Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
Authored By :
Published On :
April 9, 1998
Last Updated :
May 29, 2018
Complications Of Returning The U.S.A. To Her Christian Roots, American Laws Must Be Impartial To All, Twenty Years Ago: A Way To Re-Introduce Prayer In The Classroom, Rise of Radical Muslims In America, Right To Pray Includes Right To Not Pray, Other Problems In The Classroom, Accommodating Special Prayer Requirements, Radical Muslims Want The Whole Cake, No Longer Possible To Re-Institute Prayer In The Classroom, The Primary Purpose Of School Is To Educate, Christian Students Do Have Legal Rights, Consider How It Will Affect Your Children, God Only Gives Us Burdens We Are Able To Bear, Our Day Begins At Home, Personal Private Prayer And Connecting With The Lord, Suggestion For Morning School Prep, Alexander Scourby's KJV Bible Recordings, Our Responsibilities As Christian Parents, Godless Nature Of Public School System, Warning, Reading List
Continuing our talk from part two, this spiritual pollution by other foreign religions in the United States has created a problem, just as it did in ancient Israel as well. To the dismay of many conservative American Christians who would really love for America to return to her Christian roots, it may no longer be possible to do that; at least not in full. Realistically speaking, in conjunction with what is stated in the U.S. Constitution, this invasion by foreign religions has made it impossible for American laws to remain partial to Christianity. In other words, the laws which apply to one religious faith, must apply to all of the rest as well. What is permitted for one faith, must likewise be permitted for other faiths, and vice versa, without partiality. Otherwise, it would surely be viewed by some people as a clear-cut case of discrimination, and would no doubt lead to law suits.
More specifically, to allow Christian prayer at the start of each new school day would require that the same permission be granted to other religious faiths as well. Let's not kid ourselves. When we Christians speak about bringing prayer back into our schools, that is exactly what we are talking about -- Christian prayer -- and not prayers to Allah, or to any other false god. I am sure you realize that implementing something like this would quickly result in public schools becoming centers of conflict and confusion, as if they don't already have enough problems on their plate as it is. Can't you just imagine if Muslim children demand to spread their prayer carpets all over school grounds during morning public prayer?
So, as unpopular as this position might be with conservative Christians, it seems that the only way to totally avoid this problematic situation is by keeping classroom prayer time out of the public school system. Now, when I wrote the original version of this series over twenty years ago, my thinking was considerably different than it is today. Back then I wondered how re-introducing prayer into the public school system could be accomplished without causing problems. I arrived at the conclusion that the easiest and fairest way to approach the issue would be in the following manner.
First, make it voluntary. Perhaps the teacher or instructor can make a statement such as "Okay children, we are going to take a few minutes for those of you who would like to start the school day with a word of prayer". The idea is that such a neutral statement would not be overly offensive to anyone, being as it does not specifically recognize any one religion or god. Yes; I know that many Christians will find this idea to be rather offensive. Even I will admit that it reeks of compromise. But is there really any better way to at least get part of what we want, which is having prayer back in the classroom?
Second, instead of the teacher leading in a vocal prayer, it could be done in silence. This would allow the children to invoke, or not to invoke, their particular god in the manner and language of their choice. Being as it would be a silent prayer, the problem with accommodating all religions would be solved. Although it has been many years since I attended the public school system, if I recall correctly, this is the way it was done back then. It was simply a moment of silence for those students who desired time to pray before beginning the school day.
As I said, this is how I thought over twenty years ago when I first authored this series. Something such as the above still seemed possible. However, times and society have changed a lot since then. Back then, we didn't have all of these angry, radical Muslims marching in American cities. We did not have Muslims with their prayer carpets blocking traffic. We didn't have Muslims demanding that popular restaurant chains respect their dietary habits. We didn't have Muslims burning the flag in public. In short, while radical Muslims in America existed back then as well, aside from a few incidents -- such as the 1993 World Trade Center bombing -- they were not nearly as overt in their actions and demands as they are today.
As I briefly mentioned a moment ago, we need to remember that the right to pray, also includes the right to not pray. Given the disrespectful attitude of many modern Americans, I think that it would be difficult to convince non-religious students to respect the rights of those students who do wish to pray at the beginning of each school day. This would cause those children who want to pray to feel uncomfortable or inhibited. Furthermore, what if the teacher who is leading the moment of prayer is not supportive of school prayer? Perhaps they are an atheist, for example. This would augment the problem even further, as he or she might not enforce the regulation. They might even side with the non-religious students; although by law, they are not supposed to do that in a school setting. According to current laws, teachers and school administrators are supposed to remain neutral when it comes to the issue of school prayer.
Additionally, as we already discussed, some religions require special dress such as head scarves, caps or prayer carpets in the case of Muslims, during times of prayer. How are schools going to be able to accommodate these requirements? Another danger I see in re-introducing school prayer in the classroom is that it might be seen by some people as a "green light" by Christians to fight for even more religious rights in the public schools. This would undoubtedly lead to even greater problems and unrest, because the opposition -- meaning the atheists, non-religious persons, Muslims and people of other faiths -- would surely fight back and demand equal rights.
All of that to say this. Given what we have already witnessed amongst the radical Muslims in the US, England, Australia and elsewhere, I really doubt that they would be satisfied with just having a moment of silence in the school classroom. Those radical Muslims have made it plain that they want the whole cake, or nothing at all. Some of them just want to take and take and take, until America has lost her Christian identity completely -- at least what little is left of it. They want Islam to reign, because that is exactly what their holy book -- the Qur'an -- teaches them to do.
So, while I am a dedicated, Bible-believing Christian, and while I strongly believe in preaching the Gospel and sharing my faith, I have to concede that re-instituting prayer in the school classroom may no longer be feasible or possible. Given the current state of things in the US, it would simply be too disruptive. The truth is that serious compromise has already been made. The enemy has already been allowed in through the gates by liberal administrations, and there really isn't much that we can do about it, except to live with it. Even if it were possible to re-institute prayer in the classroom, we all know that it would not be only prayer dedicated to the God of the Christian Bible. It would be everything else as well. Is that what we want? Would the compromise be worth it?
As I said earlier, there are already too many problems in the public school system; particularly with all of the latest gun violence. Adding more fuel to the fire is not going to help the situation in the least. We need to remember that children are primarily in school to learn the basics. That is, reading, writing and arithmetic; although as we have already discussed, current curriculums go way beyond this, and teach things of which we Christian parents do not approve. Furthermore, some teachers take upon themselves responsibilities which should be left to the parents. This all goes back to earlier statements I made regarding our children becoming properties of the State.
While I do not believe that Christian prayer time in the public school classroom is possible any longer due to the aforementioned reasons, I do believe that children have the right to speak about whatever topic they wish -- including religion -- during their free time at recess, during lunch break, etc. In other words, any location on campus that is outside of a class in progress should be an acceptable place for students to fully express their freedoms of speech and religion. Of course, it should be done in a respectful and non-intrusive manner. If someone approaches a student with a question, or if the topic of religion comes up naturally in a conversation, then children should not be discouraged or prohibited from discussing it.
While it has been a great while since I last looked into this issue, it is my understanding that after a hard-fought battle, there are now some schools which allow students to participate in after-hour Bible clubs, just as they do with chess clubs and similar extra-curricular activities. If this is indeed the case, at least we have that victory. But I've also heard that mentioning God in graduation speeches will still get students in trouble with the school administration in certain places. If you are interested in learning more about what specific rights students have insofar as their Christian faith is concerned, I encourage you to visit the page below. On it, I have compiled legal information which may be of assistance to you:
School Prayer & Separation of Church and State Controversy
While many American Christians are very eager to see prayer restored in the public school classroom, there is one final, very important point to consider regarding this issue, and that is the following: Why is school prayer even necessary? Many of us parents already know what a hostile environment public school is for our Christian children. Do we honestly want to place this added pressure on our children when they already have enough to carry, beginning with working hard to keep up their grades? Perhaps our older children can endure the pressure and being made fun of by mean or non-believing students. Who knows; it may even toughen them up and make of them stronger, better Christians. It will prepare them for the world.
However, what about our younger children who may be a lot more tender, and not yet hardened against the outside world? Expecting them to be witnesses of their Christian faith in a hostile school environment, such as by participating in the classroom prayer, or perhaps in other ways, may possibly be too much for the little ones to bear. It could have negative consequences in their lives, including emotional or mental problems. They could become withdrawn. So it is something we should consider very carefully. Even the Lord never gives us more than we are able to bear. I am reminded of verses such as the following:
"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
1 Corinthians 10:13, KJV
"I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now."
John 16:12, KJV
"Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?"
Acts 15:10, KJV
"I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able."
1 Corinthians 3:2, KJV
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Matthew 11:28-30, KJV
My point is this: If one feels the need to pray to the Lord to seek His blessing, protection and guidance for the day, why wait until he or she arrives at school? After all, our day begins at home when we first wake up. As I mentioned in part two, in the Gospel of Mark we're told that on occasions, Jesus would arise prior to daybreak in order to pray before the bustle of activities would interrupt the quiet of the morning. Let me share that verse with you again:
"And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed."
Mark 1:35, KJV
If a person -- adult or child -- really feels the need to pray, he or she can do it then, or before leaving the home, or even on the way to school. Personally, I talk to the Lord whenever I feel the need to do so, regardless of where I am at. Of course, sometimes I need to be discrete about it. The main point to consider here is that our relationship with God should be an ongoing thing, and not just some repetitive ritual we perform at some designated hour of the day, or in some specific place. As Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew:
"But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking."
Matthew 6:7, KJV
In a word, real prayer is supposed to be a heart-to-heart relationship, and a heart-to-heart connection with the Lord. While there are times for prayer in a group setting -- such as in a Christian fellowship, for example -- I believe that most benefits are obtained in our private sessions with our Heavenly Father. This is why Jesus also said the following in that very same chapter of the Gospel of Matthew:
"And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."
Matthew 6:5-6, KJV
As far as morning school preparation is concerned, in our home, when my daughter was still a little girl so many years ago, we engaged in the regular practice of putting on a King James Version Bible Scripture tape to help us to connect with the Lord's Spirit; and to help us to keep our minds stayed on Him throughout the day. For those of my readers who may be interested, for almost five decades now, I've greatly enjoyed listening to the excellent audio recordings by the well-known voice actor -- and now-deceased -- Alexander Scourby. Trust me; his recordings of the KJV Bible are a worthy investment of your money, if you are not familiar with Scourby's work.
As I am sure I have already made quite clear now, one of the main points I wish to emphasize in this series, is that it is up to us as parents to personally instruct our children in their Christian heritage at home, so that they will have a strong foundation in God's Word, and not be swayed by the many lies and distortions of the truth, which they will no doubt encounter once they begin attending the public school system. It is an ungodly place, and I don't believe that any amount of legislation is going to change that. Why? Because as I explained earlier, we have already dug our pit too deep. We have already let the enemy in through the gates; and now there is no legal way to exterminate the varmints in our own house, sad to say.
In conclusion, we should not depend upon, or even expect, the public school system to meet our children's spiritual needs, because they most definitely will not do so, and are not the least bit interested in doing so. In fact, it isn't even their responsibility anyway. As many of you will know, and as I have made clear in this series, the American public school system kicked out God many years ago, and they have zero intentions of ever letting Him back in the door. Even now, some school teachers and administrators simply tolerate students who embrace strong Christian beliefs, because they are obligated to do so by American law.
Nevertheless, be forewarned, my friends. If given sufficient time, those people who oppose God and His Word in the public school system will rob your children of their faith in God. Between peer pressure and an ungodly curriculum, it is indeed a sure thing. By the time they reach the college level, many students have already become liberal, godless atheists, to the heartbreak of their own parents. This is what may happen to your children as well; unless you as parents take it upon yourselves at home to strengthen your children's faith now, through a consistent, diligent study of the Bible. The Lord gave your children to you, and not to the school teacher, or even to the Sunday school teacher for that matter. As such, it is your responsibility, and your responsibility alone, to ensure that they receive the proper Christian training that they need. If you as Christian parents fail to do this, you are not only failing them, but you are failing the Lord as well. Please consider this carefully.
With these thoughts I will bring this series to a close. I hope that you have found it informative, and I pray that it has been a blessing and an inspiration in your life. If you have enjoyed reading this series, please consider sharing its URL with your online friends. If you have an account with Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or with any other social network, I would also appreciate if you would take the time to click on the corresponding link that is found on this page. Thanks so much, and may God bless you abundantly!
For additional information and further study, you may want to refer to the list of reading resources below which were also mentioned in this series, or which contain topics which are related to this series. All of them are also located on the Bill's Bible Basics web server:
Adaptation, EVILution and the Six Days of Genesis
Are You a Burning Ember for the Lord?
Civil Disobedience and Christian Persecution
Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah: A Warning to Modern Society
Going Down the Highway of Life
He Who Fights and Runs Away: Choose Your Battles Wisely
Holy Qur'an and Islam: A Doctrine of Devils?
Queen James Bible: Blasphemous Abomination Exposed!
Science and Technology: The Forbidden Knowledge?
The Children of Light: Are You One of Us?
The Dinosaur Dilemma and Modern Science
The Earth is Under Seven Thousand Years Old
The Gay and Lesbian Agenda: To the Point!
The Wisdom of God Versus the Philosophy of Men
This Little Light, Glory of the Lord and Our Bright Future
What About the Poor?
When Sin is No Longer a Sin
Who is the Real Terrorist?