I keep hearing people talking about God being ‘taken out’ of things-of our schools, of Christmas, or our lives in general, etc. For instance-
Much of the time, I have nothing but respect for Gov. Huckabee. In fact, that’s why I posted the second link-out of fairness. My mother was from Arkansas-specifically, Leachville-and some of my summers were spent there. He comes off as a decent person, which is more than I can say for some other Republicans right now. My ‘beef’ is with something he said, and it would have been the same had it come from anyone else.
‘Taking God out of schools’? Sorry, I’ve got to disagree on that one. Granted, I’m not a Southern Baptist pastor (I have the wrong genitalia for that) and haven’t been around the block as much as I assume Gov. Huckabee has, so I’m sure he knows things I don’t. However, it’s been my experience that it’s not really possible to ‘take’ God out of anything if we are intent on keeping Him in.
I never had a prayer led by a teacher in school. I was raised in the South and, while I took part in many extra-curricular Bible study groups and student-led prayers, I never once had a teacher or principal so much as *mention* God or the Bible in anything other than an academic way. Some might say that this is because our schools have become ‘prayer-free’ or ‘God-free zones’ in the name of tolerance and secularism. Maybe they have been for some people, but not for me.
There’s a common statement out there saying that, as long as there are tests, there is prayer in schools. I think it’s meant as somewhat of a joke, but there is a grain of truth in there. No one ever *made* me pray, but no one ever *stopped* me from praying either. And you know what? No one tried. Even if they had, it wouldn’t have worked. This is because I believe that God is wherever we are, wherever there are hearts open and ready to receive Him. Maybe no one else in the room acknowledges or recognizes Him, but He’s there nonetheless.
I can say for certain that He was around me before I became a Christian at age 15-I just didn’t know it. Coming to Christ wasn’t a dramatic experience so much as finally putting a name to something-someone-I had known all along.
I understand why Gov. Huckabee would say that people only turn to God in times of crisis. That’s true, more so than I’d like to admit. I don’t think about God all the time the way some of my friends do, and I’m not even really all that good about reading my Bible or going to church. As inattentive as I am, I do seem to have more to say to Him when times are rough. However, that doesn’t mean that God isn’t there during those other times. It doesn’t mean that the relationship has ended or that we’ve ‘lost favor’ or anything; He’s there, even if we don’t acknowledge or feel Him at all. It’s just that, a lot of the time, I just don’t know what to say. I guess you could say that that’s a *good* thing, because being silent puts you in a position to hear what He has to say instead of taking the lead all the time.
Also, many of us chatter to fill the silence because we aren’t comfortable with it; we wonder what the other person is thinking, if they are thinking badly about us, are bored, etc. It’s been said that it’s only when you know someone very well and are close to them that you will be comfortable with their silence. I find this to be very true, of God and of people. Even if God isn’t speaking in a clearly-perceptible way, He’s still present and still cares for us. Our silence while still acknowledging Him can be taken as a good thing-a sign that we are truly comfortable with Him and where we need to be.
In a couple of hours, I am going to my (Episcopal) church for Midnight Mass. I haven’t gone in the past couple of years because it’s sometimes hard for me to stay up that late, but it’s a beautiful service. If there was ever any doubt of God’s presence in our lives, it will be gone by the time of the first bell.
My parents taught me that many things in life are what we make of them. Christ is still in Christmas, because I want Him to be. My marriage is sacred, because we want God to be part of it. He’s been in every classroom, at every wedding, and even in the mausoleum where we had my mother’s funeral. He is there because we want Him to be, and there is no law or ‘political correctness’ that can change that. And there never will be because He is with us, even to the end of the age.
Just my .02, Gov. Huckabee.