By Berit Kjos
August 1998 – Seven-year-old Sallie loved her school and her classmates. But she felt sad when a teacher at her elementary school in Los Altos, California, told her not to talk about her Christian beliefs on school grounds.
“What’s church and state?” she asked her mother.
“Why do you ask?” answered the mother.
“My teacher told me to keep them apart and not talk about Jesus. She said I should save that talk for Sundays.”
The rule made no sense to Sallie. Jesus was special to her every day, not just on Sundays. And she knew God wanted her to tell others. Yet she didn’t want to break the rules. So when she wanted to bring her Bible for “sharing day,” she hesitated. In the end, she decided not to bring it even though one of her classmates had brought a small Buddha statue for the sharing time. The teacher didn’t seem to mind the Buddhist religion.
Sallie’s mother was in the classroom for a Thanksgiving celebration when the teacher asked all the students to say in one word what they were thankful for. Sallie raised her hand right away. She knew what she was thankful for: Jesus. But the teacher ignored her hand and called on all the others. Finally, at the very end, she let Sallie say her special word. The teacher seemed irritated, and Sallie felt shamed.
One day, when Sallie was talking about Jesus with a classmate who had come to her Vacation Bible School, the principal came by and heard some of their conversation.
“Don’t talk about Jesus so much,” he told her.
Sallie felt confused. “But Kara needs to hear about Jesus.” she said. She knew that her friend was hurting.
As one might expect, Sallie didn’t do well on the new assessments that emphasize the “right” values and attitudes rather than traditional academics. She was assigned to a “Child Study Team” where she would be remediated. Her IEP (Individual Education Plan) would be managed and monitored by the Resource Specialist.
“She doesn’t smile, Mommy,” said Sallie, who felt uncomfortable in her counselor’s presence.
Her parents asked a lawyer what rights they had as parents to protect Sallie from religious intolerance. The lawyer warned them that the school might consider Sallie “overly religious” and refer her to Child Protection Services (CPS). At that point, Sallie’s parents quickly transferred her from the local public school to a Christian school. Sallie misses her friends, but at least she is no longer under the watchful eye of the school-based “thought police.”
Perhaps you are wondering how this could be happening in America. What happened to free speech? To religious freedom? To kindness?
Remember the paradigm shift. It changed all the rules. The globalist meaning for tolerance permits no tolerance for Christianity. A 1995 International Declaration of Principles on Tolerance, prepared by the leftist UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) and “signed by Member Nations,” defined the new global standard. All nations would be responsible for fulfilling this international contract by teaching the “right” kind of tolerance. Though the U.S. is not officially a member, we lead the way in implementing its revolutionary agenda.
As you read UNESCO’s Principles on Tolerance, ask yourself, “Can Christian children really ‘appreciate’ what God forbids?” Look up Deut. 18:9-13, Rom. 1:18-32 and I Cor. 10:11, then follow its twisted logic:
➤ Tolerance is respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world’s cultures.… It is not only a moral duty, it is also a political and legal requirement.
➤ Tolerance involves the rejection of dogmatism and absolutism.…[Biblical truth?]
➤ Tolerance…means that one’s views are not to be imposed on others. [Would this end freedom to share the gospel with others? Could the UN still share its views?]
➤ Intolerance…is a global threat.
➤ Scientific studies and networking should be undertaken to coordinate the international community’s response to this global challenge, including analysis…of root causes and effective countermeasures, as well as…monitoring….
➤ Tolerance promotion and the shaping of attitudes of openness, mutual listening and solidarity should take place in schools and universities, and through non-formal education…at home and in the workplace.
➤ Promote rational tolerance teaching methods that will address the cultural, social, economic, political and religious sources of intolerance – major roots of violence….
This anti-Christian standard for right and wrong has permeated teacher’s colleges, educational laboratories, and curricula for decades. It has torn down God’s boundaries, and allowed immorality and deception to flood our land. No wonder children are adrift in a tumultuous current of inner conflict and moral confusion. Faced with pressure to conform to the new guidelines for tolerance and the irrational new regulations for “zero tolerance,” they simply don’t know where to turn.
Apart from God, people will always twist His values. That’s why He warns us, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil… Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight” (Isaiah 5:20).
True wisdom is found in the Bible. Long ago, God told us to “train up your child in the way he should go….” (Proverbs 22:6). That means learning to know God, trust His promises, and follow His ways. It also means learning to face exclusion, rejection, and persecution “for His name sake.” The rewards are wonderful beyond words: peace with the Shepherd and fellowship with our King forever and ever.
To understand the manipulative strategies used to conform our children to global values, read Brave New Schools by Berit Kjos (Harvest House). The book is available through Christian bookstores, or call 1-800-929-5646.