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Testimony of Robert L. Grete Page 4 person's property that is transferred to civil government should be determined by the consent of the governed. Rather, the tax expenditure concept assumes that all property is owned by the civil government, which can then decide how. much to allow citizens to keep under personal stewardship. Anything left in the hands of the citizens is a tax expenditure subject to the controls civil government desires to set upon its use. Thus, nothing escapes government control, since money a person or institution uses has either come from government or remains at its true point of origin by government grace. The degree to which this monstrous doctrine is finding acceptance today is frightening. Efforts to get Congress to reject it (e.g., HR 1002, 96th Congress, First Session) have failed. Also, consider the US Supreme Court's recent ruling in the Grove City case and the perverse "corrective" legislation being proposed (HR 5490). This case illustrates the logic that civil governmental control goes with any governmental financial assistance, which under the tax expenditures concept, even means any money the government lets individuals keep. Yes, tyrants must love it!
The perverse exercise of these control tools (whether legitimate authorities such as "Z" above, or unconstitutional usurpations such as the rest) are based upon the presuppositions of the humanistic state. Some of the presuppositions underlying the concept of the humanistic state are that the civil state:
1. Has sovereignty over all authorities – even that of the Creator of the universe Who originates human authority and is alone sovereign.
2. Owns the earth, its produce, and the people under its jurisdiction, denying the biblical concept that God owns the earth and civil government is one of several limited jurisdictions designed to carry out specific purposes.
3. Owns the children, denying that God owns the children and has given
parents stewardship over them.
Testimony of Robert L. Grete
4. Authors human liberty, denying the concept that "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." (Declaration of Independence)
5. Defines right and wrong rather than submitting to God's biblical standards of righteousness.
6. Is the provider of economic resources to the people. This denies that God distributes economic resources, generally to those who earn them through personal responsibility and work.
Citizens have no protection against tyranny when the civil state, which has the biblical function of protecting God-given liberty, assumes the role of God in society.
The exercise of the tools of tyrannical control based upon the presuppositions of the humanistic state is rapidly increasing in America. If Congress does not understand this trend or does not wish to reverse it, the
sovietization of America will soon be complete. Consider the words of American
communist, William 2. Foster in his book Toward Soviet America:
Among the elementary measures the American Soviet government will adopt to further the cultural revolution are the following; (SIC) the schools, colleges and universities will be coordinated and grouped under the National Department of Education and its state and local branches. The studies will be revolutionized, being cleansed of religious, patriotic and other features of the bourgeois ideology. The students will be taught on the basis of Marxian dialectical materialism, internationalism and the general ethics of the new Socialist society. Present obsolete methods of teaching will be superseded by a scientific pedagogy.
The churches will remain free to continue their services, but their special tax and other privileges will be liquidated. Their buildings will revert to the State. Religious schools will be abolished and organized religious training for minors prohibited. Freedom will be established for anti-religious propaganda (@ page 316)
Testimony of Robert L. Grete
Mr. Foster's view, the doctrine of the secular-humanists stated in the Humanist Manifestos I & II, as well as biblical doctrine, make one point absolutely clear: THE EDUCATION OF CHILDREN IS AN INHERENTLY RELIGIOUS
ACTIVITY. Yet, it seems that few people in America today understand the inherent religiousness of education that forms the world view and values of children. RBCS is presently developing a Christ-centered phonics and math curriculum at the kindergarten level that we would be happy to demonstrate to the Committee if desired. The point is that everything that we do in a Christian school is to be done from a biblical prospective. We must control,
discipline, train, and love our children according to Christ's commands. We
must teach every area of knowledge from a biblical perspective, heeding the
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and
(Col 2:8, NASV)
The First Amendment to the US Constitution bars Congress from making any laws respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. If we accept the judicial doctrine that the 14th Amendment applies the First Amendment to the states, or if we note that almost all State constitutions have a similar provision, then government operation or control of schools is constitutionally prohibited. I believe congressional action on this truth is essential to the preservation of religious liberty in America.
We should recognize the documented excellence of American education before civil government became involved. Those who believe that the education of America's children should be funded through the coercive government tax system have the constitutionally more acceptable tools of vouchers and tax credits to
The foregoing comments indicate my conviction that parents should have the
right to organize or utilize any school they choose to educate their children
Testimony of Robert L. Grete
according to their own religious presuppositions. No school should survive through political coercion. Schools should survive because parents support them as their servants. Nevertheless, today civil government not only operates the nation's largest school system, but also seeks to extend control over
RBCS was organized in 1973 to provide a biblically-based education to the children enrolled. Over the first 10 years of our existence our student body
has grown from 22 to over 370.
This has been in the face of continuing
handicaps caused by unwarranted governmental actions. I will mention those of
most significance and would be glad to offer documentation or details to the
Committee on any issue of interest.
First, government operation of tax funded schools produce a handicap to the existence of schools that reject their secular faith. RBCS parents are discriminated against because they must pay taxes to support the government school system which teaches an anti-Christian religious faith contrary to their own. How can it be constitutional for civil government to force people to pay for the propagation of a religious faith not their own? In addition, however, our parents must pay the cost of the biblically-based education of their children, which is a significant cost on top of the extravagant costs of secular
The second handicap caused by unwarranted governmental activities is the
administrative cost incurred because we must meet purposeless government
requirements. For example, when we organized RBCS we were to told to write, inter alia, an application for a Federal Tax Exemption Letter. After hassles like having to provide data not requested in the printed IRS instructions, we finally received our Letter in October 1974. The Exemption Letter directed us to file IRS Forms 990. After IRS lost our 1977 Form 990, I more closely examined the instruction booklet and got my first initiation into IRS
Testimony of Robert L. Grete Page 8 insensitivity to religious liberty issues. The details are found in my attached letter to the Christian Law Association dated 26 December 1979 (ATCH 1). (If the Committee desires the letter's attachments, RBCS will provide them.) The letter indicates a trail of lost documentation, bureaucratic hassle and
evasiveness, and possibly an attempt at intimidation. By refusing to genuinely
respond to my question regarding IRS discrimination among religious
organizations, IRS demonstrated an insensitivity to the religious liberty issue
and successfully wore me down. I cannot teach students and administer a growing school if I must spend lots of time trying to get justice from the IRS bureaucracy.
Thirdly, there is an increasing volume of legislative proposals that
threaten our ability to exist apart from government control. An increasing
amount of time is spent by all of us in the field to deal with such issues. Many parents are discouraged from enrolling their students in Christian schools because of either the media's misinformation concerning government actions against schools or the fear of becoming involved in litigation. I am sure the Committee has the details of many such cases, but I would like to comment on one prominent example that you are familiar with.
On August 22, 1978, Jerome Kurtz, US Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, placed his "Proposed Internal Revenue Procedures on Private Tax Exempt Schools" in an inconspicuous part of the Federal Register. Those procedures, which have the potential of extending great control over Christian schools, were
disguised as a defense of racial nondiscrimination. I attach my letters to Mr.
Kurtz of 2 October 1978 and 11 April 1979 (ATCH 2 and 3) to indicate some of the details of this issue. Neither letter, of course, was responded to by IRS. A large response by the Christian community forced the IRS to hold hearings on this issue. Revised Proposed Procedures were subsequently published