Phil Bryant, Republican governor of Mississippi, speaking to a group of 300 high school boys at the American Legion Boys State on Tuesday, said that he believes there should be an non-denominational prayer in our public schools. The Governor, who is Methodist, told the boys, “I don’t think it hurt us at all. I think it built our character, and I think it is what we should continue to do.” He believes that prayer should be in the schools to “let people know there is a God….those children should know that He does care about them, particularly within their classroom.”
Bryant is not suggesting that he would push for any action at this time, but hopes that “at some point at a moment of enlightenment in the future, the federal government and perhaps a future Supreme Court is going to say it’s not a bad thing for children to hear prayers in schools.”
Funny, he should use the term “enlightenment.” The Enlightenment, the historical period during which our nation was founded, was a time when Western man moved away from religion to science, from canon law to secular government.
What makes people like Bryant think that children don’t know about God unless some government official tells them about Him or Her? Why do these people assume that if others don’t belong to their particular church or religion, if they don’t receive guidance from some outside source, that they are ignorant of God?
These are the same people who demand that sex education be left to parents. Why can’t they leave religious education to parents as well? These people want government out of their local curriculums, no matter how inadequate that curriculum might be to train students to cope with the modern world, but want government to provide our children with God.
I find Bryant’s remarks equivalent to those bumper stickers that say “In case of the Rapture, this vehicle will be unoccupied.” It is pride that makes a person believe that he or she knows what God wants, is chosen of God or should direct how others find God. And the Bible is very clear about pride. (My preferred version is the King James.)
I Samuel 2:3. “Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge and by Him actions are weighed.”
Proverbs 11:2. “When pride cometh, then cometh shame, but with the lowly is wisdom.”
Proverbs 16:18. “Pride goeth before destruction and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
There are a dozen more of these, admonitions against pride, advice to go humbly in the world. Anyone who truly believes in Christ would know that.