Thursday, November 03, 2005

"It takes a village" to indoctrinate


When Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany he recognized the incredible importance of indoctrination. He understood it is a process that is more effective the earlier it begins. This is why he established the Hitlerjugend, or “Hitler Youth.” On its surface the Hitler Youth appeared to be a nice civic youth organization, which trained boys and girls in citizenship (see the propaganda poster at right). Who could object to nicely groomed and neatly dressed youth learning to be upstanding citizens, right? Well, reality was quite different.

The HJ, as it came to be known, was organized in a paramilitary fashion, complete with uniforms and courtesies. Eventually membership in the HJ was compulsory and was a full-blown education program (including preparatory schools) where the Nazi Party ideology was taught and reinforced.

Of course there were German parents who did not agree with the Nazi Party ideology but their desires for their own children’s education was of no consequence. The party knew what was best. In fact, over time the youth members of the HJ were required to report their parents to party authorities if they expressed any “anti-Nazi” ideas or appeared in any way less than completely loyal to the Reich.

This is all nice information, you may be thinking, but what does it have to do with me in the United States of America in 2005? I’m glad you asked.

According to a report on WorldNetDaily, on November 2, 2005 the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against parents who had sued their local school district after their elementary-aged children were given a sexual survey. These parents, who thought they were sending their children to learn reading and ‘riting and ‘rithmetic found out their children were being instructed on sexuality, instruction that may or may not have been consistent with what the parents were trying to teach their children at home.

In ruling against the parents Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote, “…there is no fundamental right of parents to be the exclusive provider of information regarding sexual matters to their children, either independent of their right to direct the upbringing and education of their children or encompassed by it. We also hold that parents have no due process or privacy right to override the determinations of public schools as to the information to which their children will be exposed while enrolled as students.”

In our day this philosophy has been characterized like this: “It takes a village to raise a child.” A generation ago it was the Hitlerjugend. In both cases the state made an attempt to usurp the rights of parents to follow the biblical mandate to “bring up a child in the way he should go” and claimed for itself the role of parent. In both cases the leaders of the state effectively said “the children of this country belong to us.”

In Nazi Germany the HJ was divided into two groups, one for boys and one for girls. The boys were trained to be party leaders and soldiers. The girls were trained to be mothers. The children of Germany belonged to the state and the state actually trained girls in the proper way to give care to the next generation of Nazis.

The Nazi state went so far as to place its “brand” on the children of Germany in the form of uniforms and highly visible armbands (seen at right). But the most destructive form of branding came in the manipulation of young minds. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals just ruled that the state has the right to place a similar brand on the children of America and parents have no “due process” to override the determinations of the state.

I’m not saying that America is Nazi Germany, but as the saying goes, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” This court decision is just another step in the journey (we’ve taken previous steps). If we don’t recognize our ultimate destination, should we remain on our present course, then we are more vulnerable than we realize.

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