Has Religion Really Been Kept out of the Classroom?

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Americans United for Separation of Church and State aren’t removing religion from public schools; they’re simply forcing their religion onto students.

As students are back in school and well into their studies, I thought it would be good to bring to your attention an escalating, vicious attack against Christianity (and also against parents’ rights). Incredibly, this attack is being conducted by a group headed by . . . an ordained minister! He and others are trying to stop students not only from hearing God's Word, but preventing them from even being influenced by Christians in any way.

In fact, in the group’s latest newsletter, its leaders pleaded for funds so they can continue to be aggressive in stopping any influence in public schools by Christian groups—groups like the Gideons, The Power Team, Todd Becker Foundation, Commandos! USA, etc. Just knowing that a Christian group may be conducting a program in a public school is enough for this minister to use fear tactics against school principals to stop Christians from coming into the school.

In the same newsletter, the group tells parents that their children shouldn’t be allowed to be influenced by what they call “fundamentalist” or “evangelistic” groups, or by those involved in “evangelism” (which they call “proselytizing”). Such terms are used about a dozen times in the letter in a derogatory manner.

Ironically, this ordained minister then says, “Parents are the proper people to decide what religion, if any, their own children are exposed to. Aggressive fundamentalist groups have no right to use the public schools . . . .”

What the American people need to understand, however, is that public school education is not really neutral at all.

In other words, this group is telling parents that they have the right to decide what their children are taught—while at the same time its actions are directly impacting what their children are actually allowed to be taught in school!

As you may have guessed, this movement is led by the “Reverend” Barry Lynn, an ordained minister with the United Church of Christ. He is also the leader of the group called Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Last year at a conference, I heard Lynn gleefully tell the audience how his group had successfully stopped Chuck Colson’s Prison Fellowship outreach from ministering in certain prisons. Can you imagine being in Rev. Lynn’s shoes standing before the Lord (as will happen one day) and bragging how he stopped people from hearing the gospel?

What the American people (and Barry Lynn) need to understand, however, is that public school education is not really neutral at all. While, by and large, God, creation, and prayer have been thrown out of the public schools, that does not mean that religion has been tossed out. It means Christianity has been all but eliminated and replaced with the anti-God religion of naturalism/atheism.

Barry Lynn doesn't want any Christian influence in the public schools—he wants the students to be indoctrinated in his own secularist religion. And because various Christian groups have programs to present students with teachings about Christian morality or in some way give young people the opportunity to hear a Christian perspective on life (or study the Bible for themselves), Barry Lynn is telling parents that they need to let him decide what their children are allowed to hear.

In fact, it is people like Lynn who don’t want parents to have some rights. But Bible-believing Christians know that it is the parents who have the responsibility before God as to how they train their children. Lynn and his group have instead claimed the right to determine what your children are allowed to hear and be taught in schools.

And, of course, a minority of secularist parents will object when children are taught about Christianity. But what about the Christians whose children are being indoctrinated in secularism/naturalism/atheism in government-run schools?

Neutral Textbooks?

In our AiG library, we have most of the major biology and earth science textbooks used in public schools across this nation. To give you an idea of how children in public schools are being indoctrinated in the atheistic religion of naturalism, let me share with you just a few examples from these texts.

One biology textbook defines science this way:

“. . . restrict science to a search for natural causes for natural phenomena. Supernatural explanations of natural events are simply outside the bounds of science.”

In other words “science” (which really means “knowledge”) cannot allow the supernatural. Thus, by this definition, God and his Word are eliminated.

The biology textbook then attempts to undermine those people who don't believe in millions of years of history. In making an obvious reference to the biblical view of creation (which they totally misrepresent, stating that species are “fixed” and that the earth is “relatively unchanging”), there is a blatant attempt to discredit the Christian view:

“On its grandest scale, evolution is all of the changes that have transformed life over an immense time. In a sense, evolution is the biological history of life on Earth. Before Darwin, two ideas about life on Earth prevailed. One was that species are fixed, or permanent.
“In other words, they do not change. The other idea was that Earth itself is less than 10,000 years old and also relatively unchanging. These ideas were challenged as people became aware of the incredible diversity of organisms, past and present, and the nature of Earth's geologic processes.”

The biology textbook further teaches students that they are nothing but animals, and that evolution is fact:

What are our public schools doing themselves? Well, they are trying to convert children to an atheistic, evolutionary, secularist worldview!
“Two important developments in the evolution of hominids were upright posture (leading to two-legged walking) and enlargement of the brain . . . About 2 million years after first walking upright, the ancestors of modern humans were using their skilled hands and big brains to invent tools.”

Then, in one of the earth science textbooks, the students read this statement:

“As late as the turn of the nineteenth century, the majority of the world believed that Earth was only about 6,000 years old.”

The textbook implies that this is a completely outdated idea (again, another hit at biblical creationists). The book then spends pages and pages presenting millions of years/evolution as fact, yet without any hint that such assertions could even be slightly wrong.

The above examples are just a few samples of what is being taught in our public schools. And yet, Barry Lynn states, “Evangelistic groups simply have no right to come into the public schools and try to convert children.”

But for the most part, what are our public schools doing themselves? Well, they are trying to convert children to an atheistic, evolutionary, secularist worldview!

Equipping Christians

Studies in the U.S. reveal that 90% of students from church homes attend public schools. Many of you reading this article probably have students who attend (or have attended) public schools.

As the school year is now fully underway, we all need to be reminded of the research presented in our book Already Gone: two-thirds of young people will leave church when they reach college age.

The ministry of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum exists to equip Christians to share the vital creation/gospel message, and to provide you with resources to help overcome the influences of those who seek to indoctrinate your children.

Praise the Lord, we are seeing increasing numbers of young people whose lives have been transformed by AiG as God has blessed our various outreaches. Here’s a testimony we recently received from a young person who had been impacted by evolutionary teaching:

“When I was in junior high school, our teacher taught us evolution as fact. We were all lined up side by side in our desks, each with the same hardcover book with glossy pages . . . that we were told we could trust to tell us the truth.
“We were indoctrinated into believing whatever the evolution teacher told us was gospel truth . . . . So when our teacher told us life originated by a single cell coming to life on its own, and that it had then evolved into all the life on this earth, time seemed to stop for me.
“I immediately realized that this meant science had disproved the Bible. Life and death had no meaning; everything was merely the result of natural physical processes. I lost my faith in Jesus Christ.
“I was an atheist for ten years, but by the grace of God I was given Answers in Genesis videos after that decade of darkness. As I watched Ken Ham give biblical answers to evolution, I realized how the atheist/public education system in America had brainwashed me.
“I adamantly bought and read books and magazines from AiG, and especially enjoyed the DVD lectures. I am now a passionate Christian in love with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
“God bless your biblical work for the Lord Jesus!” – J.B.

I give all praise and glory to the Lord for this and the other many testimonies we regularly receive at Answers in Genesis!

For generations, young people haven't had access to these faith-building answers. Answers in Genesis is all about getting them answers through Bible-defending resources, teaching conferences, the Creation Museum, radio program, and more. We are helping to overcome censorship in schools (and the culture in general).

It is through the generous support of ministry friends like you that we’re able to continue equipping parents and young people to defend the Christian faith in a culture and public education system that are increasingly hostile to the truth of God’s Word.


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