Christian Education Awareness Network (CEANet)
The Harsh Truth About Public Schools
by Bruce N. Shortt
Chapter One (part 2 of 2)
Why Are You Educating Your
Children at a Pagan Seminary?
The New Age Movement and Evangelizing by Stealth
The practical insight of Proverbs 22:6 -- "Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it" -- has been well understood by "progressive" educators who have been busily re-making government schools and children in their own image. In one of John Deweyís earlier writings, "My Pedagogic Creed," Dewey recognizes that if you systematically change what goes on in classrooms you can reshape children and, ultimately, society. His goal, of course, was to use government schools to reshape society in ways agreeable to the progressives of his era. Those who today dominate the education establishment -- the devotees of humanistic psychology, the New Agers, and the secular humanists -- also understand that the classroom is the key to cultural supremacy, and they have not been shy about saying so.
Writing in The Humanist magazine, John Dunphy, a much-quoted figure from the humanist movement, urged:
[T]he battle for humankindís future must be waged and won in the public school classrooms by teachers who correctly perceive their role as proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity ....These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and new -- the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith....[Emphasis added.]
Marilyn Ferguson, a prominent New Age guru, makes the same point in her highly influential book, The Aquarian Conspiracy:
You can only have a new society... if you change the education of the younger generation.... Of the Aquarian Conspirators surveyed, more were involved in education than in any other single category of work. They were the teachers, administrators, policy makers, educational psychologists.... Only a new perspective can generate a new curriculum....[Emphasis added.]
So, what is the "new perspective" that Fergusonís "Aquarian Conspirators" are looking to inject into the classroom? According to Ferguson, the perspective of the Aquarian Conspiracy is:
[A] constellation of techniques and concepts sometimes called transpersonal education. The name derives from a branch of psychology that focuses on the transcendent capabilities of human Beings.... [T]he deliberate use of consciousness expanding techniques in education, only recently well under way, is new in mass schooling.... Altered states of consciousness are taken seriously: "centering" exercises, meditation, relaxation, and fantasy are used to keep the intuitive pathways open. These are techniques to encourage this awareness: deep breathing, relaxation, yoga movement, biofeedback....
These influences are widespread in government schools. By the early 1990s just one of the many curricula based on the use of "transpersonal" techniques, "Pumsy," was used in 40% of the nationís elementary schools. Of course, parents often object if they understand what is actually happening in government schools. This has led, on occasion, to lawsuits and legislation in attempts to restrict the use of curricula based on transpersonal and humanistic theories of education. So, if you are a highly trained education professional trying to remake society in your own image, and parents and the law are getting in the way, what are you going to do?
"Keep it subtle, keep it quiet, or the parents will really get upset."
The basic tactic for smuggling New Age religious concepts and practices into classrooms is to deceive parents simply by changing terminology. As Dick Sutphen, a prominent New Ager, has written:
One of the biggest advantages we have as New Agers is, once the occult, metaphysical and New Age terminology is removed, we have concepts and techniques that are very acceptable to the general public. So we can change the names and demonstrate the power. In so doing, we open the New Age door to millions who would not be receptive.
Consequently, New Age educators will introduce children to "imaginary guides" rather than "spirit guides," "centering" or "relaxation" rather than meditation or hypnosis, and so on. Nevertheless, the techniques and objectives remain the same.
This sort of deliberate deception is not something invented by Sutphen. In the late 1960s nuns belonging to the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary invited Carl Rogers, the father of the humanistic psychology and the human potential movements, to apply his theories to their religious community using "encounter groups" in a two-year experiment. The result was the destruction of the order. When Rogers and his team later met to review the tragic consequences of the application of their theories and whether they would undertake a similar project in the future, the consensus was that they wouldnít, or at least they would not use the term "encounter groups." In fact, Rogers cynically quipped: "Iíd change the name just as fast as needed to keep ahead of the critics."
Changing the name to stay ahead of critics is exactly how so many failed educational theories manage to cheat a well-deserved death. It is also exactly how many New Age and other theologies manage to infiltrate and survive in government schools.
Occasionally, the promoters of Eastern religions and the occult get caught doing this and are stopped. For example, in the 1970s certain schools in New Jersey introduced the "Science of Creative Intelligence" into their curricula. The Science of Creative Intelligence, it turned out, was just a repackaged version of a Hindu religious practice known more widely as Transcendental Meditation. In a lawsuit brought to enjoin the teaching of the Science of Creative Intelligence in New Jersey schools on Establishment Clause grounds, the plaintiffs were able to expose the sham and obtain an injunction. Unfortunately, New Age practices that have been successfully objected to often reappear in new guises. Moreover, the Bedford Central School District case demonstrates that some federal judges on important courts are willing to ignore the blatantly religious nature of New Age curricula.
The ABC Principle (Anything But Christianity)
Legal positivists used to quip cynically that the Constitution means what the cop-on-the-beat says it means. That is not a widely held view today. But if you are wondering how our government "educators" seem to wink at the presence of all of the non-Christian religions in government schools today, you need to understand that for many of those in charge of government schools the "wall of separation" is really a "wall of separation" between the Christian church and the state. A 1995 incident in an Ohio high school involving a class assignment illustrates what the "wall of separation" actually means in the minds of many government school educators. An English teacher assigned sophomores the task of writing and signing a contract with the Devil, Satan, Lucifer, a genie, a witch, or a warlock. The contract was to specify what the students wanted from Satan, for example, and three things they were willing to give up in return.
When some parents questioned the appropriateness of the assignment, the teacher told the parents that she recognized that the assignment might be sensitive, and that was why she gave students several options concerning with whom to make the contract. After the parents pointed out that all of the choices were demonic, the discussion moved to the high school principal.
The principal defended the teacher as having merely made a mistake. When the principal was asked, however, what he would do if the assignment had been to write a contract with God, Christ, Jesus, the Lord, the Savior, or the Holy Spirit, he immediately responded that it wouldnít be permitted because of the separation of church and state. Ultimately, the school board apologized on behalf of the school district and repudiated what the teacher had done.
The point here is not so much the inappropriateness of the assignment, although having children sign their "contracts" certainly raises questions regarding the teacherís judgment. Instead, what is illuminating is the response of the principal. While he evidently saw no Establishment Clause issue in what the teacher had done, his immediate reaction to the parentsí hypothetical assignment was that it would violate the separation of church and state. Obviously, what Everson meant to him was simply that Christianity must be kept out of the high school. This is the sort of mentality that accounts for school administrators banning Christmas carols while at the same time permitting earth worship ceremonies in school.
News Flash from Ohio: Jesus Christ Not a Real Person
The Brookfield School District in Ohio was sued for violating the First Amendment rights of a Christian middle schooler. Phillip M. Vaccaro, a 14-year-old described as "educationally challenged," was given an assignment to write an essay about someone who has influenced his life. Because Vaccaro had used his faith to overcome many of his problems in school, he wrote about Jesus Christ. His teacher, however, advised him that Jesus was not a real person and told Vaccaro to chose someone else. When Vaccaroís mother contacted school administrators about the unusual historical views of her sonís teacher, the school officials backed the teacher. Itís also rumored, by the way, that Brookfield school district officials may announce any day that Julius Caesar, Saul of Tarsus, and Abraham Lincoln were not real persons. Stay tuned.
Ohio does not, of course, have a corner on anti-Christian zeal in the heartland. Evidently concerned that there might be an outbreak of reading among students in the district, a Wayland, Michigan, school superintendent ordered Gideons International to stop its annual practice of handing out Bibles to 5th graders. Not to be outdone by Michiganders, a school district in Davenport, Iowa, banned students from giving away Bibles and passing out church-event fliers on school grounds even when classes were not in session. According to one student who was a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the school district over the incident, "Itís pretty bizarre how we have to go and pull teeth to do this.... They told us we couldnít do it because it was religious."
Anti-Christian animus also thrives in government schools in the "Bible Belt." Many districts refuse to allow ministers to have lunch with students or meet with them on campus. In 2004, for example, Kentuckyís Bullitt County School Board banned ministers from their campuses. The ministers were not praying or evangelizing during their lunch-time visits, but were instead just talking about problems and giving advice to students whom they knew. The only explanation from the school administration was that the visits were against district policy. This sort of "policy" is not that unusual in school districts from Texas to Georgia. Not surprisingly, these same school districts that are terrified that some adult might mention the name of Jesus on campus often allow purveyors of earth-worship and other religions access to students through "environmental," "diversity," or "safe schools" programs and curricula.
Christmas: The Holiday That Dare Not Speak Its Name
Now that Christians with children in government schools have become desensitized to "Christmas vacation" being replaced by "Winter break" or "Winter vacation" and Christmas carols being banished, courageous anti-Christians are moving on to the next frontier -- banning
the word "Christmas" entirely. For example, in Colorado, the Ayatollahs of the ACLU threatened to sue a school if any reference to Christmas was made during the 2003 "holiday program." The ACLU also insisted that singing "Jingle Bells" be banned, evidently confusing it with a song of invitation or an altar call.
Also in the vanguard of the movement to protect children against the horrors of hearing the word "Christmas" is a principal in an elementary school in Sacramento, California, who met with three first-grade teachers to instruct them that the spoken or written use of the word "Christmas" in school was now prohibited. Of the three teachers in the meeting, one disagreed with the ban, but was willing to go along with it, and a second thought the ban was just fine. The third, a twenty-four year education veteran, was of a different mind: "People need to stand up to all these wackos. Itís nuts." Nuts? Yes, but donít expect many of our highly trained education professionals to get out of their chairs to do something about it -- or many Christian parents, for that matter.
By the way, a junior high school principal in Abington, Pennsylvania, seems to be contesting the Sacramento principal for the honor of having the most avant-garde anti-Christian position. When a mother questioned the principalís refusal to allow her honor student son to wear a pro-life t-shirt at school, the principal told her that "the shirt and the message were the equivalent of a swastika being displayed on the shirt." The principalís position, however, proved a bit too advanced, at least for the moment, and the school district relented when faced with a lawsuit.
Where do government schools find these principals? Try your local universityís school of education. But that is a story for Chapter 5.
Dangerous Contraband: "Christian" Candy Canes
No trifle seems to escape the gaze of the anti-Christian zealots in government schools. Several high school students in Massachusetts were suspended from school for giving other students candy canes with a Christian message just before Christmas. In Reno, Nevada, high school students were allowed to distribute Christmas candy canes with the message "Jesus Loves You" only after the school was threatened with a lawsuit. In Oregon, the Gresham-Barlow school district was sued over prohibiting a six-year-old from handing out Christmas cards because the cards mentioned Jesus. In a similar attempt by school officials to prevent Christian students from privately sharing their faith, a Pennsylvania school prohibited a student from giving away pencils bearing the message "Jesus loves the little children." Of course, handing out condoms is probably just okey-dokey in these schools.
Persecution of Christian Teachers and Counselors: A Few Examples
Christian teachers and counselors are not immune from the anti-Christian jihad being waged in government schools. In North Carolina, for example, a high school dropout prevention counselor was suspended while she was investigated for allegedly giving a student religious advice. The counselor, Beth Pinto, had been approached by a student fighting homosexual urges, and the student asked what the Bible taught about homosexuality. Mrs. Pinto responded by sharing some relevant passages from Scripture. Evidently, a third party overheard the conversation and told an administrator, which resulted in Pintoís suspension and the investigation. Although Mrs. Pinto was eventually reinstated, the district officials took the opportunity to warn school employees that they must not commit the high crime and misdemeanor of giving students "religious advice." In a similar display of intolerance, public education officials in Pennsylvania suspended a teachersís aide for one year without pay for wearing a one and one-quarter inch cross pendant on a necklace.
As should be evident, we are long past the point where the controversy in government schools is over Bible reading or prayer. Now the anti-Christian bigots are attempting to intimidate Christians into complete, cowering silence by using even the slightest pretexts to harass them. Answering a studentís question, wearing "inappropriate" jewelry, and gift giving among children is the new line in the sand being drawn by those who control government schools. And if you donít like it, they will do what they can to make your life miserable.
Government School Mosques and Muslim Prayer Warriors
Some highly publicized incidents involving religions other than Christianity drive home the extent to which government school officials tend to understand the "wall of separation" as nothing more than a tool for separating Christianity from schools. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Chancellor of New York Cityís government school system publicly announced that New York schools would set aside special classrooms where Muslim students could pray during school through the month of Ramadan. In fact, the Chancellorís policy of allowing Muslims to assemble and worship publicly in schools had been quietly in place for some time.
Evidently, the Chancellor decided to go public with the policy as a gesture of reassurance to Muslims in New York schools in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. When the Catholic League praised the policy and asked that the same level of accommodation be shown Christians, the Chancellor immediately reversed his decision. Thus, in the end it appears that reassuring Muslim students was less important to the Chancellor than keeping Christianity out of New York schools.
The principal of a Flushing, New York, magnet school was even more blatant in her anti-Christian bias. Prior to Christmas 2001, the principal issued a memo to teachers urging them to bring to school religious symbols representing the Muslim, Kwanzaa, and Jewish religions. Although the memo didnít mention Christianity, someone put up a Christmas tree in the school. The principal immediately ordered the tree taken down claiming that it was too large when compared to the menorah, crescent, and star. Obviously, Christianity was the only religion unwelcome in this Flushing school.
This sort of thing is not limited to the Northeast. For example, a Missouri high school principal was embarrassed when a school employee let the press know that Muslim students were allowed to set up a mosque within the school. Evidently, the school provided Muslim students a room to use for prayer during the school day. A sign stating that the room was the "Muslim Prayer Room" identified the room. Inside was a sign asking visitors to "remove shoes when entering the mosque." As might be expected, once the story broke the principal denied that the school intended to allow the room to become a mosque. Needless to say, however, no room within the school had inadvertently been set aside as a church for Christian students to use during the day.
"Assalam aleikoom, fellow Muslims"
In California, many 7th grade students are taking an intensive three-week course on Islam. As part of the course the children memorize verses from the Koran, adopt a Muslim name, dress as Muslims, learn the tenets of Islam and the important figures in the history of Islam, and are taught to pray "in the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful" and to chant "Praise to Allah, Lord of Creation." Students are also taught to greet one another with the pious Muslim greeting "Assalam aleikoom, fellow Muslims," and pronounce the Muslim war cry "Allahu Akbar." Just to show which side the schools are on, students who are unwilling to wear Muslim dress have to sit in the back of the classrooms. Best of all, however, the children get to conduct a mock "jihad" using a dice game. Do you suppose that California schools are also requiring 7th graders to memorize Bible verses or to pray in the name of Jesus?
In Syracuse, New York, the principal and staff of H.W. Smith Elementary claimed to want "to make sure the school respects all the varied traditions" of the immigrant children in the school. In practice, this meant that at Thanksgiving the traditional school Thanksgiving feast was cancelled. Why? Because some of the children in the school were Muslim, and Thanksgiving fell within the month of Ramadan, a time during which Muslims are expected to fast. You see, allowing students the traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner just wouldnít do if at the same time Muslim students were choosing to fast. Do you suppose the school also serves only fish on Fridays out of concern for the sensibilities of the children from Catholic families?
Anti-Christian Logic: No Words, But Too "Preachy"
Recently, Huron High School officials in Ann Arbor, Michigan, asked student organizations to provide skits and videos for the schoolís "Multicultural Show." Students from a Christian club submitted a four-minute video consisting of clips from the film "Jesus of Nazareth" set to music -- none of the dialogue from the movie was included, just music. The Christian students were told they could not show their video because it was too "preachy." No words? Too "preachy"? Four minutes? Videos from the Islamic Student Union and the Gay/Straight Alliance were, of course, permitted.
Fortunately for the Huron High Christian students, the Thomas More Law Center had a few words with the government school administrators, who subsequently decided that the wordless video wasnít too "preachy" after all.
As surprising as it may seem, these are far from isolated incidents. Education Week reports that government schools are working hard at accommodating Islam. Menus, testing schedules, P.E. requirements, and many other aspects of school life are being adjusted around the country to make government schools Islam-friendly. At Robert E. Lee High School in suburban Virginia, for example, the principal read a statement noting the commencement of Ramadan during the schoolís morning announcements.
The textbook situation is even worse. A report by the American Textbook Council examined seven textbooks used widely for junior high and high school children. According to Gilbert Sewall, a former professor and head of the Council:
On significant Islam-related subjects, textbooks omit, flatter, embellish and resort to happy talk, suspending criticism or harsh judgments that would raise provocative or even alarming questions.
Thus, the students on whom these textbooks are inflicted never learn, for example, that freedom of speech and religion are not tolerated in most Islamic countries or that, for millions of Muslims, "jihad," the purpose of which is to bring the entire world under Sharia, or Islamic law, involves armed conquest. The students will also not learn much, if anything, of Muslim involvement in the slave trade, past or present, or that most Islamic countries are repressive dictatorships or theocracies.
Why would publishers publish textbooks that whitewash Islam? Fear. Organizations such as the Council on Islamic Education have made it plain that those who do not portray Islam favorably will be called "racists" and "bigots." Moreover, given that textbook adoption for government schools is a political process, the publishers are doubtless on notice that any portrayal of Islam that is unflattering could jeopardize the adoption of their textbooks. Meanwhile, children in American classrooms are being fed false and distorted versions of both Islam and Christianity.
If you remain unconvinced that government schools are increasingly hostile to Christianity, David Limbaughís Persecution: How Liberals are Waging War Against Christianity may convince you otherwise. In the first part of his book, "The War in Our Public Schools," Limbaugh provides over 100 pages of examples that illustrate how Christians, and especially Christian children, are treated abusively in government schools -- children being disciplined for praying before meals; Bibles being thrown in the wastebasket while a teacher shrieks, "This is garbage"; students being told that the Ten Commandments are "hate speech." As I said before, the little red schoolhouse isnít what it used to be.
Anti-Christian prejudice is common within government schools, and it is expressed in many ways. Yet, most Christian parents arenít paying attention.
Sow the Wind, Reap the Whirlwind
Are you still convinced that sending your children to government schools is harmless? Is it plausible to think that giving Wiccans, secular humanists, Gaia worshipers, and sundry purveyors of Eastern religions or Islam the opportunity to proselytize your children through classroom instruction, textbooks, assemblies, field-trips, peer pressure, extracurricular activities, and adult example for at least 35 hours a week makes no difference to their faith?
Evidence that Christians have failed to transmit their faith and values to their children is everywhere. Within two years of graduation from high school, between 70% and 88% of teenagers from evangelical families stop attending church. Over the last forty years, teen suicide has increased by 200%, and since 1970 adult arrests for drug law violations are up over 400%. By 1999, 33% of all children were born out-of-wedlock. This represents an increase in the rate of illegitimacy of over 700% since 1940, with the greatest increase coming after 1960.
Plainly, these results proceed from the values held by individuals. Can anyone really believe that the actions behind these statistics reflect the values of a sincerely held Christian worldview? Do you really believe that attending government schools has no influence on the sort of worldview your child develops?
Fortunately for the doubters, a study conducted by the Nehemiah Institute makes clear how attending government schools shapes the minds of Christian children. In its study the Nehemiah Institute evaluated the worldviews of thousands of children from Christian families attending government schools and private Christian schools in nearly all fifty states. The study was conducted using a test designed to assess how Biblically or non-Biblically students think on culture-shaping issues. Responses to the questions allowed the researchers to categorize the studentsí worldviews into four categories: 1) "Biblical Theism," 2) "Moderate-Christian," 3) "Secular Humanism," or 4) "Socialism."
The study found significant differences between the worldviews of children who attended government schools and the worldviews of children who attended private Christian schools. For example, only 35.3% of the Christian children in government schools strongly agreed that the foundation of all government is self-government under God, while 67.4% of the children attending private Christian schools strongly agreed.
Even more telling was the response to the following statement: "Because human nature is constantly changing values and ethics will also change. Therefore each generation should be free to adopt moral standards appropriate to their preferences." Only 14.7% of Christian children attending government schools strongly disagreed with this statement, while 74.3% of children attending private Christian schools strongly disagreed. Overall, the study showed that children from Christian homes who also attended private Christian schools had worldviews that varied from "moderate-Christian" to "Biblical-Theism." On the other hand, the students from Christian homes who attended government schools had worldviews that fell predominantly within the categories of "Secular Humanism" or "Socialism."
The Nehemiah Institute findings demonstrate clearly that when a child is placed under the authority of a government school for 35 to 40 hours a week in which his success or failure depends on conforming to the requirements of the institution and its curriculum, the influence of that institution on the child will be far greater than an hour or two of Sunday school and a few hours, at best, of devotional time during the week with his parents.
Should we be surprised at this? From a practical point of view, a child entering a government school is entrusted to a curriculum that reflects a non-Christian worldview, and he is placed under the authority of administrators and teachers who are charged with propagating that non-Christian worldview. Moreover, the childís academic success in a government school is measured by how well he has mastered the non-Christian curriculum. Thus, not only does the child have the perception from his earliest years that education is something to be provided and controlled by the government, but he also believes that education and knowledge are separate from, perhaps even alien to, Christianity. Yet, Christian parents who send their children to government schools seem to be oblivious to the spiritual and moral risks that their government school habit imposes on their children.
The effects of our government school habit are also showing up in faithlessness and Biblical illiteracy among Christian children. In 2000 the Barna Research Group conducted a nationwide survey of Christian teenagers. While 86% of teenagers claimed to be Christian, only one-third said that they were "absolutely committed" to Christianity. Even more striking were findings that 60% of the teenagers identifying themselves as Christian believe salvation can be earned through good works and that 53% of these teenagers, including 40% of evangelical teenagers, believe that Jesus committed sins while on earth. We are clearly reaping the consequences of our unfaithfulness in the education of our children.
Do You Think You Will Not Be Held Accountable?
In whatever we do, we must ask ourselves whether we are being obedient to God (John 14:15). This applies no less to Christian parents in the education of their children. It is obvious, however, that few Christian parents with children in government school have asked this question. Otherwise, how could 85% of Christian children be given into the custody of a pagan seminary every school day -- in essence offered as living sacrifices to the gods of rival religions?
Psalm 127:3 tells us that children are a gift from God. As Christian parents, we have a special responsibility to be faithful stewards of that gift. Moreover, we will be held accountable for how we have discharged that responsibility. In Matthew 18:6 Jesus says: "But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a huge millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." Clearly, there are many ways to lead a Christian child into sin, but none is surer than placing a child under false teaching. The question, then, for Christian parents is what does the Bible tell us about the education of our children?
First, as has been pointed out, children are Godís gift to parents, not the state. Non-Christians, of course, deny this and have always sought control of education as a means of imposing their worldview. The National Socialists, among others, understood this well:
When an opponent declares, "I will not come over to your side," I calmly say, "Your child belongs to us already&ldots;. What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.
Similarly, modern humanists clearly view control of a childís education as a means of alienating him from Christianity. Charles F. Potter, a signer of the first Humanist Manifesto, wrote in 1930 that:
[E]ducation is thus a most powerful ally of humanism, and every public school is a school of humanism. What can the theistic Sunday school, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teachings?
In fact, Paul Blanchard, a well-known humanist, regarded the destruction of a childís Christian belief as perhaps what government schools do best:
Our schools may not teach Johnny to read properly, but the fact that Johnny is in school until he is 16 tends to lean toward the elimination of religious superstition.
Can anyone seriously believe that by collaborating in the subversion of our childrenís faith we are being obedient to God or acting as proper stewards of His gift?
Second, every passage in the Bible that mentions the education of children makes it clear that parents are responsible. In Deuteronomy 6:6-7 the Lord tells parents, "These words I am commanding you today must be kept in mind, and you must teach them to your children and speak of them as you sit in your house, as you walk along the way, as you lie down, and as you get up." In Proverbs 22:6 parents are told: "Train a child in the way that he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it." In Ephesians 6:4 fathers are told to raise their children up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
Reciprocally, children are told to hear the instruction of their parents (Proverbs 1:8-9), not the instruction of a government employee. Nowhere in the Bible does God delegate the education of children to the state or to the disciples of other religions. On the contrary, the Bible requires parents to provide their children nothing less than a Christian education. Indeed, in ancient Israel and among Christians for nearly two millennia the education of children was carried out primarily by families with the assistance of the synagogue or church.
Finally, 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 states that Christians are not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. How can we fail to recognize that placing children under the control and instruction of a pagan institution for 35 to 40 hours a week is yoking our children unequally with unbelievers. Indeed, can there be a worse example of unequal yoking than the deliberate yoking of a child with a pagan educational institution?
It now may be fully Constitutional for government schools to bring in turban-wearing yogi-numerologists to teach children the Hindu devotional practice known as "yoga," to have children make images of strange gods, to have children recite the Koran, to sponsor extracurricular activities involving the occult, to have self-proclaimed psychic-telepaths teach children exercises to improve their "concentration," to sponsor meditation programs, to have children make offerings to "Mother Earth," to be initiated into the beliefs of Wicca, and so on. We know that for many parents such practices and more are acceptable. But as Christian parents we will be judged by a different standard than man-made laws or personal preferences. We have to decide whether we are for Him or against Him. Who among us wants to come before the Judgment Seat (Rom. 14:10-12) having sacrificed our children to the Moloch of government education?
51. John Dewey, "My Pedagogic Creed," The School Journal, Volume LIV, Number 3 (January 16, 1897), pp. 77-80. Available on the Internet at www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~infed/e-texts/e-dew-pc.htm.
52. John Dunphy, "A Religion for a New Age," The Humanist, January/February 1983, p.26.
53. Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy: Personal and Social Transformation in the 1980s (Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher, 1980), p. 420.
54. Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy: Personal and Social Transformation in the 1980s (Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher, 1980), p. 420.
55. John Ankerberg, John Weldon, and Craig Branch, Thieves of Innocence, (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1993), p. 66.
56. The so-called "Hatch Amendment," Public Law 95-561, Sec. 1250, Section 439 of the General Education Provisions Act, 20 USC 1232 g, is an example of such legislation at the federal level. This legislation was designed to require government schools to obtain parental consent before they can administer psychological or psychiatric tests or treatment to children or seek information from children about private matters such as their attitudes and families. The NEA and schools strenuously resisted any enforcement of the Hatch Act, which resulted in it being amended by legislation introduced by Charles Grassley.
57. Timothy D. Crater, "The Unproclaimed Priests of Public Education," Christianity Today, April 10, 1981, at p. 45, quoting Sidney Simon, one of the key proponent of values clarification theory.
58. Dick Sutphen, "Infiltrating the New Age into Society," What Is, Summer 1986, p. 14, as quoted in John Ankerberg, John Weldon, and Craig Branch, Thieves of Innocence (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1993), p. 82.
59. For a good account of what happened to the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, see Joyce Milton, The Road to Malpsychia: Humanistic Psychology and its Discontents (San Francisco: Encounter Books , 2002), pp. 138-145.
60. Joyce Milton, The Road to Malpsychia: Humanistic Psychology and its Discontents (San Francisco: Encounter Books , 2002), p. 235.
61. As quoted in Joyce Milton, The Road to Malpsychia: Humanistic Psychology and its Discontents (San Francisco: Encounter Books , 2002), p. 235.
62. Alan B. Malnak, et al v. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, et al
63. Most Christians have no idea how New Age curricula have proliferated in government schools. Craig Branch, director of the Apologetics Resource Center and an expert on New Age beliefs and cults, has provided the following list representing just some of the school programs that incorporate New Age elements:
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- Choosing Wellness (by Prentice Hall)
- Coping with Kids
- Coping with Stress
- DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education)
- Delphi Foundation Institute
- Discipline with Dignity
- Discovery Skills for Life
- Dungeons and Dragons
- Flexing your Test Muscles
- Flights of Fantasy
- Free the Horses (Active Parenting)
- Get Set
- Green Circle Program
- Growing Healthy
- Health: A Wellness Approach (by Merril Publishing)
- Heart to Heart
- Hereís Looking at You
- Holistic Learning
- Integrated Thematic Instruction
- Know Your Body
- Kreative Kids
- Letting Go of Stress
- Life Education Centre
- Macís Choice
- Michigan Model for Comprehensive Health Education
- Positive Action
- Project Aware
- Project Rainbow
- Project Strain
- Self Concept
- Small World: Chinese
- SOS (Strengthening of Skills)
- Tactics for Thinking
- TAD (Toward Affective Development)
- The Centered Student
- Visual Thinking: A Scamper Tool
- Waldorf Schools
- Whole Mind Learning
- Workshop Way
Anyone interested in the influence of the New Age movement in government schools and our culture can find a wealth of information at the website for the Apologetic Resource Center (http://www.apologeticsresctr.org/default.htm ).
64. Christians who push for legislation making it easier to have prayers in government schools should realize that any such legislation would necessarily open the doors of government schools even wider to New Age spiritualism. This is just another example of the way in which the misguided belief that government schools can be "reformed" almost invariably leads to unintended, harmful consequences.
65. The facts on which this account is based are taken from "Students Sign Contract with Satan," Education Reporter, October 1995.
66. Ron Selak, Jr., "Jesus School Essay Sparks Federal Suit," Tribune Chronicle, July 2, 2002, available at
67. "Nation: School Bans Free Bible Distribution," Associated Press, May 22, 2002. In a similar incident in the heart of the "Bible Belt," a suburban Houston middle school administrator called the police in response to Gideons standing on a public sidewalk near the school giving away Bibles.
68. Perry Beeman, "Students Fight Ban on Giving Bibles at School," Des Moines Register, June 6, 2002.
69. Perry Beeman, "Students Fight Ban on Giving Bibles at School," Des Moines Register, June 6, 2002.
70. "School District Bans Ministersí Lunches with Students," Associated Press, February 19, 2004.
71. "School District Bans Ministersí Lunches with Students," Associated Press, February 19, 2004.
72. "Students Threatened by Christmas? ACLU Warns of Lawsuit unless Principal Censors Celebration," WorldNetDaily.com, November 21, 2003.
73. This account is based on Joe Kovacs, "School Bans Saying ĎChristmas,í" WorldNetDaily.com, December 13, 2002.
74. This account is based on Joe Kovacs, "School Bans Saying ĎChristmas,í" WorldNetDaily.com, December 13, 2002.
75. As quoted in "Studentís Pro-Life T-Shirt is Equivalent to the Swastika says School Principal," and "School Backs Off Claim that Pro-Life Message = Swastika," Thomas More Law Center, January 27, 2003 and January 29, 2003.
76. These incidents are reported in Robert B. Bluey, "Students Face Discipline for Passing Out Candy with Religious Note," CNSNews.com, January 10, 2003.
77. "Family Files Suit Against School District over Religious Speech," Associated Press, February 10, 2004.
78. This account is based on reporting by News 14 Carolina (available online at http://tinyurl.com/5uwqa) and "Counselor Suspended over ĎReligious Adviceí", WorldNetDaily.com, December 12, 2003.
79. Eventually, a federal judge reversed the educrats. The teacherís aide, by the way, was charged by her employers with having violated an 1895 statute prohibiting religious garb. It is almost a certainty that the law was aimed at Catholics. For an account of this incident, see "Cross-Wearing Teacherís Aide Reinstated," Maranatha Christian Journal, June 25, 2003, available online at
80. This account is based on facts contained in Carl Campanile, "Schools OK Ramadan Prayers," The New York Post, November 15, 2001, and Joseph A. DíAgostino, "New York Schools Flip-Flop on Ramadan," Human Events, November 26, 2001.
81. Dr. David A. Yeagley, "Schools Harass Christians, Coddle Other Faiths," FrontPageMagazine.com, June 21, 2001.
82. Joseph A. DíAgostino, "New York Schools Flip-Flop on Ramadan," Human Events, November 26, 2001.
83. The facts on which this account is based are taken from "Flushing Public School Discriminates Against Christians," The Catholic League, December 3, 2001.
84. Actually, the promoters of "Kwanzaa" claim it is not a religion. In any event, everyone would agree that it is a festival that was invented in 1966 by Ron Karenga, a Black Power activist.
85. Cory de Vera, "Prayer Room Sign Pulled," The Columbia Daily Tribune, October 25, 2001.
86. "Islam Studies Required in California District -- Course has 7th graders Memorizing Koran Verses, Praying to Allah," WorldNetDaily.com, January 11, 2002, available at www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=25997.
87. Daniel Pipes, "Become a Muslim Warrior," Jerusalem Post, July 2, 2002.
88. Daniel Pipes, "Become a Muslim Warrior," Jerusalem Post, July 2, 2002.
89. "Islam Studies Required in California District -- Course has 7th graders Memorizing Koran Verses, Praying to Allah," WorldNetDaily.com, January 11, 2002, available at www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=25997. The course is being taught using a Houghton-Mifflin textbook, Across the Centuries, that has been adopted by the California school system. References to Christianity apparently focus on events such as the Inquisition and the Salem witch-trials, and no mention is made of the long history of atrocities perpetrated by Muslims. Contrast this with a recent court ruling that a one-half hour weekly Bible class is unconstitutional. "Court Upholds Class Ban," Associated Press, June 8, 2004.
90. As quoted in Maureen Nolan, "Pupils to Pass Up Turkey: School Skips Thanksgiving for Fasts of Ramadan," The Post-Standard, November 26, 2002. This account is based on Miss Nolanís article.
91. "Michigan High School Discriminates Against Christians," and "High School Reverses Decision: Christian Club Allowed to Show Jesus Video," Thomas More Law Center, February 24, 2003, and March 4, 2003. The account of the controversy can be found at www.thomasmore.org.
92. This account is based on Nashiah Ahmad, "Schools Adapting to Muslim Holy Month," Education Week, November 27, 2002. See also, "Atlantic City Schools to Recognize Islamic Holidays," Associated Press, May 28, 2004.
93. As quoted in Suzanne Fields, "Radical Islam is Sanitized for American Textbooks," Washington Times, February 21, 2003. See also, Joseph Grant Swank, "Anti-Christian Muslim Brings Pro-Islam Books to American Schools," Bushcountry, May 4, 2004.
94. Suzanne Fields, "Radical Islam is Sanitized for American Textbooks," Washington Times, February 21, 2003.
95. The American Textbook Councilís report, Islam and the Textbooks, is available free online at www.historytextbooks.org. As described on the Councilís website, the principal conclusions of the report are: "(1) world history textbooks hold Islam and other non-Western civilizations to different standards than those that apply to the West, (2) domestic educational activists, Muslim and non-Muslim, insist at once on harsh perspectives for the West while gilding the record of non-Western civilizations, (3) Islamic pressure groups and their allies seek to suppress critical analysis of Islam inside and outside classrooms, and distorted textbook content is one symptom of this phenomenon, and (4) publishers respond to pressure groups on account of political expediency and sales."
96. David Limbaugh, Persecution: How Liberals are Waging War against Christianity (Washington, D.C.: Regnery, 2003).
97. This information is taken from a speech by T.C. Pinckney, Second Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention, to the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Council on September 18, 2001. A copy of the speech is available through the Alliance for the Separation of School and State (http://honestedu.org/). According to a 2002 study by the Southern Baptist Conventionís Council on Family Life, the situation is worse -- 88% of children from evangelical families stop attending church after graduation from high school.
98. Johnathon Allen, "The Tragedy of Teen Suicide," Teenagers Today, available at
http://teenagerstoday.com/resources/articles/teensuicide.htm, and "Estimated Arrests for Drug Abuse Violations by Age Group, 1970-2000," Bureau of Justice Statistics (www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/tables/drugtab.htm).
99. Stephanie J. Ventura and Christine Bachrach, "Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States, 1940-99," National Vital Statistics Reports, Volume 48, Number 16, October 18, 2000. Also, see "Report to Congress on Out-Of-Wedlock Childbearing," Department of Health and Human Services, September 1995.
100. Stephanie J. Ventura and Christine Bachrach, "Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States, 1940-99," National Vital Statistics Reports, Volume 48, Number 16, October 18, 2000. Also, see "Report to Congress on Out-Of-Wedlock Childbearing," Department of Health and Human Services, September 1995.
101. Daniel J. Smithwick, "A World of Difference in Public and Christian Schools," Nehemiah Institute, Inc., 1998.
102. Daniel J. Smithwick, "A World of Difference in Public and Christian Schools," Nehemiah Institute, Inc., 1998, p., 8.
103. "Teenagersí Beliefs Moving Farther from Biblical Perspectives," Barna Research Group Press Release, October 23, 2000, available at www.barna.org.
104. "Teenagersí Beliefs Moving Farther from Biblical Perspectives," Barna Research Group Press Release, October 23, 2000, available at www.barna.org.
105. Adolph Hitler, quoted in William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1960), p. 343.
106. Charles F. Potter, Humanism: A New Religion (New York: Simon & Schuster 1930), p. 128, as cited in Robert L. Waggoner, "The Humanization of America in Culture, Education, and Law," an article adapted from the second chapter of an unpublished doctoral dissertation, available at www.biblicaltheism.com/humanameri.htm.
107. Paul Blanchard, quoted by Blair Adams and Joel Stein, Who owns the Children? (Waco, TX: Truth Forum, 1984).
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