Nearly every toy the toddlers in our family touch lights up and sings to educate and entertain. And it works: Before they ever head off to their pre-K classes, they know their colors, shapes, numbers, animals and the sounds they make.
Music is powerful stuff. It soothes the soul, calms the savage beast, unites the masses, evokes patriotism and bolsters strength and courage in times of need. Churches long have linked scripture with melody to teach and inspire gospel truths in believers, and music often is the greatest source of unity in its ecumenical efforts. Don’t we all know the melody of and most of the words to “Amazing Grace”?
Should we be surprised then when we see the teachers of terror using this same tool to educate their children? I think not. They are as clever as our toy makers, music moguls and church leaders. No, it is not the method we abhor; it is the message.
While most people throughout the civilized world teach their children songs of thankfulness for their homeland, love for family and one another, along with the ideals of grace and compassion, fanatic instructors of Islamic terror lead their children in tunes of generational hatred, the blessings of martyrdom and death to all who oppose them. And it works.
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Gone are the days of grade school weekly assemblies and chorus when everyone learned to sing “God Bless America” and “America The Beautiful.” Ask the middle school students and teenagers in your life if they know the lyrics to those songs. Though there certainly is an abundance of music available to us, do we all know the words to the same songs, and do they do anything to inspire and unite us as a nation?
Pray for peace, and use the power of song to teach your children about the beauty of their homeland. You may be the only way they will ever learn such a song.