The public school system does not teach academic subjects in a neutral way, but in a non-Christian way. And since Jesus is The Way and The Truth, that means they are taught in the wrong way.
How can we suggest that subjects like sums and spelling are taught in a non-Christian way? By just leaving Christ out. This becomes one of the most profound lessons a child will learn in any school day.
Non-Christian schools teach at the very least that God is irrelevant. This may never be said explicitly, but we all know that teaching is more than the words that are spoken in a lesson. There is a far more subtle, but far more effective way to teach children that God is irrelevant. It uses the ploy of simply leaving all references to God out of anything that is important. God is never mentioned.
Kids quickly learn that socials, math, science and literature are important. They are so important that the adult world has insisted that they spend years of their lives immersed in such subjects. And those adults insist on setting exams to make sure the kids are grasping them. Many children ask themselves why these subjects are so important; but they are left in no doubt that they are important.
Most children spend 12 years grappling with all this material on the understanding that their future will depend on how well they do it, without ever finding any reference to God anywhere. God is entirely left out of that which they learn are the important issues on which their future will hinge. And so they learn that He has nothing to do with the real world. Yes – if people want to believe in Him in the privacy of their own homes, or in small groups gathering in special buildings called churches, that’s fine. But leave Him out of the real world; He has no place there.
Paul Vitz, professor of Psychology at New York University, made an analysis of 60 text books used in elementary schools across the USA. He writes,
The most striking thing is the total absence of any primary religious text about typical contemporary American religious life. In particular, there is not one reference to characteristic Protestant religious life in these books.
[Quoted in DeMar: Ruler of the Nations, p.225].
Vitz points out that whenever religion is mentioned it is marginalized and trivialized. One text speaks of a Spanish-speaking neighbourhood where “churches have places for dances and socials”. Another church is mentioned as the location for a summer piano festival. The old Soviet Union turned church buildings into museums to preach the message that religion is a thing of the past; western humanism does the same thing in its text books.
Countless Christian parents send their children to schools which teach them day in and day out that God is irrelevant to the real world. And then we wonder why those children do not see that God is relevant in their lives. The public education system is very effective in what it sets out to do. Unfortunately its agenda is not simply to teach our children to read and write.