With prayer banned in public schools and religious freedom under attack, one organization is hosting an event where students can openly engage in religious discussion and bring their Bibles to school.
Bring Your Bible to School Day, occurring Thursday and hosted by Focus on the Family, a conservative Christian organization, is a national event where students can bring Scripture to school and talk about it with their peers.
According to the initiative’s website, BringYourBible.org, this event “is designed to empower you as a student to express your belief in the truth of God’s Word—and to do so in a respectful way that demonstrates the love of Christ.”
“At Focus on the Family, we’ve been hearing from more students—and seeing news headlines reporting the same thing—who tell us they’ve been told they can’t engage in basic religious freedoms—like having a Bible on their desk or reading it during free time or even simply bowing their head to say a silent prayer before lunch,” Candi Cushman, an education analyst for Focus on the Family, told The Daily Signal.
Cushman said that Focus on the Family offers this event to help students appreciate and engage in protecting religious freedom.
“We are sponsoring this event for students (kindergarten through college) to provide a fun, celebratory way to empower them to understand what their religious freedom rights are at school—and also how they can put those rights into practice in everyday situations and conversations,” Cushman said.
Bring Your Bible to School Day is a student-run event. Rather than Focus on the Family seeking out students to host the event in their schools, BringYourBible.org makes it clear that involvement is “completely up to students.”
To participate, students must sign up for the event by registering with their basic demographic information, an estimate of how many fellow students may also be participating at their school as well as indicating the name of the elementary, high school, or college they attend.
After registering, students are given a free guide and encouraged to share about involvement in the event on social media.
BringYourBible.org recognizes that students may face opposition to taking part in the event so it encourages students to know their First Amendment rights.
The organization reminds participating students that they are free to express their religious views to fellow students as long as they follow the policies of their particular school. The website also encourages students to take initiative and lead their peers in this event.
“As a Christian student, you can be a powerful voice of hope at your school!” the website states. “In the Bible, it’s often young people who lead the way for the rest of their culture by providing an example of spiritual boldness and taking a courageous stand for their belief in God.”
The website reminds students that by simply participating in this national event, they are helping to protect the religious freedom of others.
“Bring Your Bible to School day is an opportunity for students to share the impact of their religion on their daily life,” said Melody Wood, a research assistant at The Heritage Foundation’s DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society.
“The day particularly celebrates the American notion of religious freedom: more than just freedom of worship, religious freedom in America means everyone is free to believe and act in the public square—including public schools—in accordance with their beliefs. Schools often welcome and encourage self-expression of all sorts, and expression of faith should be no different.”