Pulpit Reflections By Rev. Robert Grossman Education without morality is training for disappointment and sorrow. Human beings throughout history have been seekers of knowledge. We have a built-in curiosity that drives us to wish to know that which has not been known before. Knowledge has indeed often been a great blessing to mankind.
Just think of the great advances in medicine in the last 100 years. At the same time, knowledge in itself is just a tool that can be used for good OR evil. The surgeon's knife has saved many of us, including this writer, from a painful death by removal of an infected appendix. Yet the same knife can be used to murder someone, or disfigure them, or cut the rescue rope that keeps them from drowning.
The point is that knowledge is a tool that can be used for good or for evil. Saddam Hussein studied Adolph Hitler, not to keep Hitler's atrocities from being repeated, but to copy Hitler's methods of enforcing his rule by terror. At the same time the German educational authorities have been leaving out the seamy side of Nazi Germany's part in World War II, thus keeping the next generation in the dark about what to avoid in political leaders. The fact is that education without a moral obligation to tell the truth, is really deception.
This necessity of morality in education is important for us to understand in the United States today. We have come to the point in our history where we think of education as an end in itself. One of highest priorities in local, state and federal spending, is "education." We just want people to be "educated." BUT, what does education mean?
We are, in fact, playing with fire as our public schools are being forced by the courts to experiment with education that is divorced from moral ideas of right and wrong. The result of amoral "sex education" has been more, not less, premarital sex among younger and younger children, producing epidemics of venereal disease and multiplied unwanted pregnancies.
One school counselor completely changed her mind about teaching amoral sex, when she realized that in 20 years she had heard hundreds of regrets from young women who had engaged in premarital sex while she had never herd even one regret from a girl who had abstained.
One would have to be blind not to see that the unprecedented wave of student
violence, of which the spectacular multiple murders in high schools are just the tip of the iceberg, is also in part the result of the teaching that there is no right or wrong. The fact is that morality matters, and it matters very much in education.
Being neutral about right and wrong when influencing the lives of precious children, is itself wrong. Job was right when he stated his moral insight about education. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and to depart from evil, that is understanding" (Job 28:28).
Universal education originated among Christians, who were concerned that their children be able to read the Bible for themselves, and early readers are full of Christian sentiments and quotations from the Bible. Unfortunately in trying to make the state neutral about various religions, we have cast all morality out of education, thus impoverishing our children of the wisdom that makes knowledge a blessing to the human race.