It seems that in the last 150 years, the Bible and prayer were included in the public school system, although some historical facts reveal that most public schools intended to be atheistic in their thinking.
As we’ve already seen, the Common school program, which is the precursor to today’s state’s school system, wasn’t a failure of the then predominantly Christian institutions.
Instead, this system was exploited by utopian socialists and Unitarians, who were concentrated in the New England area, especially Boston. They wanted a school system they would control as an instrument for remaking society in their own image.
One of the leaders of these groups was a humanist, professing atheist, and socialist, John Dewey, whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform. He proposed an educational system that is devoid of morality and faith in God.
John Dewey’s goal was to use the public school system to mold our children’s minds into becoming obedient citizens of the state. He was quoted as saying,
You can’t make socialists out of individualists. Children, who know how to think for themselves, spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming, where everyone is interdependent.
Part of his blueprint was to break the mother’s bond by getting the kids to state schools at an early age, which, I might add, is being implemented today at an exponential speed.
John Dewey and his contemporaries knew that if the schools could keep the children from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., if they could keep the children preoccupied with sports from after school till around 6:00 p.m., if they could keep children busy with homework all evening, then they could keep parents from having more than thirty minutes to an hour per day with their children.
For Dewey, within one generation schools could break the influence of the parents and their religion off the children. He said, “It is up to the public system to recapture our threatened religious heritage.”
For Dewey that heritage was not biblical Christianity but that which was common to society. He was critical of the past and its traditional teaching methods:
The traditional notion of ‘discipline’ was developed under these circumstances. The little red schoolhouses of our ancestors were a struggle of wits and often a means of strength between pupils and teachers.
He then continues,
There is only one way out of the existing educational confusion and drift. That way is the definite substitution of a social purpose, controlling methods of teaching and discipline and materials for study, for the traditional individualistic aim.” And again, “Schools do have a role—and an important one—in the production of social change.
He declared, “change was constant in society and that anyone who did not recognize this point was under ‘a self-imposed hallucination.’” Therefore, educational methodology and content must constantly change to keep up with the constant and usually unpredictable flow of social attitudes. He was critical of those who “as a rule opposed the studies called “modern and the methods called progressive.”
His philosophy of education merged well with the liberal theology of the churches. The liberal clergy had no trouble supporting the governmental school system.
With the development of government schools, the humanists succeeded in accomplishing several things, and one of them was undermining the biblical faith of the children.
Horace Mann (1796–1859)
Under the influence of another humanist, Horace Mann, compulsory education in government schools became a reality. Most historians regard him as the most important and beneficial leader of education reform in America. Historians have also credited him as the father of the common school movement.
In 1852 Mann was instrumental in the decision to adopt the godless Prussian education system in Massachusetts. The practical result of his work brought a revolution in the approach used in the school system of Massachusetts, which in turn influenced the direction of other states. Shortly, New York State set up the same method in twelve different schools on a trial basis.
Another primary architect of today’s godless public school system was Dr. G. Brock Chisholm (1896–1971). He was the first head of the World Federation of Mental Health, and later head of the World Health Organization of the United Nations. He is honored and recognized by many as a great humanitarian, but he despised God, morality, and the Christian family.
Chisholm had a strong view that children should be raised in an “intellectually free environment” as possible. That environment was the state school system where children would be independent of the prejudices and biases—political, moral, and religious—of their parents.
He said, to achieve world government, it is necessary to remove from the minds of men their “individualism’ loyalty to family traditions, national patriotism and religious dogmas.” Sounds familiar?
The Best Things in Life Are Never Free
Most Christian parents in the West did not discern what was going on, and they sent their children to public schools due to mandatory attendance laws. It is now painfully obvious that government schools have adopted an all-inclusive religious system that claims all religions lead to the same path.
There is nothing free in this society. Sooner or later there is going to be a price that had to be paid. What was that price? A rejection of teaching God as Creator, removing the Bible, prayer, and the Ten Commandments from schools, and replacing biblical morality with worldly secularism and humanism.
They had to mix Christian denominations with the Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and many other world religions, and their main object was to exclude from the curriculum anything that any of these groups found offensive.
By embracing all faiths, a new secular humanistic “faith” was introduced to replace them all. How do we train our children to follow Christ while they are being trained to reject the God of the Bible from the classroom?
Professor A. A. Hodge gave a message that would seem to be prophetic, and unfortunately history has proven him to be right. He saw the effect this system of government run education system would have on Christianity, and then came back and reported:
I am sure as I am of Christ’s reign that a comprehensive and centralized system of national education, separated from religion, as is now commonly proposed, will prove the most appalling enginery for the propagation of anti-Christian and atheistic unbelief, and of anti-social nihilistic ethics, individual, social, and political, which this sin-rent world has ever seen….
It is capable of exact demonstration that if every party in the State has the right of excluding from the public schools whatever he does not believe to be true, then he that believes most must give way to him that believes least, and then he that believes least must give way to him that believes absolutely nothing, no matter in how small a minority the atheists or the agnostics may be.
It is self-evident that on this scheme, if it is consistently and persistently carried out in all parts of the country, the United States system of national popular education will be the most efficient and wide instrument for the propagation of atheism which the world has ever seen.
Indeed, the education system in the West has been expensively financed, advocating a philosophy that begins with man and ends with man, just as A.A. Hodge predicted.
When the Bible and the knowledge of God were abandoned, it was easy for alternatives such as the theory of evolution and Darwinism to take over the school system, as we shall examine in the next post.
Part of the article is adapted from Reclaiming the Forgotten Biblical Heritage~Volume 2 Copyright 2014, Watchman Media Publications
Image credit: Teach 4 the Heart