Students across America are being encouraged to bring their Bibles to school Thursday, joining a nationwide effort that is being spearheaded by the Focus on the Family, a Christian organization.
The group is encouraging students to stand up for their faith by participating in “Bring Your Bible to School Day,” an initiative in which pupils are encouraged to take the holy book into the classroom and discuss their faith with peers during non-instructional time.
“Students all across the country can stand up and celebrate their religious freedoms together,” reads a website setup to advertise the event.
Participants are also being encouraged to take to social media to let their friends and followers know that “God cares” — and to also share their favorite Bible verses and Christian songs.
The Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal firm, published a statement Wednesday defending the initiative and the rights of students to bring their Bibles to school.
The group specifically noted that U.S. courts have consistently upheld the rights of students to have and distribute Bibles at school during non-instructional time.
“Christian students don’t abandon their constitutionally protected freedoms at the schoolhouse gate,” said Jeremy Tedesco, an attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom. “Their freedom to express their beliefs includes the right to bring their Bible to school, to read it during their free time, and to engage in other activities as part of ‘Bring Your Bible to School Day.’”
The Alliance Defending Freedom also released a legal memo to the public in an effort to clear up any confusion or debate that might surround children bringing the holy books into the classroom. The point-by-point guide affirms and explains important First Amendment legal parameters.
“Students have a constitutional right to participate in and promote ‘Bring Your Bible to School Day.’” reads the legal memo. “Unfortunately, schools all too often censor religious expression for fear of violating the often misunderstood ‘separation of church and state,’ for dislike of religious viewpoints, or for a desire to avoid controversy.”
The Alliance Defending Freedom concludes the memo by offering its phone number in case any participating students believe that their rights are violated while participating in “Bring Your Bible to School Day.”
The Focus on the Family-sponsored event is a reaction to news stories of late in which students have reportedly been told that Christian clubs and Bibles are not permitted in public school settings.
From children claiming that teachers have banned them from reading Bibles to allegations that their Christian clubs haven’t been permitted on public school campuses, First Amendment battles continue to regularly emerge and rage.
Considering the fine line that can sometimes be crossed when it comes to the separation of church and state, it’s no surprise that Christians and atheist activists continue to battle over these issues.
“Bring Your Bible to School Day” appears to be an effort that attempts to correct the record, while also inspiring students to stand up for their faith within the bounds of the law.