The Missing Dimension in American Education
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The cost of education represents one of the largest budget outlays of every level of U.S. government, as politicians of every stripe claim a firm commitment to providing American children with the best education possible.
Curiously, America is simultaneously expunging from formal education any dogmatic reference to the Creator or His laws. If America wants to understand this present world, succeed in globalized business and navigate the explosive configuration of 21st-century geopolitics, this is the wrong time to exclude God from the classroom.
Pilgrims and Lincoln can't be separated from the Bible
America just celebrated one of its most accepted national customs, Thanksgiving Day. It stems from Pilgrims recreating an English harvest festival in acknowledgement and thanks to God for bringing the Plymouth colony through their first year.
Americans still champion the courage of these pioneers from whose tiny start would sprout the most powerful nation the world had ever known. Books were scarce among the first immigrants and education a challenge, but one book that all possessed was the Bible. It was guaranteed to be read—more than that, studied and learned by every child.
In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving Day in the soberest of times, the height of the bloody Civil War. In spite of tragedy, the president saw national benefits that could be explained only by supernatural intervention. In part, the proclamation reads:
"Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.
"No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens."
A biblical compass in a complex world
Although Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims and Abraham Lincoln remain popular in American culture, strangely, the Bible does not. Formal education is painstakingly vacuumed of any reference to the Bible.
Yet those who control the curriculum fail to realize that this handicaps our children from success in navigating globalized business, as well as governing in a complex world.
This was graphically illustrated in a piece written by political scientist George Friedman, founder and chief intelligence officer of Stratfor, a private intelligence corporation. The internationally respected Friedman is currently traveling through critical areas of the world to refresh his perspective in a way you can only do face to face. This small anecdote is just the tip of the iceberg of how religion and knowledge of the Bible are still vitally important in today's world.
In his Nov. 23 update from Turkey, he wrote:
"We arrived in Istanbul during the festival of Eid al-Adha, which commemorates the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael on God's command and praises the God who stayed his hand. It is a jarring holiday for me; I was taught that it was Isaac whom God saved. The distinction between Ishmael and Isaac is the difference between Hagar and Sarah, between Abraham and the Jews and Abraham and the Muslims. It ties Muslims, Jews and Christians together. It also tears them apart." (See full text here. You may be asked to sign in to read it, but it is free.)
Clearly, Friedman was educated in the Bible—and it aids him in understanding the world, as well as in advising presidents, prime ministers, business leaders—and anyone else with ears to hear.
Americans have lost sight of the value of a biblical education, without which they are hopelessly without a compass in a complex world.
"Muslims celebrate Eid with the sacrifice of animals (sheep and cattle). Istanbul is a modern commercial city, stunningly large. On this day, as we drove in from the airport, there were vacant lots with cattle lined up for those wishing to carry out the ritual. There were many cattle and people. The ritual sacrifice is widely practiced, even among the less religious. I was told that Turkey had to import cattle for the first time, bringing them in from Uruguay. Consider the juxtaposition of ancient ritual sacrifice so widely practiced that it requires global trade to sustain it" (emphasis added).
Religion defines, motivates, divides and—unless God steps in to stop it—will destroy the world. Don't spurn your roots, America! Learn, love and live the Bible!