See You at the Pole
Youth are being encouraged to join millions of students around the world for what has been touted as the largest student prayer movement in history, the 10th Annual See You At The Pole – National Day of Student Prayer, Wednesday, September 15, 1999. Students are expected to gather at 7:00 a.m. around their respective school flagpoles to pray for their campus, their country, and the world.
See You at the Pole is a student initiated and student led movement that began in Texas in 1990 with a single church youth group. It grew to more than 3 million by 1998. Youth in all fifty states and at least seventeen countries on five continents participated last year, including six countries in Europe. Reports were also sent in from Ghana, Turkey, Philippines, Malaysia, Guam, Ukraine, and Australia.
Because of the movement's potential impact, many churches have planned a special commissioning service Sunday, September 12, to recognize and pray for Christian students and educators.
For more information, call 619/592-9200, or visit the web site: www.syatp.com
Students Free to Pray
A federal appeals court threw out part of a judge's ruling that restricted the right of students to pray and lead prayers in Alabama schools.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta ruled 3-0 in July that a federal judge wrongly restricted student-instigated prayer at DeKalb County schools.
U.S. District Judge Ira DeMent issued an injunction in 1997 against prayers in school when a former vice principle at Valley Head High School in DeKalb County complained of prayers at athletic events, teacher-led devotionals, and distribution of Bibles at school by Gideons International.
The court did not throw out the judge's restrictions against school officials leading prayers or other religious activities.
"The suppression of student-initiated religious speech is neither necessary to, nor does it achieve, constitutional neutrality towards religion," the appeals court said.
Associated Press, July 15, 1999
To Pray or Not to Pray
The Grant High School basketball team in Sacramento, Calif., was forced to abandon a two-season tradition of players and coach praying together at games after the practice was challenged as unconstitutional. The controversy erupted when the school district received a letter from Americans United for Separation of Church and State. The letter threatened legal action if Coach Tony Lowden, an unordained youth minister, continued to pray with his team. Superintendent James Rutter then issued an ultimatum that Lowden could not coach in the division championship if he prayed with his players. Lowden left the decision to the team who opted to have their coach leave the room while the team prayed so that he could coach the game.
The Sacramento Bee, March 17, 1999
Brave New World?
A report in a leading psychology journal declares the presence of fathers in families raising children is "not essential," and that fathers in fact "may be detrimental to the child and the mother."
In an article entitled "Deconstructing the Essential Father," in the June, 1999 issue of The American Psychologist, authors Drs. Louise B. Silverstein and Carl F. Auerbach, both from Yeshiva University, wrote, "[We] do not believe that the data support the conclusion that fathers are essential to a child's well-being and that heterosexual marriage is the social context in which responsible fathering is most likely to occur."
In their report, Silverstein and Auerbach "deconstructed" several notions about fatherhood and marriage that they label as "neoconservative," including the importance of male role models on boys, the civilizing effects of marriage on men, and unique paternal contributions to childrearing.
The report also contested the idea that a male role model is important in raising boys. The authors questioned what they called the "privileging" of heterosexual marriage, saying that "one, none, or both" of the adults that have a "consistent relationship" with a child could be male or female, related or not, with no significant psychological harm.
To achieve the goal of eradicating social customs whereby "fathering is inextricably intertwined with marriage," the authors recommended a "comprehensive family policy that provides paid parental leave, governmentally-financed day care, and economic subsidies for all families with children," including single-parent families and families headed by homosexual parents, as well as de-emphasizing the "sacred status of the mother-child dyad."
Conservative News Service, July 13, 1999
The State of Washington's Children Study reports that children are far less likely to engage in risky behavior like getting pregnant, dropping out of school, or selling drugs if they feel they have the opportunity to share their views with a trusted adult. Time magazine suggests that one way to do that is to turn off the radio and engage in meaningful conversation on drives to school and sports practice. Time cites a study by the Surface Transportation Policy Project that reveals that the typical mom spends more than an hour per day chauffeuring kids.
Time, May 31, 1999
Helping the Helpless
In Atlanta, Dr. William Warren IV left his pediatric practice and six-figure salary to open a clinic at his own expense to aid the helpless, hopeless, and homeless. Warren, an heir to the Coca-Cola company who takes no salary, raised over $880,000, much of it his own, to refurbish a warehouse into a new clinic. As the clinic grows, Warren gives all the credit to God, saying, "It's a calling. I was led to do this just like a missionary or minister is led by God." The center receives no federal funds so that it can freely spread the love of Christ to each patient that comes in the door. Only about 25 percent of the cost is covered by patients, and nobody is ever turned away. In one week the clinic treated 128 people.
Atlanta Constitution, February 17, 1999
"What is inexplicable to me is how anyone with a brain would write, direct, or participate in a film that promotes violence. They have a clear image of what a civil society is like. Why not spend your career promoting that vision rather than working against it? … The tragedy is it's the irresponsibility of artists that invites the government to take a position on artists. Freedom from censorship is very recent and fragile, and if you abuse it, you lose it." – David Puttnam, producer of Oscar winning Chariots of Fire, in the July 11, Los Angeles Times (Parents Television Council E-Alert, July 14, 1999)
"After years of being a monk in the monastery, I have not learned anything special about Buddhist ways and thoughts… I have come to the conclusion that Jesus Christ is the truth." – Quote from a letter written by a Buddhist monk in response to Good News for Tibet radio programs in unreached regions of the Himalayas. (Commission, May 1999)
"It took total devastation before I would acquiesce and say, 'OK, God. You can have my life.' It took everything crashing down before I came crawling back to God, pleading, 'Please, help me.'" – Michelle Akers, Olympic gold medallist and star of the world champion U.S. Women's Soccer Team, from her personal testimony posted on her web site at www.michelleakers.com.