Wednesday, December 19, 2012

God In Schools

Facebook seems lit up with this subject right now.  When things like the school shooting come up, it is because we don't let God in the schools.  I grow weary.

As I remember, prayer in school was short and not very inspirational.  It didn't stop my teacher from hinting at the fact that Bobby and I were probably going to hell because we weren't Lutheran.  (That was a fun day.)

I often wonder whose religion they would like us to use in school:  Catholic?  Lutheran?  Mormon?  Baptist?  Jewish?

As far as I know, all of those religions contribute to prayer and God in our schools today.  My colleague keeps a Bible on her desk.  She's Methodist.  Right now, I have a book of Mormon on my desk. (I'm keeping it for a student, and no, I'm not Mormon.)   Our secretary (Catholic) has been known to light a candle in times that call for desperate prayers. Two colleagues pray every day at lunch. (One is Mormon, and the other is from a Bible centered church that is unaffiliated.)

I've seen coaches lead players in prayer, kids lead prayer before shows, and religious music performed at school concerts.  I've prayed in front of a gymnasium full of students and parents with the principal's permission and blessing.  (I was asked by an athlete whose father had been killed in a terrible accident.) We have a Fellowship of Christian Athletes that has turned into a group called Fellowship of Christian Anybodies.

God isn't absent in our schools.  We don't preach our religion or our faith from the classroom lectern.  But that doesn't mean that God is absent.  I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who prays in school.

Granted, we don't lead organized prayer.  If you think the organized 30 second prayer of my 1960's classroom converted nonbelievers or set the tone of our entire society, I fear you are mistaken.

All of the kids in my elementary classroom went to church weekly.  God was in our homes, and our parents lived their faith and passed it on to us by example.

If God isn't in the homes, a 30 second prayer in school will change nothing. 

God isn't absent from our schools.  God is absent from homes.  Requiring an organized prayer every morning isn't going to put God back into homes, and it isn't going to solve the problems of our schools, our society, or world. It is unrealistic to think otherwise.


Lisa said...

Excellent post. I remember some teachers in grade school started with a prayer and others didn't. Suspect there were no converts there either! You last paragraph hits the nail on the head.

Kim said...

I so agree with you, Mrs. E. As I told someone else, God doesn't wait outside the door of the school when I go to accompany. One young man who went to high school here addressed this on Facebook this week. He is a preacher's son, by the way. He mentioned teachers by name who he remembers expressed their faith - not by leading a prayer at the front of the classroom, but by how they lived their lives and cared for their students. Thanks for being one of those educators.

Anonymous said...

Well said. It is not a school problem, it is a society as a whole problem. Have a wonderful Christmas break!

Softie said...

I too sigh when I read this all over facebook. I think your response is right on and very well stated. I hope you posted this on facebook as well.

Amy said...

So, so true.

Beth said...

I just read this--am catching up on blog posts. I agree totally. I could not have said it any better. Amen, sister!