A Delaware Geography Lesson:
Delaware is a small state. It’s twenty-five minutes along the I-95 corridor – at say, three o’clock in the morning. Usually traffic doubles that. The state is itself bisected by the Chesepeake an Delaware Canal, with the bulk of the state’s population living in Wilmington and its suburbs in New Castle County – the largest of it’s three counties.
Sussex County is the southernmost county in the state, and is predominantly rural. It’s separated from New Castle County by Kent County which is a fast growing county containing the Delaware capital, Dover that is really a mix of suburban New Castle County and rural Sussex County.
In June at Sussex County Central High, a minister gave the prayer at the graduation which according to this news story – saying “that he hoped they would go out to seek the truth, which can only be found through Jesus.”
There was a problem with this event: Sussex County Central High is a public school, and one of the graduates was Jewish. Her mother wasn’t happy about the incident, and complained to the Indian River School District, suggesting that the speakers use a more inclusive prayer in the future.
Since then, the woman who was born and raised in Sussex County has received a lot of grief. At a meeting about the incident in July, many locals defended the prayer and verbally attacked the woman. According to the story, “Their involvement, along with conservative talk-show hosts on a local station, soon turned the incident into a circus. About 800 people attended last week’s school board meeting. Many sang hymns and carried signs indicating they felt their religious rights were under attack.”
The woman and her children have been hounded by the locals – some suggesting that she should convert to Christianity, others that she should leave the county.
Delaware is a small state of about 800,000 people – about 3/4 of whom live in New Castle County.
Sussex County Cental High is a public, state funded school district.
A Christian minister gave a prayer in which he said truth could only be found through Jesus.
A woman is upset about the prayer, and suggests that in the future the school district should offer a more inclusive prayer.
Now, for fun let’s check our biases:
An Islamic Iman says truth could only be found through accepting Mohammed as God’s prophet.
How would the Christians react in Sussex County? I doubt
Sometimes I find myself at odds with the ACLU and believe that tolerance means that minorities should tolerate some just like majorities do. However, there are limits.
Accepting Jesus as your personal savior is a limit to me at a public school function.
Delaware is a small state, but it isn’t immune to big issues like separation of church and state. For her sanity, I hope that the woman and her family considers moving upstate. And since they want to live in a theocracy, I hope that Sussex County folks move to Iran.