The children of Hamas don’t stand a chance. The schools they attend are named after terrorists. The classes they take delegitimize Israel and dehumanize Jews. Their parents and teachers glorify violence and nurture aspirations to jihad and martyrdom. Their summer camp instructors issue them toy guns at age 6, then train them in weapons and military tactics as teens.
This is what makes a human being into a terrorist willing to behead an infant in his crib. Palestinian society has raised whole generations that view barbarism as noble and murder as duty.
The Israeli government says about half of Hamas terrorists are under age 18. Look at a high school student in your life, and imagine him having been educated and trained to enter someone’s home and shoot, stab, rape or kidnap whomever he sees. Perverse education produces monsters.
The nightmare in Gaza proves that without proper moral education, civilization dies.
The proof extends far beyond Gaza. All around we see the grotesque effects.
After Hamas’s attack on Israel October 7, cities and universities across the Western world filled with pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel demonstrators. Some sported images glorifying Hamas’s weaponized paragliders who gunned down 260 music festival attendees. Some chanted, “Gas the Jews!”
What have these people been learning? In many cases, the same hate-filled propaganda that is shaping impressionable Palestinian children. Radicalized Palestinian academics teach our students, form campus “social justice” organizations, and invite terrorists to give classroom seminars. And graduates of these vaunted institutions become business leaders and politicians.
More broadly in our amoral society, people who have not been taught to respect property and to love their neighbor are smashing windows, looting shops, setting cars and buildings on fire. People who have not been taught kindness, compassion and the sanctity of human life are verbally abusing, beating, kicking, even stabbing, ramming or shooting people—often because of their race—then proclaiming like the children of Hamas that they are the victims.
God is the one true Lawgiver (James 4:12). Only He can delineate right from wrong. His law defines sin (Romans 7:7). When we try to establish our own ideas rather than submitting to God’s righteousness, we run into serious trouble (Romans 10:3). Look around: Society has discarded real virtues like honesty, purity, empathy and personal responsibility, and actively embraced counterfeits like equity, inclusivity, collectivism and social justice. Then it has endlessly redefined these to justify dishonesty, filthiness, hatred, irresponsibility and worse.
Rather than looking to God to define right and wrong and working to live up to His standard, everyone does what is right in his own eyes (Judges 21:25).
Herbert W. Armstrong wisely said that righteous character starts with right knowledge—knowing the true way from the false—then voluntarily submitting to God and doing the right even against temptation and self-desire to the contrary. It starts with education.
Why does an adult ever take responsibility for himself, govern his emotions, control his lusts, respect property, uphold morals, honor his parents, respect authority, work hard when he doesn’t want to sacrifice himself, defend the weak, fulfill his duty and love his neighbor as himself? Because of what he was taught. Morality is the most important part of education. Knowledge without moral guidance will be wasted or used for evil.
“When it comes to rearing children, every society is only 20 years away from barbarism,” Dr. Albert Siegel wrote. “Twenty years is all we have to accomplish the task of civilizing the infants who are born into our midst each year. These savages know nothing of our language, our culture, our religion, our values, our customs of interpersonal relations. … The barbarian must be tamed if civilization is to survive.” And truly, it’s not just our children: Each of us has a savage, Satan-inspired human nature within that must be educated and civilized. True education is the only foundation on which a good and durable society can be built.
Teach the laws of God to your children and grandchildren, Moses warned the Israelites (Deuteronomy 4:9-10; 6:4-7; 11:18-21). Rehearse them constantly—or you will forget them! And note this reason he gives: “That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth” (Deuteronomy 11:21). This is how to thrive as a nation! Obedience to this command welds individual families into a single nation under God. Had Israel’s parents diligently followed this command, the nation never would have fallen.
Put another way, what you are learning and what your children are learning is nothing less than a matter of national security. A society that wants to survive needs true moral education.
Moral education is civilization-saving education. The world’s present sickness shows the crying need for such. Society today is neglecting it, but we must not do so in our homes. Through family instruction, youth programs and schools, God’s true Church is doing all it can to instill morality in the next generation. What is happening in your home? Moral education is at odds with society today, but it is the foundation for the World Tomorrow.
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