September 26, 2013
For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes .... Romans 1:16a
When I was young, I had a hero: the Lone Ranger. How could you not like a guy who didn't shoot to kill, who rode a white horse, and never stuck around for any embarrassing "Thank you, masked man. Whoever you are?"
When I became an adult, I had a hero: Clayton Moore, the fellow who played the Lone Ranger on television. Knowing he was the hero of millions of children, he tried to live his life worthy of that honor. (Try to find some star or athlete or singer or politician who does that today!)
Most of us have idols. Ten-year-old Erin Shead of Lucy Elementary School in Millington, Tennessee, has an idol. When her teacher asked her to write an essay about a person she idolized, she wrote, "I look up to God. I love Him and Jesus, and Jesus is His earthly Son. I also love Jesus." I hope that Shead keeps her promise that God will "always be the number one Person I look up to."
That might be easier said than done. You see, Shead's teacher told her she could not use God as an idol for the assignment. She had to take her essay home because it couldn't stay on school property.
Of course, it is possible this might have been an honest mistake made by a teacher who doesn't understand the First Amendment. It's possible, but not likely. A spokesman for the Shelby School District said, "Teachers are prohibited from promoting religious beliefs in the classroom." He also said, "The school doesn't have a policy about students expressing their religious beliefs."
So, why couldn't Shead write about God? The district's spokesman didn't have an answer.
Amazing! Last week the U.S. Supreme Court said, "In God We Trust" will stay on our coins and during that same week a teacher in Tennessee basically said, "We may trust God, but we can't write about Him."
All of this means I have a new hero.
I'm going to look up to and, as best as I can, encourage students like Erin Shead who not only love the Lord, but aren't afraid to say so. Sadly, they are growing up in a country that is mighty confused. It is my prayer all of us old veterans may do all we can to encourage these young folks to be witnesses for the Savior who gave His life, so they might have life.
Oh, by the way, you should know the teacher approved of Shead's second choice of heroes: Michael Jackson.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, be with our courts and our schools. May they learn to send a right and consistent message to the young of America. And, even if they don't, may our young trust in and hold fast to You and Your only Son, their Savior. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries