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  • Writer's pictureBraeden Hayes

Public School Got (a New) Religion

Updated: Mar 14, 2019

The choice we made was not concrete science over an unknowable God. We chose atheism over theism as the state-sanctioned backdrop for the education of our youth.

In 1790, thirteen colonies united to create “one nation under God.” Our nation and its constitution were established by God through “wise men… raised up unto this very purpose” (D&C 101:80). John Adams, one of those wise men and second president of the United States said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” The Book of Mormon affirms what John Adams knew, that the preservation of the unprecedented freedoms we enjoy is only possible inasmuch as we serve God who is the author of freedom and individual choice (Ether 2:12). God’s involvement in our country’s founding and its subsequent growth for over a century and a half led the United States from backwater rebel territory to the most prosperous world power in history.

One of the foundational freedoms that the Constitution affords its citizens is the freedom to worship “how, where, or what they may” (Article of Faith 11). The freedom to worship and educate one’s offspring in accordance with faith and conscience were protected by the Constitution. Over the course of the past several decades, though, in an effort to avoid showing favoritism to one belief system over another, a series of Supreme Court cases effectively pushed God to the sidelines to make way for a supposedly neutral, science-based, Secular Humanist educational system. In this article, I will explain what Secular Humanism is and show how it is as much a belief system as Christianity or Islam, and, in a misguided attempt at neutrality, we have succeeded in elevating atheism over theism as the foundational belief system for educating the rising generation.

What is Secular Humanism?

Secular Humanism, simply put, is God dethroned and science enthroned. Secular Humanism is atheistic (denies the existence of a God) and does not consider itself a belief system because of its sole reliance on actual, scientifically verifiable truth. One of its major criticisms of theism (a belief in God) is that the fundamental premise of theism is unprovable scientifically (i.e., it is impossible to prove that God exists). What’s interesting is that atheism, a foundational premise of Secular Humanism, is equally unprovable scientifically. Let’s consider for a moment why that is.

Proving God Doesn’t Exist

If we could prove God exists, there would be no (or at least very few) atheists, but what does it take to prove that something does not exist? Let’s start small and with a normal object with which we are all familiar. Let’s say I wanted to prove that there is no 75” TV in my house. I could do that by searching and photographing every square inch of my house from top to bottom. Having completed such an exercise, and armed with the proof of my photographs, I would feel quite comfortable claiming with absolute certainty that, much to my dismay, there is no 75” TV in my house. Let’s try to imagine, then, what it would take for an intrepid Secular Humanist to prove once and for all that God does not exist. Like our 75” TV analogy, our Secular Humanist would have to search every corner of the known and unknown universe for God and return empty handed.

Unfortunately, such a universal voyage is still insufficient to prove that God doesn’t exist unless we can somehow prove that God sat still the entire time our explorer was travelling the stars. What if, as our explorer completed his search of the Milky Way galaxy and moved on to the Andromeda galaxy, God moved from Bode’s galaxy to a remote corner of the Milky Way? As it turns out, even the impossible feat of exploring every square inch of the universe would be insufficient. Our Secular Humanist explorer would also have to be everywhere at once. He would have to be able to explore every inch of the universe at the exact same time. In other words, he would have to be omnipresent.

For argument’s sake, let’s assume that, somehow, this explorer gains the ability to explore every inch of the universe simultaneously. Can he now say for certain that God does not exist? Not exactly. Human senses are still very limited. There is much of reality that we simply cannot observe with our five senses. Our eyes, for example, are only capable of seeing a small segment of the electromagnetic spectrum to say nothing of the infinitesimally small or areas around black holes where not even light can escape. Our explorer must also be able to see, know, and experience all, for perhaps God is too small to observe with the naked eye, or maybe He can only be observed in a wavelength of the electromagnetic spectrum outside of visible light. Dark matter is something we very dimly understand, and perhaps therein lies the key. Our explorer must have a perfect understanding of all of this, must be able to see the fabric of the universe in all of its infinite complexity else he runs the risk of, like an ant climbing your toe, missing completely the fact that the thing he is climbing and exploring belongs to a being many times more large and complex than himself. So, in addition to being omnipresent, our explorer would also have to be all knowing, or omniscient.

Now imagine the power that such a person would wield. Everywhere and all knowing, there would be nothing he could not accomplish. He would have unlocked the mysteries of the universe and be capable of manipulating matter and space-time at will. He would be all powerful, or omnipotent. In his attempt to disprove God’s existence, our explorer would have to become the very thing he set out to disprove. Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent… God. The only person, therefore, that can prove scientifically that God does not exist is God Himself, though I can’t fathom why He would do such a thing.

Public School’s New Religion

Charles F. Potter, a popular proponent of Secular Humanism, once said, “Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism, and every American public school is a school of humanism. What can the theistic Sunday-schools, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?”

The Secular Humanist movement through the decades has successfully hoodwinked us into believing that expelling God from the classroom was the natural choice for an enlightened society faced with choosing between God and science. The choice between God and science, though, is a false one. God and science are not fundamentally at odds with each other. What we are actually choosing between is God and science on one hand and atheism and science on the other. The study of science is possible with both theism and atheism, but what’s different is the context or the background against which we view science. Much like artists rely on background to give their characters depth, context, and meaning, scientific data needs background to give it meaning.

The Supreme Court and our society, in its hopeless scramble for an impossibility - a neutral public school education for all based on fact instead of belief - has only succeeded in sanctioning something that is every bit as much a belief system as is theism. The choice we made was not concrete science over an unknowable God. We chose atheism over theism as the state-sanctioned backdrop for the education of our youth. Did we make the right choice? When Christ returns as King of kings, Lord of lords, and Supreme Judge of judges, what will his educational system look like? Why would we settle for anything less now as we strive to prepare ourselves and our families for His return?


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