Charlie Webster of New Century Ministries has written a new book called “Revitalizing Christianity,” and according to his publicist, one of his main points is basically that the secularists have won, and it is time to move on. It seems Webster contends that since America is now a “pluralistic” society, the reading or teaching of “sacred writings” in schools should not be done. He urges Christians to just accept the 50-year-old Supreme Court decision that removed prayer and Bible reading from America’s public schools. Besides, he states, prayer in schools was “ignored” by most students – and he points to himself as one of those.
To sum up his argument against the return of school prayer, Webster states: “The truth is that it was not what happened in schools that affected the moral fiber of this country; it was what happened in the homes and the churches.”
What Webster misses is that prayer in the schools 50 years ago had little to do with morality and a lot to do with authority. The speaker of the House of Representatives, the second-most powerful man in America, has the words “In God We Trust” engraved over his chair in the House Chamber. This is more than the national motto; it was meant to be the real source of authority for our government. If rights come from God, they cannot be taken away, but if they come from government, a simple majority vote can void those rights.
Fifty years ago, prayer and Bible reading represented the authority of God over the school, the teachers and the students. Bowing of heads in the morning for prayer was much more about surrendering to the authority of God than about learning “morals.”
As my mother, atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair, fought to remove prayer from the public schools, I was attending an all-boys school in downtown Baltimore. The school was a magnet school before the term even existed and was intended to prepare young men for colleges, majoring in science and engineering. There were 1,800 young men in the school, and there was not a cop in the building, ever. The doors were unlocked, and often the un-air-conditioned rooms had open windows. There were no metal detectors, and students went in and out the doors on the honor system.
The authority of God was present even though I am very sure many of those young men, including myself, had some pretty vile thoughts that were not in the least way moral.
The school has since merged with a girls’ school in another location, for purposes of political correctness. The last time I checked, the building itself was the headquarters of the Baltimore City Schools Police Force, something that did not exist when the city population was nearly double what it is now. Every kid at every school has a photo ID. All the doors of every school are locked. The doors of schools have metal detectors, and drug-sniffing dogs roam the corridors. I am told that every school in Baltimore has at least one cop with a gun stationed inside it.
The authority of God has been replaced with the authority of the iron fist of government.
Morals? Without the authority of God there are no morals. What is taught in the schools has become the norm in the homes, not vice versa.
Many today, even those who want to return the “opportunity to pray” at school, do not understand that it was not just prayer that was removed from those buildings – it was the righteous authority of God.
Whatever the true nature of Charlie Webster’s book, his publicist has done him no favors by promoting him as being in opposition to the authority of God over government. Humanity had enough godless governments in the 20th century. Godless atheistic governments in the 20th century killed more of their own citizens than died in all the wars in all the history of mankind. Perhaps Webster and his publicist should get some new hook lines to get on radio shows – lines that don’t sever moral government from God’s authority.