Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Teacher Fights Back

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot ; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. -Revelation 3:15-16

Here are some modern synonyms of the word "lukewarm": lacking ardor, enthusiasm or conviction; moderate; mild; unemotional; halfhearted; hesitant; indecisive; irresolute; uncertain; uncommitted; unresponsive; indifferent; impassive; languid; phlegmatic; apathetic; nonchalant; lackadaisical. Do these words remind you of our country's position regarding God's place in our society?

Blanca Gonzalez, staff writer for the San Diego Union-Tribune, reported the story below:

Poway Unified School District administrators told Brad Johnson to take down banners in his classroom, and they have become the center of an ongoing legal battle.

For Johnson, the most inspiring words he has posted in his room appear on simple red, white and blue banners that refer to God. Phrases include “In God We Trust” and “God Bless America.” Another sign reads “All Men Are Created Equal They Are Endowed By Their CREATOR.”

The banners first went up in his classrooms around 1990. Then in 2007, Poway Unified School District administrators told Johnson to take them down, and they became the center of a legal battle that continues to this day.

“I was rather baffled,” Johnson said he remembered thinking when told to remove the banners. “Nobody had ever complained. I’ve had 150 children a year go through my classroom,” he said, estimating that about 4,000 students and their parents have been in his classroom over the years.

“They’re just up there (on the wall). I don’t talk about them,” he said. “These are patriotic sayings that are inspiring to me.”

Johnson, who has been with the Poway district for 33 years, didn’t see anything wrong with the banners, and he sued Poway Unified over his right to display them. In a ruling late last month, U.S. District Court Judge Roger Benitez said Johnson has the right to display his banners, and on March 1, they went back up. The district is appealing the decision.

As long as there are people like Brad Johnson in our world, there is hope that we will avoid the consequences of becoming lukewarm. How about you? Are you hot, cold or lukewarm?

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