Dennis Prager is a well-educated man and highly respected—not someone you would want to find on the opposite side of a debate. He and Adam Carolla reside on opposite sides of the political spectrum, but team up routinely. Their agreement comes from a genuine respect for one another and from their opposition to the divisive directions in which America is heading, especially on its university campuses. Together, they produced the insightful documentary No Safe Spaces.
Prager recently gave this warning: “I have a motto. I tell parents, first of all, unless they have to, they shouldn’t send their kids to college. Number two, sending your kids to college is playing Russian roulette with their values…. Except the chambers with bullets are greater than the chambers without bullets. So the chance that your kid will come home and honor you, his parents, honor this country, honor liberty, are very close to zero” (“The Candace Owens Show: Dennis Prager,” PragerU.com, April 12, 2020).
This was a warning about a takeover in education, not an anti-education rant. Prager is probably best known for the video shorts released by PragerU, in which he enlists a variety of speakers to educate people on Western values, and some biblical values, as well. But, as with anything produced by man, it is a mixture of truth and error. His videos on the Ten Commandments are as good as you will find, but we must be circumspect when it comes to “Western values.” Too many, even among Church members, incorrectly put the Constitution of the United States, the Canadian Charter of Rights, or various other national documents on the same level as the Bible. It is true that much of Western civilization is built on Judeo-Christian values—but that does not mean that our nations have followed those values. And Western values of governance are not God’s. Our nations have never been truly Christian—but, to the extent that we once followed biblical principles of honesty, caring for others, fidelity in marriage, etc., those values produced blessings. And those values are being turned upside down today.
It’s Not Just College
The danger goes far beyond university-level education. Our children are being indoctrinated from the earliest ages with non-biblical ideologies. Your first grader is likely reading about children with “two mommies,” learning that his country is systemically racist and unjust, and being told that gender is fluid. To be sure, there is racism and injustice in every country—but Britain ended slavery throughout its vast empire with the Slavery Abolition Act of August 1833, and America fought its Civil War, the bloodiest war in its history, to end slavery. Laws and wars do not change the hearts of men, but Britain and America have come a long way from where they once were.
Though we should decry injustice and racism, they should not surprise us. Isaiah decried the lack of justice in Israel (Isaiah 59:14–15), and Jesus warned that the world at the end of this age would suffer from ethnic violence and wars (Matthew 24:7, in which “nation” is translated from the Greek ethnos). We have made it clear in our magazines that racism is wrong. It is a sin—and it is still being used to separate us. The U.S. civil rights movement of the 1960s and ’70s was a plea for equality based on ability and character rather than skin color, but today many value color over character in a new kind of racism. And the attack on God’s institution of marriage should not surprise us, as it was foretold long ago (Jeremiah 9:2).
How sad it is that children are indoctrinated into victimhood—being told that society is so unfair that the only solution is to turn Western civilization toward a socialism more akin to Cuba or Venezuela, where the government acts as Mommy and Daddy and where your success in life is in someone else’s hands. Obviously, stating this can sound political, but we cannot stray from telling the truth just because a truth has been turned into a political “football.” There is a clear and present danger in the philosophies being promoted in academia and popular culture.
I recently had a conversation with one of our field ministers who was concerned that our children in the Church are picking up on these trends. Even homeschooled children are not immune, and that is troubling. Electronic media and popular culture are all-pervasive. Young people are aware of celebrities and pop culture, and even sports stars have become advocates for destructive ideas that they themselves do not fully understand. Only a few in Hollywood and in the media are now beginning to wake up, as “cancel culture” is eating its own.
How do we save our children from dangerous ideas? The Internet is a beast of its own and is ultimately controlled by no one other than the god of this age, the spirit “who now works in the sons of disobedience.” But there are some steps we can take.
We must first make sure that we are not caught up in the trends of this world. We appreciate freedom of speech, as it allows us to preach the truth—for now—but let us not put free speech on a pedestal above the word of God. The Bible prescribes limits far more strict than those of Western courts, especially American courts (Deuteronomy 13). We are not to impose these penalties under the New Covenant, but they do show the mind of God. The media outlets are stirring up anger and hatred—don’t let the spirit behind the course of this world suck you in!
If you want to know what Satan is promoting, just watch television ads and programming. Few directly say, “Shack up outside of marriage,” or “Become a homosexual, or transsexual”—but what they do is present these behaviors as normal in everything from sitcoms, to HGTV programs where couples remodel homes, to advertisements. What are they showing? That is what they are actively promoting through example. They make it all look normal. Don’t be fooled!
We must also monitor what our children are learning. If they are in public or private school, this is difficult. Even math class will deliberately promote the LGBTQ+ agenda. Teachers are taught to normalize deviant behaviors, and math questions can be subtly framed: “Mary and Susie are getting married. They can purchase invitation cards for $4.95 per dozen or $6.76 for 18. Which is the better bargain?” Even homeschool textbooks may use this kind of tactic.
We must also spend time with our children. One value lost decades ago was the value of family meals every evening. Work schedules sometimes make this difficult or impossible, but this should be a goal and high priority for families—absolutely so on Friday evenings, but also on every day of the week. Parents put great emphasis on after-school activities, but these often take away from sharing meals together. And there needs to be a rule at the dinner table—no electronics. Undivided attention needs to flow between parents and children.
Protect Them with Truth
We live in a far more dangerous world than we may realize. And the greatest danger most of our children face at the moment is not from disease or violence—although those are real problems for some—but from the cultural influences in which they are immersed. There is a real spirit being who wants to destroy our children—and he is very skilled at destruction. His ultimate target is not liberalism or conservatism, but the Bible—for in it are the clarifying true values of life.
As the expression goes, “The man who will stand for nothing will fall for anything.” Dear brethren, we need to have strong, internalized values grounded in the word of God. We must walk circumspectly, with our eyes wide open. We need to recognize Satan’s devices and understand how he influences and directs our culture.
We are in a battle for the hearts and minds of our children. No matter how intelligent and level-headed our young people may appear to be, they simply do not have the experience their parents do—and they need you as a stabilizing anchor for God’s truth. That truth, upon which all real truth is based, needs to be taught at every opportunity. “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:6–9).
Let us be sure to heed this admonition—for our children’s sake!