In Texas of all places, a few public school students sat down at an empty table in the lunchroom to quietly pray for a classmate who was in an accident. The school principal, Lee Frost, immediately walked over to them and warned them: “Don’t do that again.” It’s as if they just dropped f-bombs, looked at porn, vandalized something, or bullied another student.
But sadly, at plenty of schools – funded by our tax dollars – the environment isn’t exactly supportive or friendly to expressions of the Christian faith, the Bible, or the name of Jesus. Students shouldn’t be forced to go outside or pray in secret, especially when they’re on their own time.
Jesus taught Christians to let their light shine before others so people might be drawn to Him. But the postmodern, progressive education system and liberal teachers today (not all, but most) have been on a collision course with the Bible and the Constitution.
The school principal in Honey Grove Independent School District went so far as to tell these eighth-grade students to hide behind the curtain on the school cafeteria stage if they prayed again during lunch. In other words, Christians should stay out of sight.
Lawyers with First Liberty Institute, representing Hannah Allen, one of the students, stated:
“By mandating that Hannah and the other students hide when they pray, Principal Frost sends a message to Hannah and all the other students in the school that prayer is illegitimate, disfavored, and should not occur in public; By quarantining the praying students as if to shield the other students form an infectious disease, Frost acts with religious hostility impermissible under the Constitution and demeans the religious beliefs of Hannah and her friends.”
It’s worse with each passing decade; there is less and less tolerance of the light of Christianity within the increasing darkness of the public school system.
What would happen if a few Muslim students gathered in the same way and prayed? I think you know the answer to that. In fact, more schools across the country have openly allowed religious instruction on Islam while practically banning the Christian faith.
In this Texas case, the offending prayer took place during lunch, not during class instruction time. Students are allowed to talk and move around the cafeteria. The problem is many children and parents don’t know their rights.
The Constitution hasn’t changed, even though some would love to rewrite it – just like today’s history text books have been rewritten. Fortunately in this nation, our speech is still protected by the First Amendment.
This is perhaps a double-edged sword: on one hand, going back to the 1960s there has been an agenda to remove God from public schools and the culture. On the other hand, too many Christian leaders and parents have quietly backed out of culture, avoiding any controversial issue and choosing not to take a stand for the faith, the gospel, and for truth.
When will we learn that if we do not use our precious religious freedoms, we’re in danger of losing them?
The Bible hasn’t changed and Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Let’s follow the example of the early church: after being threatened and told not to speak the name of Jesus, His disciples said, “We must obey God rather than man (Acts 5:29).”
Bold faith is contagious, and it stiffens the spines of other believers. Pray for these kids and young Christian students across the U.S. in government schools who are dealing with discrimination and intolerance. And let’s remember to be good examples of Christ (shine) and speak up ourselves.
*originally published at Freedom Project Media