A Thief in the Night
Imagine walking down the street late at night. A man approaches you with a gun. “Give me you’re money.” You quickly hand over your cash, hoping to escape with your life. The man takes your money and walks away. You run home, slam the door and hop online. “Holy shit, guess what just happened to me.” Your Facebook friends offer words of support and encourage you to report the robbery. “No, it really wasn’t that bad. They probably won’t catch him anyways.”
You have now gone from being the victim to being an enabler.
There are High School students all over America who are being robbed of their freedoms every day. Someone sits down in their English class and the teacher leads them in prayer. Someone sits down in a History class and hears how great Jesus was. Someone sits down in Psychology class and hears that everyone needs good spiritual healing through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
All too often I read about these incidents being reported online by High School students who are reluctant to report the incident officially.
Taking a Stand
Most people reach out to their peers in times of emotional turmoil and mental frustration. Our friends can be a great support mechanism for helping us vent about our troubles. But when it comes to violations of the American Constitution, you need more than just a friend.
Some people may be hesitant to take a stand. What will my friends think? What will my parents think? Will I get in trouble at school? Am I going to get a bad grade?
These are all valid concerns every student must face when confronted with Church/ State violations. But here’s another: What are the consequences of not taking action?
Making a Difference
We stand upon the shoulders of giants. Americans weren’t given the rights we have today because someone ignored the wrongdoing of others. Every right we have was fought for in one form or another. On the battlefield, in the courts, on the picket lines and marching through Birmingham, Americans have a long and proud tradition of standing up for their rights.
But apathy towards the rights we have lead to their erosion. It serves no purpose to have laws against robbery if robberies go unreported, just as it serves no purpose to have the right to a secular education if preaching goes unreported. Americans have the right to home school their children or send them to a private school if they want their child to receive a religious indoctrination, I mean education. Public schools exist so that everyone can receive a fair education free of religion.
Reporting the Crime
The man who robbed you will most likely rob again if not caught. Reporting the crime doesn’t always result in the perpetrator being caught, but the only sure way to guarantee they are not caught is to not report it at all. Those who will follow in your footsteps and attend the same school next year, and the year after, and the decade after are depending on you not only to stand up for them, but to stand up for yourself.
This is a list of contact information and various methods of reporting infractions if you or someone you know has been the victim of a Church/ State violation.
Reporting a violation with The Freedom From Religion Foundation
Reporting a violation through Americans United
Email contact for reporting a violation with American Atheists
Contact information for your local ACLU
Contact information for your local Anti-Defamation League