On the side that wouldn’t take the grand

Contributed by Jodi Paige

Just over 18 years ago, I became a parent for the first time.  On that day, I knew I was in charge of being a protector, teacher, and source of unconditional love for another being.  In that moment, I began to get a glimpse of what it truly means to be made in our Creator’s image, and He had blessed me with being a part of His creative process.

I’m a Christian.  But, despite being raised in the Bible Belt, I wasn’t raised in a God-fearing, Bible-believing home.  I was free to explore all faiths, or not even have a faith, if I so chose; most of my youth reflects that philosophy.  But when you earnestly seek truth, you find it.  I suppose Jesus had compassion on me like the followers who chased after Him.  I, too, was a sheep without a Shepherd.

Now, my firstborn has graduated high school.  I know it’s a big, bad world out there, but with much prayer and all the wisdom I’ve been given to pass along to my son, I watch with guarded enthusiasm as he enters his first year of college.  In the process of preparing for this season, I scanned various resources for financial assistance in the way of scholarships.  Some available are academic, philanthropic, military, and corporate.  But the existence of one I came across deeply saddened me:  a $1,000 scholarship on behalf of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

The criterion for the FFRF scholarship is to have been an activist student who has “done something specific to separate church and state (e.g., stopped religious programs in public schools, been a plaintiff in a church-state lawsuit, etc.) or to promote non-theism.”  Out of curiosity on who comprises this organization, I visited their web page.  Among their honorary board members are, to no one’s surprise, Richard Dawkins, Susan Jacoby, and SNL alumnus Julia Sweeney.  But a name that I was not prepared for was Ron Reagan.  His personal endorsement on the FFRF page states that he is an “unabashed atheist, not afraid of burning in hell.”

I don’t know who the future recipients of the FFRF scholarship will be.  But I sure pray those lost sheep find their Sheppard as well.  And to quote Ron Reagan’s father, our 40th President, “God is the center of our lives, the human family stands at the center of society, and our greatest hope for the future is in the faces of our children.  God’s most blessed gift to His family is the gift of life. He sent us the Prince of Peace as a babe in a manger. I’ve said that we must be cautious in claiming God is on our side. I think the real question we must answer is: Are we on His side?”

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2 Comments to “On the side that wouldn’t take the grand”

  1. I am a christian. I call myself a practicing christian as Im sure I dont have it right yet. Ive taught sunday school over 30 years.
    While I am firm in my faith, I very much support strong separation between church and state. Very strong separation.
    We look at Iraq and Iran to see the potential ills when government and religion are joined.
    Thomas Jefferson wrote the
    constitution. He was not a christian but was a deist.
    Many of the christian activists I see on tv and in the news practice a different brand of christianity than I do and that’s fine.I just dont want them able to impose their beliefs on me. Thus, I support separation of church and state.
    As an example, I dont support public prayer in school. Jesus addressed public prayer in the sermon on the mount and said not to do it. That part is written in red.
    Jesus never bashed gays. Im not gay or even close but I dont care if you or anyone else is. Of course, im not implying gayness on the part of anyone. Our evangelical brothers seem all too ready to judge homosexuals.
    If my daughter is pregnant out of wedlock or otherwise, I want a choice. I dont want the government making the decision for us..
    The voucher fight is just a disguised way to get religion into the schools. I dont want my tax money paying to run private “christian” schools.
    The present brand of evangelical christian appears rather judgmental to me and seems rather angry. These folks are far too willing to tell us what a “christian” should and should not believe. I just dont want someone else to interpret the scriptures for me and then place laws in place to govern my behavior as they believe God tells them I should act.
    So, on the issue of separation of church and state, Im all for it. Please lets keep it separate. And I as a christian and an american am glad there are people out there fighting to keep them separate.

  2. Quote: The voucher fight is just a disguised way to get religion into the schools. I dont want my tax money paying to run private “christian” schools….

    Okay let me get this straight: youre a christian, you don’t want your tax money supporting christian schools, but you’re fine that your tax money goes to pay to run secular schools? I don’t think you’re thinking clearly….

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