Sanitizing Christianity from Education

I’m old enough to remember (at least in my early elementary years) my public school class praying together before meals in the school cafeteria. I can also remember the entire school going out to the gym to watch a dramatic film about the life and ministry of Jesus; no one was forced to declare fealty to Jesus at this showing, nor was anyone forced to pay any money or render any act of service or servitude toward Jesus or any of His institutions. (Incidentally, I also remember a whole lot less crime and general youthful misbehavior in society in those days…and a lot less taxpayer money being spent on combating said misbehavior).

The reason our nation’s schools have recognized our nation’s Christian heritage for almost all of our history is because, for almost all of our nation’s history, our nation’s leaders and people have recognized that God is the author of the values and principles which gave birth to this free nation, and that God is the source of provision for this nation to secure and maintain its freedom and prosperity, and that if our people ever lose touch with those values and principles and their source, our unique standard of freedom is threatened.

This understanding is why, when our young nation set up the administration of our first territorial government, we recognized in the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 that:

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Religion, morality and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.

When the Delaware Indians wanted their children to be educated in American schools, George Washington told them:

You do well to wish to learn our arts and our ways of life and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are. Congress will do everything they can to assist you in this wise intention.

This is why Noah Webster (whom we can thank for our dictionary) said:

In my view, the Christian Religion is the most import and and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government, ought to be instructed…no truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian Religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.


The brief exposition of the constitution of the United States, will unfold to young persons the principles of republican government; and it is the sincere desire of the writer that our citizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican principles is the Bible, particularly the New Testament or the Christian religion.

This is why signer of the Declaration of Independence Dr. Benjamin Rush said:

In contemplating the political institutions of the United States, I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes, and take so little pains to prevent them. We profess to be republicans and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government. That is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by the means of the Bible.

This understanding of the importance of a moral foundation in our education system was so widespread that in 1893, the National Education Association responded to secularists:

…if the study of the Bible is to be excluded from all state schools, if the inculcation of the principles of Christianity is to have no place in the daily program; if the worship of God is to form no part of the general exercises of these public elementary schools; then the good of the state would be better served by restoring all schools to church control.

This was all before God-hating secularists succeeded in deceiving our nation into surrendering our constitutionally-protected freedoms and our nation’s historical recognition of our Christian foundation which went back close to 400 years.

It wasn’t enough for the Leftists to remove prayer and other acknowledgement of our nation’s rich Christian heritage from public schools in the 1960s. It wasn’t good enough to prevent authority figures in the education system from encouraging willing students in the acknowledgement of our nation’s ultimate founder and author. It wasn’t even enough to prevent the worship of our nation’s Author and replace it with worship of the earth, worship of the self, and worship of sex.

The God-hating Left has been busy at work since then trying to (and often succeeding in) crush the religious freedom of students in public schools from their own personal exercise of religious liberty.

This trend of anti-Christian, anti-American tyranny has gained such a toe hold in our culture (after all, if the government says it’s “bad,” it must be bad, right?) that even a Nevada charter school near Las Vegas has jumped onboard.

Mackenzie Fraiser, a 12-year-old charter school student at Somerset Academy, was told that she couldn’t mention her faith in Jesus Christ in an assignment to create a presentation entitled “All About Me.”  (Apparently, to the radical secularist Left, “everything about a person” must not include faith in Jesus Christ…or at least, you can’t mention it publicly).  A few months later, she was assigned a project on self esteem…but was told by school officials that it would be illegitimate for her to acknowledge that the source for her self esteem comes from her realization that she was created in the image of the Creator of the universe.

Now, as a private institution, it should be this school’s decision whether or not to allow such references. They are not, after all (as best as I can tell), a government institution and are thus not not subject to being told what to do with their own property.  However, as I alluded to earlier, it is clear where such anti-Christian practices spring from: the (bad) example set by our secularist-deceived government.

In his recent Fox News report on the incident, Todd Starnes bring out an interesting aspect of this problem, however. It seems the school is receiving federal funding, which provides some connection to the government, though I expect it’s probably only through the reallocation of the same federal money that would be spent on Mackenzie Fraiser if she was in a public school–not a justification to interfere in the property rights of a private school.

But, as Starnes points out, if we’re going to make the argument that Mackenzie Fraiser cannot exercise her religious liberty because her charter school gets money that was channeled through the federal government (and our tyrannical federal government often tries to outlaw religious liberty in public schools), then a host of other government considerations come into play. If the federal Department of Education is entitled to withhold federal funds to any school that “did not protect the rights of transgender students” (translation: “did not humor and affirm the confusion of students who have difficulty coming to terms with their own sex, and force others attending that institution to also humor and affirm this confusion”), then shouldn’t the religious freedom rights of a Christian student to believe in Jesus Christ (even if you don’t believe in Jesus Christ…just as some might not believe that you can have a penis and be a woman) also be protected?

This is the sad state to which our nation has sunk. Our Christian forefathers would likely and quite literally vomit if they could see the lunacy and tyranny to which we have descended in just a little more than 200 years.

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Bob Ellis has been the owner of media company Dakota Voice, LLC since 2005. He is a 10-year U.S. Air Force veteran, a political reporter and commentator for the past decade, and has been involved in numerous election and public policy campaigns for over 20 years. He was a founding member and board member of the Tea Party groups Citizens for Liberty and the South Dakota Tea Party Alliance. He lives in Rapid City, South Dakota with his wife and two children.
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