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Rep. Chris Smith: ‘Our Students Must Find The God Of The Bible And Biblical Values In The Classroom’

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"Rep. Chris Smith: ‘Our Students Must Find The God Of The Bible And Biblical Values In The Classroom’"

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At a reception in St. Paul on Wednesday for Catholic Republicans, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) — a fierce opponent of abortion — said that he is “very concerned that many of our schools and universities have lost their way.” They have become “bastions of moral relativism and moral compromise with the culture of death.”

As a solution, Smith suggested that “students must find the God of the Bible and Biblical values in the classroom”:

SMITH: Our schools need to become oases of goodness, sound moral teaching and, they must become agents of change in the culture. Our students must find the God of the Bible and Biblical values in the classroom, on the campus. I believe we need to do more to find effective ways to educate and inform policy makers and hold them to account.

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Smith’s call for “Biblical values in the classroom” could easily be interpreted as a call for the promotion of Christianity in American schools. But, as the First Amendment Center has pointed out, “the courts have been clear that public school teachers cannot teach religion to their students or read the Bible to the class as a way of promoting their faith.”

Smith’s comments appear to be more radical than Rep. Steve King’s (R-IA) claim last year that “every child” in American schools needs to learn “the tenets of the Christian faith.” While King conceded that if “the tenets of Christianity” are to be taught in school, “other faiths” should be taught as well, Smith said no such thing.

Transcript:

SMITH: They challenge the young to get personally involved, to run for office, to be the judges and the professional staff. Like you, I am very concerned that many of our schools and universities have lost their way, having become bastions of moral relativism and moral compromise with the culture of death. Too many university presidents, administrators, professors and deans, including those at faith-based institutions of higher learning, often care more about their football team scores and their basketball team records or being progressive, than advancing the culture of life. It’s appalling, it’s a cause for sorrow and it has to change. Our schools need to become oases of goodness, sound moral teaching and, they must become agents of change in the culture. Our students must find the God of the Bible and Biblical values in the classroom, on the campus. I believe we need to do more to find effective ways to educate and inform policy makers and hold them to account. To live this life is hard. I’ve been a congressman for twenty eight years. Even men and women, like Sam Brownback, who’s a great man, and others in this room, we need to be encouraged and prayed for, that we can advance the kingdom of heaven.

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