An interesting question is facing school officials and parents alike concerning the announcement of President Obama’s national address to students in schools across the country on September 8. Today the protests rage from some conservatives claiming a classroom venue for Obama’s speech is a wildly inappropriate attempt at liberal indoctrination targeting the next generation. School districts across the country are making decisions largely in reaction to the protest. Some school districts are affording parents the opportunity to opt out of the speech and associated classroom discussions. Other districts are making the speech available only to secondary students and still other schools are making no provision for exclusion at all. How should a Christian parent respond?
I have two daughters in public school. We received a letter from the school last night giving us a clear and fair option to withdraw our children during the speech. Thank you to the school for recognizing parents as the final level of authority in the education of children.
In my view there is a proper biblical response to this situation and an effective way to lead our children using President Obama’s speech as a “God Moment”. This is my plan, not as a pastor but as a dad charged with leading my children spiritually.
- Last night we used the letter from the school as an opportunity to pray for President Obama. We will pray for him every night in the remaining days leading up to the speech. (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
- We talked about respecting the office of the President even though we passionately disagree with the President’s personal positions on abortion, healthcare, big government, foreign policy and other issues. Christ is Preeminent and He has allowed Barack Obama to be President of the United States at this time in our country’s history. (Colossians 1:16-20)
- We are confident that our children know enough of the Scriptures to think critically. We are asking our kids to listen to the speech and make a list of anything that contradicts the Bible. This is a great exercise for them and contributes to the development of biblical worldview. (Of course we will be viewing the speech as it becomes available so that we can have a “Faith Talk” around the content.) (2 Timothy 2:15)
As a Christ-follower and a dad this is where I must embrace the truth of the Shema (Dt.6:4-9). We will use the presidential speech to teach our children biblical truth. We will teach them that biblical truth (God’s Word) is higher and more authoritative than even the words of the President of the United States. At the same time we will teach them the importance of praying for President Obama even as he takes positions contradictory to Scripture. All of this “… as we sit at home and when we drive along the road, when we go to bed, and when we get up.”
Welcome to parenting Christ-followers in post modernity.