Our 2017 Presidential election brought controversy, not just throughout the United States, but throughout the world.
The inauguration took place on January 20, 2017. Hundreds of people attended this historic event from all over the world, including the millions who watched it live. One of our teachers went to Washington, D.C. to attend the inauguration in person. English Teacher, Rachael Hogan, an 11th and 12th grade standard and AP teacher here, was up-close to the action as Trump was placed into office as the new President of the United States.
“We were invited to attend the inauguration because of the prayer event we organized this past spring and the prayer initiatives we have coordinated and participated with over the past few years,” said Hogan.
Hogan is no stranger to visiting dignitaries in Washington.
“Over the last few years, my husband and I have been in DC over twenty times,” said Hogan. “This time the atmosphere we were in, was markedly different. Patriotism, love for America, hope, and unbelievable kindness and friendliness marked the people we encountered. People were gathered from all over the nation to be part of the inauguration and, because of that, we heard some incredible stories of why people came.”
Through all of the division in this country during the time of the Presidential race, all of the citizens of the United States came together for this one historic event.
Hogan was currently in Washington D.C. to meet with some organizers for an evangelism prayer meeting focusing on gathering young people to pray.
“This event is called ‘Awaken the Dawn’ and focuses on youth and college-aged students gathering from all over the nation to pray, worship, and evangelize,” she said. “It will involve outreaches all across the city with a final day of mass, evangelism, and a heart to see massive evangelism across the nation and world.”
Hogan has become one of the school’s main sources of political information.
During the inauguration, several religious prayers are performed, along with both the swearing in of the Vice President and the President. They perform this ceremony while repeating their oath by holding their hand on a Bible of their choice while all of the world watches, proving our nation was founded “Under God”.
In many American schools, religion is forbidden to be spoken about during school hours, unless it is a private club or after school. Why is it that religion is displayed to millions during the inauguration, yet when it is discussed in school, with just a few hundred people, it is not allowed to be mentioned or taught.
“First of all, this inauguration was unique in that prayers were given in the name of Jesus,” explained Hogan. “For many years, that has been considered politically incorrect and pastors who were asked to pray at past national events were strongly asked to keep the prayers generic. However, at this inauguration not only were prayers given in Jesus’ name but powerful exhortations were given to lift up the name of Jesus.”
Hogan did her research, and learned that “Reverend Samuel Rodriguez made history as being the first Hispanic evangelical pastor to pray at an inauguration. Reverend Franklin Graham shared 1 Timothy 2:1-4 and a strong prayer that shared that Jesus is the only way to God. One of the key foundations of our nation has been the freedom of religion. In recent time, that freedom has been permitted primarily in private sectors. The accepted idea has been that freedom of religion cannot exist in the public sector or else it is offensive.”
This inauguration was different, however.
“Typically at national events, much effort is made to provide diversity of generic prayers offered, in order to not offend anyone. Thus, prayers at national events have been platitudes of wisdom, rather than talking to God. That line of thought is why prayer has been taken out of public school and private schools. However, the data clearly shows that when prayer was removed from public schools in 1963 there was a dramatic change in the problems and morality of public education. Schools, realizing the vacuum this removal of prayer has caused, in recent years have tried implementing character lessons.” said Hogan.
Because religion was highly visible within this particular inauguration, is it possible to eventually make it seen in public and some private schools?
“The only way it can be fixed is for prayer and the Bible to be brought back to public education. I believe many schools realize this and is why they allow no profit groups to come in and run after-school Bible classes, and why in Texas now the Bible can be taught as literature in the public schools.”
Religious freedom is part of what this country was founded on, so let it be.