A godly school need not be a religious school. But it must be a school that deeply respects the God of creation and the child’s inborn belief in the supernatural. At the New York City public elementary school I attended in the 1930s, the principal read the 23rd Psalm at our assemblies. It was a great moment of spiritual uplifting. We were Catholics, Protestants, and Jews, yet we all responded to this eloquent and poetic description of our relationship with the God of the Bible.
Virtually all children are born believers whether they or their parents know it or not. According to Dr. Justin L. Barrett, author of Born Believers, The Science of Children’s Religious Belief, published in 2012, children are born with an innate belief in the supernatural. Dr. Barrett writes:
I have conducted numerous additional studies on religious belief, and colleagues in my field, the cognitive science of religion, have discovered more evidence that children have a natural affinity for thinking about and believing in gods.... People may practically be born believers....
Regardless of culture and without need for coercive indoctrination, children develop with a propensity to seek meaning and understanding of their environments. Given the way their minds naturally develop, this search leads to beliefs in a purposeful and designed world, an intelligent designer behind the design, an assumption that the intentional designer is super powerful, super knowing, super perceiving, and immortal.
In other words, children come to school with a set of beliefs in the supernatural, which provides them with a knowledge of God and their own sense of purpose. "Life has meaning" is the message that has been conveyed to them by this innate supernatural force. But when they enter an atheist public school they are told that their beliefs are nonsensical superstitions, that there is no God, that life has no spiritual dimension, and that their lives have no transcendent meaning. In essence, they are no better than their pet cats and dogs.
One can imagine the negative effects this rejection of God and the supernatural has on the child. The most egregious effect is childhood depression, a condition that rarely existed when schools were godly. In an 818-page tome, Treating and Preventing Adolescent Mental Health Disorders, published in 2005, we read in the Introduction:
Although for many years depression was considered a problem that afflicted only adults, in the last 30 years there has been an increasing recognition that this disorder can and does occur in children, particularly in adolescents. Fifty years ago its mean age was near 30, but now it is close to 15.
Why would American adolescents, with all of the goodies supplied by our high-tech economy, become depressed? What is it that they don’t have that actually leads some of them to commit suicide? They are generally loved by their parents and friends, and have been given many of today’s high-tech toys to enjoy. America is still the land of the free that permits each individual to develop his or her talents and gifts and pursue happiness as a God-given right. Yet, none of this is enough to make them enjoy their good fortune to be born Americans. Why?
In my humble opinion, it is the lack of God’s love in their lives. They’ve been told by their atheist schools that God is a myth and that life has no meaning apart from the pursuit of physical pleasure, and that is why these young students become depressed. Obviously, the need to know God and have a sense of purpose in life is so powerful that when the adolescent fights against it in order to please his atheist or humanist teachers by being politically correct, he can condemn himself to depression or suicide.
On the phenomenon of atheism, Barrett writes:
Atheism is rarer than you might think. If you are one of those people who never recalls having believed in any kind of god ... then the first thing you must understand is that you are very unusual.
Atheists who only hear their colleagues affirm atheism are even more likely to think that everyone around them is an atheist.... Belief in gods is the norm and nonbelief has been very unusual indeed.
What is even more interesting is that while children become depressed by being forced to give up their innate belief in God, “Committed theists,” writes Dr. Barrett, “are psychologically healthier and more equipped to cope with emotional and health problems than nonbelievers.”
In other words, if we want to improve the mental health of American children, the easiest and fastest way to do it is to convert our atheist schools into godly schools. Barrett explains why:
Research does indicate that commitment to a religious belief system and participation in a religious community is associated with many positive outcomes. Actively religious people have been shown to enjoy more mental and emotional health, recover from trauma more quickly, have longer and happier lives, [be] more generous, volunteer more, and actively contribute to communities more than nominally religious or nonreligious people do.
I would add that the author’s comments obviously apply mainly to believers in biblical religion. Islamists, driven to violence by their interpretation of the Koran, are not committed to the pursuit of happiness but to a pursuit of death. Also, the Kool-Aid drinkers who were led to their suicides by a Satanic fraud, were not practicing the religion of the Bible.
The innate knowledge of God that children are born with can be used by demented parents to inculcate false notions of religions. Barrett writes: “The behavioral model of a parent or teacher means a whole lot more than doctrines or Bible stories.” Obviously, believing parents and Bible stories are the best model for any child! But what we do know is that traditional biblical religion, the religion of our Founding Fathers, has led to the freest and happiest nation in all of human history. Barrett writes:
University students with relatively high numbers of religious strivings reported lower incidences of depression, anxiety, and other common emotion distress, as well as fewer bouts of illness and visits to the university health center.
So what do we learn from all of this? We learn that atheist schools are dangerous for a child’s emotional and mental health. It can lead to depression, suicide, and murder, as it has in countless public schools all across America where school killings are now common. Brian Rohrbough, whose son was killed in the Columbine High School massacre carried out by two atheist students, writes in IndoctriNation:
My son died not because of some choice that he made, but ultimately, because of a choice I made.... There was no biblical justification for me to send my son to a Godless public school. He died because I ignored God’s Word, even though I knew better.... Make no mistake. Sending your kids to public school is full of risk. I took that risk. My son was murdered.
These schools will undermine your child’s Christian upbringing by teaching as fact things like evolution where the strong rule, without moral consequences, and there is no right or wrong. They teach there is no God, we came from the slime, and do what you will.
My challenge to parents is for you to ask this most important question: “Lord, am I training my children to love and want to learn about You, or am I sentencing them to reject You?”
One thing is certain. Neither the education establishment nor the cognitive elite who rule America are interested in restoring the needed spiritual dimension in our public schools. Their big concern is producing better teachers and reforming the curriculum with Common Core Standards that will cost billions of dollars and not improve academics.
I have watched on cable TV many panel discussions on the failings of the public schools by members of the education establishment and their elitist colleagues, and they all ignore the most important problem now producing low achieving, unhappy American youngsters: the lack of God in the schools. Atheist education is a plague gradually destroying America’s spiritual fiber. And only parents can solve the problem by removing their children from these atheist schools and either educating their children at home or placing them in religious schools. The establishment will not do the job. But, fortunately, American parents still have the freedom — and responsibility — to do the job that the government will not and cannot do.
As Beverly Eakman writes in her new book, Agenda Games:
Reclaiming K-12 education is the first order of business for the nation’s citizens — if nothing else, to prove we mean business! The flip side is that if we don’t change education, nothing else — no other crisis, not a single issue currently on the table — can be fixed.
A dire warning not to be ignored by conservatives. The only way to get God back in the schools is to get the federal government out of education. Once the schools are controlled by their local communities, it will be possible to insert the much needed spiritual dimension, with Bible readings at assemblies, and/or non-denominational prayer. If there is a conservative Congress in 2013, that should be one of the first orders of business.