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Christian students must stand up for constitutional rights

To the Editor:
Now that students have returned to school there might be confusion about their right to pray and express their religious beliefs. The American Center for Law and Justice (www.ACLJ.org) says the U.S. Supreme Court consistently has held that “students don’t shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District, (1969). The ACLJ also says, “The right to persuade, advocate or evangelize a religious viewpoint, implicates the very reason the First Amendment was adopted. Accordingly, the U.S. Constitution forbids school officials from censoring student speech because of the religious content of that speech.” The Rutherford Institute (www.rutherford.org) says student-initiated prayer is legal and students have the right to meet and pray together during free time on school property.
According to www.christianheadlines.com students can express their faith in five ways.
1. Bring their Bible. It’s perfectly legal and a constitutional right to bring a Bible or New Testament to school. It can be read during free time such as lunch, recess or on the bus.
2. Pray before lunch. Praying is legal anytime if it doesn’t interrupt a class or other school function.
3. Start an after-school Bible study. Public schools allow after-school Bible studies or clubs, as long as they are student-run and led.
4. Incorporate faith into a school project. For example if required to write a biography of their choice they could choose an influential Christian such as Martin Luther.
5. Share the gospel with a classmate. Students should give their testimony of how Jesus has positively impacted and changed their life. For example they can say how prayer has lowered their stress and how the Holy Spirit has helped them be more forgiving and less easily offended. Also, if the opportunity presents itself and the student feels the Holy Spirit’s guiding, they should share the gospel (1 Corinthians 15) with fellow students. The clearest way to explain salvation is say you need to accept that you are a sinner and need Jesus. Believe Jesus died for your sins, was buried and rose again and is your only way to Heaven. Call on or pray to Jesus to give you His free gift of salvation.
God can use Christian students of any age and they can make a positive difference. Remember what the Bible says in 1 Timothy 4:12: Let no one despise you for your youth but be an example in word, in conversation, in love, in spirit, in faith and in purity. According to the Christian website www.seeyouatthepole.org on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 at 7 a.m. is this year’s see you at the pole event when students meet at flagpoles to pray for their schools. However, Christians should pray for their teachers and the students every day. The nationwide bring your Bible to school day is Thursday, October 7, 2021. See www.focusonthefamily.com/bring-your-bible. As Paul did as a Roman citizen in the Bible, American Christians should stand up for our constitutional rights! As Martin Luther did 500 years ago Christians must take a stand for truth. In these evil last days before the return of Jesus students are under more demonic spiritual attack than ever. However, the Bible says Christians overcome by the blood of Jesus and our testimony. The Bible says in Ephesians when you take a stand put on the whole armor of God! “Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore!”

D. D. Nave
Elizabethton