One of the most prevalent lies that Satan has convinced God’s people in the United States to believe is that God has been kicked out of schools. Posts on social media claim that God is not welcome in schools., that prayer is not allowed in school, and that students cannot bring or read a Bible in school. These are lies spread by well-meaning Christians. They are spread on social media as memes and as posters. These are lies that I think Satan wants us to spread. The more a lie is shared the more we begin to believe it. I want to help set the record straight.
God cannot be removed from where He wants to be!
I adapted the following explanations come from two sources:
- “A Parent’s Guide to Religion in the Public Schools.” The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center. Endorsed by the National PTA.
- Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
A few years ago a broad range of religious and educational groups agreed to the following description of religious liberty and public schools as consistent with the First Amendment:
- Public schools may not inculcate nor inhibit religion. They must be places where religion and religious conviction are treated with fairness and respect.
- Public schools uphold the First Amendment when they protect the religious liberty rights of students of all faiths or none. Schools demonstrate fairness when they ensure that the curriculum includes study about religion, where appropriate, as an important part of a complete education.
May students express their faith? Yes. Schools should respect the right of students to engage in religious activity and discussion. Individual students are free to pray, read their scriptures, discuss their faith, and invite others to join their particular religious group. However, if a student’s behavior is disruptive or coercive then his/her behavior should it be prohibited. No student should be allowed to harass or pressure others in a public school setting.
Students also have the right to express their religious views during a class discussion or as part of a written assignment or art activity as long as it is relevant to the subject under consideration and meets the academic requirements.
May students pray together in public schools? Yes. Students are free to pray alone or in groups, as long as the activity is not disruptive and does not infringe upon the rights of others. These activities must be truly voluntary and student-initiated. Students do not have a right to force a captive audience to participate in religious exercises.
Didn’t the Supreme Court rule against student prayer in public schools? No. The Supreme Court has interpreted the First Amendment to mean that government must be neutral among religions and between religion and nonreligion. In other words school officials may not organize, mandate, or participate in student religious activities, including prayer. A moment of silence, however, may be led by school officials, as long as it does not promote prayer over other types of quiet contemplation.
Can Students bring a Bible to school? Yes. Just as students can bring other favorite books they are reading to school, they can also bring their Bibles or other religious books and read them during free time. Again, a student may even use the Bible in a class assignment as long as the student does so in a way that is relevant to the subject the teacher has assigned and meets the requirements of the assignment.
There is nothing in the previous explanations or court rulings that completely prohibit a student’s free exercise of religion. Students can pray privately or in groups. Students can have religious discussions or clubs. Students may bring and read Bibles as they would any other book. Students may use religious material as appropriate in completing assignments. Students are free to practice their religion as citizens of The United States.
The problem is not that the Bible, prayer, or God have been banned from school. The problem is many of us have excluded God, prayer, and the Bible from our life at home. When we teach our families about God at home, they will not need to learn about Him in school or in prison. When we return to God in our homes our children will take God to school with them.
As long as there are Christians in schools Christ is there with them.
Did you catch that? Jesus said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Heb 13:5b). God will not forsake His children, wher ehis children are, He is.
Don’t believe Satan’s lie. AND DON’T spread his lies.