I lost my first and only run for Student Body Governor in High School over a matter that (I believe) had no bearing on my ability to fill the office. I lost the office because of a stand I took on homosexuality and why I took the stand I did. You see, in my high school, the issue was coming to the front of discussion and people were taking stands during our opening of the school day.
Being one of the few people with a testimony for God, and one of few people willing to get up front and say what I thought, I was gradually brought into the discussion. It had gone back and forth between two girls, and I came in near the end of the discussion, but this post isn’t about what I think about homosexuality, it’s about what I learned at the end of my presentation.
I had prewritten a statement, so I could mark my words well. I knew what I was going to say was unpopular, and the day I delivered it was the National Day of Prayer. So, I ended what I had to say with an appeal that we observe a moment of silence for the National Day of Prayer. During that time some coughed (intentionally) but most stayed silent.
Afterwards I was talking with a high school friend and he said that he had coughed because what I was doing was unconstitutional– it violated the separation of church and state. I did not have the presence of mind at the time to ask him how a moment of silence could possibly be equated with Congress establishing a religion, but I did think enough to tell him to find for me the separation of church in state in either our national or state constitution. He went away and came back later to say he couldn’t find it.
You see, students in the public school not only face the removal of God from the school and the laws put in place, but they also face a whole series of things based on the impression that people have about what the rulings mean, and a whole bunch of hearsay. They are silenced by what people believe was said, not by what was said.
This is where this article from the USA Today comes into play. A child wanted to sing a song at a school that was religiously based. The school’s attorney told the parents she could not because it violated the Establishment clause of the Constitution. But where does the Free Exercise clause fit in? And that wasn’t the only instance. There was a valedictorian’s address that had the microphone cut off because of her references to “God,” “the Lord” and “Christ.” What we have is a government run amok.
What schools don’t realize is that the children have a right to speak, and if they don’t let them speak, they’re actually choosing a religion– atheism. They’re also helping to convince more families to choose other options– like homeschooling.