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Teaching Christopher Columbus

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Sebastiano del Piombo, Posthumous Portrait of Columbus, 1519


This Monday celebrates Columbus Day, the anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the New World on October 12, 1492. Although many today ignore the providential aspects of this momentous event, American Christians can celebrate and remember the heroic actions of Christopher Columbus and his crew.

Columbus is often portrayed as an opportunist and a villain in today's secular culture, but the "Christ-bearer" (as the explorer's name, Christopher, means) saw his primary mission to be the spreading of the Gospel. He believed his name was given him, not by accident, but by the will of God. As he wrote in his journal, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, “determined to send me, Christopher Columbus, to...India, to see the...people, and territories, and to learn their disposition and the proper method of converting them to our holy faith....”

Columbus’ journey changed forever the concept which people had of the Earth and opened a new stage of God’s plan for the redemption of the world. Columbus's zeal planted the Gospel on the shores of the Americas and along with it, the seeds of liberty.

Columbus said of his venture, “No one should be afraid to take on any enterprise in the name of our Savior, if it is right and if the purpose is purely for this holy service…”

This year, as we commemorate Columbus’s voyage to the New World, let us remember that God sees history not as a haphazard series of accidental and unrelated events, but rather as the working out of His plan for His creation.

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What Keeps Us Free

Posted By Carole Adams, Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Updated: Thursday, September 24, 2015


Most Americans have never been taught the real truth and genius of our U.S. Constitution—an extraordinary document rooted in the Christian idea of man and government, and that the fundamental principles of sacredness of life, liberty and property are at the very heart of self and civil government.

Some have said, next to the Holy Bible, it is the most important document that has ever been written for the benefit of mankind. This is the document that guarantees each American the protection of cherished, God-given life, and to the extent that the internal and external principles of the Constitution are applied, we experience liberty, justice and prosperity.

Today, American citizens are increasingly fed up with their government. We observe shocking waste of taxpayer money, and bureaucrats regulating and limiting freedoms. Debate rages over what the Constitution allows the government to do.

How did we reach this point? The answer is “ignorance of the very clear limits that the U.S. Constitution places on government.” We have forgotten what we were taught in school, or worse, we never learned the basics of that document. 

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said, “What has made us free is our Constitution. Think of the word ‘constitution.’ It means structure.” He went on to say that the Framers of our Constitution did not debate the Bill of Rights in 1787. Those do not keep us free. It is the structure of the federal government, the balance of power, that places limits on each branch that keeps us free. The true genius of our Constitution is that dispersal of power, not centralized power, is at the heart of that structure.

Sadly, we see that the structure of our government that Justice Scalia discussed is being hijacked. Instead of observance of our written Constitution, the law of the land, we are startled that the power structure in our nation has become more centralized in the Oval Office and confirmed by an activist Supreme Court. The result has been truly alarming:

  • An out of control federal budget plunging our country into debt, even though the Constitutional idea was to discharge debt as quickly as possible in times of peace and prosperity

  • An unprotected border allowing illegal immigration through presidential fiat, resulting in increased public assistance spending, lawlessness and violence

  • The sacredness of marriage as defined Biblically and historically between a man and woman has been destroyed in the name of the Constitution

  • Innocent lives have been sacrificed through abortion and their body parts trafficked in the name of healthcare rights purportedly guaranteed by the Constitution

  • Lawless contracts are signed with foreign entities who export terror and threaten nuclear proliferation endangering our nation and closest allies, skirting the demand of the Constitution that these be called treaties that must be confirmed by Congress

What does the Constitution really say, and how do we return to a Biblical, self-governing republic as documented in the original draft? It is essential that the original ideals of our governing document be preserved and sustained, and every generation of Americans educated in these ideals.

One important aspect of our work at FACE is The Hall-Slater Library and Teaching Center—over 12,000 primary sources relating to the founding and establishment of our nation during the colonial era. This extensive collection was developed over many years of research, each volume being hand picked to document America’s Christian history, the Christian idea of man that values life at every stage, and the history of the ideas that formed the design of the U.S. Constitution. It has become a primary resource for thousands of students, educators, authors, statesmen, ministers, and others documenting and teaching the role of Biblical principles in the founding of our nation.

The Hall-Slater Library and Teaching Center is a vibrant beacon of light and hope against the darkness that threatens to envelope our nation. I need your help in preserving these archives that teach today’s Christian Patriots, and our children, the truth about America’s founding era.

For example, we have an original translation of the Wycliffe Bible, Blackstone’s treatise on Common Law, Montesquieu’s brilliant understanding of “separation of power and balance of power,” and John Locke’s writings on self-government. These ideas, embodied in our U.S. Constitution, were hard won by our Founders and colonial forebears and are held dearly by Patriots today.

Your gift today will help preserve this valuable resource and continue the mission of FACE to teach, publish and prepare the next generation of Americans for self and civil government. Your generosity will ensure that this priceless collection will support many more generations of research—and the fulfillment of the mission of FACE.

As we stand against the erosion of the principles of our Constitution, the written law of the land, your continued support is vital. We must act now before it is too late!

  • While the Washington elite work to centralize power, let us teach the balance of power as laid out in the Constitution.

  • As political parties jockey to tout the latest ideas to take over healthcare or the educational goals of our children, let us retain the idea of local government as the source of public policy.

  • When media pundits tout immoral and disgusting laws that allow for marriage of same-sex partners, or the killing and trafficking of unborn children and their body parts, let us hold fast to the ideas of Biblical morality and character, because only that will allow us to maintain our Christian self-government with liberty.

Will you join with me today? Your gift will further the work of FACE and The Hall-Slater Library and Teaching Center. When you enclose a gift of $100 or more, I will send you We the People: Keepers of Liberty—Biblical Law and the United States Constitution. This 175-page book contains reproductions of original essays and articles by noted authors, including Verna Hall, Gary Amos, Stephen McDowell and others, reprinted from the archives of The Hall-Slater Library and Teaching Center. 

Articles, such as “The Christian Roots of Our Constitution,” “Montesquieu and the Spirit of Laws,” and “Warren Burger and the Christian History of the U.S. Constitution,” will enlighten and renew your understanding of our founding document. You will be equipped and emboldened to give a defense to the many onslaughts to the law of our land.

We have no time to lose to protect our free, constitutional Republic and our children.

Please respond today with your most generous gift of any amount. It is deeply appreciated and will be gratefully acknowledged. Thank you for standing with us as we teach, publish, and preserve the principles that will keep us free.

With your immediate gift of $100 or more you will receive We the People: Keepers of Liberty and will help preserve dozens of irreplaceable historic documents in The Hall-Slater Library. We must educate today’s Christian Patriots, but most of all our children, America’s hope and future.

The Library's irreplaceable collection must be protected to ensure that the ideas and principles that flourished during our nation’s founding, and resulted in the U.S. Constitution, will always be accessible for today’s and future generations. It is our responsibility as Americans to preserve it! May God bless you!

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The Value of the Constitution

Posted By Gary Porter, Tuesday, September 22, 2015


The Reverend Jacob Duché, Rector of Christ Church in Philadelphia, leads the delegates in prayer at the first Continental Congress in 1774


At the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, John Dickinson, one of our greatest Founding Fathers, and one of the least known, was troubled by the bickering and lack of progress by his fellow delegates on so propitious an occasion, that of crafting a new and unique form of government. Back in his boarding room that night, Dickinson drafted a speech he intended to give the following day. For reasons that remain unexplained to this day, Dickinson never delivered the speech, but he saved his notes and several months later, while the ratification battles over the proposed new constitution were in full swing, he published this admonition in one of a series of newspaper letters penned by “Fabius.” In this letter, Dickinson admonished his fellow delegates that they are not forming plans “for a day, month, year or age, but for an eternity.”

Had the Convention delegates received Dickinson’s speech that day in Philadelphia, they would have fully understood his charge. They had studied the republics of old, all of them; and they knew that none had survived long. Alexander Hamilton said it succinctly:

It is impossible to read the history of the petty republics of Greece and Italy without feeling sensations of horror and disgust at the distractions with which they were continually agitated, and at the rapid succession of revolution by which they were kept in a state of perpetual vibration between the extremes of tyranny and anarchy.

Would the American experiment succeed and endure? No one at the time could know for sure. Franklin summed the situation: “I consent, sir, to this Constitution, because I expect no better, and because I am not sure that it is not the best.”

But the American Republic survives still, 228 years later, due in no small part to the foresight of the fifty-five men that met at Philadelphia. To what do we owe this permanency? As Thomas Jefferson put it,

Though written constitutions may be violated in moments of passion or delusion, yet they furnish a text to which those who are watchful may again rally and recall the people; they fix too for the people the principles of their political creed. [emphasis added]

Similarly, in the Virginia Declaration of Rights, penned in May 1776, George Mason wrote:

That no free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles. [emphasis added]

The longevity of the U.S. Constitution is owing to the principles on which it was established. But which fundamental or fixed principles, exactly, do we find embedded there that can account for its distinction as “the longest operating written Constitution in the history of the world?”

Federalist Writer, first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and President of the American Bible Society John Jay, proposed this connection:

that Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people--a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government....

Rosalie J. Slater, in her groundbreaking work: Teaching and Learning America’s Christian History identifies seven principles of America’s Christian History. They include the principles of Individuality, Self-Government, Christian Character, Conscience, Christian Form of Government, Local Self-Government and Political Union. Ms. Slater writes:

Our Founding Father generation was alert to detect the slightest infraction of their liberties, freedoms, rights. This was because they were knowledgeable on principles. This enabled them to stand fast despite every effort to insinuate legislation which would threaten their right of Christian self-government, their property of conscience, their initiative and enterprise. We, too, need to become so knowledgeable about the principles of our American Christian Constitution that we can once again restore its spirit and purpose in the preservation of our “Lives, Liberties and Estates.”

(1) The Principle of Individuality is found clearly in terms of the value of each citizen. Individual votes determine the passage of laws, overriding of vetos, confirmation of appointments and ratification of treaties. The creativity of individuals is to be protected by patents and copyrights, as is individual property from search and seizure. The testimony of two or more individuals is required for conviction of treason.

(2) The Principle of Self-Government is found in the very fabric of the document, as recognized by its chief architect:

It is evident that no other form would be reconcilable with the genious (sic) of the people of America; with the fundamental principles of the Revolution; or with that honorable determination which animates every votary of freedom: to rest all our political experiments on the capacity of mankind for self-government."

(3) The Principle of Local Self-Government is recognized in the Tenth Amendment through its reservation of all powers not delegated to the federal or state governments; they are to remain with the people for their use in local and self-government.

(4) The Principle of Christian Character is not to be found in the Constitution itself, but rather in the lives and decorum of the fifty-five men who drafted the document. A particularly poignant example of which is to be found in Dr. Franklin’s impassioned plea for prayer on 28 June in the midst of contentious proceedings.

In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection. ”Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that "except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments be Human Wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.
I therefore beg leave to move, that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of the City be requested to officiate in that service.
It is no coincidence that the Constitution is subscribed on the “Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord (Jesus Christ) one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven,” and that each President is given Sundays off when counting the ten days he has to take action on a presented bill.

(5) The Principle of Conscience can be found in the protections of conscience afforded by the First Amendment, as well as allowing for affirmation in place of solemn oath when taking office at the state or federal level. Although Article 6’s prohibition of a religious test for taking office would seem to run counter to the preceding principle (Christian Character), it actually protects the conscience of believers and unbelievers alike.

(6) The Principle of Christian Form of Government, according to Ms. Slater, includes the concept of representation and separation of powers, both of which are self-evident in the structure of the government the Constitution created.

(7) The Principle of Political Union is of course also inherent in the structure of the Constitution, beginning with the familiar declaration: “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union…” and also reinforced by Article 1’s and the Tenth Amendment’s acknowledgement of the concept of Federalism, or shared political power, a decidedly Biblical concept. Federalism comes from foedus, Latin for covenant:

The tribes of Israel shared a covenant that made them a nation. American federalism originated at least in part in the dissenting Protestants' familiarity with the Bible.

Beyond the seven Principles as described by Ms. Slater, there are a few more Biblical principles upon which the Constitution is based, and which therefore can account for its stability. These include, first and foremost, an acknowledgement of the fallen nature of man, which is accommodated by the Constitution’s system of checks and balances.

Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?

The true value of the Constitution is to be found in these Biblical and Christian principles. Despite the onslaught by forces intent on tearing down the structure the Founders gave us so long ago, if we are to survive as an independent republic, a “frequent recurrence to fundamental principles” should be our common goal.

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Reflections for Constitution Day

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Junius Brutus Stearns, Washington at Constitutional Convention of 1787,Signing of U.S. Constitution


On September 17, 1787, 40 bold men from 12 states signed the document that would guarantee in writing the rights and liberties of citizens of the newly formed United States of America. The signers knew, however, that the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution were only secure if the Christian character of the people remained strong.

Two hundred and twenty-eight years later, we commemorate this world-shaking event with these reflections:

The Tree of Liberty must be nourished with our attention to what constitutes the Constitution. This has to do with Conscience and Character, and must—in the home, church, and school—restore Christian conscience and Christian character as the keystone to the foundation of liberty and freedom.
Rosalie J. Slater, Co-Founder of The Foundation for American Christian Education

The record of America as a Christian nation resides in the documented history of her founding. This record has been deliberately obscured in order to deprive the American of his Christian heritage of individual liberty. The rediscovery of the Christian foundation of our country and its form of government can restore Christian Leadership to America. But in order to return America to Christianity, this knowledge must be the background of every individual engaged in the education of American youth—parents, clergymen, and educators.
From “The Christian Roots of Our Constitution” by Verna M. Hall, Co-Founder, The Foundation for American Christian Education

American constitutionalism was rooted in the absolutes of God’s law. True law is in accord with God’s law. William Blackstone, whose Commentaries of the Laws of England (1765) was a primary resource for those studying law in America until the twentieth century, said that “no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to the law of nature [which is] dictated by God himself…[or to] the law of revelation [which is] to be found only in the holy Scriptures.”
From “Noah Webster, God’s Law, and the U.S. Constitution” by Stephen McDowell

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A Republic... If You Can Keep It

Posted By The Foundation for American Christian Education, Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, September 9, 2015


Howard Chandler Christy, Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, 1940


“A lady asked Dr. Franklin, ‘Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?’ –‘A Republic,’ replied the Doctor, ‘if you can keep it.’
Quoted in Dr. Gai Ferdon, A Republic If You Can Keep It, frontispiece


September 17, 2015 marks the 228th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution of the United States of America. On this day in 1787, 40 bold men from 12 states signed the document that would guarantee in writing the rights and liberties of citizens of the newly formed United States of America. They would no longer be subject to the arbitrary whims of lawmakers or monarchs, but be governed by a written document guaranteeing their rights and liberties. Several months later on June 21, 1788 the remaining nine states ratified the document, and a Bill of Rights was added to further insure protection for individuals and states from a central federal government.

We Americans hold a document so unique and remarkable it has only been amended 16 times in over 200 years. British Prime Minister William Gladstone once said of our Constitution, “…the most remarkable work known…in modern times to have been produced by the human intellect, at a single stroke.”

But, more importantly, our Constitution was not only the work of men who applied their education and knowledge to the task of crafting new governing ideas in writing, but it was also their understanding of the Bible, and the principles therein, applied to the subject of civil government. It was a governing document created for individuals who were already governed by the Word of God and had formed internally the character to be “self-governing.”

John Adams said, “ Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

And Noah Webster declared, “The religion which has introduced civil liberty, is the religion of Christ and his apostles…to this we owe our free constitutions of government.”

With grateful hearts and thanksgiving to God, let us acknowledge that our Constitution is unequaled in the world and continue to allow Him to refine our “character as gold,” the currency that builds our Republic.

Preamble to the Constitution

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Tags:  Constitution  Founding Fathers  republic 

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The Common Core or a Renewed Mind: Horace Mann vs. Noah Webster

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, March 4, 2015

 

The recent media coverage of the Common Core curriculum has caused debate among educators, politicians and parents. The stated goal of the Common Core is to have every school district in the nation follow the same national standards, the idea being that a standardized curriculum will raise students’ scores and performance across the board and make them more competitive in an international field. Proponents believe that a centralized approach to education in the U.S., with little parental control, no occasion for teacher innovation and a hefty taxpayer bill will be the solution to our failing schools, demoralized teachers and despondent students.

We must consider, is the Common Core really the answer to our educational woes or is there an alternative?

While the Common Core is based on social “science” and a one-size-fits-all approach, the Principle Approach® is based on a time-tested, age-old method of education that places Biblical reasoning and individual learning at its core. It is a method of teaching and learning that is reflective, inspiring and satisfying for students and teachers alike. It produced the quality of thought and character that enabled our Founding Fathers to design a system of government that would assure personal and civil liberty for the first time in the history of mankind.

The foundational principles and values of the Principle Approach have been progressively abandoned by modern education, beginning with Horace Mann in the early 19th century. The retreat from a truly Biblical way of thinking is the reason we are faced today with the encroachment of the federal government into our homes and schools that the Common Core represents, an encroachment on the sacred duty of parents to educate their children, while ignoring their God-given individuality and purpose.

We are the guardians of the next generation, and we must seek to restore the spirit of godliness in our nation. That restoration will begin with our children and their education. Rather than the legacy of Horace Mann, we need to look to the example of Noah Webster, who left a legacy of Biblical scholarship and individual learning in his 1828 Dictionary and Blue-Backed Speller, who more than any other American taught his fellow countrymen to read. Like Webster, let us begin by renewing our minds in a way that causes us to view all of life and learning through a Biblical lens. A mind that is intent upon developing a thorough and inclusive Biblical worldview, having a learner’s heart will be one that is full of grace and truth, and for the restoration of the individual and the nation.

Now the Lord is that Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. (II Corinthians 3:17)

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The Cure for the Common Core, Part II: Remedy

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Common Core—a standardized national education mandate for American schools—is being rejected by state and local school districts across the nation. The centralized, bureaucratic and test-driven curriculum has been touted as the answer to failing public schools, but parents, teachers and school administrators question if it will really solve the myriad of problems found in America’s public schools.

Part I (which you can read here), examined the destructive consequences of adopting Common Core. Part II provides the answer to these questions and contrasts this secular education model with a Biblical pedagogy, the Principle Approach.

Noah Webster, in his 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language, explains the purpose of education as “the bringing up of a child; instruction; formation of manners.” He goes on to say that the goal of an education should be “to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper and form the manners and habits of youth and fit them for usefulness in their future stations.” He reminds Christian parents and teachers of the immense responsibility to not neglect these duties.

Webster shows us that true goal of education is to shape the whole person, to inform the spiritual and moral being of the child as well as the intellect.

The Common Core on the other hand treats the minds of our children as empty vessels to be filled up with an assortment of facts and figures, but does not teach them to evaluate, judge and interpret these facts. The antidote to the Common Core is a method of education that will impart to them what they most need: wisdom.

When Webster wrote his Dictionary, the kind of education he describes was common in the United States. It abounded in Colonial America and formed our nation’s Founding Fathers. Today this form of education is still available to Christian parents, homeschoolers, and teachers today in the Principle Approach. Students using a Principle Approach curriculum such as The Noah Plan receive an education that trains them in the principles of Christian self-government, Constitutional liberty and American political union, which form the bedrock of our Republic as it was envisioned by the Founders. The Principle Approach produces the highest level of literacy and, as measured by The Nehemiah Institute’s PEERS test, shapes students in a Biblical worldview more effectively than any other form of education.

The Principle Approach is a method of education that recognizes the value of the individual, the importance of Christian character and respects that “conscience is the most scared property.” The Principle Approach inspires and elevates the individual learner not only to love God’s Word and obedience, but also to aspire to their highest calling.

We understand, today, that we must strive to give our children, tomorrow’s American leaders, a Biblical education, founded in a method that produced the highest level of literacy our nation has ever known, the fruit of which will be self-governing citizens that can protect our Biblical Constitutional Republic.

How does a Biblical, Principle Approach education differ from the secular precepts of Common Core? Let’s compare:

Common Core Principle Approach
Centralized: Bureaucratic, socialistic, standardized curriculum Local: Hebrew model, family-centered with individuality of each student foremost
Secular: Test-driven curriculum, job skills and technical competence emphasized Biblical: Traditional subjects taught, including the Bible, mathematics, literature, Christian history, mastery of subject matter emphasized, with knowledge of Christ as the goal
Method: Students taught rote memorization of facts without reasoning from cause to effect Method: Students taught to analyze and reason from cause to effect
External: No moral absolutes, does not shape character Internal: Touches the conscience, shapes character
Divides: Fragmented worldview Unifies: Teaches holistic, relational thinking between subjects
Results: Dependency Results: Independence and self-government
Purpose of man: Lifelong obedient service to the State Purpose of man: Lifelong obedient service to God and to fulfill God’s calling on the individual’s life

Dan Smithwick, founder of the Nehemiah Institute, diagnoses the problems with today's government education. Receive this audio CD and booklet with your gift today. Click here to learn more about how FACE is working for a cure for the Common Core.

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The Cure for the Common Core, Part I: Diagnosis

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The media is filled with news about Common Core, both positive and negative, but many don’t know much about this federal initiative or what the outcome of mandated Common Core derived education could mean for the future of our nation. This two part series addresses the history, dangers and the Cure for the Common Core.

The Common Core Standards State Standards Initiative, more simply known as Common Core, is a national education program developed in 2009 by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. In principle, Common Core has the laudable goal of ensuring that all high school graduates are either “college-ready” or prepared to enter the “working world.” In reality, though, it is an effort by state governors and education chiefs to prop up failing public schools and correct poor student performance by using standardized measures as proof of achievement. Under Common Core, traditional mathematics, English, classic literature and history are escorted out and a centralized, test-driven curriculum is ushered in. To boost test scores, class time is loaded with information and facts, but critical thinking, creative problem-solving, the handling of abstract ideas and analysis are marginalized. Inspiration, moral absolutes, love of learning and individual contributions are non-existent.

Attached to the Common Core Standards Initiative is a whopping $4 billion in federal funding from President Obama’s “Race to the Top” competitive grant program. This money is a carrot dangled in front of administrators responsible for educating tomorrow’s American citizens who are strapped by minuscule local school budgets and decreasing state funding. As a result, in 2010, 45 U.S. states implemented the Common Core.

Although Common Core appears anodyne, its mandate increases bureaucracy and centralization, removes parents from basic decisions and oversight of what their children are being taught and gives teachers little input on shaping curriculum to individual student learning styles. Common Core emphasizes standardization rather than individual learning.

Through Common Core, American students are being subjected to a “dumbing down” of educational standards. But most dangerously, Common Core denies the truth of our Christian heritage and Biblical form of government. Without the lessons of American history and the moral absolutes found in the Bible to guide them, America’s future citizens will lack the foundation to sustain our Republic and will become the prey of dictators and statists who will rob them of their liberty.

When Alexis de Tocqueville visited America in the 1830s, he found a very different view of education than that of Common Core. Tocqueville noted that the public schools were an extension of the home, family and community, and that Americans were very loyal to their schools, which at that time were fee based. He also commented that the oversight of schools was far removed from state or federal control, which was good because centralization of information makes freedom of thought illusory. In Tocqueville’s day, the public schools mirrored the government of our Christian Republic. The schools were built and supervised by the township, supported by parents and existed to create citizens prepared for self-government and liberty. This is in stark contrast to today’s Common Core that reflects centralization, bureaucracy, socialism and citizens groomed for dependency on government.

Fortunately today, thanks to efforts of a large number of outspoken parents, educators, communities and other organizations, many policy makers are realizing the devastating effects of Common Core and are rejecting the initiative. Several states that initially adopted Common Core have subsequently repealed it.

Common Core spells disaster for America and repealing it is an important first step. But the questions remain: What will replace it? What is the answer to America’s educational woes? How can we fix the broken public education system? How can our schools produce citizens that are able to reason and relate from a principled foundation in order to solve the pressing political, cultural, economic and foreign policy problems we face? How can we return to the moral bedrock and cherished traditions observed by Alexis de Tocqueville that made America great? How can we restore our Biblical Constitutional Republic?

For the answers to these questions, see Part II of The Cure for the Common Core

Dan Smithwick, founder of the Nehemiah Institute, diagnoses the problems with today's government education. Receive this audio CD and booklet with your gift today. Click here to learn more about how FACE is working for a cure for the Common Core.

Read more about the problems of the Common Core in William M. Ever's article "No Exit, No Voice: The Design of the Common Core" at the Heritage Foundation website.

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C.S. Lewis: "We Must Attack the Enemy's Line of Communication"

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Monday, July 27, 2015

In God in the Dock, beloved Christian writer C. S. Lewis unexpectedly urged Christians to write (and to read!) books that reflect a Biblical point of view without being overtly apologetic. Lewis thought that the subtle approach of these books is both persuasive and counters the pervasive culture of secularism and its rejection of spiritual truth (which he calls "materialism"). Lewis wrote,

We must attack the enemy’s line of communication. What we want is not more little books about Christianity, but more little books by Christians on other subjects—with their Christianity latent. You can see this most easily if you look at it the other way round. Our faith is not likely to be shaken by any book on Hinduism. But, if whenever we read an elementary book on geology, botany, politics, or astronomy, we found that its implications were Hindu, that would shake us. It is not the books written in direct defense of materialism that make the modern man a materialist; it is the materialistic assumptions in all the other books. In the same way, it is not books on Christianity that will really trouble him. But he would be troubled if, whenever he wanted a cheap popular introduction to some science, the best work on the market was always by a Christian. The first step to the reconversion of a country is books produced by Christians.

When Lewis wrote this text in 1945, World War II was still raging in Europe and his military metaphor would have resonated with his audience. A general knows that destroying the enemy commanders' ability to communicate with their troops creates confusion, which can be decisive for victory. Lewis sees in this a spiritual truth. To win the spiritual battle in which we are engaged it is necessary to cut off the "line of communication" which our Enemy uses to lure people into unbelief. He suggests that Christians do so by countering the message sent by many writers whose underlying assumptions are atheistic with the Christian perspectives on the same issues. Doing so cultivates hearts that will be receptive to the Gospel message.

Lewis's appeal is more apt today than when he wrote it 70 years ago. The battle for our nation is a spiritual war which is being waged in the hearts and minds of our children, and the one of the Enemy's "lines of communication" is education. Today's secular education sends the message that not only should there be a separation between Church and State (the meaning of which is distorted), but also a separation between God and every "non-religious" subject, which builds up a wall in the hearts and minds of the young between them and their Creator. But when belief in God is cordoned off from the study of history, science, mathematics, literature, and other subjects that seem to be "independent" of religion, the results are tragic. The exclusion of God from everyday life leads to an emptiness and void that destroys souls.

Parents and teachers who want their children to put God first will recognize the importance of an education that is Biblically-based and Christ-centered, bringing God's Word to bear on every subject. It is only an education that approaches the whole of life from a Christian perspective that feeds the heart and mind and fills the spirit with the knowledge and love of God. The "reconversion," as Lewis calls it, of our nation requires both teaching our children the Bible and teaching them every subject from a Biblical perspective.

FACE is dedicated to bringing parents and teachers educational resources that teach every subject from a Biblical worldview. We invite you to learn more about these resources, including our facsimile edition of Noah Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language, which uses more Biblical references than any other dictionary, and the Noah Plan®, a K-12 curriculum that brings every subject under the dominion of Christ. Now is also a great time to invest in the Noah Plan. We are offering Noah Plan® Curriculum Guides at 20% off! Visit FACEBookstore.net to learn more.

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Does a Classical Education Matter?

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Wednesday, July 15, 2015


Jean Siméon Chardin, The Young Schoolmistress, 1736

Many Christian schools and Christian homeschooling families have adopted a “classical” curriculum approach to teaching and learning, believing it to be the best form of education. The model for classical education is rooted in medieval Europe and refers to the Greek and Roman authors of the first rank among the moderns. The definition of classical is “being of the first order, constituting the best model or authority” and is considered pure, chaste, correct and refined.

But as Christian educators and parents, would we not consider the Bible as the first and authoritative classic? Biblical-Classical education identifies its source primarily in the Hebrew concepts of knowledge and life as contrasted to the Greek and Roman concepts of knowledge and life.

The Hebrew model of education had a primary purpose of teaching and learning to train the whole person for lifelong, obedient service in the knowledge of God. The fundamental goal of instruction was to transmit an historical and ethical heritage. While the Greek end-purpose was to “know thyself,” the Hebrew system had the object of knowing God as the primary purpose of education.

Colonial American education diverged from the European classical model at the Reformation to flower fully in its American colonial and governmental expression, and became the repository of making Biblical application to all of life. The Bible far outweighed the classical emphasis in scope and methodology. A Biblical education became not a passive repository of information, facts and figures, but a living pedagogy that called for critical thinking, debate, discussion and analysis. The role of the Bible in early American education is evident in the formation of John Quincy Adams, our nation's sixth president. The Biblical education he received helped him to play a vital role in supporting the Christian republic. (You can read more about John Quincy Adam's education by reading the article, The Education of John Quincy Adams: The Character for a Christian Republic.

Today, The Principle Approach or Biblical-Classical education is rooted in the Hebrew model of education, is enlightened by the Reformation, and applies Biblical principles in all subjects of the curriculum resulting in a high level of scholarship, formation of Christian character and self-government, and forms a Biblical world-view in the student. The only foundation for a useful education in our American Republic is the Bible and without it there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty. And liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.

Learn more about the Noah Plan Curriculum, which uses the Principle Approach and save 20% on Noah Plan Curriculum Guides in our Bookstore.

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