When I was a lad attending public school, we were taught basic Christian principles. We were taught that God was real, he created the heavens and earth and that all people everywhere are accountable to God for their actions. We were taught to read the Bible and pray, not for things we wanted but for others.
Speaking of others, we were also taught to respect others, respect authority, respect parents, the church and our church leaders. We were taught to respect other’s property. With this came the learning of manners, compassion and politeness.
We were also taught that America was founded by many seeking freedom of religion and who fled Christian persecution in their home countries in Europe.
At the time, many followed the definition of education written by Noah Webster in his 1828 dictionary. That definition read:
“EDUCA’TION, n. [L. educatio.] The bringing up, as of a child, instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.”
Then atheists like Madalyn Murray O’Hair filed lawsuits in the mid-1960s, challenging the constitutionality of praying and reading the Bible in public school. They invoked the non-existent separation of church state as their basis and unfortunately at the time, the US Supreme Court was stacked with liberals who took the atheist bait and swallowed the lie of separation of church and state.
By the end of the 1960s, God, Jesus, Bible, prayer and Christianity were all kicked out of the public education system. One of the truths of physics is that a vacuum cannot exist in an open system, and when God was removed, anti-God secularism took its place.
I’ve seen a number of studies that tracked the rise in many types of crimes and deterioration of America and when plotted on graphs of time, it leads back to a few years following the damage done by the Supreme Court.
In many of today’s public schools, students are no longer taught respect for anyone. They are not taught that they are accountable to God nor are they taught that America was colonized by thousands seeking the freedom to worship as they believed right, not how the state dictated. Instead of being taught the importance of others, they are taught the only thing that’s important is themselves.
Many well-meaning Christians today speak of how great it would be to have Christianity back in our public schools like in years past. I used to call for the same thing until a pastor and seminary instructor of mine stunned me when he said ‘NO, Christianity should not be taught in public schools.’
When I asked why, his explanation was simple – ‘which version of Christianity would you teach?’
He went on to explain that in today’s America, denominational differences have grown further and further apart than they used to be. When we were in school, it was basic Christianity that was taught, without getting into any of the denominational teachings, but in today’s world, it would be near impossible to teach even basic Christianity without teachers bringing in their own personal denominational beliefs.
So, what is a parent supposed to do? If possible, send your kids to a private school that teaches the values and principles that you agree with. If that is not possible, then homeschool. If neither of these are possible, then as a parent, it is your duty, obligation and mandate to teach your children in the way of the Lord. That includes knowing what they are being taught in their public-school classrooms and then you as a parent have to counter all of the anti-God, anti-Bible and anti-Jesus things they are being taught.
The ultimate responsibility for your child’s education, especially spiritual education rests squarely on the shoulders of parents, not the public schools.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Deut. 6:5-7
“Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.