To the editor:
While my mom was cleaning-out the attic recently, she found a program for a parent-teacher association meeting when I was in grade school in 1964. The first thing on the agenda for that evening was a parent-teacher prayer: "Direct us, O Lord, in all of our doings with Thy most gracious favor and further us with Thy continual help in all our works. We thank Thee for all the blessings Thou has bestowed upon us and especially the gift of our children. Bless Thou our fellowship that we may work together for the children of our land. Consecrate us to Thy service and to the service of all children everywhere through Jesus Christ, Our Lord."
This doesn't sound threatening. Yet, such a prayer would be unthinkable in a public school setting today. In the early 1960s, the worst infraction committed in the classroom was chewing gum or talking during class. Things are a little different in most public schools today.
Recent Gallup and Rasmussen polls indicate a majority of Americans favor voluntary prayer in public schools, yet a minority has been allowed to establish the laws and ultimately ruin the lives of our young people.
Our founding fathers recognized the importance of the Bible and prayer in the lives of children. John Quincy Adams stated, "The earlier my children begin to read the Bible, the more steadily they pursue the practice of reading it throughout their lives, the more lively and confident will be my hopes that they will prove useful citizens of their country, respectable members of society, and a real blessing to their parents."
Jay M. Galbraith