Why Christian Children Don’t Belong In Public Schools By Aaron Ames for The Federalist
Public education neither teaches nor believes in the transcendentals of truth, goodness, and beauty, the very pillars of the education that built the western world and flow from Christianity itself.
Let’s get right to the point: many Christians throughout history shared the idea that God is the fundamental source of all truth, whether religious, academic, or otherwise. But what are we to make of a student who has spent 15 to 20 years studying academics without ever considering God’s relationship to these fields of knowledge? Does this kind of education not actually imply that God is not the source of all knowledge and truth?
It should really be no wonder that students so quickly abandon the faith after a year or two of university schooling. God has been left out of every meaningful field of knowledge by the end of high school, so it does not take much more prodding to decide that God never really fits in the first place.
In the 1963 court case Abington School District vs. Schempp, the Supreme Court eventually ruled, 8-1, in favor of a father who objected to his son being required to read the Bible in a Pennsylvania public school. This marked the beginning of numerous cases that created a clear precedent for removing elements of religion from schools.
Yet the majority opinion conceded “that one’s education is not complete without a study of comparative religion or the history of religion and its relationship to the advancement of civilization. It certainly may be said that the Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities” (374 U.S. 225).
In other words, while arguing that it was unconstitutional for schools to require student participation in religious exercises, the court decided was equally erroneous to deny all discussions of religion in public education. This, as the majority wrote, would constitute “hostility” toward religion and indirectly prefer secular value-judgments. The one dissenting justice went further, writing that to exclude religion from education is to give “preferential treatment” to those opposed to religion and would help establish “a religion of secularism” (374 U.S. 313).
Following this case, a federal study was commissioned to investigate the relationship between religion and education. They concluded that “A curriculum which ignored religion…would appear to deny that religion has been and is important in man’s history.” The point is clear: until recently, no one though “value-neutral” education was even possible. Yet today we insist that it is. Perhaps many of us have been equally convinced that the study of the material world (science) has very little to do with the study of God (theology). Where did we receive such ideas?