Can you believe that back-to-school season is already here? Time truly flies when the good times are rolling! So with all the great summer weather, cookouts, vacations, family time, and pool parties, we find ourselves already gearing up for the next season of tardy bells, bagged lunches, homework, and PTA meetings.
But for many Christian parents, leaders, and community members, the question in their minds and hearts is not merely, “When is the first booster club meeting of the semester?” or “Has the school board found a way to keep STEM classes along with art and recess?” Many Christians are deeply interested in knowing, “What are schools teaching about Christianity?”, particularly in light of the growing hostility in our culture and climate toward Christians and those who hold conservative values.
The answer is both, none… and a ton!
Yes, public schools are not teaching anything about Christianity. Yet at the same time, they are teaching a ton about Christianity! The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution forbids public schools from proactively or explicitly promoting one religion, or faith group, over any other. It is also understood as forbidding the promotion of a religiously based life over a secularly based life. Furthermore, it is widely understood as forbidding the promotion of a secularly based life over a religiously based life.
In short, public schools are basically required by the First Amendment to be hands off. And as someone who spends a significant amount of time in public schools in Asheville as a part of the mentoring organization I lead, I have personally found this to be true.
But this should cause us great concern! Yes, you see, although public schools are not proactively promoting or explicitly condemning Christianity or faith, in my humble yet accurate opinion, public schools are very much implicitly condemning Christianity and discouraging students against the Faith once for all delivered to the saints.
It’s important for us to understand that every time a student is taught that same sex relationships should be celebrated, that transgenderism is a normal expression of gender identity, that life in the womb should be protected only if the mother decides to do so, or that truth and morality are merely social constructs. Every time these perspectives and values are taught, and it is constant in many public schools, the public schools are in fact implicitly condemning Christianity.
So for us, the question becomes not, “What are schools teaching students about Christianity?” I think it is clear what the answer to that question is. The question that we need to answer is, “What are we teaching students about Christianity?”