I realize that this blog post may not win friends and influence people positively in some camps. I cannot be concerned about that. I am not attempting to be caustic or divisive but based on my Christian worldview and my commitment to God, I believe that we have erred, as a nation, in our drift from God and the Bible. You may disagree and that is your right and privilege.
One can argue, inaccurately that our Founding Fathers were opposed to anything of the Bible and God being taught in the public schools or embraced in government. There are too many references and direct quotes from them at the time of the writing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution that counters that view for me to spend much time on it.
However, I will cite a few references in my comments and plea for a return to our moral moorings and in that to God and the Bible. All roads do not lead to heaven. You may believe that, but I stand on the Bible, and it is expressively clear that Jesus is the way to the Father and there is only one way to heaven and that is through His Grace – Salvation. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Light and He said, “No man comes to the Father but by me.” He is the Door! If you choose to unfriend me or challenge me, that is your prerogative and I respect your right to hold your own views and express them. That won’t sway me in my convictions, but I won’t become argumentative and hateful.
The Father of American Education and author of Webster’s Dictionary of 1828, had this to say regarding the Bible in schools: “In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government, ought to be instructed.”
Webster defined the word education as: “EDUCATION, n. The bringing up, as of a child; instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts, and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.” [Emphasis added]
Fischer Ames who is considered the author of the First Amendment supported the Bible in public education. He said: “Why should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a schoolbook? Its morals are pure, its examples captivating and noble. The reverence for the Sacred Book that is thus early impressed lasts long; and probably if not impressed in infancy, never takes firm hold of the mind.”
He further stated: “We have a dangerous trend beginning to take place in our education. We’re starting to put more and more textbooks into our schools. … We’ve become accustomed of late to putting little books in the hands of children containing fables with moral lessons. We are spending less time in the classroom on the Bible, which should be the principal text in our schools. The Bible states these great moral lessons better than any other manmade book.”
Another of our Founding Fathers, Benjamin Rush, asserted his support powerfully saying, “If we were to remove the Bible from public schools, we would be wasting so much time punishing crimes and taking so little pains to prevent them.” That is exactly what we have done! The incorrect view that the founding fathers wanting nothing of God, Christianity, or the Bible in education or government has brought us to the precipice of losing our republic to tyranny and despotism.
We are rapidly reaching the place where those in power in Washington, state, and local entities are becoming Hitleresque and imposing regulations and mandates that are in direct conflict with the American Constitution. However, they do so in the name of safety and use the phrase, “for the good of all.” Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” That may sound harsh and cruel, but it was insightful to the reality that rights, freedoms, and liberties once ceded are never regained. Governments nor Tyrants ever, short of a revolution, give back the lost rights.
In the Engel v. Vitale case (1962), the United States Supreme Court ruled 6-1 against New York’s Regents’ prayer, a non-denominational prayer which, state education officials had composed for public school children to recite. One year later, a case originated by a Philadelphia area man named Ed Schempp challenged mandatory Bible reading in Pennsylvania schools. The case went to the Supreme Court, and they ruled 8-1 that devotional Bible reading or other government-sponsored religious activities in public schools was unconstitutional. They were wrong based on the writings of the Founding Fathers’ original intent.
If you honestly examine Engel v. Vitale, you will discover something that is ignored or missed by local schools and most citizens. The court did not say the students could not organize and offer prayer only that the schools themselves could not. However, the reality is that Prayer has been banned based on what is happening. If you wear a Christian T-shirt to school, you will likely be sent home. However, if you wear one depicting almost anything else you will likely not be sent home. That is discrimination and religious persecution.
We may soon have a government mandate and program where the government issues every citizen an N95 mask and failure to wear it could result in incarceration or worse. We may soon find ourselves so policed in our speech and thought that anything other than the defined government acceptable ideology and agenda will be deemed hate speech, insurrection, and sedition. Under government laws, the latter of those could result in long prison sentences and even execution. Am I being melodramatic and exaggerating? Not intentionally, because there are proposals for those very things floating around the Halls of Congress, the White House, and other segments of government.
Even now, the Department of Justice has brought charges of sedition against the leader of Oath Keepers and other members of that group. This is all tied to the January 6th incident in Washington. In using this tactic, they are attempting to make January 6th an organized preplanned attempt to overtake and overthrow the government by Trump and his supporters. Some of the events may have been preplanned but the evidence suggests it was not Trump supporters or with Trump’s support. We are treading on very thin ice, and this shows how tedious the state of the Republic really is.
If we return to God as 2 Chronicles 7:14 admonishes and practice the Christian lifestyle and manner we would find love rather than hate being sown throughout our society. We would find that there was more tolerance of differing views rather than intense vitriolic hatred. We would find more listening to opposing views rather than attempting to silence all voices that disagree with our position. The Bible says, “God is Love!” It does not say that He has love but that He is love. If He lives in our hearts, we too will manifest love.
If you are on the Right or the Left and you are spewing hate, you are part of the problem not a pathway to a solution. I do not want to see a Civil War. I want to see a return of America to a Republic where all are viewed as being created equal and have certain inalienable rights including, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. The problem in America is not simply Right vs. Left, Republican vs. Democrat, or Conservative vs. Liberal. It is a heart problem. I do not mean the organ in the chest that pumps blood but that part of us that makes us who we are and drives our actions and interactions.
I believe that in these last days there will be those who earnestly seek to return to God and demonstrate love. There will be others who become rigid in opposition and the resulting persecution and hate may push us over the precipice of destruction into a Civil War and many on both sides will perish. In that scenario, the Republic will crumble, and everyone will pay a severe price.
We need to return to God and our moral foundations. I pray we do. God bless you and God bless America!