Crackpots Against Public Education
Did you know that public school teachers are all part of a conspiracy to turn the United States into a communist nation? Did you know that public education is actually at war with Christianity? So says Dr. Bruce Shortt, a Baptist minister, in his article, "Public Education Against America." Shortt’s solution is to have "Christians" develop an exit strategy to remove all their children out of public schools and into "Christian" and home schools.
Shortt lays out a conspiracy theory that is so complicated that it would put Dan Brown (THE DA VINCI CODE) to shame. John Dewey, the Italian Communist party, the Frankfurt School, and American colleges and universities are all part of the plot. Schools of education are actually "political re-education camps," and concepts such as "respecting differences" and "diversity" are actually part of cultural Marxism. Your everyday, run-of-the-mill public school teachers and administrators are also part of this sinister plot, but we’re just too dumb to know it. I guess I owe Dr. Shortt a real debt of gratitude. I’ve been trying to figure out whether I’m a Democrat or a Republican, and here all the time, I’ve just been a Communist dupe. Silly me!
I always get angry when someone makes what I believe is an unfair criticism of public education, but Shortt’s article takes the cake. The scary thing is that there are a lot of people who listen to crackpots like Shortt. I have never been a fan of homeschooling, and I have to wonder how much of that movement is fueled by crap like this.
Obviously, I’m offended by Shortt because I’m a teacher, but I’m also offended because of my religious faith. I grew up in a lower-middle class Catholic family. My parents wanted me to go to college, but they didn’t want me to pursue a career based on how much money I could make. That’s one of the reasons I ended up becoming a teacher. I’ve never been one to wear my religion on my sleeve, but I’ve always felt like I’m practicing my faith when I do my job well. When someone devises a hair-brained theory in an effort to convince people that I’m actually involved in some sort of anti-American anti-Christian conspiracy, I get a little annoyed.
I am also annoyed because I honestly believe that people like Shortt give a bad name to Christianity. I am no theologian, but I do have at least a rudimentary understanding of the teachings of Jesus—things like love of neighbor and forgiveness. I see those qualities frequently in the teachers and students that I work with, but I have trouble finding them in people like Shortt. It also seems to me that Jesus reserved his harshest criticism for those who viewed themselves as religious, but showed no tolerance for people who they viewed as less religious than themselves. Gee, who does that sound like?