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Emmaus News

April 1998

The Criminalization of Ignorance - Part I
  [NOTE: read the "Friendly Word" article first....   E. Fox]

A Friendly Word

Greetings in the Lord:

The Ambridge School system appears to be ready to promote the "Year of the Constitution". Our superintendent plans to present the idea to the school board sometime this summer. If it flies, we will have the students at all levels looking at the history and meaning of a limited government, and, if they do their homework accurately, they will run right into our Biblical foundations. Please keep this project in your prayers.

* * *

I spent Monday, June 8, in Harrisburg at the state house with a group called the Pennsylvania Constitution Watch, promoting two pieces of legislation which, if enacted, will help return the state to a republican form of government. (Yes, we are steadily losing it.)

Currently, a legislator does not write his own legislation, but is legally obliged to give any idea for legislation to a group called the Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB), which is made up of lawyers who then craft the idea into a piece of legislation. Their aim is to work with LRB's in every other state to produce uniform legislation across the states.

The idea seems laudable until one sees that crafting legislation is what we elect our legislators to do. Having lawyers (who are officers of the court) craft legislation means the judiciary is writing our legislation, a serious breach of separation of powers.

Moreover, it turns out that back in the 1960's, it was enacted that legislation did not need any longer to be read in toto at any meeting of the legislature. Given the fact that our legislators often do not read the legislation themselves, that means that our legislators are neither writing nor reading the legislation they "pass". That is an appalling state of affairs because it means that the people have lost control of their executive and judicial governors -- which they can maintain only through their elected legislative representatives.

The LRB's in the various state legislatures, in other words, are evidence of a serious erosion of government "of the people, by the people, and for the people."

The legislation being proposed will remove the LRB from being anything other than a reference resource for both the legislators and the public. And it will mandate that no legislator may vote until he has signed off on having read and understood the legislation, and that the legislation must be read in toto out loud in session before being voted on.

The LRB has been a primary conduit through which our legislation has been subject to control by persons who have no business being involved in legislation -- unelected members of the judiciary. The proposed legislation will make each legislator personally responsible for his own legislation, and at least encourage them meaningfully to read anything voted on. We can expect stout resistance to these provisions.

At one time, lawyers were not allowed to be legislators or executives -- on the grounds that being officers of the court, such would be a violation of the separation of the three branches of government: legislative, executive, and judiciary.

I had not realized until recently that lawyers were officers of the court, which certainly changes the meaning of being a lawyer. The English title, "esquire", I am told, comes from that office.

This violation of the separation of powers obtains in every state in the union, and must be reversed if we are to recover the democratic republic which God two centuries ago gave us. Our republic is already well down the road to corruption under the guidance of persons more interested in control and power than in truth or righteousness.

But repentance and hard work will restore it.

Faithfully in Christ,
                Earle Fox


Our Reasonable God

The Criminalizing of Ignorance - Part I
See Part 2

- 1. "Compelling Interest" -

We hear commonly today that the state has an "overriding interest" or a "compelling interest" in the education of its citizens. Mind you, we do not hear this from parents or students (except perhaps impecunious university students looking for someone to pay their way). We hear it from persons who feel that the rightful task of civil government is taking care of us cradle to grave (rather than being a referee in a society otherwise largely free from government interference).

I mentioned in the previous issue that socialists had captured the moral high ground by persuading us that the "public" is what the government does, and that we selfish private citizens are obligated to bow to the higher moral authority embodied in the socialist vision of life. Socialism captured the 20th century on the moral issue, not on the economic issue.

It will also eventually lose on the moral issue. It needs to be stated very clearly that a socialist government is not a democratic republic. The two are poles apart and mortal enemies. The one will always be the enemy of the other.

That is not to say that all socialists and all democratic republicans are enemies personally, but they are enemies philosophically, and in the long run, spiritually. The conflict between top-down and bottom-up government is too radical to leave room for common ground.

All true democracy is under God. A Godless attempt at democracy will always drift toward socialism, i.e., away from a limited government -- because the state is forced to replace the moral agency of God with its own control.

Socialism touts itself as government "for the people". But it will tend to be for the people only from the viewpoint of a self-appointed elite, not from the viewpoint of the people themselves. The people can sustain their own independent viewpoint over against the civil government only if they are free to provide their own religion and schooling. Freedom of conscience is tied directly to freedom both of religion and education -- which underlines again the compelling need for separation from state-control of both religion and education.

Only persons can have an "interest". Governments are not persons and can have no "interests".  Governments are abstractions formed to protect and administer the welfare of persons. Or, as our Declaration of Independence say: "...that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

We create a fictitious sense of personhood by "incorporating" governments. But it is a legal fiction. The people can have common interests, and some of them very compelling. But states and governments cannot have interests other than in the sense that legislatures represent the people. A state can have no independent interests at all of its own, and certainly not compelling ones.

Socialist, fascist, communist, and other forms of top-down government nevertheless all rest on the false notion that they can have compelling interests. Such notions soon become the camouflage for the interests of control-oriented persons -- who lull the people into their grasp by promising to oversee their "interests" for their good -- i.e., by convincing the people of their God-like qualities. "Trust and obey us."  With the 1962 Engel vs. Vitale Supreme Court decision outlawing prayer, God was dismissed from His sovereignty, and the Court stood in His place.  That was no accident. 

So, the state then becomes "Big Brother" who soon overruns, not oversees, the interests of the people. The notion of "state interests" is too a powerful temptation for control-minded folks to resist to manipulate the thinking and will of the people.

When the state begins to assert its independent interests, it will soon be asserting them against the sovereignty both of the people and of God for the benefit of those who hold the levers of political control. Then the government is no longer "the public", but a privately controlled corporation for the benefit of those at the top -- with all the power of "legitimized" coercive force.

The people can retain their sovereignty over the civil government only by jealously guarding their authority through elected legislatures, elected executives, and juries of peers.

- 2. At Gunpoint -

A "compelling" interest means an interest perceived to be so essential to the fabric of the state that the state must coercively take over supervision of that item. In a limited constitutional government, the list of such items is kept to a minimum -- only those things properly enforced at gunpoint, such as protection of the citizens from violence. In a Godly democratic republic, the freedom of the people is a primary aim of government. "That to secure these rights governments are instituted among men...." "These rights" are not the rights to be exactly equal to every other person (which requires massive control and interference), but rather the freedom to have equal opportunity to pursue truth and righteousness (which requires stern limitations on governmental interference).

However, a socialist mindset sees government not as at "gunpoint", but as the friendly moral conscience of the people and the protector from chaos, and therefore sees no need to subject the government to a law higher than itself. The common legal notion (positivist law) today is that "right" is defined by civil law -- whereas the truth is precisely the other way around: Godly righteousness is the objective standard under which all law, including civil law, operates.

The socialist expands that above list of coerced items to ensure equal results, not equal opportunity. The educational mindset of the last several decades has wanted to coerce equal outcomes in education -- hence, "outcomes based" education.

Unhappy results emerge from this alleged "compelling interest" of the state to have an educated citizenry --  here are three: 

1. mandatory (at gunpoint) education;

2. state control of curriculum, hiring, and graduation requirements;

3. criminalizing of those who violate the mandate to be "educated". Ignorance becomes a felony.

"At gunpoint" is no exaggeration. It is the very nature of any "compelling interest" to be enforced at gunpoint.

In the early years (mid 1850's) of the Massachusetts shift to "public" education, citizens (notably on Cape Cod) who resisted were met by armed troopers from the state to coerce attendance of their children in state-controlled schools.

On January 10, 1985, Soloman Shippy was forcibly removed from his parents and home in New Plymouth, Idaho, placed in a detention home, and forced to go to a public school because he was being homeschooled.

A few months ago, I had nearly an hour long conversation with a woman in north central Pennsylvania who is home schooling her children. The local government is prosecuting because she and her husband will not agree to supervision by the local department of education.

One day when the woman's husband was out, there appeared at the door an officer with a warrant for her husband's arrest. She stepped out on the porch to inquire about the matter, with her children behind her. As she did, another officer rose up from behind a vehicle and aimed a rifle at her. What kind of insanity is this -- aiming a loaded rifle at a woman and her children, who is charged with no crime, who is threatening no person???

This is the second recent case in Pennsylvania where prosecution by the civil government over home schooling has caused serious disruption of family life. That same issue is currently being confronted in Massachusetts. Several years ago at Ruby Ridge in California, a mother holding her infant was gunned down by a federal sniper under somewhat similar circumstances.

If the word 'criminalizing' seems a bit far fetched, consider that, according to a UPI news release of 3/20/98, a Cincinnati public schools committee plans to lobby the state legislature to criminalize public school truancy as a misdemeanor.

Several judicial decisions in the 1990's, involving pornographic sex education, falsely alleged parental abuse, and school testing programs, have indicated that when a parent sends a child to school, the parent loses control. The state believes that it owns the child -- or wants the rest of us to believe it.

Dear reader, laws are enforced at gunpoint. The freedom of conscience to raise our children according to our traditions and beliefs is being routinely violated in America today. A false separation of Church and state is instituted and the real separation ignored -- so that a government itself out of control can proceed to control both our religion and our education. This is not "pluralism", this is tyranny. State education is education at gunpoint.

You can be sure that these cases will escalate because control by an illegally and unconstitutionally centralized government is seriously threatened by people who independently educate their children. And it is seriously threatened by persons who worship a God to whom all men owe obedience, a God whose laws stand above the pretensions of any civil government to exercise absolute authority over its citizens.

Mandatory education means just that. Either you do it voluntarily or you will be coerced into doing it. The incidents of open coercion are many, and growing ever more insistent. The enemies of freedom know that they have a limited window in which to assert their dominion because Godly freedom cannot be contained.

- 3. Seat Time vs. Outcomes -

Traditional public school education (pre-1970's and '80's roughly) is mocked with the epithet "seat time" because a student is given a number of years (usually 12) of "free" education, but yet might graduate with no education at all. What the student gets out of his seat time is up to him. He is forced to be there, but he is not forced to learn. The law is directed at what the teacher teaches (bad enough), not yet at what the student learns.

But with the advent of "outcomes" based education (OBE), the law is now directed at the student, mandating what he learns, as well as what the teacher teaches. The "outcomes", the required accomplishments, are to be met before the student can graduate. With OBE, education shifted even further from the freemarket principle of equal opportunity toward the socialist/communist principle of equal results.

In order for results to come out equally, however, they must be enforced. Human beings do not naturally or willingly all fit into the same Procrustean bed. So all the coercive power of civil law must be brought to bear on the child, and hence on his parents, to enforce conformity to the outcomes mandated by the state.

The most effective way to do that is to separate the child from parents in order to bring the child more fully under the power of the state. Statists well understand that family, church, and independent education are their primary enemies. (Would that families and churches understood it so well!)

The state under OBE says to the child: "You will learn this, or you will not leave school." That will be difficult to enforce, but that is the principle upon which OBE is run.

Ignorance (defined, of course, by the state) becomes a felony punishable by involuntary servitude of undefined length. That is sober and legal fact. Schools become prisons and teachers become wardens.

As an illustration, judges can issue contempt-of-court citations by which a defendant is sent to jail until the defendant complies with whatever order the judge had given. Education has become just such a process. The state orders its citizens to be educated (to think and believe as it dictates), and then issues a citation to citizens it deems ignorant (beginning with all the young), forcibly consigning them to school until said citizens comply with the directive. State schools have become prisons for ignorant citizens.

The system is aimed at the young presently. But with Goals 2000, School-to-Work, Careers legislation, and Life-Long Learning being pushed down from the federal level, a system is being created for cradle to grave control of the thinking and behavior of citizens.

A woman in Madison, Wisconsin, the United States of America, a few years ago had refused to rent space in her apartment because she did not want to share her space with a lesbian. The lesbian sued. The woman was heavily fined and forced to attend a course to get her thinking properly "remediated" to respect homosexuality.

Education by the state is not merely for the young, and ignorance is no longer merely a bad idea, it is now a felony.

- 4. The Real Crime -

The paradoxical truth, however, is that ignorance has not been made the crime. Disagreement with the all-wise state has been made the crime. Ignorance of truth, rather than made a crime, is made mandatory by an evil curriculum deliberately perpetrated in the name of education to keep a population controllable.

Again, if that seems an "extremist" view, read Educating for the New World Order, by B. K. Eakman, the story of Anita Hoge, a housewife in southwestern Pennsylvania (near where I live), who unearthed a massive scheme to use the education system to control the thinking of our children. If you believe that cannot happen in America, get it and read it. It is happening in every state in the Union.

Such education is the essence of tyranny by mind-control. Government-controlled education will always lead, sooner or later, to a fascist, communist, or otherwise totalitarian control over the lives of its citizens. It is spiritual insanity to put education into the hands of those who hold the gun of civil authority.

Our government run school system was patterned by Horace Mann, it al, in the mid 1800's after the system used by the most militaristic culture in the world -- the Junkers of Prussia. It was used as a control system there, it was planned as a control system here, and it is being perfected to accomplish that control today. Samuel Blumenfeld tells the history behind Anita Hoge's experience in his two books: Is Public Education Necessary? and NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education.

Civil government has a good and rightful place in the plan of God. But when it strays from its role as referee for the public arena, the citizens had better read their Declaration of Independence, get their Committees of Correspondence and their Minute Men on the alert -- and most of all read their Scripture.

[Next Issue: The Criminalizing of Ignorance - Part II,
New Hampshire: a Case Study.

Quote of the Month

"He who is void of virtuous attachments in private life is,
or very soon will be, void of all regard for his country.  
There is seldom an instance of a man guilty of betraying
his country, who had not before lost the feeling
of moral obligations in his private connections...."

- Samuel Adams in a letter to James Warren
(or was it to Wm. Clinton?)  November 4, 1775


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Copyright, Earle Fox 1998