Stripping God denies freedom of religionRecently, a public school in Bellingham, Mass., found itself embroiled in controversy.
By: By Pastor Mark, Superior Telegram
Recently, a public school in Bellingham, Mass., found itself embroiled in controversy.
They planned to edit Lee Greenwood’s song “God Bless the USA” for one of their programs, by changing the words “God Bless the USA” to “We Love the USA.”
However, parents of the children began to protest, and Greenwood himself threatened to disallow the school use of his song if they took God out of it. At last report, the song was still in the repertoire, retaining God’s name.
Several years ago, another Massachusetts School removed candy canes from the children’s Christmas gift shop, alleging that they expressed a Christian message. (Duh? Christmas is a Christian message).
In Acton, Mass., a family sued the public school to remove the words “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance, citing it was discriminatory to non-believers.
So here is the question: If including the word “God” is discriminatory to non-believers, isn’t removing it discriminatory to believers?
Shouldn’t there be a more tolerant, neutral ground? After all, silencing any faith expression, by default supports the non-faith position over the Christian position.
“Faith neutral” expressions deny faith.
Therefore, I suggest, if the words of a song, Christian or not, offend you, don’t sing them. If a phrase in a pledge is unacceptable, don’t say it. If a candy cane is offensive, don’t buy it.
Refusing participation makes one statement, just as participating makes another. This way each view is allowed to express itself, and a fair and equal profession is made by all.
Pastor Mark Holmes is an ordained minister in the Wesleyan Church and has served the Darrow Road Wesleyan Church since 1997.