But first, I’d like to preface this with a quote by Frederic Bastiat:
“It is to be regretted that the word plunder is offensive. I have tried in vain to find an inoffensive word, for I would not at any time–especially now–wish to add an irritating word to our dissentions. Thus, whether I am believed or not, I declare that I do not mean to attack the intentions or the morality of anyone. Rather, I am attacking an idea which I believe to be false; a system which appears to me to be unjust; an injustice so independent of personal intentions that each of us profits from it without wishing to do so, and suffers from it without knowing the cause of the suffering.” -The Law, Plunder Violates Ownership
So, let it be clear that this conversation is not an ‘attack’ on the ‘intentions or the morality of anyone.’ It’s the idea of socialism that is a false idea. And, it’s something we need to address if we are to help work toward restoration of our nation to her first principles. For sure, the needs are many. However, the questions is: “Who is to help meet those needs—what is the role of the individual, the church, and of civil government?” With this said, let’s dive in.
The Rise of Socialism Among Homeschoolers
Is this even a thing? Unfortunately, yes it is. Many homeschooling parents are unaware that they may be participating in socialism by means of turning to the State for educational funding. Or, some may be aware and simply justify their choice with pragmatism—’the ends justify the means.’ After all, who wants to feel like they’re a part of a problem? None of us do! But, just the same there is an ever increasing rise of socialism among homeschoolers. And, as a result this contributes to a shift in our form of government that is happening. In short, this should matter greatly to Christians because it violates Biblical principles. Let me explain so that you may consider this subject of concern for yourself.
How Socialism Looks Among Homeschoolers
Every year it happens. Someone new to the homeschool way of life is looking for advice and resources on homeschooling. Of course, as parents we’d like to ‘have all the things’ for our children. Naturally, most homeschool families are on a single income and a tight budget. So, many cannot do this on their own.
So, it’s common for another homeschool family to share: “You can sign up through such n’ such charter school. You get ‘free’ money and you can do pretty much whatever you want with it. That is except buy religious curriculum. But, that’s okay.”
Or, a family is finally starting the high school journey and the jitters hit. And, every year at least one parent says: “Do you know that you can sign up your high school student at the community college? They can finish high school and maybe even earn their Associate of Arts at the same time! And the best part is that it’s at no cost to you!”
While these are well-meaning parents who bring this up, these suggestions miss the big picture.
The Big Picture
In his paper on economics Frederick Bastiat uses a broken window parable. This parable is used to explain why it’s wrong to ‘break’ someone else’s window for whatever reason one may have to do so. The assumption by the one causing damage is: “Oh well. The owner will spend their money on something else anyway. So, what’s the big deal?”
It’s a big deal for a lot of reasons. In his book Christian Economics in One Easy Lesson, Gary North expands on Hazlitt’s work (which spring boards off of Bastiat’s work). Note: I do not know all of what Gary North believes; do not assume that I agree with everything he believes. The big picture here is:
- There is an owner of the window
- The window represents private property (could even be the money itself)
- There is a stone thrown into the owner’s window that breaks it
- The stone represents different avenues of legislative theft
- It robs the Church and individuals of the blessing of helping others voluntarily
In short, voting to raise taxes for the State to ‘provide’ monies to others for things the State is not designed to do is legislative theft. Things to consider:
- If the State legislates theft, does that make theft acceptable?
- Who is the ultimate Sovereign—the God of the Bible or the State?
- What is the government’s role—is it to provide education? And, how’s that going for America?
- How does the role of the individual come into play? (Think Christian Self-Government.)
- What is the role of the Church? (It’s to voluntarily help.)
- In the end, going to the State for educational funds is socialism.
Socialism Among Homeschoolers Aggrandizes the State
This isn’t evident to many people. Oftentimes the reasoning goes like this: “But, I pay taxes. So, I’m just getting my money back in this way.” However, this isn’t how it works. Once money is handed over to the State, it becomes property of the State. It’s no longer your hard earned money. And, it’s no longer your neighbor’s hard earned money.
Of note, getting educational funds via the State is not comparable to one’s personal tax refund. That’s a discussion for another time.
The reality is that the State gets larger, gains more centralized control of local areas, and has more control with what someone can and cannot do with that money someone is going to them for.
The crux of the matter is that whenever someone votes for tax increases for matters the State is not to handle, it’s legislating theft from one’s neighbor. And, whenever legislation is passed for ‘social programs,’ it’s adding another avenue for legislative theft from one’s neighbor.
Just because it has become a law, it does not make it right to participate in it. Theft is theft. Here are the principles that legislative theft violates:
- Private Property (especially one’s conscience—the most sacred of all property)
- Christian Self-Government
- Individuality (honoring the individual owners)
- Quality character (to steal is degradation of character)
- American Form of Gov’t
- Local authority (it takes away the most local of authority—that of the parents)
- Social engineering (it conditions one to rely upon the State instead of God and His principles of government)
- Above all else, it violates God’s law of ‘Thou shall not steal.’ This ought to be the upmost concern for a Christian.
Self-Govern Over Your Own Money
Sometimes, this is where an individuals says: “But, you don’t understand. It makes things harder on my family if we don’t use those educational funds. And, my children will miss out on x, y, z.” Oh, I understand. Believe me.
For several years I really wanted music lessons for our children (among other things). But, we prayed and waited patiently. When the time was right for our family, God made it happen. For one, praise the Lord, I’ve been able to do a work exchange with a music instructor. I work as a Virtual Assistant for his music business in exchange for him teaching my children music. That said, we only have two students learning music at a time from him.
Do our other children need to practice patience while they wait for their turn to learn? Sure. Or else they can get a head start by learning from their siblings who are taking lessons.
Now, with paid Virtual Assistant work (and earnings through our work here at Principled Academy) we have been able to pay another music instructor for a third child of ours. But, life happens and sometimes people hit rough spots. For us, another family voluntarily and lovingly picked up the cost of music lessons for our child. On their own, this family has voluntarily done this for our family. And may God greatly bless them for this act of genuine brotherly love.
Instead of knowingly or unknowingly being a part of legislative theft, one has the opportunity to seek God for provision. We give credit and glory to God for providing the work exchange, the paid work to give extra cushion, and the family volunteering to help with our child’s music education. We and the other people involved would have missed out on these blessings if my family turned to the State for educational funding via legislative theft. The destructive idea of socialism would have been glorified rather than our Heavenly Father.
Socialism is Destructive of the American Form of Government
I’m telling y’all, Ben Gilmore’s Principles of American Government study is a hugely important work to help us learn how to govern our Republic (if we are to keep it). In it, he teaches about our principles as a nation and the counter principles that change it. Those counter principles destroy our liberty and enslave us. The counter principles are:
- Collectivism (attacks individuality)
- Manipulation (attacks self-government)
- Degradation of Character (attacks quality character)
- Globalism (attacks the American form of gov’t)
- Centralization (attacks local authority)
- Social Engineering (attacks liberty)
If I can learn it, so can you. And then, learn about precinct committees and their officers (if you haven’t already). Please consider not stopping at the learning stages. Also, please go out and apply what you learn and teach others.
There has been increasing talk about national repentance—more so now than ever in my lifetime. Yet, a key part to this is understanding what Biblical principles anyone may be violating. Really, it begins with the individual. Then, it ripples outwardly from there into our nation: our homes, communities, churches, local government, State government, and Federal government.
I pray that each individual reading this article will consider how he or she may be participating in socialism and repent of it.
God does provide. Maybe it’s not in our own timing. Or maybe His provision is not what we think we want. Thus, He cares and provides for us by saying: “No, this is not for you. I have something different for you.” In any case, we need to trust Him and we need to be walking out the role God has for us a His Church.