November 29, 2014


Bruce Kent

As I have contemplated my circumstances and that of my countrymen these last few weeks, I become increasingly aware of the need for connections to information. In fact, I see that a lack of context is the reason why our secular brethren continue winning the war of persuasion.

I attended the Agency Based Education conference last Saturday where a speaker named Neil Flinders, author of Teach the Children (1990), said modern professional educators train splendidly in content, process, and structure but take for granted the fourth pillar of education: Context. Flinders pointed to context as the missing piece, which must inevitably save the minds of our posterity because it’s context that shapes the other three (2014).

Flinders said early American education had a moral context, [including] Judeo-Christian precepts; [the] Ten Commandments, Biblical proverbs, and the Sermon on the Mount” (2014). Meanwhile modern American education has adopted the ethical context: Limited to the precepts of men and social relativism, which relies on shifting culture and collective desires (2014).

Then, when Thanksgiving rolled around this year, I attended a family party. The party this year, hosted by that part of the family well introduced to the secular progressive movement (too many of them are), shortly erupted (knowing them, and knowing me, I should’ve known) into contentious debating over the Darren Wilson case, use of force law, O.J. Simpson, and the causes behind the discrepancy between the adjudication of blacks and whites. In short order, too, came one family members’ description of so called “white privilege.” In attempting to edge some words into the argument, I tried explaining to one young family member, who is now apparently attending college and well versed in the apparatchik party line, the true reasons behind the aforementioned disparities. Without a point of reference (context), however, the short lived, contentious debate was soon bedded down by desperate calls for calm hailing from the mother of the household (naturally) who also, ironically stated that during this Thanksgiving celebration she would hear nothing of politics (she would soon tear into her own tirade about problems in American education, which are also real problems, but whose sources appear far afield from what she described and which reflect the party line) or of religion. I mean, it aint’ like Thanksgiving has anything to do with American history, politics, and religion!

Of historical facts, politics, and religion—under the context of the Communist influence on American government in the early and mid-nineteenth century—Diana West writes that when presented with damning evidence—evidence that confounds the half-truths and lies propagated by secular progressive agitprop—naysayers and disbelievers (the unfortunate duped) respond in kind. That is, they respond with incredulity at least, persecution and protest at best (2013). What was it Thomas Jefferson said we needed to do with the suffrage of the uninformed? Take it away? Send them off to reeducation camps? No. Jefferson said what we need to do with them is not take away their rights, including their suffrage. No, instead we need to teach them. Patiently. Persistently. Prayerfully, even!

To give further context—and, not to alienate anyone not of my faith, but in a true desire to give context—a leader of the LDS church spoke on the problem of informing the discretion of our duped brethren. He spoke as regards the vast sea of misinformation floating amok on the waves of useless rhetoric so abundant on the subject of the first prophet of the LDS church, Joseph Smith. Elder Russell M. Nelson described how some exercise cunning rhetoric to intentionally, sometimes, mislead hearers and viewers of the press:

‘I was serving as a consultant to the United States government at its National Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia. Once while awaiting a taxi to take me to the airport after our meetings were over, I stretched out on the lawn to soak in a few welcome rays of sunshine before returning to the winter of Utah…Later I received a photograph in the mail taken by a photographer with a telephoto lens, capturing my moment of relaxation on the lawn. Under it was a caption, “Governmental consultant at the National Center.” The picture was true, the caption was true, but the truth was used to promote a false impression'” (2014).

That false impression, by inference, had something to do with a politically interested attempt to show how some bureaucrats waste precious tax dollars. While I concede that tax dollars (the widow’s mite, in some sense) prove precious, I also see how rhetoric plays an important role in deceit. Context.

Flinders suggested that “The most critical element in…education is context” (2014). It is context that defines what and who we are, where we came from, what our destiny can be; plays the major role in determining all other things in education (2014). Where context is corrupt or uncertain, confusion will prevail. The four pillars of education comprise context (why), content (what), process (methods), and structure (sequence) (2014). Flinders, moreover, quoted Walter Lippman, who wrote “The acids of modernity dissolved the ancestral order” (as quoted by Flinders, 2014). Flinders said Lippman’s reference to the ancestral order has to do with the Judeo-Christian traditions of the Founders and many of our fathers.

Similarly, I think it was George Orwell who once presciently noted that preceding all wars a period of ideological contention ensues. Indeed, in the antebellum years in the United States, a war of words preceded the clamor of arms and cannon. Desperate times make weaker men desperate and before you know it, as history proves, one group of men feels compelled to blame another group, whether the blame is righteous or not. Hitler blamed the Jews. Lenin and Stalin blamed the kulak, among others. And here in the United States, the progressives blame the white man.

One of the leading producers on educational materials of jiu-jitsu, Gene Simco, wrote that a little resistance goes a long way at preventing injury (2005). Verily, a little historical context will go a long way at preventing a progressive mob from depriving our posterity their natural rights.



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