My grandmother was a public school teacher for over 50 years. Her students prayed together, sang hymns together, read Bible verses together, and learned to read with the 1784 New England Primer that began, “In Adam’s fall, we sinned all.” Prayer and Bible reading were vital components of the academic foundations of learning, foundations that supported the family, reiterated the core values of the culture, and fueled sane public discourse. “Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion,” George Washington once said. “Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
However, in two landmark decisions in 1962 and 1963, the Supreme Court established a secular stronghold, a prohibition on prayer and Bible reading in public schools. At first, an enraged public fought back, submitting over 150 constitutional amendments in an attempt to reverse the policies. None were accepted. Tragically, conservative leaders felt outgunned and eventually ran out of steam. Over time, the decisions they tolerated became the decisions they embraced.
Watch Ted Kennedy’s response to the decision to remove the Bible here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=F0sPUpj7Fac
Yes, then-president Kennedy encouraged Americans to pray more at home and to attend church “with a good deal more fidelity,” but he also assumed that the Supreme Court was a fair and unbiased arbiter, an accurate interpreter, of the law. As C.S. Lewis noted, the surest road to hell is the gradual one. Eventually, gradually, tragically, America looked the other way.
The ban on “sectarian” speech (as it’s defined on the Department of Education’s website) ultimately became so short-sighted, so ludicrously myopic, that in Palmdale, California, a deputy sheriff was sent to the home of a 7-year-old boy from Desert Rose Elementary School to warn him against the clear and present danger of his lifestyle choices: bringing Bible verses to school in his lunch box. Seriously. You just can’t make this stuff up.
Now, over 50 years since the Engel v. Vitale and Abington v. Schempp battles raged through the Supreme Court, the correlations between the removal of God and the rise of virtually every socio-emotional disorder have been well-documented by numerous social scientists. In my grandmother’s day, the most rebellious children in the class dared to chew gum and cut in line (gasp). Today, those seemingly benign acts of “rebellion” pale in comparison to the bullying, drug abuse, violence, homicide, and suicide ideation clawing at the souls of our nation’s public schools.
On Thursday, January 16th, President Trump defended the rights of public school students to pray, threatening schools that they could lose their federal funds if they violate students’ religious freedoms. Citing a “growing totalitarianism” bent against religion, he called the student ban on prayer in school “totally unacceptable,” adding that “government must never stand between the people and God.”
I am thankful for a president who is willing to speak up for the oppressed, to cast aside the veil of political correctness, to restore America to her senses, and to protect the religious freedoms of every citizen from age 5 to 105.
Thank you, President Trump, for being the courageous and visionary leader our country so desperately needs. 🇺🇸🎉🙌🏼🙏🏻
#thatsmypresident #standup #speakup #redwhiteandblue #godblessamerica