Statists exalt in raw power, and delight in stripping away anything which stands between big government and the naked individual. Thus things like the church, or voluntary societies, or the family – often referred to as mediating structures – are targeted by the statists.
Complete control with no competing authority structures is part of the statist’s vision. Every aspect of life must be controlled by the all-encompassing state, whether it is entertainment, the media, the arts or education. Indeed, we find just this spelled out in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (written back in 1948).
It was a prophetic look at Big Government, and written when godless communism was providing a living example of all-consuming totalitarianism. And Big Brother’s Ministry of Truth was set up to control these very areas. Parental education is replaced by state education.
The state really becomes God: “At the apex of the pyramid comes Big Brother. Big Brother is infallible and all-powerful. Every success, every achievement, every victory, every scientific discovery, all knowledge, all wisdom, all happiness, all virtue, are held to issue directly from his leadership and inspiration.”
Turning parent against child and child against parent is also part of how Big Brother maintains his iron grip on power. And we saw all that perfected under communism last century. Just think of the Stasi in East Germany for example. There can be no loyalties outside of the state.
No independent thinking can be tolerated. So whether in fiction or in real life, all totalitarian states seek total control. And taking over education is a key part of this. When the Marxists came to power they of course clamped down heavily on all education. The state must decide what is correct education, not the parent or the church.
Thus the Nazis banned homeschooling back in the thirties. Indeed, “one of the first acts by Hitler when he moved into power was to create the governmental Ministry of Education and give it control of all schools, and school-related issues.
“In 1937, the dictator said, ‘The Youth of today is ever the people of tomorrow. For this reason we have set before ourselves the task of inoculating our youth with the spirit of this community of the people at a very early age, at an age when human beings are still unperverted and therefore unspoiled. This Reich stands, and it is building itself up for the future, upon its youth. And this new Reich will give its youth to no one, but will itself take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing’.”
Even today all around the West we find an ongoing war on homeschooling. I have documented this on many occasions. And since it is often Christian parents who want to avoid the secular left indoctrination of the state schools who are doing the homeschooling, this is not just a war on freedom of thought, but a war on religion, religious freedom, and freedom of conscience.
Consider some more recent examples of this war. In Texas a Christian couple knows all about how Big Brother operates when it comes to the education of their children: “Four of seven children who were forcibly removed from their home in Texas have now been returned to their parents after the Christian couple spent two months battling the government in court over their right to homeschool.
“Trevor and Christina Tutt of Dallas have several years of experience helping at-risk children through both CPS foster care and the ministry Safe Families. In addition to five biological children (three of whom are now grown and living outside their home), the Tutts have three adopted children and are in the process of adopting another child.
“’We very much want God to bring our new children, the children that He wants to be in our family, so we are open to whatever children He sends,’ Mrs. Tutt told Examiner.com in late 2011. ‘Because of our experience with our children, we are specially equipped to handle children with special needs. In fact, we look for children with those special needs because there are so many children out there languishing in foster care because people don’t want to adopt a child who has extra challenges. It isn’t for everyone, but it is definitely for us!’
“Mr. and Mrs. Tutts’ commitment to their children—both educationally, with their homeschooling, and spiritually, with their Christian faith—is known throughout their community. . . . Despite the fact that Mrs. Tutt showed CPS workers numerous parenting class certificates and paperwork certifying her mental health, a local judge ordered the Tutts’ seven children to be removed from the home. In November, armed constables seized the children and kept them under government custody for nearly two months.”
You can read about this entire gruesome episode in the link below. And this is not a one-off incident. It is happening throughout the West. Since I mentioned Germany, let me give you another example from there: “A judge has issued a stunning verdict in a homeschooling case in Germany, ordering that the parents cannot have custody of their children because the family might move to another country and homeschool, posing a ‘concrete endangerment’ to the children.
“Dirk and Petra Wunderlich’s case made international headlines in August when 20 armed police arrived with a battering ram and forcibly took their four children from their home in Darmstadt, Germany, and enrolled them in public school.
“As WND reported at the time, the children, ages 7 to 14, were taken into police custody. They were allowed to return home three weeks later when their father and mother, given no choice by the federal bureaucracy in Germany, agreed to allow their kids to attend public schools despite their objection to the social and religious instruction there.”
Did you get that? Homeschooling poses “concrete endangerment” to the children! Welcome back Hitler. Welcome Big Brother. Welcome Ministry of Truth. Welcome Brave New World. This is ugly statism at its best – or worst: ripping children out of the arms of their loving parents and rearing them to become compliant wards and zombies of the state.
Homeschooling is becoming one of the big issues of our time. It is in effect a movement raising the flag of freedom, conscience and independence. It is about independence from an ever-expanding state which feeds itself by stripping away our rights and freedoms.
Mark Steyn got it right when he spoke of the menace of Leviathan: “Freedom is messy. In free societies, people fall through the cracks – drink too much, eat too much, buy unaffordable homes, fail to make prudent provision for health care, and much else. But the price of being relieved of all these tiresome choices by a benign paternal government is far too high. Big Government is the small option: it’s the guarantee of smaller freedom, smaller homes, smaller cars, smaller opportunities, smaller lives.”
We are seeing the shrinking of freedom everywhere as government grows. And this is just as true of educational freedom as anything else.