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EthicsDaily 2018: Working with Partners Advocating for Public Education

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EthicsDaily is committed to working with partners advocating for the education of all children.

Education is a right of all people – especially children – bestowed upon them by their Creator.

As a Christian ethics organization, we interpret the story in Genesis addressing the creation of humanity as the moment when God instilled the act of education as an inalienable right.

Humanity was given the responsibility of naming the animals, caring for them and keeping the garden. These divine gifts all involved acts of learning.

Recognizing that Jesus being a rabbi is vital for Christians. Reading and understanding Jesus as a “local teacher,” as Charlie Johnson, founder and executive director of Pastors for Texas Children, calls him, re-emphasizes the importance of learning within God’s plan for the world.

With God’s Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us, the life lessons of a teacher revealed education’s light for all of God’s children.

As Americans, we can also rest assured that many in the founding generation spoke about the importance of education and suggested that taxes be collected for a system of public education.

Writing to George Wythe in 1786, Thomas Jefferson penned, “I think by far the most important bill in our whole code is that for the diffusion of knowledge among the people. No other sure foundation can be devised for the preservation of freedom and happiness.”

Writing in his autobiography in 1821, Jefferson continued, “Instead of an aristocracy of wealth, of more harm and danger than benefit to society, to make an opening for the aristocracy of virtue and talent, which nature has wisely provided for the direction of the interests of society and scattered with equal hand through all its conditions, was deemed essential to a well-ordered republic.”

Jefferson’s political rival, John Adams, wrote even more pointedly, “The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one-mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves.”

As supportive as the founders were regarding the value of public education, we should not forget that even they neglected to include Native Americans, African-Americans and women in their advocacy for the education of all the citizenry.

Because we are citizens of two kingdoms, we believe it essential for the spiritual, intellectual and economic health of our world that public education is a top priority for people of faith and the government.

In April, EthicsDaily was in Oklahoma City when thousands of teachers, educators and students left the classrooms to protest a decade-long effort by state legislators to defund, divide and deconstruct public education.

We interviewed legislators, pastors and teachers about the public education crisis. Alongside Pastors for Oklahoma Kids and Pastors for Texas Children, we support and advocate for public education.

Working with partners, we want to empower educators with support from people of faith, to offer opportunities for Christians to get involved in their local schools, to help students through volunteerism and to hold elected officials accountable for overseeing and funding public education.

The only way we can continue to educate and advocate for the education of all children is through the financial support of our readers, viewers and supporters.

If you want to read and watch more inspiring world-class pastors, theologians and thinkers from around the world, we invite you to invest in the future work of EthicsDaily and our collaborative efforts.

No donation is too small; we appreciate and value every dollar given to the cause of supporting biblical ethics and advocating for social justice around the world.

Editor’s note: Secure, online donations can be made here. Donations by check can be mailed to P.O. Box 150506, Nashville, TN 37215-0506.

See also:

EthicsDaily 2018: Working with Partners Toward Gender Equality

EthicsDaily 2018: Working with Partners to Strengthen Interfaith Relationships

EthicsDaily 2018: Working with Partners Addressing Racial Justice

EthicsDaily 2018: Working with Global Partners

Mitch Randall

Mitch Randall is executive director of EthicsDaily.com.