If our morals are part of our nature, we cannot repeal them

This fact, plus sexual disease and paedophilia, will soon do in the school sex clubs

The Department of Education has reduced curricular outcomes to a social/emotional manifesto. Meanwhile, parents have been lulled into debating the status of bathroom equity, rather than been given the relevant knowledge content of subject disciplines. For evidence of this, ask any university.

The above paragraph, with minor changes, has been excerpted from the frightening letter written last month by veteran Edmonton teacher and educator Richard Dietrich. It’s the letter which the ever more left-leaning Calgary Herald and Edmonton Journal have refused to publish. It was carried in this space two weeks ago, and it bodes very badly for Alberta’s students in their future careers. They will graduate with wondrously social attitudes, but they may not be able to add, subtract, multiply, divide, read, write or earn a living. When Education Minister David Eggen promises “the most sweeping changes” ever wrought in the curriculum of Alberta’s schools, it can only mean more of the same.

However, to blame this dismal academic performance on one richly deluded ideologue is both untrue and unfair. The decline has been going on for at least six decades in schools throughout the western world, which have adopted an educational policy that works through the system like a cancer. At the core of it, they have abandoned belief in what the philosophers call “Natural Law,” though it might better be called “the Law of Human Nature.”

It arises from the recognition that much the same schedule of moral rules appears in every society and culture throughout history. This occurs, say the adherents, because man does not “adopt” a morality. We’re born with it. We might modify it from time to time, but whenever we set about erasing one of its rules we soon realize that the basis of our proposed change is another of its rules. Intellectually, it’s like a prison. Escape is impossible.

Those who disagree with this argue, of course, that different societies have vastly different moral codes. But this is simply untrue. In fact, the most remarkable thing about them is the astonishing similarity between the moral principles of mankind, wherever a new state of civilization appears. In the appendix to his book, “The Abolition of Man,” C.S. Lewis lists the central moral rules of nine societies — Ancient Jewish, Hindu, Greek, Roman, Christian, Ancient Indian, Anglo Saxon, Babylonian, and Egyptian. They are not identical, of course, but the same themes recur in them all, and all are founded on the principle that the self must frequently yield to the Truth. Philosophy combines them all as “Natural Law.” The new educators believe, however, that there is no such thing as Truth.

But why, one asks, have all these ancient and modern societies embraced such similar codes? Because, say the adherents, men didn’t invent this element we find in our being. It was put there by our Maker.

Many of our attempted reforms, it might be noted, have as their goal our liberation from this Law of Human Nature. The reformers think of its rules as something we can shed. Again and again, however, we find that we can’t do without them Take, for instance, the wondrous ways in which science has enabled us to thwart the natural order by such things as birth control. Already we encounter unforeseen consequences. Soon we’re not producing enough people. We are forced to import strangers. Serious consequences follow. We’re swamped by newcomers whom we don’t understand and who don’t understand us.

If one examines carefully the innovations being imposed upon us through reforms in the education system, it becomes clear that many of them follow from our efforts to escape the Law of Human Nature. Which means they won’t work because they can’t. Take the example the school sex clubs, so dear to the heart of Alberta’s minister of education. Two things will destroy these endeavours, and (one hopes) will also destroy the disastrous educational philosophy that brought them about. One is paedophilia, the other disease. Warnings of a sharp rise in sexually transmitted diseases among young people are already being sounded by the communicable disease agency in the United States. As usual, neither of Alberta’s big dailies carried the warning, presumably because it would and should embarrass the government. The paedophile scourge will soon become evident because the clubs are already being advised by their adult guides to make connections “in the community.” Which community is that, one wonders. Three guesses.

Inevitably, socialist ideology will continue to replace the Great Books in the universities. The government of Alberta has plainly decided that we have nothing to learn from the Great Books. When we are favoured with the views, edicts, pronouncements and towering intellect of a man like Curtis Clarke, serving as deputy minister of education, who needs Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Moses, the Buddha, Confucius or Jesus Christ?

Ted Byfield was founder and publisher of Alberta Report news magazine, general editor of Alberta in the Twentieth Century, a 12-volume history of the province, and general editor of The Christians: Their First Two Thousand Years, a 12-volume history of Christianity. His column on education appears in The Christians.com, a web journal. He has aslo authored three little books on modern pedagogy: Why History Matters, The Revolution Nobody Covered and most recently The Time is Now. You can order copies here.

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