The War Against Christianity in America
The origin of the war against Christianity in the United States can be traced back to the early days of the public school movement when Unitarians, Owenite socialists and atheists, and Hegelian pantheists vehemently rejected the God-centered worldview of the Founding Fathers and sought to secularize education and substitute salvation through scientific education than by salvation through Christ.
However, it wasn’t until the turn of the last century and the rise of the progressive education movement that the war in America took on the militancy which characterizes it today. The progressives were, for the most part, members of the Protestant academic elite who no longer believed in the religion of their fathers and transferred their faith to science, evolution, and psychology.
The scientific method provided the means to acquire unlimited knowledge of the material world, evolution explained the origin of life and man, and psychology provided the scientific means of studying man’s nature and controlling his behavior. There was no need for supernatural religion in the progressive scheme of things.
Early in the 20th century, the progressives embarked on a messianic mission to change America from a capitalist, individualistic, and believing society into a socialist, collectivist, atheist or humanist society. They were motivated by the need not only to prove the nonexistence and/or irrelevance of God, but to deal with the age-old problem of evil: what caused it and how it could be eliminated.
According to the Bible, evil behavior in man is the result of his sinful nature. Man’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden resulted in his fall from grace, his loss of immortality, and his coming under the influence of Satan. The New Testament teaches us that only by obedience to God’s law and salvation through Christ can man save himself from the horrible consequences of his sinful nature.
The progressives naturally rejected this explanation which, to them, was little more than mythology and fairy tale. To them, there was no God and man was merely an animal, a product of evolution, neither innately good nor evil. The causes of evil, they believed, were ignorance, poverty and social injustice, and once these were eliminated, a just, crime-free, utopian society could emerge.
All that had to be done was to identify the causes of social injustice, and a scientific cure to man’s social ills could be contrived. According to the progressives, it was our capitalistic, free-enterprise economic system with its emphasis on private property and individualism which caused social injustice. It created inequality of wealth. And underpinning all of this was the Christian religion with its libelous view of human nature, its emphasis on the supremacy of God’s law over man’s law, its support of the notion of unalienable rights and private property.
Thus, the progressives declared war on Christianity. Why? Because it posed the most formidable obstacle to their entire revolutionary program. But their aim was not merely to destroy Christianity, but to replace it with a new secular religion, Humanism. In 1908, John Dewey wrote, in an essay entitled “Religion and Our Schools”:
Those who approach religion and education from the side of unconstrained reflection…are of necessity aware of the tremendous transformation of intellectual attitude effected by the systematic denial of the supernatural….
It may be that the symptoms of religious ebb as conveniently interpreted are symptoms of the coming of a fuller and deeper religion….So far as education is concerned, those who believe in religion as a natural expression of human experience must devote themselves to the development of the ideas of life which lie implicit in our still new science and in our still newer democracy….It is their business to do what they can to prevent all public educational agencies from being employed in ways which inevitably impede the recognition of the spiritual import of science and democracy, and hence of that type of religion which will be the fine flower of the modern spirit’s achievement.
The war on Christianity worked its way downward from the graduate schools of education and psychology where John Dewey and his colleagues trained future educators, until finally it reached the local schools through the new teachers, administrators and bureaucrats in the state departments of education. Traditional subjects like history and geography were now presented as Social Studies, with an emphasis on the social aspects of the subjects. Traditional views were eliminated in the new curriculum and textbooks, and the new humanist worldview was inserted in its place.
With the help of the courts and the ACLU, the humanists have been able to eliminate every manifestation of religious practice in the public school, including school prayer, silent or vocal, grace before meals, benedictions at graduations, references to Christianity in school art or decoration, biblical themes in textbooks.
There is an ongoing battle over “equal access” — whether Christians even have the right to religion expression during extracurricular activity or whether public schools can be used for religious purposes after school hours.
Nor have the humanists limited their war on Christianity to the public school. They want to expunge Biblical religion from all government institutions, including court houses where monuments depicting the Ten Commandments are considered to be violations of the separation of church and state. In short, humanists don’t want freedom of religion but freedom from religion, since any public manifestation of Biblical religion is an affront to their atheist sensibilities and causes them emotional distress.
When seen in this context, it is obvious that the public schools have become not religion-neutral but militantly anti-Christian. Not only are Christmas carols and Christmas plays banned in public schools, but a holiday like Halloween (which was instituted in Catholic counties such as Ireland as “All Hallowed Ev’n” to mark the eve of All Saints Day) has been divorced from its spiritual roots and regressed backward to include pre-Christian, pagan rituals and celebrated almost as an occult religious holiday.
But the humanists have done more than simply taken over the public schools. They’ve erected fortresses of humanist culture in the state universities and colleges where many Christian students become humanists, atheists, nihilists, or anything else to replace their traditional religious beliefs.
The humanists have also captured many great private universities and colleges originally founded by Christian denominations, but which have now totally forgotten their religious origins.
But the war against Biblical religion is hardly over. Private shopping malls have made Christmas a major celebration to promote sales of Christmas gifts. Millions of parents still take their children to meet Santa Claus, which is not a religious event but one that bolsters Christmas as a religious holiday, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Greeting card companies still produce a plethora of Christmas cards, some with religious themes, others with seasonal wishes for a happy new year.
Also, it is obvious that humanism has failed to become the great new religion replacing belief in the supernatural God. Huge churches in the South are filled with thousands of worshippers with arms raised in praise of Jesus Christ, and the Daystar television channel airs religious programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So John Dewey’s expectation that traditional Biblical religion would fade into the sunset just hasn’t happened.
As for eliminating ignorance, poverty, and social injustice, it seems that humanist indoctrination and legislation has done just the opposite. Our dumbed-down school curriculums are deliberately creating more ignorance and functional illiteracy among the young than ever before. The war against poverty declared by progressive Democrats has given us more poverty than ever. And inequality of wealth, supposedly a form of social injustice, has not been diminished by any progressive legislative program. In other words, everything the progressives hoped to achieve through the implementation of their humanist philosophy has been a total failure.
And that is why a majority of Americans are returning to the religious beliefs of the Founding Fathers (who, though they varied in denomination, shared a certain common orthodoxy), who created the greatest, freest, and richest nation in human history based on the religious principles to be found nowhere else but in Biblical religion. 1