Education Empowerment

The Unintended Consequences of Giving the Government Power

Never give the government a power you wouldn’t want used against you.

The unintended consequences of doing so was never more evident than in a recent library book challenge in Davis School District. The book in question, the Bible. 

A parent used the recent law allowing parents to challenge books that they find inappropriate for children. I doubt that the sponsor and the parents who supported this bill want religious texts like the Bible, Book of Mormon, or Quran taken out of schools. 

It is the unintended consequences of giving the government power. 

Texas had something similar happen, and that school district decided to remove both the Bible and The Diary of Anne Frank.

It isn’t the first time that there have been unintended consequences in laws governing schools. 

Many states, including Utah, have a portion of their constitutions known as Blaine Amendments. Blaine Amendments were used by Protestants in the late 1800s to limit Catholic schools. Those amendments, though not changed in wording, are now used to limit any religious expression in schools. 

And it is true of many other laws in our country.

Instead of asking the government to create and enforce laws that align with our individual worldviews, you and I should be asking them to acknowledge our rights.

Parents have the right to direct their children’s education. That right doesn’t come from the government. Any laws surrounding education should be focused on supporting that right for all parents. 

My family loves the Bible, but that doesn’t give me the right to force another family to have it as part of their education curriculum. Instead, it is my responsibility as a parent to find an education that will support my values. And then I can use logic and persuasion to try and convince others, but never force.

All parents should have the same opportunity. That is what freedom means. 

Arguments over what is happening in public schools are the result of one group or another using the government to force their worldview on others.

Instead, states should follow Utah’s and Arizona’s lead. These states have passed education spending accounts to support a parent’s right to direct the education of their children. That is the step that other states should continue to follow.