But the problem for the film makers was how best to bring this issue to the public. It was Colin’s brilliant idea to purchase a yellow school bus and tour the country in search of the truth about what was going on in America’s anti-Christian public schools. He packed his wife and seven children in the bus, which became their home during the several months of the saga, and set off on a journey that brought him in contact with some of America’s great Christian leaders and educators.
Indeed, I was among those who Colin interviewed. He had read my book, Is Public Education Necessary? and put a good deal of it in the film. I had written how early in our history anti-Christians saw a government education system as a way of weaning Americans away from their Christian faith. Colin even traveled to New Harmony, Indiana, where fellow Scotsman Robert Owen had set up his atheist communist colony in 1826 in order to convince Americans that religion was evil and that they should adopt a communist way of life. But when his communist experiment failed, he attributed it to the fact that people educated under the old individualistic system could not adapt themselves to communism as a way of life. His son and followers then embarked on a campaign to create government schools in which children, separated from their parents, could be indoctrinated to become atheist communists.
Of course, it wasn’t until the end of the 19th century that John Dewey and his colleagues, all socialists, were able to implement their plan to turn American public schools into institutions where students could be indoctrinated in godless socialism.
Gunn embarked on this journey across America so that he could visit with and interview as many of the notable critics of public education as possible. They included yours truly, John Taylor Gatto, Ken Ham of the Creationist Museum in Cincinnati, R.C. Sproul, Jr., Col. John Eidsmoe, Doug Phillips, Howard Phillips, Bruce Shortt, Kevin Swanson, Dr. Erwin Lutzer, and others, including several Christian teachers and a principal who had had to struggle with the godlessness of their schools and finally quit. One teacher told Gunn, “If I talk about my faith as I want to, I’d lose my job.”
Gunn filmed a session at the Southern Baptist Convention where a very lively debate took place on the issue of Christian parents sending their children to the public schools. E. Ray Moore, president of the Exodus Mandate movement to get Christian children out of the public schools argued passionately in favor of an exodus of Christians from those pagan schools. Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham, argued that there should be at least one Christian missionary in every public school bearing salt and light so that the schools could be taken back from the godless. What he did not know is that the Christians never did own the government schools to begin with. The schools were, from the very beginning, planned to become the chief instrument of the unbelievers in transforming America into an atheist, socialist nation.
And that’s what Gunn discovered in his extraordinary journey: the masterful design by the Owenite socialists, Behavioral psychologists, and Harvard Unitarians to replace God’s direction in how to train up the next generation with a humanistic, man-centered program that fragmented the family and undermined the influence of the Church and its Great Commission.
Gunn describes the film as “part documentary, part testimonial — a confessional and a rebuke. This film is above all a challenge and an encouragement to millions of Christians who need to know what history, experience, and the Scriptures have to say about what is perhaps the pivotal issue of our time: the discipleship and training of the next generation.”
Of course, I’ve been writing about these issues for years. So, I was delighted to see a film in which they were very graphically brought to the attention of Christian parents. My books have been influential in starting the homeschool movement. For years I worked with Dr. Rousas J. Rushdoony and the Chalcedon Foundation to convey this urgent message that it was the responsibility of Christian parents to guard the souls of their children.
Also, many of the earliest homeschoolers were Birchers (John Birch Society members) who had read my books and decided to make that crucial decision to educate their own children at home. At first, few people thought that parents could do what we believed only the professional educators could do. But when my reading program, Alpha-Phonics, was published, homeschoolers discovered that they could do a much better job of teaching their children to read than the professionals in the schools who were using the look-say method and creating reading problems.
In the end, it all boils down to who owns the children. Howard Phillips told Gunn that Christian parents should be asked: “Do you want your children to belong to you or the State?” In reality, most Christian parents have shirked their responsibility to give their children a godly education, at home or at a private or church school. They think that attendance at church once a week is all that is needed to keep their children on the straight and narrow. But with schools being the marketplace for illicit drugs, and sex being taught in a way that encourages students to experiment in pre-marital sex, and with the teaching of evolution debunking the Biblical story of Genesis, the kids come out these institutions with their morals shattered, their souls empty, and their belief in God weakened if not totally destroyed. That’s what is going on all over America. In Columbine High School in Colorado, this Satanic philosophy spawned two nihilist killers who performed the worst massacre in a school in American history.
Colin Gunn visited a father in Colorado, John Rohrbach, whose son was killed at Columbine High. He had had a great relationship with his loving son, but he had made the terrible mistake of sending him to a public school. He now feels that he is responsible for his son’s death, for having put him in a school where murderous nihilists were not only tolerated but given free rein to develop their heinous plans.
But the film does not end at this poignant moment. To demonstrate the evil the yellow bus represents, Gunn ends the film by having the bus destroyed before our very eyes by a bulldozer, while Mozart’s Requiem Mass is being sung by a chorus over the whole scene. And from the wreckage, Gunn salvages the STOP sign. It is meant to say: Stop murdering your children’s bodies and souls in the Satanic schools. Get them out!
As for the two filmmakers, Joaquin Fernandez is a veteran producer and director of documentaries, television commercials and educational videos. He has worked in Europe, Russia, Israel, Japan, the Philippines and the Caribbean. Originally from Miami, Florida, he now lives in North Carolina with his wife and four children.
Colin Gunn has won awards for several of his previous films, including Shaky Town, winner of the Best Political Film at the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival. Gunn has also performed as an actor. Originally from Hamilton Scotland, he now lives in Waco, Texas, with his wife and seven children.