Education vs. Christianity

I wish someone, anyone, could explain to me why the public school system does not teach Creation or Intelligent Design, or refer to God as the Author of all things anymore, when that was the standard for the majority of our existence as a nation?!  I know, I know, you’re about to say “Separation of Church and State” aren’t you.  I beg of you not to, unless you can rationally, with knowledge of the past and present, explain it clearly to me.  I’m going to bet that the majority of the people out there that use this unwarranted phrase have no idea of its origin or meaning.  Most people use this phrase as an excuse to keep Christianity out of the public arena.  Yet, the interesting fact is that 9 out of 10 people in America believe in God (2011 Gallup poll).  According to a poll conducted by CBS News in 2006, the majority of Americans believe in God (see also, USA Today’s 2010 results in regards to the National Day of Prayer).  In an international poll conducted by Ipsos Social Research Institute (article published in Christianity Today), the majority of the population on this planet believe in God.  Here’s the extremely disappointing fact about all this.  Despite these statistics, the minority rules.

It has, and always will be, the minority in this nation that will keep Christianity out of the public arena, especially our educational institutions.  Even more sad than that is this has come about in the last 50 years.  I’ll take it back to 1962 when the Supreme Court of the United States declared that prayer in schools was unconstitutional (Engle v. Vitale).

“For this reason, petitioners argue, the State’s use of the Regents’ prayer in its public school system breaches the constitutional wall of separation between Church and State. We agree with that contention, since we think that the constitutional prohibition against laws respecting an establishment of religion must at least mean that, in this country, it is no part of the business of government to compose official prayers for any group of the American people to recite as a part of a religious program carried on by government.” ~ Supreme Court Majority Opinion

This is a complete 180 degree turn around from where this nation stood on such matters prior to this ruling.  Even going so far as to use the misinterpreted phrase, “separation of church and state”.  One of the most prominent court cases that this nation witnessed took place in 1925 when a public school teacher was put on trial for teaching Evolution as a viable alternative to Creationism (The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes).  Here’s the kicker, he was found guilty!  This tells you where our national school system used to be.  Since the ruling in 1962, many other cases have been brought before the Court, yet the ruling remained the same: Edwards v. Aguillard (1987), and Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (2005).

From Separation of Church and State to Evolution, and now the most recent attack on the morality of our nation’s youth, Homosexuality.  Recently, the state of California passed legislation that homosexuality, transgender, and bisexual Americans need to be recognized for their contributions to California and United States History.

“…a study of the role and contributions of both men and women, Native Americans, African-Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, European Americans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, persons with disabilities, and members of other ethnic and cultural groups, to the economic, political, and social development of California and the United States of America, with particular emphasis on portraying the role of these groups in contemporary society.” ~ FAIR Education Act (2011)

Here’s the point.  This nation, in the last 50 years has decided not to stand for anything.  It’s interesting to me that our national motto of “In God We Trust” still stands.  How can that be our motto, yet just about every aspect of our educational system and society says otherwise.  If we truly trusted in God, we would not be eliminating Him from our nation’s educational system.  If we truly trusted in God, we would not be promoting theories that have nothing to do with Him.  If we truly trusted in God, we definitely would not give acknowledgment or appreciation to those that choose to live a lifestyle contradictory to His Word (1 Timothy 1:8-11).

Ultimately, my hope is in the Lord.  Psalm 42:5-6 states, “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!”  In God I put my trust, not America.  I do believe we were established as a Christian nation.  However, I do believe that we have turned our backs on the One in who we say we trust.  If we continue to go down this road of godlessness, we will as President Reagan stated, “…be a nation gone under.”  Allow me to leave you with this outstanding message from one of the most influential men in the foundation of our country.

“It has been the error of the schools to teach astronomy, and all the other sciences and subjects of natural philosophy, as accomplishments only; whereas they should be taught theologically, or with reference to the Being who is the author of them: for all the principles of science are of Divine origin. Man cannot make, or invent, or contrive principles. He can only discover them; and he ought to look through the discovery to the Author.  When we examine an extraordinary piece of machinery, an astonishing pile of architecture, a well-executed statue or a highly finished painting where life and action are imitated, and habit only prevents our mistaking a surface of light and shade for cubical solidity, our ideas are naturally led to think of the extensive genius and talents of the artist. When we study the elements of geometry, we think of Euclid. When we speak of gravitation, we think of Newton. How then is it, that when we study the works of God in the creation, we stop short, and do not think of God? It is from the error of the schools in having taught those subjects as accomplishments only, and thereby separated the study of them from the Being who is the author of them…The evil that has resulted from the error of the schools in teaching natural philosophy as an accomplishment only has been that of generating in the pupils a species of atheism. Instead of looking through the works of the creation to the Creator himself, they stop short, and employ the knowledge they acquire to create doubts of His existence. They labor with studied ingenuity to ascribe everything they behold to innate properties of matter; and jump over all the rest, by saying that matter is eternal.” ~ Thomas Paine (January 16, 1797)

Again, I beg of you, please respond, comment, and give me your thoughts on this.  I need to understand why our educational system has decided to stand for nothing more than apathy, immorality, and secularism.  I’d love to have an intelligent conversation about these concepts.  Are you up for it?

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10 thoughts on “Education vs. Christianity

  1. EquationForLife says:

    Isn’t it the beauty of our society and system government that it is alive? I think it’s a good thing that we are able to change our thoughts and ideas rather than stick to what the norm was hundreds of years ago.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that you believe in racial equality (if not, then there is a whole another debate on that). In the 1896 case of Plessy vs Ferguson, the Supreme Court upheld the separate but equal doctrine allowing for racial segregation in public facilities. The ruling remained until the 1954 reversal in Brown vs Board of Education. I personally think we have come a long way since then, and I view it as a testimony to the success of our government that we can change our views as a society.

    The whole point of the liberties outlined in the Constitution is to protect the minority from the majority’s will. Just because 9 out of 10 people believe in something does not mean the last person should have to believe in it (within reason of course….murder should still be illegal even if 1 out of 10 people don’t agree). The fact that a majority of Americans believe in God does not mean the minority should be subject to it in a public system. Let’s not forget the fact that belief in God alone does not indicate the same denomination, or even the same religion.

    My personal views on civil liberties were really pushed by the Snyder vs. Phelps case last year. I’m not sure how you felt about that incident, but I was disgusted at the protests disrupting the funerals of fallen soldiers. However, even though I disagreed with the protesters, I agreed that it was within the right to do it. The only way free speech and civil liberties can exist is if we allow for views to be expressed, even if it’s different from our own. This is the same approach I have for prayer in school: students should be able to form their own religious groups and have prayers at school, but the teachers should not endorse any one group over another. Obviously, there has to be limits to this (you can’t pray outloud in the middle of the SAT exams) but as long as it’s within reason, we should welcome but not endorse faith in public schools.

    As for teaching creationism or intelligent design, I have no problem with it as long as it is not being taught as a scientific theory. Teaching creationism/ID as a scientific theory is essentially the same as teaching the the Sun orbits around the Earth. I don’t know about you, but I rather that the future doctors, teachers, scientists, and engineers of America be taught actual science. Of course, there is nothing wrong with teaching students about the evidence against evolution…as long as it is done in a scientific manner. After all, science is all about forming a hypothesis, performing experiments, and interpreting results, whether or not they agree with the current framework of thought. However, I should point out here that Bible quotes are not scientific evidence. Missing links on the fossil record and unexplained mechanisms in evolution are, and there is nothing wrong with these being taught.

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    • Cameron Stevens says:

      “Equation” (as I’m not sure of your name), there is some here that agree with you on. Others I don’t, but as you say, that is one aspect of our society that is beautiful. We can engage in respectful conversation. We absolutely need to be able to adjust to our ever-changing society. However, I’m not implying we stick with the “norms” of days gone by. We live very differently today. We talk, act, dress, and politic very differently. But as a nation that was founded upon religious principles, those should not change. It is who we are as a country. Religious freedom is at the very core of who we are. The problem I have is when certain liberties are threatened by some in misusing the Constitution. The Constitution is there to protect everyone, but may I point out that even Constitutional principles were implemented by a majority vote. There were some who didn’t agree with certain functions of the government, yet they had to secede their opinion to the greater good; the benefit of the majority. My frustration with today’s government regulations is that they are trying to please and provide for absolutely everyone and their condition, when that is simply impossible to do.

      I did not follow the Snyder v. Phelps case, but had heard about it. See, I see that differently. Is it in everyone’s right to freedom of speech, yes. But I believe there are limits on that. To me, freedom does not mean “absolute freedom”. For someone to disrespectfully protest with such verbose language towards the deceased should never be allowed.

      Let me ask you a question. Why not endorse Christianity? What is the harm? That others would feel left out? The idea isn’t to say that if you’re not a Christian, your going to be persecuted, put in jail, harassed, etc. It’s on the basis of, this is who we are. This is what we stand for. If you’re not in agreement with it, that’s ok. You are still free to practice your religion. This is my point on Creation/Evolution as well. Why has Creationism been removed? Why not include it? Who is it going to hurt? By ONLY presenting the theory of Evolution is more harmful than including Creationism. Not every aspect of Evolution is scientific fact. Please understand, I’m not doubting science. But I have extreme doubts about a theory that dictates this world was created millions or billions of years ago (when that itself can not be proven scientifically). The big bang theory takes faith to believe in, as my belief that this world was created by God.

      I very much appreciate your comments and conversation. My hope is that we can continue to converse on a level of mutual respect for each other’s opinions.

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      • EquationForLife says:

        My name is Darwin actually and I have to say this is by far the most reasonable discussion I have had all weekend. I been thinking about this issue quite a bit since it is the anniversary of the Scopes trial.

        I guess the best way to shed some light is for me to give some background on my beliefs, since I think we probably have fundamental differences on our perspectives.

        When it comes to religion, I consider myself an agnostic of sorts. I believe that humans will never truly know if God exists or not, and thus each of us have to make a choice. Either we choose to believe that God does not exist, or we take it on faith that God does exist. Personally, I’m still struggling to make that assumption for myself though right now I’m leaning towards assuming God does not exist. I should clarify that by God, I’m not necessarily referring to a Christian God, just a supreme being beyond our comprehension and understanding.

        As for evolution, I believe that the theory of evolution is essentially as solid as the theory of gravity. There are many things we do understand about gravity, and we can use these facts to make predictions and test hypothesis in experiments. However, there are fundamental aspects of gravity we are still struggling with. For example, we have not yet been able to define gravity in a way that allows us to relate it to the other fundamental forces of nature. There’s no question though, I would think, about gravity’s role in the attraction between two masses. This is same way I view evolution. We may not understand all the mechanisms involved with it, but the prevailing evidence shows that it is responsible for the species that exist on this planet. Of course, we are making more and more discoveries about the mechanism, and it is entirely possible that we are wrong….but it’s unlikely new scientific evidence will disprove evolution, just as it is unlikely new data will disprove gravity.

        This is why I think we should not endorse religion or teach creationism in schools. To me, God and creationism are ideas based on faith, rather than evidence. In part, science is about teaching students to think critically and making judgement based on evidence. In this sense, I would be perfectly ok with creationism/ID being taught in schools as long as scientific data is used to back them up, just as I am ok with scientific evidence being presented against evolution, or pointing out things in evolution that we do not understand. However, students should get the message that evolution is the process responsible (as far as we understand it) for the diversity of life on this planet, just as students should get the message that gravity is what causes two bodies to attract.

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      • Cameron Stevens says:

        Darwin, I appreciate your transparency. Allow me to ask, if I may, why you lean towards God not existing? I ask this coming from a Christian viewpoint in that all things were created by God. The immense amount of detail in creation alludes to a Creator, doesn’t it? How profoundly accurate, detailed, and perfect animal species, their natural habitats, eating habits, migration patterns, etc. etc. I’m just giving you my perspectives. Does it take faith to believe in God? Absolutely! Yet, His creation can be scientifically proven as well. Am I to assume that the Bible is not a source of study for you? So much of the Bible points to God’s creation and how it can be measured by scientific measures. I would ask that you look in to the book of Job, chapters 38 and 39, from a scientific point of view. Look at the book from a historical perspective (when it was written, that non-Christian scholars will attest to) and then from a scientific perspective on the measurements of the earth’s expanse, oceans, rivers, rain, and even mountain goats and oxen 🙂 The fact that this book was written thousands of years ago, yet attest’s to the intricacy of nature and animal species. God Himself is asking, how does all this happen if someone did not make it?

        Thanks again for the conversation. I look forward to more of it.

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      • EquationForLife says:

        I will take a look at the Bible verses over the weekend when I get the time. My leaning towards the lack of a God is a combination of practical reasons and actual philosophical reasons. Practically, I am not a big fan of what many organized religions groups do. Even in my hometown, a very liberal and relatively non-religious place, there are groups that treat you as an outcast just because you don’t believe in the same God as they do. I wish the world would become more united, rather than divided, which is my big issue against organized religious groups.

        Philosophically though, I really cannot see the evidence for one particular religion over another. Every religious system out there proclaims themselves to be the right one and often have a holy text of some sort to back it up. I already believe that we cannot truly know if God exists or not, so it’s even more of a stretch to know what kind of God exists. I have always equated belief in God with the conclusion that there are things that we cannot understand. For the time being, I choose to believe that we can understand anything if we make the right discoveries.

        For a while, when I was first learning about a lot of biological mechanisms, I did question scientific explanations in light of the complexity. However, I am slowly learning that there are a lot of imperfections in the mechanism as well. Furthermore, we are still far, far away from understanding the molecular mechanisms behind life, and I think there are a lot more discoveries still to be made. We are however, making significant progress, and the new discoveries fit within our current scientific frameworks. In my opinion, complexity itself is not necessarily a sign of design. The beauty of random process is that, well, they are random. Sometimes, we have a mistaken notion that random means that everything must stick to the norm…but this is not always true. For example, we expect a 50/50 distribution when we flip coins, but given enough chances, 15 heads or 15 tails in a row will happen. However, simply seeing 15 heads or tails in a row is not indication of a rigged coin.

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  2. LJ says:

    It’s indeed strange that in light of the majority of people believing in “God”, we are so oppressed to even talk about Him in this society. Yet the media seems to think it’s perfectly fine to showcase a disproportionate percentage of those who openly speak AGAINST His existence. It is so cleverly devised that the study done by the “FAIR Education Act (2011)” seem to illogically lump their study groupings in such a way where “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans”, are mentioned in the same breath as “men, women, Native Americans, African-Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, European Americans, and persons with disabilities, etc”. Thus, they attempt to conclude that anyone who voices any objection to the LGBT organization must certainly be a “bigot” or “hater”, as if this person should automatically be associated with hating people of various races. Isn’t it ironic that the ones making the accusations are in essence themselves the ones guilty of the sin of categorizing and profiling others. I wish I knew the answer to “why” God is being kicked out of our schools. I guess we could say it’s a rebellion against God…..because that IS what’s happening. What I see is an inherent desire for man to be ‘at the center’ of existence…to usurp God’s position. Even in light of more and more scientist subscribing to the theory that the universe was designed by way of “intelligent design”, they just can’t seem to bring themselves to use the name “God”. Kind of like the Fonze when he was to admit he was “wrong”. He hust couldn’t bring himself to say that word…..

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    • Cameron Stevens says:

      I agree with you Lucky. Lumping homosexuality in to the same ethnic categories is ridiculous. The LGBT organization are essentially saying that they did not have a choice in their orientation. We are definitely in an age of humanism/secularism. No doubting that at all. Thanks for your comments. God bless my friend.

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      • LJ says:

        Debating this matter with a non-Christian does often require establishing whether the individual “chose” to be homosexual or whether they were born with that condition. However, this controversy need not be nearly as complicated with a person proclaiming to be a Christian. The first premise I would establish is whether or not they believed in the bible as God’s inerrant word to us. If so, there are two strong points that are irrefutable:

        1) If we believe the word as we claim, then we MUST obey

        2) If we as heterosexuals can’t use the “I’ve come out of the closet” argument, why should a homosexual be able to use it (since homosexuality is clearly listed as sin, just like being an adulterer is). This grants them the argument that homosexuality is no worse than being an adulterer, but it is sin nonetheless.

        Let me illustrate that second point. Imagine a proclaiming Christian man approaching his wife and saying: “Honey, you know that I’m a grown man and that in my current state I do experience the occasional temptation when I see a beautiful woman dressed in almost nothing. These are my natural-born desires, for Pete’s sake, so it’s not my fault if I act out my desire to have sex outside our marriage. Since it’s a natural desire, I have a right to act it out, regardless of what the bible says is wrong or right!!!”

        To summarize, the argument “I’m ‘coming out of the closet’ to become an adulterer” just doesn’t hold water for the Christian man. Is the “heterosexual Christian” then a victim of discrimination since a “homosexual Christian” is approved to act contradictory to the word of God, and the heterosexual is not?

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      • Cameron Stevens says:

        Yes, Lucky, I would agree that the discussion is very different between Christians and non. The unfortunate thing about our society is that it has lost any relation with the word “sin”. Even “morality” has been lost. Thus this society’s indulgence with perversion. To us Christians, we see a very distinct line between right and wrong…sin and righteousness. This is why Christian persecution will only get more and more volatile; as we’ve seen recently in the “chik-fil-a” broo-ha-ha. The more and more that sin and immorality become accepted as societal norms, the more and more Christians become the minority voice.

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  3. LJ says:

    To answer your original question of why our educational system has gravitated so far I must look at God’s word to us which clearly establishes the premise that this world is full of darkness and that any goodness would come from the “light” that would be provided by none other than His church. I am once again reminded of the following passage in scripture from Matthew ch 5:

    13“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

    14“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

    Again, the world IS lost. We cannot expect a dark world to find its way to morality. It is incumbent upon the church (the body of believers) to provide that guidance. Thus I must conclude that we have not provided enough of this light.

    Interestingly, regarding “salt”…. Salt was used mainly for two purposes. Salt was used as a “cleansing” agent (eg: to purify). Secondly, since there were no refrigerators, food was often wrapped in sheets which was lined with salt in order to “preserve” the food in hopes of KEEPING it pure. Tragically, if we failed to be “salt” to the people to whom we’re supposed to minister, we would experience the opposite effect and THEY would administer their remedy on us: “to be trampled by them”. Sound familiar?

    In essence we are failing to “preserve” the morals and values of our society. The shame of it all is that in 1776 we actually got to a point as a nation where we got a unique opportunity to start with a clean sheet. Our Forefathers used the bible as their point of reference to BUILD our value system (from the ground up!) and for generations that culture served to immensely bless our nation. I’m sad too, Cameron, as we witness these morals and values steadily decay from that point of reference.

    Our current administration and many people today point out to a few faults of our ‘traditional’ values and have made it a practice to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Sure we needed to break down the barriers of racial discrimination. Sure we needed to realize that beating up on members of a special interest group is wrong and unloving. But that has now turned into a prevailing attitude that ANY philosophy should be deemed acceptable, even if directly contradictory to the foundation upon which this great nation was built. This new attitude deems that anyone who dares speak up to contend for our proven, established values is considered intolerant and a “hater”, while nothing could be further from the truth. In essence, people with Judeo-Christian values are the only ones NOT allowed to speak our opinion without being shunned in some way. Ironic, isn’t it?

    To the dismay of many, we were built on the foundation of Judeo-Christian values. That is indeed what made our nation great and kept God IN the schools. Now the pendulum has swayed so far the other way that our education systems have become hostile to God. Indeed that is what has happened.

    The bottom line? We, the church, have not stood our ground when the ground was still solid enough to stand on. It’s like a tug-of-war for values and we’re slipping so fast it’s hard to get a grip anymore. Now we are looked upon as haters and intolerant because the STANDARD is so different that Judeo-Christian values are no longer the moral majority, but the moral minority opinion. I realize you quote statistics that show more people believe in God, but to me it is more meaningful not to just identify what people claim to be, but what they actually are based on ACTIONS. Actions are what dictate WHO a person is. Unfortunately, our collective actions are most certainly wanting.

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