Our routine to start each elementary school day included "The Pledge of Allegiance" and a verse of "America" or, as it is more commonly known, "My country tis of thee." For the first few years, there was even "The Lord's Prayer."

Then came the Supreme Court ruling in the summer of 1962 against school prayer that critics claimed took God out of public schools.

This came to mind the other day when I looked around at a church service and saw that there were quite a few retired teachers and several active teachers in attendance. If I were a parent, I think I would be reassured that my child was being taught or had been taught by people of faith.

Of course, a faculty member in a public school cannot - and should not - try to be a preacher instead of a teacher. Actually, these people do not have to. If they are living their faith in God and treating others the way God expects us to treat them, then they are passing along God's love.

While it seems that more and more restrictions are being placed on people who try to lead godly lives, it is a sign of hope that they strive to do so anyway. This applies to people in all professions and walks of life, not just teachers.

Lawmakers and the courts can continue to place limits on what we say and do about God, and where we can do or say it.

However, no one can take God out of our hearts, our words or our actions - except, of course, ourselves.

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God is always within us; we were never without Him