June 17, 1963 was a fateful day in American history.
This was the day the U.S. Supreme court handed down their ruling in the Abington Township School District vs Schempp lawsuit. Their decision followed a similar ruling from 1962 in the Engel vs. Vitale suit.
The decisions did not directly ban the Bible or prayer from school. They prohibited public school employees from either promoting or discouraging Bible devotionals or prayer in schools. In fact, Justice Tom Clark stated: It might well be said 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…Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as part of a secular program of education, may not be effected consistently with the First Amendment.
While the court rulings did not kick God out of schools; that has been the overall result.
In theory, students have the First Amendment right to pray, bring their Bible to school, share their faith with others and have Bible clubs…as long as they don’t interfere with the rights of other students. However, since the Engel and Schempp decisions, opportunistic politicians, atheists, humanists and other assorted Christian-bashers have employed the rulings to advance their agenda’s through lawsuits and the threat of costly litigation. As a result, most school officials choose to discourage Christian activities.
The rulings also ended the teaching, and led to the vilification, of biblical creation in public schools.
The vacuum was quickly filled by the unbridled advancement of the Secular foundations of billions of years leading to Darwinian evolutionism. While the loss of daily Bible reading and the Lord’s prayer from public schools has been significant, the impact of teaching America’s youngest citizens it is a scientific fact that they evolved naturally without God, as we have done for the past 50 years, has truly impacted our nation. The results of the June 17, 1963 ruling can certainly be seen throughout our society today.
Modern textbooks are unlike anything you would remember if you are over 40 years of age.
In an attempt to embarrass Christian students about biblical history, this school book tells students, Clams…would have needed far longer than the 40 day duration of the Biblical Flood to move up a steep mountainside. (Environmental Geology: An Earth System Science Approach, WH Freeman, 1998, page 69). *NOTE: the biblical Flood lasted 300+ days and the mountains were vaulted from the seafloor toward the end of the flood. I cover this in detail in An Old Earth or A Global Flood.
The Teachers Edition of Discover Our Heritage, instructs educators to tell students Christians were the real persecutors at the Roman coliseum.
The book also suggests the class take the role of a Roman disturbed by the rise of Christianity, and write a letter explaining why they are opposed to Christianity. (Houghton Mifflin, 1997, page 245).
Today’s public schools certainly do not present an unbiased study of America’s Christian heritage or scientific findings regarding our origins. The fact is these institutions have strayed far from protecting the religious-liberty of all students. I cover the situation in my message The Fight Against Leftist Teachings.
© 2013 Russ Miller