A Georgia high school football coach is in hot water. He didn’t punch one of his players. He wasn’t having an inappropriate relationship with a student.
He was praying.
With his football team.
There were also Bible verses on several team documents.
In an absolutely non-shocking development, the American Humanist Association is threatening to sue the school district. They are demanding that the coaching staff at Chestatee High School stop participating in team prayers and that they no longer include Bible verses or other religious materials on team documents.
In cases like this one, groups such as the American Humanist Association always use the same phrase. The separation of church and state. And the state usually always goes along with the separating. But it’s not a total separation that the state really wants.
I never hear anything about the separation of church and state when the state wants to use a church building so that people in the community can get a shower and a warm meal after a tornado wipes out an entire neighborhood. Can you imagine that one?
“Sorry, folks. Can’t go in there. I know you’re tired and hungry but it’s a church! Run away!”
I wonder how the people in my voting district would respond this November if they found out that they had to drive out of their district to vote, all in an effort to avoid casting their ballot inside of a church building. Gasp!
When a few kids at a Georgia high school get killed in a car wreck, church and state separation always seems to take a break. For some reason, your son’s old principal saying, “We’re thinking about you and sending good thoughts your way during this difficult time” doesn’t carry as much weight as your son’s old football coach saying, wait for it, an actual prayer. Oh the humanity!
The state isn’t really interested in the separation of church and state. They want the two to work together just so long as it’s the church working for and in total submission to the state.
In that sense, I’m all for a separation of church and state.
When bakers, wedding planners and pastors decide not to perform a marriage for a gay couple because homosexual marriage violates their beliefs, will the state and the American Humanist Association come to the defense of those bakers, wedding planners and pastors? Will they stand in his defense, referencing their favorite separation of church and state arguments? Not likely.
You can legislate prayer out of school. You can bully prayer out of school. But you can never really take prayer out of school.
For those who truly belong to Jesus, prayer is more than a political statement or a freedom issue. It’s communion with their Master. And that Master happens not to be the state. That Master is the One who gives the state its power and the One who can just as easily take it away. That’s the One we pray to. And that’s why a law will never keep us from praying or obeying Scripture.
Neither will a bully.
Neither will a den of hungry lions.