Is “Bring Your Bible to School Day” Offensive?
Today is “Bring Your Bible to School Day,” an annual day that is set aside to raise awareness of religious freedom in schools across America. Now many in our culture would call this day either illegal or offensive. First, let’s address the legality. Students actually do have the legal right to bring Bibles to school and exercise their First Amendment right to free speech. That is one of the points of having this annual day—to raise awareness of religious freedoms. Many students have shared stories with us about teachers and administrators unintentionally sharing misinformation in this area, wrongly telling them they can’t read their Bibles during free reading time or even bring them to school. This is actually unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination. See the official website or our website to read more on students’ rights in public schools.
Second, this day may be viewed as offensive in our secular culture. We have also heard some Christians say that we should not be so “bold” with our faith when it could be construed as “Bible thumping.” To address these concerns, first we will say that we as Christians must always be good ambassadors (Stand to Reason’s Greg Koukl, who will be speaking at our conference in Portland, has some great teaching on this subject). First Peter 3:15 says this: “Always be ready to give a logical defense for the hope that is within you. But do it courteously and respectfully.” 1 Corinthians 13 encourages us to express ourselves in a loving way so we won’t be “ clanging gongs.” We must always be respectful and loving in the way we share our faith.
The New Testament also exhorts us not to be “undercover” Christians. Jesus says to us in the book of Matthew to shine your light, don’t hide under a bowl. He also says rather intensely not to be ashamed of Him or His teachings. There will be many differing views on the subject of how best to share our faith. For those students who would like to openly express their faith in school through bringing a Bible, this day plays an important role in raising awareness of those rights. Whether those students would like to read a Bible during free reading, use Bible references in essays, express their personal faith through art or poetry, or simply raise awareness of these issues, we hope this day gives them more confidence to do so freely.
For another perspective on this day, you may also want to reference John Stonestreet’s Breakpoint article: https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/john-stonestreet/bring-your-bible-school-day