Humansville superintendent displayed courage,
did not compromise his faith in Jesus Christ
September 14, 2004
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Mark 10:14b-15)
I know Greg Thompson personally and admire his strength of character and devotion to the Lord. He loved his job as superintendent of schools in Humansville, Missouri, but in losing his job he did not compromise his faith in Jesus Christ nor love for his former school students.
“I believe no man was ever early instructed in the truths of the Bible without having been made wiser or better by the early operation of these impressions upon his mind.” (Dr. Benjamin Rush, 1745-1813, was one of the youngest signers of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.)
These instructive words of Dr. Rush could well describe the educational position supported by Greg Thompson, who was relieved from his position of Superintendent at Humansville, Polk County district school in early August. Thompson would not resign his position saying he wants to serve as an example to the children he always told “to stand up for what’s right, even if they stand alone.” He tried to do something good for the Humansville School District and the children there. Thompson should be praised and supported for his unwillingness to compromise his constitutional rights of religious expression upon which our nation was founded. The United States were founded on the rule of law and that “law” was based on biblical truths and faith in One God Almighty.
Dee Wampler, Thompson’s personal lawyer said, “The Bible talks about good shall be called evil and evil shall be called good. This is an example of good that the school system tried to do being called evil.” Wampler concluded that Thompson was totally right in the position he took, “But the insurance company offered the money.”
This case came about in March when Carrie Roat, the mother of a Humansville student, filed suit in US District Court, claiming a small plaque displaying the Ten Commandments posted in the school cafeteria and prayers said at some school functions violated the US Constitution’s prohibition of state-established religion. However, this case was not allowed to be adjudicated in a court of law.
The recommended settlement of $45,000 to Roat is the solution of the school’s insurance company. It is the opinion of school insurance attorney Tom Mickes, who seems to care only about the financial question rather than giving Greg Thompson his day in court. Mickes is credited with the chilling statement directed to Greg Thompson, “You’re going to have to be able to separate your religious beliefs from your professional responsibility.”
Really! And just who is Mickes to tell Thompson what he should and shouldn’t believe? Thompson enjoys the overwhelming support of Humansville residents for keeping the Ten Commandment plaque displayed in the school cafeteria.
Our Missouri Constitution recognizes God. Is it then reasonable to remove a school superintendent from his job for recognizing that same God and His Commandments? It would seem that it is the insurance company lawyers who are afraid of prolonged expensive lawsuits. However, if Christians continue to cower and hide from vicious attacks to basic religious beliefs, then it may soon be ordered by government school districts that children cannot wear crosses or other religious jewelry, or bring the Bible or personal religious material to read during free time, or possess paper currency which states “in God we trust” on each bill. This unholy outcome perhaps may encourage another angry person to bring a suit against the word “God” said in the Pledge of Allegiance in the school.
I urge all concerned citizens to contact your congressional representatives and senators and ask them to sign onto The Constitution Restoration Act (H.R. 3799, S. 2323) which is legislation to limit the jurisdiction of federal courts. This Act prohibits the federal courts from hearing any case that seeks relief “against an entity of federal, state, or local government, or against any officer or agent of federal, state, or local government by reason of that entity’s officer’s or agent’s acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.”
According to this standard, federal courts would not be able to hear cases claiming that the Constitution is violated by such deeds as:
- saying the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance;
- using the words “God save this honorable court” at the beginning of a session of the Supreme Court;
- using the words “God bless you” in presenting a flag to the family of a deceased soldier;
- adopting a verse of Scripture or mentioning God in an official motto (“In God we trust;” “With God all things are possible.”);
- mentioning God in a constitution, as 49 states now do;
- displaying the Ten Commandments in a public building;
- retaining the names, and the symbols associated with them, of cities, counties and geographic features that originally had a religious significance (Los Angeles, Providence, Corpus Christi, Saint Louis, etc.).
In effect, in passing the Constitution Restoration Act, Congress will be saying that the acknowledgment of God in itself, cannot possibly constitute an “establishment of religion” within the meaning of the First Amendment. Any lawsuit claiming the contrary is simply not to be entertained. (Joey Davis is president of Missouri Concerned Women for America and is a member of First Baptist Church, Branson.)