My sister had a baby last week and so our family has been focused on a new little newborn. This has led me to ponder what the future will be like for this little child.
One story that hit the news last week was the high school graduation ceremony where the valedictorian read the Lord’s Prayer for his speech since the school district had chosen to not allow prayers at school functions.
I was thinking about this young man and the stand that he took, that he had to take given the decision made by the school district to remove religion from the ceremony. He rose to the occasion and made a statement about who he is. Had he not done that and had he just read a typical graduation speech, no one would have thought anything less of him. In fact, he would still have been applauded as the valedictorian of his school. However, he did something more. He stood up for who he is knowing there may be consequences. The school officials may have had the microphone turned off for all he knew. People may have denounced his action. But, he took a stand anyway because he knew it needed to be done.
When it comes to religious liberty, the days are past where religion was generally accepted as the basis of society. Religion is being systematically removed from our institutions and government. This is far beyond anything the Framers intended, but this is where we are. So, it becomes even more important for individuals to actually practice their liberties to keep religion in the public sphere.
This is a huge task for a generation that is growing up not hearing prayers in public. Children are living in a world where religion is a secretive event allowed only to be practiced at home and in churches. They are not learning about religion in schools, even to the point of having “Winter” parties instead of Christmas parties. Their “normal” will not equate to public displays of religion, and yet that is the task that is falling on them if we are to have any hope for a future where religion is once again a vibrant part of society.
Then there is the breakdown of the family. My nephew will grow up in a family where religion is practiced and revered. But he will find himself more and more in the minority. Families are falling apart and religious devotion is slipping. It isn’t a secret that these are related principles. Strong families make us better people and tend to be more religiously active as a recent Heritage blog post pointed out.
I recognize this is a somewhat negative outlook of both the current and the future, but I am not even 40 yet and I can see a palpable difference in the way society treats religion.
May the next generation be strong enough to rise to the occasion and stand for truth. May my new little nephew learn this and be willing to be criticized if needed for boldly declaring what he knows.