It seems strange that I, a lowly columnist, have more rights than the superintendent of the Houston County schools system, but it seems that in one area I do.
Our superintendent, Robin Hines, invoked the wrath of an atheist watchdog group when he dared suggest to graduating seniors at one of Houston Countys commencement ceremonies in May that they live a life that includes faith in God.
According to the atheists, the United States Constitution forbids Hines, or for that matter anyone else associated with the school system, to tell our students to seek out God or to pray for Gods guidance. But that same Constitution gives me as a writer with a newspaper the explicit right.
So that is just what I am doing.
Let me be clear. I am not telling you to pray. I am begging you to pray. The atheists are not through with us here in Houston County. They have now broadened their scope and have demanded changes that include stopping churches that provide tutoring to low-income students and changing the alma mater at Warner Robins High School.
We have the best schools in Middle Georgia, some of the best schools in the state and country. Do you really think it is coincidence that our schools are so good and that the people that run them seek out Gods guidance?
Education is a mission field where people dedicate their lives to helping others better themselves. Sometimes that dedication comes in the form of instruction in a subject such as algebra or English. Sometimes, it comes in the form of moral teaching and leadership.
But sometimes a childs life is made better simply because a teacher prayed for that student.
I believe that it our obligation and our privilege to encourage the ministry of education with repeated and constant prayer.
Wednesday is the first day of school. What better way to start the school year for the 20,000 plus students that attend our schools than to get down before God and ask him to keep his hand on them? Pray without ceasing, the Bible tells us. What a better day to start than the first day of school, a day of promise and anticipation?
So let us pray together for the children of Houston County, the teachers, the staff and all of those who have chosen education not just as their vocation, but as their ministry.
Pray for the students concentration, for their diligence, safety and happiness. Thank God for those that have dedicated their lives to educating the next generation.
I am aggravated and I am offended. But I am actually not worried. The atheists can send letters and complain and they can threaten and even bring legal action. But regardless, they will never be able to take prayer completely out of schools. They will never ever win this fight.
As long as there are teachers giving tests and students that forget to study, there will be always be prayer in schools.
Contact Alline Kent at 396-2467 .