Some have argued that we should abolish public schools altogether. Okay, again when they're in control are they going to allow the Leftists to form private schools that teach Atheism, Socialism, anti-Christian morality? No? Then are they going to form a government institution to regulate education? I think they're either being naive or deceitful...or a bit of both.
Do you really think if they took control of the nation’s institutions that they would allow an education free-for-all, complete liberty?
I don't think there's a scrap of evidence to suggest they would. Rick Santorum wants to push for school prayer at football matches and graduations. What if a Hindu kid ends up being the Valedictorian? When he gives his speech will he be allowed to invoke Shiva? Or should he be excluded?
There are variances in the Dominionist camps. Some would allow the Hindus and Muslims to live in Christo-American society, but they would be granted a de facto second tier status. They can have their mosques...but no muezzin, no call to prayer...their version of bells. Of course I don't want to hear either. Church bells are nothing more than Sacralist chimes. As one Lollard famously said, they'd do just as well hanging about a cow's neck.
Other more penetrating and consistent camps like the Theonomists would outlaw these religions. It's amusing listening to them...I was listening to Kevin Swanson recently....they fear the state and don't want Christians to look to the state for anything. They want the state's powers limited....well, (and they struggle a bit here) except when the state is good (meaning they control it) and then they want its iron fist to crush anything that dares to oppose their version of christianity.
Evangelicals want and celebrate Christian prayer before Congress but then the same Evangelicals chafe at the notion that someone from another religion might open the session in prayer as they proved the one day a Hindu man tried to open the session. They shouted him down. For them the nation and its institutions have been conflated with the Holy and they deemed it sacrilege for this Hindu to pray in Congress. Actually it is they who commit sacrilege by infecting the Church with syncretism. What America/Babylon does or doesn't do as far as the opening of Congress has little to do with the cause of Christ's Kingdom...that is until Christians get involved. Then I have to take note. Not for the nation...for the Church.
Do I want Hindus to pray before the US Congress? No, but I don't want Mark Dever or any other Evangelical to either.
They loathe the ACLU and have created their answer to it..the ACLJ, but on this point the ACLU and Barry Lind are arguing that the best thing to do is to just not have any prayer or any symbolism in these civil tax funded events. That way everyone is represented. The Sacralist cries foul because the nation must be transformed and made holy. That's what you're saying when you call it a Christian Nation. This conversation has become muddied by many recent attempts to try and explain that away....well, we don't mean exactly Christian, they say. Not Christian in the sense that the people are actually Born Again. Where can I read about that kind of Christian or this concept of Christian Nation in the Bible? Some have realized they have no Biblical case, but they violently cling to the national idol.
Sadly some have appealed to the doctrine of the Visible Church. The Visible/Invisible distinction is Biblical, but this represents a gross abuse of the doctrine...conflating the Visible Church with society or a civilization. Sadly because of this error many have misunderstood the doctrine and rejected it outright.
So is the voucher issue a Christian issue? Is Focus on the Family really focusing on Christian issues or is this just more politics? Do we need to rally our forces to defeat the Liberal public school dragon? Hardly. And it needs to be asked even by those of us who won't send our kids to public school. Would the collapse of that system be good for society? Reforms? Major reforms? Absolutely. Collapse? Probably not.
The New Testament didn't suggest that Christians (even if they could have) should fight against Rome to get just use of their tax monies. Pay the tax and leave it be. With humility refuse to comply with sin. Apparently paying taxes that supported legions and the building of Roman temples was not a problem. If you believe that sending your children to the Roman Temple for schooling is sin, then don't do it. Remember up until the 1970's, Christians happily sent their children to public schools. It didn't exactly produce a Christian moral society did it? What woke them up to the problem? Not the core issues regarding the foundations of education, the whole question of subjecting to your children to hours of cultural indoctrination with pagans every day, not even the idolatrous propaganda regarding the state. What was it? It was the fact that pagan teachers weren't leading their children in prayer anymore. It was the fact that the Ten Commandments were taken off the wall. Never mind the fact that few can actually name them let alone explain their context.
And there's also a little issue that everyone seems to forget. With the implementation of Brown v. Board of Education, there was forced integration and lots of white suburban Christian families did not want the minority kids being bused into their areas for schooling.
American Evangelicalism has been engaged in some serious revisionism. What's amazing is we're talking about events easily within living memory. The Church has chosen to ignore its past record regarding some of these issues, or is busy re-writing the narrative.
Nevertheless since the 1970's the Sacralist Para-Church has been at war with the educational establishment. They thought they had found their saviour with Ronald Reagan, but he like every other Republican let them down in the end. He did not end the federal expansion into the realm of education which was a result of the push for educational equality. Christians consistently talk about a fair playing field, but their idea of that is...okay you people in the ghetto who have already been crushed by the social machine, now raise and educate your kids with pennies, while our kids have everything the world has to offer.
We have two social narratives in this country. You have one group of people that are trying to bring about a society that includes everyone. For it to function you've got to help the people at the bottom, help them to have a vested interest in their own and society's success. We have another group that wants their segment to prosper, sometimes casting these issues in 'Market' terms. Many who advocate this position equate it with a Biblical Worldview.*(see endnote)
They act as if the rest of the country...about 50-60% of the population...aren't real Americans and so they don't really care about them. They kind of want them to just go away. I'm sorry but there's a real racial element to a lot of this. It's no surprise the minority populations do not mix with the White majority, and this is most visible (and sadly so) on Sunday morning.
This hostility only breeds more of the same. I have found that treating school officials with respect, firmly but politely standing by my position, and dealing with the whole issue in a humane way has left us further ahead, and rather than be despised by the local authorities...I get the impression people find us interesting, maybe even intriguing? Could that be Salt and Light? Or is antagonism, threat of litigation the way we pursue this Biblical mandate?
Actually I would suggest it is Christians who should be in some ways the most sceptical of this type of thinking. Understanding that man is fallen and will always create idols and ways to commit evil...to put our faith in a nebulous market that will only function under the assumption that men are basically good and will play by the rules? As if people don't step on other people as they climb to the top, manipulate and destroy to get what they want? History and theology stand in direct contrast to this. And frankly the majority historical Christian position has been against such faith in market based economics. The Puritans were certainly against it, as I point out to those who have conflated Puritans, 1776 Revolutionaries, Adam Smith, and modern day Conservative Christian politics. The package is fiction on so many fronts.
Socialism is the answer then? I'm not saying that either. It doesn't have to be cast in either/or terms. I think both systems will fail, both can work in some cases and be grossly abused in others.
But that's not what American Christians today are saying. They are specifically arguing that one system is in accord with the Bible. Why? And how did they get there? Again, would a Christian in Zambia sit down, read their Bible, and come up with Adam Smith style Capitalism...and argue it was the Biblical system? Would they after a hundred years? I would argue...absolutely not.
This system (with its advantages and disadvantages) was born out of cultural and historical context. Advocate for it if you think it's best...but if you try to incorporate it into theological orthodoxy, and it certainly has been, then there's a problem. When you have Sunday School classes teaching this as the Christian view of economics, then something has gone wrong.
Is this what we're called to do? Are Christians here to advocate political and economic systems? Did the Jews do it in Babylonian Exile? Did the early Christians do it in the Roman Empire. Only with the Constantinian Shift and the genesis of Christendom (the great heresy)...did such questions arise.