Monday, October 18, 2010

Of Mice and Men and "values clarification"


I recently watched the movie "Of Mice and Men" with my daughter. She had been assigned the book to read in her English class. Having never read the book, I was appalled by the choice of this grisly tale for classroom discussion.

The book's author, John Steinbeck, has cleverly contrived a tale in which the killing of a mentally deficient man appears to be justified. It is a perfect introduction to eugenics for young people from a secular humanist point of view. First a sick old dog is killed (euthanized), then at the very end Lennie is killed (euthanized) by his friend George.

I asked my daughter if anyone in her class had objected to the killing on moral grounds, and it appears that all of them seemed to agree that the killing was justified and the best possible choice for George given the circumstances. None of the students seemed to realize that the "circumstances" were complete contrived by the author in order to elicit a particular moral judgement from his readers.

Just today I was reading about a speech by Archbishop Chaput of Denver who has made a name for himself as a staunch defender of the Catholic faith. He was discussing the loss of a "moral vocabulary" in young people. He used as an example the reaction of some young students to a short story titled "The Lottery". This is a story about a fictional town where a "sacrificial victim" is chosen each year by way of a lottery. (My daughter's class was assigned to read this morally repugnant story a few years earlier.)

I was reminded of an article I had read recently about "values clarification".
Children learn to establish values through exercises in which they rank or compare items or opinions based on personal preference. To accustom students to reveal themselves, exercises generally begin with topics that are benign, such as arranging short lists of foods, sporting events, or vacations spots in order of preference. Ice breakers, typically used in (adult and student) retreats, in which participants must exchange benign personal information (who else wears glasses?, etc.) are a values clarification vehicle meant to accustom individuals to reveal themselves.

Once students are comfortable sharing their personal position, a barrage of moral dilemmas may be hurled at them, asking them if they agree strongly, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, disagree strongly, and to forth. As the exercises progress, the points become more controversial and more personal: Should children have the right not to accompany their parents to church? Should homework be abolished? Should teens be free to engage in sex before marriage? Is euthanasia a good idea? Students whose ideas differ from the majority are subject to awkward public scrutiny and ultimately may be pressured to abandon their convictions and to join the crowd instead.
You can see how stories like "Of Mice and Men" and "The Lottery" could be easily used as a way to initiate a conversation about values. This doesn't sound so terrible, except that the purpose of "values clarification" is not to teach children the difference between right and wrong; it is to encourage "critical thinking" with regards to morality. It encourages young people to believe that they should be their own arbiters of right and wrong; good or bad.
Christians should note that Jesus never used values clarification. Jesus taught by moralizing. He clearly defined right, wrong and sin. Jesus described the Kingdom of God with clever analogies; creative parables containing references people could relate to. While his stories sometimes were confusing they never contained mixed messages that might put the listener in the occasion of sin. Jesus' goal, while developing well-formed consciences in his followers, was to spawn love for God and to generate understanding for the necessity of total obedience to God.

Values clarification, on the other hand, works to slowly erode a child's well-formed conscience and Christian values in favor of personal choice. "A person's values are simply the personal standards or criteria he uses in decision making, and for that reason should not be dictated by another individual" (italics added).7 Values clarification teaches children to shun traditional morality and family rules. It is no wonder that even small children upon returning home from school are boldly telling their parents that they will run their own lives.
When it comes to teaching arithmetic, we teach our children that there is an absolute right or wrong. When it comes to teaching English, students are taught how to spell correctly and how to right grammatically correct sentences. But when it comes to teaching values, our children are taught that there is no right or wrong. Everything is relative and the children are "free" to choose and decide for themselves.

This promotion of a value-free society is no accident. This agenda is promoted by the secular humanists that have become increasingly radical in their demands that religion be abolished from public life - especially in the schools. The history can be traced back to John Dewey and the original "Humanist Manifesto". More recently there was the Frankfurt School which included Herbert Marcuse who was called the "Father of the New Left". He was the one that coined the phrase "make love, not war".
In an address at the US Naval Academy in August 1999, Dr Gerald L. Atkinson, CDR USN (Ret), gave a background briefing on the Frankfurt School, reminding his audience that it was the ‘foot soldiers’ of the Frankfurt School who introduced the ‘sensitivity training’ techniques used in public schools over the past 30 years (and now employed by the US military to educate the troops about ‘sexual harassment’). During ‘sensitivity’ training teachers were told not to teach but to ‘facilitate.’ Classrooms became centres of self-examination where children talked about their own subjective feelings. This technique was designed to convince children they were the sole authority in their own lives.

Atkinson continued: ‘The Authoritarian personality,’ studied by the Frankfurt School in the 1940s and 1950s in America, prepared the way for the subsequent warfare against the masculine gender promoted by Herbert Marcuse and his band of social revolutionaries under the guise of ‘women’s liberation’ and the New Left movement in the 1960s. The evidence that psychological techniques for changing personality is intended to mean emasculation of the American male is provided by Abraham Maslow, founder of Third Force Humanist Psychology and a promoter of the psychotherapeutic classroom, who wrote that, ‘... the next step in personal evolution is a transcendence of both masculinity and femininity to general humanness.
There is an underlying hypocrisy in this so-called secular humanist "tolerance" which is recently becoming ever more apparent. The humanists only advocate a neutral value system as a way of attacking Christian values. Once their "humanistic" values begin to take hold in society, they abandon their neutral position and have no problem in attacking and condemning those with opposing points of view.

This is a very far-reaching subject and I can only hope to scratch the surface in a short article like this, but I hope you can see how this begins to explain the powerful forces at work behind the scenes that are shaping our culture. At the same time, I hope you can begin to appreciate the subtlety of some of these methods of attack. They do not consist of a overt attack, but instead use a subversive method which aims at undermining the foundations of Christian culture.

Recommended reading:

12 comments:

  1. Typical Hegelian dialogues! They try to convince people of their evil agendas by constantly destroying their moral foundations. If you can not complain about the books your little girl is reading I do recommend you to ask the school to get the authorization from the parents to allow them to read a certain book.

    They are definitely indoctrinating your daughter to believe what they want her to, and to polarize her and make her become a liberal. Beware of the dictatorship of relativism.

    Short but very interesting article!

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  2. Baba, it's very curious that you mention 'The Lottery' because I just started to read it on my English class.
    It's all about to change values and attitudes. I can understand the constant attack that the Christian ideology suffers.
    Great articles as always!

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  3. Paco. The only solution to the anti-Christian and pro-Humanist indoctrination of young people seems to be to pull them completely out of the public school system. I finally understand why so many parents are home-schooling their kids.

    The public school teachers are mostly oblivious to the harm they are doing the kids. They are just teaching them what they have been taught. I know because I am guilty of imparting some of these same ideas and values to my daughter.

    Even if I were to send my daughter to a Catholic school, I'm pretty sure that she would still get a strong dose of secular humanism. Still it would be better, because at least she would be taught the importance of God and prayer.

    I'm not one of those people that takes every word in the Bible literally. The Baptists seem to have taken this position, but the Catholic teachings in the Catechism are more open. The basic Catholic teaching is that religion and science are not in conflict, and that each can learn from the other.

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  4. Ride. That's funny. As usual we seem to be in synch. :)

    I suppose "The Lottery" could be used to teach Christian morality. But why use an anti-moralistic story to teach morality? This story depicts a sort of neo-pagan human sacrifice. Why would you want to expose young people to that sort of idea?

    Once the teacher - a public authority figure - assigns this to the kids, then there is an immediate implication that there is something "good" to be derived from this story. And since the teacher is obliged to take a neutral stance in the class discussions, then that is a further tacit approval of this pagan-based story. And in addition the characters in the story are depicted as sort of backwards and superstitious, which is intended to indirectly draw negative parallels to people that believe in God and Jesus Christ.

    The fact that the school board would approve of such a book for study says quite a bit. Believe it or not, I actually read this book in class back in the stone age when I was a student. So this is not a new development. There have been attempts by conservative Christians to ban this book, but it has mostly been unsuccessful.

    Ride. Take a look at the article in which the Archbishop talks about how student's attitudes towards this story has changed.
    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/young-people-today-have-lost-moral-vocabulary-says-archbishop-chaput/

    I'll bet you'll see some similar discussions in your classroom. But as I say, the Archbishop doesn't seem to realize the cause and effect related to this seemingly harmless short story. The secular humanists know that stories like this along with "values clarification" are the best way to attack the religious beliefs of students. If they were just to come out and say that Christianity is wrong, that would only cause the students to defend it further. They have studied adolescent psychology and they know that "preaching" at them will not get the desired effect, so they approach the problem very subtly.

    In fact this is sort of like what I described in my article on the movie "Inception". They "plant" the idea in the child's brain in such a way that they make it seem as if the child came up with it on their own. This eliminates the natural tendency of young people to resist whatever is thrust upon them. Very clever, huh? Diabolical, almost.

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  5. Better then, in the end, to dissolve the American public school system back into the ooze from whence it crawled out. Or at least, the anti-religious parts of it, if nothing else.

    Even if the effort takes a century or more, it must be done, town by town, county by county, state by state. And to never take "no" for an answer.

    Thank you for your time.

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  6. I've just been reading about how much influence the Rockefeller Foundation has had on our education system. In particular the Rockefeller Foundation funded the Kinsey reports on male and female sexuality. The "data" in these reports (which were released in 1948 and 1953) was totally skewed to make it seem as if Americans were widely engaging in promiscuous and homosexual sex.

    These "scientific" reports were then used to justify the introduction of sex education in the schools, and to promote homosexuality. This further resulted in the loosening of pornography laws, which has led to the current epidemic of sexual addiction to pornography.

    The goal of the "sexual revolution" is to replace fertile loving sex within marriage with sterile recreational sex. This is largely driven by a eugenic agenda. The public schools have been recruited to push that agenda further. The greatest obstacle to that agenda has been the Catholic Church.

    More information regarding the Kinsey reports and the involvement of the Rockefeller Foundation can be found here:
    http://www.drjudithreisman.com/

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  7. The usual suspects hahaha. The Rockefellers, Soros, Brjinsky (don't know the proper spelling), Rothschild, etc. etc etc.

    Wherever there are masons, zionists or bankers satan has something going on.

    And yes, the best way to save children from the relativist indoctrination is by educating them better, but just beware, nowadays homeschooling is a crime in the UK and in some US/Canada regions! No wonder why, right?

    The Catholic Church must stand strong and defend the true teachings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    I like the Baptists but they are way too involved with Freemasonry, more than I would like them to, so I don't trust them 100%, plus they use the chopped modified version of the Bible, so, being based solely on the Bible isn't exactly what the case.

    I would like to say that one of my best friends, like a brother to me, is a Baptist, so, I'm not being judgmental.

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  8. Paco. There is definitely an organized enemy that is fighting the Catholic Church. The uniting philosophy is secular humanism. Within that there are many different factions. And they don't always agree among themselves.

    I like the Baptists also. And yes they have adopted the Lutheran Bible which rejected various books from the Christian Bible as had been established through Church history. One of those books is Tobit where the archangel Raphael appears. This book has a beautiful prayer consecrating marriage to God. I can't imagine why it was rejected by Luther. It is similar to the Book of Job in style.

    One of the most serious mistakes of the Protestant Reformation was to deny that Marriage was a sacrament of the Church. We can see what that has led to - first civil marriages and now "gay marriage".

    Luther accused the Pope of being the anti-Christ. But judging by the *fruits* of Luther's revolutionary movement against the Catholic Church, I would have to say that Luther himself could be thought of as an anti-Christ. The places where Protestantism took the strongest hold are now the most likely to have become largely atheistic. (I'm thinking of Germany, England and the Scandinavian countries.)

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  9. 'Apart from me you are nothing'... couldn't be more true!

    All the fake Christians, who have separated themselves from the Catholic Church have been divided, destroyed and almost vanished by secularism/satan.

    Orthodox can not stand it anymore, they want back in, Protestants are so divided there's nothing left of them to truly represent what they first were, and the sects are a travesty and a mock of Christianity.

    I just don't have anything good to say about those who separated themselves of the Mystical Body of Christ, except for Orthodox who some are great in Apologetic. Who is so stupid to get away from Christ?

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  10. The Catechism talks about the relationship of the Catholic Church and Protestants in the section titled "THE CHURCH IS ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC, AND APOSTOLIC". Paragraphs 817, 818 and 819 specifically address this issue. It tells us that Protestants are our "brothers in the Lord".

    Excerpts from Catechism - 817, 818, 819:
    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P29.HTM

    "Serious dissentions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church. . . . One cannot charge with sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers. . . . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church. . . . Christ's Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities [found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church] as means of salvation."

    ---

    With regards to the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church the Catechism is even more specific.

    838 "The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter." Those "who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church." With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound "that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord's Eucharist."

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  11. @Paco:
    Who told you that "Orthodox can not stand it anymore, they want back in"? Back in...what?
    In a christian faith based on the seven Ecumenical Councils that modified the very basis, the symbol of it's faith, the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed by adding "and the Son".
    No, thank you. I don't want ...out! I prefer to stay IN the Orthodox faith that kept ALL the Apostles' and Church Fathers' teachings UNCHANGED.

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  12. @Dan. Oh for the good old days when Christians cared deeply enough about their faith to argue about the true nature of the Holy Trinity. This is certainly an important and ongoing theological discussion which you bring up. But I don't think you can get two theologians in a room without them having an argument about one thing or another.

    If any of us ever get to Heaven we will learn the true nature of the Trinity since we will experience it as a reality which our glorified bodies will be prepared to participate directly in. "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood." (1 Cor 13:12)

    Let's pray for the day that "there shall be one flock, one shepherd." (John 10:16)

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