The BIG Lie: "Separation of Church and State" (Part 10)

Author: Andy Woods
Date Written: March 28, 2014
From the archive of
In the last eight posts, we began a series on the "separation between church and state" supposedly found in the First Amendment. It is because of this phrase, which was first introduced into the fabric of our culture through errant Supreme Court decisions of the early 1960’s, that city councils are sued for placing manger scenes on the steps of city hall, public schools are prohibited from teaching scientific creationism alongside evolution, copies of the Ten Commandments are stricken from government walls, teacher-led prayer and Bible reading is prohibited in public schools, and Christianity has generally been purged from public life.   When did all of this insanity begin? We noted that we can trace the origin of the modern understanding and application of separation between church and state to the following two Supreme Court decisions of the early 1960’s: Engle v. Vitale  and School District of Abington Township v. Schempp. Yet, an honest appraisal of these decisions shows them to be out of harmony with the vision of the Constitution’s authors. The founders would have been horrified at the prospect of removing the influence of Christianity from the functioning of public schools and government. The purpose of this series of posts is to show how out-of-step these decisions are with the express wishes of America’s founding fathers. This purpose will be accomplished through a consideration of nine historical and legal facts.   First, we observed that the words “separation between church and state” never appear in the actual wording of the First Amendment. The so-called "separation between church and state" terminology was not part of America's foundation and was never even used to limit Christian expression in government until after most of our nation's history had already transpired. Second, we noted that although Thomas Jefferson later used the phrase in a private correspondence, he actually used the phrase “wall of separation of church and state” as a one-way wall preventing the government from interfering with Christianity rather than preventing Christianity from influencing government. Third, the legal test that is used today to completely separate God from government is inconsistent with the beliefs of the founding fathers whose legislative record demonstrates that they contemplated no such separation. Fourth, the Engle and Schempp courts applied the First Amendment’s prohibition of a government-established religion to religious activity taking place at the state level in spite of the fact that the express wording of the religion clauses of the First Amendment are only a limitation on federal power rather than state power. Fifth, for the Engel and Schempp courts to make the First Amendment applicable to the states through the vehicle of the Fourteenth Amendment they not only ignored the Fourteenth Amendment’s historical context, but it also contradicted the intent of those who drafted the Fourteenth Amendment. Sixth, by banning voluntary prayer in public schools, the Engel court made the radical move of overturning a long-standing tradition in American educational history without citing a single precedent. Seventh, the Engle and Schempp courts reached the decisions that they reached regarding prayer and Bible reading in the schools because of their a priori belief that such activity is psychologically harmful. Eighth, the Engel and Schempp courts seemed to have followed more of a legislative philosophy rather than a judicial philosophy. We now move on to our ninth point.


Ninth, the court has been highly selective in terms of which religions are to be removed from government based upon the separation of church and state principle. Despite the court’s willingness to violate the intent of the Constitution in removing Christianity from public school classrooms, the same court has shown reluctance toward applying the same standard to pagan religious practices. Neutrality is a myth. If Christianity will not reign supreme as the underlying worldview in public life and education, then another religious worldview will inevitably take its place. Because "nature abhors a vacuum," pagan religious practices quickly filled the void created by the banished Judeo-Christian value system. Consequently, many public school children are still exposed to religious practices despite the Engle and Schempp rulings.   However, these practices are now in the form of New Age visualizing and channeling.1  In fact, New Agers are quite open in their conviction that the public school classroom is an appropriate venue for proselytizing and evangelizing the next generation with the New Age worldview. Note the words of New Ager John Dunphy.

I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being. These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the educational level—preschool day care or large state university. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new—the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism, resplendent in its promise of a world in which the never-realized Christian ideal of “love thy neighbor” will finally be achieved….humanism will emerge triumphant. It must if the family of humankind is to survive.2

Regarding such practices, the court suddenly turned a deaf ear to its cherished Separation of Church and State doctrine. While one religion was pushed out of government, another religion was allowed in. Thus, the "Separation of Church and State" metaphor has been selectively used to drive Christianity out of the public square while simultaneously paving the way for tax subsidized New Age and occultic practices.   The courts have also refused to show the same zeal in policing Islam in the public schools in comparison to how they regulated Christian expression. According to one recent newspaper account:

In the wake of Sept. 11, an increasing number of California public school students must attend an intensive three-week course on Islam, reports ASSIST NEWS SERVICE. The course mandates that seventh-graders learn the tenets of Islam, study the important figures of the faith, wear a robe, adopt a Muslim name and stage their own jihad…students must memorize many verses in the Koran, are taught to pray “in the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful” and are instructed to chant, “Praise to Allah, Lord of Creation.” “We could never teach Christianity like this,” one outraged parent told ANS… “We can’t even mentioned the name of Jesus in public schools…but…they teach Islam as the true religion, and students are taught about Islam and how to pray to Allah. Could you imagine the barrage and problems we would have from the ACLU if Christianity were taught in the public schools, and if we tried to teach about the contributions of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the Apostle Paul? But when it comes to furthering the Islamic religion in public schools, there is not one word from the ACLU, People for the American Way or anybody else. This is hypocrisy.”…“This is not just a class of examining culture…This course is entirely too specific. It is more about indoctrination.”…The textbook used for the Islamic course, “Across The Centuries,” is published by Houghton-Mifflin and has been adopted by the California school system. In it according to ANS, Islam is presented broadly in a completely positive manner, whereas the limited references to Christianity are “shown in a negative light, with the events such as the Inquisition, and the Salem witch hunts highlighted in bold, black type. ANS notes the portrayal of Islam leaves out word of “the wars, massacres, cruelties against Christians and other non-Muslims that Islam has consistently perpetrated over the centuries.”3 
Texas Public Schools Learning About Islam
Such selective enforcement is not only true with New Age and Islamic proselytizing in public schools, but it is equally true of the Christian left and Humanism, as we will see in our next post.

(To Be Continued...)

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