Rev. Jim West has authored a resolution for presentation
at the Southern Baptist National Convention that is pro-public school. I am especially encourages by West's statement that "We're supposed to minister to the world, not be afraid of it."
Now, I don't think that Southern Baptists fear the world. There are things we don't like about it, but we're not afraid, and I'm not sure that this resolution
, the one that prompted Rev. West's resolution as well as my article from May 15
, was made out of fear of the world. I think that the intentions were good -- eliminate a bad influence from our kids. I just don't think that pulling Christians out of public schools is the answer.
As I said before, there are a lot of Christians in public education. We are as vocal as we can be -- and you'd be surprised at what we're allowed to do. Any questions we're asked, we can answer. None of my students were surprised to see me filling out paperwork for Southern while they were taking a test a few months ago. It comes down to knowing your rights, and being willing to defend them.
In a discussion on another forum, I was told about a student who was threatened with suspension for reading his Bible during silent reading time. I was told this was an example of how bad public education is. It is actually an example of how little people understand the rights of Christian students in public schools, because this was patently illegal. It's something that I've wished happened to a kid at my school -- I'd love to be in on that kind of battle. I think even the ACLU
would back us up on that one, the law is that clear. I was told that the parent didn't want to make waves.
That's the problem. We'd rather be comfortable. We don't want to have to answer any tough questions. If the going gets tough, we'd rather jump ship. I have no problem at all with Christian education, or homeschooling -- we've considered both for our daughter, because she won't
be going to public schools if we're still living here when she starts school. NOT because of poor influences, or 'secular humanism', or anything like that. Because I want her to learn something, and the elementary schools around here are pathetic. There were seventh graders this year in junior high who couldn't read. Eighth graders who couldn't tell time. And they were passed on, because otherwise their self esteem would be hurt. These kids don't know what 'self esteem' means!!! And we have to make sure they can pass a graduation test that none of them can read. That's No Child Left Behind. But that's another rant for another day.
I'm glad that someone in the SBC has stepped up to defend Christians in public education. I'd love to be at the Convention this year -- it should be an interesting fight.