Evidence showing why state schools are no good for Christians or anyone else


  1. 1. Godless by Statute.
    1. a. Section 77 of the NZ Education Act 1964 (still in force), speaking of NZ primary schools, says: “and the teaching shall be entirely of a secular character.”
    2. b. What does “secular” mean? Then Minister of Education David Lange and every Minister of Education since has confirmed: “The term ‘secular’ has been taken to mean ‘without any religious instruction or observance.’”
    3. c. This is emphatically not a neutral position. The most bitter and drawn-out debates during the passage of the original Education Act of 1877 were over whether this compulsory, state-funded school system would be religious or non-religious, that is secular. The secular party won the day. Read what some of the most senior representatives in the Parliament of the day (the Legislative Council it was called) said at the time:

We, the undersigned Members of the Legislative Council of New Zealand, record our protest against “The Education Bill, 1877”, because it fails to provide for any recognition of the Christian religion, or even of the Supreme Being.

Wm. H. Kenny            Auckland        elected             1853

M. Richmond              Nelson                                     1853

H. J. Miller                  Otago                                      1865

W. S. Peter                  Canterbury                              1868

We, the undersigned Members of the Legislative Council of New Zealand, record our protest against “The Education Bill, 1877”, in its present shape, because it not only fails to provide for any instruction in the principles of religion, which are the essential basis of all education, but it excludes from the schools to be maintained under its provisions any recognition of the Christian religion, or even of the Supreme Being. We believe that such a law is not only absolutely wrong, but is opposed to the general wishes of the people of New Zealand.

John Hall                     Canterbury                              1876

Jas. H. Menzies           Southland                                1858

(Kenny, Richmond, and Menzies were the three most senior members of the 44 legislative councillors of the day. From: NZ Journals of the Legislative Council, 26 Nov 1877, pg. 199-200.)

  1. d. Please note that Hall and Menzies minced no words: “the principles of religion…are the essential basis of all education. [S]uch a law [as this secular clause] is…absolutely wrong.”
  2. e. It was considered sinful by Christians way back in 1877. Brothers, the term “secular” has had 128 years to germinate and mature and bear the fully secular fruit that we see today as the products of the state school system. Judge for yourselves: does the system produce godly children who strive to humbly obey Christ? No, it does not. Christianity, Christians and the church have far less impact and influence on society today than they did in 1877. This is no accident: it was planned by those who pushed for the passage of the “secular” clause, knowing that generation after generation of Christian children would be compelled to attend full-time schooling in secular thought, philosophy and morality as opposed to Christian thought, orthodoxy and morality.
  3. f. If God is absent from the state classroom, shouldn’t Christian children leave too?
  4. 2. New Zealand State School Authorities’ Own Testimony.
    1. a. Phillip Capper, President, PPTA, Dominion Sunday Times, 14 October 1990: “What I would like to see in the political debate about education is a recognition that public education is an exercise in social engineering by definition.”
    2. b. Dr Colin Knight, Principal, Christchurch Teachers’ College, Manawatu Evening Standard, 4 December 1990: Unresearched government-decreed practices in schools could socially, emotionally and intellectually deform children, says Christchurch Teachers’ College principal Colin Knight.  Dr. Knight said the education system placed children at risk by continuing to neglect educational research.  “It is of serious concern to me that, despite the far-reaching effects of teaching on society, few educational practices have a sound research basis.”  He said changes in what went on in schools were mainly brought about by politically initiated reviews and reports on questionnaires and Gallup polls, by parliamentary debate and political expediency.
    3. c. Report of the [New Zealand Parliamentary] Science and Education Select Committee “Home schooling”, 1996/97 Financial Review of the ERO, p. 94: This position raised for us [Parliamentary Science and Education Select Committee] how well taught home schooled children might be in comparison with those in state schools. The [Education Review] Office advised us that there was no statutory requirement for any child to be well taught. (Emphasis added.)
    4. d. Sir Neil Waters, Past Vice-Chancellor of Massey University, NZ Qualifications Authority Board Chairman, from an interview in the NZQA’s magazine LEARN, Issue 10, November 1996, p. 8: If you ask what schools are for the obvious answer is to educate kids, but there’s an equally important answer.  And that is to socialise them….this has always been a feature of the education process, otherwise it wouldn’t take so long.  You don’t need 15 years to educate somebody but you need 15 years to socialise somebody.
    5. e. Dr John Clark, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy of Education, Department of Policy Studies in Education, Massey University, from his course notes for Understanding Education in Aotearoa/New Zealand, 1997: One of the clearest functions of schooling apparent from the first day parents leave their children at the school gate is the role of the school as a baby-sitting agency….[Another] thing schools set out to do is socialize young children into a set of moral values and cultural practices….[T]he task…is made all the more problematic because of a lack of agreement over what sorts of values and beliefs ought to be inculcated.
    6. f. Hon Trevor Mallard, Minister of Education, in a speech launching the UNESCO and Living Values Trust “Values Education” seminars, July 2000: Whether we like it or not schools and teachers have a strong influence on the developing values of young people and they have that influence whether they plan to or not.  We have to acknowledge that all people live by a set of values and that there is certainly no such thing as value neutrality in education.  It is not an easy thing to meet the obligation to include attitudes and values as an integral part of the New Zealand curriculum.  The implicit values education that comes from the way a teacher behaves, the way they speak to children, the kind of control they operate in their own classroom, what is sometimes referred to as the hidden curriculum, cannot be overestimated.
    7. g. Ministry of Social Development Literacy Report August 2004, http://tinyurl.com/arhgs: An unbelievable 46% of adult NZers – virtually all being graduates of NZ state secular schools – are nearly illiterate!!! (Read the following extract from the Ministry’s own website address given above.) Definition: The proportion of the population aged 16-65 with literacy skills in English (defined as prose, document and quantitative skills at Level 3 or above), as measured in the 1996 International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS). Level 3 is defined as a “suitable minimum for coping with the demands of everyday life and work in a complex, advanced society. It denotes roughly the skill level required for successful secondary school completion and college entry”. Prose literacy is the ability to understand and use information from texts including editorials, news stories, brochures and instruction materials. Document literacy is the ability to locate and use information contained in formats, including maps, tables and job application forms. Quantitative literacy is the ability to apply arithmetic operations to numbers embedded in printed materials, such as balancing a chequebook or completing an order form. Current Level: Results from the first international literacy survey in 1996 show that 54 percent of New Zealand’s population aged 16-65 had prose literacy skills at Level 3 or above, 50 percent had document skills at Level 3 or above, and 51 percent had quantitative skills at Level 3 or above.
    8. h. Professor Emeritus Graham Nuthall, University of Canterbury, NZ, March 2004: One of our major findings, based on many years of research in many classrooms, is that student learning is not the focus of what goes on in schools. We found that most teachers, most of the time, do not know what their students are learning or not learning. We give awards to our best teachers without paying any attention to what their students learn. The Education Review Office evaluates the effectiveness of schools without obtaining any direct evidence about student learning. The Qualifications Authority accredits courses and institutions without paying any attention to whether students in those courses or institutions are learning anything or not. The Ministry of Education carries out “network reviews” of schools (amalgamating smaller schools) without any evidence about whether the changes will affect student learning. Put simply, the education system is a fraud.
    9. i. From the Executive Summary of “A review of the literature on computer-assisted learning, particularly integrated learning systems, and outcomes with respect to literacy and numeracy”, report to the Ministry of Education, prepared by Judy M. Parr (with assistance from Irene Fung), School of Education, The University of Auckland, ISBN: 0-477-05196-0, © Ministry of Education (http://tinyurl.com/4jd3u): “Overall, the effectiveness of computer-assisted learning has not been conclusively demonstrated. To date, it has been shown to be less effective, on average, than other forms of intervention in education. In considering the results of evaluative research in computer assisted learning, one has to avoid confounding the medium with the method. Generally, computer-assisted learning software is under pinned by an older, neo-behaviourist theory of learning, one that has been displaced in the classroom by more social constructivist views of learning. Particularly in New Zealand primary classrooms, the approach of the software may differ considerably from widely accepted classroom pedagogy.” There are two things of note here:
      1. i. Social Constructivism is the philosophy of the state school classroom. What is that? “Reality: Social constructivists believe that reality is constructed through human activity. Members of a society together invent the properties of the world. For the social constructivist, reality cannot be discovered: it does not exist prior to its social invention. Knowledge: To social constructivists, knowledge is also a human product, and is socially and culturally constructed. Individuals create meaning through their interactions with each other and with the environment they live in.” Hey, I’m not making this up. See Social Constructivism by Beaumie Kim, http://itstudio.coe.uga.edu/ebook/SocialConstruc-tivism.htm
  5. 3. Theological and Social Voices Over History.
    1. a. Martin Luther: I advise no one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not increasingly occupied with the Word of God must become corrupt…I am much afraid that schools will prove to be the great gates of hell unless they diligently labour in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of youth.
    2. b. Joseph Stalin: Education is a weapon, whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.
    3. c. Timothy Dwight, President of Yale University (1795-1817), igniter of America’s Second Great Awakening: Education ought every where to be religious education…parents are bound to employ no instructors who will not educate their children religiously. To commit our children to the care of irreligious persons is to commit lambs to the superintendency of wolves.
    4. d. A.A. Hodge: The United States system of national popular education will be the most efficient and wide instrument for the propagation of Atheism which the world has ever seen.
    5. e. Thomas Sowell (black American economist), Inside American Education, p. 59: Advocates of secular humanism, for example, have been quite clear and explicit as to the crucial importance of promoting their philosophy in the schools, to counter or undermine religious values among the next generation.
    6. f. Rev. Dr. Gordon H. Clark: The school system that ignores God teaches its pupils to ignore God; and this is not neutrality. It is the worst form of antagonism, for it judges God to be unimportant and irrelevant in human affairs. This is atheism.
    7. g. Douglas Wilson, Pastor, Editor of Credenda/Agenda: Education is one of the most religious things we do. Consequently, any pretense of religious neutrality in the process of educating children in some plain-vanilla fashion is a myth that will lead to enormous confusion. The myth distorts the nature of knowledge, which is the last thing an educator must do.
    8. h. John Dunphy, New Age leader, in the Jan/Feb 1983 issue of The Humanist magazine: I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classrooms by teachers who correctly perceive their role as proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call the Divinity in every human being.  These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers.  The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new – the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism, resplendent with the promise of a world in which the never-realized Christian ideal of “love thy neighbor” will finally be achieved.
    9. i. Kathy Collins, “Children are not Chattel”, in Free Inquiry, a publication of CODESH (Council, for Democratic and Secular Humanism), Fall 1987, 11: Every child in America entering school at the age of five is insane because he comes to school with certain allegiances toward our founding fathers, toward his parents, toward a belief in a supernatural being…. It’s up to you, teachers, to make all of these sick children well by creating the international children of the future.
    10. j. Dr Muriel Newman, MP (ACT Party), “Newman On-line: Motherhood”, 11Feb05, thecolumn@xmr3.com: Helen Clark’s call to get mothers out of the kitchen and back into the workplace failed to strike an empathetic note. As commentators were quick to point out, it had the ring of a communist clarion call. Socialists, of course, firmly believe that a woman’s place is at work and not in the home. They regard women as child-bearers, not child-rearers, and believe that the all-important role of raising children should be carried out by the state in government-controlled child-care centres. Underpinning this socialist worldview is a realisation that once children are released from the protective embrace of nurturing parents into the arms of state institutions, there is nothing to save them from the brainwashing necessary to keep the socialist flame alive. This strategy was highly successful in Communist Russia last century. By 1920, in some cities upwards of 90 percent of families were living in state hostels, eating in communal kitchens, and sleeping in segregated quarters. The role of parents was to bear the children, and the role of the state, to raise them.


The New Zealand public schools are now so openly and totally anti-Christian in official attitudes, pedagogical practice, educational philosophy and hidden curriculum, that they are positively dangerous and certainly no place for Christian children. Studies by Barna (www.barna.org) and Nehemiah Institute (www.nehemiahinstitute.com) show clearly that many Christian children in government schools are converted to an anti-Christian worldview rather than evangelizing their schoolmates. It would appear it is the nonChristians who are evangelising the Christians. What else would one expect? Throw a young and immature Christian into a sea of secularism, and he or she is bound to wash up on the beach secularised. If you throw a glove into the mud, you never expect to see the mud become glovey. Instead you know the glove will become muddy….every time.

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