Fourteen years ago yesterday, the state of the environment in which American schoolchildren are educated changed in the national consciousness. Prior to April 20, 1999, parents may have known that the quality of education was trending downward, as evidenced by President GW Bush’s passage of the No Child Left Behind Act just two years later, but this date lives in infamy because it shattered the comfortable cocoon families believed community public schools to be.
There is no need to recount the details of the Columbine massacre. The first reason for this is that as the first attack of its kind in impact and magnitude, the events are widely known. Secondly, the rate at which our nation is reminded of this kind of brutal violence has only increased in the intervening years, most recently seen only months ago in Newtown, Connecticut. What is more important than the specific details is the worldview which led to these events.
On the day of the attack, one of the shooters, Eric Harris, wore a shirt imprinted with the words, “natural selection.” This, of course, is a concept stemming from the studies of renown naturalist Charles Darwin, who penned the seminal work, On the Origins of Species By Means of Natural Selection in 1859. He is known, affectionately to some, as the “Father of Evolution.” The theory of evolution and the teaching of creationism have been at odds ever since, resulting in our current state, in which evolution has won the war in public schools as the factual explanation of our origin.
In a worldview driven by natural selection, the stronger specimens of a species overpower the weaker specimens in order to pass on their genetic material to subsequent generations, resulting in an evolved species, higher on the food chain than before. This can be done rather harmlessly, through winning “The Mating Game,” or more fatally, by killing the weaker specimens. Either way, the evolution of the species is upheld, and the elimination of the weak is to be heralded as progress.
Since natural selection and evolution have become the educational law of the land, and all children in government schools must declare its basic tenets as fact in order to pass the test, we can see how a student’s worldview is shaped by these concepts. Is it any wonder that on April 20, 1999, two students sought to assert power in a lethal way over those they saw to be weaker than themselves?
Some have claimed that bullying drove these students to carry out these atrocities. Even if that is the case, it is simply another picture of natural selection playing out in schools. The strong assert power over the weak, if not physically, than mentally and emotionally.
Anti-gun legislation will not solve this epidemic. Anti-bullying legislation will not solve it either. The only hope for our students is pro-love education. Because we live in a sinful world, students will be battered from all sides with with concepts from diametrically opposing worldviews. They will then have three choices:
- Directed by parents, pastors and teachers through a Christian education, they can discover the resounding Truth, eminent Goodness and profound Beauty of a Christian worldview.
- Attempt to reconcile the differences they find between what their parents or pastors tell them is true, and what their teachers in a secular school say is, instead, true. This will result in a Frankenstein worldview that cannot hope to withstand the trials of this life.
- Reject outright the Christian influence and fully embrace a secular worldview, as more and more Christian graduates are doing.
What sets Agape Christi apart, not just from public schools, but from traditional Christian schools is a robust classical education driven by the engine of a Christian worldview. Students at Agape Christi will know Darwin, to be sure; but they will understand how his arguments and the resulting maelstrom of evolutionary propaganda are false and misleading. They will have read Plato, and understand how to recognize the Truth in a writer’s words, while sifting out the lies.
Why is worldview important? The Columbine shooters lived lives consistent with their worldview, a worldview of natural selection leading to death. Agape Christi students will be taught the worldview of life, as given by the Giver of life, and be ready to transform the world.