Education and the Marketplace, Education and the State

The State and Free Market Education

The following has been lifted from my PhD dissertation, and slightly edited for this blog site.  I continue to give thought to some of my earlier ideas, and welcome feedback as I continue to refine them.

Amongst some circles there is often talk about a free market. However, God’s Law acknowledges the fact of original sin. Therefore, the market place cannot be totally free and self-regulating. For instance, governments are required by God to impose standards of weights and measures (Leviticus 19:35-36). This is not to hinder free trade, but to ensure that there is integrity in free transactions in the market place. Money should not be controlled by the State. However, the weights and measures that are used to establish fair market amounts of those commodities being used as money must be determined by a body that has the capacity to administer general sanctions when false weights and measures are being used. This cannot be performed by the family, because the family cannot administer sanctions outside its own sphere. This cannot be performed by the church, because the church is to be a minister of God’s grace and mercy, principally. The state, on the other hand, is given general sanctions, such as enforced restitution, enforced temporary slavery, public corporal discipline, confinement to a specific location and capital punishment (Rushdoony, 1973, p. 228). The state, under God, has sufficient power and authority to deter widespread criminality in the market place.

At the same time, it is to the state’s best advantage to allow relatively free trade in the market place. Free trade enables wealth accumulation. Wealthy families in the market place are able to create employment, provide housing, minister social welfare, and so on, thus strengthening the society and the jurisdiction of the state.

This has direct and significant bearing upon the delivery of education.  Education should be a free market commodity.  It is not a jurisdiction of the state.  Statist intervention into education is a relatively modern phenomenon (except for the ancient Spartan experiment).  Under statist control, education becomes a tool for collectivist indoctrination–echoes of the mantra that schools are for socialisation, i.e. convenient places to indoctrinate in the tenets of socialism.  But education should be a means of raising godly seed, to serve the Triune God, not as a way of creating generations of slaves to the state.

References

Rushdoony, R. J. (1973). The Institutes of Biblical Law. Phillipsburg, New Jersey: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company.

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Education and the Church, Education and the Family, Education and the State

The Role of the Church to Protect the Family from the State, as it relates to education

The following has been lifted from my PhD dissertation, and slightly edited for this blog site.  I continue to give thought to some of my earlier ideas, and welcome feedback as I continue to refine them.

As discussed in a previous blog, the state has the God-ordained function of being a minister of justice, “not a terror to good conduct, but to bad.” Justice is to be defined in terms of God’s Law-Word, and the state is “an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer,” i.e. on those who transgress God’s Law (Romans 13:1-7). However, when the state assumes jurisdiction beyond that which God has assigned it, because it bears the sword (Romans 13:4)—i.e. the capacity to inflict sanctions in terms of fines, imprisonment, or even administering capital punishment—God’s people need to be protected from the state because it has taken to itself too much power and authority. To stand between the state and the family, and between the state and the individual, is a legitimate role of the church.

When the church is weak, the Family is vulnerable to the state. I Kings 21:1-16 is a story of the de-capitalisation of a family by the state. At that time the church was nowhere to be seen. It should have been there to defend the family with the prophetic word in regards to God’s Law concerning inviolable land inheritance (Numbers 34:1-29). On the other hand, when David violated a family’s sanctity in regards to his sin with Bathsheba, appropriately, the church was there to pronounce, “You are the man!” (II Samuel 11:1-12:23).

Gary North (1995) wrote: “… the family is a legitimate and necessary institution, but separate from the institutional church, it has been no match for the state in history” (p. 6). Part of the problem is that in more modern times, the church has not insisted that the family pay the tithe. When tithes are not properly paid and then properly administered, the church does not have the financial resources to administer all the proper social functions that God has ordained should be conducted by the church. The state, according to God’s command, should be collecting less than the tithe to administer its God-ordained functions (I Samuel 8:10-18 – in this passage a tenth being given to the state is considered a great judgement upon the people). North, commenting on this writes:

… What are the biblical limits of state authority? …the tithe sets these limits. Civil government at all levels combined is not authorized by God to collect taxes equal to the tithe (I Sam. 8:17). Nothing funded by the state beyond this limit is biblicly legitimate. Taxation in the twentieth century has exceeded this limit by at least three to one in every nation. The modern world stands condemned (North, 1995, p. 6).

God’s condemnation is upon the church for failing to collect the tithe as commanded by Him, and thereby failing to engage in the work that God has ordained for the church. Or, if the church does collect a tithe, then God condemns improper administration of the tithe by spending the full tithe on sanctuary-related activity (such as Pastors’ salaries, building expenses, and other accoutrements to worship), instead of tithing the tithe for sanctuary purposes, and using the remaining nine-tenths for kingdom-oriented activities (such as support of Christian families in the educating of their children). His condemnation is upon the family because by failing to pay the tithe, it has created a vacuum that the state has willingly filled. Filling the vacuum is funded by stripping the family of its assets through taxation. Such assets should be used to capitalize families across multiple generations. The condemnation is upon the state, because by weakening the family, and over-riding a weak church, the fabric of society is weakened which will ultimately result in the state being undone.

It is the church’s responsibility to defend the role of the family (specifically fathers) in the education of the children of the family. However, family heads are accountable to church officers for the way in which they discharge this responsibility. It is not for the state to dictate the curriculum and enforce syllabi upon families. This is a family responsibility. However, families should obtain assistance from the church in this matter, and assistance from church-trained experts in the market place.

References

North, G. (1995). Baptized Patriarchalism: The Cult of the Family. Tyler, Texas: Institute for Christian Economics.

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Education and the State, Home-Based Education

The State and the Family in Relation to Education

The following has been lifted from my PhD dissertation, and slightly edited for this blog site.  I continue to give thought to some of my earlier ideas, and welcome feedback as I continue to refine them.

In his book, Baptized Patriarchalism: the Cult of the Family, Gary North (1995) writes:

The Roman state steadily absorbed the Roman family under the Empire. This is the perpetual threat to all patriarchalism. The patriarchal system begins with almost total loyalty to the father, but eventually this loyalty is transferred to the state because the state takes over the family’s welfare functions and its sacramental office. Bread and circuses are provided by the state. Copulating priestesses replace the father’s lustral rites … The autonomous family is not an alternative to the state; rather, it becomes the state’s most important agent. The father represents the state to his children. The willingness of fathers to send their children into the established church known as the public school system is the obvious example.

The family is not an agency of public law enforcement, for it cannot lawfully impose sanctions outside its own boundaries. The ability of the state to tax away the wealth of the family makes the state the primary agency in society if it is a question of family vs. state. The family will always lose the contest. Only by converting the family into a mini-state – warlordism – can patriarchalism reverse the drift into centralized statism. Warlordism is the sociology of the Mafia, not the Bible (North, 1995, pp. 2-3).

In terms of education, publicly funded schools are un-Biblical (with the possible exception of publically funded military training academies, since defence is a legitimate function of the state[1]). Under God, as established in a previous blog, education is principally a family jurisdiction, with a legitimate role by both the church and the market place. When the state enters this jurisdiction, it does so by violating the Law of God, and sets up a tyranny over the family. Families that choose to reclaim this jurisdiction[2] are often persecuted by the state. Some recent instances are cited as examples of such persecution.

In an article by My News Desk ([MND], 2013) it is reported that a Swedish home schooling family was fined USD$15,000 by the Swedish Supreme Court for home educating their 12 year old daughter. The fine was imposed retroactively, and without any consideration of the family’s financial situation and capacity to pay. The law under which they were fined was passed on July 1, 2011. The home schooling took place in the school year 2010-2011, when home schooling was being allowed in Sweden. The article goes on to state:

… the current centre-right government has outlawed home education in Sweden. … (the) rise in interest (in home education in Sweden, despite this law) is understandable as the quality of Swedish schools is declining with poor academic results, disorder in the classrooms, an all too common inability to handle children with special needs, and a level of bullying which creates a great distress for many families” ([MND], 2013).

Previously the Swedish government had permanently removed a 7-year-old child, Dominic Johannsson, from his parents, Christer and Annie Johansson, because the parents were taking the child to India so that they could home school the child overseas, away from the repressive Swedish laws (MND, 2013).

In Darmstadt, Germany, there was a recent example of a home educating family having their children forcefully removed from them (MND, 2013). Police armed with a battering ram forced their way into the family home, and the parents were told that they wouldn’t see their children again soon. The state had previously admitted that the children “were well cared for,” but declared that force was needed to remove the children because the “children had ‘adopted the parents’ opinions’ regarding home schooling”. The reported crime was simply: “the parents were providing their children’s education;” the parents “had failed to meet the government’s demands for (religious) ‘integration’”. The actions of the government were necessary to “bring the religious convictions of the family into line with the unalterable school attendance requirement.”   In the article it was pointed out that the action of the police was based on a law that was drafted by Hitler’s regime during World War II. The intention of the law was to ensure “that all children submit to the indoctrination programs in the nation’s public schools”. In the article it is explained:

It was in 1937 when Adolf Hitler said: “The youth of today is ever the people of tomorrow. For this reason we have set before ourselves the task of inoculating our youth with the spirit of this community of the people at a very early age, at an age when human beings are still unperverted and therefore unspoiled. The Reich stands, and it is building itself up for the future, upon its youth. And this new Reich will give its youth to no one, but will itself take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing” (MND, 2013).

A contemporary German politician, Wolfgang Drautz, was reported to have “emphasized the importance of socializing children through public schools” (MND, 2013).

In 2010 a U.S. immigration judge, in a Supreme Court, granted the Romeike family, a German family, asylum status because of German government persecution against them for home schooling. However, the Obama administration had the ruling overturned. It was reported:

The Obama administration, unhappy with the outcome, appealed and obtained an order from a higher court that the family must return to Germany. The Obama administration has urged in court parents essentially have no right to determine how and what their children are taught leaving the authority with the government (MND, 2013).

It is in the state’s best interest to promote healthy family life. Strong and healthy families contribute to strong and healthy communities. Invariably, slums and poorer areas of a city are generally coupled with poor family life (acknowledging exceptions to the rule). Parke, in the CLASP paper, Are Married Parents Really Better for Children? What Research Says About the Effects of Family Structure on Child Well-being, admitted:

Over the past 20 years, a body of research has developed on how changes in patterns of family structure affect children. Most researchers now agree that together these studies support the notion that, on average, children do best when raised by their two married, biological parents who have low-conflict relationships” (Parke, 2003, p. 1).

Therefore, the state must work with stable, healthy families that seek to provide what they believe to be the very best education for their children, not work against them.

[1] Romans 13:4 “… for he (the governing authority) does not bear the sword in vain …”

[2] Opposition to home education is a very modern statist response, to a select range of children. Children were home-educated for long periods of history, and continue to be home-tutored by very wealthy families, without overt state opposition. Opposition seems to be aimed at the middle and lower classes. Even then, lower-class truants seem to be ignored (wander around Alice Springs on any particular day and see the very large numbers of Aboriginal children who are not in school, even in the midst of a Northern Territory blitz on school truants: “Every Child, Every Day” c.f. http://www.education.nt.gov.au/teachers-educators/school-management/enrolment-attendance/every-child-every-day). In contrast, middle-class Christian families are deliberately and doggedly pursued. I would contend that the purpose of statist persecution of middle-class Christian families is to socialise the children of those families away from the faith of the parents and brain-wash the children with the tenets of the religion of the state.

References

[MND], My News Desk. (2013). Homeschooling family fined 15 000 USD by the Swedish Supreme Court.   Retrieved 13/9/2013, from http://www.mynewsdesk.com/se/view/pressrelease/homeschooling-family-fined-15-000-usd-by-the-swedish-supreme-court-895446

North, G. (1995). Baptized Patriarchalism: The Cult of the Family. Tyler, Texas: Institute for Christian Economics.

Parke, M. (2003). Are Married Parents Really Better for Children? What Research Says About the Effects of Family Structure on Child Well-being. In Center for Law and Social Policy (Ed.). Washington, DC: Center for Law and Social Policy

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Education and the State

The State as Protector of Free-Market Education: The anti-role of the state in education

The following has been lifted from my PhD dissertation, and slightly edited for this blog site.  I continue to give thought to some of my earlier ideas, and welcome feedback as I continue to refine them.

Christ said, “So if the Son sets you free (from slavery to sin), you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). Christian liberty has been a compelling catch-cry throughout the ages, especially in the English-speaking world. Paul wrote: “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1). This compelling call to liberty is what inspired Patrick Henry, in 1775, to finish his rousing speech to the second Virginia Convention with the words:

Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death! (Henry, 1836 [1775]).

The role of the state is to guard this freedom for all those in its jurisdiction. The state is to protect the church, the family, and the general marketplace, from invasion from without, and from corruption within. However, God has strictly defined and limited this activity of the state. The Apostle Paul wrote: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Romans 13:1). This authority is given by God so that the state can be “a terror … to (the) bad” (Romans 13:3) “bear(ing) the sword (not) in vain. For (the state) is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on wrongdoers” (Romans 13:4). It is those who steal who are to fear the sword of the state; it is those who commit adultery (and every other sexually deviant activity under the broader application of the word adultery) who should fear the sword of the state; it is the murderer, the idolater, the man-stealer, the covetous, the breaker of God’s holy Laws, who should fear the sword of the state. Were the state to capitally punish the adulterer, it would protect the family. Were the state to capitally punish the murderer, it would protect the lives of people in the street. Were the state to exact the prescribed punishments of God’s Law, it would administer God’s justice, and ensure that those who live within the boundaries of God’s Law live in peace and liberty.

On the other hand, when the state over-steps its jurisdiction, then God’s people must respectfully dissent. Peter and the other Apostles, when confronted with a state that over-stepped its jurisdiction, responded with the truism: “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). Peter was echoing Jesus when Jesus said that we must “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21).   Education does not belong to Caesar, it belongs to God, and God has delegated it to the family, the church and the market place. The state has a duty to protect the freedom of the family, church and market place to go about their educational business without hindrances. The state is to promote liberty in this area, not be guilty of repression through legislation, taxation, certification, registration, and accountability administrivia[1].

So therefore, the state does have a God-ordained and legitimate function. However, the function of the state is limited to the parameters set by the Law-Word of God. When the state is functioning within the limits set by God, we are to obey the legitimate officers of the state as unto the Lord. However, as soon as the state oversteps its legitimate role, it is the duty of Christians to petition the Justice of God, and call the state to account, working within every legal means to persuade the state to return to its limits. As a last resort, it is the responsibility of God-fearing people to resist the state by peaceful protest and make an imprecatory appeal to the courtroom of heaven.

[1] Noun 1. administrivia – the tiresome but essential details that must be taken care of and tasks that must be performed in running an organization; “he sets policy and leaves all the administrivia to his assistant” (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/administrivia) Accessed: 1/12/2013 10:39 PM

References

Henry, P. (1836 [1775]). Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death! In W. Wirt (Ed.), Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry. Philadelphia.

 

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Aboriginal Education, Accelerated Christian Education (ACE), Denominational Christian Schools, deschooling, Discipleship, Education, Education and Culture-making, Education and the Church, Education and the Family, Education and the Marketplace, Education and the State, Education Delivery Programs, Funding, Hebrew Pedagogies, Home Schools, Home-Based Education, Indigenous Education, Indigenous Pedagogies, Ivan Illich, Life Learning, Natural Learning, Schooling, Schools, Socialization, State Schools, Teaching, Tertiary Education, Themelic Christian Schools, Unschooling

God doesn’t want you to send your children to school: He wants them to have an education

After climbing to the top of the academic tree of education by earning a Diploma of Teaching (Primary), Bachelor of Education, Master of Education (School Leadership), Doctor of Philosophy (Christian Education) and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment [mostly self-funded], and working for about 30 years at all levels of school from Preschool to adult education, I have come to realise that the deficiencies in educational outcomes for children in the western world are because of schools and schooling. Schools and schooling have always been the problem.

Book_Cover

My new book is now available from Amazon.

Education and Schooling are not synonymous. A proper education does not require children to be sentenced to twelve years locked away in a total institution as if they were criminals, mentally insane, enlisted in the military or part of a religious cult.

The state has no mandate, at all, to be involved in education. Education is the proper sphere of the family, with support from the church, and assistance from free-market tutors and other community custodians of skills and knowledge.

True education should be delivered through unschooling, with a discipleship emphasis. Ivan Illich explored the idea in the 1970s, and the Triune God of the Bible emphatically agrees.  You can get this book from Amazon.

Some time ago, now, I walked away from working in a school as a school administrator. I am on the road to deschooling, but am conscious that there is much more of the road that needs to be traveled.

The focus of my research is around Biblical Christian deschooling/unschooling.  Over time I will be triangulating the things that I have found in the literature, with interviews conducted with families that are actually unschooling, and comparing the results with the development of my own thoughts over 30 years, as recorded in my personal journals.

I look forward to the day when home-based education is the norm, not just a curious anomaly.  Those who would like to read my book, you can get a copy from Amazon.

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The dissertation for my post-graduate doctoral degree is located here: Dissertation found at this location .

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