The man who helped push the issue of public education onto the national agenda of the Southern Baptist Convention has written a new book that blows the lid off government schools, showing parents the kind of worldview and values their children are influenced by 180 days a year.
Bruce Shortt, author of "The Harsh Truth About Public Schools," presents myriad reasons why government institutions are failing America's children and thumbing their noses at parents with a religious worldview.
As WorldNetDaily reported, last year Shortt helped spearhead an unsuccessful effort to have the Southern Baptist Convention pass a resolution urging its members to remove their children from public school.
In "The Harsh Truth About Public Schools," Shortt, writing from a biblical perspective, presents rigorous research about the agenda and effect of government schooling on the nation's young people.
Shortt especially wants to educate Christian parents, millions of whom send their kids off to public school every day.
"Contrary to what many Christians have been led to believe, there is no such thing as a 'neutral' education," Shortt writes. "All education is religious and conveys a worldview, and there is no more important decision that we make as parents than how we educate our children."
Continues Shortt: "Unfortunately, Christian parents allow an aggressively anti-Christian institution to form the minds of their children, and the fruit of that choice is bitter. The overwhelming majority of children from evangelical families leave the church within two years after they graduate from high school; only 9 percent of evangelical teens believe that there is any such thing as absolute moral truth; and, our children are being forcibly indoctrinated to believe that homosexual behavior is acceptable."
While Shortt wants Christian parents who use the government schools to read the book, he also encourages homeschooling parents to read it.
"Homeschool parents must have this book to minister to their Christian friends and neighbors, pastors and skeptical relatives. Our government-school habit is sowing the wind, and unless Christians turn from this gross sin we will reap a whirlwind that is unimaginable," Shortt says.
In the book, Shortt documents the pitfalls of public schools, saying the anti-Christian thrust of the governmental school system produces inevitable results: "moral relativism (no fixed standards), academic dumbing down, far-left programs, near absence of discipline and the persistent but pitiable rationalizations offered by government education professionals."
Shortt also urges pastors to read the book so they might "understand why the church can no longer abdicate its historic role in the education of our children."
Says Short: "'The Harsh Truth About Public Schools' makes it clear why no Christian child should be left behind in government schools. Our Christian children are perishing because parents and pastors lack knowledge. The information in this book exposes the 'salt and light' and the 'our schools are different' rationalizations for educating Christian children in pagan schools for the contemptible falsehoods they are.
"Any parent or pastor who genuinely desires to be faithful in the education of Christian children needs to find out what the public schools are actually doing, rather than relying on what they are saying they are doing or on memories of the public schools as they may have existed 10, 20 or 30 years ago."
Shortt makes his argument by citing a school district in Texas.
"There is no public school district in the country that has more Christians in the community or in the schools than that of Plano, Texas," he said. "In fact, the largest and most powerful church in the state of Texas, Prestonwood Baptist, is located in Plano. Yet, it took a court order to force the Plano schools to allow Christian school children to privately give classmates Christmas gifts that had a Christian message. Moreover, the school district had even prohibited schoolchildren from bringing red and green napkins to the school 'holiday' parties for fear the colors might remind someone of Christmas.
"The truth is that the public school policy and curriculum decisions that matter to Christians are not made locally. They are largely dictated by federal and state court decisions, federal and state legislation and regulations, and the teachers' union and other professional associations connected with the public schools."
But what about reforming the public schools? Isn't that a solution?
Responds Shortt: "Public schools cannot be reformed to provide a Christian education, and the evidence is overwhelming that even conventional secular reforms to reinstate traditional academic and moral standards will continue to fail. But even if you think that we should nevertheless try to reinstate traditional academic and moral standards in the schools, taking your children out is the most effective thing you can do to help the children whose parents have left them behind in the public schools. Only the threat of a collapse of the entire public school system offers even the remotest prospect of positive change. Traditional reform efforts are a waste of time.
"Even if you believe that there is nothing wrong with institutionalizing Christian children in public schools, you need to read this book because you may be wrong. Remember, you only get one chance to educate your children. There are no do-overs."