Ideas have consequences

Ideas have consequences

By Brannon S. Howse

The results that derive from a given set of ideas in any area of life are demonstrable. This pattern is exceptionally evident, though, in how the realm of ideas—in this case, educational and political philosophy—have wrought havoc in our public schools. Let me explain by telling several stories.

In the early 1990s, I met two education leaders from the former Soviet Union. They had come to the United States to ask American Christian Schools International, America’s largest association of Christian schools, to train Russian teachers and students in Biblical worldview principles. As a result, ACSI sent hundreds of Christian schoolteachers and administrators, as well as thousands of Christian worldview books, to the former Soviet Union. 

Along with many friends and colleagues, I told the one-time Soviet officials that they now had more religious freedom in their schools than we do in America. After hearing the facts about our situation, they were not only shocked but fearful for our country. They desperately wanted us to understand that America is following the path of Secular Humanism that had led their nation into godlessness and communism. 

An element of their fear was legitimately self-serving. These Russian leaders were afraid that if America does not reject Secular Humanism and socialist ideals, the former Soviets would no longer have a strong, free, and virtuous America to assist them in the years to come as they seek to secure their freedoms and rebuild from the destruction of atheism and communism.

In sharing with our Russian friends how the Secular Humanist worldview is taught in our schools and how religious liberties are being stripped from American culture, we explained that many years ago humanistic liberals strategized about how to inculcate their worldview into the hearts and minds of as many Americans as possible. Their primary target became school children because of the long-term effect of changing the thinking of young people. 

Just to give you a taste of how humanism and its spinoff ideas inevitably bring about the persecution of anyone who does not acquiesce to that viewpoint, let me highlight another especially significant case. 

In 1997, federal judge Ira DeMent issued a sweeping order that eliminated virtually all voluntary religious speech in Alabama’s public schools. Judge DeMent’s detailed dictate was repressive, to say the least. It barred student-led prayer in almost any form and dictated that student commencement speakers could make only a “brief” reference to God and could not ask any audience member to join in. The judge threatened students and school officials with disciplinary action if they violated his order. In addition, Judge DeMent specifically banned prayer in a time of national emergency. The judge added the final draconian touch by establishing undercover school “monitors” in the DeKalb County school system to check for violations. Incensed, then-governor of Alabama Fob James called the monitors “secret police.” 

There is a direct correlation between America’s academic decline and the humanists’ successful expulsion of God from America’s schools. While the United States once had an educational system that was the envy of the world, today we consistently rank toward the bottom of all industrialized nations in academic scores. Recognizing the problem as early as 1981, President Reagan ordered a study of America’s educational system. Released two years later, the report, entitled A Nation at Risk, stated:


[quote] Our Nation is at risk…We report to the American people that…the educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a nation and a people…If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. As it stands, we have allowed this to happen to ourselves.…Our society and its educational institutions seem to have lost sight of the basic purposes of schooling, and of the high expectations and disciplined effort needed to attain them. [end quote] 


In this realm of ideas and their consequences, legendary radio broadcaster Paul Harvey has a unique gift of explaining the important issues of our day with clear and laser-like accuracy. In a reading entitled “If I Were the Devil,” he shares this view:   

[quote] If I were the devil: I would gain control of the most powerful nation in the world; I would delude their minds into thinking that they had come from man’s effort, instead of God’s blessings; I would promote an attitude of loving things and using people, instead of the other way around;

I would dupe entire states into relying on gambling for their state revenue; I would convince people that character is not an issue when it comes to leadership;

I would make it legal to kill unborn babies; I would make it socially acceptable to take one’s own life, and invent machines to make it convenient; I would cheapen human life as much as possible so that the life of animals are valued more than human beings; 

I would take God out of the schools, where even the mention of His name was grounds for a lawsuit;

I would come up with drugs that sedate the mind and target the young, and I would get sports heroes to advertise them;

I would get control of the media, so that every night I could pollute the mind of every family member with my agenda;

I would attack the family, the backbone of any nation. I would make divorce acceptable and easy, even fashionable. If the family crumbles, so does the nation;

I would compel people to express their most depraved fantasies on canvas and movie screens, and call it art;

I would convince the world that people are born homosexuals, and that their lifestyles should be accepted;

I would convince the people that right and wrong are determined by a few, who call themselves authorities and refer to their agenda as politically correct;

I would persuade people that the church is irrelevant and out of date, and the Bible is for the naive; I would dull the minds of Christians, and make them believe that prayer is not important, and that faithfulness and obedience are optional;

Hmmm... I guess if I were the devil, I’d leave things pretty much the way they are. Good day. [end quote]


The Bible says Satan is “like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Satan wants to consume as many souls as he can, and I believe the worldview battle in American today is a spiritual battle between those who want to follow God and those who follow the lies—the ideas—of Satan.

Ideas have consequences.

Copyright 2006 ©Brannon Howse. This content is for Situation Room members and is not to be duplicated in any form or uploaded to other websites without the express written permission of Brannon Howse or his legally authorized representative.