Efforts were made by ACLU and others to strip America of any vestige of religious influence.
Looking back to the ‘60s, I was in the Air Force at the time in 1963. I will never forget being informed that William Murray turned his back on his mother’s atheistic theories.
How many of us remember the sit-ins, marijuana legalization efforts, anti-Vietnam war rallies, the Ho Chi Minh fundraisers—my list could on and on?
I had a job of preaching to do for God and to take a stand for America as a proud Airman. I didn’t like either the war or the behavior of the rebels in this country.
Many of my readers will recall reading or hearing about William O’ Hair’s mother’s efforts to remove prayer and Bible reading from the schools in the litigation of 1963: Murray v. Curtlett.
Her son stood in the White House Rose Garden beside President Reagan and said to the politicians and news reporters, “I will direct all my energies toward restoring religious liberties to the schools…which I helped rob them of.”
I applauded him for taking a stand for God and Country.This was a rejection of Madalyn Murray O’ Hair’s atheistic beliefs and efforts.
School leaders were frightened by court rulings on prayer and religious influence. Bill Bright of the Campus Crusade for Christ International boldly said to the Congress: “Children can say ‘god damn’ but can’t say, ‘God be praised’ in school.” (Please note that I am quoting because I don’t personally use profanity, and I didn’t use the capital “G.”)
Ronald Reagan raised his political muscles and promised that he was going to do something about God’s expulsion from the school system.
On May the 6th, 1982 he got Congress to set aside a National Day of Prayer. His desire was “to get Congress to amend our Constitution to allow our children to pray in school.”
President Reagan, on that memorable day in the White House Rose Garden, lamented that his intention was to protect the freedom of Americans.
He added, “In recent years well-meaning Americans, in the name of freedom, have taken freedom away. For the sake of religious tolerance, they’ve forbidden religious practice in our public classrooms.”
He continued, “No one will ever convince me that a moment of voluntary prayer will harm a child or threaten a school or state. But I think it can strengthen our faith in a Creator who alone has the power to bless America.”
On the other hand, the previous president, Jimmy Carter, took a liberal stand on a lot of issues. Even as a young preacher at that time, I had no respect for Jimmy Carter’s liberal beliefs.
I couldn’t imagine a Baptist layman like Carter suggesting that the government “ought to stay out of the prayer business.”
God would pour out His spiritual blessings on this nation again, if they fell on their knees in repentance and came to know God.
Many people thought as Carter did that the Constitution was being junked-up with unnecessary laws. To the credit of those strong conservatives in our Southern Baptist Convention churches, not all of the Southern Baptist leaders were liberals in the ‘80s.
In 1982, Southern Baptist men and women announced and voted their support at the SBC for the Reagan proposal.
President Reagan’s amendment read: “Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to prohibit individual or group prayer in public schools or other public institutions. No person shall be required by the United States or by any state to participate in prayer.”
One of my favorite preachers for telling it like is, has been Pastor Jerry Falwell, the president of the Moral Majority.
In May of 1982, he called it a “bright day in America …the light at the end of the tunnel.”
He announced, “The Nation Welcomes Plan to Restore Public School Prayer.”
If parents and community representatives across the United States reviewed school materials, including teacher’s manuals, would they be shocked?
Let’s not forget the required reading books for college students! Do we have the strength and the will to return to the “best of the old ways” in this time when the old ways are rapidly aging and dying?
Without God, sin has been infecting and contaminating our schools and leaving a trail of devastation upon our youth and society.
Can anyone deny the changes, the tragedy, and the crisis?
I have had a chance to study the educational system from within and without because I have given almost 37 years to teaching in religious and secular schools.
Travel with me back in time to the ‘40s and ‘50s. When I was a student, the discipline received from a paddle was administered. I don’t believe that it warped my “psychic.”
On second thought, when that female teacher, Mrs. Dees, jerked my pants down and applied the paddle to my naked buttress, it did make a permanent mark on my brain.
I was in the second grade.
Even though it wasn’t a justifiable reason for getting those “licks,” I grew in knowledge. We were too poor to have under garments. I was ashamed for my teacher to see me without clothes on. The embarrassment hurt me more that did the paddle.
Education then was not out of the parent’s control.
For example, they refused to shift personal responsibility in feeding their children.
We ate well before leaving for school. We kids received a hot biscuit or cornbread, sausage, bacon, a boiled egg, a baked sweet-potato, and home-made syrup put into a syrup bucket and taken to school with us.
Thank God that we didn’t know about French fries and soy burgers. It wasn’t unusual to eat cold food.
My wife still fusses at me about enjoying an addiction to cold food.
When we came home from school, we grabbed a cold baked sweet potato, a “chunk” of bread, and hurried to the fields to work until dark either plowing the mule, picking cotton or removing grass from around the plants.
After dark, our studies were done in front of a fireplace or by the light of a kerosene lamp. Kids, in those days, often walked for miles to school and then back to their homes.
Have we abdicated our educational policymaking to state and federal government bureaucracies and educator unions?
Do we think that government is supposed to birth our children, raise our children, feed our children and educate our children?
Parents haven’t bred and trained their children for discipline, toughness, survival and endurance.
Life is too easy for them.
What survival skills would today’s parents and kids have if a total collapse of the economy occurred in this country?
I am sick and tired of hearing parents praising their children when losing their children to immorality, drugs and pre-mature death.
Better yet--Are your “spiritual” survival skills in place?
God and my parents instilled in me devotion to God and my studies.
We didn’t know a thing about abortion and student rights.
There was no passing of drugs on the school campus, no alcoholism, no suicide, no vandalism, no bankrupt educational system, no crime and no pornography.
We never bounced all over the desks and ran around the room disturbing those who wanted to learn.
I have taught in schools with shootings between gang members and when girls were raped by male students. I taught on a college campus where female professors were raped.
The loss of our schools, homes and government from the Bible and Christianity is closely related to present character of our culture and society and the role of moral and religious values in our home, public and political life.
Answer this question: Where did our political leaders get their education?
Look at their decisions and actions. Were they shaped in the halls of learning by modern humanistic education?
There is a lot more missing in public education and in our homes than three or four minutes of praying.
God and His values are missing because our leaders made the decision: “God, you have been expelled permanently! We don’t want YOU!”
It seems that we have a president that wants God, Christians and America gone! He appears to have no loyalty to those truths that birthed America and made her strong.
In conclusion, I offer you some answers to our ills.
Consider the history of the British society before the late 1800s. Crime and violence were rampant in the 1800s. A turning to God occurred in the late 1800s and early 1880s.
Preachers stood to proclaim the Word under the influential, mighty power of the Holy Ghost.
Adults got saved.
Another of the reasons for England’s character change was due to the fact that parents enrolled their children in Sunday school which amounted to about 75 percent of the children. People were exposed to Biblical truths.
Parents, your children can do without many material things; however, if you fail to really love them to Christ, what have you accomplished?
When they get away from God, and sometimes they will, at least they will know the Christian roots of their upbringing.
Do “they know” that you love them and pray for them every day? Do you pray with them?
When they fall into sin, be there for them. They’ll return seeking your love and God’s love.
Call me at 337-772-7971. Let’s talk about Jesus’ place as Savior and Lord in your life.
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