Church, State, and Supreme Court Decision

Dinner Topics for Wednesday

keyAs our country promotes academic literacy, we must promote moral literacy as well. [W]e must remember, respect, and unashamedly take pride in the fact that our schools, like our country, found their origin and draw their strength from the faith-based morality that is at the heart of our national character. ~David Barton

Definition

Part 1: History, Separation of Church and State

Book Review—Separation of Church and State: What the Founders Meant

By David Barton

Part 2—Effects of Supreme Court Decision on Society

justice gavelFollowing the Court’s 1962-1963 decisions to exclude basic religious teaching from students, violent crime increased 700 percent, with metal detectors and uniformed police officers becoming a normal part of the student educational experience. In fact, crime so exploded among junior high students that the federal government began separate tracking of murders, assaults, and rapes committed by students ages 10-14 (significantly, none of these categories of statistics existed before the Court’s decisions.) ~David Barton, Separation of Church and State: What the Founders Meant, p.15

As our country promotes academic literacy, we must promote moral literacy as well. [W]e must remember, respect, and unashamedly take pride in the fact that our schools, like our country, found their origin and draw their strength from the faith-based morality that is at the heart of our national character. Perhaps across the ages we can hear the timeless words of Abraham Lincoln, and, applying them to our own circumstance, renew his pledge “that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom.” with history as our judge, let us go forward together with a strong and active faith. ~Colorado State Board of Education, after Columbine tragedy. ~David Barton, Separation of Church and State: What the Founders Meant, p.16-17

Following the 1962-63 court-ordered removal of religious principles from students, teenage pregnancies immediately soared over 700 percent, with the United States recording the highest teen pregnancy rates in the industrialized world.

To help combat the escalating teen pregnancy rates, some schools began to teach abstinence; but opponents of that teaching claimed that pre-marital sexual abstinence was a “religious” teaching and that it thus violated “{separation of church and state.” They therefore filed suit in court, where judges agreed with their view and disallowed the teaching of abstinence. In an attempt to reduce the extremely high teen pregnancy rate and the massive governmental spending that it generates, Congress passed the Adolescent Family Life Act, offering federal grant money to any group that would teach pre-marital sexual abstinence. That ruling was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, where logic seems to be reasserting itself: the Court reversed the lower court decision and held that even though abstinence was a religious teaching, it was nevertheless beneficial for students.

Following that ruling, nearly a dozen major abstinence-only curricula were placed in public schools (a number that is still increasing); furthermore, nearly two-dozen states have now passed laws mandating “abstinence only” teachings in the schools. And just as the removal of religious moral teachings had a verifiable negative impact, so, too, did their reintroduction have a verifiable positive impact. ~David Barton, Separation of Church and State: What the Founders Meant, p.17-19

American History Positive Change

In yet another positive change, there is now a renewed interest in teaching accurate history in schools, even when specific aspects of that history are overtly religious. Consequently, nearly a dozen state legislatures have passed laws encouraging teachers to post in classrooms the writings of the Founding Fathers and the documents from our history that have strong religious content, but which have largely disappeared from textbooks (e.g., the Mayflower Compact of 1620, the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, George Washington’s “Farewell Address” of 1796, Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address of 1865, etc.). these new laws prohibit content-based censorship of American history due to the religious references found in those documents.

In conclusion, historically speaking, the “separation of church and state” was never intended to become a tool to secularize the public square; to the contrary, the Founding Fathers intended that Biblical principles be part of public society and believed that the “separation” doctrine would preserve those principles in the public arena rather than prohibit them. And statistically speaking, the inclusion of Biblical principles and values in societal programs produces positive measurable results. Therefore, citizens should not be intimidated from utilizing those principles or values, not only because they were constitutionally protected and are now being slowly reaffirmed by the courts, but especially because they work! America will be morally and culturally strong only to the degree that Biblical, religious and moral principles are incorporated throughout society and its institutions, so take courage and stand up for what has been proven to be successful! ~David Barton, Separation of Church and State: What the Founders Meant, p.20

Part 1: History, Separation of Church and State

Dinner Talk

1. Name the phrase in the First Amendment that does not allow the federal government to interfere with our religious liberty.

2. Why do you think that violent crime and teenage pregnancies soared so much after the Supreme Court ruling?

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One comment on “Church, State, and Supreme Court Decision

  1. Virginity refers to the state of a person who has never engaged in sexual intercourse . There are cultural and religious traditions which place special value and significance on this state, especially in the case of unmarried females, associated with notions of personal purity, honor and worth. Like chastity , the concept of virginity has traditionally involved sexual abstinence before marriage, and then to engage in sexual acts only with the marriage partner.

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