The U.S. Supreme Court banned Bible reading in the public schools in the 1963 decision Abington School District v. Schempp, holding that it violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Since then, the Court has consistently struck down all religious teaching in public schools as unconstitutional. This includes the 1987 ruling Edwards v. Aguillard, which struck down a Louisiana law that required creation science to be taught alongside evolutionary theory in science class.
The outcome is that the teaching of creationism is banned in public schools (because it is "religious") but the teaching of Darwinian evolution is allowed (because it is "non-religious"). You may object to the Supreme Court’s rulings on these issues and say they are misinterpreting the First Amendment (as I do). Regardless, this is the Court’s ruling, and every state is following the ruling. Unless the states grow a backbone and stand up to unlawful rulings of the Supreme Court, this is the way it is.
But Intelligent Design!
Some hope that Intelligent Design (ID) can escape these Supreme Court rulings and be taught in the public schools because it is not explicitly religious. Advocates of ID argue that it is a scientific and philosophical critique of Darwinism (and not an explicitly religious teaching) and thus the Court may rule that it does not violate the Constitution. This is the hope of Francis Beckwith in his book Law, Darwinism, and Public Education.
Beckwith's hope is unlikely in my opinion, especially with the increasingly liberal tendencies of the Court. But let me take a step back and ask a more foundational question— what good would it do if the public schools started teaching Intelligent Design? Is that really one’s hope for rescuing the public schools from their moral and spiritual bankruptcy? While the teaching of Intelligent Design alongside Darwinism is obviously preferable to a Darwinism-only biology curriculum, ID is still not explicitly Christian. And therein lies the problem.
The public schools are rigged. They allow all sorts of criticism of religion (especially Christianity) while banning the promotion of religion. Last time I checked, that is not exactly a “neutral” position, as so many public school advocates claim.
Neutrality—if such a thing even exists—would mean teaching opposing views and presenting arguments in favor of and in opposition to each. In this case, it would mean presenting biblical creation alongside Darwinian evolution. Why biblical creation? Because that is the majority view of Western history and continues to be the primary alternative to Darwinism. ID can say it is not explicitly religious (which is true), but we all know most advocates of ID are either Christian or Jewish and thus believe in some form of the creation account of Genesis 1 and 2. (This is the primary objection Darwinists make against teaching ID in public schools.)
But no, American public schools do not allow for a fair debate. They allow the teaching of Darwinism because it is not "religious" and in turn ban the teaching of biblical creation, all in the name of the First Amendment. The system is really rigged when you think about it. Darwinism is a naturalistic view of how the world and humanity came about, and it is clearly tied with atheism. But because atheists don’t go to church, they are technically not following a “religion.” So their view is allowed while the Christian view is banned.
Let’s stop calling the public schools “neutral.” They are not. They are atheistic and teach a naturalist worldview. And if this is the case, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that they are anti-Christian.
But Theistic Evolution!
And yes, I realize some Christians hold to a form of “theistic evolution.” So see, evolution is not anti-Christian! There is one problem here (not withstanding some objections from my fellow Christians)—Darwinian evolution is not compatible with the Bible. Here are a few reasons:
- God’s purposefulness in Scripture is incompatible with the randomness of Darwinism.
- Scripture shows God’s creative word as bringing immediate response (Psalm 33:6-9), contrary to the slow workings of Darwinism.
- God made plants and animals “according to their kinds” (Genesis 1:11, 24). This shows that God created many different types of plants and animals from the start. They did not all evolve.
- God’s providential role among living creatures (Matthew 6:26) is hard to reconcile with the hands-off approach of Darwinism.
- The special creation of Adam out of the dust and Eve from his rib (Genesis 2:7, 22) is inconsistent with Darwinism, which requires that humans descended from a prior species (and for this reason many are sadly abandoning a historical Adam).
- Darwinism requires death before the fall of man, whereas Scripture teaches that death entered the world because of Adam's sin (Genesis 3:19).
People may hold some view that a divine being guided Darwinian evolution. But this is not the teaching of the Bible. No way and no how.
And this is to say nothing of the scientific (and philosophical) problems with Darwinism, including the fact that macro-evolution (species to species change) has never been shown to take place. This is not to deny micro-evolution (adaptation) or even the possibility of macro-evolution (where a species has changed so much it can no longer mate with a prior species). But such changes do not prove that evolutionary theory explains the origin of life. Darwinism requires that all species came about through macro-evolution. Yet we do not have a single example of this ever happening.
Evolutionary theory has been destructive, tearing down people’s faith in God and the Bible and removing any foundation for purpose and morality in life (one of its many philosophical problems). It is a purely naturalistic and godless worldview. And this is what is taught in America's public schools. There are many valid criticisms of Darwinism, as well as a consistent alternative found in biblical creation—but these things are not legally allowed.
Why would parents want to send their children to a school that will not even allow criticism of and alternatives to such a controversial teaching as Darwinism? American public schools have all the marks of brainwashing and indoctrination. They no longer provide what used to be called an "education."