Christianity is Crucial

May 5, 1983
Letters to the Editor
Times Standard
Eureka, California

Christianity is crucial

Editor:
Those of the opinion that Christianity should be separated from the American public school system are certainly not basing their opinion on either the Constitution or its authors. The constitutional formula did not exclude the influence of religion in or on government but rather prohibited the federal government from establishing a state religion or church such as the Church of England which persecuted the Separatists and the Puritans, who consequently fled to American to practice their faith without the threat of persecution.

 

In 1787, the very year the Constitution was written and approved by Congress, that same body of Congress passed the famous Northwest Ordinance. It reads, in part, “Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary for good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged,” Here we read that religion, morality and knowledge are essential ingredients needed for “good government and the happiness of mankind,” and were thus encouraged by Congress, to be taught together, in the schools.
 

When Alexis de Tocqueville visited American in 1831, he wrote: “In New England every citizen receives the elementary notions of human knowledge; he is taught (in the schools) the doctrines and evidences of his religion, the history of his country and the leading features of the Constitution.

It is extremely rare to find a man imperfectly acquainted with all these things and a person wholly ignorant is a sort of a phenomenon.” (Democracy in America, Vol. 1, page 327.) Today, it is rare to find one who is not ignorant of the evidences of his religion, the history of his country and the leading features of the Constitution.

It is not by accident that the influence of Christianity in American history is generally ignored in secular textbooks, and government classrooms today, and that he importance and meaning of the Constitution is not taught and that Christian principles and practices are being expelled from the schools. Perhaps, that is why good government is a scarcity in America today.

Charles Fockaert
Eureka