Originally Published: August 4, 2009 12:35 p.m.
Not long ago my wife and I attended a school choir concert. We thoroughly enjoyed the performance, which included such faith-inspiring songs as "Amazing Grace," "Christ, Be Thine the Glory" and "Sing Joy."
During the performance, the music director spoke to the audience about his love for the children. He shared a touching moment about the time his students approached him and asked if they could pray together. I was impressed with this teacher's confidence to speak of spiritual things within the walls of a school.
Another educator, a principal, also stepped bravely over this intimidating line that is supposed to separate church and state. He was asked to speak at a school district function about improving education. He stood tall and said, "Now I am going to tell you something else I believe our kids need -- spiritual guidance." He spoke boldly of what he feels is a vital part of a child's life -- the opportunity to learn of spiritual things, to attend a church and develop an understanding of who they are and their own self-worth.
I applaud these educators for their courage and frankness. There is a growing void of spirituality within many families as parents race around their children to earn a living and satisfy wants. We seem to be afraid to talk about the need for spiritual moments in school settings for fear of someone accusing us of violating a law. There is wisdom in looking back and recognizing the positive influence that school prayer surely must have had on our society -- a society that, not long ago, produced a generation of individuals who knew right from wrong, attended church, and would not embrace or accept such blatant violations of God's laws.
It seems ironic that current laws allow our children to sing songs of praise to God in a school choir, but prohibit prayer in the classrooms.
Keep singing, kids!