Southern Baptists stay in Public Schools — For Now
The Washington Post reports that Southern Baptists decided not to pull their children from the public school system.
Leaders of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination Wednesday refused to support a resolution that would have urged the denomination to form an “exit strategy” for pulling Southern Baptist children from public schools in favor of home schools or private Christian schools.
Nonetheless, the discussion and vote reflected a growing discontent with a school system they regard as not neutral, but unfriendly, to religious parents and religious values. Roger Moran, who sits on the SBC’s executive committee, said that “the public schools are no longer allowed … to even acknowledge the G-d of the Bible.”
The article reflects a similar level of hostility, consistently referring to the theory of Intelligent Design in quotes, and giving the last word to a critic who said the SBC leaders supported an “anti-public school perspective.” It’s not anti-public school at all — just pro-religion. While I realize it may seem strange to imagine, in our day, a religious leadership favorable towards religious instruction, it still exists.
Of course, from our perspective it probably would have been better if the SBC had encouraged a pullout. The more voices in favor of equitable treatment for secular studies regardless of location (including in parochial schools), the better.
The history of the public school movement in this country tells us that the original state-supported schools were Protestant-Christian. Then, in the mid-1800’s, the Irish Catholics arrived and boycotted the Protestant schools, founding their extensive Catholic parochial school system.
In the late 1800’s, wealthy atheist and agnostic merchants in Massachusets funded a tour of the German State school system for Horace Mann, State Commisioner of Education.
He came back and, with the support of the wealthy Boston merchants, who also controlled Harvard university, instituted a secular State education system that was fiercely-hostile to Christianity. This system was later copied by all the other states.
John Dewey, a famous socialist professor at Columbia Univeristy, enshrined the socialist-atheist philosophy into the foundations of public school education, and it is this clash of Dewey’s philosophy with religious philosophy and worldview that underlies the public controversy over teaching “intelligent design” in the public schools.
Dewey’s atheist philosophy also opened the door to all the sexual licentiousness and perversion that is so rampant in the public schools and colleges today, both in the classroom and outside of it.