A newspaper editorial from a small city in another state caught my eye recently and evoked that question. The service which initiated the week-long graduation festivities for generations seems to have all but disappeared from the scene and I think that is a travesty. In the town referred to above, their County Ministerial Association still sponsors the service in one of its larger churches. Sadly, it was reported that fewer than 25 per cent of the Class of 2010 took time to show up. The writer agreed that there were a number of excuses for 'no shows'--it fell on a holiday weekend, etc. etc. But he found none of them acceptable. Memorial Day will come around next year, but graduation ceremonies come once in a lifetime and the time of religious observation should be a significant part of it all. This can be a great time for students to pause and reflect on this major step in their lives, put the upcoming events in perspective, and begin the process of saying goodbye. Tradition may not seem important to 17 and 18-year-olds, but they mark significant passages in our lives and have a greater influence than they realize. The writer pointed out that parents, teachers, sponsors and pastors have an obligation to explain all of this to the young people, and concluded by saying that when the community, through the ministerial association, had made the considerable effort to honor the students, it would only have been good manners for them to have attended.
That sponsors, teachers and, particularly, parents have an inherent responsibility is a premise with which I totally agree. We often bemoan the demise of truly good education and complain about the behavior of our young folks, but more often than not we stand idly by and let it happen. When are we going to stand up to the forces that seem to be set on taking religious principles out of our society, in the name of 'separating church and state'?
How many of you watched the Memorial Day Concert from Washington DC? In spite of all the 'separation' propaganda that abounds, it was filled with nothing but praise and thanksgiving to the Almighty for the blessings He has given our nation. I kept asking myself, "How do you suppose they managed to go through ninety whole minutes filled with prayers and blessings?" Those prayers, by the way were all to God, and not to Allah, and wasn't there something a bit hollow about the President's being out of town, and his excuse for not wanting to cause extra security measures? But that's another matter.
I think this all ties in together. I firmly believe that only if we bring the Christian principles on which our great nation was founded back to the public square and back into public education, will our country survive.
These are serious matters for us all to ponder.