There's a movement across America that is growing larger and larger since its inception just 3 short years ago. It doesn't require money or a large venue or a famous celebrity spokesperson to get it trending. Last year, 356,000 students participated in hundreds of schools across the nation in a simple concept with a big message: Bring your Bible to school for the day.
Focus on the Family, a Christian ministry, began the Bring Your Bible to School Day initiative as way to empower students in public schools and universities to share their faith and bring God back into the public square. As parents and youth ministers, you can take the first step and sign your students up today at BringYourBible.org. This is a tremendous opportunity to bring the message of Jesus Christ to others who would normally never hear about it. It's also a way to help your child feel like they are truly making a difference by sharing a positive message in a world where negativity and despair make the headlines.
According to BringYourBible.org:
Students can simply bring their Bibles to school and share verses with friends. Or, they can include more free-speech activities, such as wearing T-shirts or stickers, putting up posters and hosting discussion forums before or after class. Last year, the event went viral with students posting pictures of themselves online with #BringYourBible.
After they sign up on the website listed here, students are given some simple tools to use to help guide them through the day. There is a newsletter, flyers they can print out and share, and most importantly, knowing their legal rights as students.
The First Amendment protects the rights of students to bring their Bibles to school, engage in private prayer during the school day, and even share their faith with classmates. The United States Supreme Court has recognized the private religious rights of public school students, stating that “nothing in the Constitution as interpreted by this Court prohibits any public school student from voluntarily praying at any time before, during, or after the schoolday.” Santa Fe Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Doe, 530 U.S. 290, 313 (2000) (emphasis added). This is consistent with the Supreme Court’s recognition that neither students nor teachers “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” Tinker v. Des Moines School District, 393 U.S. 503, 506 (1969). Students should be encouraged to “be bold” in exercising these God-given rights that are protected by the Constitution.
Today, the religious freedom of Christians is under attack by the ACLU and the rise of secularism. According to Jim Daly, President of Focus on the Family: "The big idea behind Bring Your Bible to School Day is to help kids feel empowered to share what's most important to them, and what makes them who they are – their faith."
We are in a spiritual battle. As your children take their Bible with them to school, the words of St. Paul in his letter to the Romans could be a scripture verse they reflect upon as they head out the door, ready to become ambassadors for Christ:
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes."- Romans 1:16
Richard Thompson is the president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Legal Center, a nonprofit law firm and advocate based in Michigan.