Claim: Biblical Teaching Cut Las Vegas Crime (Video)

Christian historian David Barton said in February that crime in Las Vegas had dropped by 75 percent because of the "reintroduction of biblical teachings" through the police department and local churches (video below).

According to RightWingWatch.org, Barton made his comments during an interview on "The Patriot and The Preacher" radio show.

Barton began the segment by saying that the U.S. Supreme Court had banned "voluntary prayer," "silent prayer" and "voluntary Bible reading" in public schools, but voluntary, silent prayer and voluntary Bible reading by students have always been allowed.

State-sponsored prayer and public school-sponsored religious activities were banned by the high court in 1962 and 1963.

Barton went on to say that "religious education is averaging two to four grade levels higher of academic scores" than secular education, and added:

"There appears to be a God factor in this thing, and we were able to document actually 47 categories of government-kept statistics that plummeted at that point in time when we told God to take a hike. Apparently He did and it hasn't worked out too well for us since then.

"But when God is reintroduced back into policy, for example, in Las Vegas, the churches there worked with the police department to teach morals in the city, the violent crime rate has gone down 75 percent in Las Vegas by the reintroduction of Biblical teachings back in the city through the police department and the churches."

It's not clear where Barton got his statistics, but one Las Vegas neighborhood, Sierre Oeste -- about 0.03 square miles -- did see a drop in violent crime by more than 75 percent, Police Capt. Chris Tomaino told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2014.

Some of reasons given for the drop in crime were security cameras, bright LED streetlights, outreach to the community and adults who are willing to report crimes, all of which were parts of an initiative by Las Vegas police, community groups and faith groups.

Police did not mention that Biblical teachings had been reintroduced to the area.

Sources: RightWingWatch.org, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Wikipedia / Photo credit: Nmadhubala via Wikimedia Commons

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