To Shaun, and all that support his letter.
I’m going to try and go through your letter and point out a few things. First, I’m not sure what you mean by “many Christians.” Are you claiming that you are speaking on behalf of these many Christians? Does this make the point more valid? I could write “many Christians” in my letter too, because a large number of people e-mailed me or left a comment after writing my letter that agreed with me for the most part.
You say that prayer and bible reading is no different than reading events that have occurred in history. I think you should think twice about that, cause it doesn’t seem to give much credit to how Jesus looks at prayer. If you were at a school where every single morning all the people around you were reading religious material from The Koran you can’t tell me you would feel comfortable, especially if you were at a public school where no one was to be favoured. If prayer is no different than simply reciting history, I would suggest that you have a wrong understanding of prayer. However, I would assume that you think prayer is a lot more than mere historical recitations, and that you were just using that argument to try and make it look harmless.
First of all, the dates that you provided in 1962/63 were dates when prayer was no longer sanctioned by the government in the United States, not in Canada. We live in Canada. Canada’s situation is extremely different especially because of the Catholic school system. Are you going to show us these statistics and where you got them from or are you just going to state that they are there? Let me give you an analogy that I heard from a man named Gregory Koukl. The rooster crows, and then the sun comes up. Does this mean that the rooster crowing causes the sun to come up? If we went and killed the rooster would we all be living in darkness? Just because one thing happens, doesn’t mean that it causes whatever follows. Just because crime rates have gone up and all those are statistics, doesn’t mean it is a result of prayer leaving the schools. I’ll say this again. If the best way to fix all these problems is to bring back prayer into schools, then I think we have larger issues at stake. If we think that all this is happening because students aren’t reciting a prayer at the beginning of every morning, I think its time we evaluate what our faith is based on. All we will get if we bring back prayer into schools the way you argue for at best is students believing that a mention of some special deity is enough to make them ‘ok’ or in right standing with God.
You ask “how being a “Christian” I can say that prayer should not be put into the public schools.” Does this really have any relevance in regards to my commitment to Christ? Jesus did do all kinds of things in public. However, you show me one place where He told people to pray something they didn’t believe. Or show me where He asked his disciples to get the Roman Government to traditionalize his prayers and make them a mandatory start to every day. Please show me how Jesus doing miracles in public has any sort of relevance to the government mandating prayer in schools.
For God to have dominion, He does not need to be forced on kids in school. What you are suggesting is for Christians to use secular means to get across their own agendas. If you want God to have dominion, I suggest you write another letter to Christian parents that teach their kids how to pray and be Christians even when their school doesn’t make them do it. Or how about writing a letter to the church that shows them that they don’t need to have special status in the schools (while making all other religions feel inferior) to be doing their job in following Christ.
I would be with you to encourage people to look at all the things that have happened in Sarnia with people getting their lives together in Sarnia. Doesn’t it make you smile that it is happening without prayer being in the schools? Do you think there is some sort of block up now that we can’t go any further until prayer is re-instated? There has always been this other section at St. Clair that you speak of, it’s called the Christian Fellowship group. Why do you make comparisons of the smoking section and a “Christian” section? What is this section where people “can turn their lives around and walk away from school with a better attitude and better grades?” If you want to follow Jesus; I think that He would be hanging out in the smoking section with everyone, lighting up a cigarette and talking to the students about their day at school.