We begin again, within Bp. Breidenthal’s Easter 2010 sermon, here:

We know that we are to be delighted to share what we have earned with others with those who have less, with those who deserve it, and with those who don’t deserve it.   – Bp. Breidenthal

Gee, I wonder what the bishop means by that. 

We know that we are called to work together to support public education,

Oh, I see now.  We’re supposed to support public education.  But what does he mean by that?  Well, he doesn’t quite spell that out now, does he? 

Usually though, I find that when people say things like, “I support public education,” or, “I support American Jobs,” they really mean, “I support (insert flavor-of-the-month-social-cause here), under ANY set of circumstances.” 

Unfortunately, that’s not a good approach to follow in a fallen world.  When given unconditional support, people, and even organizations, tend to take too much for granted.  And when that happens, the quality of the product (and hence, the consumer) suffers. 

That’s why I don’t give my unconditional support to public education. 

That’s also why I’m a third-party voter. 

That’s also why I don’t buy-American-because-it’s-made-in-America. 

You see, when people do that, the quality of things like education, and the Republican Party, and the American Automotive Industry, suffers. 

This is interesting, though.. because I have been in a few scrapes on the web over the right of Christians to educate their children as they have best prayerfully determined.  My own preference is home schooling first, Christian education second, with public education coming in – when it finishes the race – a distant last. 

What I’ve reminded my zealous brothers and sisters is that home schooling isn’t for everyone, and that Christian education isn’t for everyone.  Home schooling demands a significant time committment from both parents, and the temptation (so I am told) is to cut corners on critiquing the student’s work.  Christian education requires the consent of only one parent, but it can be expensive, and comes with its own set of temptations. 

On the other hand, if Christian parents have determined that public education is their only option, then unless I know something is especially evil about their school system (and they aren’t aware of it), or unless I know they are neglecting their duty to train their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord (aside .. something that often happens with the other educational options, too), then it’s really none of my business. 

Basically, I favor home-schooling, but feel that the decision to send children to public school, is mostly a matter of Christian liberty for the parents.  This “angel-may-care” attitude, by the way, has not always been well-recieved by some of my brothers and sisters on the Christian Right.  The irony here is palpable, since I defend the liberty of Christian parents who prayerfully send their children to Public School;  while on the other hand, Bp. Breidenthal seems to insinuate in his Easter Sermon that the support of public education is not a matter of Christian liberty. 

Very odd indeed. 

Bp. Breidenthal continues…

to support the dignity of everyone, and safety for all and to give of our resources for that. But it is hard to imagine freely giving away what we have earned from such difficulty.

In other words, people who don’t support public education, aren’t generous with their money (?). 

How can we contribute our resources and our wisdom to address the root causes of violence in our city?

Gee, I don’t know.  Maybe (and I’m just guessing), we can unconditionally support Public Education?? 

Because we all know that in a fallen world, we can count on the secular Academy not being tainted by Sin, right

Yeah, ah.. I don’t think so.  But, it was a nice try, anyway. 

– Elder

PS – There may yet be a day when I encourage Christian parents to pull their kids from Public School.

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  1. PBS
    29 April 2010 at 3:47 AM

    “How can we contribute our resources and our wisdom to address the root causes of violence in our city?”

    Well, I would say by building up the family, encouraging things like homeschooling where kids are influenced by their parents instead of just (or mostly) their peers, and mostly by doing everything God empowers us to do to provide resources & support to help maximize the possibility that children grow up with a mom and a dad in a loving, nurturing, stable home.

    I haven’t necessarily thought of it in this way before but, could it be that public education is actually a contributing (if not a root) cause of violence? It takes kids away from their parents, allows the state to determine what they are taugt and to more-or-less raise them, and they are learning how to act and what to do from other kids their age instead of adults. Hmmm?

    I am curious as to what makes him think people aren’t supporting public education and why they/we need told to do it. I’m also curious why he doesn’t mention Christian education… oh, never mind, I forgot for a second what organization he works for.

    Signed,
    A survivor of government education.

  2. Elder Oyster
    29 April 2010 at 11:20 AM

    RE: “I am curious as to what makes him think people aren’t supporting public education and why they/we need told to do it.”

    I used to work for a very gifted man (read: I have a lot of respect for him) who happened to be “progressive,” in his politics. His view, which I do not share, is that people who home-school (or people who support vouchers, e.g.,) are trying to punish public schools.

    What I didn’t ask him, and should have, is why shouldn’t parents (even “mouth-breathing conservatives”) be given the liberty to educate their children as they see fit, if they think that they can do a better job than the State?

    Knowing this gentleman, I think he would probably concede the point.

    With Bp. Breidenthal, things are different. It’s Easter 2010, and he’s giving a sermon on the Theology of YES. Gee .. Easter 2010, and the sermon is about saying YES. I wonder what the application will be. I wonder.

    NOOOOOOOOO. No, he wouldn’t say that. That would be too provocative.

    Okay, well, better’d say something else. Like, “We all know we are called to support public education,” and “we all know that we are called to ‘mingle’ ” etc etc.

    Pretty obvious what’s going on here.

    But.. it’s interesting that the bishop chose these “applications” in his sermon. He’s started out with an ungodly emphasis on liberty, and he ends up being a legalist (contra the ethic of liberty), and a bad legalist at that.

    That’s what I find interesting. So far, I mean.

    But .. We’ll revisit the ‘Yes’ thing at another time. Bank on it. 😉

    – E

  3. PBS
    29 April 2010 at 6:14 PM

    So, you just think TB wimped out and didn’t say what it is he really wants us to say “YES” to and just came up with random stuff off the top of his pointy hat/miter?

    It would have been helpful if he gave the reference verse for the Biblical passage where God calls us to support public education.

    I suspect that there is a low % of families in DSO with kids to begin with, that only a few send their kids to private school (and likely not for religious reasons but because they can afford to provide a better education), and I would be surprised if there are any families currently homeschooling school age children in DSO. TB couldn’t be chiding the rich people in DSO who send their kids to private school could he?

    “We know that we are to be delighted to share what we have earned with others with those who have less, with those who deserve it, and with those who don’t deserve it.” Based on what I have seen concerning liberals (which have got to be the vast majority of DSO at this point), this is probably a valid point for TB to bring up. They (“liberals”) tend to give way less of their “hard earned” $ than Christians. Oops, did I say that?

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