Skip to comments.Getting God back in Public Schools
Posted on 06/13/2012 9:56:07 AM PDT by Chuckmorse
June 25, 2012 is the 50th anniversary of the Engel v. Vitale Supreme Court decision which banned prayer in public schools. Minister David Barton has accurately observed that in the years following that landmark 1962 decision, social pathologies increased amongst Americas public school students including promiscuity, pregnancy, abortion, depression, suicide and drug abuse. The daily experience of prayer to a Supreme Being offered a moment of thanks and acknowledgement for the many blessings bestowed on our great nation and reminded our children that there was something greater in the universe than mere material satisfactions.
Yet, it should be acknowledged that public schools should not be engaging in religious prayer. This is not because prayer is unconstitutional, which it is not in spite of the activist decision by the Supreme Court, but because religious traditions differ in terms of methods of prayer to God and atheists have a right not to pray. Prayer is a religious act and, as such, prayer should not be conducted officially and regularly by secular authorities. How, then, can we get God back into public schools?
The injection of an activist Supreme Court into what was a state issue, from a constitutional standpoint, resulted in an authoritarian expansion of federal power over a fundamental human right. It should be noted that the first amendment starts out by declaring that Congress shall make no law establishing religion. The New York State Regents prayer, which was banned by the Supreme Court, had nothing whatsoever to do with Congress as the law was passed by the New York State Assembly. Therefore, the first amendment was not violated by the New York state sanctioned prayer and since no coercion was involved, as an objecting student could be excused from reciting the prayer, the Supreme Court and the Federal Government had no constitutional right to interfere in a state matter.
After World War II, and after the defeat of the atheistic Nazi socialists, Americans were concerned over the fact that the atheistic Soviet socialists were still on the march. They sought to counter the insidious influence of the Communists and their American sympathizers by reminding students that rights came from the creator and were not, rather, privileges granted by an authoritarian state, the essential idea contained within both varieties of authoritarian socialism, both Nazi and Communist. It was during the 1950s, the apogee of international Communism and the murders of four times more people than were murdered by the Nazis, that Americans turned to religious faith as containing the fundamental principles of American freedom and democracy. In those years the National Prayer Breakfast was established, In God we Trust was inscribed on our coins, and Under God was added to our Pledge of Allegiance.
Yet the effect of several Supreme Court decisions banning prayer would have the practical effect of virtually banning the Creator of the Universe from public schools.
It occurs to this author that there is a simple way to bring God back into the public schools and this would ultimately be more meaningful than a public school non-sectarian prayer. The solution is in the Declaration of Independence. That foundational document states that: We are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. By reciting this line in the Declaration of Independence in the morning before classes begin, and with a brief discussion of why American rights come from the Creator and not from the state, American children would acknowledge God, in the civic sense, and the communist influence would be check-mated. No person would dare sue a school for reciting a line from the Declaration of Independence and no court would consider taking such a suit if it were filed.'
To keep things interesting, and to avoid turning such an exercise into a mindless repetition, the public school should recite lines from public speeches delivered by every American president from George Washington to Barack Obama, speeches which appeal to the Almighty for guidance and blessing. Indeed, every American president has beseeched God in one way or another. Prehaps the modern American president who has appealed to the creator more than the others in his public utterances would be Franklin Delano Roosevelt. This daily exercise would re-introduce God to the public schools, set back the influence of the left-wing authoritarians, and contribute to a more Godly nation and society. After 50 years of exile, God would return to our schools.
We have half a century of proof of what an Atheist Theocracy is like.
I vote for a return to the Christian Nation!
Kick the government out of schools then people can choose for themselves what they want their children taught.
Throwing everyone into a socialist pot guarantees a fight.
It’s time to get rid of all public schools.
I’m for closing public schools. Other than that, I dont support God in public school settings, sorry.
God in the schools used to work extremely well, removing God helped destroy our culture and successful society.
” Minister David Barton has accurately observed that in the years following that landmark 1962 decision, social pathologies increased amongst Americas public school students including promiscuity, pregnancy, abortion, depression, suicide and drug abuse.”
These social pathologies are obviously linked to the rise of rock and roll music. Everybody knows that.
“The daily experience of prayer to a Supreme Being offered a moment of thanks and acknowledgement for the many blessings bestowed on our great nation and reminded our children that there was something greater in the universe than mere material satisfactions.”
I attended public schools in Texas from 1955 through 1967. I can’t remember that school prayer had any effect whatsoever. None of us paid attention to it, nobody discussed it, it was just something that we had to sit through each morning. Do you remember it differently?
“The injection of an activist Supreme Court into what was a state issue, from a constitutional standpoint, resulted in an authoritarian expansion of federal power over a fundamental human right. It should be noted that the first amendment starts out by declaring that Congress shall make no law establishing religion. The New York State Regents prayer, which was banned by the Supreme Court, had nothing whatsoever to do with Congress as the law was passed by the New York State Assembly. Therefore, the first amendment was not violated by the New York...”
By this logic, if New York had banned handguns, it would not be a violation of the Second Amendment. Do you think the US Supreme Court’s decision in D.C. v. Heller was a mistake by an activist court?
“That foundational document states that: We are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. By reciting this line in the Declaration of Independence in the morning before classes begin, and with a brief discussion of why American rights come from the Creator and not from the state, American children would acknowledge God, in the civic sense, and the communist influence would be check-mated.”
I’m afraid these discussions of our rights to “life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness” would lead to questions like where government gets the right to keep us from doing whatever we want Next thing you know, we’d be a nation of libertarians, smoking dope and refusing to pay taxes.
“Indeed, every American president has beseeched God in one way or another. Prehaps the modern American president who has appealed to the creator more than the others in his public utterances would be Franklin Delano Roosevelt.”
Sounds like the hypocrites Jesus warned about. I say we follow His advice and do our praying in private.
I’d be content with just getting the Founding Fathers back in our schools. If they taught our true history, they’d see that Christianity was definitely a part of what made this country great - from the beginning.
By the way...I love David Barton...he has taught me more than all my public school educators combined when it comes to history and the truth!
So if your education is from him - it is suspect. He has an agenda - and the truth is not it.
From the Nazi Party Platform....
24. We demand freedom for all religious faiths in the state, insofar as they do not endanger its existence or offend the moral and ethical sense of the Germanic race.
The party as such represents the point of view of a positive Christianity without binding itself to any one particular confession. It fights against the Jewish materialist spirit within and without, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our folk can only come about from within on the principle:
“Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”
“My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter.”
We were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out”.
“For their interests [the Church's] cannot fail to coincide with ours [the National Socialists] alike in our fight against the symptoms of degeneracy in the world of to-day, in our fight against a Bolshevist culture, against atheistic movement, against criminality, and in our struggle for a consciousness of a community in our national life”.
COMMON GOOD BEFORE INDIVIDUAL GOOD
I looked up a couple dozen random citations from his Original Intent, and all were accurate.
The above article is about the best that could be said of Barton - that he is sloppy and has proffered NUMEROUS invented quotes.
The following article is less charitable to the charlatan.
I don't know if closing the schools is a good idea, but severely curtailing their mission is in order. Public schools should be run like any other state organization, i.e. provide a public service that can't be provided privately or would be prohibitively expensive to do so, like road building. For instance, there's no need for schools to provide entertainment services like dances or sports for the kids. There are plenty of private organizations that can (and do) provide that.
I'm not all that hip on forcing God on kids in public schools, either. Who's God/god/idol/whatever? Again, there are plenty of churches/mosques/synagogues/worship centers in the private sector that can take care of this much better. If the public schools want to teach morality then they can stick to teaching the law of their city/county/state/nation.
You need to dial 1-800-getthehelloveryourself and get an education as to what is and is not the truth. Barton’s research is more fully substantiated than most historians work is and I dare you to show where he has misled people. Let me guess, you read “They Never Said It” or the “Godless Constitution” to begin with? Ever read the front of “Godless Constitution?” I would love to hear your response to the fact that they did no footnoting and said so.
In “Original Intent” alone there are 1500 footnotes as to the easily proved direct source from where the “quotes” came from. He has done the same with “Impeachment”, “The Jefferson Lies”, “Black and White” and others.
We need trustworthy people in our History and Barton and a very few others has set out to make sure the left does not continue the lies they have built so much upon. You need to mock the left...not assist it.
When in reality it takes only one to know that they are not to be trusted.
Even Wallbuilders admits that Barton has numerous quotes that are “unsubstantiated” - i.e. there is absolutely no evidence to ascribe that quote to the person Barton claims said it.
But we see such STELLAR scholarship from the author of this - the idiot not only thinks Barton is a trusted source - they are suffering under the delusion that the Nazis were atheists when the clear historic record is that they were anti-atheist.
The solution is in the Declaration of Independence.
Great idea. To explain American revolutionary history, one must talk of God.
I have a problem with God in schools for a different reason. I did not care for, look up to, respect or admire the vast majority of teachers I had. The few I did was because they were good teachers who taught useful and memorable subjects, did not waste our time in any way, and earned our respect as students.
One in particular taught a course in “The Bible as Literature”. It was consummately respectful to his diverse student’s religious, cultural and personal beliefs, yet was on “pins and needles” because it was such a serious subject.
He was very clear about it from the start, and set very firm ground rules for all, that were studiously obeyed.
But the class was irreproducible. And having seen the extraordinary lengths he went to make it happen, I find it hard to imagine it could ever happen again.
Yet it was also abundantly clear what would happen if someone tried and failed. And this is why God should not be in public schools, but for clergy and church, family and in one’s personal life.
Were those other teachers, the ones I did not particularly like, to have even used the word “God” in class, it would have opened the door to their being tarred and feathered by the students. Just as likely for “having taken the Lord’s name in vain” as because they were atheists. In either case.
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