What is the
Most Important Political Issue
in America Today?
by O. P. Martin
Some of our nation's founding fathers established schools for the purpose of teaching the Bible to children. They considered this to be very important, and wrote of it often. How right they were! Today, however, not only are we not teaching the Bible to children, and in fact there is a false public perception that to do so would be highly illegal, but we are actually neglecting to teach the history of what our founding fathers held to be important. It is a safe bet that our children are unaware even of this fact.
Something like 90% of the people say they believe in some kind of a God, and yet most do not know much about Him. If He created us and not the other way around, however, then it is incumbent upon us to get to know what He is really like, and not how we would like Him to be.
"Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." - Deuteronomy 11:18-19. The longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119, at 176 verses, is all about the benefits of God's law, the holy scriptures. Even Darwin observed that certain natives had had a startlingly dramatic improvement in the civility of their behavior since the last time he visited. What had intervened? Missionaries had come and taught them the Word of God.
Knowledge of God improves, humbles, expands, and consoles the mind. The Word of God has the power to change hearts unto salvation. Also, study after study has shown that those who live a sinful lifestyle tend to die young, while those who live godly, on average, live to a ripe old age with healthier, happier quality. It is cruel to turn someone loose in this world to fend for themselves without knowing the God who owns and runs it. The Bible accurately informed us of such things as the shape of the earth, the existence of the water cycle and air currents, the importance of blood, medical sanitary practices, and many other facts thousands of years before they were re-discovered by science. We may feel distance from the peoples and cultures of biblical times, but God does not change, and his precepts are just as beneficial to us today.
Our young people do not know what the term "John 3:16" means, even though it is the address of the single string of text that has been translated into more languages than any other, and for good reason, since it summarizes the good news to show us the way out of the mess we dig ourselves into. People on the street cannot even name the Ten Commandments, upon which our law was based. Those laws and the fear of God have the power to keep people in order (somewhat, though for eternal life we still need His grace, purchased by the blood of Christ), so it is no wonder that without them our society is rapidly decaying. There is a direct correlation between people's failure to rely upon our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the rise in crime.
Are our schools truly "neutral", as they claim? Jesus says: "He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters." - Luke 11:23.
There is a war of ideas going on in our culture.
On the one hand there is the worldview that the Creator God exists and is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, and on the other hand there is naturalism that denies God and hates that He would provide any objective standard for right and wrong.
For more information, see also my short paper on evolution.
One's choice of worldview will affect all else one sees, interprets, and chooses, so it is a shame that public schools offer such a one-sided study of origins, from whence all other philosophy flows, from the universities on down.
But today's public education system, while encouraging young people to explore alternatives such as illegal drug use, promiscuous sex, stealing, and cheating, and to decide their values for themselves no matter what their parents wish, suddenly stops the encouragement for youth to be exposed to multiple options when the question of which theory of origins to be taught is raised. Instead, they insist that creation must never reach students' ears. Why?
If God the Creator exists and cares about what humans do, then a common frame of reference also exists for disputes about value and justice.
They don't want to lose control of a system that is training people to allow any pleasure they deem appropriate without fear of punishment from a God who is just and full of wrath for those who disobey, which is all of us, but also loving and full of grace for those who believe.
In politics, moral issues should be given far more weight than financial ones, since God will bless those whose hearts are turned toward Him. If He sees iniquity in a land, He allows it to be punished. No amount of tinkering with the budget will save us if we do not first discontinue the practice of ignoring God.
Darwin understood some of the implications of his theory. He even wrote about such things as genocide as being logical conclusions of the idea of naturalism, although attention to this fact is not often brought up by liberals. The point was not lost, either, on Oliver Wendell Holms Jr., who, in 1897, argued that the basis for law should be no longer morality but coercion. In reality this is impossible, and the real agenda is replacing one morality with someone else's. This is the idea that the interpretation of the constitution should evolve, too, with the times.
Then, in 1947, in this judicial climate, came a supreme court decision with disastrous consequences. This case, Everson vs. Board of Education, redefined the phrase "separation of church and state" from what our founding fathers intended and what it was understood to mean for 150 years. No longer was congress restricted from harming religion, as clearly stated in the first amendment, but now it was the other way around. The case was cited as precedent in the decision to remove prayer from schools, and a host of other decisions since, which have progressively removed God from the public square. The effect on our society has been pronounced.
Before, problems in school were things like chewing gum or talking in class. Afterwards, the problems have become rape and murder.
We desperately need to overturn 1947.
In general, we need to elect presidents and governors who are willing to appoint supreme court and other justices who will interpret the constitutions with the meanings with which they were originally intended. If we allow judges to be able to re-interpret the constitution according to their whim, then why do we need a constitution?
Overturning Roe v. Wade is important, too, but this is largely a symptom of a prevailing worldview, not a cause, except in the sense that sexual so-called freedom is a motive in the drive to advance the naturalist agenda. If we continue to excise God from all public life, everything else we hold dear will eventually fall by the wayside. And, we are also commanded to pray for our leaders.
But, it is really the parents' responsibility to teach the Bible to and model biblical behavior for their children.
While waiting for the error of 1947 to be reversed, we need to consider and address alternatives to the public schools system. Common alternatives are private school or homeschooling. I am deeply grateful that my parents sacrificed to give me a good Christian education. But some parents may be unable or unwilling to do so when it comes at double cost. Currently, in most states, parents are forced to pay thousands of dollars in taxes to support the public schools, whether they use those schools or not. They must pay several thousand dollars more per child every year if they wish to provide a quality, godly education.
Why did we break up a successful telephone system, and, yet, when it comes to a school system that is morally and academically failing miserably, we insist on perpetuating the monopoly?
Our rent and property taxes also keep going up to pay for the bonds we approve which ever throw more money at a problem that is really a symptom of a system which is built on the wrong foundation.
The public education tax is nothing short of saying, "You must participate in our public school system, and we will not allow you to use your own earnings to educate your own children in any way that would be an alternative to our agenda." How interesting that the pro-choice people are the same ones that take away our choices any time it is a choice to do what is right. High government officials send their kids to private schools; why can't we?
Accordingly, some are in support of vouchers, but certain fine Christian schools will not accept government money in the form of vouchers. Therefore, a significant tax credit for those placing a child in private or home school is far superior, and we should promote this reform with all of our political might.
Those who think that a Christian should not vote or become politically involved are mistaken. God has instituted for us a form of government in which we have the ability to influence the world for good, and we should certainly do so.
Also, the idea that religion is something private, maybe for Sunday morning, and not to be discussed or allowed to interfere with normal life, is from the devil. I invite you to read the Bible and decide for yourself. Eternal destinies are at stake!
But, even any legislative or judicial victories we may gain at this time will be short-lived if the society/populace-at-large continues to descend into further ungodliness. Only God truly changes the heart in the way it needs to be changed. We need to pray and pray hard for revival. And, our seminaries and churches need to teach creation in a way that is uncompromised by the world.
The most important political issue in America today, then, is anything that will encourage the teaching of God's holy Word to our precious children. A tax credit would be ideal. A repeal of Everson 1947 is to be sought. Sunday School addresses the need in part, but the Word of God so permeates all of our existence and life that to relegate study of it to one hour per week, if that, or to consider it as not relating to science, education, or law, is to be neglectful. Let's pray that many parents will feel the need to teach the Bible to children!