The personal Bibles of more than half a million students will be packed in backpacks and carried with textbooks when they pass through school gates in every one of the 50 states on Thursday, which marks the fourth annual “Bring Your Bible to School Day” (BYBTSD).
Focus on the Family (FOTF) is inviting public school children from coast to coast to celebrate religious freedom and God’s Word on October 5 as they shine the light of the Gospel on their campuses with those who do not know Jesus Christ – sharing a message that is also planned to go viral online.
“Kids and teens will also be on social media using #BringYourBible to explain why they’re taking part in this day: to share the hope and love they receive from reading their Bibles, and to let others know their faith is part of who they are,” FOTF announced on its website.
No longer afraid to share …
In a day and age when America’s youth are being pressured at school to challenge the Christian worldview – to oppose pro-life beliefs, to embrace the “right” to have an abortion in the name of so-called “women’s reproductive rights” and to champion the LGBT agenda, including homosexuality, “transgenderism” and same-sex “marriage,” – students are refusing to be silenced on campus.
“Many Christian students feel there’s an unspoken pressure to stay silent about their faith,” FOTF disclosed in a statement. “Others report overt efforts to silence them from presenting their Bible-based viewpoints in class discussions or in assignments. Yet, the First Amendment recognizes the rights of students to talk about their faith and read their Bibles outside of classroom time.”
FOTF President Jim Daly sees the pro-Bible day as the ushering in of a movement that reminds students of their constitutional right to share their faith – devoid of fear and intimidation felt from faculty, administration and their fellow students.
“Over the years, we’ve heard from many kids and teens who want to meaningfully engage in conversations with peers to share their perspective on important issues,” Daly proclaimed in a FOTF announcement. “The good news is – they can. The Constitution recognizes students’ rights to share their biblical viewpoints in a way that doesn’t disturb instruction time, and to exercise their faith at school. ‘Bring Your Bible to School Day’ celebrates these rights and gives Christian students a chance to share a bit about their faith, which is an important part of who they are.”
Thirteen-year-old Lettie, who leads the FOTF-sponsored event at her Virginia middle school, is one of many students who coordinates with other classmates to make it happen.
“We put posters around the school and on our lockers a few weeks before Bring Your Bible to School Day,” Lettie shared on YouTube. “Some of us didn't wait till that day. We brought our Bibles every day when we learned about it.”
She and many of her fellow student believers had no idea that they would not be punished for expressing and living out their faith at school.
“We have also started praying at lunch,” Lettie continued. “I never knew that we were allowed to do that. My friends and I wanted to do it to share the Bible with each other and talk to others who don't know about Jesus!”
Gaining momentum …
In just a few years, BYBTSD has avalanched to become a permanent and prominent fixture in America’s public schools – starting in 2014 with 8,000 students participating to more than 356,000 getting involved last year.
For the third time since BYBTSD’s launch in 2014, the Newsboys is partnering with FOTF to increase awareness of the event. Repeating last year’s promotion of the event, the award-winning Christian rock band is giving participants a chance to win a free trip for four to their concert and meet them in person.
Duck Dynasty’s Sadie Robertson is also encouraging youth to get involved
Sadie Robertson is also helping promote the event, saying “I think that’s so important in making that stance to hold [the Bible] right in front of you and walk in the school building,” Robertson expressed on YouTube. “It’s absolutely amazing.”
Also partnering with FOFT in support of the event is the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) – a Christian legal group based in Scottsdale, Arizona – which offers free legal representation to students whose constitutional rights to free speech and religious freedom are violated while participating in “Bring Your Bible to School Day.”
FOTF spokesperson Candi Cushman says that BYBTSD provides an opportunity for youth of all ages – as well as young adults – to take their faith to a new level and spread the Word with their peers on campus.
"We have some great stories from kids – even as young as kindergarten – taking their Bibles to school and just reading it out loud with their friends at recess," Cushman told CBN News. "There are thousands of students joining them across the nation, and groups like Focus on the Family are standing behind them and praying for them."
Contrary to what school administrators – and the ruling campus politics – might have students believe, sharing their faith at state-run schools and bringing their Bibles on campus are perfectly legal.
"People don't know that students have that basic right to bring their Bibles to school,” Cushman pointed out. “Students tell us themselves that 'before this event, I thought my Bible was banned.’ … That's just not accurate."
In fact, flying in the face of threats and attacks waged by Leftist groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), legal precedent has established that Bibles are legal on state-run campuses and should be as welcomed there as textbooks.
"We have several decades of federal court rulings,” the Christian spokesperson added. “This is a well-established constitutional right that kids can bring their personal Bible[s] to school."
It was also stressed that talking about the Bible at school should not be taboo – as many teachers and administrators would like students to believe.
"They can have it on their desks during free reading time, they can read it during free time, they can talk about it with their friends during free periods, as well before and after class – as long as they are not disrupting instruction time and are being respectful of that and respectful to their peers," Cushman asserted.
According to Cushman, BYBTSD helps students hold onto – and embrace – the biblical teaching that their relationship with Jesus Christ is something to shine on a lampstand … not to be hidden under a bowl.
"This is an event that is a visual reminder to students of their basic right to freely live out their faith," she concluded.