The Herald-Standard published a commentary a couple weeks ago by Terry Jeffrey that revolved around a speech given by the Attorney General of the U.S., William P. Barr. Barr's speech delivered at Notre Dame Law School cited a letter written in 1798 by our second President, John Adams. Regarding our Constitution, Adams understood that: "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people." The Attorney General warned Notre Dame students that Adams and our other founders never imagined that "the main danger to the Republic would come from an external foe." The real threat was whether the people in such a free society could maintain the "moral discipline, self-restraint, and virtue" essential for such self-government.
Secular Humanism is the embodiment of this danger. Its design is for the eradication of God from our culture and even from our minds. Humanism holds that even if a "god" exists, he is purposefully detached, morally irrelevant, and socially unnecessary. Many secularists insist that even the concept of a supernatural being is a detriment to humanity's progression and potential.
Secularism relentlessly attacks the moral order, traditional values, and religious freedoms. These are the very basis of liberty. The clear and present danger to our Republic is not the establishment of a "state religion," but rather, the government prohibition of people to practice their own. It is the restriction of traditional religion to a building -- a church or temple -- and its ban in the market place of the real world. The danger lies not in forcing Christian values on all, but rather, forcing secularist amorality and atheism on Christians and other people of faith.
No other segment of our culture has been so successfully targeted and overwhelmed by Secular Humanism as has that of our "educational system." This change is ironic in that from colonial times, and until early in the 20th Century, all learning was universally religious. During this time, the bible was the basis of the curricula, and nearly every academic subject taught within a Christian framework.
The textbooks of all public schools until well into the 1900s were mostly promoters of the Judeo–Christian morality. "The New England Primer" and William McGuffey's "Eclectic Readers" are notable examples. McGuffey's books, first published in 1836, were still being used in public schools until 1920. Teachers in the public school were nearly unanimous in espousing the values of a Judeo-Christian ethic and, at the least, the moral principles enshrined in the Ten Commandments.
What happened to bring us to where we are today? One person, Horace Mann, chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Education, exerted more influence in changing the goals of education than any other. He designed a plan that made school attendance mandatory, but also, which "neutralized" any religious authority in education. Mann firmly believed in the innate goodness and perfectibility of humanity. His plan for non-theistic schooling was antithetical to the Calvinistic concept of learning, which had dominated culture for the previous 200 years.
As education became bereft of religion, morally neutral, and, at the same time, universally required, "radicals" began promoting an even more dramatic change. John Dewey, at Columbia University, insisted that school "values" be formed by a democratic process rather than from an "archaic reliance on an absolute standard-- namely the King James Bible." Dewey held that "morality" changes as life and society change and, therefore, is always fluid, local, subjective, and temporary, and varied from culture to culture. His aim for the rejection of all traditionally held values or any universal moral absolutes continues unabated to this day.
Why are we surprised then that America is steadily becoming less Christian, and those with no religion are steadily rising? A Pew Research reports that in the last decade [2009 -2019], Americans who identify as Christian has dropped from 77% to 65%. Meanwhile, this same report shows that those with NO RELIGION has risen to 26% from 17%.
Court decisions by SCOTUS have played a significant part in this decline. These rulings indicate that an inevitable victory for secularists is looming. The first case was Engle v. Vitale , which prohibited open prayer in public schools. The following year, the court ruled in a case from Pennsylvania, Abington Twp. School District v. Schempp , that Bible reading was illegal. The Supreme Court ruled in Epperson v. Arkansas , that "Creationism" or even "Intelligent Design" are prohibited from the discussion in public education regarding world views, anthropology, geology, biology, and any other educational disciplines. Finally, Stone v. Graham , ruled that even posting the Ten Commandments in public schools is a violation of the Constitution and is illegal.
Are we to think that there has been neither intent nor coercion in bringing about this change? Are we to believe that humanistic ideology and a purposeful curricula manipulation played no part? Are we to assume that there has been no determined diversion or subversion of young minds from traditional beliefs and values? How is it that so many kids raised in traditional backgrounds often abandon many of their parent's values as they progress through the educational process? Is it merely a statistical aberration that in recent decades, so many high-school graduates are supportive of socialism, abortion, same-sex marriage, transgender, open borders, and disdain of nationalism?
Every vestige of Christianity is now nearly eradicated from our public schools. But this does not mean that "religion" is missing. The new "god" of the government school is secularism [Humanism]. And make no mistake, this "current god" is a very jealous "god." Its "priests" and devotees will abide no "blasphemy," "heresy," or trifling with any of its "beliefs" or policies.
William "Ed Nicholson is pastor of the Grace Baptist Chapel at Little Summit in Dunbar Twp. He holds graduate degrees in both Bible and Education and is a life member of the amputee chapter of the Disabled American Veterans. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook at "The Grace Baptist Chapel."