Dear Editor, 

It is the beginning of a new school year.

What has happened to Wednesday evenings when at the end of the regular school day public schools traditionally reserved the rest of the day for children to be completely free to attend religious instruction?

When I moved here nearly 25 years ago in 1995, the public schools in Menominee honored the tradi­tion, mostly. There was an occasional coach who would schedule a sports practice after school on Wednesday, or a drama instructor would schedule play practice on Wednesday after school. But it was an exception.

Now there is no written or unwritten policy, so far as I know, that encourages or instructs school staff to refrain from scheduling school activities after regular school hours on Wednesdays. But how beneficial for the communities of Menominee and Marinette it would be to return to that tradition. That also to in­clude youth sports organizations apart from school such as hockey and wrestling, the YMCA and others to avoid scheduling practice, games, or club meetings after school on Wednesdays.

As it is, sports has become the new religion. Sports takes precedence over a conflict in scheduling be­tween faith formation class and sports practice. So in the fall football practice substitutes for religious in­struction. In the winter, it’s hockey and basketball. In the spring: Baseball and soccer. Frequently games or swim meets are scheduled for Sunday morning and substitute for worship of God.

It’s a symptom of a society losing its faith in God. Decline in religious observance is eroding our na­tion’s foundation. The effect is increasing substance abuse, suicide, violence, divorce, same-sex marriage cohabitation, fornication, adultery — all against the commandments of God — and without reversing this trend increasing poverty, and the final collapse of our culture and nation. Many nations have failed because of immorality from within.

Parents, you need to take control. Firstly, attend church services in the worship of God every week yourself, with your children, sports game or no sports game; and before any recreational activity. Get your children to religion class every week regardless of whether a coach has scheduled a practice for your child at the same time, it will set a good evangelizing example. Prevail on your school board to make it a writ­ten policy that no school activities for students to be scheduled on Wednesday after the regular school day.

 

Michael Ebert

Menominee