For readers and followers of this blog, for this series only if you wish to reblog An Inconvenient God in individual chapters or in its entirety, I am okay with this. I had foreseen this as being a book, but when I reached the end, I had said all there was for me to say and it is clearly not enough for a book.
At different points in each chapter I ask questions. I do not ask them in search of answers for myself because I already know where I stand. I ask them as catalyst for the reader to consider.
Chapter Eleven – The Eviction Notice
Separation of God and State
It was during the 1960’s that God and Jesus began being escorted from public institutions. The vocal minority started screaming “separation between church and state” every chance they got. What they failed to realize as did the elected officials making decisions, there is a difference between separation between church and state of which our founding fathers did not want a specific church to represent the state as that is what we had fled in England and the British Empire, and separation of God and state. The separation of church and state does not appear in the Constitution of the United States nor the Bill of Rights. It was in a letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association who were lobbying for America to be a Baptist nation. What the vocal minority is pushing for is separation of God and state when America was founded on by people who fled religious persecution in Europe and came here to be able to openly worship God freely.
I conducted a survey in early 2014 asking the following questions:
- What is your age group?
- Do you believe in God?
- What income class did you grow up in?
- What do you think about people who think differently from you?
- What is your sex?
- What is your ethnic background?
- Were your parents religious?
- Did you attend religious services growing up?
- Do you believe in evolution?
- What do you rate your own intelligence as?
The results were very interesting. Here are the most interesting of them. The entire survey results are posted in the chapter Surveys and Results.
Out of all the respondents, 73% said they believe in God. However, when broken down into age groups, there was a gradual decline in believers from the oldest to the youngest group. There was an exact opposite response in those who believe in evolution. As you go from the oldest to the youngest, the percentage of people who believe in evolution increases. This was directly correlated to the number of people who stated that they were atheist.
This led to a poll on if a world religion class discussing the major religions of the world and their basic precepts should be taught in schools to promote understanding of different beliefs and cultures. I was careful to say not an individual religion but a class on religions of the world and how they perceive our being. 93% said that religion should be taught by the parents, not in a school setting.
When asked why overall religions of the world should not be taught in school, a majority of respondents claimed that teachers would use it for a platform to teach a single religion.
Ethics in Life
Yesterday while taking a break from writing I had the television tuned to the local Public Broadcasting Station. The story that was on was about the ethics of people. Dr. Dan Ariely, a professor of psychology at Duke University, did a study about the behavior of people in the workplace. He spoke about people in the workplace who see others acting unethically tend to mimic that behavior themselves especially when they see no consequence for that action. He went on to say that the exception to this rule is people who believe in God. The difference between the non-believers and the people of faith are the people of faith know they have to answer to a higher power for their actions and therefore maintain higher ethical standards.
Dr. Ariely’s research also came up with the most and least ethical careers. The number one unethical position goes to lobbyists. I can understand this as lobbyists will do anything they can to get politicians to give them favorable legislation. The second most unethical position is politicians. This leaves me with a conundrum.
- If politicians are perceived to be that unethical, why do they get elected?
You’d think that people would want to elect virtuous people to represent them in the legislative and executive branches, yet they don’t.
- Do unethical people get elected to office because the majority of the voters are unethical and want likeminded people representing them?
- Is the reason elected officials are so unethical because of the wall that was built to separate God and state?
Now, go back to the separation of church and state issue. The poll results said that religion in general should not be taught at school, but at home by the parents. I did yet another survey asking perceived intelligence levels of teachers and parents for elementary, middle, and high school students. By the time the students were in high school they valued teachers more than they did their own parents.
The results of the survey were:
Elementary School 100% Intelligent 92% Intelligent
Middle School 92% Intelligent 92% Intelligent
High School 92% Intelligent 17% Intelligent
So people want religion left out of the schools. They also believe that it should be taught at home by parents who don’t know anything about education. I would say that this is evidentiary data showing that building that wall between God and state has infringed upon the First Amendment rights that ALL Americans are entitled to in that government shall pass no law that impedes religious freedom.
- What is the event that happens somewhere around the middle school years that takes a parent’s intelligence from the 90th percentile down to the 10th percentile?
- Is teaching evolution while prohibiting the mention of God in schools a major contributing factor to the loss of ethics in America?
A child goes to public school with the implied understanding that it is what the parents believe is best for the child. No parent would intentionally put their young child in harm’s way and through the action of dropping them off at the school, the parent through their actions is telling the child they are in good hands.
Even at a young age the child understands that the teacher is there to teach skills needed in life while the parents are there to parent. Whatever is taught in the school is therefore factual.
By teaching evolution in school and not mentioning God, the message is evolution is factual while God is not important to life skills. This is indicated through the results of the religion survey I conducted. If you think about it was in the 1960’s that God was evicted from public schools, and the people that were in school at that time would be around 50 years old and then look at the results, it is evident that this is very likely a contributing factor.
51+ 31 – 50 18 – 30
Theist 83% 73% 61%
Agnostic 10% 15% 5%
Atheist 7% 12% 34%
When God was evicted from the public schools, 83% of the people believed in God; 10% were unsure; and 7% were atheistic. In the next generation removed from God at school, 73% were still theistic while agnosticism increased to 15%; and atheism increased to 12%. Another generation removed from God and the percentage of theists drops another 12 points to 61%; agnostics drop from 15% to 5%, but atheists jump from 12% to 34%.
Another result of the survey that I found bothering was how some of the people claiming to be God fearing people thought about themselves. 97% of these people said they had no opinion about the intelligence levels of people who think differently than them. Of these people, 58% considered themselves of “above average” intelligence. These results are contradictory of each other.
Another sign of the separation of God and Society is noticeable when watching television. It is permitted by the government to take the Lord’s name in vain on the airwaves, but not to use slang words for certain bodily functions.