Cathy Ramey

Associate Editor

A little slavery, anyone?

by Cathy Ramey

I avoid conspiracy theories and theorists like any sane person would avoid the plague.
God speaks to Isaiah the prophet, saying, "Do not call conspiracy everything that these people call conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it."
The Lord Almighty you are to regard as holy, He is the one you are to fear, He is the one you are to dread, and He will be a sanctuary" (8:12-14a). The point being that when we dabble in conspiracy theories about what our enemies might do to us, and we allow ourselves to become anxious about all of the possibilities for evil that are out there, we lose sight of the One who is ultimately in control. And we sin.
Like any news service, our mailbox and fax machine often seem to overflow with well-intended but misguided messages about all of the depravities that are being planned against American people and Christians in particular. These missives come in the form of mis-"prophesies" which may be short and stormy, or lengthy dissertations that are typed, single-spaced, no margins, and go on and on, front and back, for pages.
On occasion we get articles or books sent to us that come at the subject from a slightly more scholarly perspective, but they too convey a sense of hopeless fear, that we are all about to be swallowed up by the schemes of an evil one or ones. The "facts" cited are impossible to confirm, and the twists and turns that some of these plots employ would require more organization, networking, and control than Johnnie Cochran could ever convince a twelve man jury of, and his story-telling was pretty spectacular.
The reason I mention all of this is that I heard something about a month ago which made me hesitate. You see, while I despise the abundance of conspiracy theories that are promulgated today, I also understand that we live in an evil age, and we are a wicked people. According to Scripture, God does, in fact, allow bad things to happen to bad people. Even the morally upright are often made to suffer when a nation embraces evil.
I'm about to tell you what I heard a month ago, but let me preface it by saying that I believe God works throughout history in consistent ways. Often I hear from believers that we can't expect to read God's Divine displeasure into famines, droughts, floods, earthquakes, epidemics, war, and the like today. I, on the other hand, say we can and should attempt to define whether-or-not these events might be rooted in God's just efforts to revive a corrupted people.
I was chatting on the phone with Sarah Leslie of the Iowa Research Group. They are a Christian watch-dog organization that specializes in keeping tabs on changes in America's educational system. They publish a fine monthly booklet entitled The Christian Conscience, and between its pages you will routinely find interesting analysis of social engineering trends aimed at molding children.
A specialist in education, Sarah told me, would be presenting an article in the October issue on the trend toward assessing children for later tax purposes. The idea would be that children, as part of what our nation considers to be one of its "raw natural resources," would be assessed early on and throughout the primary years to discover their true "potential." That potential, she said, would then be translated into an expected outcome in the labor force, and in turn would be reduced down to a tax value.
An "assessment" might judge that Johnny, in the work force, has the potential to produce "X" amount. He is taxed for that amount whether-or-not he chooses to work within the field category, and up to the potential, that the state has assigned him in to. And if for some reason Johnny cannot live up to his "potential," because, according to the state's definition of abuse, this valuable "human resource" has been prevented in some way from reaching maximum potential, then Johnny's parents are obligated to meet his tax burden for him.
"A mind is a terrible thing to waste," becomes a warning then for parents who are encouraged in not so subtle ways to gear their children more and more toward productivity that suits the state. And, by extension, since handicapped children become a tax burden for their parents, what a great incentive to engage in a little pre-natal Russian roulette, opt for all of the testing to assure that the child model in-utero is likely to be able to shoulder its own tax burden, and simply select against it's survival if there are indications to the contrary.
I asked her to let me see a copy of the article as soon as possible, and when it came I found it to be a bit challenging. In simple terms the author, Cynthia Weatherly, seemed to be saying, absent some of our long-term speculations, that, indeed, our government is adopting an education model with the ultimate idea of taxing "potential" earning power. A variety of "assessments" given within the context of regular schooling are already providing data to the government on every child tested.
This is really not such an odd idea. If we expect the god of government to bail us out and meet our needs in a manner that only God in heaven intended to provide for Himself, eventually the god of government will feel the pressure of needing more resources. The pressure sifts down to the State level, and, just as we penalize polluting industries for damaging natural water, air, or forest resources, states will eventually see parents who are casual in training up potential laborer resources as abusers too. Eventually, because the State is straining to provide what it has no resource to provide, it will demand, as with this education model, that its laborers produce bricks without straw.
Still, as credible as the article sounded, I am a born cynic. I wanted the opinion of someone involved in the routine use of these "assessment" tools, and was able to pass a copy of the Weatherly article on to a knowledgeable professor at the school where I'm engaged in graduate work. As far as determining if the State could truly be headed in the direction of seeing citizens as nothing more than a tax-rate resource, this seemed the best I could do at the moment. Then I headed into the office.
Once there I resumed my usual routine, drifting between my desk and the computer which I work at around the corner. Off to the left is that already mentioned fax machine. At 3:09 in the afternoon it ground into action and unexpectedly gave me just one more piece in the puzzle. California Right to Life and the conservative Eagle Forum were both concerned and sending a message about a Bill set to be voted on in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, October 10. The Bill is entitled, Workforce Development Act S. 143, and "creates a new government bureaucracy to oversee job training . . . and link the Departments of Education and Labor." Among the goals to be met by this newly created bureaucracy are the "development of the Labor Market Information System" (LMIS). This system will receive data on all students, forecast "supply and demand for labor at the substate, State, and national levels," and, by linking federal block grant moneys, compel individual states to facilitate "connecting activities that link each youth participant with an employer in an industry or occupation relating to the career major of the youth participant."
Just when we thought that God no longer operated in the natural realm, we are confronted with a form of servitude-planning which makes slaves of people "resources" here in America every bit as much as Pharaoh made slaves of the Israelites inside his borders.
There is a distinction which needs to be made between this type of oppressive evil and the type that is always under scrutiny by conspiracy theorists. God is still ultimately in control of what the United States government can and cannot do to its citizens. The "conspiracy" to enslave a nation of people can only go as far as He allows it to. And the indications in Scripture are that He is able to break the bonds of oppression at any time when a humbled people cry out to him, and not Uncle Sam, for relief.
It remains to be seen though, whether-or-not we will continue to hear Christians remark that God no longer works correction out in the physical realm through famine, natural disaster, and even slavery, and how many backs will be broken before Americans will submit to the only One who can truly provide for every need of body and spirit.