Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Someone Stop the Gideons!

*Update* I have added the thoughts of my brother in blue. He offers some really great points to ponder.

The following is an article that I read today and I was kind of talking passionately (some might call it yelling) at my computer screen the entire time I was reading. So I thought I would share my thoughts. The article is in black, my thoughts in red, of course. Warning--lots of my opinions here.

I think this story has gone national...
The Gideon Bible
Some parents in Frisco, Texas, are fuming because their public school district allowed Christian evangelists to provide Bibles to students on school grounds, which administrators say was done to stop even more proselytizing outside the schools.

Frisco Independent Schools allowed Gideons International to display Bibles on tabletops in all 13 of the district's middle and high schools last week. Officials say it didn't violate the law, but some parents say school is not the place to be offering the Good Book. No, school is more of a place for condoms to be passed out. Gee whiz...

"I was never notified by the schools that they were going to allow this. I was a little shocked," said Debbie Lutz, a mother with three children who attend schools in Frisco, about 20 miles north of Dallas.

Michael Baier, who has a son at Frisco's Lakeland High School, said that religious groups should not be allowed to offer their teachings on campus. Bibles on a table can hardly be considered "teaching," unless there is some type of osmosis learning that I am unaware of.

"If they're God-fearing Christians ... they should be giving those items wherever they worship. School is a place to learn, not a place to worship," Baier told FOXNews.com. Again, the Bibles were laying on a table. You can not worship simply by being in the same building as a Bible.
If we are really learning then we are worshiping as well because God has created all things and therefore is the only basis by which we can know or study anything. Public schools in the US primarily promote self-worship and secularism. There is a major dichotomy in the US that says worship=church and learning=school. Lutz said she wants the freedom to raise her children as she sees fit — and without the interference of religious groups. This is fine with me but the public schools already teach a worldview to our kids which is a Secular Humanistic religion. Our schools are very religious, just not Christian. She told FOXNews.com she worried that allowing one group to offer Bibles in the school would open the floodgates to any groups who want to reach students on school grounds. "It does open the door for other people to have the right to hand out other stuff. And I think that's not a good door to open." I share this concern, but the school is up against a wall.

A spokeswoman for the school district said that a number of materials are made available to students this way, including newspapers, camp brochures and tutoring pamphlets. College and military recruitment information is available all year long. The Gideon Bibles were made available for just one day. "We have to handle this request in the same manner as other requests to distribute non-school literature — in a viewpoint neutral manner," Shana Wortham, director of communications for the district, wrote in an e-mail to FOXNews.com. school literature — in a viewpoint neutral manner” This is probably not good because we are going to have atheists and all other kinds of groups trying to get material in the public schools now as a result of this story and her comment...

Wortham said that the schools did not solicit or invite the Gideons in, and when one of the evangelists tried to speak to students, administrators quickly stepped in to address the violation. School officials told FOXNews.com they would continue to review their policies, but they stressed that they had followed the letter of the law.

But for some parents looking for a neutral education in the public school system, that wasn't enough. Public school is not neutral...nothing is neutral! Lutz, whose children go to schools in the district, said she wants the freedom to raise her children as she sees fit — and without the interference of other religious groups. "I am not atheist — I believe in God," she told FOXNews.com. "But I just don't want any religion forced on my child at school. That's why my child goes to a public school." I argue that students are getting taught from a religous point of view, Secular Humanism.Unfortunately, this parent has been sorely misinformed. When your kids go to PUBLIC school they are exposed to ALL religions. (Ex: If a teacher wants to teach about Hanukkah in December, she must also cover Kwanzaa, Christmas, etc.) In the year 2009, if you want to raise your children as YOU see fit, the only way to be 100% sure that is happening is to educate them yourself.

Additional thoughts: Children who attend public school (perhaps private school as well, but I can only speak from 6 years of experience as a public school teacher) are being exposed to scary situations at an extremely young age and on a regular basis. I could give examples, but they are literally X-rated. The children are being taught ideals that are just that--ideals, rather than facts. There is no control over the beliefs/morals that will inevitably be passed from a teacher to her students as they spend nearly 8 hours a day together for the most part of a year. The fact that a child might have to walk past a table full of Bibles on the way into the school building is the last thing I would be concerned about as a parent of a public school student...even if I was an atheist.

I do believe that children need to be allowed to make choices and decisions and be exposed to less than ideal situations in order to develop properly as a human being...but I also know that as parents, we are commanded to be the ultimate educator in the lives of our children. We are entrusted with them. One day we will stand before God and be asked to give an account for the way our children have been educated. I am just not convinced that to claim anything was the fault of the public school system will be an acceptable excuse.

Deuteronomy 6:5-9


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  2. I am continually reminded of events that occur in Revelation. When once, Christians were revered, we are now being persecuted and belittled. There are Christians all over the world being tortured and killed because of their faith. We are slowly, but surely, being silenced in our own "free" country. An excellent example of that is the so called "Hate Crimes Bill" being pushed through the US Senate that will put our pastors and Christian radio and television ministers at fault for speaking out against homosexuality. One day, we will all be judged for our actions. I want to be one that goes before the Lord Almighty with no regrets about my Christian life! I felt this verse was appropriate.

    Revelation 2:10
    Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.

  3. I heard this on the news. Unbelievable!

  4. Hmmm...I agree with almost everything you've said BUT I have to wonder, would a group with little Buddah trinkets or pamphlets regarding the Koran ever be allowed in the same space? IF they were, would the fallout be much more severe? Very interesting post!

  5. This kind of stuff makes me so angry-Thank you for sharing!!!

  6. I love blogging...and such a diverse group of readers I have!
    Steph, I agree that Christian voices are being silenced more today than ever. I think what that forces us to do is make sure that our actions speaks as loud or louder than our words ever could. No government can silence the Love of Jesus Christ--no matter how hard they try. We must humble ourselves...

    Kev, according to the school district spokesperson, yes, the Koran could just as easily be made available to students as these Bibles. I think you are correct that there would be a huge outcry from the Christian community if that were to happen.It probably won't because as far as I know(and correct me if I'm wrong, please!) Buddist don't really go around looking for recruits like we Christians do.

    I guess what I was trying to say with this post, but might not have done effectively is that if I choose to send my child to public school, with the current laws in place, I should not be surprised or upset if/when my child has the option to pick up a Koran in the office. When I sign my kid up, I am effectively saying: I know what my child could potentially be exposed to here, according to the law, and I'm okay with it. If people do not like the possibility of this happening, they should pray very often, become a legislator,and in the meantime not send their kiddos to public school.

    I have been thinking way too hard. gotta go to bed now :)

  7. This nation wasn't founded by "religionists". It was founded by Christians. The Bible was the primary textbook in early American schools.

    I'm sick of people like this Debbie Lutz ruining my country!

  8. I fully expected "Idol" news when I tuned into your blog today! Boy...was I surprised!!!

    Thanks for posting this. On a day when I have been very tempted to give up on homeschooling, your post has helped reaffirm my committment to my kids and to what God has called me to do.


  9. "It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irrate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds."

    These situations fire me up a great deal. It seems only politically correct to persecute Christians. I think if this had been another religion the news would not have even picked up the story. And it frustrates me that there are Christians out there that are at work against Jesus.

    You're right, as Americans we absolutely have the right to raise our children as we see fit. But when you're signing them up for free education and entrusting them to the city for eight hours a day obviously they may come across things you may not agree with. Unfortunately, a bible on a table may be quickly washed away, while Secular Humanism, as John pointed out, is here to stay regardless of how harmful I may find it.

    And "One day we will stand before God and be asked to give an account for the way our children have been educated. I am just not convinced that to claim anything was the fault of the public school system will be an acceptable excuse." AMEN SISTER! Love it!

  10. Wow. Interesting comments so far. It is shocking how far away our country has gone from where we started. I was just reading last night some of the statements of early colonists and early government leaders, and how the Bible was everything to so many-it was their reading book, their hymnal, the Word of God....it was everything. I appreciated Steph's comment and scripture. Keelie, I think the heart of what you were saying came through very well. Great post!

  11. This reminds me of how much I want to home-school my children when we do have children. I hope I have that option, but if I don't, I hope that I have enough understanding to talk to my children about what they are learning and help educate them on how different the world is compared to a life trusting Jesus.