Must Religion Be Completely Excluded From Schools? Must Religion be Completely Excluded From Schools? Lemon vs. Kurtzman What began in the 1960’s as taking state mandated prayer out of schools became taking religion out of schools in the 1970’s with the ruling of Lemon vs. Kurtzman. However, to fully understand the impact that this ruling makes upon the United States of America, one must take a look into the founding of this great nation. The early history of our country and the attitudes of our early Presidents showed a great respect for the Bible and for religion.
Take a look at George Washington, for instance, when he prayed that God “would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demand ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example we can never hope to be a happy nation.” He taught that this nation depends on God and the principles God teaches, yet now these principles cannot be taught in the public school system. When Washington took the oath of office as President on April 30, 1789, he said, “I swear, so help me God.” Every President since has repeated these words. Also, on September 17, 1776, Washington summarized what every nation must have to survive.
He said, “of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” When President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862, he asked God’s approval when he said, “I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God.” On April 30, 1863, Lincoln called a National Day of Prayer and Fasting, yet the ruling of Lemon vs. Kurtzman makes religion unlawful to be taught in school.The Proclamation (taken from Dobson’s, Children at Risk(1990)) read in part, We have been recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. . .
. But we have forgotten God.We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.
. . . It behooves us then to humble ourselves before the offended power to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.(230-231) On June 28, 1973, the Supreme Court ruled that all education is to be divided into secular and sacred.
Educating For Eternity(1986), by Schindler and Pyle argues that “the notion that “secular” education is devoid of religious values is a myth. John Blanchard asserts, ‘Secular education has its faith and its values, and these have a decided religious impact.'” Religion and education cannot be separated. Either the religion of secularism, humanism, pragmatism, or that of Christianity is taught in the classroom whether admitted to or not. By taking religion out of schools in the 1960’s and 70’s Supreme Court ruling of Lemon vs. Kurtzman there has been substantial changes in the United States.
For instance, answers to two fundamental questions have been changed in society: What is truth? and What is the nature of man? Taking religion out of schools have changed the view’s of truth and of the nature of man from that of the Bible to that of humanism. From an ACSI’s book Philosophy Of Christian School Education (1995), an excerpt from the Humanist magazine, written by John Dunphy, was taken: I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future [the mind] 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 education level: preschool day care or large state university. The classroom must and will become as arena of conflict between the old 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.
. . . It will undoubtedly be a long, arduous, painful struggle replete with much sorrow and many tears, but humanism will emerge triumphant.It must if the family of humankind is to survive. (2) This statement above refers to the greater Christian community as the “rotting corpse of Christianity together with its adjacent evils and misery.
” Humanism, a man-made attempt to elevate man above God, by doing things man’s way is the oldest struggle known to man. Truth, from a Christian worldview, is found in God and the Bible according to Jesus’ own words “Thy word is truth” (John 17:17 KJV). Yet truth according to the humanistic world view is “in the eye of the beholder.” As for the nature of man, humanism sees every person as being “good.” The article above states, “the religion of humanity . ..
respects the spark of . . . divinity in every human being.” While the Bible makes it clear that the nature of man is sinful, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 KJV).Taking religion out of schools is changing the worldview and moral standard of the United States.