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Reason and Revelation Volume 16 #9

Religion in the Classroom

by  Wayne Jackson, M.A.

We constantly are told that religion is not taught in the public school system. Such, it is alleged, would be a violation of church and state. For instance, the claim is made that in science classes, students are taught only scientific facts; religious ideology is excluded. But that simply is not so. Consider the following quote from a widely used biology textbook.

Darwin knew that accepting his theory required believing in philosophical materialism, the conviction that matter is the stuff of all existence and that all mental and spiritual phenomenon [sic] are its byproducts. In Darwin’s world we are not helpless prisoners of a static world order, but, rather, masters of our own fate. And from a strictly scientific point of view rejecting biological evolution is no different from rejecting other natural phenomenon [sic] such as electricity and gravity (Levine and Miller, 1994, p. 161, emp. added).

Let us reflect upon several things that are smuggled into this little paragraph.

First, note that the paragraph concludes by suggesting that the theory of evolution is as well established as electricity or gravity. Aren’t we all familiar with the fact that electricity is a reality? And who doubts the law of gravity? The implication behind the statement is quite clear—if one does not accept Darwinian evolution as a basic law of science, one is stupid. This is an obvius attempt at intimidation.

Second, if one accepts evolution (which one must if one is to be viewed as intelligent), then such requires accepting “materialism.” This is the notion that there is nothing in existence that is not material in nature. This clearly is designed to dismiss the idea that there is a nonmaterial (i.e., spirit) Being Whom the Bible identifies as “God.” Supposedly, it is a violation of constitutional law to suggest that God exists; it is not an infraction of constitutional law to suggest that He does not exist! Further, the allusion to the exclusively “material” nature of all that exists denies that the human being has a soul. This implies, of course, that one is not accountable for one’s conduct in terms of any sort of eternal judgment.

Third, the authors suggest that “spiritual” phenomena are but by-products of the evolution process. Spiritual concepts are thus but a quirk of nature that may or may not be useful, depending on the whim of the individual. How, pray tell, does a discussion of the “spiritual” fit into a biology textbook?

Fourth, the authors affirm that Darwinism demands that we accept the conclusion that we are “masters of our own fate.” One would suspect that this phrase was borrowed from the infidel William Henley, in his famous poem, Invictus: “I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.” It suggests that man is his own “god” and that he can manage his own destiny without any need of instruction from a creator.

The school system may not be teaching our children merely readin’, writin’, and ’rithmetic. It may be instructing them in atheism, hedonism, and dozens of other soul-destroying ideologies. Christian parents must take responsibility for the education of their children. Every day we must inoculate against the corrupting influences of society. Work at it!

REFERENCES

Levine, Joseph and Kenneth Miller (1994), Biology: Discovering Life (Boston, MA: Heath), second edition.



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