Saturday, January 28, 2012

New Attacks on Christian Schools

Never thought I would see this in Arkansas—in the middle of the Bible Belt—but I am.

I'm talking about this disturbing report in the Christian Post, which says that a state agency wants to ban Christian pre-schools from having religious activities with enrolled children. Of course, the usual suspects are involved . . .

Last November, the Americans United for the Separation of Church and State accused the preschool of using state funding to promote religion, violating the First Amendment, and asked the state to investigate.

DHS sent an inspector to the school and discovered religious art on the walls, Bible study and Bible song sessions in the activity schedules, and a "Pledge of Allegiance to the Christian Flag" and "Pledge to the Bible" on the walls.

At first glance, our reaction is one of both outrage and wonder, since a Christian institution is expected to uphold Christian teaching. That's why most parents put their children in one. But the catch here is that this particular Christian school receives state funding. And therein lies the pit waiting to swallow its victims whole. When you take government funding, you have government strings.

Honestly, this whole thing gets very tiresome to me after a while. The argument that government funding (or better yet, the Constitution) mandates religious neutrality for anyone receiving government dollars (our dollars) is bogus. The Founding Fathers would have laughed at such a notion, and they ought to know what they meant when they wrote the Constitution. But such is the state of today's jurisprudence.

In the future, churches and other Christian agencies/schools will need to consider very carefully whether the precious tax-exemption and government dollars are worth the cost. Loyalty to Christ and loyalty to the Gospel ought to be the main driving factor. But how many will compromise out of economic interest?

It remains to be seen.

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