Pastor Roger Anghis
October 24, 2010
Discovering America’s Christian Heritage
Part 17, 400 Years of Education, (Pt. 1)
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
This section will cover a lot of information and involve a lot of detail. The proof of how our Founding Fathers integrated the Christian faith into the education system is quite detailed and this section will only scratch the surface but it will leave you with a much better understanding of why we became the greatest nation this world has ever or will ever see.
America’s system of education today can’t hold a candle to the education system that our Founding Fathers grew up in. It isn’t just information that educates a people, it is also critical to have the proper philosophy as well. We have seen many societies come and go, but it has only been the well educated that have lasted.
Benjamin Rush, a Founding Father, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and called the Father of Public Schools stated that the two most important people in a society are the school master and mothers because they teach the next generation. They knew that they were establishing a system of government that was unheard of in their day and if they did not pass their philosophy to the next generation, that system would die with them. In the first 10 years after the Revolution they started more universities than had been established in the 150 years prior to the Revolution.
August of 1789 Congress passed a law for any new states that would join
the union that set down the standards for the educational system in
the new states. The law stated that the education system would have
three things that it would have to do: 1) Teach religion; 2) teach morals;
3) teach knowledge. The most important subject they felt was to be taught
They believed what Solomon wrote in the book of proverbs: Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” But they were also aware that knowledge alone is not enough. Many people have knowledge today. They have PhD’s after their name, but they are as dumb as a rock. If there is no wisdom, you will not properly use the knowledge you have. Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” To prove this point a person goes to college for at least ten years to become a medical doctor. In that time they study the beginning of life in the womb.
When they graduate and begin their practice they perform abortions. They were taught that it was not a life until birth, but all evidence according to how life begins, says that it is a life. They have no wisdom to adequately use their knowledge. Just to set this concept in concrete, it is illegal to destroy the egg of an eagle because there is an eagle in the egg. The only difference between an egg and a womb is one exists out the body and one inside. Basic common sense tells you that what is in the womb of the woman is a human life. That was the philosophy in the days of our Founders. That is NOT the philosophy being taught today.
the type of information that is being taught today falls far short of
what was taught in our early years. Here is a list of test questions
for fourth grade students in Chicago in 1862:
1. How many degrees of longitude are there?
2. How many degrees wide are the temperate zones?
3. What is a watershed?
4. Name the principle animals in the frigid zones.
5. What is a monarchy?
6. What portion of the people on the globe are pagans?
The mental math problems that were required to be solved without the use of paper or pencil would baffle most high school students today. SAT scores have been around since 1926 and have steadily fallen for the last 50 years. It seems that every year our students know less and less about our great nation. For example, a national survey of high school students reveals that only 2% can identify the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; 35% know that "we the people" are the first three words of the U.S. Constitution; 1.8% know that James Madison is considered the father of the U.S. Constitution; and 25% know that the Fifth Amendment protects against double jeopardy and self incrimination, among other legal rights.
Consider that New York just raised its standard for passing sixth grade reading and math tests to the following: on the reading test, 20 correct answers out of 39 questions gets one a passing grade; on the sixth grade math test, 20 out of 49 does the trick. In other words, getting a grade of 51% on the reading test and 41% on the math test gets you promoted to the seventh grade. This is occurring for several reasons, one is the current group in power, the NEA, does NOT want students to know our real history and another is because the school system has taken a key aspect of knowledge out of the school and that is religion.
Remember that religion, Christianity, was the most important subject to our Founding Fathers. The verses from Proverbs quoted above have proven true all through America’s history in all aspects of education. In the field of science when you look at all the life changing inventions you will find that 90% of them were invented by those who professed a belief in Christ. Christians are only 33% of the world’s population yet Christians seen to have the knowledge/wisdom necessary to make life easier, healthier and safer.
We learned that foreign travelers during our early years documented that religion was found in every aspect of American’s lives. One such writer is Edward Augustus Kendall. He wrote a three volume set on his travels in America. While in Connecticut he made a special note of their illiteracy law: This [legislature} observing that notwithstanding our former orders made for education of children . . .there are many persons unable to read the English tongue, and thereby incapable of reading the Holy Word of God or the good laws of this [state]. . .” It is interesting to see that their concern about the person’s inability to read was directed first to the inability to read the Word of God then to the laws of the land.
Take note of Article three of the Northwest Ordinance that was drafted by the same people who drafted the First Amendment: “Religion, morality and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”
Contrary to what our courts say today that teaching religion in schools was unconstitutional, our Founding Fathers believed the exact opposite and that religion was the most important part of a public education. I have in my possession two books that were used in the Dallas Public schools until 1974. One book is called: Bible Study Course: Old Testament; the other is called: Bible Study Course: New Testament. These were required studies to graduate. The New Testament study course had questions like: Where was Christ before He was born on earth? For what purpose was John sent by God? There was even a memorization section at the end of many chapters which included scripture. This was in 1974! Not that long ago. Why can’t we get our schools back to where they are teaching what should be taught to give our children what they will need to keep this nation as our Founding Fathers designed it.
Our education has for so long been built on the foundation of scripture that it has only been since the early 1960’s that we have seen that foundation be removed and even banned from our schools. Fisher Ames , the man that came up with the wording for the First Amendment, the Amendment that today’s courts use to keep religion out of schools, stated that the Bible should ALWAYS be at the forefront of public education and be the number one book used to teach with.
In George Washington’s farewell speech he states that for America’s political system to work profitably, the pillars of religion and morality are indispensible. Washington himself believed that religion had to be the foundation for the political system. We also have to remember that when our Founding Fathers spoke of religion they were not talking about any religion nor did they believe that any religion was good enough. They were specifically referencing Christianity. Washington went on to state: “Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
Many believe that the church has never been involved in the education of this nation and also believe that it shouldn’t be. A book compiled to study schools during the Founding era stated that ‘education was nurtured in the lap of the church.’ As the population grew the church voluntarily relinquished control of elementary education to the state. Even though the state took control the philosophy did not change. The Kansas Superintendent of Education stated: “If the study of the Bible is to be excluded from all school, if the inculcation of the principles of Christianity is to have no place in the daily program, if the worship of God is to form no part of the general exercises of the public elementary schools, then the good of the State would be better served by restoring all schools to church control.” This is saying that if religion, i.e. Christianity, Christian morals are removed from our public education system, it would be better if it was returned to the control of the church so that those most important ideals, religion and morals, would not be removed from proper education.
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For those who are unfamiliar with the roots of even our major colleges and universities, here are a few facts: In 1860 262 out of 288 college presidents were Ministers of the Gospel; over one third of the faculty were Ministers of the Gospel. In 1890 in a Survey of State Universities conducted by James Angell (President of the University of Vermont and the University of Michigan) found that over 90% of State universities had chapel services and in 50% the chapel services were compulsory and 25% required church attendance as well as the chapel attendance.
Today it may be hard to find a Minister of the Gospel as a president of a seminary. Our drift away from the importance of religion in our education must stop and we have to take a new direction to return to what our Founding Fathers had envisioned.
© 2010 Roger Anghis - All Rights Reserved
Pastor Roger Anghis is the Founder of RestoreFreeSpeech.org, an organization designed to draw attention to the need of returning free speech rights to churches that was restricted in 1954.
President of The Damascus Project, TheDamascusProject.org, which has a stated purpose of teaching pastors and lay people the need of the churches involvement in the political arena and to teach the historical role of Christianity in the politics of the United States. Married-37 years, 3 children, three grandchildren.
Web site: RestoreFreeSpeech.org