Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Fighting to Win What?

My buddy Spunky (whose blog is so awesome, by the way!) has a really thought-provoking post up now about intelligent design and the battle being waged on campuses. Spunk quotes a Washington Post article about a Republican judge who is trying to vanquish the whole Intelligent Design argument; she then asks,

"Why do parents keep fighting these battles with the schools?"

I'll let you read the rest of her commentary there, but wanted to point you guys to it. I wrote in her comments:

I think this is definitely one of the more pertinent questions I've seen asked on the topic. I think Christians need to be informed about what we believe and why (ready to give an answer for the hope we have), but we're delusional if we think we're going to "win" battles like this. History is headed to a specific conclusion, and before the return of Christ, things like this are going to happen and get worse. I realize everyone doesn't agree with my eschatology, but...suffice it to say, Spunk, that I agree with your view here, absolutely.

And that's not to say that there are no battles worth fighting; I'm not a defeatist. But which battles are really worth it? Are we going to change a system, or should we read the writing on the wall and get our children OUT?

I saw a GREAT Focus on the Family video about ID/evolution once--here it is! Boy, it was great. I heartily recommend it. But the veracity of ID versus evolution certainly isn't what I am bringing up here: it's the 'battle' that Christians are waging against the secular media, in the schools, etc. The same could be said of the sex ed battles, for instance. What exactly are we trying to do? What is the intended outcome?

On one hand, sure, we are a part of the public forum and should not have to be silent. I don't recommend holing up in a Montana survival home, waiting for an imminent departure or apocalypse. But at the same time, 'pearls before pigs' does exist. The System, the Institutions, the World: they're not going to wake up one day and "get it." They're not going to see the Light: they're blinded, collectively. (Yes, I realize ID is not the gospel and that Christians have differing opinions on it. Pick another issue if this one is offending you, and apply it to my point.)

Individuals, of course, can see the Light, turn, and change, which is why we should be informed and ready to share. But I believe that at some point we have to realize the horse is dead and seek other transportation: public schools fail our children in every possible way, and we should not send them there. Trying to fight battles there is expending a lot of effort in a mostly wasted direction--other than its usefulness in stimulating discussions among individuals.

I'd be willing to fight for the right to homeschool. It's so important to me that I'd move out of the country if I had to in order to keep my kids from public school. But intelligent design vs. evolution WITHIN those very schools is not a battle I think worth plunging into whole-hog (no pun intended with the pearls before pigs, HA HA!! Okay, time to go home).

Should Christians be fighting it out in the schools over controversial issues? I am probably not as fiercely opinionated as I make it sound here. I realize we are called to different things, and that's not what I am called to do. As a graduate student and then as a teacher in a PS, though, I saw how VERY DEEPLY the schools are entrenched in New Age philosophy, practice, and methodologies; perhaps that will account for my despair concerning them.