WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND
July 17, 2013
Recent reports of a speech President Obama delivered during the recent visit to Ireland revealed either 1) a profound lack of knowledge of American History, or 2) an on-going agenda spanning nearly a century to “kill” private religious schools. Probably both.
During the President’s visit to Ireland (June 2013) he lectured 2000 young people at a G-8 Summit, telling them: “Because issues like segregation schools and housing, lack of jobs and opportunity – symbols of history that are a source of pride for some and pain for others- they are not tangential to peace; they’re essential to it. If towns remain divided –if Catholics have their schools and buildings, and Protestants have theirs – if we can’t see ourselves in one another, if fear or resentment are allowed to harden, that encourages division. It discourages cooperation.” The statements were largely ignored or suppressed by mainline media, picked up with commentary by only a few alternative venues.
It is not uncommon for leaders to telegraph agendas for their own countries in public statement abroad.
Look at the history trail of efforts to rid the United States of religious private schools, and agenda which waxed and waned for the past century, but never died.
“Forgotten” history exists of organized efforts in more than one state to require ALL children to attend public schools. One such effort spanned some years when an organization was formed in Michigan with headquarters in Detroit about 1916. The Wayne County Civic Association’s purpose was to advocate for all children between ages of 5 – 16 to attend public school. It failed to gather enough signatures for submission of an amendment to the voters of Michigan, but kept up its efforts afterward. It was primarily aimed at Catholic Parochial Schools, but Lutherans also had many parochial schools. This writer possesses a copyofan original document of the Michigan District of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio andother states going on record July 1919 as “unalterably opposed to the aims of this association without a dissenting vote”. The resolution urgedto ”keep in mind that the enemies of our parochial schools are also enemies of our country”.
The Ku Klux Klan had been gaining attention during the early 20th Century, and the Civic Association’s Amendment‘s funding became so troubling….that in 1924 the Michigan legislature passed a law requiring financial disclosure by any group that initiated a petition. [For Faith and Fortune: the Education of Catholic Immigrants in Detroit, 1805…, JoEllenMcNerg, Vineyard Press, 1998, page 223]
Perhaps the most famous efforts occurred in Oregon with the Oregon Compulsory Public Education Act of 1922. Signatures were gathered to place the measure on the ballot in Oregon in 1922. All individual sponsors of the initiative were Mason, plus two Ku Kluz Klan officials. There appeared to be agreement among historians that the initiative had its roots in a Masonic resolution passed in Colorado Spring, in 1920 representing Masons in thirty three states. “Resolved, that we recognize and proclaim our belief in the free and compulsory education of children of our nation in public primary schools upon which all children shall attend and be instructed in English language only without regard to race or creed as the only sure foundation for the perpetuation and preservation of our free institutions”.
The KKK arrived in Oregon in 1920 with a “One flag, One School” campaign. [The quiet Bigotry of Oregon’s Compulsory Public Education Act- byNicole L.Mandel –Dr. KarenHoppes, Hst202, PSU March 12, 2012]
The effort was seen as an anti-Catholic maneuver since there were many Catholic Parochial Schools established in the state but the measure was promoted as a patriotic American interest. The measure passed with 52.7% of the vote November 7, 1922. It was the first time a state approved requiring attendance at public schools to take effect in 1926. Two years later the state of Washington defeated a similar measure.
What most commentary history doesn’t report is that Lutherans as well as Catholics had parochial schools around the nation. Lutherans were watching the turn of events and recognizing it as essentially outlawing their schools as well.
This writer recalls early memories of grandparents and others discussing how their Lutheran leaders boarded a train along with Catholic leaders to go to testify against that the measure. It was a rare, unprecedented joining forces politically between Lutheran and Catholics to protect the right of their respective schools to exist.
Ultimately, the Supreme Court ruling, Pierce v. Society of Sisters, overturned the measure as unconstitutional and declared parents have primary right over their children’s education rejecting the idea that public schooling could be mandated for all.
This writer has is in possession of an original document found in a family Bible. The document was published by “The School Board of the Michigan District of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio and other states” . It has some information about parochial schools and it explains the purpose of the Lutheran School concluding with a paragraph declaring: “Any attempt to curtail the right of these schools is entirely unjustified and unwarranted, and is sure to meet the resentment of all loyal and patriotic Lutherans. If we would win the War against Germany, we must be careful not to sow the seed of discord among the citizens ofour own country (America). Is there nothingmoreimportant todothan tomakethe cherished institution of a large and patriotic classofcitizens theobject ofa hateful attack? Isthis the reward of their loyalty and patriotism?” Obviously the remarks are a response against efforts to charge schools of the Lutherans who were primarily of German descent as disloyal during WWI.
In another” court decision , Meyer v.Nebraska in 1922, the anti-private school forces retreated in all states”. [The Lutherans in North America by E. Clifford Nelson , Fortress Press 1975]. But it only appeared that anti ChristianSchool advocates retreated. Lutherans opposed the efforts to establish a national department of educationThe Towner-Sterling Bill of 1923) for “all privateschools wouldbe damaged by the inevitable centralization, paternalism and political controlof schools. Other bills in Congress (Sterling-Reed of 1924, Curtis-Reed of 1926 were opposed on identical grounds. Lutherans as a whole feared every aspect of federal control of education”. [The Lutherans in North America by E. Clifford nelson, Fortress Press 1975]
The frontal attacks obviously did not accomplish the objective of eliminating private religious schools, but never underestimate the antireligious (especially anti-Christian) forces at work! A rear guard maneuver was necessary to accomplish the nationalization/internationalization of education. First destroy what was good about the local public schools themselves, while simultaneously concentrating on private religious schools to influence the deliberate dumbing down of them through enticements of innovative methodology, and carrots such as government funded school bussing , school lunches and milk money, occasional government grants for ostensibly nonreligious curriculum. Then turn up the temptations with bigger carrots, vouchers followed by charter school status with religion optional provisions.
As the dependence on government goodies increases, voluntary compliance with government edicts and centralization grows, i.e. voluntary compliance with Common Core Standard. The noose tightens on anything private about private schools.
God warns Christians to be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves” [Matthew 10:16-22] Would that the custodians of private Christian Schools had heeded that admonition as well as homeschoolers but have not done so. It is very late for most have compromised their fiscal autonomy from government.
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Now President Obama is telegraphing the old KKK-Masonic agenda still alive and well to eliminate private religious schools. Ireland may have been the location of the stage, but the idea was declared by the President of the United States. Wake up Christians in America. What is left of church related schools has already been compromised…if not re: didactic information, almost certainly by methodology. What the KKK couldn’t accomplish since the 1920’s the targeted religious schools are accomplishing themselves through internal change agents, outside influence, falling for government financial enticements, and lack of informed discernment of people in the pews. But then pews themselves are becoming artifacts of times past.