A Message from Norm Farley
Freedom Classroom Purpose
Our purpose is to implement this middle-centrist framework by helping students to embrace the concept that the direct outcome of the Gospel is freedom of conscience. Our goal is to help students look through the long lens of history and discover that Christians never engage in coercion to fulfill the mission of Christ. History is crowded with those who have sought to enforce the gospel through coercion. Those who resort to such tactics have worked for God like the devil! Freedom of conscience, religion and the maintenance of individual rights is the high ground needed to restore bi-partisan efforts at all levels of society which includes the church. Freedom exercised within a pluralistic community recognizes and respects conscientious convictions. It is in this framework that lays the nations strength and its unity under God!
The Freedom Classroom Experience
Freedom Classroom is a project being implemented throughout the Pacific Union. It is sponsored by the North American Religious Liberty Association (NARLA). Freedom Classroom will enable students to view freedom issues of importance through the eyes of a centrist perspective. Students will be immersed in the rich history of historical pluralism and conscientious convictions that shaped our Constitution and its Bill of Rights. We will explore the current claim that America is a Christian nation and view the constitution which requires no State establishment or support of religion. We will also journey into the territory of State v Federal Rights.
The Freedom Classroom experience is geared to educate students how to make a difference through insightful query, intelligent discussion without marginalization, and the application of freedom of conscience principles. Academic studies in a parochial setting are often superb where history lessons can be fine tuned, and bible classes teach sound doctrine. However, we all understand that learning the theory of battle is just boot camp because it lacks the reality of being on the front line. Freedom classroom brings youth to the front line.
Going to the front line enhances a student’s critical discernment skill through practice so that they can sort out what spiritual, social and political ‘meat’ really belongs in the middle of the nation’s sandwich and to help them recognize and avoid extremism in all its forms.
Freedom Classroom Essay Contest: NARLA West Sponsored
Winners of the essay contest will visit historical sites where the union of the states almost met its end; battlefields where 23,000 thousand soldiers died in one day; visit Capitol Hill in order to listen to congressional debate, talk with their Senators or Congressmen; and have daily brain storming sessions about pro-active methods to help preserve freedom in this age of terrorism. Students will exchange their ideas with other essay winners about the critical freedom issues facing our nation and about how to fill the existing middle vacuum with both meaning and spirit.
Our academy youth have spent many hours in their Government-History-Religion classrooms. Now it is time to put them out on the front line! The good news is that NARLA West will provide six (6) $1,000 scholarships and six (6) $500 scholarships for the students who win the Freedom Classroom essay contest.
The Ultimate “Mission” Trip
James Madison said, “Conscience is the most sacred of all property.” During this electoral year it is traditional to speak of “values” and discuss “solutions” to near unsolvable problems. However, if the solutions being proposed enjoin coercion in its many forms (economic, political or religious) then we need to be prepared to be pro-active and our youth are the best ambassadors we possess because they are tomorrow’s citizens!
We invite teachers, parents, and students to jointly seize this Freedom Classroom educational experience as an opportunity to prepare the youth for a personal “mission trip” into the freedom of conscience arena! This has never been attempted in our church’s history before. This is the ultimate “mission” trip because our future freedoms will depend on the maintenance of the pedestal upon which this the “shining city” was set – freedom of conscience!
-Norm Farley, Founder of Freedom Classroom