A Defence of the Use of the Bible in Schools – Is the Purpose of Public Education “To Teach [Children] What Society Needs Them to Know”?

The following is part of the transcript from a letter written in 1791, which was published by the American Tract Society in 1830. To purchase the whole text of Dr. Rush’s letter, see The Bible in Schools pamphlet that can be found in the WallBuilders store.


Dear Sir:
It is now several months since I promised to give you my reasons for preferring the Bible as a schoolbook to all other compositions.  Before I state my arguments, I shall assume the five following propositions:

  1. That Christianity is the only true and perfect religion; and that in proportion as mankind adopt its principles and obey its precepts they will be wise and happy.
  2. That a better knowledge of this religion is to be acquired by reading the Bible than in any other way.
  3. That the Bible contains more knowledge necessary to man in his present state than any other book in the world.
  4. That knowledge is most durable, and religious instruction most useful, when imparted in early life.
  5. That the Bible, when not read in schools, is seldom read in any subsequent period of life.

My arguments in favor of the use of the Bible as a schoolbook are founded,
I. In the constitution of the human mind.

  1. The memory is the first faculty which opens in the minds of children.  Of how much consequence, then, must it be to impress it with the great truths of Christianity, before it is preoccupied with less interesting subjects.
  2. There is a peculiar aptitude in the minds of children for religious knowledge.  I have constantly found them, in the first six or seven years of their lives, more inquisitive upon religious subjects than upon any others. And an ingenious instructor of youth has informed me that he has found young children more capable of receiving just ideas upon the most difficult tenets of religion than upon the most simple branches of human knowledge.  It would be strange if it were otherwise, for God creates all His means to suit His ends.  There must, of course, be a fitness between the human mind and the truths which are essential to it happiness.
  3. The influence of early impressions is very great upon subsequent life; and in a world where false prejudices do so much mischief, it would discover great weakness not to oppose them by such as are true.  I grant that many men have rejected the impressions derived from the Bible; but how much soever these impressions may have been despised, I believe no man was ever early instructed in the truths of the Bible without having been made wiser or better by the early operation of these impressions upon his mind.  Every just principle that is to be found in the writings of Voltaire is borrowed from the Bible; and the morality of Deists, which has been so much admired and praised where it has existed, has been, I believe, in most cases, the effect of habits produced by early instruction in the principles of Christianity.
  4. We are subject, by a general law of our natures, to what is called habit.  Now, if the study of the Scriptures be necessary to our happiness at any time of our life, the sooner we begin to read them, the more we shall probably be attached to them; for it is peculiar to all the acts of habit, to become easy, strong, and agreeable by repetition.

For the whole text of Dr. Rush’s letter, see the WallBuilders store to purchase the The Bible in Schools pamphlet.

* Originally Published: January 26, 2017.

Is the Purpose of Public Education “To Teach [Children] What Society Needs Them to Know”?

Michigan Democratic Party tells parents the “entire community” is the client of public schools–not parents.

by Ken Ham on January 31, 2022

What is the purpose of public education? Well, some people might think it’s to teach children how to read, write, do math, know history, and understand the basics of science. Many believe education is a neutral endeavor of merely teaching children what they need to know. But that’s a myth! There is no neutrality (Matthew 12:30).

And many of those teaching and working in the public education system know there is no neutrality and are actively and consciously working to teach children their worldview (which really is the religion of the state—the religion of naturalism). And we’re increasingly seeing those in education or politicians making legislative decisions, believing it’s the duty of the state—not of the parents—to teach children and control what they are learning. Consider a recent example in a since-deleted tweet from the Michigan Democratic Party:

Not sure where this ‘parents-should-control-what-is-taught-in-school-because-they-are-our-kids’ is originating, but parents do have the option to send their kids to a hand-selected private school at their own expense if this is what they desire.

The purpose of education in a public school is not to teach only what parents want them to be taught. It is to teach them what society needs them to know. The client of the public school is not the parent, but the entire community, the public. [emphasis in the original].

So, according to this tweet, parents’ opinions on their children’s education shouldn’t matter because schools serve the community and “teach [kids] what society needs them to know.” Really, what they mean is children don’t belong to their parents—they belong to the government and the government has a right to teach them their religion (which is the religion of atheism/naturalism). That in itself is a religious statement and reflects the increasing secularization of our culture.

Really, what they mean is children don’t belong to their parents—they belong to the government and the government has a right to teach them their religion (which is the religion of atheism/naturalism).

And such a view of parents is not what God’s Word teaches! In the biblical view, children are a gift to their parents from God for those parents to raise in the knowledge of the Lord. The family is the first and most fundamental institution God created. Consider these Scriptures:

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! (Psalm 127:3–5)

My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching. (Proverbs 6:20)

Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. (Colossians 3:20)

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)

According to Scripture, children are a gift to parents for them to raise them in the Lord. Children are to obey their parents. It’s not the government’s job to raise or disciple children! Children belong to their parents.

Our culture’s drift from a biblical worldview has massive, real-world consequences. And one of those is the growing view that children belong to the government and parents are just “in the way” of raising little secularists who will grow up to support the prevailing religion of the day. How long before this thinking becomes legislature?

Having a biblical worldview matters!


VIDEO North Carolina Lt. Gov. Says He Won’t Resign After Blasting Schools for Teaching Graphic Sexual Concepts to Kids

North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson says that he will not bow to calls for him to resign after he blasted schools for teaching sexual concepts to young children.

Gov. Robinson said “I will not be silenced and I will not be bullied into submission.”

The Republican governor outraged the left when he said that LGBT issues and sexual concepts should not be taught to children in public schools while speaking at Asbury Baptist Church in June.

“There’s no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality, any of that filth,” he said during the event, video of which was recently posted online by far-left activists. “And yes, I called it filth, and if you don’t like that I called it filth, come see me and I’ll explain it to you.”

After the video was posted online, Deputy White House press secretary and North Carolina native Andrew Bates blasted Robinson’s comments “repugnant and offensive.”

Democrat North Carolina State Senators Jeff Jackson and Wiley Nickel called on Robinson to resign — with Nickel saying he is “a disgrace and an embarrassment to our state.”

In a video posted to Facebook on Saturday night, the governor responded to the outrage and said that he will “continue to fight for the rights of our children to receive an education that is free from sexual concepts that do not belong in the classroom.”

Robinson also showed images from the graphic and inappropriate books that are being made available to elementary school students.

“Let me tell you plainly right here and right now: I will not back down,” Robinson said in the video posted to Facebook. “I will not be silenced and I will not be bullied into submission. I will continue to fight for the rights of our children to receive an education that is free from sexual concepts that do not belong in the classroom.”


It is good to see those in public office call out the filth push in schools.


VIDEO VA Dem Gov. Candidate Terry McAuliffe: “I Don’t Think Parents Should be Telling Schools What They Should Teach”

By Cristina Laila September 29, 2021

Virginia Democrat gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe said parents shouldn’t be telling schools what they should teach during Tuesday night’s debate with Republican Glenn Younkin.

Terry McAuliffe is an old Clintonite.

The Clintons are funding McAuliffe’s gubernatorial run…AGAIN.

Democrat McAuliffe doesn’t believe parents should have a say in what their kids are learning in school.

“The parents had the right to veto books… also take them off the shelves,” McAuliffe said. “I’m not going to let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decisions.”

“I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach,” McAuliffe added.


VIDEO Making Sense of It All – Sheltering Under Pressure

Making Sense of It All

By David Jeremiah

The past twelve months have been tough on all of us—on me, on you, and on our families. I don’t suppose any person on earth has been untouched by COVID-19 or its repercussions. Hundreds of thousands have died, millions battled the virus, and billions suffered emotionally and economically. If you own a small business, work at a restaurant, serve as a health care provider, play music, or teach in a local school, you have your own stories of stress and strain. How my heart has hurt for the disabled and for those in nursing homes, for single parents, and for those who’ve lost their jobs!

Nor has it been easy for pastors, church staffs, and Christian leaders. Speaking personally, there were moments in 2020 when I struggled to know what to do. I think you know my heart when I tell you I’m a pretty resilient person, yet I had some rough days navigating the times, especially as the pastor of a church. The last few months have challenged almost every Christian church, school, and ministry around the world.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and He is not shaken. His work is unstoppable, His wisdom is unsearchable, and He knows each step we take.

SHARE ON:It’s not just the pandemic, of course. What a divisive political year we’ve had in America and all over the globe! People are angry, and many of them are increasingly hostile to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Society seems out of control. Add that to all our typical problems—natural disasters, illnesses, financial shortfalls, and traffic mishaps—and we have a perfect storm. If you’ve never felt overwhelmed at times, you’re a rare individual.

But the rarest of individuals is never overwhelmed. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and He is not shaken. His work is unstoppable, His wisdom is unsearchable, and He knows each step we take. When we arise, He is there. When we retire, He’s alert and awake through the night. He knows what 2021 holds, and He holds us in His hands.

That’s what kept me going last year, and that’s what keeps me going now.

Let me tell you something. Back in the fall of 2019, we planned a three-month campaign for the spring 2020 issues of this magazine. We settled on the topic: “Facing Uncertain Times.” The Lord surely led us to that because none of us at Turning Point could have imagined what the year would bring.

This year, our spring theme is “Making Sense of It All: Seeing the World With a Biblical Perspective.” During the next three months, I want to look at the world through the lens of Scripture as we learn to overcome our fears, stay strong, and stay the course. There are areas of life that can blur our vision if we don’t look at life through God’s optics.

If we see things as our Lord does, we’ll live with power, security, purpose, and hope.

SHARE ON:In this issue of Turning Points, and in the March and April issues, I’ve prepared a series of Bible studies to help us face the unfolding year. Instead of our usual stand-alone articles, the next three issues will deal with three topics by giving you an ongoing series of Bible studies to help you develop a biblical perspective on three levels.

This month we’ll go through the Bible and learn how to rise above our circumstances. You’ll find articles in this magazine about putting life’s circumstances into focus, seeing them clearly, and making sense of them. The Bible is full of information about this, and I can’t wait to show it to you.

Next month’s issue will focus on overcoming our fears. And in April, we’ll wrap up our Making Sense of It All campaign by learning what the Bible says about staying strong and staying the course. All this will reinforce my three-month-long radio series of messages, Making Sense of It All.

If we view this world through our own eyes, we’ll be riddled with fear and doubt. If we see things as our Lord does, we’ll live with power, security, purpose, and hope.

We have an advantage shared by no one else. We have our Lord and His infallible Word, which gives us a divine lens for seeing life. We can’t make sense of life without a biblical perspective; but when we think biblically, life makes perfect sense because of our perfect Savior.

I hope you’ll invite a friend to join us as we turn to our Lord, who alone can make sense of it all and turn it all for good.

This article was first published in Turning Points Magazine & Devotional. Learn more about the magazine and request your free issues today!


Sheltering Under Pressure | David Jeremiah | Psalm 142

VIDEO Graphic Content Warning: Crowd Gasps as Fed-Up Parents Read School’s Pornographic Books Out Loud at Board Meeting

Christine Favocci July 30, 2021

If there’s one good thing that came out of school closures, it’s that parents finally had a window into what their kids were being exposed to in the classroom — and many were horrified by what they saw.

That’s exactly what happened in Carmel, Indiana, where parents learned the full scope of the perversion being peddled to their children.

The school libraries there are filled with storybooks pushing radical transgender ideology, lessons on masturbation for middle schoolers, and novels with explicit sexual scenes including one describing a bloody rape.

At a meeting of the Carmel Clay School Board on Monday, outraged parents took turns reading excerpts from these materials.

They are so objectionable that it’s necessary to issue more than our usual warning of graphic content.Trending:Gov. Kristi Noem Signs Executive Order to Block Federal Government from Pushing Critical Race Theory

Watch at your own risk — but keep in mind, this smut is being made available to schoolchildren.

WARNING: The following video contains graphic language that some viewers will find offensive.

One parent spoke out against the “global campaign to promote sexualized material to grade school children which is heralded by the UN, championed by Planned Parenthood and is now making its way into the Carmel schools.”

She noted some of the titles available at elementary schools, including “Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story About Gender and Friendship,” which uses a teddy bear to teach kids that gender isn’t determined by biology. There is also “Sparkle Boy,” about a toddler’s cross-dressing tendencies, and “Call Me Max,” in which a kindergarten girl gets a teacher to call her by a boy’s name.

(Whatever happened to reading Dr. Seuss books to schoolchildren? Oh, right — canceled by the woke mob.)

Another parent read from a novel available to Carmel high schoolers that includes a pornographic scene explicitly describing characters engaged in various sex acts. It’s too obscene to even summarize.

A third parent read from the book “It’s Perfectly Normal,” which is available to middle school children and promoted by Planned Parenthood. It teaches kids how to masturbate and is filled with nitty-gritty details.

A book called “Crank” details a disturbing rape that transpires when a young couple goes into the woods to get drunk and high on meth.

“If I had known you were just going to lay there, I wouldn’t have bothered,” the rapist tells his victim on the car ride home.Related:

The video of Monday’s school board meeting was uploaded to YouTube by the group Unify Carmel, which is raising the alarm on the wokeism pervading the city’s public schools.

Alvin Lui, a parent activist, told WIBC in May that he fled California to escape radical leftist ideology — only to find it in his new home in Indiana.

“If I [raised] my daughter in California, the schools and the culture there would teach her that her two most important things in life [are] that she’s Asian and she’s female,” he said.

Lui said he began to worry about his daughter’s new school when he saw ideas like critical race theory make their way into the curriculum, a change that no doubt came about when the district hired its first “diversity, equity and inclusion officer” in January.

“We saw a lot of little things before other people saw it because we’ve lived through it previously,” Lui said. “So for my wife and I, it kind of feels like we’re living through that same nightmare all over again except in the very beginning.”

Parents have already begun pushing back against other items on the woke agenda, but Monday’s meeting in Carmel revealed the sexual indecency introduced to children in public schools.

“If I were to read it to you, you wouldn’t be able to air it because it would be against FCC obscenity laws,” Lui told WXIN-TV. “Everyone was uncomfortable, and these are adults.”

To his credit, Carmel Clay Superintendent Dr. Michael Beresford said he wasn’t aware of the books until the meeting and pledged to look into them.

Carmel certainly isn’t the only place where so-called educators are sexualizing children — leftists are hard at work across the country.

They know that sexually active kids make great abortion clients for Planned Parenthood and turn into Democratic voters when they become impoverished single parents.

Transgender advocates know that if they can get a hold of kindergarten minds, they can recruit a generation of confused children. The doctors who prescribe the puberty blockers and perform the “transition” surgeries can get that much richer.

Beyond the political sphere, what we have here is a battle for the hearts and souls of American children.

This perversion tailored to kids stems from a diabolical determination to spoil their innocence and set them up for a life of servitude to sin.

Whether they know it or not, the teachers giving smut to their students are cooperating with the dark powers that would turn us away from God by shackling us to our basest desires. There’s no surer way to do that than to expose children to this filth early and often.

Americans now have the opportunity to see and hear exactly what’s going on in public schools — and it’s our job to do exactly what these parents did on Monday.

Girl has Bible confiscated by school officials

‘How could this still be happening in America?’

By Bob Unruh

It’s been some 30 years or more since the U.S. Supreme Court established some of the most significant precedents for students in schools, including one that the First Amendment does indeed apply to students in schools.

But still sometimes educators don’t understand, as happened with a recent case in Illinois where officials confiscated a Bible from a second-grader simply because she was reading it during recess, and would talk about it with friends.

The documentation of the situation comes in a report from Francis J. Manion at the American Center for Law and Justice, whose founder, Jay Sekulow, argued some of those precedent-establishing cases at the Supreme Court.

“A little girl had her Bible confiscated by school officials. How could this still be happening in America?” the report wondered, then explaining it’s because “local school officials still don’t seem to have gotten the message.”

“We recently heard from the parents of Gabrielle, a second grader in Illinois. It seems Gabrielle likes to bring her Bible to school and read it during recess. Sometimes she reads it aloud, and sometimes other kids listen in and talk with her about what she’s reading,” the report said. “Constitutional crisis? It shouldn’t be; but little Gabrielle had her Bible taken away by a teacher and was told, ‘You just can’t be doing that.'”

The school then told the little girl’s parents she was not allowed to read the Bible during recess.

They objected, and the school changed its course slightly, determining she “could read it during outside recess but not during inside recess,” the report said.

That was after the school confirmed there were no complaints about the bible reading.

“It was a simple case of public school officials’ hypersensitivity to the specter of a threat from the ACLU or some similar spreader of long-debunked propaganda about ‘separation of Church and State,'” the organization reported.

Her parents then called the ACLJ, and its lawyers sent a letter with an explanation of what the law allows.

“We let them know about the now half-century-old Supreme Court case of Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District, 393 U.S. 503 (1969). In Tinker, students wore black armbands on their sleeves to exhibit their disapproval of the Vietnam War and were sent home and suspended from school. Ruling in the students’ favor, the Supreme Court in Tinker held that students do not ‘shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.'”

The school then reversed itself regarding the Bible reading, the report said.

The Plague of Morally Toxic Public Schools

In too many public schools, leftist indoctrination is corrupting young hearts and minds

Students with arms raised in classroom


What would happen if a child were to spend most of his waking hours, during most of his formative years, in an institution bent on persuading him to adopt certain fundamental beliefs? 

There is no mystery here. Children are easy to manipulate. They are eager to please, especially in a school setting where their grades and future careers depend on it. The child would eventually yield to the days and years of pressure and embrace the beliefs thrust upon him.

But what if those fundamental beliefs were at war with his family’s?

We should be speaking in the present tense, for this is what happens today—every day—to Christian children in America. While their parents sleep.

Many of America’s public school systems have become morally toxic, especially for the hearts and minds of children from religious families. So say authors Mary Hasson and Theresa Farnan in their bracing and deeply researched new book, “Get Out Now: Why You Should Pull Your Child from Public School Before It’s Too Late.” The threat does not come from the dedicated teachers who are just trying to do their jobs but from progressive ideologues who have become our nation’s education elites.  

If you wonder why your fourth grader comes home sounding like a “social justice warrior,” you can thank the National Network of State Teachers of the Year for pushing a book list for elementary students with the themes of classism, racism, xenophobia, sexism and transgenderism.

Even while schools are becoming successful instruments for leftist social reform, they are failing at their core mission to educate children in basic academic subjects. The latest national assessment is “devastating,” says Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Two-thirds of American students can’t read at grade level, and reading scores have worsened in 31 states. “This country is in a student achievement crisis, and over the past decade it has continued to worsen, especially for our most vulnerable students,” DeVos says. 

Sex education is the most obvious area for indoctrination. Well-funded international pressure groups have been extraordinarily successful at pushing “Comprehensive Sexuality Education” into American public schools, both in politically liberal and conservative regions. CSE promotes risky sexual behavior to vulnerable teens disguised as sexual “rights” and focuses on LGBTQ sexuality (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning) as a victim class. 

Lessons are carefully designed to encourage children to approve homosexual behavior and to reject the beliefs and the authority of their parents.

Examples are almost too graphic to print. Elementary children are taught that some people are born in the wrong body. Young teens are encouraged to experiment with anal and oral sex. High schoolers learn how to get secret abortions.

The indoctrination is not confined to sex ed lessons. The National Education Association wields tremendous power over the culture and character of America’s public schools. 

Last year they invited the largest LGBTQ activist group in the country to co-sponsor their Read Across America day. NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia brought Human Rights Campaign spokesman Sarah McBride, a man who identifies as a woman, to share his transgender journey with kindergartners at a Northern Virginia public school without their parents’ consent. (Parents found out, but the school made no apologies.)

Mission America has researched the various celebrations that public schools now place on their calendars and found 15 for the 2019-2020 school year that involve sexual propaganda. 

The third week of September was Bisexual Awareness Week, followed by Ally Week, during which students are pressured to declare themselves “allies” of students or teachers who identify as LGBTQ. National Coming Out Day was Oct. 11, and Oct. 16 was International Pronouns Day. 

Speaking of pronouns, school policies that force students and teachers to use “preferred pronouns” are on the rise. It can mean forcing students to use “she” for males or invented pronouns like “xe” for the would-be genderless. One fifth grade teacher in Florida wrote a letter to parents explaining that her pronouns were “they” and “them.” “I know it takes some practice for it to feel natural,” she wrote, but the kids will “catch on.” 

But it should never feel natural to call a single individual “they,” and no child should have to practice doing it. The transgender pronoun crusade must be taken seriously. Propaganda expert Stella Morabito says coercive speech practices have historically been used as a form of psychological manipulation. In public schools today, it is about enforcing conformity—conformity of feelings, attitudes, emotions, speech, beliefs and behavior. Nonconformity carries the threat of isolation—a terrifying notion to any child in school. 

But it’s even worse than that for observant Christians. To be forced to use false pronouns is to be forced to declare acceptance of what we know to be untrue—that people can have a gender that is different than their physical body. That is a denial of God’s purposeful creation, which is a denial of God Himself. When government schools force Christian students to do this, it is tantamount to forced conversion.

Marriage and family scholar Pat Fagan sees a disturbing parallel in history. He says Christian kids in public schools today are reminiscent of the Janissaries centuries ago—14th century Christian children who were captured by the Ottoman Empire, forced to convert and turned into an elite army to battle the forces of Christendom. 

Are children being converted and turned against their faith and families? It is difficult to conclude otherwise. Surveys show that college freshmen are less religious than ever—30% claim no religious belief. 

This is not the result of the influence of some radical college professor. These are incoming freshman. It must be the result of factors in their childhood and adolescence. A strong case can be made that it is the result of the cumulative influence of 12 years of American public education. 

Thirty years of surveys of over 100,000 children by the Nehemiah Institute show how decidedly Christian children who attend public schools lose their Christian worldview. 

Fewer than 5% of children in the United States are homeschooled today. Approximately 11% attend private schools. The vast majority of American children are educated in public schools. And from their ranks will come our future teachers, doctors, lawyers, even presidents. 

What happens in public schools really matters, to each student, to each family and to our nation. Because, as Abraham Lincoln said: “The philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation is the philosophy of the government in the next.” ©2020 Cathy Ruse

Cathy Ruse is senior fellow for legal studies at the Family Research Council. Her professional experience spans the fields of communication, public policy and law.


I’m a Shooting Survivor. If You’re Going to Pray for Us, Here’s How

We need more than “thoughts and prayers” in the immediate aftermath.

I’m a Shooting Survivor. If You’re Going to Pray for Us, Here’s How.

Ihave a complicated relationship with “thoughts and prayers.”

The phrase has become the familiar refrain after each mass shooting, echoed in tweets and statements offering condolences to families and communities shaken by tragedy. Like many others affected by gun violence, I can’t help but feel frustrated and cynical when I hear another line about “thoughts and prayers.”

It has been six years since I was shot when a gunman opened fire at New River Community College in Virginia. With the news of each mass shooting, each child dead after finding a loaded weapon in their home, and each suicide or senseless gun death, I wonder if action from those in power will ever follow the thoughts and prayers.

As a shooting survivor, I believe in action. At the same time, I believe in the power of prayer. I know firsthand what living through a shooting does to a mind and what a bullet does to a body, and I believe that my recovery and healing is a direct result of prayers that were prayed for me.

It is easy to feel powerless in the aftermath of a mass shooting. As we mourn the lives lost in El Paso, Dayton, and every other community where gun violence is an everyday reality, it can seem impossible to find the words to pray.

Being a survivor doesn’t mean I can singlehandedly solve the crisis of gun violence. What I can offer, though, is insight into some specific ways to pray for survivors as one part of our response to gun violence.

Pray for physical wounds, pain, and future treatments.

Managing bullet wounds is often a process of trial and error, where it can take days for doctors to figure out how to provide comfort. Many survivors face years of recovery, including surgeries and physical rehabilitation. Pray that they would experience a relief from the physical pain, that the lasting effects of the wounds would be minimal, and they would have the strength to persevere through the treatments to come.

Pray for their invisible wounds.

Survivors have witnessed the unimaginable, oftentimes seeing people they love also wounded or killed. These are images that will never leave their minds. Whether or not they were wounded, they are processing their near-death experience and wondering what their new reality will be. Many survivors will deal with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression. Pray for the emotional trauma they are dealing with. Pray that they would have access to counseling, therapy, and whatever type of mental health treatment that they need.

Pray for wisdom for doctors, nurses, and all medical specialists they encounter.

Medical staff face a weighty task as they are asked to treat and care for victims. Pray for wisdom as they make medical decisions, steady hands as they perform surgeries, kindness as they talk to their patients, and for stamina and endurance as they provide care.

Pray for shielding from photos and information of the shooter.

I will never forget waking up and seeing the face of the person who shot me next to my picture on the front page of the newspaper or seeing my name scroll across the ticker on the national news. As videos and photos make their way into the coverage, pray that the survivors are shielded from hearing about the shooter and reliving their trauma over and over again.

Pray against nightmares and for the ability to sleep and rest.

For me, one of the hardest things in the days following the shooting was sleeping. I was terrified to close my eyes, and when I did, I suffered through nightmares. After a significant trauma, the body needs sleep. Pray that the survivors are able to able to rest without fear.

Pray for financial provision for medical costs and other needs.

The financial impact of being shot is devastating for families, especially if the person hurt was the family wage-earner or will live with a lifelong disability. Please pray for financial provision for hospital bills, ongoing care, materials needed to function well, and ongoing mental health treatment.

Pray for guidance and support during the legal process.

In incidents where the shooters are taken into custody, survivors face a long and tedious legal process full of court proceedings. They will be asked to testify about the worst day of their lives and forced to listen to the traumatizing details. I know firsthand how overwhelming this process can be. Pray they would have support and guidance as authorities work to bring shooters to justice.

Pray they would have a strong support system for the long haul.

Supporting a shooting survivor is not a short-term endeavor. Please pray that each survivor will have an unbreakable support system, full of people who will love them and care for them and not abandon them if it gets difficult. Pray that the survivors will not feel like a burden to those around them but instead will allow others to serve them.

Pray for support from other survivors.

Having a support system of friends and family is critically important for a survivor. However, there is a special type of support that can only come from being able to lament with a fellow survivor who can fully understand their suffering and experience. Pray they would be able to make connections and get support from people who have been through it themselves.

Pray against re-traumatization after other shootings.

For a survivor, it can feel impossible to experience healing when we are constantly having to relive our experience with each new mass shooting that happens. Every time we are flooded with the memories of our experience. For a lot of us, this includes things like PTSD symptoms and panic attacks. Pray that God would provide a peace that surpasses all understanding and strength when they are weak.

Keep praying.

If I can convince you to do just one thing on this list, I hope it is this one. Keep praying. For many survivors, including myself, the day of the shooting is not the hardest day. The hardest day comes later, when you are confronted with your new reality in the aftermath. When the cards stop coming, when people stop asking how you are, and when the news cycle changes, you begin to feel forgotten and isolated. People praying for you months and years after the shooting is a significant way to show support.

God knows the needs of survivors, so I don’t believe it is necessary to know exactly what to pray for in order to pray. However, when we acknowledge the specific needs of others, we are better able to empathize with them, love them, and serve them. We are also better able to recognize the deep and ongoing trauma of gun violence that lasts long after the news cameras are gone.

I hope that this list helps you pray for victims in El Paso and Dayton. And while I pray there isn’t a next time, I hope it’s helpful then, too.

Taylor Schumann is a writer, shooting survivor, and contributor to the forthcoming book If I Don’t Make It, I Love You: Survivors in the Aftermath of School Shootings. She lives with her husband and son in Charleston, South Carolina.



Much of what the author says applies to other victims of violent crime such as a  rape, domestic violence, or stabbing [which I am].

The main issue is not the tool used to commit the crime, it is rather the condition of the heart of the one who committed the crime.

The historical event that began the cultural slide into depravity was when the Supreme Court removed God from schools in 1962. The “offensive”  prayer  was:  “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country. Amen.” http://www.free2pray.info/2schoolprayerrulings.html.

We would do well to earnestly pray: “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country. Amen.”



An Envelope Full of Kindness

Exceptional Blog 07/11/2019

by Tulika Prasad

It was a routine end of the school and I was was checking my son’s backpack as I did everyday. There, in a corner of the back was a small white unassuming envelope that almost went unnoticed. I pulled it out not thinking much. It was a little crumpled and seemed like it had been waiting for it to be opened for a while. The front of the envelope read: from :Ricky

To: Vedant

Straws inside for Vedant to use.

It was getting hard for me to see anything as my eyes blurred with tears. I’ve no idea who Ricky is. I have no clue what’s inside the envelope which, by now , has already turned magical for me. Who stuffs straws inside an envelope !!! it might look silly to an onlooker but I knew what status does a straw enjoy in my household. It’s the most precious thing in my home. We don’t leave our house without it. There’s always a bunch in my purse and if we forget , we suspend everything until we buy one from the closest store.So, for someone, that too a classmate who has all but 9 yrs of wisdom, to think about sending my son some straw was heartwarming !

As I tore open the envelope, out tumbled a neatly folded piece of paper, folded just right to fit perfectly in that little envelope. As I opened it I had all kinds of thoughts in my mind, why this letter, who is this boy, why my son, what would it say…I knew the letter was going to bring a smile to my face, the envelope had built up enough prelude for that.

The letter was obviously addressed to my son . It was sent before the holidays and probably , the school, in all the holiday craziness forgot all about it and only got about sending it to us now. There was not much in the letter. It asked him if he wanted to play together, and what he would do over the holidays. A mere 5 lines. But those 5 lines had so much warmth and so much love that it lit up my face and warmed my heart. These 5 lines said “I see you Vedant”. They said “ I know you’re alone and I want to be your friend”. They said“ Your autism does not define you.” They said“ I’ll reach out to you if you are unable to “ and they said “it’s ok to be different”. Kindness wrapped the letter all around. Sometimes, you don’t need hefty words and long essays to say something profound. Sometimes, all you need is a heart. A heart like Ricky.

That afternoon, I smiled a little more. I had joy delivered to me in a little white envelope.

Tulika Prasad is mom to Vedant, a handsome young boy who was diagnosed with autism when he was 3. Among other things that have changed after the diagnosis is her perspective towards life. Together with her spouse, Ravish, she is enjoying bringing up her son who is teaching them new lessons every step of the way. She shares her family’s experiences, stories and tips on this unique journey with autism on her blog at www.braindroplets.com

An Envelope Full of Kindness

Student expelled from university for quoting Bible

Now court issues stunning ruling in fight over social media



The Court of Appeal in the United Kingdom has issued a landmark victory for a Christian student who was expelled from Sheffield University for citing the Bible’s view of sexuality and marriage in social media conversations.

The university learned of Felix Ngole’s social media posts through an anonymous complaint.

The new court ruling reversing the punishment is a “statement of the law likely to be relied upon in hundreds of cases,” according to the U.K. activist group Christian Concern.

The decision affirmed the rights of British Christians “to freely express their faith,” the group said.

Calling it a “major development of the law,” Christian Concern said it’s “now clear that Christians have the legal right to express Biblical views on social media and elsewhere in public without fear for their professional careers.”

“This is the first Court of Appeal judgment regarding freedom of expression of biblical views which sets limits on the rights of professional regulators to limit free speech on social media,” the group said.

Ngole was expelled in 2016 from his social-work studies at Sheffield University after quoting Bible verses on Facebook that were deemed critical of homosexuality, the organization said.

The year before, Ngole engaged in a discussion on Facebook about Kim Davis, the Kentucky registrar jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

During that debate he quoted Bible verses regarding marriage and the sin of homosexual activity.

The anonymous complaint to the school, apparently from a fellow student, came months later. Sheffield officials held a “Fitness to Practice” hearing because of his social-work studies.

“He was informed that he had brought the social work profession into disrepute and was then expelled from the course, losing the career he had worked so hard for,” Christian Concern said.

School officials later tried to justify their actions by claiming Ngole lacked “insight” into his social media posts.

They said that expressing Christian views was unacceptable.

“In some shocking exchanges from the High Court hearing, [which preceded the Court of Appeal decision] the University of Sheffield implied that Felix was not allowed to express the Christian viewpoint on same-sex marriage or homosexuality on any public forum, including in a church,” Christian Concern said.

But the Court of Appeal’s decision means it was the university that was “lacking insight” into the Christian viewpoint.

The Court of Appeal condemned the position of the university, which would have people fearing they would become the target of an anonymous complaint.

“The mere expression of views on theological grounds (e.g. that ‘homosexuality is a sin’) does not necessarily connote that the person expressing such views will discriminate on such grounds,” the judgment said.

It noted Ngole never was shown to be acting with discrimination.

“The outcome of this case will have significant implications not only for Christian freedom of speech, but in relation to all free speech. For example, comments made by people on social media (often many years ago) have recently been arbitrarily used to silence viewpoints that people dislike or disagree with,” Christian Concern explained.

Ngole said: “This is great news, not only for me and my family, but for everyone who cares about freedom of speech, especially for those working in or studying for caring professions. As Christians we are called to care for and serve others, and publicly and privately we must be free to express our beliefs, especially when asked, without fear of losing our livelihoods.

“I have suffered tremendously as a result of how I was treated by the University of Sheffield and I feel that four years of my life have been taken away from me. Despite all this, I feel overwhelming joy that what I have lost will be so much gain to Christians today and in the future as a result of this important ruling for freedom.”

Andrea Williams of the U.K.’s Christian Legal Centre called it a “watershed case for Christians and a resounding victory for freedom of speech.”

“We are delighted that the Court of Appeal has seen the importance of this case and made a ruling that accords with common sense. It is shocking that the university sought to censor expression of the Bible in this way, and we hope this sends out a message of freedom across all universities and professions that Christians and others should be allowed to express their views without fear of censorship or discipline.”

Williams said the case now returns to the university which must review its actions in light of the new precedent.



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