July 18, 2014

There Is No Neutrality in Education

By In Blogs, Max McGuire

What common ground does Christian education have with Humanistic education? None. And we should stop trying to find one. Neutrality is impossible when it comes to education. One’s worldview fundamentally influences every aspect. I am not speaking of vocational training, which should not be called education.

I think R. Campbell Sproul nailed it in his post “Common Core isn’t the Problem“, when he wrote, “Complaining about common core, school choice, standardized testing, or any other common government education concern misses the main problem which we ought to be focused on, that is that the government is providing education in the first place.”

Education is a responsibility of the family, not government. Why should anyone be compelled to subject their children to someone else’s worldview?  Christians should not be wasting their time trying to get the Bible or some watered-down version of Creation taught in the public schools because there should be no public schools.

I would like to follow with a few quotes from Gordon Clark’s book A Christian Philosophy of Education:

There is no such thing as a common ground between Christianity and a non-Christian system. From a world naturalistically conceived, one cannot argue to the God of the Christians.

If now as Christians we have some idea of our goal, it is time to pay attention to the methods for providing children with the education we favor. Methodology could be discussed indefinitely; its intricacies are infinite. This morning only certain very general principles of method can be mentioned. First of all, education is and should be regarded as the responsibility of the family. It is primarily to the parents, not primarily to the State, nor even to the church, that God has entrusted children and their upbringing. This principle needs emphasis in these days, because so many educators neglect or deny it. There are powerful forces at work in the world and in these United States to destroy the family and to make children, yes, and adults too, the creatures of the state.

Now, in public schools, children receive a pagan education. One hardly expects the public schools to teach that most compact and consistent expression of Christianity, the Shorter Catechism. But the teaching of the Bible is also prohibited, and in some places even the reading of the Bible is outlawed. Obviously the public schools are not Christian. But many people reply: Though they are not Christian, they are not Antichristian; they are neutral. But, let one ask, what does neutrality mean when God is involved? How does God judge the school system that says to him, “O God, we neither obey nor disobey thy commands; we are strictly neutral.” Let no one fail to see the point: the school system that ignores God teaches its pupils to ignore God, and this is not neutrality but the worst form of antagonism, for it judges God to be unimportant and irrelevant in human affairs.

Written by Max McGuire

Max McGuire is a Reformed Libertarian interested in what the Bible has to say about politics and economics. He is a fan of Gordon Clark, John Robbins, Ron Paul, and the Austrian School. He works as a CPA and lives with his wife and daughter in Portland, Oregon.
  • TJ

    Bravo! I absolutely agree. I had a conversation with someone recently about this point. They seem to believe an education without God at the forefront is somehow neutral. The absence of God is not a neutral position.