I was incredibly shocked this past Friday night! Not that my Dothan Tigers defeated the Opelika Bulldogs for the first time since 1972, not that those same Bulldogs were ranked in the top-10 in the state of Alabama, not that we were trailing by 11 with less than 4 minutes to play in the game, and not even that we had blown an early 1st-quarter 17-to-nothing lead, but because what I was asked to do, and not do, in the Press box. As you know, I am the PA announcer for all home games of the Dothan Tigers and Northview Cougars. Just before kick-off, one of my assistant principals came to the press box with an announcement for me to read during the game. The announcement was promoting a get-together at a local church for the fans after the game. Minutes before I was set to announce it, the principal came back up and told me not to announce it. The announcement did not mention God, praying, or anything religious other than the name of the church. Haven't we taken this "separation of church and state" thing a little too far?
Nowhere in the Constitution does it say "separation of church and state." The ambiguous phrase that is in the Constitution has been interpreted in so many ways, that nobody really knows what to do. My personal two-cents worth is that the phrase in the Constitution assures churches that the State will not make any laws prohibiting their basic religious beliefs. But Friday night, I was faced with somewhat of a delima. I did not see any reason why I couldn't read the announcement, and in my opinion, my rights were being violated. But at the same time, my principal (boss) told me not to read it. I was at an official school event and was under the rules of the school system. I believe God called me to be a teacher, and through Him, I can lead some students to Christ. But I can't do that if I am fired, not that I believe I would have actually been fired. But the Bible does remind us that we must submit to government authorities and obey the laws of the land. In hind-sight, I think I did do the right thing, although I feel like I kind of let God down. I do not blame my assistant principal at all. I think he was not really sure what to do either and just erred on the side of caution. It is amazing that our society has eroded to the point of not being allowed to announce a promo at a high school football game, but our TVs radios, and big screens are full of cussing, sexual immorality, and just down-right nastiness. God help us!
I Thessalonians 5: 21-22 says, "Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil."
Father, please help us to navigate through this sinful world. We need You now more than ever. In Jesus name, Amen.