Standing up

Community members gathered Monday night at a special called meeting by the Jackson County Board of Education regarding faith-based acitivities.

Community members remained calm and patient inside the Jackson County Board of Education meeting room Monday afternoon as they waited on a decision from the board regarding complaints about faith-based activities at one high school.

The board met in a closed session to discuss potential litigation over the complaints that were filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF).

And while the board met, the people prayed. They also sang "Amazing Grace," and shared personal stories about their own lives and interactions in school with "Bible Man," Horace Turner.

Complaints cited by the FFRF include visits from Turner, a Christmas program featuring religious songs, prayer before athletic events and a church sponsored breakfast for athletes and band members.

But even the complaints and possible banning of Turner from the schools didn't stop people from sharing stories about "Bible Man."

Pisgah High School student Zachary Goff remembers his elementary school moments with "Bible Man."

As a child, Goff said, Bible stories shared through cutouts on Turner's felt board made all the difference in his understanding of the Bible.

"I learned more from 'Bible Man' than I did at church. The 'Bible Man' made learning the stories of the Bible fun," said Goff. "We were never forced to go see 'Bible Man'. It was our choice."

Goff was one of the many crowd members that spoke up.

Some individuals read Scriptures from the Bible, while others led prayer and shared personal life stories and testimonies

The common thread was Turner's teachings.

"During our birthday month, 'Bible Man' would give us a coin with the Scripture John 3:16 on the back," said Goff. "I still have mine."

Another gentleman recalled Turner's story about a lighthouse and how "the love of God is with you whereever you go."

"I might have lived life bad for many years, but I never forgot 'Bible Man' teaching me about the lighthouse," the man said. "And the day I let Jesus in my heart, I remembered that old story."

Todd Smith shared a Scripture from Joshua 1:9 and reminded people about the day prayer was removed from schools.

"We sat back and said prayer would never be taken out of schools and then it happened," said Smith. "We can't sit back any more."

Once the board returned from executive session and announced that "Bible Man" would not be taken out of the schools, crowd members stood up and cheered.

After the meeting was dismissed, Smith asked if it would be OK for everyone to pray one more time.

"It seems we do a lot of asking God to do things, and when he comes through we never thank him," said Smith. "This (decision) is truly something to be thankful for."

 

(9) comments

Works for a living

I love the picture with this article.

B33bl3br0x

I'm surprised that in this time of financial difficulty, the school board here has decided that they have plenty of money to throw away defending a law suit that there is absolutely no chance they can win (true it hasn't been filed yet but you know that it's going to be coming). Oh by the way not only will they have to pay the districts own legal fees but they'll also have to pay the legal fees of the plaintiff when they (the district) lose, plus (potentially) punitive damages (should the plaintiff decide to ask for them).

The legal precedents are very clear on this one, it's an open and shut case.

Jesus Believer

I'll give my tax dollars to support the stand for God upon whom our great nation was built.
If anyone is worried about the financial aspect, God owns it all and his money has been wasted on politics and things which do not actually benefit students.but no one complains.
If you are concened about use of educational funds in Jackson County, attend the meetings, read the agends, and see where tax money goes. i'll take Jesus over all of these. I'd rather have an eternal education because the benefits are out of this world.
John 3:16

Diet Dew

[smile][smile][smile]

cestlefun17

In the United Kingdom they have crucifixes in public schools and they read the Lord's Prayer over the intercom. If you're a parent you are free to raise your children in other faiths, but you must compete with the government's official position that children are best raised in the Church of England.

The Supreme Court has ruled time and time again that it is the responsibility of parents, not big government, to instill their religious beliefs in their children. If I want to raise my child to be Hindu, or Muslim, or atheist, I should not have to worry about my parental authority to raise my children in a certain faith to be challenged by big government.

If the same thing were happening with a Muslim preacher, I would imagine most people would be appalled, as they should be. The same is true for a Christian preacher. Even if Christianity is the one, true religion, and even though it is the majority religion, there are no exceptions in the Establishment Clause for one-true religions or majority religions. Christians are not above the law, and it is arrogant (and against the Bible itself: Romans 13:1-7) to think otherwise.

Be a parent and raise your children Christian yourself and stop trying to get big government to raise your children for you.

Quislet

I don't doubt that the Bible Man "made learning the storie of the Bible fun." It is good for a person to turn their life around, whether through religious belief or otherwise. And students have a right to pray (non-disruptively) and/or read their Bible in the morning before class, between classes, during lunch, and at the end of the school day. But the school should not be leading the prayer or allowing proselytizers into the public school. How many who support the Bible Man would be happy with the school having Buddha Man speaking with/teaching the students?

And in regard to what Jesus Believer said. God may indeed "own it all", but it was the taxpayers of Dover Pennsylvania, Santa Fe Texas, and other locations who ended up paying. Would the taxpayers of Jackson County be willing to pay to defend having the Koran taught to the students?

warzypants

People should try to hold their religious fervour in check for a moment and read the recent decision in Ahlquist v City of Cranston. One factor that helped the judge find in favor of the atheist Plaintiff in a case about a prayer mural in school was the atmosphere of "a religious revival" at the committee meetings, and the obvious "entanglement with religion" that this involved the government in. Well worth a read at http://www.rid.uscourts.gov/menu/judges/opinions/recent/01112012_1-11CV0138L_AHLQUIST_V_CRANSTON_P.pdf.

And before you shake your heads and say "activist judge", this is a Ronald Reagan appointed, Conservative, Catholic senior federal judge. So be careful what you wish for.

The City of Cranston are currently on the hook for $173,000 legal expenses to the ACLU. Your district is looking at the same or more if you are not very careful.

donnal

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

I am so proud of the men and women who took a stand God Bless you all..

paganparent

Do I need to bring Wicca literature and books to the individual schools or to the school board for distribution to the students?

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