What’s the Big Deal?
Off the Wall, November 6,

As far back as I can remember, we’ve always lived in a somewhat comfortable environment, afraid of little as everything was pretty much under control. People worked hard through the week, were given Sunday off to worship according to their persuasion, and the blue laws were definitely in effect.

Time went by and then something happened that jolted the Christian believers. Madalyn Murray stepped up to the plate and saw to it that prayer had to be removed from public schools. At first that rocked society, but then, like everything else up to a point, a few groups continued to protest, but overall, up to this day, it’s become an accepted way of life.

Recently while attending Church, I happened to tune in as to the message of a priest’s homily, when he directed the attention to the congregation of the degradation of society since prayer was taken out of schools. In addition, he said that church-going people were stepping back, receding from what used to be the standard of normal practice of going to church on Sunday. Their self-gratification has taken them astray, resulting in so-called believers doing their own thing instead of what was put before them as rooted in the Holy Scriptures of the Holy Bible.

God has been put on the back burner and pleasure seeking for self-gain on the front. By ignoring Christian principles and walking away from their Creator, people have put into play the ideas that it is perfectly all right according to their strategies to live in a society where anything goes.

All one has to do is turn on the television to hear the daily news and learn that there has been a shooting if not in our community, somewhere in our proximity. It doesn’t always have to be in the big cities. Wherever hate and jealousy reign, there is going to be vengeance which very often results in injury or death of another.

“Whatever happened to following the Ten Commandments?” I ask. There aren’t 41 or 28, but 10. In my opinion, it may be harder to follow a larger number, but God really isn’t asking much when he wants us to observe the lesser amount.

It’s not occasionally, or even having to think hard, when we heard or saw someone doing what he or she shouldn’t be doing. It’s now all around us and the general public is permitting it. Oh yes, some shun the acts as being non-permitting, but overall, people are become numb to their surroundings and the general consensus is to allow acts to happen.

It seems that all of what Jesus Christ taught when He walked on the same earth that you and I are walking, has become so fuzzy and watered down that the influence of the Almighty doesn’t enter in anymore. It’s is all about self and pleasure.

Eight of the Ten Commandments begin with the same three words, “You shall not…” What is there not to understand?

When the priest to whom I was listening stated, “When prayer was taken out of the schools, people turned away from God and began doing their own thing.” That is when I decided right there and then, “What a good point!”

So, now we have those who believe it is perfectly all right to ‘take the name of the Lord in vain,’ loosely. “What’s the big deal?” many may say. It’s written in black against a white background in the Holy Scriptures, “For the Lord will not leave unpunished him who takes His name in vain.”

I have many opinions, this is true, but this is not of my doing. It’s virtually carved in stone. I’m just passing on that which is written.

And how about some of the others – killing, committing adultery, stealing or honoring your father and mother? Yes, it is true, there were some of all the Commandments broken when I was growing up and even before I was born. I’m sure everyone will agree to that. The difference between then and now can only be spelled out one way – God-fearing versus a society minus any influence of God at all.

Here is the clincher. Madalyn may have thought that by taking prayer out of school, it would be eternally erased by all public grounds. But as one individual pointed out to me recently, one will never be able to remove prayer from schools.

She said with a smile, “Before every test, students will pray silently that they do well.”

- Paul J. Volkmann
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