You Can Ban All the Symbols, But Without God, There Wouldn’t Be a Classroom

by J Warner Wallace

Across the country, school districts are removing symbols of religious belief. In Kenosha Wisconsin, for example, school authorities recently told a fourth-grade teacher to remove any “Christian symbolism” from her classroom, including a picture of the American flag that displayed the words “God Bless America.” In Glendale Arizona, school officials told a teacher to eliminate religious items from her class after they learned she placed a Bible where her students could see it. In Tampa Florida, a teacher tried to prohibit her students from wearing cross necklaces while in her classroom. These increasing attempts to eliminate any reference of God are ironic, given that, but for the existence of God, there wouldn’t be any classrooms to begin with.

Like many of you, I spent most of my young life in classrooms. After high school, I drifted from journalism to architecture and eventually earned a bachelor’s degree and two graduate degrees. I was a committed atheist during most of my education, but I now know that none of it would have been possible without God – but not in the sense that you might be thinking.

I’m not claiming that God did anything miraculous or exceptional to guide me through these years as I was learning about journalism, design and architecture. God did something miraculous long before that. God created a universe with humans who have the ability to think freely. This human freedom to weigh explanations, compare options and evaluate claims is what allows us to reason and learn. Without it, education is impossible and school unnecessary.

If atheism is true, we live in a purely physical, material universe, consisting of nothing more than space, time, and matter, and ruled by nothing more than the laws of physics and chemistry…

You Can Ban All the Symbols, But Without God, There Wouldn’t Be a Classroom