Recently by Becky Akers: When a Pervert Calls the Sociopaths'Bluff
Produced and directed by Joaquin Fernandez and Colin Gunn. Studio: Gunn Productions in association with Exodus Mandate. Running time: 1hour and 42 minutes. Becky's short review: I wish I were an octopus so I could award this terrific film 8 thumbs up!
Two quirks make me the wrong audience for Colin Gunn's documentary, IndoctriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America. First, I dislike movies in general (I'd much rather read — a problem Mr. Gunn nicely resolves here). Second, I don't have kids. So while the government's "educational" gulag outrages my anarchist convictions, I have no personal stake in the issue beyond the years Our Rulers stole from my childhood and the taxes they pilfer to finance their scam.
But such is Mr. Gunn's genius, charming Scottish accent, and devotion to his Lord and Savior that his film riveted me nonetheless. I strongly recommend IndoctriNation to everyone: Christian or non-Christian; teacher, parent or student; and even the childless like me. But beware: if you have sacrificed Junior to the public schools, IndoctriNation's 102 minutes will number among your most uncomfortable and damning.
It's old news by now that Leviathan's schools have miserably failed to educate their victims in academic knowledge even as they wildly succeed at training them to obey the State. (Intriguingly, though most Americans understand this, they stubbornly insist that their school is different and better, according to polls Indoctrination presents). So the film only briefly rehearses the stats on illiteracy; American students' plummeting rank in the world; schools' extreme, even lethal, physical dangers; their immorality and sexual predation; the easy access to alcohol and drugs, whether illicit, prescription, or — most horrifying of all — administered by the school; etc.
Mr. Gunn then moves quickly to his primary thesis: that devout Christians committed to honoring the Bible will never entrust their kids to the State's brainwashing, however innocent, necessary, or beneficial Our Rulers claim that brainwashing is. Mr. Gunn and the scholars he interviews, such as R.C. Sproul, Erwin Lutzer, Voddie Baucham, Jr., and LRC's own Gary North, cite Scripture after Scripture while contending that pious parents will shoulder their God-given responsibility for "bring[ing] up [their children] in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." That means instructing kids at home.
Nor does IndoctriNation allow the dodge of "private" schools (which the State heavily regulates nonetheless), even if those institutions are Christian. The Bible charges parents alone with the duty of teaching their children, and IndoctriNation unflinchingly hews to that. (It unflinchingly hews to the Bible as a whole, in fact. There's no "let's-make-eternal-truths-and-the-Almighty-relevant-to-temporal,-fallen-man" squishiness here, thank God. If you like your religion pure and undefiled, IndoctriNation is for you.)
I imagine homeschooling is a daunting prospect, especially if you have several progeny. (Mr. Gunn is no hypocrite: he and his wife teach all eight of their kids themselves.) Perhaps that's why so many Christians insist that the Bible calls them — or, more accurately, their helpless offspring — to be "salt and light" in the public schools; these folks assume against all reason and Scripture that their children will live a Godly life among the mocking, hateful heathen. Mr. Gunn blows that rationalization sky-high with tragic figures on how many graduates of the State's propaganda-mills abandon their faith. And one young lady tells IndoctriNation that her school was so intensely hostile she not only hid her beliefs, she overtly denied being a Christian when so accused. Adults with many years of studying the Bible under their belts would quake at confronting such an adverse arena; what of a child who may have confessed Christ as Savior only a year or two ago? Are parents who expect their children to withstand the schools any kinder than the Romans who threw our spiritual fathers to the lions? As R.C. Sproul poignantly puts it, "We don't lose [our children], we give them away" to the government when we refuse to teach them ourselves.
Along with the "salt and light" crowd go those misguided evangelicals who want to "reclaim" the schools for Christianity. Mr. Gunn shows this for the fool's errand that it is as he explores the history and philosophy of public schooling in America. Such schooling was never a Christian endeavor; rather, it bitterly opposed Christianity from the very beginning. Statists in the early 19th century imported the system from Prussia, where the goal was to produce compliant, passive cannon fodder for Frederick the Great's militarism. A bit later, American socialists such as Horace Mann and John Dewey enthusiastically echoed Karl Marx's demand that the State rip children from their families. IndoctriNation proves that public schooling has always been a godless enterprise designed to strip Americans of their literacy, independence, and faith while inculcating reverence for Leviathan. Given this context, the evangelicals' dream of restoring prayer to the schools becomes utter blasphemy.
Mr. Gunn packages this treasury of information in a cute gimmick that becomes a metaphor. He bought an old school bus (which turned out to be as broken as the government's schools and which he demolishes at the movie's end — hint, hint). Into this dilapidated vehicle, he loaded his family for "the field trip of a lifetime," as the blurb on IndoctriNation's jewel case puts it. They toured the country for 3 weeks, visiting such sites as Dayton, Tennessee (scene of the "Scopes Monkey Trial") and New Harmony, Indiana (where Robert Owen established his socialist paradise and schools). Along the way, Mr. Gunn chats with several teachers and a principal who tried to work as Christians in the public schools' Satanic milieu. One of the teachers was fired; his colleague and the principal both resigned after realizing they could bring about as much "salt and light" to the schools as they could to a brothel.
Like the rest of Mr. Gunn's award-winning oeuvre, IndoctriNation is an exercise in excellence. Its imagination and gentle humor are as endearing as the filmmaker's Scottish burr. But don't take my word for it, given my lack of credentials on this subject. A professor of communications whose passion is educational reform also watched IndoctriNation at my request and was as enthusiastic as I; her only criticism was that it doesn't mention churches as handmaidens of parental teaching. Meanwhile, I can't wait to sample our hero's other works, including Act Like Men: A Titanic Lesson in Manliness ("In the face of that disaster [the Titanic's sinking], courageous men sprang into action to ensure that women and children would be saved. Yet, in the 21st century, manhood seems to be dying") and The Monstrous Regiment of Women ("Extolling Femininity, Blasting Feminism" according to its trailer).
If you still haven't resolved to rescue your child from Leviathan's fatal embrace, I leave you with words of shattering wisdom from the father of a student massacred at Columbine High School. This courageous and heartbroken man admits to Mr. Gunn that he knew how demonic public schooling is and that he had no business consigning his boy to it. "I was a Christian, a believer," he says, "but very weak, um, lukewarm. My son was in a public school… I knew how bad the public schools were, and I knew that because I was in the public schools. … It was my responsibility to make sure that my son was safe, that he was educated properly. But I failed that. I put him in a pagan school where they teach there is no God, there is no creation, there's evolution based on a cosmic accident, and evolution breaks down to one simple belief, and that is that the strong kill the weak as a form of survival, and that there's nothing wrong with that. … [The killers, one of whom wore a T-shirt reading u2018Survival of the Fittest'] had taken evolution much further than most people do, but if you stop and think through it, their logic was correct if evolution is true. And yet it is taught in the school, and I put my son there even though I'm a Christian.
"So when we talk about my son's murder," he continues, obviously struggling for composure, "yes, it's right to condemn these two murderers, it's right to condemn the school system that taught these wicked things. But you must remember, I'm the one who put him there.
"And I'm the one who's responsible for his death."