David Limbaugh's new book, "Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity," will make you cry for your country. (But don't pray for your country if you're anywhere near a public school!) Released this week, Limbaugh's copiously researched book documents how the courts, the universities, the media, Hollywood and government institutions react to any mention of Christianity like Superman recoiling from kryptonite, Dracula from sunlight, or Madonna from soap and water. His straight, factual narrative of what is happening in our public schools makes you wonder how much longer America can survive liberalism.
In a public school in St. Louis, a teacher spotted the suspect, fourth-grader Raymond Raines, bowing his head in prayer before lunch. The teacher stormed to Raymond's table, ordered him to stop immediately and sent him to the principal's office. The principal informed the young malefactor that praying was not allowed in school. When Raymond was again caught praying before meals on three separate occasions, he was segregated from other students, ridiculed in front of his classmates, and finally sentenced to a week's detention.
Before snack time in her kindergarten class in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., little Kayla Broadus held hands with two of her classmates and recited this prayer: "God is good, God is great, thank you, God, for my food." The alert teacher pounced on Kayla, severely reprimanded her, and reported her to the school administration. In short order, the principal sent a sternly worded letter to Kayla's parents advising them that Kayla was not allowed to pray in school, aloud or with others.
The school board then issued a triumphant press release crowing about its victory over a kindergartner praying before snack time. Thus was creeping theocracy in Saratoga Springs stopped dead in its tracks! Kayla's mother brought a lawsuit, winning Kayla the right to pray out loud. But she was still prohibited from holding hands with others while she prayed. Hearing the G-word in kindergarten might interfere with the school's efforts to teach proper sexual techniques in the first grade.
Thanks to the vigilance of an alert teacher at Lynn Lucas Middle School outside of Houston, two sisters carrying Bibles were prevented from bringing their vile material into a classroom. The teacher stopped the students at the classroom door and marched them to the principal's office. (Maybe it was just the sight of public school students carrying a book of any kind that set off alarm bells.) The sisters' mother was called and warned that the school intended to report her to Child Protective Services. When the mother arrived, the teacher threw the Bibles in the wastebasket, shouting, "This is garbage!"
In another display of tolerance at Lynn Lucas Middle School, school administrators snatched three students' books with covers displaying the Ten Commandments, ripped the covers off, threw them in the garbage, and told the students that the Ten Commandments constituted "hate speech." (Also, it would be insensitive to expose the Ten Commandments to students who had never been taught to count to 10.)
After the massacre at Columbine High School, students and families were invited to paint tiles above student lockers. The school district had taken all reasonable precautions, immediately deploying an army of secular "grief counselors" with teddy bears to descend on the school after the attack. Nonetheless, some students painted their tiles with "objectionable" messages, such as: "4/20/99: Jesus Wept" and "God Is Love." This would not stand: The school removed 90 tiles with offending religious messages.
A federal court upheld the school's censorship of the religious tiles. Of course, Columbine school officials had earned a measure of deference after having inculcated such a fine sense of morality in their students that two boys could walk into school one day and stage a bloody massacre. You don't argue with a track record like that.
Not all mentions of religion constitute "hate speech." In Tupelo, Miss., school administrators methodically purged all Christmas carols of any religious content – and then led the children in a chant of: "Celebrate Kwanzaa!" At Pattison Elementary school in Katy, Texas, Christmas songs are banned, but students are threatened with grade reductions for refusing to sing songs celebrating other religious faiths.
In New York City, the chancellor of the Department of Education prohibited the display of Nativity scenes in public schools, while expressly allowing the Jewish menorah and the Islamic star and crescent to be displayed. Some would say that was overkill inasmuch as New York City is already the home of the world's largest public display built in commemoration of Islam: Ground Zero.
Between issuing laws prohibiting discrimination against transgendered individuals and running up a $38 billion deficit, the California Legislature mandated a three-week immersion course in Islam for all seventh-graders. A "crash course" in Islam, you might call it, if that weren't so ironic. Students are required to adopt Muslim names, plan a trip to Mecca, play a jihad game, pray to "Allah, the Compassionate" and to chant "Praise to Allah! Lord of Creation!" They are encouraged to dress in Muslim garb. Students are discouraged, however, from stoning girls at the school dances, abusing their "Jew" math teachers or blowing up their classmates.
A popular student textbook, "Across the Centuries," treats the Inquisition and Salem witch-hunts as typical of Christianity, but never gets around to mentioning the Muslims' conquest of Spain, the Battle of Tours, or the execution of Jews in Qurayza. Or 9-11.
There is no surer proof of Christ's divinity than that he is still so hated some 2,000 years after his death. Limbaugh's "Persecution" covers it all in staggering, heartbreaking detail. His methodical description of what is happening in our public schools alone will call to mind the hate speech banned in Columbine: "Jesus Wept."