Schools Hold Key to Christian Decline
While some say it is a mistake to make too much of the recently announced results of the Pew Research Center survey of American’s religious affiliations over the last seven years, it is nonetheless notable that the number of those identifying as Christian has dropped from 78.4% in 2007 to 70.6% in 2014.
While public prayer and Bible reading are banned in government schools, secular humanism is not banned, although some believe it to be a religion of sorts. Secular humanism is promoted in the policies and administration of many schools.
As Dr. Dennis Cuddy wrote in 2007, “For the last two centuries, there has been in the U.S. a battle between the Biblically-based values of the American Revolution and the secular humanists’ values of the French Revolution. . . .” Dr. Cuddy stated eight years ago that “while surveys show most Americans claim to believe in Biblical religion, in practice, a growing number of younger people are really secular humanists.” This decline is directly related to what students are taught, or not taught, in the nation’s classrooms.
Cuddy explained that in 1930, Charles Francis Potter authored Humanism, A New Religion. Potter wrote:
Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism and every American public school is a school of humanism. What can the theistic Sunday schools, meeting for an hour once a week and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?
Potter, along with John Dewey, the father of progressive education, signed the first Humanist Manifesto in 1933. The primary affirmation of the Manifesto states, “Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created.”
The second affirmation is that of belief in evolution. As Cuddy wrote, “Sir Julian Huxley, the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) first director-general, would later explain, humanism’s ‘central concept, to which all its details are related, is evolution.’” (NewsWithViews.com, 11-7-07)
The Pew Research Center reports that although the “drop in Christian affiliation is particularly pronounced among young adults, it is occurring among Americans of all ages. The same trends are seen among whites, blacks and Latinos; among both college graduates and adults with only a high school education; and among women as well as men.” (PewForum.org, 5-12-15)
It is notable that the Pew survey found only a 1% decrease in the number of Evangelical Christians since 2007. This is the group most likely to send their children to Christian schools and to homeschool. Whether or not there might be a correlation in adhering to faith is yet to be established.