Friday, January 31, 2014

An Open Letter to HISD About Good Friday Make-Up Day

Dear HISD School Board,

You have recently announced the dates on which HISD students will make up our two recent "snow days."  The first is on April 18th, 2014.  I don't know if you realize that's also Good Friday.  The other is May 26th, 2014, Memorial Day.  I know a few people who are both mystified and enraged at your choices. 

I tend to be more upset about the reschedule on Good Friday.  I will say, Memorial Day is a terrible choice too, as it reminds us to honor those who fight for our country.  I take that seriously but as a fervent believer in Jesus Christ, the idea of taking my kids to school on one of the Holiest days of the year stirs up some righteous anger in my gut.  I'd like to come over to your office and turn over some rectangular meeting tables.  I know it wouldn't be exactly the same as what Jesus did to the money lenders in the Temple, but truthfully, it would make me feel better to put on a show.

You see Good Friday is the heart of my faith.  It is the reason I'm a Christian.  That day - nearly two thousand years ago - allows me to walk free of sin, guilt and shame.  That's the day Jesus bore all those awful things for me on the Cross, as well as a whole host of other ways I was strapped to the table of eternal judgement.  Because I believe in the horror of Good Friday, I can believe in the incredible hope of Easter Sunday.  It leads me free from the weight of this world; including all the junk I used to carry around. 

I am free and clear in Christ and never plan to be anything else ever again. 

I'm also committed to raising my kids in this faith.  So, it is here I change my tune.  

I'd like to thank you because without your selection, I wouldn't be able to teach my girls' some valuable lessons about faith and how it applies to their life.  First, by not sending them to school on Good Friday, I can continue to teach them why our faith is unique (and also that it is the most important thing to have.) 

Second, I can teach them about exercising our religious civil liberties.  It is well within my First Amendment rights and within the boundaries of Texas State Law to keep them from school for religious reasons (see section I, excused absences on the TEA website here). 

The final lesson is how fortunate we are to live in a country where we will suffer little to no consequence or persecution because of our religious choice.  We have the right to honor God any day of the year and that's a wonderful thing.

In closing, I'll quote the words of the Apostle's Peter and John,  

Whether it's right in God's eyes to listen to you rather than to God, you decide.  As for us, there's no question - we can't keep quiet about what we've seen and heard.  (Acts 4:20, MSG)

I'm thankful you've given us the opportunities to be teachers of our faith and rights as Americans.  More importantly, I'm thankful for Christ's finished work on the Cross.  I hope other families will join our (quiet) protest, and be thankful we can do so with no consequences.  I also hope this will encourage teachers to stand for the truth of the Gospel, in and out of school, knowing they have the support of their community. 

America is the greatest nation on the planet, but Christ is greater.  I can't keep silent about that and don't plan to. 


Amy W. Vogel, Lover of Jesus and City of Houston Taxpayer


Janice and James said...

Good for you, Amy. "Christ above All!!"

Brendie Barrineau-Fry said...

This is awesome!

Anonymous said...

I completely agree! How idiotic on the district's part to consider Good Friday, let alone Memorial Day a day for public school! Thank God we are protected by our Constitution! May our Good Friday be a special time of worship of Jesus Christ because of His Sacrifice to save our souls eternally! I suspect that HISD will have a lot of students absent that day, at least I can pray for it. God bless you, Amy! CK

Dr Daniel Forsee said...

I respect my fellow veterans and I honor my God. What idiotic choices this district has made. Perhaps there are days of signifcance to pagan believers that could have been selected. Perhaps 2 inservice days could have been sacrificed. Perhaps the children could go through life with 2 less days of education

Jackie Collins said...

Very well said and extremely well written Amy! Amen!