Herald JournalHerald Journal, March 3, 2003

Education system keeps shifting definition of truth, speaker says

By Lynda Jensen

Stripping Christian principles out of modern school textbooks has shifted the purpose of public education from teaching knowledge to being focused on social behavior ­ in which tolerance is the highest virtue, according to author and speaker Michael Chapman.

Chapman spoke about "America's Censored Heritage" to students at Mayer Lutheran High School Wednesday.

By removing the basic definition of right and wrong, which is rooted in Christian values, modern education rests on a shifting definition of truth that is determined by its popularity and consensus to the public, Chapman said.

In fact, many history books have been rewritten to omit Christian heritage ­ with the end result being an untruthful, censored account of American roots, and a nation divorced from its moral roots, he said.

Changing rules of the game ­ by definition

Public education no longer focuses on teaching knowledge to prepare students for future leadership, but instead uses pieces of facts to prop up a world view that everything is relative and there are no absolute truths, he said.

History and literature are being replaced by social studies in which students are being groomed for predicted social outcomes, he said.

"They've taken our language and used a different dictionary," Chapman said.

For example, the word "tolerant" used to mean "the allowance of that which is not wholly approved" in the Webster dictionary.

This definition was changed in 1986 to "recognizing and respecting the beliefs, practices, or behaviors of others."

Nevertheless, students must learn right and wrong before they even learn to be tolerant in the first place, Chapman said.

Even wording in math books is being changed to indicate that mathematical principles are subject to interpretation rather than being based on simple truths, he said.

This changing truth is called a "humanist" viewpoint, which means that ethics are based on human experiences, and that human nature should be allowed to explore itself, Chapman said.

"We, as Christians, know this means sin and death," he said.

Humanists practice their own style of religion in which they profess that there is no God, and the universe was created by evolution, among other things he said.

Regarding evolution, Chapman noted that a $250,000 bounty offered to anyone who can prove that the theory of evolution is true is yet unclaimed, and has been unclaimed for the past 20 years.

Humanists generally attempt to use external means, other than self-control and morality, to solve social problems, he said.

For example, a humanist viewpoint about stealing is that it is caused by poverty or the person's environment, Chapman said.

If this was true, then crime rates should have skyrocketed during the Great Depression ­ but instead they dropped.

Christians profess that stealing is caused by greed and man's selfish nature.

Chapman asked if anyone was familiar with Enron, and other rich people caught doing dishonest things.

"If poverty causes crime, then wealth causes integrity," he said.

There are some who say that laws cannot legislate morality, but laws essentially define what is right and wrong, Chapman said.

Chapman quoted President Abraham Lincoln, saying that "The philosophy of the school room in one generation will become the philosophy of government in the next."

"How do you change the constitution without an amendment?" Chapman asked. "Have (court) justices redefine words."

In fact, the writers of the Constitution meant it to be written that way the first time around, and its meaning is being twisted out of its original intent by the Department of Education and appointed bureaucracy, he said.

There are three pillars of good government, Chapman said: religion, morality, and knowledge.

The first, religion, was replaced in the 1960s with relativism based on religious humanism.

The second, morality, was replaced in the '70s and '80s with situational ethics and the third, knowledge, is being replaced with indoctrination for the purpose of changing society, he said.

In a letter from Thomas Jefferson to Justice William Johnson, June 12, 1863, Jefferson wrote the following:

"On every question of construction, carry yourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted . . . and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed."

Chapman travels with his collection of rare books, showing how modern day texts are edited compared to books used to formulate the Constitution and other documents.

Also in his book collection are original turn of the century school books, chock full of Christian wisdom, and, among other things, a rare copy of Noah Webster's dictionary, among other books.

Separation of church and state

The idea of separating church and state is not incorporated in the Constitution, Bill of Rights, or Declaration of Independence, Chapman said.

All of the founding fathers were Christians who expected Christianity to stay where it was when they originally laid the foundation of American government ­ otherwise they would have worded the Constitution and other documents differently, Chapman said.

In the first amendment to the Constitution, it reads "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. . ." however, the forefathers' intent was not to undermine all the work they just finished doing in the Constitution, but to restrict Congress from encroaching on the free expression of religion, Chapman said.

In formulating the Constitution, the Bible was referred to 34 percent of the time as a source by its authors, according to a study in 1988 by Louisiana State University.

For those interested in Chapman's work, contact him at (952) 949-2776. A video tape or cassette of the presentation, and others that Chapman does, are available for a fee.

There is also a related web site at www.edwatch.org.

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