“In authoritarian and totalitarian societies schools exist to indoctrinate students in the orthodoxy of the state. In a democracy we teach students how to think, not what to think.”
What would you do if your child was told that they were in no way allowed to share their beliefs in a program at the school they attended? Let’s make it even more personal – what would you do if through hard work and diligence you earned the opportunity to give a speech about your past, present, and future, but in no way could you include the most important aspect of who you are? You might not be happy with the situation – in fact, you might well feel driven to disobey in as least a disruptive way as possible.
This situation isn’t a hypothetical; it actually took place just recently at a public high school graduation in Texas. Young Remington Reimer was the valedictorian at Joshua Independent School District, but as he prepared for his graduation the local school told him that he could not include references to his Christian faith. ((The school district says the problem was that Reimer was not giving his approved speech)) After thanking his parents, teachers, and classmates he mentioned that he was told not to speak of his faith but that he felt he had the Constitutional right to do so– at that point the school shut off the sound system.
Leftist groups will quickly move to point out that this was a public school event, and they might drone on about the separation of church and state. Now, I have a great many problems with the modern liberal perspective on the separation of church and state – but let’s just forget that for now. I would contend that the speech given by the Valedictorian at a graduation does not classify as the school showing support or favoritism for one religion over another. Each student is different, and if a Muslim student had been Valedictorian and offered their reverence for Allah at the event, I doubt the school would have batted an eye.
Therein lies the bipolar nature of our society. If I’m cynical, this is mostly to do with our culture’s shift away from Judeo-Christian ethics and towards hardcore secularism. However, instead of simply moving toward secularism, we are actually just shifting away from Christianity. This is why our culture at large has no problems with Eastern Mysticism, or New Age beliefs, or even Islam – but they react violently against anything that even sniffs of Christianity.
We must reverse this trend. If we continue to let culture slip away from us we may never recover.
Not all is lost, however, dear reader. I do not wish to leave you in the depths without a glimmer of hope. There are pockets of resistance, there are places where our values are still held dear, where people just like us are willing to cheer when the youth of our generation take a stand for justice. Places like Liberty High School in Pickens County South Carolina, where the Valedictorian (and the entire school system) were told that they could not honor God in their proceedings. Valedictorian Roy Costner IV stood before his classmates, ripped up his prepared remarks, and launched into the Lord’s Prayer – only slowing to allow for the thunderous applause of his classmates and their loved ones. Our God, our values, and our culture are not forgotten by everyone – there is still time to remind our Union that we were meant to be a city on a hill.
The ugly secret of the secularist march is that our Christian ethic doesn’t clash with their goals of equality and tolerance. Our nation has always been a haven for the downtrodden and a place of refuge for the needy. We value equality and justice, no matter the race, creed, or color of the person. These are Christian values…beliefs that are an outgrowth of the Covenant of Grace and the understanding that before God all men are equal.
It’s too bad they can’t see the Truth.