This week has been marked by controversy, outrage, and in a way...realization.
In the small town next door to ours, football run-thru signs with ANY Christian sayings or Bible verses have been banned.
A group of cheerleaders, wanting to encourage and uplift the teams by using positive statements and Scripture instead of traditional statements dogging the opposing team, came up with the idea.
It was bold move and a very worthy stand for their beliefs and they should be commended. The news of what they were doing spread like wildfire. Everyone was excited, supportive, and all a-buzz as to what was happening...or so it seemed.
The superintendent received a complaint and, after checking in with their legal team, made the move to ban ALL Christian sayings and Bible verses on the run-thru signs.
This is when the outrage and controversy began.
Part of me was just as upset as many of these parents and students. It was student led, not teacher/faculty led...how dare they take away their freedom of speech!
Then another part of me thought...what if this scenario was flipped? What if these statements were taken from the Qu'ran or the Book of Mormon? How would I feel then?
You better believe I would be calling down to that school complaining and seeking to get those messages banned!
I think this is what makes it hard. We, as Christians, know, without a shadow of a doubt, what is right and true, so naturally, we want that truth to win out. Take the other side. No matter how wrong they are in reality, they believe they are right.
It is a tough spot to be in to say the least.
Then the realization of it all hit me...we are asking a secular institution to uphold our Biblical values and beliefs?!?
Let's take a brief look back into history. Horace Mann is the person credited with starting government-run education in the United States in 1839. Horace Mann stated,
|“What the church has been for medieval man, the public school must|
become for democratic and rational man. God would be replaced by the
concept of the public good.” Horace Mann (1796-1858)
I really like how Dr. Glen Shultz puts things, "When Horace Mann lobbied to get a common (public) school system established in our country, his main point of emphasis was the secular/sacred divide that separated religion and education into two different and isolated compartments of life. He successfully argued that the home and the church should teach faith and values and the school should teach facts. The implied meaning behind this statement was that education dealt with neutral facts and faith and values only applied to one’s religious life. According to Mann, these two spheres can operate exclusive of one another." To read the article in its entirety (and it is worth reading), please click here.
John Dewey was another individual who was heavily involved early on in the public school system. He said,
|“There is no God and there is no soul. Hence, there is no need for the|
props of traditional religion. With dogma and creed excluded, then
immutable truth is also dead and buried. There is no room for fixed,
natural law or moral absolutes.” John Dewey (1859-1952), the “Father
of Progressive Education;” co-author of the first Humanist
Manifesto and honorary NEA president.
Anyway, there is lots of info out there on these individuals as well as the NEA (National Education Association). I encourage you to 'do your homework'.
I don't know how all of this will turn out. I do know, that while they may be able to ban Christian run-thru signs, they will never be able to ban the light shining from these young people. I pray they will share the love of Christ an ALL that they do. The Bible says, "