Fairfield Ledger
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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 23, 2017

Free society cannot survive without education

By James Lee Elliott | Oct 19, 2017

To the editor:

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” — Thomas Jefferson, 1816.

From sea to shining sea this nation is filled with magnificent buildings, bridges, statues, monuments and national symbols. But the fact is that with any structure, the most important element is its foundation.

The same is true for the foundations of this nation and if we continue to allow the few to misinterpret, rewrite and destroy the original intent of the foundations of this nation, then our entire constitutional republic including the republic of Iowa, for which it stands, is in danger of collapsing, falling into the graveyard of fallen nations.

For over five decades the students of this nation’s public schools, colleges and universities have been inundated with a new scholarship (or lack thereof) of American history from the constitution, to the Declaration of Independence, to the first years of 21st Century America which still lives in the aftermath of September 11, 2001.

It now seems that each generation has a tendency to rewrite American history in order to meet the needs of any given current event of tragedy, terrorism or social agenda that plays to an audience with little or no knowledge, understanding or appreciation of American history, and the foundations of this nation.

Too many now have a divided attitude toward this nation caused by false teachings, no teaching, fake news, and political agendas. Some even see America as a burden to overcome, a prison from which to escape.

The bottom line is that a free society cannot survive as a republic without a broad program of general education. This nation’s early English colonists undertook something which no nation had ever attempted before — the educating of the whole people!

In 1647, public education began in this nation when Massachusetts set up free public grammar schools to teach the fundamentals of reading, writing, ciphering, history, geography and Bible study!

Today, in 21st Century America, 94 percent of adult Americans own a Bible and many homes have multiple copies (collecting dust?). No other books come closely remote to this number. “Simply put, the Bible is the most influential book ever written.” (Time Magazine, March 22, 2007).

Our Founding Fathers wrote in the Declaration of Independence that some truths are self-evident, and one of these is the fact that all men are created equal.

They did not believe that the basic rights of mankind originated from any social compact, king, emperor, or governmental authority. These rights, they believed, came directly and exclusively from God. They were to be maintained sacred and inviolate.

Today, in 21st Century America, we are witnessing the evidence that the foundation of this nation must be regularly inspected and maintained.

The words of the United States House of Representatives in 1854 still holds true today in 2017: “The great vital element in our system is the belief of our people in the pure and divine truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

The choice before us is plain. Christ or chaos. Conviction or compromise.

Discipline or disintegration!

 

— James Lee Elliott, Fairfield

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