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  Feature Article

Civil Unrest

Pray The Vote

Are American schools encouraging civil disobedience?

By Bill Noles, Jr.

For we really are in danger of being charged with rioting today, since there is no cause that we can give to justify this commotion – Acts 19:40

In recent months, it seems like it doesn’t take much to push large crowds of protesters into committing acts of lawlessness and violence. Today, activists are taking their anger out in the form of civil unrest and riots. What happened to the days of peaceful protests? Why have protests become destructive instead of constructive?

The answer may be a complicated one but several experts have suggested the crisis stems from what is being taught – or not taught in some cases – in the American school system.

"U.S. civics education, if it exists at all, is being transformed into a political machine to push left-wing causes, undermine American government, and incite civil unrest," said Joy Pullmann, author and managing editor of The Federalist, quoting from a new study, Making Citizens: How American Universities Teach Civics.

The National Association of Scholars (NAS), a membership and research organization focused on American higher education, published the 525-page report in January 2017.

"The ‘New Civics’ uses attractive, bipartisan-sounding words like ‘civics’ and ‘service learning’ to trick Americans and their representatives into allowing progressive political machinery to hijack public funds and young minds," the study reported.

"Civics education gives us the capacity to be Americans," the report said. "…Above all, civics education is supposed to teach students how to be citizens rather than subjects, how to be self-governing rather than governed, and how to be free without usurping the freedom of others."

"Look at any radical left protest, and like as not you will find a New Civics program somewhere in the background," the report said. "…The New Civics is working to make such radical protest a daily occurrence, and America ungovernable save along progressive lines. The New Civics revolution has already begun."

"The New Civics advocates have also prospered by taking advantage of the American public’s trust that people hired to educate their children actually have that object in mind," the study found. "They abuse that trust by using the anodyne vocabulary of ‘volunteerism’ and ‘civics’ to obscure their radical political agenda."

As the NAS report said: "[Young Americans] can’t be blamed for what they had never been taught. Their answers merely reflect the neglect of traditional civics instruction at every level of education, from grade school through college."

"[T]he content of civics education is the content of our children’s minds, and a progressive takeover of the colleges will end up as a progressive takeover of the country. We have been warned," concluded the report.

"NAS recommends a bevy of immediate and long-term actions to address this existential crisis. They include immediately pausing all public funding for related initiatives; requiring public universities to provide a full, transparent accounting of these activities; restoring related core curriculum requirements in high school and college; making volunteering voluntary again by ending public subsidies and academic credit for it; and creating new institutions dedicated to nurturing genuine American civic learning," Pullmann added.

"On the day after the inauguration, crowds marched in support of the nation’s women, concerned about equality and discrimination issues," said Mike Colombo, managing editor of the Rome News-Tribune. "I have to admit, there was a part of me in the wake of the Trump inauguration that simply wanted to point out that if all those people protesting had gone to the polls in November, there would not have been a need for the protest at all. I have pretty much voiced my protest at the ballot box. Nevertheless, I bristle at those who harshly criticize the protest of the citizenry, a hallmark of our republic."

Colombo suggested the questions that should be asked are, "What prompted so many fellow American citizens to march and what should be done to address the issues they are raising?"

"If you give anger enough fuel, eventually it leads to violence," said Michael Snyder, founder and publisher of End of The American Dream. "I am certainly not suggesting that we should ever compromise on what we believe, but what I am suggesting is that there is a wise way to handle things and an unwise way to handle things."

"You would have to be blind not to see the hate, anger and frustration that are all growing like cancer in the hearts of our young people," Snyder added. "This is a time for the peacemakers. If there are any left in Washington, we need them to rise up now and try to bring healing before it is too late."

This week pray:

  • For an end to rioting and a return to peaceful protests
  • For American schools to teach civics education that promotes true citizenship
  • For a peaceful end to America’s political divide

Bill Noles Jr. is a former Christian newspaper publisher, an entrepreneur, author and writer. He and his wife Diann live in Albany, Oregon.


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