When I was younger and attending Christian school, we would sometimes read a kids newspaper called, “It’s God’s World” (now called God’s World News – hmm, I wonder if it has anything in common with the Weekly World News). It’s essentially a newsy kid’s booklet teaching kids to read while teaching Christian conservative values.
I happened to look it up as part of another post I was writing, and had to write a whole new entry about it. What happened was that I was looking at an example copy of “God’s World News” for 4th and 5th graders (that’s ages 10, 11, and 12 for you foreigners), and had to laugh at the anti-French bias in the story. Obviously, they’re teaching Republican values, too. Here’s the text:
(Are Protesting Students Hurting Their Own Future?)
After two months of rebellion in the streets, they finally did it. Disruptive labor unions and angry student mobs forced French President Jacques Chirac to give in.
He has thrown out part of a new labor law. That law gave employers the right to fire firsttime employees under 26 years old within their first two years of work.
The unemployment rate among young people in France
is extremely high—especially in immigrant communities. Most
employers simply don’t hire them for fear of getting stuck with incompetent workers. The new jobs law was intended to
remove that fear and help young people get jobs.
Instead of being grateful, students across France hit the streets, sometimes up to a million at a time. Protestors blockaded and shut down dozens of universities. They ripped up street signs and park benches, hurled chunks of pavement at police, and smashed store and car windows.
Roving gangs even beat up innocent bystanders.
The frequent protests were supported and encouraged by labor unions. They called strikes to tie up train and air travel and disrupt public services such as garbage collection.
Editorial on the next page:
France has not been very popular among Americans recently. France refused to back the U.S. war on terror in Iraq. Many Americans see that as a betrayal. They remember the great sacrifice made by U.S. soldiers to rescue France from the Germans in World War II.
But disappointment with France runs deeper than that.
France was long known as a Catholic nation. But today, the number of professing Christians in France is tiny. There is little biblical foundation to support French society and government.
So trouble is to be expected.
Behind the Scenes
The new labor law would have helped young people get jobs. You may wonder why they opposed it.
Most American news reporters have not explained why. Maybe they don’t really want you to know the failure of French socialism.
You see, French law makes it nearly impossible to fire anyone.
French law guarantees any employee a job for life—even if he does a bad job.
So employers often refuse to hire young people with no experience. They don’t want to get stuck with employees who might prove unfit.
No wonder the unemployment rate among French young people is so high.
At the Root
The new labor law would have given millions of unemployed young people the opportunity to be hired. But instead of being thankful, they threw tantrums.
French youths have been taught to believe they have a right to a job for life—that France owes them a living. They want the government to guarantee them a paycheck. And they’ll riot in the streets to protect that “right”—even if they end up with no jobs.
They seem more interested in what others can do for them than what they can do for others.
The Bible says God holds people accountable. French labor laws make it difficult to hold people accountable.
The Bible says people who refuse to work should not eat. Those who do work are commanded to do it with all their heart. That means responsibility — not a lifetime job no matter what.
The Bible commands employers to pay fair wages. It also gives them freedom to fire unworthy workers. Remember the parable about the talents? One employee diddled around instead of doing his job. Jesus described him as “wicked” and “lazy.”
The Bible commands workers to be obedient. To force President
Chirac to reverse the new law, French labor unions called nationwide strikes. They disobeyed their employers and purposely hurt millions of people — just to get their own way.
Nations with irresponsible governments and irresponsible people are weak nations. French socialism is hurting French business and driving the nation dangerously into debt. France is in trouble. Widespread lawlessness and foolish labor laws are just two of many symptoms.
France and its people have slipped far from biblical decision-
The United States shows some of those same signs. You
are learning how to live as followers of Christ. Be ready to make a difference in your community and your nation—to the glory of God.
Then they provide some thought-provoking questions to the youngsters:
Who pays for “free” government services?
Do you have a right to receive good grades?
Isn’t it funny how Christianity in America has become so tied up in pushing pro-capitalist, anti-socialist, anti-union, anti-French ideas? While I don’t really agree with French labor laws, reading phrases saying that France is experiencing “[w]idespread lawlessness” make me laugh a little bit. I mean, you’d never guess from this article, but (“godless”) France’s homicide rate is 40% of the (“Christian”) US rate (yes, you read that right – France has less than half as many murders per capita as the US). But, it’s nice to see a good Christian kids magazine teaching good, Christian, anti-French, anti-socialist ideas.
* BTW, whenever I see Christians bashing socialism or communism, I just can’t help but be reminded of Acts 2 – which talks about the structure of the early church and it borders very much on communism:
And all that believed were together, and [shared] all things common;
And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all [men], as every man had need. (Acts 2:44-45)
Good God, that sounds just like Marx: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need”!