An Open Letter to the Board of Education
I am writing to ask that you reconsider your decision regarding school prayer. Instead of being the first of 85 school districts in SC to remove prayer, I wish we were first in the state for teacher salaries and student achievement.
Since when has this board been intimidated by a Freedom of Information request? Mr. [David] Duff strongly urged — but you jumped without hesitation or consideration — to remove prayer from our schools and events. I would like to know if you considered the consequences of a law suit for violating the freedom of speech of those who desire to pray but now can't because of your decision?
In a previous article in The Georgetown Times, the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Palmetto Family Council are challenging your decision — I applaud their efforts and hope others will follow.
You only received a request for information — not an order to cease. Your job is to take under advisement things "suggested" by the attorney, weigh the odds and look at the outcome for the entire district. Your decision to allow prayer is not promoting or fostering religion. It is simply giving the right to free speech.
Students and faculty are not forced to repeat the Pledge of Allegiance if they have beliefs that prevent them from doing so. We have been observing a moment of silence at the beginning of the day in our public schools for a very long time and no one has punished or reprimanded teachers and students who do not observe it. To pray or not to pray should be an individual decision and not dictated by you.
One can't help but notice that during the moment of silence at the beginning of board meetings, you all stand and bow your heads. If you are not praying you certainly give the impression that you are.
For those of you who are employed by institutions founded by a Christian, teach Sunday School, and are active in your churches, how can you talk God but not walk God? I dare to say you have double standards — you're for God if you're being paid — you're for God if it's on Sunday but you can't stand up for God when it comes to your political agenda. You should be leading by example. So are we to continue praying at events and in school and consider your bowed heads a gesture of praying before the meeting as defiance to your decision to eliminate prayer? If you can bow your heads, you can utter a verbal prayer. I say keep invocation on the agenda and prayer in school and at events.
I hope every minister that has prayed before the beginning of your meeting will take the opportunity to pray out loud during public comment. Please don't push this to a lawsuit to allow prayer when all you have to do is reverse your decision.
Now that I have said some things to make the light bulb go on, it will be interesting to see what changes, if any, will be made.
Harold Jean Brown
Concerned citizen and former member of the
Board of Education
My opinion of the presidential debate
The presidential debate [Wednesday] night between President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney was the most respectful debate ever, because they are constantly finding faults with each other’s programs, but that night although they still have different ideas for advancement and future plans for America, they showed great respect for each other and for leadership.
We still don’t know who will win this thing, but may the better party win.
Stay prayerful for America and its success. God bless you.
Mary Julia S. Sargent
This is a snapshot that was taken from the website US DEBTCLOCK.com on Wednesday, October 3, 2012. Approximately every forty eight seconds an additional million dollars is added.
Just look at these numbers, it should cause you to grab your heart as Fred G. Sanford did and call out, “This is the big one Elizabeth!”
Can you grasp the magnitude of the debt that you and I owe? Do you understand what this means to our children and my unborn grandchildren?
Please, I ask you to seriously look at these and allow them to sink in. The United States cannot maintain this; our generation is stealing from future generations, and that is despicable. My father's generation was appropriately coined the “Greatest Generation” for their sacrifice to this country. What will history call our current generation?
We have to find and elect responsible stewards to represent us in Washington. I do not feel that the current administration has our best interests at heart. The current administration has allowed the national debt to skyrocket, and this is unacceptable.
The truth hurts and the numbers do not lie.
Anne B. Starnes
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