By Terry Richmond

Books are important to shape people, people shape societies, societies shape countries.

We are seeing the result of this phenomenon play out on our college and university campuses today. A recent report says over 100 campuses have antisemitic demonstrations. Where did this come from? I maintain it came from books.

Books that are void of virtue – have been used since the mid-20th century to teach students – and teachers have been trained in the progressive and Marxist agenda rather than America’s founding principles.

Horace Mann has been called the Father of American Public Schools. He believed teachers should give students the opportunity to practice virtues like kindness, self-discipline and self-control in the classroom. He also stressed daily reading about moral exemplars throughout history.

Mann’s idea of character education persisted in public schools from the mid-19th to the mid-20th Century,

For most of that time the self-help textbook for self-made boys and girls was the McGuffey Reader series. These books contained well-regarded English and American writers and taught reading using the phonics method. They also contained Bible verses and hymns. The McGuffey Readers were dropped from the American School system in the 1960s and that is when the moral philosophy of America became centered on the individual not our creator.

The idea of feeling good rather than being good became the order of the day.

Many of the Founding Fathers had a practical list of virtues for daily living that they actively evaluated themselves on daily.

Virtue is rarely mentioned today in any sphere. Virtues include Order, Temperance, Humility, Industry, Frugality, Sincerity, Resolution, Moderation, Tranquility, Cleanliness, Justice, and Silence.

Books that promote these virtues are all that should be in our Public Libraries.

One Comment

  • Very true and well thought out. I could not agree with you more! Thank you for sharing.

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