The origin of the war against Christianity in the United States can be traced back to the early days of the public school movement when Unitarians, Owenite socialists and atheists, and Hegelian pantheists vehemently rejected the God-centered worldview of the Founding Fathers and sought to secularize education and substitute salvation through scientific education than by salvation through Christ.

However, it wasn’t until the turn of the last century and the rise of the progressive education movement that the war in America took on the militancy which characterizes it today. The progressives were, for the most part, members of the Protestant academic elite who no longer believed in the religion of their fathers and transferred their faith to science, evolution, and psychology.

The scientific method provided the means to acquire unlimited knowledge of the material world, evolution explained the origin of life and man, and psychology provided the scientific means of studying man’s nature and controlling his behavior. There was no need for supernatural religion in the progressive scheme of things.

Early in the 20th century, the progressives embarked on a messianic mission to change America from a capitalist, individualistic, and believing society into a socialist, collectivist, atheist or humanist society. They were motivated by the need not only to prove the nonexistence and/or irrelevance of God, but to deal with the age-old problem of evil: what caused it and how it could be eliminated.

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