Wednesday, November 20, 2013

If You Want a Conservative Child

In my last column, I proposed some explanations for why many conservative parents have left-wing children.

In a nutshell, American parents who hold traditional American values — such as belief in small government as the basis of liberty, in a God-based moral code, that American military strength is the greatest contributor to world peace and stability, or in American exceptionalism, not to mention in the man-woman definition of marriage or in the worth of a human fetus — are at war with almost every influence on their children’s lives. This includes, most importantly, the media and the schools.

Here, then are some suggestions for raising a child with American, i.e., conservative, values.

First, parents who are not left-wing need to understand that if they do not articulate their values on a regular basis, there is a good chance that after one year, let alone four, at college, their child will adopt left-wing views and values. Do not think for a moment that values are automatically transmitted. One hundred years ago they may have been — because the outside world overwhelmingly reaffirmed parents’ traditional values — but no longer.

You have to explain to your children — repeatedly — what America and you stand for. (That, if I may note, is why I wrote “Still the Best Hope” and why I started

Second, they need to know what they will be taught at college — and now in many high schools — and how to respond. When they are told from day one at college that America and its white citizens are inherently racist, they need to know how to counter this libel with these truths: America is the least racist society in the world; more black Africans have immigrated here of their own volition than were came here forcibly to be slaves; and “racist” is merely one of many epithets — such as sexist, intolerant, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic, and bigoted — that the left uses instead of arguments.

Third, when possible, it is best that your child not go to college immediately after high school. One reason colleges are able to indoctrinate students is that students enter college young and unworldly. It is very rare that adult students are convinced to abandon their values and become left-wing. Why? Because they have lived life and are much less naive.

For example, someone with life experience is far more likely than a kid just out of high school to understand that the best formula for avoiding poverty is to take personal responsibility — get a job, get married and then have children — not government help.

Teenagers who spend a year before going to college working — in a restaurant, for a moving company, at an office — will mature far more than they would after a year at college. And maturity is an inoculation against leftism.

If your home is Jewish, Catholic, Protestant or Mormon, another option for the year after high school is to have your child devote a year to studying religion in some formal setting. The more your child knows, lives and adheres to the principles of any of these religions, the less likely he or she will convert to Leftism, which has been the most dynamic religion of the last hundred years. For example, it is a fundamental belief of each of these Judeo-Christian religions that the root of evil is within the evildoer. But it is a fundamental belief of leftism that people murder, steal and rape overwhelmingly because of outside influences such as poverty and racism. The moment your child understands that people who commit evil are responsible— not poverty or racism — they cannot be a leftist.

Fourth, don’t be preoccupied with instilling high self-esteem in your child. It is the left that believes that self-esteem is a child’s right, something that parents and society owe children. Conservatives believe that everyone, including children, must earn self-esteem. Indeed, the belief in earning — rather than in being given — is conservative.

Fifth, teach character. The left has essentially defined a good person as one who holds progressive social positions — on race, the environment, taxes, health care, etc. That is why the left, including the feminist left, could so adore Bill Clinton who regularly used his positions of power to take advantage of women: He held progressive positions.

If your child recycles or walks five kilometers on behalf of breast cancer, that is lovely. But if your child refuses to cheat on tests or befriends an unpopular kid at school, that is character. And teaching that definition of character is more often done in a conservative (usually a religiously conservative) context.

It is not all that hard to produce a son or daughter able to withstand left-wing indoctrination. You just have to understand that it doesn’t happen automatically.


School Cancels Christmas Toy Drive After Humanists Threaten to Sue

A South Carolina charter school has canceled its annual Christmas toy drive after a group of self-described humanists complained that the project violated the U.S. Constitution and accused them of bribing children to convert to Christianity.

Renee Mathews, the principal of East Point Academy in West Columbia, S.C., said the annual Operation Christmas Child project was halted because the American Humanist Association threatened to sue the school.

“We received a letter saying we had to cease and desist immediately or they would take legal action against us,” Mathews told me.

"This letter serves as notice to policymaking school officials of the East Point Academy’s unconstitutional conduct and as a demand that the school terminate all promotion, sponsorship, endorsement or affiliation with Operation Christmas Child immediately,” read the letter from the American Humanist Association.

Mathews said their small school had no choice.  “We have a very small budget and very small legal budget. We felt that we could not risk using our school funding for classrooms and teachers to fight a court case.”

The small charter school had been participating in Operation Christmas Child for the past two years without any controversy. The program is associated with Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization.

For the past several weeks, students had been working with their parents to decorate shoe boxes and fill them with toys. They were supposed to deliver the boxes to the school Friday morning.

Even though Operation Christmas Child is connected to an evangelical Christian ministry, Mathews said there were no religious materials included in the boxes. She also pointed out the project was voluntary, non-religious, and not tied to any graded assignments.

Nevertheless, the American Humanist Association decided to intervene on behalf of a perturbed parent.

“The boxes of toys are essentially a bribe, expressly used to pressure desperately poor children living in developing countries to convert to Christianity, and are delivered with prayers, sermons, evangelical tracts and pressure to convert,” read a letter the AHA sent to Mathews.

The AHA said a public school cannot affiliate itself with a group like Operation Christmas Child without violating the Establishment Clause.

“Because the purpose and effect of Operation Christmas Child is to induce impoverished children to convert to Christianity, the school’s promotion of this program violates the Constitution,” read a letter the AHA sent to Mathews.

Kelly Wells, a spokesperson for the ministry, said they don’t hide the religious aspect of the project.

“We are a project that aims to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas -- the birth of Jesus,” Wells said in a statement. “Our purpose is to show God’s love in a tangible way to needy children around the world.”

The AHA’s Appginani Humanist Legal Center said that’s why public schools cannot participate in the program.

“It is a clear constitutional violation for administrators of a public school to push students to participate in a proselytizing religious program,” attorney Monica Miller said. “Students at East Point Academy should not be used like this.”

Mathews said the entire school was invited to fill shoe boxes -- from boys and girls in pre-kindergarten through fourth grade. Since many of the boxes had already been completed, she suggested to parents they donate the gifts to charity.

“Parents are understanding,” she said. “There are some parents who are disappointed. They enjoyed doing the project in the past but they understood and they were sympathetic to the school’s position.”

The school also had to inform boys and girls that their good deeds would not be allowed because of a bunch of intolerant non-believers.

“We let them know that because of things beyond our control, we’re not going to be able to do the shoe box collection,” Mathews said.

So, thanks to a bunch of godless, heartless "humanist" bullies, dozens of poor children will wake up on Christmas morning without a single toy.

How inhumane of the humanists.


Britain: Another teacher who hates kids

A headmaster has been branded a Scrooge after calling off a series of Christmas celebrations because school inspectors are visiting.

Steve Rayer, 44, has cancelled a fete, concerts, a disco and a pantomime trip which his primary pupils were looking forward to.

He sent parents a letter saying the events would have to be rearranged, even though the inspectors have since stressed their presence should not interrupt normal school routines.

One mother compared Mr Rayer to the Grinch, the character who ‘stole Christmas’ in the children’s book by Dr Seuss.

She said: ‘It’s something the children look forward to all year.  The children are really disappointed thanks to this Scrooge – there have been lots of tears and lots of upset parents.’

Rogerstone Primary School in Newport, South Wales, sent letters to the parents of its 400 pupils  last week announcing the inspection by officials from Estyn, the Welsh equivalent of Ofsted, starting on December 9.

Mr Rayer wrote: ‘The Christmas panto and concerts will be rearranged in the new year. The Christmas fete and Christmas disco will be rearranged after the inspection is over. More details will be sent out when new arrangements have been made.

‘We are all very much looking forward to the visit by Estyn to show them the wonderful work everyone does here and how well the children progress in their learning.’ The mother, who has an eight-year-old at the school, said the children had been excited about the  trip to see the panto Beauty and the Beast at the Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre in Newport.

She added: ‘It’s difficult to see how they are going to do Christmas stuff in the new year. It’s such a shame.

‘The children are seeing their friends at other schools celebrating but they’ve got to work on as normal. It’s usually the highlight of the year for them. As soon as the panto finishes one year they are looking forward to the next one.

‘And lots of the little girls had bought new dresses for the disco – it just means so much to them at that age.’

Acting head Mr Rayer, who has experience of three inspections at other schools, declined to comment.

He joined the school in October after the previous head took temporary leave pending an investigation into how reading and numeracy tests were carried out. Mr Rayer, a rugby coach and keen angler, was photographed last year with the Olympic torch when its round-Britain tour passed near the school.

Newport Council said it was up to the school to decide on Christmas events.

An Estyn spokesman said: ‘We would never recommend any school should cancel any Christmas activities or day-to-day events because of an inspection.’


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