Editor’s Comment: I received a note on Pastor Alan Campbell’s June article entitled America, America – What Will become of you?” In it Pastor Campbell outlined a few of the reasons why America has been on such a downward slide, reaping the whirlwind of its disobedience to God’s Laws and Commandments. Our reader suggested that it’s still a long way down and pointed to the war on Christianity as the prime reason for the decline. “Look at our youth today”, he wrote, “and look to their still youthful parents. They are victims of the 1948 Supreme Court ruling that outlawed the teaching of religion in the public schools of our land, so today, youth has their attention been turned elsewhere. Mr. Fakkema summed it up properly when he charged that America has been robbed of the religious character that made it great. He added, “What loss could be greater.” And of course, there isn’t any. According to Mr. Fakkema, it couldn’t have been summed up better than the late president, Theodore Roosevelt, when he said, “”Mere education without divine guidance is like handing a gun to an irresponsible man.”
Is it possible to trace the plight of our once great American nation to the end of the Christian character of the early schools of America? And was it the Christian character of our nation in the first place that gave rise to our erstwhile Christian schools?
The Christian character of a school depends upon: (1) the Christian character of its teachers and (2) the Christian character of its textbooks.
In the early years of our country the teachers had to pass a religious test before they were allowed to teach. These tests were administered by the clergy.
Turning to textbooks, the Bible was the chief text. And a further textbook that was generally used to teach the pupils how to read during the Colonial period was known as the New England Primer. More than three quarters of the contents of this book were taken from the Bible, while the remaining quarter was spiritual and moral in character.
It may interest our readers to know how this textbook taught the A-B-C’s. Each letter was introduced by a small picture and an accompanying statement that featured the letter to be taught. For example, the first letter “A” was taught by means of a picture showing Eve, a tree and a serpent. The accompanying statement read, “In Adam’s fall we sinned all.” The last letter was also introduced by a picture of a tree. In its branches was a man of small stature. The accompanying statement read: “Zachaeus he did climb a tree his Lord to see.”
In 1647 the General Court of Massachusetts issued the following order: “It being the chief project of’ the old deluder, Satan, to keep men from the knowledge of the Scriptures, effort must be made to thwart this old deluder. It is therefore ordered that every township in this jurisdiction, after the Lord has increased it to the number of 50 households, shall then appoint one of their town to teach all such children as shall report to him to write and read.’
It is not without a touch of irony that we must report that 300 years later, in 1948, the Supreme Court of our land banished the teaching of religion from our public schools. Think of it, 300 years ago, religious teaching was demanded by the Supreme Court of our New England Colony. Today the Supreme Court of our land banished the teaching of religion from our public schools
Think also of the conditions under which Mr. John Harvard in 1636 endowed what is now Harvard University. In his bequest Mr Harvard stated: “Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well the main ends of his life and studies; to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom as the only foundation of all knowledge and learning and see the Lord only giveth wisdom. Let everyone seriously set himself by prayer in secret to see Christ as Lord and Master.”
Contrast this splendid Christian testimony with the thrust of a costly book (The Harvard Report) published some years ago by the professors of this same Harvard University that stated in effect that in this century we have advanced educationally to a point where God and Jesus Christ play no part in education. According to this report, the Bible is no authority in the field of educational endeavour. As a result, the religious emphasis prescribed by Harvard’s Founder has become a public mockery.
Think also of the recognized present-day educational policy of Columbia University — founded, 1754 – with its original educational policy set forth in an advertisement that appeared in the New York Gazette over two hundred years ago. The advertisement stated: “The chief things that are aimed at in this college are to teach and engage the children to know God and Jesus Christ and to love and serve Him in all sobriety, godliness, righteousness in life, with a perfect heart and a willing mind.” The change since 1754 is familiar but astonishing nevertheless because what is true of Harvard and Columbia is true of all eleven universities in the East, every one of which started as a Christian institution.
A final comment! In 1777 the Continental Congress of America voted an expenditure of $300,000 to buy copies of the Bible for the purpose of distributing them throughout the country. Contrast this with the Supreme Court decision, which in effect forbade the Gideons to give away New Testaments to pupils on public school property.
Once our Government bought Bibles for its citizenry. Now they may not be given to children on Government property!
This article is entitled “Robbery” because it is about the greatest robbery of all times, stealing away the greatness of America and replacing it with confusion, financial bondage and loss of freedoms. (Courtesy of The Anglo-Saxon World – abridged)