February 20, 2017 – I have said this before and I will say it again – There is no such thing as a Judeo-Christian heritage! There is Judaism and there is Christianity, and though the Christian faiths have usurped the Torah as their own, there is no connection between the two.
The Christian conservative Center for National Policy (CNP) is recommending that a “Judeo-Christian,” read “a Christian,” education be made a standard form of education for the United States public school system.
As reported by Patheos, CNP has ties to the new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the Trump administration. The CNP also wishes to eliminate the U.S. Department of Education and revert the public school system back to its “Judo-Christian roots.” They wish to take secular education out of our school system.
There are four assumptions made by the CNP to justify their positions concerning the American education system:
- All knowledge and facts have a source, a Creator; they are not self-existent.
- Religious neutrality is a myth perpetrated by secularists who destroy their own claim the moment they attempt to enforce it.
- Parents and guardians bear final responsibility for their children’s education, with the inherent right to teach, or to choose teachers and schools, whether institutional or not.
- No civil government possesses the right to overrule the educational choices of parents and guardians.
Under the title of “Traditional Values,” the CNP states:
“WE BELIEVE the Founding Fathers created this nation based upon Judeo-Christian values and that our culture flourishes when we uphold them.”
They are basing their position of a Christian tradition in part on the 1620 Mayflower Compact. Those who use this document, considered to be one of the first governing documents of the American colonies, seems to be focused on the first section of the Compact but not the second. Please note that though the document praised their god, king, and country, the second half of the document states clearly that their colony was to be governed by:
… a Civil Body Politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience…”
They understood Jesus’ statement to “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” (Romans 13:1) Our friends at the CNP seem to overlook these two simple statements of religion versus a “Civic Body Politic.”
In fact, the CNP as well as other Christian conservative organizations, seem to forget that the First Amendment’s “Establishment Clause” prohibits the government, and by extension the public school system, from making “law respecting an establishment of religion…” Bringing so-called Judo-Christian values to our school system would be a direct violation of our Constitution.
This does not mean that individuals cannot pray to their own god or gods as their personal religions mandate. So, if your god or gods favor your football team or helps you pass that difficult test through prayer, then, by all means pray. But do not force your Christian religious beliefs on non-Christian students, individuals and families.
The Mayflower Compact may have been one of the first ruling documents of the New World, but it is not the governing document of the United States of America. The Constitution of the United States is the only ruling document and does not mention Jesus, Christ, or Christianity.
It does clearly state that there is to be no religious test to hold public office, whether elected or appointed.
It does clearly state that the government is to make no law either establishing a national religion or preventing one from practicing his or her faith.
It is, by all measurements available, a document of secular government. Our Founders knew what happened when the head of state was also the head of the national religion. The understood “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
And which form of Christianity will be taught in our schools; Baptist, Catholic, Mormon, Unitarian-Universalism? Which version will be prohibited under the guise of bringing Christianity into the public schools?
Whether you are a believer or not, we must stop organizations like the CNP from influencing our Congress to take actions that would be contrary to our Constitution and to the dreams of our Founders, a nation without a national religion, which honors all faiths.
We must stop the forcing of Christianity into our public school system. We must remind our members of Congress that bringing religion into government is a violation of the First Amendment.
We must demand that Secretary DeVos not eliminate the system that educates over 90 percent of our children, of which 20 to 25 percent of families have either no religious preference or are non-religious.
That she cannot force her religious beliefs on our secular system of education.
That organizations like the CNP are not fighting for America’s interest but for their personal religious interests.