The teaching of the bible in our public classrooms has been reduced to “nil” in my country of Canada. I remember the last time the bible was ever publicly read in the classroom was in the second grade (in the Province of British Columbia). The loss of bible reading in public schools across our nation is a real travesty. The reading of scripture and teaching of Christian morality was never intended to be removed from public school classrooms. The founders of Canada’s public school system would be shocked today.
The Ontario Public School Act (1896) states:
“It shall be the duty of every teacher of a public school to teach diligently and faithfully all of the subjects in the public school course of study; to maintain proper order and discipline in his pupils in his school; to encourage his pupils in the pursuit of learning; to include, by precept and example, respect for religion and the principles of Christian morality and the highest regard for truth, justice, love of country, humanity, benevolence, sobriety, industry, frugality, purity, temperance and all other virtues.”
What and how we teach in our public classrooms affects the next generation. If we are ignorant of our one and true Christian heritage, our next generation will be just as ignorant. One generation follows the next. Bishop John Strachan, one of the leaders who helped form our public education system said:
“The church must continue to play a central role in education. You cannot divorce religion from education because schools will inevitably reflect the philosophical and religious or (irreligious) biases of those who direct them.”
There is great wisdom in our Christian heritage. If we forsake this, we will eventually lose our nation. As a Canadian who loves my country, I hope and pray that our nation will return to God and recognize God’s sovereignty in our lives. I’m not saying that our schools have to be church-run, nor am I say that our nation should be a theocracy. When American President Thomas Jefferson spoke about the idea of the separation of state and church, he was not advocating for the creation of a secular society that we have today. Our courts of law and public institutions have gravely misunderstood this and carried it into a wrong direction by denying God’s sovereignty and supremacy.
An informative starter guide I found helpful for public schools in the U.S. to put the bible education back in the classrooms can be found on the Society of Biblical Literature website. It’s a guide for Bible Electives in Public Schools written by Moira Bucciarelli.