When I was in high school I read the Bible during my home room time, often in the library. I talked about God with people in the hallways. I posted a flyer above my locker inviting people to an after school Bible study we had at someone’s house. I also invited people to the FCA meeting and our once a week Bible study before school. When the bell rang each day a group of us would pray for the day. I took a lot of abuse for this from my peers. Many people claimed that this was illegal and that we had no right to meet on school property for religious purposes. They were wrong because we have a Constitution that guarantees free speech and freedom of religion. The public forum is not exempt from that.
With each passing year it seems that more and more of the Christian faith is under attack. Schools have long made every effort to eliminate any bit of Jesus Christ that they could because Jesus is apparently too “offensive.” Yet, there are teachers promoting new age spirituality in classrooms in the local high school. The same students who might want to pray in school are not allowed to while at the same time being forced to mediate or “open their souls to the sky.” Does this make sense?
But, that is not even my point. My entire argument is not based on a couple of teachers who maybe need some more time in reality. My concern is simply that so many people have bought into the notion of “separation of church and state” that they just don’t even know what the law actually says. I then have students coming to me saying that they can’t bring their Bible to school, or pray with others at school, when they actually can. Just because schools or other students are bullying students away from doing these things, doesn’t mean they can’t do them legally.
There is a battle going on in Texas right now regarding the use of Bible verses being used on banners for football games. (story) Evidently this offended some unidentified person who complained to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which is incidentally not even based in Texas. I have written about them before as it related to a cross on a memorial. I have a problem with this from the beginning because the person with the complaint wouldn’t even come forward and own their position. If you have a problem then at least be willing to own it. But, even so, they now have a legal fight on their hands because of the school’s apparent “promotion of religion.”
Let’s consider this for a minute. According to what I have read here, this was not a school mandate. In fact, it was completely student initiated and led. If the cheerleaders did not want to do this, they would have corporately rejected it. If there is someone who doesn’t believe in God on that football team, would they be offended by the encouraging banners being created for them? I doubt it. Furthermore, the verses I saw were not related to any hot button issue of politics and certainly didn’t poke at any group of people. Why pick a fight?
It would seem like some people just can’t tolerate anything to do with God. To write a Bible verse on something that others might read is seen as a horrible injustice. Yet, many schools are going out of their way to promote tolerance on a myriad of issues. It just doesn’t make sense.
To provide some context, though, Jesus did warn us about this.
“No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.” – John 16:20-21
I am very proud of this group of teenagers for their willingness to shine the light of Jesus Christ in that context. I think the Freedom From Religion Foundation should stop trying to remove religion and allow freedom of religion to prosper, as intended in the Constitution. They are promoting their own humanist religion anyway and wanting to do that freely. Above all, when teenagers willingly stand up for what they believe it, it should be applauded, not taken to court.