During recent Democratic nominations, political candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders promoted their idea for a government-funded universal pre-K that would be accessible to all families, regardless of socioeconomic status. The program would provide childcare and education, starting soon after birth instead of at kindergarten. Biden has also suggested government-funded pre-K for children ages 3 and older.
Many cities (including NYC and Washington, DC) and some states (such as Oklahoma) already offer universal pre-K. Even so, the United States trails far behind most European countries, which consider this early education to be a “child’s legal right.”
Supporters of universal pre-K push the importance of early childhood development and cite studies which show that children—especially those from low-income families—who attend preschool are more likely to be successful later in life. Government-funded pre-K would also solve what many believe to be a poor system of private childcare that is expensive for parents but far from lucrative for teachers.
A rather controversial benefit of universal pre-K is that it would allow more women to be in the workforce, thus stimulating the economy. But many still resist this because of their belief in the traditional role of a woman staying at home and caring for her children. Yes, some women choose to work outside the home, but this doesn’t mean that all women prefer to or should do so. In cases where mothers are capable of providing quality pre-K education at home and desire to do so, why should they be pushed to join the workforce?
For followers of the Bible, the issues go deeper. Supporters of universal pre-K are right that children undergo major development before the age of 5. With this in view, would parents be able to effectively fulfill the biblical mandate to “train up a child in the way he should go” (Prov. 22:6) when they send their children to government-funded schools soon after birth? There’s little to ensure that these children, at such an impressionable and critical age, would be taught biblical values.
“Public School Is a Child’s Right. Should Preschool Be Also?” The New York Times, nytimes.com, Mar. 15, 2020.
Ground-penetrating radars have discovered unmarked graves of about 1,300 indigenous children at four different residential schools in Canada.
Residential schools operated in Canada from the late 19th century to the late 20th century as a means of assimilating indigenous children into Canadian society. During that time, an estimated 150,000 children were required to attend these state-funded schools, which were typically run by Christians, up to 70 percent of them being Roman Catholic.
Unfortunately, the schools’ environments were less than ideal on many different levels. Among the indigenous people, the residential schools were known as places that stripped children of their cultural identity through brutality and abuse. Students were not allowed to speak their own languages, and survivors have come forward with stories of students being beaten to death if they were disobedient. Disease also took the lives of many of these children. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, which was formed to document the atrocities committed by these residential schools, estimates that 4,000 children died from neglect or abuse—many whose graves are yet to be discovered.
The inhuman treatment of indigenous people is evidence of the way in which the devil has sought to devalue humans and distort the gospel. Often, attempts to assimilate people into Western culture have been done in the name of converting people to Christianity, and yet they have completely misrepresented Christ, who showed the utmost value for every human being and never imposed His teachings on anyone.
“Canada: 751 Unmarked Graves Found at Residential School,” BBC News, bbc.com, June 24, 2021.
Larry Sanger, cofounder of Wikipedia, expressed his concerns about the neutrality of Wikipedia in a recent post on his website. According to Wikipedia policies, its articles are supposed to present both sides of an issue without taking sides, regardless of whether those sides are viewed as objective or factual.
But Sanger questions whether Wikipedia continues to meet this standard. In his article, “Wikipedia Is More One-Sided Than Ever,” he examines Wikipedia’s coverage of major political, scientific, and religious issues from the past year—including the impeachment, the 2020 presidential election, and COVID-19. The majority of the articles presented very biased views of these topics while failing to provide “alternative” and even more mainstream conservative views.
Wikipedia has banned the use of 16 conservative news sources, such as the New York Post and the Daily Mail (UK) in the writing of Wikipedia articles. A study conducted in 2018, which compared politically biased phrases used in both Wikipedia and Encylopӕdia Britannica, also found that Wikipedia leaned toward Democratic points of view.
Unfortunately, Wikipedia has become what Larry Sanger calls a “thought police.” It only presents one side of an issue and thus dictates what people should believe instead of giving them the opportunity to weigh the matters themselves.
“Wikipedia Is More One-Sided Than Ever,” Larry Sanger Blog, larrysanger.org, June 30, 2021.
Ransomware is a malicious software that hacks into computer systems, locking access to important data and requiring a ransom from the victim in order for the data to be released. This software is being used in cybercrimes, which are becoming more “acute,” according to Christopher Painter, a former federal prosecutor of cybercrimes.
In recent months, ransomware attacks have hampered access to food and fuel, as in the case of the Colonial Pipeline attack which led to gas shortages on the East Coast for a week. Other attacks have affected health care systems and providers.
During the first weekend of July, a ransomware attack by REvil on software company Kaseya had a particularly extensive impact. This attack was different in that the ransomware targeted a supply chain—a company that provides services to numerous other companies. The attack, which was followed by a demand for a $70 million ransom, affected a grocery store chain in Sweden and schools in New Zealand.
Ransomware is another illustration of the Bible passage which prophesies that in the last days, “evil men and seducers will wax worse and worse.” 2 Tim. 3:13.
“Can Biden Do Anything to Stop Ransomware Attacks?” Vox, vox.com, July 7, 2021.