We should also review educational reforms in South Africa to determine to what extent they are paving the way for the Antichrist’s multireligious new world order. Linda Malan of the Society for Christian Higher Education has kindly done much of the research for this article.
The Department of Education in South Africa is still busy finalising its policy on religious instruction in state schools. However, clear pronouncements have already been made about the equality of all religions. In this article, the nature and role of religion in education will be addressed. That can only be done by considering Curriculum 2005 and its epistemology. The following aspects are important for the purpose of this discussion:
Curriculum 2005 is founded on the principles of outcomes-based education. There are two models of this educational system in the world:
The first model is subject oriented and therefore aimed at the knowledge and facts of the various subject contents. When general reference is made to outcomes-based education, this model is usually not included. The reason why it is mentioned here is that there are a number of Christian private schools in South Africa that are making use of this model. It is more or less the same as the one used in the Netherlands.
The second model has completely different objectives. Its main objective is derived from behaviourism, which is utilised for the changing of attitudes and behaviour. The point of departure is that society has certain problems, for instance violence, drug-abuse, divisions, etc. Education is then used to correct these deficiencies and problems. Political objectives can also be pursued by way of education with a view to changing the social system of the country and to achieve a more substantial degree of national unity.
The most important characteristic of this model is that good and effective education is not its main aim. Education is rather seen as a means to an end and therefore used for another purpose than the conveying of empirical knowledge. Knowledge and facts are secondary to what education intends to achieve. In any educational model there is always the possibility that it might be abused to achieve another purpose, but in this model the abuse and servitude of education to promote another agenda is the basic objective. A person who played a big role in developing this model is Benjamin S. Bloom, a behavioural scientist at the University of Chicago.
Curriculum 2005 is founded on the second model of outcomes-based education. Where this kind of outcomes-based education is used it will depend what the specific objectives are that the government wishes to achieve through it. The methods and underlying philosophy obviously differ from one country to another where this educational model is used. It is also important to note that certain states in the USA have already abandoned outcomes-based education, as it became evident that learners had not mastered reading and other life skills after several years on school.
Comment by the South African Foundation for Education on the documents explaining the new curriculum is that they contain elements of a politically oriented People’s Education. Factors that play a role in the philosophical substructure of the new curriculum are, among others, the constitution, the Charter of Human Rights, as well as legislation determining the educational policy.
The following are the main philosophical principles built into Curriculum 2005: Postmodernism, multiculturalism, a multireligious orientation, social change, evolutionism, humanism, holism and globalism. This list is not comprehensive and can be further extended. Some of these philosophic principles are explicitly stated while others are more subtly intertwined with the material of the various outcomes. The result is that we are confronted with a decidedly antichristian curriculum.
A further matter which should be considered is that Curriculum 2005 contains compulsory educational methods such as role-playing to demonstrate certain religious or other institutions. This method was developed in the behavioural sciences. Certain evaluation criteria and guidelines are also prescribed and force the teacher to do his/her assessment from a specific perspective or philosophical approach. The danger here is that knowledge about the facts is not the critical principle but rather the attitudes of learners that need to be changed. A substantial number of outcomes in Curriculum 2005 are aimed at achieving a multireligious orientation among learners.
The result of all these factors is demonstrated in the class situation. In every subject our children can quite legitimately be exposed to antichristian tendencies and views, and also be influenced by them as they are expected to actively participate. In the subjects Art and Culture, as well as Human and Social Sciences, various multicultural and multireligious statements were incorporated into syllabi. These concepts have even been introduced to the natural sciences where new perceptions about natural phenomena are promoted. The result of this statement is clearly illustrated in the following assignment, which accompanies a lesson theme about the universe in Grade 7:“Horoscope – fact or fiction? Read your own horoscope – you will easily find one in a newspaper or a magazine. Make notes on what has been predicted and compare it later with what actually happened to you during that week. Did the horoscope correctly predict your week? Repeat this exercise a few times and decide for yourself whether you believe in astrology.”
Comment: Because of the postmodern nature of the curriculum, teachers are not allowed to present their lessons from a specific perspective, e.g. Christian. The conclusions of the learners may not be judged as right or wrong. What is right to you, is right; and what is right to me, is also right. There is no fixed truth. In a theme on healing the learners were told that the work of a sangoma (a traditional healer) is just as scientific as that of a modern medical practitioner.
In the syllabus on Life Orientation explicit provision is made for the mixing of religious ideas. The following is an example from a Grade 7 textbook:“Unit 1. The beauty within you. Challenge 1: Find the crystal of self-knowledge… Activity 17: Let us make a mandala.”
Learners get the instruction to draw a mandala, after which the works of art are displayed in the classroom. They are then further instructed as follows: “Every time when you feel sad or doubt in yourself, you can look at your mandala and be reminded of the beauty within you.” To fully appreciate the implications of this instruction we should take note of what a mandala really is:
Mandalas are extensively used in Buddhism and Hinduism to attract cosmic powers and achieve inner illumination. John Ankerberg & John Weldon (Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, p. 345-7) say: “Like mantras, mandalas are also used for magical purposes. Properly drawn and duly consecrated it become a focus of occult energy, drawing down hidden powers and itself sending forth magical emanations… Within the boundaries of the mandala various other geometrical shapes are drawn, lesser squares, circles and triangles, dividing the whole into a series of zones which are treated as sacred areas, each reserved for the spirit entities who will be called down to occupy the places allotted to them. Some mandalas are rich and complex works of art, whose pictures, colours, patterns and orientation all have a correspondence with the occult planes… The mandala is regarded as a cosmogram, a map of the universe, with the regions marked out for the spiritual guardians of the cosmos… Meditation on a mandala calls forth not only the beneficent deities, but also the terrifying apparitions… Clearly, mandalas and mantras are integrally related to occult practice and philosophy. It is not surprising, therefore, that these methods are also involved in the development of spirit contact or psychic abilities. Because mantras and mandalas can result in identification with the divine power or deity they represent, the inculcation of the power of that spirit and the production of psychic powers or mystical illumination will occur… Unfortunately, the millions of people today who are employing mantras and mandalas are really toying with demonic powers. Whether or not a given practitioner internalises, naturalises, or psychologises the supernatural is irrelevant. The consequences of occult involvement will still make themselves felt.”
Comment: In this instruction, a Christian learner is expected to execute a Buddhist or Hindu action. The method is justified on the grounds that education is not offered from a single faith perspective, e.g. the Christian faith. In the new curriculum, one religion is not allowed to take precedence over another. The religious principle which is applied in this case is the multireligious one. Are we to sacrifice our children to Baal in this way?
In the particular textbook, puberty and sexuality are treated explicitly and in detail. However, no mention is made of chastity, abstinence, and marriage. In cases where the Christian religion is referred to it is almost always in a negative sense.
Examples of lessons prepared by teachers in terms of the new curriculum contain elements of other religions. After a lesson about the rain queen, Modjadji, in which learners were taught to do the rain dance, a Christian learner was convinced that it is not God who gives rain but the rain queen. In other lessons at this school instruction was given about sangomas and the San Bushmen. In all these lessons use was made of role-playing, thereby forcing Christian children to participate in heathen rituals. It is ironical that the management council of this particular school has chosen a Christen ethos for the school.
This approach will become the rule rather than the exception when the government’s education policy is implemented in all its consequences. What has already been prescribed in Curriculum 2005 will simply be enforced by education authorities.
National policy on religious instruction
It is still not sure what exactly the national policy on religious instruction will be. The Minister of Education, Kader Asmal, recently said in the presence of international educationists:
“Regrettably there are fundamentalists – mostly Christian fundamentalists – who object to tolerance and respect for others, in the belief that they alone are custodians of the truth. In this day and age such a view of the world is an historical anachronism, and a teacher does a child no favours by pretending that this is the case. I intend to resists these… tendencies, and I will use the constitution as the sole basis of my approach.”
The minister makes a serious error of judgement in his intention to use the constitution in the enforcement of a multireligious approach to religious instruction. In its Charter of Human Rights (Chapter 2) the constitution recognises the plurality of cultures and religions, but never implies that they should be mixed in order to achieve a multireligious orientation among all individuals. The constitution says: “Everyone has the right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion” (Ch. 2, Art. 15); and: “Persons belonging to a cultural, religious or linguistic community may not be denied the right, with other members of that community, (a) to enjoy their culture, practise their religion and use their language; and (b) to form, join and maintain cultural, religious and linguistic associations and other organs of civil society…” (Ch. 2, Art. 31). As far as himself and his own family are concerned, every citizen has the right to choose his own religion as the basis for truth, to attend a church where these truths are proclaimed, and also to have his children educated in terms of the principles of this faith.
However, as his advisors on religious instruction the minister uses multireligious-oriented persons such as Profs. Kobus Krüger and Gerrie Lubbe of Unisa’s department of Science of Religion. In a paper “Why multireligious education?” Prof. Krüger said that multireligious education gives learners the advantage of access to more than one religion. Lectures on this subject are offered within one frame of reference, one syllabus, one textbook, one classroom and by one teacher. It is an alternative to the exclusive and fundamentalist view in terms of which other religions were banned from the classroom because of fear for contamination.”
The government is clearly in favour of this advice. With the implementation of Grades 4 and 8 of Curriculum 2005 the Gauteng Education Department said that religious instruction will be multireligious in terms of state policy. In their circular they clearly stated that, “Religious content cannot be offered from one single faith perspective… Learners must be part of the religious programme at schools and will not be excused from class.”
Curriculum 2005 also has various other clearly defined outcomes which will enforce a multireligious orientation in the classroom. The government regards Life Orientation as the learning area in which religion is to be discussed. If only trained teachers can teach religion in schools, and if the Department of Education monitors evaluation criteria, it is a foregone conclusion that multireligious thought will be enforced upon our children.
Christian parents will have to accept responsibility for their own children. They will have to take note of the material which is taught to their children and take proper action when their kids are forced to participate in practices which amount to bending the knee to Baal. We cannot accept the lie that there is great similarity in the values of the different religions. That is simply not true. Education in South Africa is rapidly becoming antichristian. Our children are being prepared by means of Curriculum 2005 in the state schools to accept the new world order of the Antichrist with open arms.