Russell’s Ramblings

Those who do not hear the music might think the dancer mad

A Prayer to Keep

3rd Grade Finley Road
3rd Grade Finley Road

Not long ago, I picked up the paper to find that one of our regional towns was wrestling with the issue of an invocation before Town Board meetings.  In a majority vote, the town decided to observe an invocation or moment of silence before each meeting.

It comes when there seems to be so much controversy in our society about the role of religion in public venues.  Prayer in school, innovations at sporting events, and references to the Ten Commandments are being challenged by the ACLU and those who are offended at the thought of religion threatening their freedoms.  Separation of church and state is their battle cry.    I don’t claim to be an expert in constitutional law.  However, I do pride myself to be a student of history and from everything I have read I am led to believe the founding fathers envisioned a country based on freedom of religion…not freedom from religion.

When I was in third grade, a retired lady would visit our school once a month.  She would hand out little green Bibles to the children and spend half an hour telling Bible stories.  Our parents had to sign an approval form before we could attend her story telling sessions.  Those who did not want to participate could go to the back of the room and take a nap or play with some of the games and puzzles kept there.  Many of us chose to listen to Mrs. Trumbell’s stories of David and Goliath and King Solomon’s Mighty Temple.

Today, nearly forty years later, children do not have the choice between taking a nap and Bible stories.  Religious displays have been banned in public buildings and on municipal grounds.  Nativity scenes are not allowed but Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer is still welcome.    I recently attended a meeting in which the discussion centered on the declining work ethic in today’s employees.  Last week I read about an offensive marketing campaign by a major retailer with strong sexual images in storefront windows.  We hear the news reports daily about heartbreaking stories committed against children by their parents.

The state of our workforce, our families, and our communities tell me that people like Mrs. Trumbell are sorely missed.  I agree you cannot legislate morality, however we as parents, community leaders, and volunteers can work with children and help them understand and appreciate simple values.  The education the children receive at home, through the examples set by parents, are stronger than any instruction they can receive at school.

The students educated today are the business and community leaders of tomorrow.  I applaud our elected leadership who insist God still has a place in our society.  To whom we pray is less important than the fact we should pause each day and give thanks for the blessings from above. We are so fortunate to live in a country founded on strong principles and paid for by the blood, toil, and sweat of the generations who came before us.  Let us never forget the sacrifices made by so many so that we could enjoy the privileges we have today.  Let us pause and give thanks while America still has a prayer.

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March 12, 2009 - Posted by | Personal | , , , , ,

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