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Equal Opportunity For Prayer?


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Pasting in an article from our local paper a couple of weeks ago. What, the dads don't need to pray for their kids and their schools? And we only need to pray for those schools in Chesterfield County? Chesterfield is a suburb outside Richmond, which is one of the crime capitols of the US per capita. Those kids face much greater problems than the kids in Chesterfield or the surrounding suburbs.


Prayer as school year starts in Chesterfield

First Day, a prayer gathering for women in Chesterfield County, will be held on the first day of school for Chesterfield students.


Participants are encouraged to pray for their children and schools from 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesday at the following churches: KingsWay Community, 14111 Sovereign Grace Drive; Southside Nazarene, 6851 Courthouse Road; and Beulah United Methodist, 6930 Hopkins Road.


For more information, e-mail thevahaven@comcast.net or call Betsy Akins


Is it just me who sees something wrong with this?

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Never mind whether it's moms or dads or second cousins or aardvarks "praying for the kids."


It's a colossal waste of time to plead with an imaginary being rather than actually using that same time and energy to analyze and work on the issues.

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I was in a hurry yesterday when I posted this and I know what I said wasn't what I wanted to say and was misleading.


Here is my take on the whole situation. Instead of wasting time praying, they should use that time to volunteer in the schools and help those teachers out, they sure could use it. If they truly wanted to make a difference, they should volunteer in Richmond where they don't have the same parental support as they do in Chesterfield and the kids aren't scoring as well and have a whole lot more issues to deal with just to be able to attend school.


Then I move to the religious aspect of it. In my son's high school they have an extra curricular club called the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Do I have a problem with that, yes. The reason being is that when a teacher sponsors a club they can be paid an additional amount of salary that is over and above their normal contract for teaching. Therefore the county is in fact sponsoring a religious group and paying for it as well, thereby I as a tax payer am ultimately paying for it. Separation of church and state, not in this case. Most of the kids at Kingsway are home schooled. Meaning they don't even attend Chesterfield County Public Schools. By calling for a prayer session for the schools I question if there is an ulterior motive.


In addition our county has for the past couple of years sponsored a Bandfest through a program called SAFE. It is partially funded by the county. Bandfest is where bands are invited to play and the teens in the area may attend at in a safe environment. It is held at Southside Church of the Nazarene, one of the same churches that sponsored the pray day. Why is an event funded by the county being held at a church?


As for the equality in prayer what surprised me is that a United Methodist church would align themselves with two churches that are fundamentalist churches and only call upon the women congregants to pray. As much as the United Methodist Church has been running their Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors campaign I am beginning to believe it all a tactic to increase their membership.


My personal belief is that I do not want these idiots praying for my son's school or my son. If they really want to do good, go in and volunteer (I do and I work full time). And the county should stop supporting these religious groups with my tax money. Use it to buy books, supplies, increase the teachers salaries (no I am not a teacher) or even fix the buildings so that they no longer have leaky roofs or build new schools so that they no longer have to use trailers because of the overcrowding.


I am seriously thinking of doing a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request for the budget records for the county along with the salary contracts and budget records for the school system just to see how much money has been directed toward these churches and the supporting/spreading of Christianity.

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