Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Place Called Freedom

I was reading Follet’s “A Place Called Freedom” and thought about the Scottish mine owners lying to their workers saying that children born to the mine workers were required by law to work in the mines.  The hero’s mother had taught him to read and write and he wrote to a lawyer and found out that this was not true.  He reads the letter to the church congregation and enlightens the town, but the mine owners punish him and he ends up in America hoping for Freedom.
That made me think of our children who are bound and indentured to money lenders by their college loans. 
I also see that the church is supposed to be a place for Christian values, but in the story the pastor asked to stand for truth instead stood by the people with money.  I have to wonder about church people who give knee jerk support to candidates given over to greed.  The Bible says serve God rather than mammon (money).  It also says in Matthew 25: 35-40 "‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ "  Christianity should not propose to cut funding for programs that help the people.  Leaders should seek the greater good for all citizens.
Additionally, education is the first step on the road to freedom.  I see as the hero in “A Place Called Freedom” was taught top read and write by his mother.  This was the starting step toward knowing his rights and gaining freedom.  We should beware of politicians cutting funding for education because they want to limit the power of the people to learn about and understand how their freedom is derived.  Education should not be based on what corporate America thinks graduates should look like.  Trained workers are good, but trained minds are better.  Education should be about learning the read and research, how to evaluate the sources of what one reads or hears and making informed decisions. 
It is hard to find unbiased news sources to reading and evaluating the ones available is an important skill.  We need to teach students to think and not just recall facts.  I wonder about the validity of standardized tests to evaluate thinking skills.  Is money given to charter schools tending to support polarity rather than discussion?

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