Month: October 2009

Education's Historic Shift (Part IV)

The somewhat strange-looking man on the left is Robert Owen. He’s the next major figure in my retrospective on how education changed in America. I’ve already noted that Unitarians sought to wrest control of education from orthodox Trinitarian Christians, but although they had some success in Massachusetts, they had little support in the rest of the nation. Owen arrived in America from Britain as a believer in utopian communism. He was also a bitter foe of Christianity. Once here, he… Read more »

Education's Historic Shift (Part III)

Unitarians wanted to remove education from the hands of the orthodox Christian churches. They sought to make all education the responsibility of the state; they were able to impose their will on Massachusetts by the 1830s. The first secretary of the state board of education was a man by the name of Mann. Horace Mann was a Unitarian who was placed in control of Massachusetts state education in 1837. He exhibited all the beliefs of the Unitarians with respect to… Read more »

Education's Historic Shift (Part II)

In a previous post, I noted that Unitarians in early America wanted to take education away from the orthodox churches and place it in the hands of the government. Unitarianism was hardly the dominant theology of early America; the primary place where this view prevailed was in the Boston area and Harvard, so that’s where they tried to make the change first. They decided to push for “common” schools in Boston for all elementary-age chidren. Convinced that many children were… Read more »

Principles & Character

Last night, I spoke at the Polk County (FL) Republican Executive Committee meeting. The focus of the talk was the importance of being principled and having the character necessary to carry out those principles. My approach was basically an overview of how Republicans have fared in those two areas over the past century. There were highs and lows in that historical survey. The conclusion was that three things are needed right now if the Republicans ever hope to direct the… Read more »

Education's Historic Shift (Part I)

Almost all early American education was private. That which was paid for by taxes, particularly in New England, was still local and controlled by a committee that reflected the beliefs of the towns. Early Americans weren’t attracted to the idea of government-sponsored and/or -controlled education. Why were they resistant to this idea? Three reasons come to the forefront: They feared that a government-controlled education system would impose a uniformity of thoughts that would endanger liberty; They believed that education was… Read more »

A Nation's Grieved Soul

I’ve been reading through the Old Testament book of Judges lately. I’ve always been fascinated—perhaps astounded is the better word—by ancient Israel’s capacity to forget God, no matter how miraculously He worked to deliver them from all manner of evil [mostly of their own making]. One particular passage stood out to me in my reading yesterday in Judges 10:13-16. It begins this way: But you have forsaken Me and served other gods, so I will no longer save you. Go… Read more »

A Post-Columbus Day Post

Monday was Columbus Day. Did you notice? It seems to be another one of those traditional holidays that has sunk into oblivion. Now, let me be clear on one point: I don’t view Columbus as a role model. Yes, he did believe God was leading him to sail west. And, in some fashion, he believed the Christian faith was to be spread through him. That’s balanced out, however, by his ego—desiring and winning the title Admiral of the Ocean Seas—and… Read more »