Christians must take a stand against restrictionsPublished 9:42pm Friday, November 25, 2011
I can vaguely remember grammar school — dinosaurs roamed the earth in those days! But I do remember our teachers reading the Bible and praying with us to begin the school day. And in high school we had a rotational system through which numbers of us would open the day with prayer on the school intercom system.
It seems like things were tamer in those days. Major offenses included talking and gum-chewing. I remember only one episode of violence, and it was on the football field. Our quick-thinking band director, Mr. Sizemore, had us quickly find the music and play the “National Anthem” which seemed to calm down the melee.
It’s a different world today with rampant violence, metal detectors and police officers roaming the halls of many schools. Is one reason because we don’t have Bible reading and prayer?
I understand the arguments about not forcing students to participate in something they don’t adhere to–none of us want that–but how many real protestors are there? Bill O’Reilly in his book, “Culture Warrior,” cited one poll that found only three percent of Americans were offended by a “Merry Christmas” greeting. So we have a “war on Christmas” because a few folks are offended?
And even if there are students who object to prayer, there is the option of leaving the room or classes having a moment of silence instead.
But now another sad thing has occurred.
According to “Focus on the Family,” Amber Mangum, a seventh grade student, silently read “Harry Potter” and other tales during her lunch hour with no objection from school authorities. That was until Amber, a new Christian, started to read her Bible on her free time and Vice Principal Jeanetta Rainey told her that reading the Bible violated school policy and she would face discipline if she continued to do so!
Amber’s family contacted the Rutherford Institute and has filed a lawsuit.
Hard to imagine that a student in America today must sue in order to read the Bible during free time at school!
The Bible certainly offers better counsel than many students hear from rock musicians on their iPods.
I think Christians must take a stand against outrageous restrictions on the free exercise of religion. But it’s also true that we must make living authentic Christian lives paramount. The impact of a life committed to Christ cannot be underestimated. This is our finest witness to others and, so far, there are no laws against living a life of kindness and service. Even Ebenezer Scrooge was changed through the power of Christian love.