Dealing with ACLU threats has helped me think about how we should deal with opposition. Do you find yourself discouraged over the sheer volume of battles we face as progressives continue to interfere in so many areas of our personal and public lives?
Education, property rights, marriage…the list is long. Many Tea Party and Liberty Groups are losing members who are weary of not seeing the changes they desire. It’s just too hard, they say. There are just too many obstacles to overcome. Let me ask a question: Have you ever considered obstacles may be opportunities in disguise?
In an August 2014 article entitled, Christianity in the Classroom? I briefly related the story of my encounter with the ACLU and their threatened lawsuit when I was invited to teach a 12-week Constitution class at a Springboro, Ohio high school. Their objections stemmed from what they referred to as the “religious content” within the course. This objectionable material the ACLU found so threatening was found mainly within the founders’ own writings!
I did not tell the rest of the story, and received communications from readers who were gravely concerned that I had caved to the ACLU, losing yet another battle. Not so! Though battling the ACLU was not on my top ten list of things I want to do in my life, I did not walk away from this fight. The events that transpired during the ensuing clash transformed an obstacle into an opportunity.
The school board that was sponsoring our event was basically forced to evict our class from the school. That eviction proved to be a blessing in disguise. The media (TV, radio and newspapers – local and even national coverage!) all ran the story, misinforming the public, declaring victory for the opposition, and saying the class was canceled. But the truth was, it was NOT canceled, just expelled from the schoolroom.
We persevered. Our people kept putting out the truth, over and over again, that the class was not canceled. We prayed and searched and found a new venue, a local church who invited us with great enthusiasm. We issued press releases and gave interviews. We used the phone and internet. The final outcome was a class so big we had to close registration and begin a waiting list for the next one. The media disinformation unwittingly provided us with a great public relations campaign and advertising, not only for that particular class, but opening the eyes of a lot of formerly uninformed people to view the state of education in their public schools; i.e. that teaching the Constitution and our American heritage arouses amazingly intense opposition.
In addition, an idea was birthed, in part from this confrontational lawsuit threat, that now allows us to get these classes into the public school classroom. The Institute on the Constitution (IOTC) has crafted an after-school program known as American Clubs. This initiative is a partnership program with students who are on the front line of this spiritual warfare battle in America’s schools. The IOTC provides the clubs with educational resources and curricula, facilitates booking speakers, and grants them a platform to publicize their endeavors, empowering them to live their faith with courage and conviction.
What a turning of events! It’s time to push back! What irony that the obstacles placed by the ACLU’s threats to a single class became the opportunity for countless others to form. This outcome is similar to the story of Joseph and his brothers in the book of Genesis (Chapters 37-50). What the brothers intended for evil, God turned into good.
So let me ask you – Is what you believe helping you overcome obstacles, or are you being overcome by obstacles because of what you believe? God does not commend us for being successful. He commends us for being good and faithful. (Matthew 25:21) One of my favorite founders, John Quincy Adams, said it best: Duty is ours. Results are God’s.
Instead of discouragement about the battles before us, perhaps we should be asking what obstacle is waiting to be turned into an opportunity? It’s time to push back and see what happens!
Something to think about.
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