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Religion in Schools-'Red'neck States Be Careful of What You Wish For

This the season. With the tragedy in Connecticut we are once again confronted with the issue from the 'extreme right' about God not being in schools as the reason for the insanity that took place. Leading the charge in 'doing something about this' are many Southern states. These 'red' states are overwhelmingly protestant; Southern Baptist, Church of Christ, Pentecostal, Fundamentalist. This has been a constant throughout 'rebel' history, so much so that the Klu Klux Klan was at one time a sect that had appeal and acceptance. Although the racist attitude has changed somewhat {segregationist Democrats are now extremist conservative Republicans} there remains an unconscious attitude in the 'Great Generation' that will likely never change within our generation. 'The South will rise again' mantra isn't displayed openingly as it once was but I dare say there are more Rebel flags adoring living room walls than we could imagine. This is coming from a 'southern' {although untypical} who grew up in a place where a racist attitude exists that is unwilling to die on its own.

But there is bad news on the horizon for Protestant states who push for more religion in schools. The percentage of protestants in the US has fallen from nearly two-thirds of the population in the 1960s to 51% today {with of course the great majority living in Southern states. And we can expect a larger decrease over the next decade because of immigration {legal and illegal}. Changes are coming and rapidly.

What does this say about religion in schools? What we see can only be discouraging to Protestants and may serve as a warning as to 'be careful of what you wish for'.

Unlike the northern states there are few Catholic sanctuaries in the Southern states. Although the Catholic church has suffered from attendance due to sex scandals their numbers will most likely increase due to the rapidly increase numbers of Hispanics, especially in the Protestant heavy states. Hispanics are now the largest minority in the US and their numbers are growing. And the overwhelming majority of Hispanics are Catholic. It can be said Catholicism is ingrained in the Hispanic psyche, so few in South American nations are anything but. Changing minds and saving souls among the Catholic Hispanics is less likely to happen because of this cultural mentality.

What does this say about putting God back into schools? This is a battle that has been ongoing for decades and something that will not go away anytime soon. But I see a change of combatants, atheists/agnostics/progressives vs conservative Protestants becoming a Protestant vs Catholic fight. And with Catholics winning. Its all in the numbers. The dying old white man conservatives of Protestantism being replaced by young, brown Catholic Hispanics. Add to the numbers of Catholics in Northern states and what you have is a decisive change of demographics in American religion. The God of Abraham will remain the central icon but there will be an inclusion of the virgin as the new figurative image to be reckoned with. And 'God' knows the angry white antagonists of anything not Protestant Christian will never accept that.

So there is the argument to be made that the old saying 'be careful for what you wish for, you just might get it' could come back to haunt those who want to put God back into schools by way of installing one particular religion as the guardian of the status quo. The rapid changes that we are witnessing in population demographics is against the angry white guy who thinks God is on his side. America has become a true multi-colored nation and although divisions remain along the line of 50/50 of those who are for and those against, 'what you wish for' may go against those who are for.

Jerry The God Within You A Prayer For You




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