When our country was just beginning, the focus of our leaders and our citizens was upon the conspicuously self-evident “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”. It is the governing character of these principles (laws), such as the Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments, that led to success. This is the foundation upon which man’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness rests. It reflects the impartial and divine element that frees man to do what is right.
“For the first [over three centuries] of this country’s history, religion and education were intimate and interdependent. Religious competition does stir controversy, but religious freedom enriches rather than impoverishes public policy and the education process” (Edward Scott Gaustad, The Religious History of America, Harper and Row, 1966, page 372. Gaustad was a professor of history at the University of California, Riverside). We know this as fact.
In recent decades, have public school textbooks been telling students the truth about Higher Authority Common Law and non-sectarian religious underpinnings of American foundations? Knowledge of right and wrong comes from man’s God-given conscience, knowledge of the Creator-based Declaration of Independence, the Constitution Bill of (unalienable citizen) Rights and truth about history. (Suggested reading—John Eidsmoe, Christianity and the Constitution, Baker Books, 1987, and Benjamin Hart, Faith and Freedom, Lewis and Stanley, 1988.)
The existence of life is miraculous, but perishable when abused. Divergent Supreme Court decisions starting in 1947 is responsible for a simultaneous decline in moral standards taught in taxpayers’ schools. This decline in family solidarity and community civility has undermined citizen respect for the liberal judges and Supreme Court. (See Roy M. Mersky, Landmark Supreme Court Cases, Engel v. Vitale, 2004, pages 308-309.)
America is being put to the ultimate test by the secularization of what government education (as well as the media) teaches our youth about history, governments and the behavioral sciences. The barbarity of God-rejecting open-mindedness is seen in the outcomes, the Index of Leading Cultural Indicators and judiciary ineptness. The problem is not a shortage of schools; it is the loss of a moral compass. An example of cultural indicators, according to the CDC, suicide is now the third leading cause of death among teenagers. It is the second leading cause of teenage deaths in Iowa. The information comes from the CDC’s 2011 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), a report designed to find health-risk behaviors that include sexual behaviors, alcohol, and drugs. Addictive practices, elicit sex, alcohol, drugs, tobacco and benefits from telling lies do not register intelligence. Are not educators honor-bound to implant the knowledge of right and wrong for healthy family and community life?
Thanks to grassroots citizens, the Creator-based Declaration of Independence and federal Constitution ratified in the . . . “Year of Our Lord . . .” are gradually being restored to public education. Pat Henderson, superintendent of the Lubbock, Texas Cooper Independent School District, and other leaders are successfully putting the God of our American Judeo-Christian heritage back into the public school house. Teachers explain the success of overcoming problems in American history associated with Judeo-Christian values, but do not humiliate students who proclaim divergent opinions. Truth is the truth and worthy education upholds the truth.
After publicly soliciting citizen opinions, the Ames, Iowa school board also now requires freedom for students to share their views when the subject of religion comes up. When are classroom student opinions about religious matters appropriate? Certainly it would be when the subject of religion comes up in class. If this idea, so vital to education, is administered in a way acceptable to conservative parents, it could encourage a nationwide trend that would keep public schools from rapid decline.
Restoring religious liberty to the classroom may require special administrator and capable teacher cooperation. Student discussions can be governed by insisting that the three distinctives which apply to both God-honoring and God-rejecting religions be the guidelines for student input. The three strongly held distinctives are the origin, meaning and purpose of life. It may be best for a teacher to solicit classroom responses to one of the three characteristics of religion at a time. All students who may be involved should be introduced to these three distinctives for discussion so they can think them through beforehand and be prepared. Some students may deviate from the three points for discussion, but others would notice and might comment. Teachers should encourage the students to be positive, “My religion does not say _______________, it says _______________.” Learning would be aided by known civil and health benefits associated with the historic family and local community norms.
The education gap caused by the absence of Higher Authority Common Law Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule is destroying American foundations. This is certainly something to be shared with your local School Board.
~ David Norris