Author: Kate Bowers
Date: June 27, 2022
Source: Publicly Schooled
“I don’t leave my beliefs at home when I step out into the public, do you? What a preposterous suggestion. Preposterous because it is impossible. The Supreme Court’s Carson v. Makin decision declaring state subsidized schools cannot discriminate against those private schools that are “religious” when monies are distributed has many people crying, “Foul!”
Justice Sotomayor and so many others are scared silly that the Carson v. Makin decision pushes government toward establishment of a religion via public schools.
Suddenly, the Court is accused of “increasingly favor[ing] the role of religion in public life”, says Adam Liptak of The New York Times in his June 21, 2022 article. He continues his accusations with “taking up matters of religion in the public sphere” and, quoting Sotomayor, “dismantling ‘the wall of separation of church and state that the framers fought to build’”. What wall? There is no such wall. The “wall” is a fabrication masterfully construed and spread throughout the nation as fact. Our Constitution DOES NOT say, anywhere, anything about a wall of separation between church and state. What a preposterous suggestion. One that has shaped a narrative completely in line with the goal of those seeking to remove God and replace Him with government. (A preposterous goal, mind you.)
I could cite other articles that have come out in the last 24-48 hours, but the whining all sounds the same…”Public money can’t be spent on religious education!” Never mind the diversity of beliefs of taxpayers providing the public money. We all, no matter our beliefs, pay taxes. (May the “religious” be exempt from paying taxes? You don’t really want our “religious” money, do you?) So, if it really bothers you, just think of it this way: Your tax dollars support the programs in line with your beliefs, and Christians’ tax dollars support the programs in line with their beliefs.1 Because, let’s face it, this is not about “religious” schools, it’s about specifically, Christian schools. It’s a battle between those who believe in God, and those who believe in Human Experience. Those believing in Self/Humanism don’t wish to play nice with those who believe in God. They forget that religious freedom has an impact on them, as well, and they ought to be in favor of religious freedom. In 1961, the Torcaso v Watkins Supreme Court case (367 US 488) held that, “The United States Supreme Court has identified Secular Humanism as a religion. It ruled that the First Amendment grants the same protection and imposes the same limitations on the “religion of Secular Humanism” as are applicable to other religions.”2
“It violates the establishment clause!” is another phrase being whimpered in articles covering the Carson v Makin case, referring to the fact that government shall not establish a religion. This is an egregious misunderstanding of the establishment clause, and reveals a lack of historical knowledge. (That last sentence is really gracious – those saying it violates the establishment clause know very well that it does not!) We can worry about the establishment clause when we start hearing government officials barking commands like, “Everyone will begin going to church on Sunday at government approved churches. No one is exempt.” Or, “The entire nation will stop to pray at 8am every Tuesday, facing Washington, D.C.” Or, “Regardless of your personal beliefs, every man, woman and child in the U.S.A. will be required to read —– for ten minutes a day. This will be enforced by the new Department of State Religion.” Those examples – preposterous! But are they? Recall that, way back in history, the Church of England tortured and jailed citizens who refused to comply with the government established religious practices? And hence, along with some other reasons outlined in the Declaration of Independence, The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave was born in 1776?
We have been told that government cannot finance schools which are “religious”, and ironically, this has led to government financing schools that are religious…Either you educate from a premise with God (creation, absolute Truth, moral standards), or without God (evolution, relativism, situational ethics). What we have are public schools built on the without God premise – known as Humanism. So, maybe government did establish a religion3…via the public schools?
Charles Francis Potter, a signer of The Humanist Manifesto I, in his 1930 book, Humanism: A New Religion, on page 128, said “Education is thus a most powerful ally of Humanism, and every American public school is a school of Humanism.” Potter was a contemporary of John Dewey. Dewey is a hero in the minds of many an educator. However, he also was a signer of The Humanist Manifesto I. All of his writings, ideas and accomplishments were, guess what…Borne out of his belief and faith in human experiences (Humanism). Why was he not barred from influencing public education? Why wasn’t he told to keep his beliefs out of the public sphere? Told public money could not be spent on his religious schools? After all, the first tenet listed in The Humanist Manifesto I (which Dewey signed)is “Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created.”
Respectfully, Justice Sotomayor, the irony is – a religion essentially was established by government via the public schools. And it’s called Humanism.
In which case, arguments such as Carson v Makin are long, long overdue.
1 Oh, wait…That’s called school choice! It’s when parents can take their allotted tax dollars and send their kids to a school of their choosing…Hmmm…
2 “Do You Really Understand What is Happening In Our Country?” Institute in Basic Life Principles, 1983.
3 See my previous blog, “What Makes Schools Religious?”, for a definition of religion….”
Kate Bowers is the recognized Teacher Shepherd for For Kids & Country. Her writings may also be viewed on her blog at Publicly Schooled.