The public education system is in a no-win situation. When it comes to funding, IEP’s, taxes, free and reduced lunch, athletics, and almost every other thing that schools are involved in, everybody in America has an opinion. I guess that’s part of the reason its called “public” education.
So imagine my surprise when I find that the public education system is both killing God and keeping Him alive at the same time. Jeff Schweitzer, in his book Beyond Cosmic Dice: Moral Life in a Random World, argues:
“The one remaining god is indeed vulnerable, but is shielded from scrutiny by a failed educational system incapable of teaching students even rudimentary knowledge about their world. As a consequence, we are left with a sad “god of the gaps….Education is this god’s nemesis and greatest threat…Only our failure in education, leading to scientific illiteracy in the general population, allows this god to survive.” (113-4)
Schweitzer was an administrator in the White House during the Clinton administration, advised Gore on science and technology and served to coordinate the U.S. governments international science and technology cooperation. He is a man who has been around science and education for his entire life. His premise, that God is credited for what science cant explain, is propagating God because of an education system that is not coming to answers in study quick enough. He claims, God is still around because we have not gained enough and taught enough knowledge to render Him obsolete. He blames education for God.
While in ministry I was given a different opinion. According to many conservative Christians, public school was killing God. It was almost as if the Public school was villanized by many in the Christian community. The 1962 ruling eliminating public prayer in schools is the decision often referred too. Then the stats start flying: teen pregnancy up, std’s up, SAT’s down, single-parent households up, divorce rates up, violent crimes up, and alcholism up…all after 1962. The reason, the public education system is killing God, a system that teaches evolution, sex-ed, tolerance, ancient myths, and PE. I have heard radio stations, read blogs, books, magazines, and heard parents discuss what’s wrong with the education system and every time it comes back to: they are killing God. For many that is the purpose of homeschooling or Christian schooling.
The point is not to argue with anyone about these things, nor to run down one side or the other, but simply point out how the two sides see things differently. The scientific community is blaming the schools for keeping God on life support and the Christian community is claiming the school is killing Him. According to academics, the education system is failing…according to much of the evangelical community, the education system is failing. It truly is a no win situation.