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Church & State Partnerships

  1. Conforming the Church to the New Millennium 

  2. Statement of Common Purpose of Religious Leaders (below)

Statement of Common Purpose of Religious Leaders

Excerpts from Brave New Schools, chapter 7:

To win grass-roots supporters in every community, the U.S. Department of Education prepared a report called "Organizing Your Community To Reach the National Education Goals."  Matching the earlier definition  for propaganda, it opens with a reminder that "There is much ground to cover, and the Year 2000 seems just around the corner.... Goals 2000 calls for partnerships across local, state and federal levels--partnerships for mustering the support it'll take to help communities and local schools do what only they together can do...."[1]

You saw that education has bridged the gap between Republicans and Democrats. Both sides agree that the ultimate goals--what communities must accomplish in the end--are determined by the national and international goals.  To achieve those goals, "a state panel of teachers, principals, parents and others, including the governor and chief state school officer, would evolve a standards-driven reform plan" which would be communicated to each local community. After all, explains the above report, it "wouldn't make sense for communities to go off by themselves and create their own standards from scratch, especially if they're to be internationally competitive standards....[2] (Emphasis in the original)

As Chester Finn suggested earlier, only the final, practical implementation is left to the local school. It can use its own ingenuity to find creative ways to teach the national curriculum content required by NESIC (the National Education Standards and Improvement Council). It can create its own corresponding curriculum and teaching programs, but if it fails to produce the required change in its students, it will be punished. Since the goal is a new type of student with a new set of attitudes and behaviors, the transformation of our children will require total community participation.  And since everyone will apparently be tested through national assessments, there will be no hiding place from group conformity.

To help each community accomplish its part, Riley's report described various model communities.  Each had planned their own programs and communication links, and "almost all of them found it necessary" to "identify" and organize "key individuals in the community."[3] These vital "partnerships" were also emphasized in a list of warnings. It encouraged local school planners to "involve key players who could easily block what the collaborative hopes to do. Whenever possible, try to make allies out of adversaries." 

In order to "make allies out of adversaries", the educational establishment has formed some surprising partnerships that bridge the ideological chasms rarely crossed in our separation-between-church-and-state-conscious culture. Below, you will see how one bridge links local schools to community churches.  Considering the growing hostility toward biblical truth, it makes little sense. Yet, it's part of the plan. 

To help communities test their rate of progress, Riley and the congressmen who prepared the Community Action Toolkit provide questions they can ask themselves: "Are we creating 'a whole community' partnership to improve teaching and learning? Are we enlisting partners throughout the community... churches and media, social service agencies and law enforcement, and others?"[4]  

Remember, the social transformation could not succeed without general consent from the public--however uninformed that consent might be.  And what strategy could better win support among the opposing forces than a friendly invitation to cooperate and seek "common ground"?     

It works because few dare even suspect what the change agents plan to do to parents. Lured by pride or propaganda, leaders in every field are accepting the invitation to join hands with a kind of deception few could imagine.  Many Christian leaders, who should be a parent's prime defender, have become part of the horrendous betrayal. Left behind, are countless Christian parents who find no church support in their attempt to raise godly children God's way.     

A few years ago, U.S. Senator Christopher Bond, one of the Missouri leaders of Parents as Teachers, told Laura Rogers that he was trying to recruit churches to support the PAT program. On December 16, 1994, his dream came true.  The U.S. Department of Education issued the official "Statement of Common Purpose of Religious Leaders."  Education Secretary Riley made the announcement: "The religious communities standing with me represent some seventy-five percent of all religiously affiliated Americans....  Our meetings led to the clear recognition that our nation's religious community can play a more active and positive role in helping parents in the education of their children."[5] 

It sounds just as promising as Parents as Teachers, doesn't it? Would you like to know who signed it? The "religious communities endorsing the statement" included the Assemblies of God, Association of Christian Schools International, Council of Jewish Federations, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod), National Council of Churches, National Association of Evangelicals, National Baptist Convention, National Church of God, Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., United Methodist Church, U.S. Catholic Conference, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and many others. 

If you are wondering who still shares your concern, you are not alone. Across the country, Christian parents have sought help in their churches only to be told not to worry or rock the boat.  "But I can't let my child participate in Native American rituals or make those occult Medicine Shields," said a heartbroken mother in Ohio.  Her pastor and church friends simply couldn't understand why  not.  They had already embraced the popular vision of the human family holding hands around the world--a vision that mocks the gospel but approves all "other gods." 

The Statement of Common Purpose never mentions God. It ignores His  warnings about spiritual compromise.  Look at what it does mention:           

It is imperative that religious communities join together with governments, community organizations, businesses, and public and private schools in striving to provide families, parents, grandparents, foster parents, guardians, or extended family members with the information, skills, tools, and opportunities that will encourage their participation in the total education of their children, including character education. We are committed to working together to improve children's learning through family involvement partnerships.

We call upon all citizens, religious communities, community organizations to do their share.  We urge family members to become actively involved in their children's education, religious communities to work to better understand and meet educational and family needs [Do you wonder who will teach them?], community organizations to sponsor meaningful youth- and  family-oriented activities, and businesses to adopt family-friendly policies in the workplace.[6]

Perhaps, as Jesus said on the cross, "they do not know what they are doing."  Maybe the religious leadership simply believes the propaganda and has joined a movement they don't understand--just as the German churches did during the Nazi rise to power.  Perhaps they really do believe that the educational establishment wants to support, not control, Christian parents. The vision looks so tempting--until its deceptive claims turn to calamities that can no longer be denied.

[1]"Organizing Your Community To Reach the National Education Goals," Goals 2000: Educate America (May 18, 1993), 2.
[3]Ibid., 14. 
[4]"Community Organizing Guide," National Education Goals Panel Community Action Toolkit (September 1994), 36. 
[5]Richard Riley, "Statement of Common Purpose of Religious Leaders," The U.S. Department of Education, December 16, 1994. 
[6]From a copy of the "Statement of  Common Purpose of Religious Leaders," issued by Richard W. Riley, U.S. Secretary of Education, Department of Education, Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., December 16, 1994.