On Friday, America’s 45th president was sworn into office. Despite one’s political views, how incredible is it that we live in a land where we choose our history and how we wish to be governed? How incredible is it that we are able to witness history unfolding either on TV or Facebook live? I rushed to get home from class to watch the inauguration. Growing up, I have watched the inaugurations of previous presidents with my father never really paying much attention, but for the first time I think I truly began to understand the significance of this day this past November when I was able to use my voice and vote for the candidate whom I felt deserved the right to lead our country. I hurriedly raced to the TV and tuned into the inauguration and settled onto my couch. As the soldiers marched and the ceremony began I watched in amazement and pride for my country, however I was struck with feelings of confusion and disbelief. We are “One Nation Under God,” yet we cannot pray in schools? How can the inauguration, which is considered to be one of the most momentous occasions this country holds every four years, be based off the power of God’s word and prayer for our future leaders, yet prayer is prohibited in schools? I do understand how we can be a country that preaches “One Nation Under God,” yet staff and students are not allowed to practice or express their religion in class. I was flabbergasted when the law was passed that prohibited prayer in schools, but I believe I was even more flabbergasted after learning just how much our country’s leaders rely on Christ, but we are not allowed to actively practice Christianity in schools. I read recently in an ABC News poll that 83% of Americans identify themselves as Christians, while the remaining individuals are associated with other religions or have no religion at all.
“Now there are those among us, who want to push Him out,
And erase His name from everything, this country's all about,
From the Schoolhouse to the Courthouse, they're Silencing His Word,
Now it's time for all Believers, to make our Voices heard.”
One of my favorite songs growing up was one the choir used to sing entitled, “In God We Still Trust” by Diamond Rio. It was released in 2009 and instantly received backlash. The song was banned from radio stations and school children in Florida were not allowed to sing the song in a school performance due to its religious affiliations and words. How sad. What is even sadder is that the baccalaureate services now are only optional for graduating students within the public school systems because it is considered a religious ceremony. Growing up, I used to attend this special service with my parents and the rows of graduates would be completely full as well as the bleachers of guests. It was not something one missed and it was required. When I graduated in 2014, it was optional and only 30 students attended out of the 140 or so that graduated with us.
“You place your hand on His Bible, when you swear to tell the Truth
His name is on our greatest Monuments, and all our money too,
And when we Pledge allegiance, there's no doubt where we stand,
There is no separation, we're one Nation under Him.”
There is no doubt where we stand, yet we cannot recognize our Heavenly Father in school. We can stand for Him at the country level, but the school level must not and cannot stand for Him. My hope is that Donald J. Trump will reinstate prayer back into our school systems. I pray he leads this country with the utmost grace, confidence, and dignity, while challenging the American people to fight for unity. I pray the American people can come together and stand united against a fight that is so dear to many of our hearts. I pray that our school system will strengthen and will once again be able to reach individuals through the power of prayer.
“In God We Still Trust
Here in America
He's the one we turn to every time
The goin' gets rough
He is the source of all our Strength
The One who watches over us
Here in America
In God We Still Trust.”