We’re told by progressives and many public educators that God, specifically the Judeo-Christian God of the Bible, has no place in the classroom. Not only, they say, is this a bad idea, but it’s actually breaking the law – a violation of students’ religious liberties. Really?
I was recently invited to teach a 12-week Constitution course using a room at a local public high school in Springboro, Ohio. The class was open to the public – parents, grandparents, students. A few community agitators seized this opportunity to flex their politically correct muscles by calling in the ACLU and threatening a lawsuit if we did not cancel the class.
The ACLU informed us that if we proceeded with this class we would be violating the students’ First Amendment rights. I was stunned. Teaching the Constitution was to be deemed Unconstitutional by the ACLU? Their objections stemmed from what they referred to as the “religious content” within the course. This objection proved to be a classic illustration of either a desire to indoctrinate students, historical ignorance, or both.
In order to best understand the Constitution, our course teaches American history alongside. For accuracy purposes, we use many primary source documents – what the founders themselves wrote – not a modern historian’s rewrite of events. Here’s where the rubber meets the road (or for revisionists, where the fingernails meet the chalkboard): In seeking the original intent of our founders and using their writings, you cannot leave out the Bible and Christianity. Their writings are overflowing with both.
To our utter amazement, the objections and lawsuit threats of the ACLU to our teaching this course stemmed from the “religious content” contained within the founders’ own writings! For example:
- The Mayflower Compact – The Pilgrims wrote that the reason for their voyage and their purpose in founding a new nation was “for the glory of God and to advance the Christian faith.” This direct quotation of the Pilgrims presents a profound and powerful truth from history: America was actually birthed for the purpose of advancing Christianity. Were you taught this in school? The ACLU is doing all they can to be sure no one is.
- The Declaration of Independence – Within this document the Founders wrote that all men are “created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…” This statement pre-supposes a Creator God. They further wrote the basis of law would be “The Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” – the 10 Commandments and your God-given conscience. They were continuing the purpose of this new nation as stated by the Pilgrims – advancing the Christian faith. Were you taught this in school?
- The Constitution, which many refer to as a godless document, is signed “in the year of our Lord 1787” – thus referring to Jesus Christ as the standard of dating all of history. Were you taught this in school? They did not say the Lord, but rather our Lord, once again expressing their religious views and standards, something the ACLU apparently finds threatening, frightening and illegal.
Christianity in the classroom is a historical fact. Noah Webster was the Founder known as “the Schoolmaster of the Nation.” Author of many textbooks, his most famous “blue-backed speller” set a publishing record of a million copies a year for 100 years and contained a “moral Catechism” with rules from Scripture. He declared, “Education is useless without the Bible.” And “The Bible was America’s basic text book in all fields.”
Indeed, prior to 1964 when the Bible was removed from the classroom, the main disciplinary problems in schools were chewing gum and throwing spit wads. Today we have metal detectors at high schools in an attempt to stop such unthinkable, horrific events as students shooting other students (i.e. Paducah, Kentucky; Columbine, Colorado; Virginia Tech, etc.)
Christianity in the classroom is not about bringing in doctrine from different denominations. It’s about teaching Christian values such as integrity, kindness, loyalty, courage, and purity. How would schools be different, and student’s behavior improved if we returned to teaching the moral values found in scripture? Spit wads or bullets? Which would you choose for your children to face on a daily basis? Maybe it’s time to bring Christianity back to the classroom.
Something to think about.
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