Today’s blog is guaranteed to generate response that is completely unrelated to my point. So I decided to review again one of my favorite public service films of all time. It was called Duck and Cover and the film featured a turtle named Bert. You can enjoy a couple of chuckles by watching this film here.
The film spent nine terrifying minutes telling you a nuclear bomb could detonate at any moment. To be fair, the film primarily advocated finding appropriate shelter. But if such shelter was not readily available the very serious announcer suggested you should duck and cover when you saw the bright flash of detonation. While I guess such an action is better than nothing it seems ludicrous that this would be of much value in the event of nuclear attack. When I took a break from being terrified I wondered about some important questions. Like why does a turtle wear a safety helmet? How could the helmet fit inside the shell when Bert ducked and covered? And how did the monkey in that tree get his hands on dynamite? Hopefully today’s post will raise some questions even more important than those vital queries.
Yesterday I came across the type of story in The Dallas Morning News that used to make my blood boil. It was a report about a lawsuit filed by a disgruntled parent in a Dallas suburb. Here is the report:
David Wallace Croft says he is fighting against the influence of “Judeo-Christian monotheism.” He defines himself as an atheist, an “optihumanist” and a Libertarian. Over the past several years, he has fought any signs of religion at the Carrollton school his three children attend. He complained about Boy Scout rallies held during school, fliers sent home about Good News Bible Club meetings and the inclusion of “Silent Night” and a Hanukkah song in holiday concerts. The rallies and fliers stopped, and in some cases the songs were removed or altered, angering other parents.
There was a time when reading that would have made my blood pressure soar to dangerous levels. Now it just makes me perplexed. I do not understand the level of anger and/or paranoia that drives people like Mr.Croft. The overwhelming majority are affected because of a handful of squeaky wheels. My kingdom for some reason and and ounce of common sense.
Mr. Croft, 39, often stopped by the campus looking for violations. He took photos as evidence of “In God We Trust” posters hanging on the wall and complained about a teacher wearing an Abilene Christian University shirt.
How about stopping all cash transactions at the school cafeteria? Every time a coin is used the student is exposed to “In God We Trust”. I cannot imagine how many humanists/atheists have come to a profound faith after reading a nickel.
His largest fight to date is set to play out in federal district court in Dallas (this week). He and his wife, Shannon, are suing Gov. Rick Perry and the Carrollton-Farmers Branch school district, arguing that the state’s minute of silence, in effect since 2003, is unconstitutional and amounts to state-sanctioned school prayer. The lawsuit says a Rosemeade teacher told Mr. Croft’s son that the minute of silence held each morning was specifically for prayer. She then bowed her head, clasped her hands and began to pray.
If the school crossed the line I am sure they will respond appropriately. Lawsuits like this one have put the fear of God (or whatever force you happen to fear) into educators. This would be what small minds like mine would call a “mistake” and not a state sponsored agenda to convert Mr.Croft’s son. Teachers will learn how they should handle the minute of silence and we move on. Right? No! Because that would make sense and would not get your name in the paper.
Here comes one of the most ridiculous arguments I have ever encountered.
“Moment of silence bills have been popping up in additional states,” Mr. Croft wrote on his blog. “To have millions of public school children waste a minute of education each day for a practice that has no secular purpose seems to me like a great sin.”
If Mr.Croft is really prowling the halls of his local school he knows that that the one minute of silence is not the biggest time waster in our educational system. And I could suggest that wasting my tax dollars for law suits like this might also be a great sin.
Mr.Croft gives me tired head. Another story that crossed my electronic desk struck as being a far bigger issue. Christian parents seemed surprisingly unconcerned about their spiritual condition according to researcher George Barna. The Barna Report noted that evangelical parents seem most concerned about the culture.
Evangelical Christian parents were three times more likely than other Christian segments to identify responding to the declining morals and values of society as a major challenge. They were also notably more likely than other Christian parents to feel they failed to devote enough time to their faith – even though they invest a larger share of their time each week to faith-related activities.
That highlights a critical mistake that I have made and many other Christians make. We spend time on causes instead of time with Christ. This brings me to the change in my walk with Jesus. I care about cultural issues. I am involved politically. But my biggest point of emphasis is learning how to follow Jesus and what that looks like in my daily life. Jesus gave us a very short to do list.
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Making disciples means you have to live your faith out. Living your faith means that others see Jesus in your life. I wonder if we don’t fight the wrong battles when it comes to spiritual matters. George Barna, who directed the survey, emphasized the importance of so many parents listing the challenge of spiritual training for their children.
“Our studies show that the faith principles and practices that a child absorbs by age thirteen boldly shapes their spirituality for the duration of their life,” the researcher stated. “Parents have a greater impact on that process than anyone else.” Barna also expressed surprise that the percentage of parents indicating such concern was so small. “This was a study exclusively of Christian parents with young children in their household. Given companion surveys showing that such parents often convey dismay over the eroding cultural environment for raising children, and how difficult parenting is these days, we anticipated a broader emphasis upon the challenges related to bringing up spiritually whole and healthy children.”
Parents are the most important factor in a child’s faith. I wish that we didn’t have to worry about every little offense that might irritate those who do not have faith. But their influence on our children’s lives is insignificant compared to our own. Let us not lose sight of the real battle. That is putting on the armor of God, living for Him every single day and modeling that for your children.