Daily Archives: March 6, 2008


Yes...the "in peace" is necessary, to protect from accusations that freedom to practice a religion in peace leaves the idea open for abuse and violence. ANY idea is open for abuse; that's a fact of life in a fallen world.  That does not mean the idea is bad...it means people are bad.

That said, if a person chooses to practice their religion in the way that they believe most honors God and if that way is not proven to be inherently harmful to others,  they should be allowed to practice in peace.

we have a student in our class (I'll call her Maria - NOT her real name) who is a Jehovah's Witness.   Today is Maria's birthday.  And yet...even though Maria tells us that "we don't celebrate birthdays", our lead teacher had us bake a cake in cooking class and the students sang happy birthday (led by another staff).   As a Christian, I have a real issue with a public school employee directly choosing to introduce into a specific student's school day an action that is in direct contradiction to a parent's  religious conviction.

* there are times when the entire class participates in a "thing" that is contrary to a religious conviction - this is the opposite of what I am talking about.  At Christmas time we went to Meijer Garden to see Christmas trees.  Maria stayed home rather than participate in an event for the entire class.  Today, Maria was the reason for the celebration.  I have had people of other religions in classes before and they are pretty understanding of the class as a whole - students have eaten birthday cake and Christmas candy, yet not taken part in the "party scene".

A run down on situations I have run into:

  • Valentine's - some do, some don't.  A student who has parents who teach them that giving valentine's is glorifying humans rather than God should not be pressured to give valentine's
  • Going out for pizza - last year I had a Muslim student; just try taking a class out for pizza and finding a place that can assure us that pork has never touched either the pizza or the equipment it was prepared with.
  • Christmas - we have a young man who REALLY wants to be in choir.  He loves to sing, but the main feature of the school choir is a Christmas concert.
  • sex ed - we have an "opt-out" clause that allows a parent to review the curriculum and opt their student out of sex ed that teaches that which the parent does not want taught.
  • Harry Potter (and like that).  There were two second grade students at a school that I worked at several years ago whose parents wanted them to leave the classroom when Harry Potter was being read.  The teacher not only refused to design an alternate lesson plan (which could have been as simple as having them go with another class to P.E.), she also made it clear to the class what was happening, opening up the boys for ridicule.

If a school cannot make a case that NOT celebrating a birthday, NOT eating pork is harmful, NOT singing in the Christmas concert is harmful, NOT reading Harry Potter is harmful...then leave the students alone.



Thirteen Verses about the Father and the Son

  1. But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians 7:3) - all verses are from the ESV
  2. Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ (John 8:54)
  3. yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. (1 Cor. 8:6)
  4. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all. (1 Cor. 15:28)
  5. so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:10-11)
  6. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Col 3:17)
  7. but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. (Heb. 1:2)
  8. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. (John 5:21-23)
  9. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. (John 5:26)
  10. Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, (John 10:25)
  11. For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. (John 12:49)
  12. but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope. (Heb 3:6)
  13. We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.(Romans 6:4)

Chapter 3.—What Augustin Requests from His Readers. The Errors of Readers Dull of
Comprehension Not to Be Ascribed to the Author. (from "On the Trinity")

"(...)6. I expect, indeed, that some, who are more dull of understanding, will imagine that in some
parts of my books I have held sentiments which I have not held, or have not held those which I
have. But their error, as none can be ignorant, ought not to be attributed to me, if they have deviated
into false doctrine through following my steps without apprehending me, whilst I am compelled
to pick my way through a hard and obscure subject (...)