Education

UW-Madison's ninny-nannies...

Did you know "alma mater" means "nursing mother"? My own alma maters include tooo many schools, but I must mention University of Wisconsin (Madison).

It was UW-Madison that gifted Donna Shalala to President Clinton's cabinet where she served alongside It-Takes-a-Village Hillary Clinton and It-Takes-Tanks-and-Napalm Janet Reno. Before leaving for D.C., Shalala was UW-Madison's chancellor and, during her tenure there, she channelled her maternal instinct by passing a speech control policy so safe that English profs were left with three books still allowed on their reading lists: Pat the Bunny, Velveteen Rabbit, and Love You Forever. Under the heading "Unprotected Expressive Behavior Subject to Discipline," Shalala threatened verbal bullies and gesticulators thusly...

A faculty or academic staff member's expressive behavior in an instructional setting may be the basis for discipline if ...the behavior is commonly considered by persons of a particular gender, race, cultural background, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or handicap to be demeaning to members of that group, and ...the conduct makes the instructional setting hostile or intimidating, or demeaning to members of the group of average sensibilities.

Shalala declared her come-to-mommy-and-let-me-kiss-your-owie rules would be enforced in both "instructional" and "noninstructional settings." UW-Madison employees were left with precious few places to exercise the freedoms granted by our Bill of Rights. Since the adoption of Shalala's rules in the late eighties, Madison's speech police have been filing charges, collecting evidence and witnesses, holding trials, making pronouncements of guilt, carrying out censures, and implementing disciplinary actions. 

Still today UW-Madison profs are trying to repeal Shalala's schoolmarmish hate-speech rules, but it hardly matters since President Obama is busy remaking all of America into a "safe place." Speaking of which, UW-Madison is at it again. Earlier this year administrators and faculty adopted policies requiring profs to become even more sensitive. The new policy statement was introduced with...


Whose children are they: a modest proposal for Governor Pence...

Before he died twelve years ago, my brother Nathan was furious over the refusal of our United States Immigration and Naturalization Service to grant political asylum to Chinese couples who, if they returned to their homeland, would be forced to murder their unborn children. Those who have followed the one-child policy of China's Communist dictators implemented in 1978 know such horrors are commonplace. One friend of mine who's an academic at another university got a phone call from a former student in China whose wife had become pregnant. China's apparatchiks were going to murder their unborn child, so my friend arranged for the man to...


On children's preparation for manhood and womanhood...

Fascinating article on children's play forwarded by my daughter, Michal. There's almost nothing here that caused me to cringe or disagree. I'd simply like to point out that it may be better to think of much of children's play as simply little men and women practising for manhood and womanhood.


On the links with a Sabbath stick...

Son Joseph writes: Despite the interesting titles, I know I can't just dump four links on you, so I've included teaser quotes...

Last week Deadspin ran six sentences and a picture under the headline “Philip Rivers Is An Intense Weirdo.” The final two sentences about the San Diego Charger quarterback were blunt: "And he’s also about to have his seventh kid. There are going to be eight people with Rivers DNA running around this world."

Ah yes. How “intensely weird” it is for an NFL player to be having...

Homeschooling, church discipline, and the education of our children...

[NOTE: The man who, along with his wife, does an excellent job homeschooling  as I've observed for fifteen years called and said I'm largely wrong in what I've written here, so I stand half-corrected. Still, I'm not sure how I'd rewrite this given his criticisms so I'll leave the post up with this warning. Likely much of what I write here applies as much to Christian schooling and public schooling as home schooling, and the dangers I warn of are more a product of our times than a particular form of home schooling. That being said, no matter how you school your children, please listen to my concerns and take them to heart in the education of your precious children.]

Mary Lee and I put several of our children in public schools at various times, and we also homeschooled one son for three years. Most of our children's schooling, though, was done in Christian schools and this is the educational method we believe best for most parents and children—particularly boys who are becoming men. After years of watching homeschoolers in our churches and the broader Christian (and alternative) world, starting no later than Junior High School we think most boys do much better being taught by men than women. Especially their mothers. 

Even if the local Christian school option does not have male teachers, though, one of the reasons we have come to believe in Christian schooling's superiority to homeschooling is the lack of respect for authority we've seen to be endemic within homeschooling families....


Athanasius College begins classes this fall...

As I've written before, Clearnote Fellowship has founded Athanasius College and this coming fall our first students will start classes. The program and teachers are excellent and we invite inquiries from men and women who see the benefit of going through college or university in a community with a good Reformed church that has a vital ministry on the campus of Indiana University and deep integration of undergrad and grad students in our family life.

Central to the vision of Athanasius is cross-registration at Indiana University...


Why is there no ADHD in France...

Sons want structure and authority. They rebel against parents who don't provide them. And do I really have to say that by "structure and authority" I'm not talking about haranguing, berating, demeaning, or beating our sons? Abuse destroys structure and authority.

Here's a helpful article outlining the difference between the diagnosis and treatment of undisciplined behavior in these United States and France.


Indiana Supreme Court upholds school choice...

Speaking of subsidiarity (I'm a fan), we are privileged to have a faithful public servant holding the office of Governor for the next four years. Just now Governor Pence issued this press release commending the just-issued unanimous decision of the Indiana Supreme Court upholding school choice:

Indianapolis - Governor Mike Pence issued the following statement regarding the Indiana Supreme Court's decision on school choice this morning.

"I welcome the Indiana Supreme Court's decision to uphold Indiana's school choice program. I have long believed that parents should be able to choose where their children go to school, regardless of their income. Now that the Indiana Supreme Court has unanimously upheld this important program, we must continue to find ways to expand educational opportunities for all Indiana families."

For more on the case...


Pharaoh, Herod, and Michael Bloomberg...

This was population control on blacks and Latinos without our knowledge. - Mona Davis, president of NYC Parents Union

A new king came to rule over Egypt who "knew not Joseph." Looking at the fruitfulness of the Hebrews, mortal dread came over him. They'll join our enemies and fight against us. They'll take away our prosperity.

So, like bloodthirsty Herod who slaughtered the infants of Bethlehem, Pharaoh commanded the death of all male Hebrew babies. At first he put the onus on the Hebrew midwives, telling them when they attended births to kill every little boy. The midwives feared God and disobeyed Pharaoh, so "God was good to the midwives, and the people multiplied and became very mighty."

Pharaoh then commanded the people themselves to cast every male Hebrew baby into the Nile. It's noteworthy that in the sermon Stephen preached that led to his death at the hands of the Jews, he told the story of the faithlessness of God's people from the patriarchs on, including this recounting of the Hebrews under Pharaoh exposing their infant sons...


"I think anyone needs to be aware that generalizations are never good." - MsMom

We keep our eye on links to Baylyblog. Recently, a gab-site called The Well-Trained Mind Community resurrected an old Baylyblog post and asked its members for their thoughts. It's worth pointing out the post was not written by David, me, or any other pastor. The post is the work of an elder of Clearnote Church who is a founding board member of a ministry of Clearnote Church, Bloomington, called Bloomington Christian Schoolhouse.

I don't know if I've ever done this before but I'm notifying readers of the discussion and linking


Leadership matters in Reformed colleges and pastors colleges...

As expected, Brian Chapell will be leaving Covenant Seminary. This coming Lord's Day he plans to be voted on as the new pastor at Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria. Grace is one of the few tall-steeple PCA churches north of the Mason-Dixon line and Brian's roots are deep in Illinois, so this seems a good fit.

Much like Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, historically Grace has been a mainline Evangelical church with roots deep in the sort of Reformed dispensationalism popularized by Wheaton, Moody, and Campus Crusade. For forty years Grace was served by Wheaton grad Bruce Dunn who spoke regularly at Winona Lake, Bibletown (Boca Raton), Cannon Beach (Oregon), Moody Founders Week, Moody Keswick, and prophecy conferences.

Which brings us to the subject of dead and dying institutions...

Close to ten years ago, I was speaking with a brother much respected across the PCA to express my concerns over Covenant Seminary's toxic influence. What I saw of Covenant grads, I said, had convinced me Covenant would preside over the death of the PCA, and the only way to turn it around...


Pastoral care in times of war and incest...

They heal the brokenness of the daughter of My people superficially... - Jeremiah 8:11a

E-mail has been low in my priorities recently, so I didn't read this or post it on Veteran's Day. But it's worth posting now. The writer, Jeff Ewer, is an elder of Clearnote Church, Bloomington who served in our Armed Forces when he was a younger man. His comments here on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are helpful and they apply to a host of issues where we neglect the soul and the Law of God and thereby fail to comfort the afflicted. And I say "we" because this failure is as common in the Reformed church as it is among other Christians. Warren Kinghorn, the writer of the USA Today article Jeff links to, ends his piece: 

Veterans need a civilian culture that refuses to distance itself from them either through reflexive condemnation or, more commonly, through reflexive valorization. Sometimes, they need communities that can offer the non-medical languages of confession, repentance and forgiveness. And above all, they need to be taken seriously as moral beings who have stood for us in hazy and complicated places and who now bear witness to what that commitment entails.

In the Reformed church, it's usually "reflexive valorization;" I know that's a good characterization of my own care for these men. We must do better, providing them care that applies the Word of God to their killing and probes and welcomes their confessions of sin.

This article is also most helpful in our work exposing and ending child molestation and incest.

My wife and I spent most of the past week out of state working with the elders and pastor of a PCA congregation dealing with sins of incest in a large homeschooling family. Much like war, the horror of incest conspires to silence the application of God's Word to the sinners and victims...


Dick Lugar, Bryan Chapell, and Jack Collins...

Although our good Gov. Mitch Daniels endorsed him, I'm pleased Senator Richard Lugar lost the primary last night. It was time for new leadership.

Speaking of new leadership, the PCA's Covenant Theological Seminary has moved former president Bryan Chapell over to the position of Chancellor and is searching for a new president. You can count on Bryan's stint as Chancellor being quite short before he moves on to another institution.

Sadly, I fear this leadership change has strengthened the hand of Covenant's faculty...


Bullying no, but is that it? Nothing more to say? Really?

Not just educational apparatchiks, but Russel Moore. For an earned doctorate Christian spokesman to fail to distinguish between condemnation and shame and bullying in an article like this is an indication of not yet being ready for prime time. Or rather, of allowing prime time's baubles to get to you.

Tell me, good Russell, precisely what sorts of things do you think Christian students should say about sodomy on public campuses? Or is the very name 'Sodomite" off limits because it hurts? Is it "rhetorical pornography?"

(TB, w/thanks to Kamilla)


They really do want our children's souls...

From our public education correspondent, this heads-up. And this one. And this one. When we read of "bullying," keep in mind that educational apparatchiks know no difference between bullying and shaming. Sadly, Christians long ago gave up on shaming as a tool of protection of immortal souls. But shaming is not dead. The shaming of the Christian conscience still works just fine. (TB, w/thanks to...)

Tags: 

Vanderbilt University's totalitarianism: your tax dollars at work...

(TB: This post is submitted by a calm and reasonable man who is himself the product of a large public research institution's school of law.)

As if breathing the breath that comes from their Heavenly Father’s hand weren’t enough, as if the fruit of the Holy Spirit and centuries of Christian spiritual capital deposited into education weren’t enough, Vanderbilt University leadership takes money from Christians hand over fist and then gags the Christian conscience. The money I’m talking about isn’t tuition paid by Baptist or Episcopalian students. It’s the nearly half billion dollars of federal money that Vanderbilt has steam-shoveled into its coffers. In 2009 alone. Vanderbilt even brags that it broke the Top 25 varsity ranking in its haul of federal collegiate pork. You can find more details on the webpage maintained by Vanderbilt’s “Office of Federal Relations.” Some relations.

So why is federal largesse (i.e., tax receipts and U.S. sovereign debt) Christian money? The vast majority of Americans who pay federal income, capital gains, excise, and a motley assortment of other federal taxes identify themselves as Christians. Further, it’s likely that our descendants...


Some helpful questions...

(TB: Under another post, a Christian sister we've come to respect has asked a series of questions I make a stab at answering below. For the context of her questions please look at comment number thirteen under the above post. First her comment in full, followed by my responses quoting part of each numbered item in what she wrote.)

I mean this as an honest comment/question, not a baiting or critical one. 

First, I was taught to believe that a wife must submit to her husband and a husband must love his wife as Christ loves the Church. A wife is not a doormat, nor is a husband is a tyrant. Furthermore, a couple will work out a balance of this principle in their marriage that is Biblical and fits their personalities and won't look the same for every couple. I assume you would generally agree with that.


Shaw on "university schoolboyishness..."

One reader sent an e-mail reporting he couldn't find the Shaw quote on corporal punishment mentioned in an earlier post. He's right. I've looked for it several times through the years and couldn't find it either. Sorry. Still, I distinctly remember reading it about thirty years ago and I'm convinced it was Shaw, so that's how I report it.

Anyhow, in looking for that quote this reader came across another he forwarded...


Lies Wheaties believe...

See what just entered my e-mail inbox. It's Wheaton College pleading for even more money. They say their president, Phil Ryken, is convinced Wheaton is "positioned to serve as an increasingly vital base of operations for the global dissemination of the Gospel."

Yes, yes; of course. Everywhere I look, one more sign of Wheaton's service as an increasingly vital base of operations for the global dissemination of the Gospel smacks me in the face. Like this alumnus, Rob Bell. Surely we all see how the degree Bell bought from Wheaton's profs is the foundation of his creation of an increasingly vital base of operations for the global dissemination of the Gospel? If I were Dick Chase or Duane Litfin, I'd be thumping my chest in pride.

Ryken's hucksterism reminds me of Richard Lovelace returning to campus from an invitation-only meeting of PC(USA) liberal and conservative muckety-mucks back in 1982 or so...


Drupal...

Want a job? Want a career? For quite a while, my son-in-law, Lucas Weeks, has been saying Drupal is a good horse to ride. He's right.

All ClearNote sites were built with Drupal and son Joseph has been working with Lucas doing Drupal programming for several years. Understanding my bias, I don't hesitate to say that they're quite good.

Learning to code in Drupal is a lot cheaper than a college degree. Of course, you must be able to think logically and to work very hard. And of course, you must be able to resist the sins of the web. (TB)