Friday, June 3, 2011

The Five Thousand Year Leap, Principle 23

(To read previous posts on this book, click here.)

Principle 23: Importance of an Educated Electorate

I guess it goes without saying that this is my favorite chapter.  It is one of the main reasons why I do what I do day in and day out for myself, my husband, my children, my blog, and pretty much anyone within earshot.   I want the truth known.  I want enlightenment of the truth of our nation's history.  I want the true purpose of current events, legislation and agenda known.

Don't you think it so cool that it was America that first took on the noble venture of educating the whole society?  For what purpose?  So, they would vote well and be involved in their own government.  

"Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."
~G. Washington

Now, there surely is a whole lot of emphasis in our current culture on the importance of voting.  Here's the difference between now and then:  the Founders desired for us to be educated voters and to vote well; today much of the push for voting is for the prevailing agenda of immoral culture and government-run schools.  It's a popularity vote for the one who looks best and sounds the best.  We vote for rock stars and not real leaders.  This must change.

"In the American colonies the intention was to have all children taught the fundamentals of reading, writing, and arithmetic so that they could go on to become well informed citizens through their own diligent self-study. (Emphasis mine.)  No doubt this explains why all of the American Founders were so well read, and usually from the same books, even though a number of them had received a very limited formal education.  The fundamentals were sufficient to get them started, and thereafter they became remarkably well informed in a variety of areas through self-learning.  This was the pattern followed by both Franklin and Washington." (p. 179)    
Of course, I LOVE THIS!  We just finished studying Thomas Edison. He had a whopping 3 months of school attendance and then was home schooled by his mother and a self-motivated learner.  (No joke!)  The man patented 1,093 inventions in his lifetime and had practically zero formal schooling (he was in attendance but learned nothing).  Teach our kids the basics: reading, writing, math, true history, Biblical standards of righteousness and morality, current events, and the Constitution.  And the world is their oyster!!  Give them a passion and love for learning by modeling it ourselves!

"Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel."

I just want to throw in a couple of important pieces of advice here regarding what we fill our minds with and the minds of our children:
  • Psalm 1:1 "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord..."   We must not accept the counsel of the ungodly.  Choose wisely what you fill your mind with and if it is not God-honoring, then refuse it.  This includes media.
  • Ecclesiastes 12:12 "And further, my son, be admonished by these.  Of making of books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh."   As my pastor put it so well in his message a few weeks ago...  Books are in abundance.  So much so that you can never read them all in your lifetime.  You only get to read so many books, choose well and don't waste your time.
  • 2 Corinthians 10:5  "...casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."  If it exalts itself above God or compares itself with God, or thinks it is God---get rid of it!  Tear it down!  Throw it out!  Have NOTHING to do with it.  

A book is recommended in this chapter which I will soon purchase as we already own The New England Primer and the Blue Back Speller.  I love old school (no pun intended) school books.  (Don't forget the Bible---it is, after all, the original textbook.)  So, we will be getting the Catechism on the Constitution by Arthur J. Stansbury.   I can't wait to teach my children about the Constitution and to learn more for myself too!

"Sermons and orations by men of limited formal education reflected a flourish and style of expression which few Americans could duplicate today.  Many of these attributed their abilities to extensive reading of the Bible.  Such was the case with Abraham Lincoln.  Certainly the classical beauty of the Gettysburg Address and his many other famous speeches cannot be attributed to college training, for he had none." (p.181-182)   
Not only did Lincoln not have any college education, he had less than 1 year of schooling.  He was entirely self-educated by reading.  And he was a lawyer, politician, and arguably one of the very few best Presidents of the United States.  The boys and I attended a President's Day event at the Nixon Library this year where we heard a man give a speech about the Gettysburg Address and how it was written in the language of the Bible since that is what Lincoln was most familiar with.  Beautiful.

Daniel Webster:
"It is not to be doubted, that to the free and universal reading of the Bible, in that age, men were much indebted for right views of civil liberty.  The Bible is a book of faith, and a book of doctrine, and a book of morals, and a book of religion, of special revelations from God; but it is also a book which teaches man his own individual responsibility, his own dignity, and his equality with his fellow-man."

Click here for the next post in this series.

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