In the United States, one of the trickiest aspects of our education system is deciding where to draw the line when it comes to the separation of church and state. There have been court cases related to the teaching of evolution, banning prayer in school, and even banning the Pledge of Allegiance (due to mention of the word “God”). However, it does not appear to be widely recognized that our school systems do in fact teach atheism, to the detriment of not just our country, but the planet as well.
Separation of Church and State
The intent behind the “separation of church and state” was to protect religious freedom by preventing any governmental restriction on religious practices. This phrase is not actually a part of the Constitution, but freedom of religion is guaranteed as part of the First Amendment. Two landmark cases that defined how religious freedom is protected in schools both deal with the teaching of evolution: Epperson v. Arkansas and Edwards v. Aguillard.
The 1968 Supreme Court Case Epperson v. Arkansas concluded that banning the teaching of evolution in school was illegal because it advanced a certain religion, in this case Christianity, via the teaching of creationism.
The second court case is the 1987 ruling of Edwards v. Aguillard, which stated that it was unconstitutional to give evolution and creationism “equal time”. The logic was that evolution was a theory based on science, while creationism was not. Therefore, creationism could not be taught as part of science curriculum. However, creationism and other religious beliefs can still be taught in other class subjects such as religion, history, or philosophy.
Science is Atheism
Modern science is the approach that our reality is based on tangible things only. I.e. what we can see, hear, feel, and measure is real, and what we cannot see, hear, feel, or measure is not real. However, there is another viewpoint (i.e. spirituality) which suggests that even things that cannot be sensed with our physical senses are still part of reality. This would include spiritual entities, spiritual dimensions, spiritual abilities, etc. From a philosophical standpoint, either one of these views is possible.
In other words: modern science is not reality, it is a philosophy about reality. What is most important to understand, however, is that when you choose to believe one philosophy about reality above all others, it is now a religion. So, let’s be very clear on this point: modern science as is taught in our public schools is not “science”, it is religion.
In particular, modern science is the belief that only what is material exists. This philosophy has another name: atheism. In general, atheism is the lack of belief in a God or gods. To be more specific, atheism is the belief in not having beliefs (which is an irony that is often overlooked). And although atheism does not regard itself as a religion, it enjoys the same religious protections as (other) religions.
The God of Atheism
Many religions have beliefs dealing with the relationship between Creator and man, and the moral obligations regarding relationships between ourselves and our fellow man. Atheism, on the other hand, has no moral obligations or values of any sort. But it does have one thing in common with many religions: a higher power.
Regardless of whether or not one believes in a god, the concept of power exists in each individual’s reality. For an atheist, the physical world is all there is, which means that control over the physical world is the ultimate power. Control is gained by ever-increasing one’s amount of material possessions. As such, the “highest power” of the atheist is money and wealth.
Another interesting note is that atheism and materialism are closely related, they just differ by degrees. While atheism does not believe in a god, materialism suggests that material possessions and physical comfort are more important than God. With this in mind, there can be no surprise that the children that attend our atheistic school system end up being materialists.
The Galileo syndrome
Throughout the centuries, new scientific discoveries have continually altered or even completely contradicted the scientific theories that have preceded them. Given this fact, it would seem wise to never pass off science as reality. As I pointed out earlier, the belief in science as reality makes science a religion.
One of the most famous examples of treating science as religion is the story of Galileo. In 1632, Galileo openly stated that the Earth revolved around the sun, instead of vice versa. This discovery was not met with enthusiasm. Instead, it angered the pope and Galileo was sent to prison. Centuries later, we shake our heads at the ignorance of the pope, while at the same time we are guilty of the same transgression: we “believe” in our modern science.
This transgression is common enough that it deserves it’s own term, which I will call “the Galileo Syndrome”. In effect, this psychosis is “the refusal to accept new scientific principles due to the fact that the new findings do not validate – but instead contradict – society’s currently accepted understanding of reality”. If we wish to guard ourselves from this folly in the future, every science book in the world would have a disclaimer similar to the following:
“Science is the current understanding of how the physical world works based on verifiable research. Scientific principles should never be regarded as reality, but instead should be regarded as revocable concepts and models for explaining reality. Science cannot explain, nor does it attempt to explain, the spiritual world or anything that exists outside of the physical world.”
In the past several decades, scientists have discovered that the way in which objects, energy, space, and time interconnect with each other is completely different from what was previously realized. Under this newly-discovered field now known as quantum physics, there have been exciting discoveries which completely shatter the currently accepted version of reality. For instance, quantum physics teaches us that our thoughts have an effect on physical matter. We also now know that the universe works in much the same way as a hologram, with every “part” containing the “whole”. Based on this new field of science, it is possible to explain metaphysical phenomena such as telepathy, intuition, energy healings, and more.
The field of quantum physics, which by now is well-established and accepted, renders our previous understanding of physics (i.e. Newtonian physics) invalid. This is very important to realize, because what it means is that the Newtonian version of physics, which is still taught in schools to this day, is no longer supported by science. The only reason it continues to be taught in schools is because it validates the currently accepted materialistic view of reality. Just as in the time of Galileo, we as a society refuse to accept new scientific principles because we have inappropriately treated “old science” as religion.
The consequences of this error should not be underestimated. Atheism and materialism in general result in a lack of respect for others, and for the planet. Prioritizing material values over spiritual values is the basis for much of the greed, corruption, pollution, violence, hate, and war that exists in the world today. If we as a society were educated about just how much we are all interconnected to each other, and to the planet, it would be much harder to justify the materialistic way of living.
I always know when somebody is going to talk about a spiritual experience, because the first thing that she will say is “I hope you don’t think that I’m crazy, but…” This is solid evidence that there is discrimination of spiritual beliefs in America. Supposedly, nobody should be made to feel uncomfortable for his or her spiritual views or experiences. In reality, we still use the Christian doctrine as the measuring stick for whether or not spiritual beliefs and practices are acceptable.
In the New Testament, Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead, walked on water, and turned water into wine. He could do this – according to the Christian faith – because he was the son of God. So if a person in our current society talks to spirits or performs some other spiritual activity not sanctioned by Christianity, she is accused of being crazy or practicing occultism. Our society to this day uses the Bible as the final word on whether a spiritual practice is acceptable or “of the devil”.
It’s time that to change this discrimination against the metaphysical and normalize spirituality. Below are two keys changes that would be extremely beneficial for guaranteeing religious and spiritual freedom in our current society:
- Stop teaching science as truth. When we do this, science becomes a religion, and teaching science as religion infringes on our religious freedom. Furthermore, it prevents the advancement of scientific knowledge, which in turn slows down technological advancement.
- Stop spiritual discrimination. It is time to recognize that our society discriminates against non-Christian spiritual practices to a degree that is shameful. The good news is that public opinion can and does change. Just as discrimination against homosexuality has significantly lessened in the past decades, proper education and policy can change public opinion on spirituality as well.
Michael Talbot. The Holographic Universe: The Revolutionary Theory of Reality. Harper Perennial. 2011
Creation and evolution in public education in the United States. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creation_and_evolution_in_public_education_in_the_United_States