Bring Your Bible To School Day: Candy Cushman is on with us from Focus on The Family. In this episode, we are discussing what the “Bring Your Bible to School Day” is, the impact it’s having, and how big the movement is growing. Tune in now to learn more!

Air Date: 09/24/2019

Guest: Candy Cushman

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith and the Culture


Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we”€™re talking about today”€™s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture; always doing that from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.

We’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton, national speaker, pastor and president of WallBuilders, and my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas state legislator, national speaker, and author.

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Bring Your Bible to School Day

David, Tim, later in the program, Candi Cushman will be with us from Focus on the Family. Folks have probably”€”I”€™m thinking a lot of our listeners have seen at least something on Drew Brees and the pushback on this Bring Your Bible to School Day, which is going to happen here in just a week or two. But, Bring Your Bible to School Day–some people may not be familiar with the program at all.

In fact, I really wasn’t familiar with the program. I remember See You at the Pole was a big deal years ago. But, this one’s kind of new.

So, let’s talk about what this program’s for and maybe even how big it’s getting at this point.


Well, just the fact that it says “€œBring Your Bible to School,”€ certainly for a lot of Americans, that’s going to raise a big question mark. I mean, even if they don’t have hostility to religion they can say, “€œWait a minute. I don’t think you can’t bring your Bible school because it”€™s unconstitutional, Separation of Church and State.”€

And so, still, even those that don’t have a hatred or dislike for religion in public still probably have a question mark. So, just for fun, let’s just go back a little bit and in history. Let me give you three examples of–


I always get nervous when David says, “€œJust for fun,”€ Tim. I just know a test is coming for us.


But, you know it’s a historian when he says, “€œHey just for fun, let’s go back in history.”€ This isn’t like we’re entering a time machine, getting on a roller coaster ride, at sports game, or watching a movie. Nope.

“€œHey, guys, just for fun, let’s talk about dead people,”€ right?


Sorry, David, I couldn’t help it. I just knew a test was coming when you said that.


There really is. “€œLet’s talk about dead people,”€ that’s an interesting spin on this.


This is going to be so fun, guys.

Thomas Jefferson Did What on the School Board?


So, here’s a guy; we’ll talk about a guy who’s been dead almost two centuries. When this guy, Thomas Jefferson, was President of United States, under the Constitution, the federal government is also in charge of the city of Washington D.C. So, Thomas Jefferson, being president, was kind of like the mayor of the city.

Now, in the “€™60s, Congress actually said, “€œHey, D.C., you guys go ahead and have a mayor and city council to make your own policies. But, we get the final word and have veto power over anything you do.”€ So, there now self-rule in D.C.; but, it wasn’t that way back at the beginning.

See, when Jefferson is in D.C., he’s the first president to have a full term in Washington D.C. The city is that new. So, as he’s there, guess what.

He gets elected to the school board of Washington D.C. Can you imagine the president of the United States also being the president of the school board? And, I mentioned, imagine if Trump were also the president of the New York City school board.

I mean, that would be just almost unthinkable. But, that’s what Jefferson was. And, he did say, “€œWell, I’ve got another job; I am president.

“€œSo, let’s let Robert Brent. He can be the president of the school board. I’ll just be on it.”€ So, Jefferson is credited with coming up with the plan of education. And so, at the end of the first year of the brand new public schools in Washington D.C., he’s not the president of the school board but does come up with what they should do in schools. They released their official report.

The Official Report for the Brand New City of Washington D.C.

And, this is the official report for the brand new city of Washington D.C., for the first year of their public schools. It says, “€œFifty-five have learned to read in the Old and New Testaments, and all are able to spell words of three, four, and five syllables. Of the 59, out of the whole number enrolled, that did not know a single word, 20 can now read the Bible and spell words of three, four, and five syllables.”€

Now, hang on. You’re learning to read out of the Bible? So, we’re talking about first and second graders.

And, this is the plan of education that Jefferson authored. So, he’s on the school board. He’s not the president; but, he did author the plan of education.

And so, we get the Bible in schools through Jefferson? I thought that that’s a reason we couldn’t have the Bible in schools. Let me jump forward now, really about a generation after that.

Let’s go to a different state. Let’s go to Elizabethtown, New Jersey. This is the report from the public school board in Elizabethtown, New Jersey on how much progress they’ve made that year with first and second graders. Here’s their official report.

It says: “€œAll the scholars of the first and second classes regularly receive a lesson in Bible history. They commit to memory portions of the New Testament, Psalms, a lesson of the Catechism, several hymns, and the text of the preceding Sabbath.”€ In other words, whatever Bible verses the preacher used.

It says: “€œOne of them has proceeded in Bible history through the Old Testament and as far as the 12th chapter of Luke in the New Testament.”€ We’re talking first and second graders. And so, they have now–one of them has read through the Old Testament and is now up to Luke 12 in the New Testament.

“€œ”€¦has committed to memory the Book of John,”€ we’re talking first and second grader, “€œmemorized the book of John and the first 30 Psalms, together with Psalm 119. Another’s progressed in Bible history as far as Josiah. Several have recited to 2 Samuel; and, all have learned as far as the book of Numbers.”€

Now, we’re talking public schools, and we’re at first and second grade where they’re reading through the Bible. Look how far they’ve gotten. So, Bible in schools.

Pennsylvania, 1892: More Bibles at Schools

One more example: Pennsylvania, 1892. So, we’re now a century after Jefferson. And, this is the instruction for Pennsylvania schools.

It says: “€œLet the habit of committing to memory be formed early.”€ So, we want kids memorizing. “€œLet the selection for the week be, if possible, to a number: the first from the Bible or sacred song.

“€œAnd, the second from the world of literature: prose or verse. In other directions say,”€ and, here’s the examples they give, “€œSay, “€˜memorize the 90th Psalm and Lincoln’s speech at Gettysburg,”€™ or, “€˜memorize Lead, Kindly Light and Longfellow”€™s Psalm of Life,”€™ or, “€˜memorize the Psalm 23 and Lowell”€™s Once to Every Man or Nation,”€™ or, “€˜the Psalm 19 and Home Sweet Home,”€™ “€and on they go giving all these examples.

And, here’s what they say at the end: “€œAnd let the teacher always commit to memory what is here required of the pupil.”€ I love it. So, we’ve got Bibles at schools all over the place.

Schools Supplied Bibles.

Schools supplied Bibles; you learn to read out of the Bible. Young children memorized the Bible.

And, it changed in 1963. So, what we have today is not what was there from the beginning. What we have today, with the Bible out of schools and out of curriculum, is just since 1963.

I remember a case that we had in the “€™80s where the courts actually ruled that you could not even have a Bible in the library at a school, not just in the classroom.




It couldn’t even be on campus as a reference book. You couldn’t have had the Bible there.


Somebody might actually read it.


Well, that’s as bad as the Ten Commandments. That’s why they took the Ten Commandments out. Somebody might read the Ten Commandments and obey them.

You know, things like “€œDon’t kill,”€ and “€œDon’t steal.”€ We can’t have that.

Two of the Most Significant Things in History


Which is utterly ridiculous, thinking about the basis of all law in the Western Hemisphere. The Ten Commandments are the foundation. The most significant literary work ever done in the history of the world is the Bible.

And, we don’t want kids to know two of the most significant things in the history of humanity and the world? It does seem utterly ludicrous. Yet, this is just the kind of culture we”€™re battling today, even though historically, it hasn’t been that way

Constitutionally, you can’t make that argument. You have to take a Jefferson letter out of context that the U.S. Supreme Court quotes; but, there never was a law. This was not something for the Constitution.

So, historically, constitutionally, and even biblically–there’s nothing secular about education from the Bible. So, in every area we look at, from the Bible to history to the Constitution, this is something that we should be supporting here in America.


And, even with all the hostility today, strange as it may seem, it is absolutely fine today for students to have a Bible at school.

It”€™s Absolutely Fine For Students to Have Bibles at School


And, we largely encourage that. To every listener, we would say, “€œHey, if you go to public school, we actually might even have a different conversation with you because that might not be the best place. But, if you’re there, you can bring your Bible every day.”€

And, we would encourage you, “€œBring your Bible. But, don’t just bring it; actually spend time reading it. It’s a great thing.”€

But, this is something that very much is still allowed here in America.


And, because it is allowed is why Candi Cushman, who is with us from Focus on the Family, is helping everyone be aware of the fact that we’ve got this special day coming up where kids are encouraged to bring their Bible to school. It”€™s a great day to learn about.


Stay with us, folks. Candi Cushman when we return on WallBuilders Live!

Front Sight Handgun Training Course

Hey friends! Rick Green here, from WallBuilders Live! What do Dennis Prager, Larry Elder, Ben Shapiro, Rick Green, Tim Barton, David Barton – what do all these folks have in common other than the fact that they’re conservative commentators that defend the Constitution and educate America on the Constitution?

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And, you can go with us! We’re headed back out. We’re going to have a great time out there as the WallBuilders family and if you’re a supporter of WallBuilders, we have an amazing deal for you. It”€™s actually going to cost you 1/10th the normal price to attend this two day handgun training because you”€™re going with us. And, you”€™ll also get the Constitution crash course. I”€™ll be teaching on the Constitution, you”€™ll get the intellectual ammunition that you need to defend the Second Amendment and our Constitution. As well as getting the physical training on how to defend yourself and your family.

It’s For Everyone.

And, this is for everyone – guys, gals, everyone should take this class. No matter how much you”€™ve shot your whole life or if you”€™ve never touched a gun, learn how to defend your family. We”€™re going to be going several times throughout the year and we would love to have you be a part of that. Check it out at today to find out the dates, get all the specifics, and get all of your questions answered. Check out today to join us on this Front Sight trip for both your constitutional and handgun-defense training.

Welcome Candi Cushman


Welcome back. Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live! Candi Cushman is with us from Focus on the Family.

Candi, it”€™s good to have you on.

C. Cushman:

It’s wonderful to be with you. Thank you.


Hey, excited about your student-led Bring Your Bible to School Day and super excited about all the free press you’re getting right now because of Drew Brees being attacked by so many people. This is actually a good thing.

C. Cushman:

I do think of that Scripture that says: “€œWhat man meant for evil, God definitely uses for good.”€ Boy, we couldn’t have a better illustration of that than in this instance.

I think that the press from this has definitely gotten the word out more any way {we could have} or than any one of our promotional videos would have done. So, it”€™s really interesting to see that.


It’s incredible. And, I have to admit that that the positive response that I just had, I didn’t come up with myself, because I tend to initially go, “€œAll these people are so bad.”€ It was actually your colleague, Tim Goeglein was at our pastors”€™ briefing last week, mentioned it, and had that positive.

And, it was like, “€œAll right, Tim, that’s the right perspective. That”€™s the way we need to be acting.”€ So, this is really good to see.

The Pushback on Drew Brees Backfires
And, first of all, thanks to Drew Brees for having such a positive response and helping to get the word out there. Let’s just back up, because we may have some listeners have no idea what Bring Your Bible to School Day is all about. So, first, just tell us a little bit about the this program.
I think you started it, right? Focus on the Family.

C. Cushman:

Yeah. It’s just been really amazing to watch because I really feel like God has just taken this, gone forward with it, and inspired people across the nation in ways that I would have never predicted. So, that’s really just moved my heart personally.

But, what happened about four or five years ago, is we were just getting contacts from our families and students that are involved with us, seeing the news headlines, and they were saying to us, “€œWhen we do something like bring a Bible to school or have it on my desk, I’m being told things like, “€˜Is that a Bible because I don”€™t think that’s allowed. You need to put that away.”€

I personally talked to one student where they were all just walking through the hall with their Bible and the teacher said in them, “€œI don’t know if you should have that out; that needs to be in your locker.”€ And we know that is just not accurate or Constitutional.

Those are not the religious-freedom values that are that our Founding Fathers were willing to die for. And so, we were just looking for a fun, empowering way to really let kids across the nation know the Constitutional principles and freedoms that they have. We thought, “€œHow can we educate them on that in a fun way and just let them know they’re not alone, that they can express their faith?”€

The Cross and the Switchblade


That’s right. Candi, I have to get you to pause for just a second to let this sink in for our listeners. Think about that: that you would be told when someone sees your Bible, “€œYou better put that away; I don’t think you can have that here.”€

It”€™s like a totally–I remember the movie title. This is decades ago; I”€™m going to age myself here: The Cross and the Switchblade.

That movie was about Nicky Cruz. And, when you were describing that, I was thinking It’s almost like somebody took their Switchblade out and stuck it on the desk. Then, “€œHey put that up; you’re not supposed to have that at school.”€

But no. It was a Bible. They put their Bible on the desk, and everybody freaked out.

Anyway, I’m sorry. I just want us to realize. “€œContraband”€ is exactly right.

I just want us to realize how far we’ve gone in the culture where the Bible is considered like contraband at your school. And, we’re making not making this up; these are real people and kids in schools all over the country.

And, for that listener right now that’s thinking Oh yeah I’m sure this happening in California or Massachusetts but not in my backyard. Listen; I live in Dripping Springs, Texas, a little bitty town out in the country–used to be the country anyway. And, it happens in school districts just like mine in my hometown.

I guarantee you, listener, it’s happening in your hometown as well. I’m sorry, Candi, I just wanted to set that perspective for people so they understand why you guys responded with a national program. Go ahead.

An Empowering, Fun Program

C. Cushman:

Yeah. So, we just wanted something empowering, celebratory, and fun for students to celebrate religious freedom and that the Bible has hope for people. And, the student just really resonated with it. So, the first year that we did it in 2014, we had about 8,000 kids across the nation participating.

Then, it jumped in just a very short time to over half a million last year participating. So, this has just grown exponentially.


That’s great.

C. Cushman:

I think it’s because it’s something tangible and positive that they can do. It’s empowering to them. So, these students are taking the lead in organizing Bring Your Bible to School Day events in their school.

And, really, it’s just a visual celebration of religious freedom. Plus, it’s a way for them to just take their own personal Bible into the school and start free-speech conversations about what God has done in their life. Further, we are seeing more than half a million kids doing this across the country.

Thursday, October 3rd

So, this year it’s going to be on Thursday, October 3rd; that’s the big day. So, definitely mark your calendars for it.


Thursday, October 3rd.

C. Cushman:

Yes, Thursday, October 3rd. And, I love that day because churches can meet the night before to pray for their kids and talk to them about what they’re going to do. So, I just encourage families and churches meet and pray with your kids about this.

Then, on Thursday October 3rd, you are going to know that you’re not alone but more than half a million people are joining you. And, be sure to watch on social media for that “€œ#BringYourBible”€ because lots of kids will be posting their pictures with their Bible on that day, October 3rd.


I love it. I love it. October 3rd, okay.

And, if people just hear a snippet of this interview today and want to know more about this, where can they go on the Focus on the Family website, to find out more about how to promote this at their church or their school?


Yeah, it’s definitely important for you to get your voice counted in this so you can be part of this national movement. So, I encourage people to go right now to; that’s We have lots of resources for elementary kids, teens, parents, and pastors as well.

Also, when you sign up to join the movement, you will be automatically entered to win a trip to the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C. So, that’s also something fun that we’re doing just to encourage families across the nation.


Very cool, very cool. And, not only–when you say “€œfor their voice to be counted,”€ it’s important for us to be able to let people know how big this is getting so that other students are encouraged to do that. And, I want to ask one question.

This is obviously done; you guys know what you’re doing in a way where you’re coaching the students not to make this a disturbance thing at the school, right? So, it’s not a distraction from class or any of that. You’re doing it the right way so that we can defend it if anybody challenges them to do that.

And, I have to ask, Candi, has anybody complained about someone bringing a Koran or bringing a Richard Dawkins book and carrying it around school? None of that’s happened; it’s only when it’s the Bible that’s being carried around.

The Interesting Thing


Yeah, well the interesting thing is, an event like this doesn’t create any new right. This right is already there for students to be able to talk about their personal religious beliefs or share information from a religious perspective as a private person. And, we just believe in this idea that in a free marketplace of ideas, the truth will rise to the surface when it’s allowed to be heard.

I mean, that’s the whole principle that America is founded upon. And really, our schools should be models of that idea of the free marketplace of ideas. So, that’s really the heart behind it.


That”€™s good.


And, when we do get questions like, “€œOh, what about the Koran?”€ You know, that’s how we explain that: this is not creating any new right that hasn’t already been there from the beginning.


Yes, and I like the way you say that too: that “€œfree market of ideas.”€ That’s exactly what it should be in, of all places, certainly at schools. So, the website again is


That’s right: RICK:

RICK: Okay, students out there listening, this is a great opportunity for you to be an organizer on this and an example at your local school. Churches that want to promote it to their youth groups and to the young people in their community, be sure to go to that website today.

Candi, we’re excited about it. It will be October 3rd. So, folks, make sure you’re planning ahead and getting ready.

It”€™s coming up quickly. Ya’ll keep up the great work at Focus on the Family.


Thank you.


Stay with us folks. Be right back with David and Tim Barton.

Biographical Sketches 

Hi friends! This is Tim Barton of WallBuilders.This is a time when most Americans don’t know much about American history or even heroes of the faith. I know, oftentimes as parents, we”€™re trying to find good content for our kids to read.

If you remember back in the Bible, the Book of Hebrews it has the Faith Hall of Fame, where they outlined the leaders of faith that had gone before them. Well, this is something that as Americans we really want to go back and outline some of these heroes not just of American history, but heroes of Christianity and our faith as well.

I wanted to let about some biographical sketches we have available on our website. One is called, “€œThe Courageous Leaders Collection“€ and this collection includes people like Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Francis Scott Key, George Washington Carver, Susanna Wesley, even the Wright brothers.

There’s a second collection called, “€œHeroes of History“€ in this collection you read about people like Benjamin Franklin, Christopher Columbus, Daniel Boone, George Washington, Harriet Tubman, the list goes on and on.

This is a great collection for your young person to have and read. And, it’s a providential view of American and Christian history. This is available at

Empowering Students


Thanks for staying with us. And, thanks to Candi Cushman for joining us from Focus on the Family. We”€™ll have links today, so you can learn more about Bring Your Bible to School Day, which is coming up less than two weeks, guys. We’re back with David and Tim Barton.


October the 3rd is the day for this year; so, it is coming up pretty quick.

And, I love what she said, “€œThis is something tangible the students can do.”€ It’s empowering for them and lets them start personal conversations on what God has done in their life.

Plus, we’re told in Revelation, specifically, that one of the ways you overcome the world is by your testimony. That’s one of the three things that God gives us to help us overcome the bad stuff. So, sharing your testimony, your story, telling what God has done with you is a great way to start conversations and to strengthen your own faith.


What were your thoughts on, first of all, Drew Brees? As a popular quarterback from Austin, Texas of all places, him even speaking out–he made a positive statement. But, it wasn’t like he was pushing this on anybody at all.

And, man, they came out of the woodwork just to attack him on it. And, he did backpedal a little bit, I think, in the way he responded. But, it was still an endorsement.

He just was saying, “€œLook, I’m not discriminating against anybody.”€ He went through kind of a detailed statement. But, man, you can’t even support kids bringing their Bible school.

Revealing the Left”€™s Intolerance


It does reveal how intolerant the left is to attack a guy like Drew Brees. Of all the people out there you could attack, Drew Brees is not a bad guy. He is somebody who, from all outward appearances, is a very honorable guy.

And even, Rick, as you’re mentioning, after the attacks he did take a step back a little bit. I think because the political pressure, he did not have the same kind of statement that one of us would have; but, even in his statement he said, “€œLook; my creed of life is to love God and love people. And, I try to do that for everybody.”€

And so, he did espouse still, the Christian view and the Christian belief. But, knowing this is probably not the politically expedient thing for him to do because in his day job, he is a quarterback. But, the idea that you’re going to attack Drew Brees as someone who is a bad guy, or the idea that he can’t support an organization like Focus on the Family because they have said things that don’t line up with the current politically-correct movement–Focus on the Family has been promoting family longer than any of these leftists have.

And so, if you’re going to talk about somebody who is doing good things, Focus on the Family has been one of the best organizations for supporting, defending, promoting family values, and even what is beneficial for kids. So, that the whole thing does just stink of the hypocrisy of people that claim to be tolerant, but if you disagree with them: “€œI will crush you.”€

Utter Nonsense

That’s not how tolerance works. But, when you control so much of the media outlets, the verbiage, what words mean, then you can control the conversation. And, this is really what you see so often from political opposition or people on the left: it”€™s not as much about upholding a belief that is an objective standard and doesn’t change. It’s really about whatever we feel, want, or think.

And, If you don’t support what we feel in that moment, we will crush you, because for many it on the left, they didn’t always hold these positions ten years ago. But now, they’ve evolved. And so, for them, their reality is changing, which means truth has changed.

But again, it’s just If you don’t agree with us we want to crush you. That’s not what tolerance means or how it works. But, this is what’s happening.

To attack a guy like Drew Brees is utter nonsense. But, beyond all of that, it was amazing to have a guy like Drew Brees stand up and encourage kids in their faith and say, “€œHey, take your Bible to school. This is a great thing to do.”€

I Am Second

And, he’s just one of many guys in the NFL who have that worldview and belief system. There are a lot of great Christians. And, one of the cool places you can see some of these testimonies is I Am Second.

It has a lot of these NFL quarterbacks, wide receivers, tight ends, or whatever position. Many famous athletes are there promoting their faith. But, to have a guy encouraging kids take their Bible to school, is a really cool thing to do.


And, it’s not only amazing to have somebody of that caliber do it. But, it’s amazing that Candi told us half a million kids did this last year. That is a massive movement that’s good news all by itself.

So, we really do encourage kids to take their Bible to school. WallBuilders stands with Focus on this. This is a great thing and a great opportunity on October the 3rd this year.

You Can Take Action!


We’ll have links today at WallBuilders to make it easy for you to find out more about Bring Your Bible to School Day. We appreciate you listening today. Thank you so much to Candi Cushman and the folks at Focus on the Family for the great work that they do there.

You know, it’s just great to have programs that give you action items, where we don’t just talk about things and theorize about them, but we actually give you things you can do in your community that will make a difference. And, this is one of those where you can take an action step, especially those of you that are listening that are in high school or going to school on October 3rd, where you can actually take your Bible and be a part of this program.

Bring Your Bible To School Day – WallBuilders Live!

There are so many other action items that you can be a part of. If you’ll visit and, you’ll find a lot of great ways to be engaged. We encourage you to become a Constitution Coach in your community, start hosting the Constitutional Alive! class in your home, church, or your community cente.

Wherever you’d like to do that, we have Constitution coaches all over the nation now, hosting these classes. And, it’s helping to build a stronger foundation and give people the truth that they need to be the catalyst in their community to restore our Constitutional Republic.

There are lots of other things you can do; but, I would ask you to consider going to today and make a donation of whatever amount is possible for you to support this program. We greatly appreciate that; it goes a long way to allow us to spread the good news and to help restore America’s Constitution.

Thank you so much for listening. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live!