A public school in Texas proudly displays the following quote from Ronald Reagan: “Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.” There are, however, two problems with that. First, being taxpayer-funded, public schools are not supposed to promote any particular religion. Second, Ronald Reagan never actually said that.
The school also displays the following quote from George Washington, which you can easily find on the internet: “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and Bible.”
However, like much of what you can find on the internet, that too is a fabrication.
Those, and other altered or simply made-up “quotes” on display at the school, are being pointed at by some as a clear violation of the principle of “separation of church and state,” because the fake “quotes” openly promote Christianity.
On the topic of ignorance and miseducation, many believe that the phrase “separation of church and state” appears in the Constitution. It does not. The First Amendment does, however, state that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
The falsely-attributed “quotes” at that school point to something more important than religious versus anti-religious viewpoints. They point to the incompetence and ignorance of the teachers and administration of public schools, and to the fact that schools seem more interested in indoctrination and brain-washing than they do in conveying actual knowledge to the students.
To be fair, atheists and the political left have been just as eager to spread their agenda via the “education” system as the political right. As one example, the “Common Core” curriculum includes texts which state that the Second Amendment says that “people have the right to certain weapons, providing that they register them and they have not been in prison.”
And therein lies the real problem: where there is political power, and where government is funding and running schools, it is absurd to think that those in power (left or right) are not going to try to spread their own viewpoints by way of such institutions. When government schools are feeding the children blatant falsehoods and indoctrination; whether left-leaning or right-leaning, whether as a result of intentional deception or well-intentioned ignorance – the end result is a deceived, ignorant, obedient, and easily controlled population.
Freedom of thought, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, are not the result of government spreading the right message; they are the result of government spreading no message. To have a free society, it is not enough to separate church from state; we need to separate state from school – in fact, separate state from everything else too.