We live in a country that is the most evangelical in the world.
We live in a state that is part of the Bible Belt. In fact, it may be part of the buckle.
And it is amazing how many American politicians seek to gain a political endorsement from the Son of God. They know that seeking the endorsement of God is essential to garnering a very faithful voting segment of the population. Many in our state have done it.
Take a visit to the website for the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation – http://cpcfoundation.com/. That’s .COM. It’s commercially driven.
Now take a look at the North Carolina Caucus members – http://cpcfoundation.com/north-carolina-prayer-caucus-members/. See some familiar names?
- Governor Dan Forest
- Senator David Curtis, Co-Chair
- Senator Chad Barefoot
- Senator Jerry Tillman
These lawmakers abide by the CPCF’s Vision and Mission which state,
- Protect religious freedom, preserve America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and promote prayer.
- The CPCF will restore and promote America’s founding spirit and core principles related to faith and morality by equipping and mobilizing a national network of citizens, legislators, pastors, business owners and opinion leaders.
All in the name of religious freedom. Talk about your separation of church and state. All of those lawmakers are avid defenders of education “reform” like deregulated charter schools, vouchers, and de-professionalizing the teaching profession.
They also are in favor of the class size mandate that may plague public schools for many years to come – the same class size mandate that will force schools to eliminate arts and physical education classes because the lawmakers in Raleigh (including the aforementioned) will not fully fund the mandate to allow for more class space and teachers to be hired to completely honor what the law asks.
If Jesus came back to earth right now I envision him walking around in a pair of blue jeans and wearing a t-shirt with some sandals. And I do not think he would support these “reforms.” He certainly would not want to jeopardize the arts and physical education in our schools.
The predominant spiritual path in the United States, Judeo-Christianity, talks much of the need for music, dance, movement, song, and expression. I think of all of the hymns and musicals my own Southern Baptist church produced, some complete with choreography, which is odd considering that many joke about Baptists’ aversion to dancing.
Even the Bible commands “Sing to the LORD a new song; Sing to the LORD, all the earth”(Psalms 96:1), and “Praise Him with timbrel and dancing; Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe” (Psalm 150:4).
Furthermore, the Bible often talks of the body as being a “temple of the Holy Spirit” and even commands Christians to stay physically fit. “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Not fixing the class size mandate in NC is egregious. It’s backwards. It’s forcing school districts to make decisions in years to come about whether to educate the whole child or part of the child in order to make student/teacher ratios look favorable. It’s either drop those courses or cutting teacher assistants and that would be yet another detrimental blow against public education.
That’s like going out of your way to get plastic surgery, liposuction, and body sculpting to create a new look while ignoring the actual health of your body. Without proper nutrition, sleep, exercise, mental health, and emotional support, we open doors to maladies.
When the Bible that people like Chad Barefoot and Phil Berger and Tim Moore read talks about a temple, it talks about the insides, not just the outsides.
Interestingly enough, many of the private schools and charter schools that receive public money through Opportunity Grants that many in Raleigh heartily champion have plentiful art programs and physical education opportunities.
So why put these programs for public schools in jeopardy if they reach so many more children?
What our history has shown us time and time again is that we needed music, dance, arts, and physical education to cope and grow as people and we needed them to become better students. To force the removal of these vital areas of learning would be making our students more one-dimensional.
It would make them less prepared.
It simply would hurt public education.
Don’t think Jesus would want that.