Separating School and State
by John F. McManus

 


Indeed, it isn't a matter of whether or not religion should be taught in the schools, but which religion should be taught. As it stands, it is the humanist religion that has usurped complete control of the government schools. If the American people, the vast majority of whom claim to be Christians, hope to avoid complete societal collapse and the loss of their freedom, they had best reject the siren songs of "reform" of the humanist elites and return to true education. Obviously, there would be great disagreement among those who call themselves Christian over what religious principles and doctrines would be taught. The solution? Let the Catholics have Catholic schools, Lutherans Lutheran schools, Methodists Methodist schools, etc. And if the $300 billion now being squandered each year by the socialist, humanist government schools were left in the hands of the parents and taxpayers who earned it, there would be more than enough money to provide a first-class education for all at half the price.

— William F. Jasper



Over a million young Americans are presently being educated in their homes, in addition to the millions who are enrolled in private schools, many of them associated with churches. The number of families making the exodus from the public schools is steadily increasing.

Yes, there are many commendable public school teachers who work hard and are able to impart some worthwhile scholarship to their students. But such teachers do so in spite of the system. Overall, the government schools are turning out millions of young adults who cannot think for themselves and who are grossly unprepared for the task of living responsibly in a free society. And worst of all: It was planned that way/

Recognizing the depth of the problem, Marshall Fritz, the head of the Separation of School and State Alliance, emphasizes: "The government school system isn't broken and in need of fixing; it's doing exactly what it was intended to do: Promote socialism, relativism, internationalism and ignorance."

Easily the most serious deficiency in the government schools is the complete lack of any teaching of moral absolutes, a tragic by-product of the fact that teachers are not allowed to give religious instruction. America is in the grip of relativism, a condition which results in moral anarchy marked by broken families, high crime rates, a refusal to accept the consequences of one's actions, etc. As educator Allan Bloom explained in his book The Closing of the American Mind, relativism is "the only virtue ... which all primary education for more than fifty years has dedicated itself to inculcating."

Calls for remedying this deplorable situation are heard from coast to coast. But it would be a mistake to attempt to "fix" the public school system, and many Americans are beginning to understand why. Let's state the reasons in logical fashion:

The solution is obvious: Separate school from state! Let those who want prayer and Bible-reading support their type of schools, and let those who oppose such teaching support theirs. In like manner, .let choice prevail for those who want either phonics or look-say reading, creationism or evolution, old math or new math, moral-neutral sex education or God's laws, etc.

If the kind of freedom we recommend prevailed, the $300 billion spent annually for a failed system would be left with the people for privately run education, and for their churches and charitable institutions to assist in the education of the poor. Along with the proliferation of private schooling, competition would replace compulsion and there would be an accompanying escalation of academic excellence and public morality.

It would be a mistake to conclude that climbing out of the government-run system is impossible, that the forces sustaining it are too powerful. Strong indication that this is not the case came in early 1994 with the massive response to an amendment added to H.R. 6, that year's version of refunding for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Congressman George Miller (D-CA) had arranged to have H.R. 6 contain a provision that would have required government certification of all teachers — even those in private and home-school programs.

The Virginia-based Home School Legal Defense Association sent out an alarm to its members via fax, internet, telephone, and the mail. Congressional offices were flooded with calls of protest. Representative Ralph Regula (R-OH), a 22-year veteran in the Congress, stated that he had never experienced such an outpouring of indignation. Many of his colleagues made similar statements.

Responding to the firestorm of protest, an amendment was introduced to strip H.R. 6 of the dangerous Miller language. It was passed by a vote of 424 to 1 with Miller casting the sole dissenting vote. That result supplied compelling evidence of the growing clout of the private and homeschooling movement, a clout that has increased steadily during the past three years.

Many Americans are beginning to realize that the process of improving education must begin by canceling the injustice of forcing all taxpayers to subsidize it. Anything else amounts to spinning wheels as we watch the nation sink further into mediocrity and decay.

 

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