Friday, December 14, 2007

Education: Too Important to Be Left to the Government


The Liberator Online shares this:

Jeff Jacoby, award-winning columnist for the Boston Globe, has written another wonderfully devastating column calling for the separation of school and state. And, as previously, he cuts through to the essence of the issue.

Here are some excerpts:

"Americans differ on same-sex marriage and evolution, on the importance of sports and the value of phonics, on the right to bear arms and the reverence due the Confederate flag. Some parents are committed secularists; others are devout believers. Some place great emphasis on math and science; others stress history and foreign languages.

"Americans hold disparate opinions on everything from the truth of the Bible to the meaning of the First Amendment, from the usefulness of rote memorization to the importance of teaching music and art. With parents so often in loud disagreement, why should children be locked into a one-size-fits-all, government-knows-best model of education?

"Nobody would want the government to run 90 percent of the nation's entertainment industry. Nobody thinks that 90 percent of all housing should be owned by the state. Yet the government's control of 90 percent of the nation's schools leaves most Americans strangely unconcerned. ...

"In a society founded on political and economic liberty, government schools have no place. Free men and women do not entrust to the state the molding of their children's minds and character. As we wouldn't trust the state to feed our kids, or to clothe them, or to get them to bed on time, neither should we trust the state to teach them. ...

"Education is too important to be left to the government."

Jacoby, it should be noted, is one of the most influential columnists in America. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe is the largest newspaper in the New England area, and the 15th largest-circulation newspaper in America, with over 600,000 readers. His column is carried by other publications as well, and widely disseminated on the Web.

(Source: "Big Brother at School," by Jeff Jacoby)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas I Corinthians 13


If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows,
strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls,
but do not show love to my family,
I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen,
baking dozens of Christmas cookies,
preparing gourmet meals
and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime:
but do not show love to my family,
I'm just another cook.

If I work at a soup kitchen
carol in the nursing home,
and give all that I have to charity;
but do not show love to my family,
it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels
and crocheted snowflakes,
attend a myriad of holiday parties
and sing in the choir's cantata
but do not focus on Christ,
I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the spouse.

Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love doesn't envy another's home
that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way,
but is thankful they are there to be in the way.

Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return;
but rejoices in giving to those who can't.

Love bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things
endures all things.
Love never fails.

Video games will break,
pearl necklaces will be lost,
golf clubs will rust;

But giving the gift of love will endure.

Photo from FreeFoto.com.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Killing Pre-born Babies is Never the Answer


Out-Celling the Competition

Just two weeks ago, scientists in Japan and the U.S. announced that they can produce "induced Pluripotent Stem cells" (iPS cells) directly from skin cells, creating embryonic-type cells without the use of embryos, cloning, or eggs. The significance of this discovery cannot be underestimated. For years, scientists have clamored for human embryos and cloning to pursue the creation of such cells. Yet in the wake of lead researcher Shinya Yamanaka's success, many of these same scientists have discounted the value of iPS cells, claiming that they're a cancer risk and arguing that it could take years to prove that iPS cells are as useful as embryonic stem cells or cloning. In the meantime, these researchers insist that we should continue to pursue the destruction of human embryos and harvest human eggs for cloning. Last week, however, Dr. Yamanaka continued to silence critics, showing that he can produce iPS cells without the cancer gene that was a focus of concern. Yesterday, scientists at MIT added to the growing list of iPS accomplishments by proving that these cells can be used to successfully treat of sickle cell anemia in mice. Researchers had tried the same experiment with cloning and failed. Let's not forget that this newfound success of iPS cells only adds to the long list of accomplishments of adult and cord blood stem cells, which are treating patients as we speak. Yet again, researchers are proving that the compatibility of science and ethics continues to be not only the most principled approach but also the most promising.

From Family Research Council

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Lecture Schedule Changes


There are a number of changes to the schedule in the lecture series for classicalhomeschooling.org. Please see the amended schedule below.

Sincerely,
Fritz Hinrichs
Clasical Home Schooling

Monthly Lecture Series

Every second Thursday
5-7 PM Pacific Time



December 13th, 2007

Cancelled

January 10th, 2008

A communal reading of C. S. Lewis' The Abolition of Man
Fritz Hinrichs

Also, in January....
Great Books V paper presentations
These paper presentations are the culmination of the students' studies in the Great Books Tutorial.
They are open to the public. Dates to be announced.

February 14th, 2008

Augustine and Cultural Relativism
Matthew Turnbull

March 13th, 2008

Classical Christian Education and the Early Church Fathers
Wes Callihan

April 10th, 2008

Frankenstein and Modern Myth: Connecting Classical Learning and Modern Worldviews
Bill Dawson