The History Of Education In Our Culture – With Pastor Mark Cowart – Knowing the history of education in our culture is important for understanding how it should be today. When did the State become involved in the education of our children? What is the purpose of education? How is the government overstepping its bounds? Tune in to learn the answers to these questions and more with Pastor Mark Cowart.

Air Date: 11/29/2021

Guest: Pastor Mark Cowart

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.



Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live, we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, always looking at them from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.

You can find out more about our program at, where you can get archives of the program for the last few weeks and months. You can also make a contribution there. If you want this truth in as many hands as possible, and help us restore America’s constitutional republic then make that donation today at, you can do one-time or monthly. And I know a lot of you’re doing that. Thank you so much, all of you, across the country that have been donating.

My name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach. And I have the honor of being here with David and Tim Barton. David is America’s premier historian, he’s the founder here at WallBuilders. Tim Burton’s a national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. And again, all three of us right here at We’ve got a great interview later with Pastor Mark Cowart. And guys talk about biblical and constitutional, historical, talking about what’s going on in the culture. Education, of course, is a topic we cover a lot on this program and probably need to be covering a lot more because a lot of people are talking about it now.


Education is a really big thing. I’ve got a question for you guys. Why did the state ever get involved in education in the first place? Now the original model is you educate at home because Adam and Eve educated their kids, and Abraham educated his kids. That’s why God made a covenant with Abraham because the Bible says that he knew Abraham would teach his children after him. So why and when did the state get involved in education of children?


I’m not sure I can tell you the when. I know a lot of the state constitutions, especially Texas, that the why is to have an informed citizenry. So they learn civics, then they’ll be able to be good citizens and vote as the main reason for educating them in the Constitution anyway. But I’m not sure about the when, and whether or not that was broader at the time it was put into the Constitution.


Well, and I’ll even say, dad, when looking at the when, I think it’s interesting if we’re talking about America or over in Europe. Because in America, we know, I mean we talked about one of the very first education laws in America was 1647, known as the Old Deluder Satan Act. And this was where it was a requirement, government-required students actually had to go to school, they had to be trained, they had to get an education. And actually, in the law, it lays out why, and we’ve highlighted this many times, a lot of great context from this in the Old Deluder Satan Act. But they noted that the devil’s primary objective was to keep young people, or maybe people in general, was to keep people from knowing the Word of God. And they said, people, can’t read and know the word of God, just like we’d seen over in Europe and these dark ages. And so we want to make sure here in the new world, our kids can read, they can know the Bible.

We’ve highlighted that in America, that was the very first education law that was passed, it was passed by kind of the Puritan group up in the New England states. And so as far as the when, it makes a difference on where we’re referring to if it’s Europe or America, but I think in America, we probably could point to that as one of the first education laws in America.


Yeah, so essentially, that’s it America is very different from Europe. And because we were a free nation, not under a king, and we were self-governing, we assume that you would need self-governing individuals who were educated and informed in order to hold their leaders accountable, and preserve their freedoms. So from the very beginning, we knew that illiteracy is a really bad thing, we’ve seen it in Europe. And that’s why, Tim, as you mentioned, that first law was about reading the Bible, knowing what our rights are, being able to defend those.

So from the very beginning, we knew that you had to have an educated literate people. Rick, as you mentioned, the Texas Constitution is very clear on why we have education, most state constitutions are. And so it was in order to succeed, what skills are needed? And we said, well, you need reading and writing. you need language, you need communication, and you’re going to need some math and science and civics and operation government knowledge, and etc. Because in other things, you have to have an income and to have an income, you can’t be a free people if you can’t create an income. If you’re all dependent on government, that’s a real problem. So what do you have to know to be able to be free, and that’s where they came up with these other subjects.

So this is what we have called traditional education. And this is to equip you for getting a job, being able to contribute to the success of your community and the nation, and also being informed and educated about government so that you can know what the principles of liberty are and protect them, and then being able to read and write and communicate so that you can defend those principles, you cannot be led astray by what happens to the government. So that’s the underlying purpose of government.

Now, for whatever reason, in the last few years, we’ve started saying, well, you know, what, government can survive if you’re not doing LGBTQ stuff. Really? Why is that necessary for the survival of government on first principles?


And spending a ton of time on global warming, get that in there too.


That’s right, climate change gender, everything else. And so it’s very interesting as we have seen all across the nation now parents starting to rise up and take back the education of their children. Now, it’s interesting that when you look at what’s going on with this, there’s always a philosophy that said in local parentheses, which is Latin for in place of parents.

And so schools always looked at themselves as being in the status of the parents. In other words, they would step in to take the parent’s role for 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 hours a day, I’m just going to do exactly what your parents would have done. And therefore, we had the same set of morality that we were teaching home the same place. We didn’t try to contradict any of that. But we also added reading and writing, and those kinds of subjects. So that was in local parenthesis.

And then we also had the philosophy that was articulated even up to Supreme Court decisions in this generation that said that it’s the right a parent’s direct education and upbringing of their children, so it’s parents in charge of children’s education, not schools. Somehow, now the institution has become above the parents, they contradict the parents, they undermine the parents, they go against the parents.

This goes back to Woodrow Wilson, where Woodrow Wilson said the purpose of the university is to make a son as much unlike his father as he possibly can be. And this is now what education is taking on. And it’s just now that parents are starting to wake up to this and say, you’re teaching my kid what, you did want to my kid? And so now we’re seeing parents stand up and start to say, we want education back. We don’t like where this is headed. We want a free nation, which requires an educated citizenry. And what you’re doing is indoctrinating them.

So what I did was, as this thing has really taken off in the last 6-8 months, I’ve just gone back through some collected some recent headlines of things that this is what’s sitting parents are off. So let me read some of these headlines because we’re going to take one of these little bit and ask our guest about it. But let me just take headlines on parents in general. And the headline says here “Keeping Secrets from Parents”. And here’s the headline, “Keeping Dossiers on Parents Who Oppose Controversial Policies”. So in other words, a school board said, hey, we’re hearing parents speak out about we’re teaching, we’re going to collect dossiers on them.

And so what happened, on the parents, they started finding their social security numbers, their email addresses, their license plate numbers, they’re getting pictures and photos of the parents and their children. They’re doing background checks on the parents. They’re checking for divorce proceedings. They’re reading their social media accounts are getting parents address. This is what school officials are doing to parents who are saying we don’t like the direction you’re headed with our kids. So they’re treating it like an enemies list like you would see in some third-world nation.

Here’s a headline “Schools are Keeping Secrets from Parents and trying to divide the Parents from the Children”. Examples, here’s a headline “Students are being given COVID Shots without their Parents’ Permission”. Here’s one “Middle School help Student Change Gender without letting the Parents Know, and then Keeps the Forms Secret from the Parents”. Here’s another headline, “Contraceptives for Elementary Students and Birth Control Implants for High School Students without Parents Knowledge.”

Now imagine giving birth control pills to 10, and 11, and 12-year-olds, and the parents don’t know or having a junior high or high school get IUD implants and the parents don’t know. Here’s another one, “Help Students Attain Abortion without Parental Consent”. I love this one, “School files a Lawsuit”. Some parents went and wanted to know what the schools were teaching and doing and who they were paying. And so under a Freedom of Information Act, they obtained that information. And then the school filed lawsuit against the parents to keep them from using that freedom of information. I mean, they’re doing all this stuff in secret. That’s not good stuff.

And then when it comes to like headlines of what’s going on, here’s a headline, “A Leaked Audio Reveals how Teachers Recruit Kids into LGBTQ Clubs”. So we’re sending our kids to school to be recruited by teachers and by the way, every one of these things I’m going to mention topically is something that is definitely countercultural. Overwhelmingly in polling, most parents do not agree with this, but now you’re sending your kids in the school so that teachers can recruit them and LGBTQ clubs.

Here’s one, “Elementary Grade Schoolers going on a Field Trip to a Gay Bar”. And how does that help prepare you for success and income and a good citizen? Here’s one on gender, “High School Football Player is suspended from a Football Game by the School for saying that there are only Two Genders”. So we’re disciplining those who believe there’s only two genders. Here’s another headline. “K-5th Grade Students being taught Transgenderism and to not use Gender Pronouns”. Then we’ve seen the articles on the transgender assaults that occur and that was part of the news and what happened with Fairfax Loudoun County Schools and stuff that happen there.

Here’s one. “High School Boys give Lap Dances to faculty in a Homecoming Event”. Here’s now the headlines. “Parents Read Aloud to School Board what Students Read, and they’re hauled out of the Meeting”. So we had the school board try to arrest parents for saying vulgar things in the school board meeting, and all the parents were doing was reading what was being in the school, is what was in the libraries, what was in the textbooks, etc.

Love this one, “A Mayor goes to a rest of School Board”. He went to a judge and took textbooks from the school and said to the Judge, what do you think about these books, and Judge says that violates law. That is pedophilia. That is child porn. That’s what gets into sex trafficking. The mayor went to the school board and said, these are the books out of your school, you can either resign or I’m going to have you arrested. This is what’s going on in our schools. And then you add the CRT and the 1619…


Now, let’s wait for season too, that was a good scenario because you’re highlighting all the bad things. That was good the mayor said I’m going to you all the restroom. It was bad that the teachers were having these books in their school. That is crazy. And this is not a unique thing. This is not like one school district in America that has these books in their school. There’re actually are different libraries and associations. There’s different teachers associations that have a standard list of basic educational guides and books and curriculum that’s recommended to all school districts in the US.

So these were things if you’re listening and thinking man, some of those school districts are crazy, it’s not that there are specific just on only specific crazy school districts, is that most school districts in the US have embraced this craziness. And only in the last really months or year or so have parents started getting involved to expose some of these levels of crazy. But this is a level of crazy happening all around us. And it’s probably worth asking the question where have parents, where have churches, where have some of these leaders been for so long that allowed it to get to this place?

But instead of looking back and just criticizing the people who weren’t involved, we can look forward and say okay, so how do we solve these problems now? What direction do we go now? And that’s actually something that Pastor Mark, Cowart, one of our good friends, a pastor up in Colorado Springs, he’s probably someone that can offer some insight into how do we solve this problem, and what can people do to get involved, maybe even how bad is this problem, he’ll probably have some stories too. But he’s someone it’ll be a great guest for us to interview coming up on the program.


Pastor Mark Cowart, our special guest today, stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.


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Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us today. Hey, we’re excited today to have Pastor Mark Cowardt with us from Church For All Nations. And by the way,, go check it out. And we’re just blessed to have you, Pastor Mark. God bless you for what you do. And thanks for locking shields with us in so many other areas. I know you guys do some of our WallBuilders stuff, and you and David go way back. But anyway, it’s just great to have you on WallBuilders Live.


Oh, Rick, it’s so good to be with you. And we appreciate you and David, of course, and all that you guys are doing.


There’s so many cultural battles happening at the same time. Sometimes it feels like whack a mole, you know, you tried to figure out where am I supposed to fight today, where do I stand up for God’s principles and education seems to be this year with all the mama bears coming out at the school board meetings. I just love it. People are getting engaged, saying we’re tired of the indoctrination and the things that are happening. But one of these really stood out to us. And David said, man, let’s get Mark on see what he thinks about this.

And this was an actual school, they took the kids on a field trip to a gay bar. I mean, these are kids and they took them on a field trip to the gay bar… I mean, how far does that tell you we’ve slipped and fallen in terms of what our schools are doing and what they’re teaching our kids?


Rick, I tell you some of this stuff, you know, the old saying you can’t make this up, I grew up in West Texas, and that was an era where it’s pretty good-sized little Texas town, well, not really that big, but I mean, they would take you down to the office. If you get out of line, they had a paddleboard. And today we’ve digressed so much.

But to think that without parents knowing about this, taking them to a gay bar is unthinkable. And I know there’s some people that it almost because it goes so far beyond the pale, at first it’s just kind of numbing, like did this really happen?


Yeah, they think we’re exaggerating.


Exactly. And the only definition, because we’re dealing with some things in the state of Colorado here that people go, how does that happen, and how can that happen? So really, we have to understand there is a spiritual element to this where, of course, the Scripture says the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving. And the way that I define darkness is the absence of light.

Now, when I was growing up in West Texas in a fairly large public school, Rick, every day, we read from the Scripture, the Gideons came in at least once a year and gave us all New Testaments. I still have mine from 1965. So we read from the scriptures, we pledged allegiance to the flag, and we prayed. Okay. And then, of course, 1963 is when everything started, and then we expelled God from public schools.

So in one sense, it’s difficult to wrap our minds around. But when we look at it another way, when you turn the light out in a room, darkness is the default, it just happens. And it’s really the only way that you can describe this, just as some of the library materials that are available to children now, young children in grade school, that are pornographic, LGBT with just things that we can’t even wrap our minds around. Because some of this stuff, Rick, you just really can’t wrap your natural mind around it. The only way you can describe it is just a darkness to sit in on our nation because we kicked God out of our public schools. There’s no light in them anymore.


Yeah. And it gets so bad. We don’t show any shame. I forget where that verse is, it talks about they don’t even blush right. And that’s essentially how bad it’s gotten at this point.


And, of course, the apostle Paul, he was writing to Timothy, and he said there’s coming some things in the last days where if you loved that, which was good, you would be hated, you would be despised. And it’s almost like all decency has been evacuated out of the schools. And if you just admit that you believe in traditional marriage, you painted a big target on your back.

You know, Rick, we had a situation up here, we have a culture impact team in our church, and the Lord’s really blessed that. So we have a retired school teacher, and she went out and got the books that are available to children in grade school. And we had to put it in a separate room because we didn’t want it out for four year. But we said if anybody’s interested go by and look what is available in the libraries to check out your children.

And I tell you, it was reprehensible, Rick, and literally, there was pedophilia in these books. And I told the church just last Sunday, I said, you know, you can be arrested for some of these materials if they find it on your computers, and yet we’re making it available in our public school library. And so there’s only one answer to this, Rick, I believe, and it’s we’ve got to let our light shine. And there is a mama bear movement, I guess, this is what they’re calling it. And the moms are saying, hey, these are my children, and these children are having access to this. And it’s just egregious what has happened. School boards, however, are being challenged by parents rising up, and there’s a movement across this country right now.


Which really is what you’re saying with regard to the light, I mean, it’s if we recede, and we kind of just sit back and say, somebody else will do it, or I don’t know how to get engaged or whatever excuse we use, well, literally, it’s the old hiding our light under a bushel thing. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, you got all these parents that are now showing up. And by speaking out by questioning these things in the schools, they are literally shining the light, you’re talking about, they’re influenced in the culture in a positive way.


Exactly. And you know, one thing, Rick, that’s going on at our church, Church For All Nations, I’ve just really gotten a fire in me for the men of the congregation. And recently, we have what’s called a monthly ‘Friday Night Locker Room’, and the men show up, and I’m actually going to speak at it again this coming ‘Locker Room’ meeting that we’re having. 

And I’m actually encouraging the men to go to the school board meetings, and not everybody has to speak and say something. They just need to show up because A, they need to hear what’s going on in the school board meetings, and number two, those school boards need to look into the eyes of the moms and the dads and be reminded that those are our children, it’s our tax dollars doing this, and they don’t have the right to tell us to just go away, that they need to have accountability. And Rick, half the battle is showing up, just showing up. And that’s happening all over the country right now.


No, you nailed it. I mean, that’s the intimidation factor where people think they don’t know what to do, or can you really have an impact and all that. That’s part of what we got to get people past because you nailed it. I mean, if half the battle is just getting there, showing up and backing other people, and what people will be surprised with is if you raise the banner right now, people will rally in your community. They’re just kind of waiting on somebody else to stand up. And so if you’ll stand for truth, then others are waiting to come alongside you. And we’re seeing that happening. I mean, community after community, state after state, blue state, red state, it doesn’t matter, I mean, it’s happening all over the nation. I know you’re seeing the same thing.


It is. And you know, I’ve said this many times, fear is contagious, but so it’s faith. That’s why we want to encourage everybody to begin to just speak up and realize… You know, the Lord said that we are the salt of the earth in the light of the world. And so we know that in the time of Jesus salt was a very valuable commodity. And it was something that preserved, that disinfected, because they didn’t have the freezers like we do or refrigeration. But Jesus said, if the salt loses it savor, its pungency, it’s good for nothing but to be thrown out under the feet of men. And we’ve seen that happen. We’ve just been trampled on.

But the other thing, he said, you’re the light of the world. And so as we let our light shine because he said, let your light shine, we have to let it shine. And the thing I always say, light always overtakes darkness. And so we have to realize we’re not fighting for victory, we’re fighting from a position of victory. We have the upper hand and the advantage because we are salt, and we are light.

And I want to encourage parents and people everywhere, grandparents, show up, just be there and let your light shine. And oftentimes, you know, only a certain amount of people can speak anyway. But if they just see us and hear from us, it’s amazing what will happen. And we’re seeing it all over the country right now.


Amen. Amen. Such a good word. So encouraging because we start with this awful headline and these things that are happening, that are so bad. But exactly what you just said, if we bring that light in, we can bring that truth, we can make that change in our culture, people got to have courage. And just as that faith is contagious, courage is contagious. Time for us to stand up. is the website. Pastor Mark, God bless you. Thanks for coming on and joining us today.


Thank you, Rick, always good to be with you.


Thanks to Pastor Mark Cowart for joining us. Back with David and Tim. Now, guys, I mean, this is not a time for the church to sit on the sideline and say, well, my kids homeschool or we go to private schools, so I don’t care what happens in the public school. This is a time to show up and let our voice be heard.


Man, if you are that selfish that my kids are in private school, I don’t care what happens to your kids, that’s not part of the Christian faith is to be selfish. You’re to see other people and go meet their needs. That’s what the story the Good Samaritan is all about. If my kids are in a private school or homeschool, and they’re getting good teaching, great, but I’m going to go help your kids not be damaged, not be hurt by this. And so parents who are homeschoolers, or Christian schoolers who are not involved in helping ensure good education throughout the rest of the nation, that’s a little on the selfish side. But you’re going to pay for that because those kids in public schools are going to become your leaders and will be ruling you.


Yeah, I would say that’s just the selfish thought and say no, like, if you want to be selfish, recognize that if you don’t get involved, those are your leaders in the future. So for your own self-interest, and self-interest is not always a selfish thoughts, right, it’s something that in self-interest, we’re told in the scripture look out not only for your own interest but also within serve others. It doesn’t say don’t care about your own interest. No. You have to be able to survive and eat and have a place to sleep. Your self-interest does matter on many levels. Well, so does the interest of your kids and your grandkids and your friends and their kids and grandkids.

This is something that we have to get involved in the process for the future of the nation and certainly for the souls of these kids who are being fed this garbage that there is no moral truth. It’s all moral relativism. There is no God and it’s what you want and how you think and how you feel. You know, the Bible talks about a time when people reject truth and they go to whatever tickles their ear, and it actually talks about what will happen when the end is judgment, their god is their belly. There’s a lot of places in Scripture that gives guidance, and none of these are a good scenario or a good outcome. We have to make sure we recognize the issues and we get involved in this.

And I love that Pastor Mark, it almost seems on some level that like you shouldn’t be taking dirty books into a church except that because as he pointed out that darkness is the absence of light, we want to expose light on this. And so that I have a special room to put these books at that age, so you know if you want to see what books are in the school where your kids go here in the school district, you can go look at these books.

That’s something that I think for if every school district had these books on display, most parents would be appalled at what is in the books. It’s just they don’t know. Unfortunately, as Mark Cowart said, they had this culture impact team, and so there were people who were getting involved in the process, and they went to look to see what was there. Right now, for everybody listening, you should know that there’s been enough exposure to some of these problems. You should know that there are a lot of problems in school district.

This is not to say, again, I know we have a lot of good people listening to us that are part of the public school program. I’m not saying that there’s not good teachers or good administrators or good principles out there. But we are acknowledging that a lot of the system itself is very broken and we need to make sure we are working to preserve our kids and stop this embracing of evil as much as possible. And part of how we do that is parents get involved in sometimes just showing up and asking, hey, what curriculum are we using, what’s in the library, what are the schoolbooks? If you live in that school district and you pay taxes, you have a standing whether or not you have kids in that school district or not. You could be retired. You could be a grandparent with no kids. You could be a homeschool parent. You don’t have to have kids in the school district. If you live in the district and you’re taxpaying citizen you have standing. Maybe you just need to show up and that would make a difference. But we have to get involved in this process. And we’re grateful to Mark for taking time to fill us in on some of what’s going on.


And we’re thankful for you listening today. Thanks for being a part of our program and listening to WallBuilders Live.