North Newton High School - 1969
In 1969 I was a junior at North Newton High School in Morocco, Indiana. We lived in Lake Village, Indiana and my Dad was the Pastor at Village Baptist Church in Lake Village, Indiana.
At this time I can’t remember who the principal of the school was but I had been reading my Bible during my study hall. At this time in my life I was reading the New Testament through once a month and the Old Testament twice a year. It took a great deal of reading and so I read in study hall when I didn’t have homework and I read on the trip on the bus in the morning and night. I can’t remember how long the bus ride was but it was long and gave me plenty of reading time.
The principal approached me and told me that I couldn’t read my Bible in study hall anymore. For that matter he told me I couldn’t bring my Bible to school. He said it was the law, “separation of church and state”.
When I got home I told my dad about it and asked him what I should do. He told me to just keep on taking my Bible and reading it he would take care of it. The next day I walked into school with my Bible on top of my books and I continued to read it during study hall and on the bus. The principal never said another word to me about this. I don’t know what my dad said to him when he called him but after that he never approached me and said anything to me.
Now that I am an adult I understand that he was off base. The school and other organization try to abuse this phrase which isn’t in the constitution but was in a letter that Thomas Jefferson had written. Government is supposed to keep their noses out of the churches business. It has nothing to do with the books you read at school or on school property.
We as citizens have a right to petition the government when we disagree but the government is not to make laws that infringe on our religious freedom.
Keep this in mind when you have a issue where someone quotes that “separation of church and state” phrase.