Mariah Jordat, 8, was reading her Bible during quiet time at Madison Park Elementary School in Oldbridge, N.J., when her teacher told her to put the book away. Mariah put her Bible under her desk, but that wasn't away enough. The teacher banished the book to the student's backpack. The persecution hurt her feelings and confused her, said Michelle Jordat, the little girl's mother. "Why would my teacher say that I can't read the Bible when I'm not bothering anybody else?"
It's ridiculous for a school to forbid a child, let alone one at such an impressionable age, to read the Bible during her free time, as the principal now admits. The school's mission statement says it wants to develop a child's uniqueness - an effort that can't likely be achieved by squelching her reading interests. If anything, Mariah ought to be applauded for the extraordinary maturity she probably has for someone of such a tender age, but in too many places, it would be more likely that she would be forced into remedial "diversity" training.
Little Mariah isn't alone. Earlier this month, a Massachusetts second-grader was suspended after drawing what his school said was a "violent" picture of Jesus Christ on the cross. Before he was permitted to return to the classroom, the boy had to undergo a psychiatric evaluation at his family's expense.
He missed three days of school, and after the evaluation found no psychological "issues," the boy reportedly was so traumatized that school administrators approved the father's request to transfer the child to another school.
The sad part is that the teachers and administrators in both schools may have been acting in accordance with everything they were taught during their own politically correct educations.
The heavy-handed teacher in one may well have assumed that Bible reading was not permitted in a government school, and the other simpleton may have been confused into thinking the crucifixion represents violence instead of redemption.
And that is exactly the problem. The war on Christmas and Christianity isn't a conspiracy. It has become a culture. Ignorance of and indifference to the role of Christianity as a foundation of our nation and the civilization we have inherited are often more common and insidious than hostility.
It all starts with those whose hostility to America's Christian roots leads them to file lawsuits and rewrite history to make religion a threat to our rights instead of a guarantor of those rights. However, the people who are misled and just follow along are far more numerous.
In that culture, it isn't a fluke that a teacher merely assumes that a child isn't supposed to be reading the Bible in school. It's OK for school classes to sing about President Obama and how he's going to save the world, but it's not OK for schoolchildren to sing Christmas carols in honor of a quite different savior.
With every passing year, the grinches of political correctness seem to drive the wedge between Christianity and our culture just a little bit deeper. These days, too often, they don't even have to do their own dirty work. They have schools do it for them.