I appreciate the thoughtful review by Roger Elford of The Argus-Press article (May 19) quoting my remarks about introducing a new “classical Christian education” curriculum at Spring Vale Christian School. My remarks made these key points.
One, the U.S. spends more per student than any other developed nation on public education yet ranks 34th of 71 nations in math.
Second, that instruction in Christian values is roundly suppressed in public schools and, in some cases, is considered illegal.
Elford did not challenge either of these facts.
Third, public school instruction is dominated by the secular theories/philosophies of relativism, materialism, scientism, pragmatism, deconstructionism. Elford challenges this claim; however, an examination of the texts used in Common Core curricula fails to support this challenge — irrespective of Elford’s assertion that what is taught and how it is taught results from some vague democratic process.
Do not misunderstand. I will quickly declare my respect for those parents who choose for their children to be educated in this manner, for I hope they would also respect the deeply held commitments of others who disagree.
No, the disagreement is over the purpose of education. Those of us who feel that Christian values should comprise part of the education of our youth do so because the results of an exclusively secular education are unacceptable to us.
For example, studies in the sociology of religion reveal that among teens 13 to 18, 24 percent “strongly agree” what is morally right and wrong changes over time based on what society thinks. Twenty-one percent believe each individual is his or her own moral authority. Only one-third of these teens think that lying is wrong.
So, let’s ask our readers: is this an acceptable result of an exclusively secular education? Some may say “yes.” I’ll respect their choice. Some will say “no,” and it is those to whom I am speaking.
Other studies show that Christianity is considered a mark of low status. Christianity is the province of the weak, the misinformed, the gullible, even the wicked. Christianity is “not cool,” and teens do not want to risk their social status by identifying as Christians. To Christian parents, this stigma is not likely to be an acceptable result.
I agree with Elford that there is plenty of room for people of good faith to disagree. But let’s recognize that disagreement is not “condemnation,” as he suggests.
Charles F. Adams