My law school, Regent University School of Law, flew me to Virginia last weekend to participate in a panel on technology and its impact on the practice of law. Also at the symposium and on a different panel was a fellow class of ‘99 graduate and law review alumnus Shawn Tuma, who presented on various high tech security issues. Although the information shared by the panelists was terrific, the most memorable part for me was reconnecting with my friend and seeing the campus after almost 18 years.
I love Regent. The school’s mantra, Christian Leadership to Change the World, is what compelled me to attend law school so far away from home—that and the potential opportunity to clerk with the ACLJ, which happened. While many secular law schools are struggling to maintain enrollment and are sacrificing quality of students and with that bar passage rates to stay afloat, Regent has refused to sacrifice its standards just for money. Yet, last year Regent admitted 70 new students, this year more than 90, and its Virginia Bar passage rate exceeds 80 percent in one of the nation’s toughest jurisdictions. It’s gradually increasing enrollment while other schools are still struggling.
I met several law review members. Suffice to say they are brilliant and I’m proud to call them future Regent alumnus. Thanks to Hannah Hempstead for her work putting the symposium together. What an amazing time of spiritual rejuvenation. Getting back to Regent reminded me why I went to law school in the first place. The Law is a calling, and I’m blessed to serve as a Christian lawyer and now judge.
I clicked on a Facebook notification on my iPad this morning and almost puked. Not immediately, but after reading a few comments on an article posted by a real friend (not the typical FB variety that you never actually meet). The initial post was great. It was a comment on an article about Obama apologizing to Japan for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Those bombs saved millions of American and Japanese lives. Then the offensive comment hit me. To paraphrase, “Killing never justifies killing.” I read on. He claimed that God never condones war. Lots of patriots pointed out the truth, but the poster made things even worse for himself by citing his credentials as a school teacher and youth pastor. I posted Ecc. 3:1-8 (there’s a time for killing, tearing things down, etc.), and Luke 22:36 (sell your cloak to buy a sword), then watched.
He dug his hole deeper by claiming that Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor was justified by the U.S. steel embargo that was merely a response to Japan Imperialism. Never mind the Rape of Nanking and other Japanese atrocities before Pearl Harbor.
Here’s the problem. This is the kind of drivel teachers are telling our kids. They feel obliged to teach “unbiasedly” subjects such as history. When I say unbiased, I don’t mean untrue. I mean American teachers should teach history in such a way as to make our kids proud to be Americans. Sure, some subjects need to be harsh and untarnished, such as what led to the Civil War (not so much states’ rights as the south’s reliance on slaves), our treatment of Native Americans–one broken treaty after another and a government unwilling to make amends–and the south’s treatment of blacks after the civil war, but others must be taught from the perspective of right versus wrong.
More than two hundred years of American history reveals us as standing on the side of right far more than any other nation on earth. We saved Europe from totalitarianism three times (WWI, WWII, and the Cold War), for goodness sakes. We stood up against the evil of communism in Korea and Vietnam, and faced humiliation in the latter but fought anyway. We stood up against radical muslim terrorism and are still doing so in the Middle East.
Japan was part of the first Axis of Evil. The two atom bombs killed over 200,000 Japanese civilians who supported its imperialistic emperor. 200,000 civilian Japanese lives was a bargain for the more than a million American military lives it saved by staving off an invasion. I suspect it also saved a million or more Japanese lives.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the results of Japan’s evil intrusions into East Asia and Indochina and its enslavement of many of those nations’ people, as well an a justifiable use of offensive weapons to stop Japan’s suicidal war machine. I wonder if American public school teachers teach about how Japanese soldiers treated American POWs.
But I digress. Here’s my main point. If public school teachers taught our kids history from the perspective of the proud American–i.e., America stands up for what’s right and does what is necessary to win for the little guy–would I see fewer juvenile delinquents in court? Think about it. Bullies pick on the weak. If their teachers taught them that the American way is to stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves, would they go out into the playground and punch the kid who can’t defend himself? If their teachers taught them that there’s good and there’s evil, and that the American ideal is to be on the side of good, would they take advantage of little girls who don’t deserve to be abused or mistreated? Even if these bad kids still did bad things, might a few of their “good” classmates step in to defend the weak? It happened more than thirty years ago when I was in school, at a time when I remember teachers teaching from the “good” American perspective.
You get the point. I believe I found my calling as a judge, but my time in juvenile court is often frustrating. It’s obvious that many of the kids and their parents are oblivious to the above concepts. There is no good or evil, just me and them. No one is more right than another. It’s about perspective. We need to get back to the concept of American Exceptionalism, that there is a right and wrong and the American way is to always stand up for righteousness. Imagine teaching kids this concept daily. Imagine how things would change if they began each day with the pledge of allegiance and learned the ideas that led
to the nation we are pledging our allegiance to.
America is a very special place. We build the concept of unalienable rights into our Constitution. No other nation’s can match it (other nations grant rights, ours is obligated to preserve God-given rights–big difference). I propose we get back to this philosophy in our schools immediately. If we do I suspect that I will see fewer juveniles in my courtroom. What a great day that will be.