By Andrew L. Seidel
Freedom From Religion Foundation
In a new video, Joshua Feuerstein, the man who manufactured his own martyrdom over Starbucks’ lovely red cups, displays a breathtaking ignorance. He’s upset about the New York Daily News’ refreshing headline: “GOD ISN’T FIXING THIS.”
You know it’s interesting that we call on God at these times and wonder where he is, and yet, we started removing him from public schools in 1960s. Let me ask you this: Before the 1960s, did we have these mass shootings? … at that time — in the 1930s, the 1940s, the ’50s, going back to the very foundation of our country — we had a Commander in Chief and his name was Jesus. … His word was our foundation, but once we took it out of our schools…”
But we started booting religion from our public schools much earlier. Here in Wisconsin, the state supreme court kicked out bibles in 1890, writing, “There is no such source and cause of strife, quarrel, fights, malignant opposition, persecution, and war, and all evil in the state, as religion. Let it once enter into our civil affairs, our government would soon be destroyed. Let it once enter into our common schools, they would be destroyed.”
Nebraska did away with bible reading, hymn singing, and praying in 1902.
In 1915, the Louisiana Supreme Court enjoined bible reading in public schools because “The subjection by school authorities of Jewish children to Christian worship is forbidden by the Constitution, which guarantees to every person the natural right to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience.”
South Dakota ended the practice in 1929, noting that the case “is a striking illustration of the bitterness that can and does grow out of religious disputes. In countries where the dominant sect can control religion through the power of the state, oppression results.”
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Some states went the other way, but many enlightened courts bounced the bible nearly 75 years before the Supreme Court got around to making the right call.
Not satisfied with being historically illiterate, Joshua moves on to making up facts about the current state of religion in public schools:
Think about it, why is it that in today’s schools kids are indoctrinate into Islam but no longer can you even talk about Jesus? America, we have a problem. But I promise you this, there is a solution.
This cannot be stressed enough, our public schools are not being used to indoctrinate children into Islam. I protect the wall of separation between state and church for a living. While we get many complaints of Christian teachers imposing their religion, religious beliefs, and religious rituals on students, we get very few complaints about Islam being promoted by the government at any level, especially in schools. The same Supreme Court decisions from the 1960s that Joshua just disparaged, that removed god from the public schools, also prevent those schools from indoctrinating children into any religion, including Islam. That wall of separation protects students’ rights to “talk about Jesus” and prevent teachers from preaching to them about Jesus … or Allah.
The real problem is ignorance and Joshua is a shining example. There is a solution to that problem: schools that don’t waste time imposing religion on children and teach them science, math, writing, and history. Schools that teach, instead of preach. Joshua’s education sure could have used a lot more of the former and a lot less of the latter.
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