Have We Survived Secular Education?

By Dr. Glen Schultz

A couple of months ago, I was walking through an antique shop with a good friend. I came across some old editions of Life magazine. As I shuffled through the pile of copies, one cover caught my eye. The date on the cover was April 30, 1965. What was unique about this particular copy of Life was a picture that would not have been common at that time. It was a picture of a baby in its mother’s placenta. This was the first time anyone was able to capture pictures showing the embryonic development of a baby. The pictures in this 14-page article were quite breathtaking. However, it was not the pictures that surprised me but the descriptions that accompanied them. On the cover were the following captions (emphasis mine):



I also found the following statements in the article (emphasis mine):

“This is the first portrait ever made of a living embryo inside its mother’s womb.”

“By studying pictures like these, embryologists get a deeper and more detailed understanding of life before birth.”

“The birth of human life really occurs at the moment the mother’s egg cell is fertilized by one of the father’s sperm cells.”

These statements make it clear that people at the time believed human life began at conception. As I read the article and observed the pictures, I asked myself, what happened that changed how we determine when life begins?

While I contemplated this question, I came across another item that further sent me into a tailspin. Attached to someone’s tweet was a picture of an old pamphlet that was published and distributed by Planned Parenthood. This particular pamphlet was dated 1952 and was produced to encourage families to plan when they would have children. It answered several questions about birth control. In answer to the question, “Is it an abortion?” the pamphlet explains:

“Definitely not. An abortion requires an operation. It kills the life of a baby after it has begun. It is dangerous to your life and health. It may make you sterile so that when you want a child, you cannot have it.”

Again, I found myself asking, what happened that has brought us to where we are now? Today, doctors look at embryonic pictures and refer to what is seen as merely a “fetus” or “tissue.” Everyone is careful not to define what is growing in a mother’s womb as being a life or a baby. It is now estimated that more than 56 million babies have been aborted since 1973. In 2016, we were shocked to view videos showing employees of Planned Parenthood discussing the selling of aborted baby parts for profit. Then there is the statement by Peter Singer, Professor of Bioethics at the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University, in his book Practical Ethics: “Killing a defective infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person. Sometimes it is not wrong at all.”

When asked if this quote is accurate, Singer explains on his website, “It is accurate but can be misleading if read without an understanding of what I mean by the term “person” (which is discussed in Practical Ethics, from which that quotation is taken). I use the term “person” to refer to a being who is capable of anticipating the future, of having wants and desires for the future. … I think that it is generally a greater wrong to kill such a being than it is to kill a being that has no sense of existing over time. Newborn human babies have no sense of their own existence over time. So killing a newborn baby is never equivalent to killing a person, that is, a being who wants to go on living. That doesn’t mean that it is not almost always a terrible thing to do. It is, but that is because most infants are loved and cherished by their parents, and to kill an infant is usually to do a great wrong to its parents.” [1]

Singer actually admits that he believes an infant is not a person. Wow! Ironically, Singer, an advocate for infanticide and euthanasia, is the author of The Life You Can Save and founder of a nonprofit of the same name that is “devoted to spreading [his] ideas about why we should do more to improve the lives of people living in extreme poverty.”

Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania and the founding director of the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University, where Singer teaches, said on the occasion of the Center’s 25th anniversary: “The University Center has provoked not one or two, but thousands of students … to tackle important ethical questions, central to living a more examined life and creating a better society. … [It is] nothing less, to my mind, than the ideal collegial environment for doing this important work, unsurpassed anywhere in the world.” [2]

These statements represent the philosophies and so-called “ethics” of what is taught in our institutions of learning in our modern age. We have come a long way from what was published in Life magazine in 1965 and by Planned Parenthood in 1952. Even though many Christians are shocked by the moral decline these examples represent, few take the time to try and figure out how this happened and what we can do about it.

These are just a few of the many examples of the destructive consequences that result when the majority of children and youth receive a secular education. When God is removed from education, human life is not seen as being divinely created. Evolution becomes the only answer for explaining the origin of life. The result is that man becomes a mechanistic part of nature and has no value greater than any other part of the natural world. The sanctity of human life disappears from society, and a baby in a mother’s womb is simply seen as tissue that can be tossed in a trash can.

When I ask Christians why they keep sending their children to secular education programs, the most common answer I get goes something like this: “I attended public school. I survived, and I’m a good Christian.” When one considers examples like the ones above, I must again ask, have we survived secular education?


1. “FAQ,” Peter Singer, accessed May 12, 2017, http://www.petersinger.info/faq. 2. “About the Center,” Princeton University, accessed May 12, 2017, https://www.uchv.princeton.edu/about-the-center.

Volume 9 Issue 2 - The Renewanation Review