A Moment of Silence
A federal court ruled Friday that it is constitutional to be quiet. Well, what they really ruled is that the “moment of silence” with which Illinois public schools begin their school day does not constitute prayer and is therefore constitutional. A talk show host named Rob Sherman who is an atheist filed a lawsuit challenging the “moment of silence” practice arguing that providing a this "quiet time" of reflection actually encouraged students to pray and is therefore unconstitutional. Actually, the “moment of silence” does promote prayer in the school— prayers of thanksgiving by teachers for sixty actual seconds of peace and quiet. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit decided that lawmakers were not seeking to establish religion and force religious practices by mandating a moment of silence. Sherman condemned the decision as "judicial activism" and pledged to appeal the decision.
I think that the courts should be applauded for injecting a bit of common sense in our legal system. I also think that Mr. Sherman might have had more of an argument that is apparent at first blush. The Bible says things like, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psa 46:10) and “For God alone my soul waits in silence” (Psa 62:1, ESV) and “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him” (Psa 37:7). Being still, quiet, patient, unmoving, silent… this is the necessary condition before we will hear God. As long as we are caught up in the raging currents of the busyness of the day, we won’t have time for God. We need a moment of silence. If we have a moment of silence, then maybe we would be more aware of the God in whom we live and move and have our very being. So Mr. Sherman is right—a moment of silence encourages prayer. Just hope no one tells the courts!
On an totally unrelated note, Alan Smith sent me this picture, which I think speaks for itself. It is really sad that God's people are so well-know for division that this picture makes sense. I guess we might was well laugh at ourselves... unfortunately, the world is laughing at us as well.