Saturday, February 14, 2009

Spinning to nowhere

This evening, I was down in my basement working out. While I sweated, spinning to nowhere, the CD player was spinning 10-year old music from Jars of Clay. I would never claim Jars of Clay as my favorite band, but there I sat spinning and listening, and enjoying.

I think back some 15 odd years, back to when Shelly and I served in Jamaica with the US Peace Corps. Before landing on that sandy shore, I hadn't given much thought to Jamaican music. Yes, I had a couple of Bob Marley albums, but they never sat at the top of the pile.

Yet, within a few weeks, I found myself drawn toward the Jamaican beat. In a process that was as gradual as definite, I became a fan of the latest Reggae and Dance Hall songs. The Jamaican sounds had replaced my previous favorites.

Back in the states, I slowly began finding the Jamaican tapes near the middle of the pile. Today, they sit in dust, near the bottom of a cluttered box.

The same can be said of Jamaican food. I can no longer taste the patties and coca bread that once filled my pre-lunch daydreams.

What's the lesson here? It's obvious. We have a natural tendency to adopt the sounds, tastes, etc, that are part of our daily lives. This is why the Bible instructs Christians to separate from the world. Yet ...

We send our children to government schools, 180 days a year. And we expect them to somehow remain separate from the culture of the schools. In essence, we ask our children to go to Jamaica for an extended vacation and not enjoy the music or the food.

The question is this: How can Christians remain pure in a sex-saturated world? I ask, "Why does anyone think they can be part of that world and remain pure?"

Putting children and young adults in such a world and asking them to separate is to believe the devil’s lie; a lie that Jesus answered in this manner, "Again it is written, 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’"

Look at this statement: "Perhaps what is MORE alarming is the fact that church stats mirror the secular world." As long as the Church remains part of the secular world, expect it to mirror the secular world. You can expect nothing less.


Anonymous said...

Jim, not sure what you're implying here. Is it that religious people should not send their kids to public schools? Or is that schools should adhere to a given religion? If so, do you mean like the schools in Saudi Arabia where Islamic rules reign? Or is it that schools should all be private and/or religious in order to indoctrinate kids into that way of life and those beliefs? I would argue that this only causes division in our society. A fear and/or hatred of those unlike us.

I have no issue with a secular, diverse school system. I enjoy living in a diverse society where all religions are tolerated and none are formally embraced by our government.

I believe this quote applies here. "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."

Jim Fedako said...

10:54 --

You are playing right into the hand of the state.

Travel abroad and you will see that folks typically do not show fear and hatred to others. They tend to show curiosity and interest -- accept in France, of course.

Oh, sure, there are incidents, but the real fear and hatred is bred by the state. And, keep in mind that the state also creates division -- currently the division in the US is between those who pay taxes and those who benefit from those taxes. On top of that, the state adopts an ideology -- a religion, so to speak -- that seeks to suppress dissent -- witness the current attack on any scientist who questions global warming. To claim that the state can be value-free and tolerant is a chasing after the wind.

As far as government schools, the issue is not tolerance of religions or beliefs. No, the issue is that the schools create an environment that perverts young minds.

I suggest that you take a look at the books, movies, magazines, etc, that are in the libraries and on class reading lists. Now, don't respond with censorship nonsense. This is not an issue of burning books and preventing them from being read or sold. It is about the desire of many teachers to set no boundaries for any child, and to use media to get their point across.

That may not be an issue with you; you may want your children to be directed to participate in all sorts of nonsense. That may indeed be your desire, and I have my beliefs around that. But we are talking the desire of many (you?) who seek to have other's children involved in the same nonsense.

Finally, and you may not have even noticed your slip, but I see that you are willing to render your children to Caesar -- as if Caesar owns you children. Is that really what Jesus had in mind? Are you forgetting the millstones?

note: Education should be private as all education is essentially indoctrination at some level. The state has no business running religious schools either. But, I think you are implying that even private schools must adhere to the state's idea of intolerance and state's own religion -- it's ideology. In this, you are doing exactly what you claim to disavowal.

Also,read the history on WWI. If it wasn't for the states pushing the war forward, ithe war would have ended with the cross-lines snowball fights and Christmas celebrations of the first winter.

Anonymous said...

Jim, you said "That may not be an issue with you; you may want your children to be directed to participate in all sorts of nonsense."

One man's "nonsense" is another man's religion or maybe another man's education. I find the most unappealing thing about religion to be its intolerance of a different point of view.

I take the Caesar quote this way. God and Caesar are separate. No, I would not render a child wholly to 'Caesar', but I think that I can trust 'Caesar' to educate a child, for the most part. I will never totally agree with our system of education, that's for sure, but I would like it a whole lot less if do-gooders eliminated anything remotely considered by them to be "perverse".

Now, what you think is perverse may not be considered as such to everyone. While I think that parents should be able to opt their kids out of reading questionable material should they want to do so, I think that simply leaving them off lists because they might offend someone far-right cultural conservative is the wrong thing to do.

I believe that answer is to offer a wide range of options and let parents decide. Unfortunately, some parents will choose to shelter their children from the real world. That is their choice.

Jim Fedako said...

12:34 --

It is obvious that this post was not directed to you. You have given your children to the state. Why? I could never even guess. But you have. And you will likely enjoy the results.

"I find the most unappealing thing about religion to be its intolerance of a different point of view."

Funny, what I find most hypocritical about the liberal view is the belief that you are open to any and all ideas ... as long as those ideas do not offend you.

Just like the fact that education is, at some level, indoctrination, all ideologies are closed-minded to opposing views -- even the ideologies of those who so loudly proclaim tolerance.

Anonymous said...

The government schools are teaching religion. They teach to have faith in Darwin and other Evolutionists. They teach the Positivist religion of August Comte. They teach Secular Humanism which has been proclaimed a religion. They teach New Age religion. They teach the worship of Gaia. They teach the worship of creation rather than the Creator. Our child and her classmates were asked to lie down and imagine a light traveling around their bodies by their teacher.

Anonymous said...

Wicca is a religion. What does one call it when school teachers are promoting the Harry Potter books and having children take part in dressing up like witches and performing rituals like witches? We all know very well how children have been urged to read and love the Harry Potter series of books. But I haven't heard of any teachers urging children to read Bibles or mimic behaviors written about in Bibles. Can't do that cuz religion and The State can't mix. Ha ha. Unless it's a religion that The State approves of. Many schools involve children in acting out religious rituals from various non-Christian religions. Muslim, American Indian, Mexican Day of the Dead rituals. Funny how that works.

Anonymous said...

I wonder why it never occurs to those who think higher and higher taxation, going to supposedly benefit their children in the government schools, which has been proven over and over does not benefit them, results in their children being forced to pay for all those taxes in the future. Their grandchildren too. They all believe the lie.

Anonymous said...

I guess none of you have kids that are in high school.
Olentangy has a after school program for christians. This group is ran by teachers at the school. It is bible related program, they even have fund raiser.

Jim Fedako said...

9:03 --

Olentangy has run no such thing. Olentangy is forced by law to open its schools.

Anonymous said...

anon 9:03
Please tell us where you got your information. Who are the government school teachers who are conducting the Christian meeting at the school. Please give us their names. Tell us the name of the fund-raiser. What is the name of this Bible-related program? Some of us may want to check it out.

Anonymous said...

Yes, there is a group.
Ask any High School Kid they will tell you about it. I was shock myself to hear about this group.
When has Olentangy ever follow the law???
Parents need to be more open with their kids, and the kids will be more open with you.
Just ask any kids if their a group after school.
Are you not a christian? If kids are learning the bible that is great.
Why would you be more upset about learning the bible, and not about redistricting, property taxes, salaries, the management of money?
Everyone needs to get their proprietor straight.

Jim Fedako said...

Folks --

There is no issue here. Churches use school building (per Ohio law), as well as church groups.

When I say that Olentangy runs no such programs, I mean that the district cannot run those programs.

So, the only issue would be if the district did not allow teachers and students to meet after hours.

Anonymous said...

This is on Olentangy web site:
The program is ran by the school!

Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Students will meet on Thursday before school in the health room. Everyone is welcome at FCA. You do not need to be involved in a sport to attend. Please join us Thursday at 6:50 in the Health Room. On Thursday’s start your day with FCA.

Anonymous said...

FCA TO MEET ON 9/24: National “See you at the Pole” day is Wednesday, September 24 at 7:00 a.m. Please join FCA for prayer at the flagpole in front of the school at 7:00 a.m. Prior to that, at 6:45 a.m., FCA will meet briefly in room 1009. You may join us there, or just show up at the flagpole. Remember, you don’t have to be an athlete to be in FCA. All students and staff are welcome!

Jim Fedako said...

1205 and 12:08 --

Then it's club just like any club in the schools. Federal courts allow such clubs. In essence, if any club is allowed, all clubs are allowed. Schools must be viewpoint neutral.

Anonymous said...

Since there's a Christian club meeting at Olentangy surely there's a homosexual club meeting there too. Or if not there will be. And nothing will be done to stop it. Unity In Diversity. It's the Communitarian way.