Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Beyond mere slogans

The Tulsa World reports that state Sen. Jay Paul Gumm (D-Durant) has filed legislation which would allow Oklahomans to purchase license plates bearing the motto "In God We Trust."

Sounds like a good plan to me. But as I've said before, suppose a teacher took that license plate off her car, brought it into the classroom, and hung it on the bulletin board. And suppose she said, "Students, you need to know that it is in God we trust. Really. Christianity is a comprehensive worldview, and in my classroom God’s Word is the interpretive principle of every subject."

That, of course, would not be permitted. Even if an individual teacher happens to trust in God, the schools themselves are agnostic as matter of law and public policy. In the ACLU we trust.

So here's my modest proposal this Advent season. The state Senate should pass Sen. Gumm's bill, but only after passing tax-credit legislation which would empower some children to attend private schools where "In God We Trust" is a day-to-day reality.

Slogans that will fit on a bumper sticker (or license plate) are all well and good. But let's actually empower Oklahoma youngsters to attend a school where they can learn to love the Lord their God with all their minds.

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