Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Defense of Vouchers for Education

a blogger: Vouchers also remove more money from the public schools; and if giving schools money doesn’t help. how does taking it away?

Those public schools will be smaller and that is apt to make them better, more personal, and less costly. Besides, where is the logic in continuing to subsidize failure more than we subsidize success? Highly motivated families and students will take their vouchers to better schools –those schools will grow and serve more students –including the poor.

Some think that private school students are rich and shouldn’t have vouchers. Yet, we all pay taxes and the rich more than anyone –but even the middle and poorer classes sacrifice to send kids to religious schools; they deserve vouchers so they can more easily afford the better schools.

Our country will be better off, overall, when we get gov’t out and help the successful schools serve more people –and give parental choice with vouchers.

It’s very important that gov’t keeps its nose out and doesn’t force the successful schools to change in order to accept vouchers. If religious teachings are part of their success, leave them alone. However, no school should teach kids that overthrow of Am. gov’t and violating our laws is OK (unless the law starts to undermine Christianity –telling parochial schools that they cannot receive vouchers and teach their students whose parents have chosen those schools, beliefs and all--beliefs such as Christ is the only way to Heaven–or that homosexuality, abortion and pre-marital sex are sins. Then we would have trouble with Big Brother's nose in the Christian school tent.)

My children went to a successful public school; the grandkids are home-schooled for now. It’s interesting to me how many public school grads are home-schooling –not just religiously motivated people –but others –because they don’t trust the liberal philosophy, the moral neutrality toward sexuality and transgendering, the witless teachers who would show-R-rated movies to jr. high, the questionable and downright immoral activities (like sex acts at school dances, with helpless administrators nearby, as reported to my husband by patients about a local suburban school and also featured on an Oprah program within the last year) , and the peer influence of the public school.

Inner city schools are classified as failing AND MONEY IS NOT HELPING!!! Maybe they pay better in some suburban schools as claimed here; this has not been so for our area. The failing schools in my state are not failing for lack of funding –but for lack of parenting of the students –fatherless, abusive, neglectful, addicted, religion-free, structure-less, discipline-free home life of the students being raised by TV. Too many kids who attend public school (inner city) now and then, don’t do homework, are disruptive and disrespectful, are vandals and thieves, drug users, sexually active, foul-mouthed, filled with “attitude,” and don’t get to bed at night and fail to get up in the AM because of their games, porn, and television. So when they do come, they already have quarterly F’s for truancy and tardiness –and get suspended more for disruptive behavior. Their disruption is probably to hide the fact that they are behind and ignorant. Better to act like a bored rebel than let peers see how ignorant you are.

People are fleeing such public schools –except for those families who have no choice –which includes those growing numbers of people who are multiplying on the gov’t dime –on SSI, ADC, and foodcards. And many of those needy homes ARE, nevertheless, responsible in their goals and child-rearing, and their kids deserve and would benefit from vouchers.

Of course, I think ALL kids deserve a chance at a better education–but I know some NEED boarding schools as a last resort to save them because their behaviors and attitudes destroy the learning environment for the others. Those kids could be given a chance at private schools, but as soon as they change the studious atmosphere and the moral climate of the school, they should go back to public which would be the bottom tier of options in some districts –as now –where they can’t expel but must try and educate in spite of the obstacles. But the rest of the students should not be held back from success by the miscreants in their midst.

We like the egalitarian ideal and the melding pot function of the public school –but as more and more students embrace television morals and delinquent attitudes and behaviors as the norm, responsible parents want something better for their kids –and we should subsidize the better schools so they can serve more of the poor who need to escape less motivated peers.
In this blog discussion at another blog, I did acknowledge the problem with other schools that could demand vouchers via our Constitution's view of religious neutrality --radical Wahabi Islamic schools, schools for gay youth (as NYC attempted or has,) polygamists, the school for witchcraft and wizardry, and the KuKluxKlan --and any schools existing only for racism. Gov't's nose would rightly be in our academic tents to prevent teaching favoring the violation of our laws, including civil rights law --but Christian schools will then be given trouble for their Biblical views on sexual morals --denying our vouchers if we don't conform to PC thought that Christian view of sexuality is a hate crime.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

Friday, February 4, 2011

Andrew Solomon's Modern Family

An example of extreme moral relativism is written about in Newsweek, Feb.7 –by Andrew Solomon. He says he partied and had adventurous sex (and bisex) for years –and then married a man who had been a sperm donor to two lesbians and thus was a father of 2 –and then he himself fathered a child with a beloved lady friend (he is bisexual) –through IVF –in order to be faithful to his husband I guess–and the lady friend has a male partner. So, he and his partner were the fathers to 3 children being raised by 3 women –and then he decided he and his partner should raise a child –so one of the lesbian moms for his partner’s 2 children was a surrogate mother for him with a donated egg. So now he has 4 children from 4 mothers counting the bio mother who donated the egg –the surrogate is mom to two of the four. See the family tree.
He admits, “I would not obscure the frictions sparked by conflicting priorities and boundaries, disparate resources, myriad parenting styles....”
The Bible tells us not to mess with the family order established by the Creator from the beginning –when God created Eve for Adam in the image of God –and when Jesus tells man to leave parents and cleave to a wife –and to not divorce. This Newsweek family didn’t consider that this TRUTH, an absolute for family life, applied to any of them and they have created a mess. Lovers of self, and pursuers of happiness outside the rules, may all be educated and well-off enough to afford it –as most people are not –and thus most people following their example would have to have Uncle Sam’s subsidies when they violate the absolute standard of one wife for one husband (until death do us part.)
The article makes a case that love is all that matters –and that he loves the children. But these kids are going to see that not all things are equal –with one daddy being close to his 2 kids and the other daddy being comparatively indifferent to the 2 he made with the lesbians. (I read that between the lines.)
I want the people involved in this mess to make the best of it –but it will be interesting to see what stability in home life these 4 children will find when they grow up. They had better be rich enough to afford what most of the world cannot –a choice to live any way the mind can dream up –and to praise their own dysfunction, thus recommending it to their offspring and their friends.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

Moral Absolutism vs. Moral Relativism

C.S. Lewis, atheist-turned-Christian, came to faith pondering what he called “a universal sense of oughtness.” (Mere Christianity) The idea that in every situation, people tended to think, “There oughtta be a law!” They had an idea about “fairness” and appealed to some standard out there somewhere –though they didn’t necessarily agree about that standard. He noted that some cultures allowed more than one wife, but no culture said men could have any women they wanted —e.g. if they belonged to somebody else. He noted that when there is one seat left on a bus, people would disagree as to who should have it of those getting on –the first person on, the one who had been standing, the pregnant lady, the elderly lady, the crippled man –and so on. But they would all appeal to some notion of fairness about it. He came to believe this moral sense of “oughtness” was evidence of a God programming this sense into our minds. (No, programming wasn't a term when he was writing --I'm neither quoting or paraphrasing here--just repeating the gist of his point.)

Moral relativism is the idea that there is no objective standard for our views as to what is right or wrong, fair or unfair. That everything “just depends...” on the situation (situational ethics.)

The absolutist, of course, says SOME things are beyond debate –that it would always be wrong to murder an innocent. He might say it is ALWAYS wrong to hate, to not forgive, to abort, lie, steal, cheat, rape, have any sex outside of marriage, have sex with your own sex, with children, close relatives, animals –and always wrong to be arrogant and selfish at other’s expense.

Christ resolves the sin issue: “All we like sheep have gone astray; there is none righteous, no not one.”

From the beginning, we are all punished by death for our sin tendencies, preferences, and actions. “the wages of sin is death –but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

We have GRACE (unmerited favor and mercy) from God in the sin-atonement by Christ’s death.

We have direction over both our absolutist views and our relativism –in the command to love –which Christ said is the fulfillment of all the Law. But we are also told to “Go and sin no more,” and be filled with acts of charity. We still are to avoid the sins of commission and omission by following King Jesus.

I confess to being both absolutist and relativistic. Meaning? Take abortion. I think it’s ok for a rape victim to go straight to the hospital and flush out the foreign invasion –before conception is known for sure to have occurred –it could have happened –it could happen a few hours or days after the rape or not at all –at that point, we don’t know. But in no way is the rape God’s will. (I’m not a Calvinist and thus less absolutist than they.) ON the other hand, if there is a conception, and the baby is born, it could be a wonderful person and a blessing to its mother. I do believe God operates in concert with our free will –guiding us, helping us to decide rightly, and ready to forgive when we err and are contrite about it. I don’t believe all things in the future are set in stone –there are Old Testament verses which confirm this dynamic relationship between God and man –where man is not a pawn of fate, but in relationship with free will with God.

Other examples of relativism are lies to protect someone from evil –to hide Jews in your attic as Corrie ten Boom did –and lie about it if asked. Not that she lied ( I don't think she was asked); I would have lied in such a circumstance if it would have prevented the death of my attic-dwellers. I think God would have forgiven that lie without me being terribly remorseful.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible