Who Are the “Home-Schoolers for Free-Market Education”?
First, we are…
First, and foremost, we are Christians. We believe that the Bible is the Word of God and is the rule of conduct for all of life – for families, churches, communities, and governments. Like Noah Webster, one of our nation’s first educational bureaucrats, we believe that “Education is useless without God and the Bible.” Jesus Christ is Lord of all, and there is no realm where He does not rule and where His truths do not reign supreme, the minds of children certainly not excepted. All edicts of men that contradict His Word or violate His law are null and void, because He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and His judgments are not negotiable, nor overruled by human judges or a democratic consensus. There is no neutrality with regard to Jesus the Christ: all men are either in submission or rebellion to Him, His friend or foe. Jesus said that we are either gathering for Him, or we are scattering abroad. Any attempt to maintain neutrality with regard to the Lordship of Christ, any attempt to censor His Word from the public sector, or any other area of life, is rebellion against God and brings condemnation. Jesus is Lord of all!
Home Educators –
God grants parents the natural obligation and right to educate their children. This obligation is reiterated within the Bible, specifically in Deuteronomy chapter 6. God instructs parents to educate their children within a theistic context. To learn is to discover the Creator. We teach our children to discover God in nature, in the laws of science and mathematics, in music, in the microscope, in the telescope, in literature, in the pages of God’s Word. Readin’, writin’, and ‘rithmatic - and even self-esteem - will get them nothing but eternity in hell unless they discover their Creator and prioritize a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ.
On a purely pragmatic basis, home schooling provides a better education for children. One peer-reviewed scholarly study performed at the University of Maryland in 1998 on 20,760 home school students revealed striking differences in achievement in home-school-educated and public-school-educated children. Home schooled children tend to perform exceptionally superior in standardized tests compared to their government-educated peers. The median scores for every subtest at every grade are typically in the 70th to 80th percentile, well above those of public and private school students. 25% of home school students are enrolled one or more grades above their age-level public and private school peers. (This study can be read in its entirety at http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v7n8/.)
Home schooling provides the ideal environment to minimize distraction and maximize our child’s educational development. No one loves a child more than his or her parents. No one is better equipped by God to train up a child than the parents. Taking five-year-olds away from their home and family and putting them into a room with an adult with whom they are not familiar and twenty-five other five-year-olds is the absolutely worst environment in which to teach a young child. No wonder so many children require sedation with controlled substances to treat their hyperactivity symptoms! The most natural, loving environment in which to teach children is at home under the tutelage of their parents, the ones who love them most.
Against Coercive Taxation –
Taxation is by definition coercive. If one fails to pay his taxes, his God-given freedoms can be curtailed by force; he can be taken from his family by violent force, arrested, incarcerated, and fined. There are Biblically justifiable taxes, but there are also forms of taxation that usurp the limits of government defined by God within Scripture. The Bible says in the book of Ecclesiastes that all the fruits of a man’s labor are the gift of God. If a man earns wealth, it belongs to him - it is a gift to him from God. God protects man’s wealth by forbidding others to steal it upon pain of eternal sanction, and by commanding governments to punish theft with temporal sanctions. Kings and paupers as well as democratic majorities are bound by this same law: besides biblically justified taxation, governments have no more right than individual citizens to forcibly coerce others to give to a cause to which they will not give voluntarily. 51% of voters have no right to employ the power of government to coerce the 49% to give them money. If public school administrators, teachers, and parents of public school children cannot convince citizens to give voluntarily to support their cause sufficiently, they have no right to utilize the government to force the citizens to give them the money they want. This is covetousness and theft, a violation of the eighth and tenth commandment. In forcing a home schooling family to pay for the education of other children, they rob from them the funds they need to teach their own children; indeed, they deprive them of their God-given right to property and liberty. This is unjust and sin. If educational bureaucrats cannot raise the funds they need from those who acquire their services and other benefactors they may implore, they still should not steal. If government leaders would benefit politically from enacting popular forms of unbiblical taxation upon the citizenry, they still should not steal. God’s law takes precedence over man-made laws. God-given liberties are more important than the government’s educational institutions.
For Atheistic Government Education.
Let it be understood that we oppose the use of government force to coerce the citizenry to pay for home schools, parochial schools, and “charter schools”, just as we oppose the use of government force to coerce the citizenry to pay for government schools. The form of taxation is intrinsically unbiblical and unjustified, even if the cause is morally upright. At the inception of public education in the United States, the motives of the educators were morally upright. Public school children were taught the Holy Bible at taxpayer expense. Congress approved the first publishing of Bibles in the U.S. in 1782, “a neat edition of the Holy Scriptures for the use of schools.” McGuffey’s Reader, the mainstay of public education from 1836 to 1920, primarily consisted of prayers to God, Scriptural references, and religious instruction to abstain from sin. Thomas Jefferson, the same time he penned the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights, was superintendent of the public school District of Columbia. Can you guess what two textbooks were required in every classroom? The Holy Bible and Isaac Watts’ Hymnal! That Congress was not to respect a particular establishment of religion did not preclude Congress or local communities from allowing Christians to teach children eternal truths; indeed, according to the First Amendment, Congress is not to prohibit the free exercise of religion either, neither in the public nor the private sector. Even if we were beneficiaries of the Christian public education that our forefathers established and envisioned, we would oppose the coercive taxation of the citizenry to pay for services they do not receive and to support institutions to which they would not give willingly.
At the present time, however, government schools are far from morally upright institutions. The government educational monopoly is becoming more morally depraved every year, all of its Christian teachers and attendees notwithstanding. Our government has ruled that student-led prayer at public school functions is unlawful, that posting the Ten Commandments is unlawful, that school employees can give out condoms without parental permission, that school nurses can recommend hormonal contraception or abortion to pregnant youth. Our government has ruled that teachers can lecture youth that homosexuality and premarital sex is appropriate and that abortion is a constitutional right. Our government has ruled that Creationism is religion and that evolution – the myth that life came from non-life and that mankind evolved from lower forms of life – is science. Our government has ruled that the Bible is not to be taught as God’s Word and that the Christian ethic is not to be defended and promulgated as supreme within the public school classrooms.
Thomas Jefferson said, “To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical.” It is sinful and tyrannical to force Christian families who despise the atheistic public education monopoly to pay for it. We consider government schools not simply morally neutral – they are morally bankrupt! There is an official state-sponsored religion in the government schools, and it is not Christianity, it is practical atheism. The public educational institutions have become manifestations of a nation in rebellion to God Almighty.
We propose that the leaders of our nation and our nation’s public institutions repent toward God for their rebellion to Him and His ways, and turn to the God of the Bible for national and personal salvation.
We propose that leaders in the Federal government immediately abolish any attempt to educate this nation’s youth and leave that to the local communities, binding themselves to the limits of the Constitution, particularly the Article 10, to which they took an oath.
We propose that state and local communities turn to the Bible as a guide for how to manage and tax for public institutions, and abandon any levies for the atheistic government educational institutions.
We propose that parents take seriously their God-given stewardship of the education and training of their children in the ways of God. We pray families return to the instructions in the Holy Bible to teach their children and order their home.
We propose that churches encourage Bible-centered home schooling and provide a morally upright alternative to the atheistic government educational monopoly for parents who are unable to teach their children full-time at home.