Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Putting God back in...


Two things sparked this particular rant. The first was a meme that had a student writing a letter asking God why he allowed such violence in our schools and God replied saying he wasn't allowed in schools. The second was a conversation my wife had when her mom was told all this violence happened when we took God out of schools. Both came with in hours of the tragedy in Newtown.

The first, the meme, I find so offensive on so many levels, I don't know where to begin.  If God is all powerful and He wanted in a school, do you honestly think we puny mortals could stop Him? Next, biblically speaking, God does not cause or stop violence.  He gave man a little thing called free choice.  Man chooses violence. Man chooses to let it continue. Then there is the little problem that schools are still one of the safest places in public life and this meme implies that violence is rampant.  It isn't.  This meme is designed to create fear and offers a solution that never existed.

The next part of this discussion involves both the meme and "putting God back in our schools."  When I was younger, in elementary school, we would say a small prayer at lunch.  To my recollection, it was the only time we discussed God in any way.  It was a child's prayer, said rhythmically and with little true understanding.  For years, occasionally some schools may have started with a prayers, but really since the 60's schools quit. I could no more lead a class in prayer as a Christian than a Muslim teacher could or a Jewish teacher could. You see there is a slight problem with being a diverse school.  Everyone has rights to their beliefs and we protect that right.  Aren't you thankful that schools do this for your child rather than impose someone's personal beliefs on a closed environment?

What I can do is tell students that I am a believer.  What I cannot do is try to convert them. It was not my place. Schools do not prevent students from praying.  There is an event at many schools called "Meet Me at the Pole" where students gather for vigil and prayer at the school flag pole.  It is a regular event and constitutionally protected because any faith could meet at the school for such an event.  Again,  I would like to remind people that there was a reason for the separation of church and state that was made very clear by our founding fathers.  It was so that people could safely practice their beliefs.  It was the reason that so many came to this country.  They came to escape persecution.  They came to practice their beliefs and not have some institution do exactly what they were escaping from. It is not a teacher's job to teach people what to think but how to to draw a conclusion of their own. This is so much more powerful than a school trying to dictate what one group or another thinks your child should believe.  If you find a teacher imposing their beliefs or making fun of those who believe, you should probably be having a discussion with the school and your child.

Pause for a moment and think, those of you who went to public schools.  How much God was there really?  How much religious teaching did you receive?  Were you told you could not pray on your own or discuss your beliefs with someone?  You may have been asked to concentrate on the lesson at hand if you were disrupting class, but I doubt that you were ever told you cannot discuss your own faith.

I, for one, am also offended by the timing of this meme and the conversation because once again we have people blaming schools for something that was beyond their control.  It may not be the intent of these statements to do this, but it is the net result.   It is divisive and instead of bringing us together in a time of need only succeeds in continuing a division that needs to stop. Schools are not at fault for these horrible acts of violence PERIOD.

What you are remembering is like the folks who talk about God and the Constitution.  It doesn't exist. We added thing like "One nation under God" to the pledge in the 1950's during the "Red Scare" because of those godless Commies.  We protect the rights of others and a few folks need to be reminded of this.  Actually think about these things.  They are over simplified solutions, that hearkens back to a time that never existed. They are designed not to solve problems but create them.  They are divisive and untrue.  If you believe them, you are  not a part of the solution but...