Thursday, January 25, 2007

Education Offensives, or, Evil Is As Evil Does

The Taliban in Afghanistan has launched a new 'education offensive'. After destroying and terrorizing schools established by the new government, causing most parents to keep their children at home, the Taliban will open up ten new madrassas, Islamic seminaries for boys, in southern Afghanistan. Educating a new generation of jihadists by grabbing the minds of the youth is not a new tactic. The former communist block used the same tactics, still strongly entrenched in North Korea, not only to indoctrinate the youth from an early age but have them report on the activities of their parents.
Looking to North Korean textbooks as an example, urging the youth to "become the dictator's soldier", we can only imagine the content of Taliban sponsored textbooks. But this offensive to capture the hearts of the youth is alive and well in the United States itself. The Gay Straight Alliance and other homosexual agenda oriented groups are putting out their own literature targeting our young people from kindergarten and beyond. They intimidate administrations and students using the judicial system to force their agenda upon thousands of public schools across the country. Recruiting and presentations are being done without parental notification.
Teachers Unions and administrations themselves are becoming more agenda oriented openly supporting specific candidates. Children's work and speech are censored to support political agendas and teachers unions defiantly stand against the rights of parents to make education choices by opposing vouchers and alternative schooling. Hotly debate issues such as global warming are promoted Ala "An Inconvenient Truth" as well as a pro homosexual view only policy. Lawsuits are pursued against any opposition to homosexuality and any reference to Christianity condemned.
The common denominator in all these situations is the undermining of parental authority. "Did God say 'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?" Gen. 3:1. And so it began as God, our first or ultimate parent, became the first victim of character assassination. The Qur'an reveals a deeper characteristic, telling that when God asked Iblis why he did not bow down before Adam per His command "He said, 'I am better than he;...' Then Satan began to whisper suggestions to them..." Qur'an 7.11-27. Mankind has fought hard to build standards of goodness that have brought blessing and prosperity, namely through religion. Organizations such as Focus on the Family take a prominent position in the Christian faith to support family structure and values. Pope Benedict XVI has put out his Message for the World Day of Social Communications, May 20th, titled "Children and the Media; A Challenge for Education", upholding the authority of parents. The United States is one of the only nations in the world where home grown Muslims are not considered a threat and in fact support strong family structures, particularly in our black communities, that contribute to society.
These standards and values are ingrained into our law and social structure. The Founding Fathers of this great nation instilled the highest ideals of honoring God and our fellow man into documents such as the "Declaration of Independence" and "The Constitution of the United States". The title itself, 'Founding Fathers', advances the position of something to be revered and upheld. Yet revisionist history devitalizes all they held dear.
To live a good life we need to shun evil and live a life that benefits others. This alone demands utmost effort and a commitment to higher ideals that does not come easily. In the same way supporting the family requires constant vigilance and dedication to the values it embodies. The family is God's design in which we grow to reach the full potential He has envisioned for each of us as our parent. There is no mystery to the origins of those who would seek to subvert its sovereignty.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

All Men Are Endowed

By Their Creator...
I felt a lingering sadness over the hanging of Saddam Hussein at the end of last year. It is not difficult to understand the sentence, and it was based on only a fraction of the actions he committed against humanity. The Wall Street Journal put forth a reasoned argument for execution and others rightfully pointed out that any nation responsible for his detention would become a target of terrorism. Ultimately the people of Iraq through their justice system decided his fate, and allows us all to rest easier that justice was done. Common practice dictates that those who violate the rights of others have their own rights taken away.
The Popes opposition to the execution recognizes a higher reality, that our founding fathers themselves submitted to, that human rights are given by God to all men and are inalienable. If we truly practice our belief in God can we ever justify the killing of others? The taking of an other's life is in a sense to claim an authority equal to that of God and carries an immense responsibility. It demands that those who were victimized accept the sentence as recompense for the violations against them and permit the loved ones of the accused to grieve. It demands that the loved ones of the accused accept that grave sins had been committed and not hold a grievance against others for the execution. Saddam's letter stated a realization that goodness exists on the side of his enemy. It is this ability to see beyond the man-made barriers we build between ourselves that enables us to recognize the inherent equality bestowed upon all men by God as our founding fathers did.
Islam had another chance to show its merits before the world, if not by showing clemency for Saddam, then by carrying out the execution with dignity followed by an appropriate response by all. The ensuing illicit execution video was not only a poor reflection on Islam in the Middle East but on all those who took delight in its images. The timely investigation and arrests of the perpetrators spoke well of Iraq's fledgling democracy.