Friday, September 04, 2009

President Obama's Upcoming Speech to Our School Children

I have been hearing a lot of complaints about President Obama?s upcoming speech to school children. I think I can sum them up in three phrases:

"The president has never done this before."
"Democrats would have had a fit had George Bush tried this."
"He's going to push his partisan politics on a captive audience and thus brainwash them."

All of those comments are simply partisan nonsense. Although I must admit that I am inherently mistrustful of the government and just as wary of the public school system, I also understand that my Christian duty is to pray for our elected leaders. And to remember that Jesus isn't a member of a US political party.

I seriously doubt that President Obama will be "out of control" in this speech; he's not going to use this as a chance to wave a Kenyan birth certificate in the faces of our school children, to push secular Americanism (or Islam) as the American religion of the future, or to push his healthcare plan (well, he might do that).

More likely, he's going to tell the school children to "be excellent to one another and party on, dude." Oh, wait. That was Bill & Ted. More likely he'll tell them to obey the (Four) Demandments of Hulkamania (training, saying your prayers, eating your vitamins, and believing in yourself). Or just maybe he will going to tell them to stay in school, to be nice to each other, to work hard, to celebrate diversity, and that together we can make the world a better place to live in.

Whatever he says, the best response for a Christian parent is to use it as an opportunity to spend some time with their child to help them to understand what is True. Part of the complaint against the speech is the accusation that our children are a captive audience and that we as parents can't counter what President Obama might teach them in their public school. To that I ask: Why do you send your child to public school anyway? How much "control" do you have over all of the specifics of what your child's teachers, coaches, aides, administrators, etc. say? What do you do when your child comes home having learned about the theory of evolution? What do you do when your child's best friend tells him/her about "the birds and the bees" on the playground? Do you panic, or do you use these as opportunities to sit down with your child and talk about the Truth?

Were I a parent of a school-ager who would be hearing/watching the president's speech, I would also watch/listen to it so I could have an accurate assessment of what he said, so I could thus speak to my child about it on a knowledgeable basis. I hope to raise my children to be critical thinkers, not just when it comes to thinking about what a president (who I did or didn't vote for) says, but also about what they see on TV, what they read in books, and even what their dad says in the pulpit.

Furthermore, I hope to continue to spend good quality time with my children so I will continue to have a voice in their lives. Too many of us leave "parenting" up to the government (yes, I said that - including our governmental public school system as part of that) and then we're upset at what they are teaching our children.

Instead of complaining at what a horrible job "they" are doing at raising our children, let's live lives of integrity in front of our children and make sacrifices in order to teach them well, not just by words, but by deeds.


Brian Eberly said...

I offer a hardy round of applause. Very well stated! Couldn't agree more.

Michael said...

I think you are right on, I don't know what is the problem with the young children learning who is the Presidet. They will be able to tell you without being a Jay Leno joke.

Rudy said...

I, for one, am not opposed to public schooling at all. I am against parents who expect anyone other than themselves to raise their children. All studies how that parents are still the strongest influence in their child's life. That goes for public school kid's too. Is it not beneficial to have your child engage with a system and peers which they might disagree with on sex, religion, and politics? After all aren't we engaging with people who disagree with us on sex, religion, and politics...? Maybe that is the issue! Maybe some Christians have decided that because political ideology has shifted in the country that we should run for cover, build a giant bunker that has Ronald Reagan painted on the door, and start burning books that have differing opinions in them. Or are we so unsure of God's Word, Spirit, and strength that we look to the government to be our safety net. The first Christians raised their children in Rome--the pinnacle of purity and godliness. Paul's word is to pray for those leaders and engage your neighbor. Is perhaps the time we should be engaging our children on the faith been replaced with activities or vacations? Has the mission of the church begun to shift to "Jesus wants me to live life to its utmost potential...He said so! But I'm sure the life He was talking about will look nothing like His life on earth."

John said...

Once those Department of Education materials were eliminated from the speech, I wasn't really concerned about the speech. I'd rather not have my kid subjected to such stuff, but it's not a big deal.

John said...

I think this whole situation was blown way out of proportion. We send our kids to school and expect them to learn how to play nice, but we......
stay blessed...john

The Thief said...

@John (1) - I'm with you that I'd rather have more say in what stuff my kids are subjected to...

@John (2) - exactly.