Well, everyone, I am just about rested up enough to tell you all some more about my week at Boys State. A little info on Boys State first.
Boys State is a 8 day camp put on by the American legion for high school juniors to teach leadership, patriotism and government.
I greatly enjoyed the week, especially the government in action and speeches that were given by some of Oklahoma's finest men. The Governor of Oklahoma spoke as well as our lieutenant governor. Other activities included a Counter terrorism drill, *big, huge grin* and fire search and rescue. One event that I am likely to remember as long as I live happened during government in action...
On the last full day of Boys State our city was in a class room, acting out the Oklahoma State Senate. We had all been given the opportunity to write a bill and present it to our Senate of 70 or so boys for approval. Before I go on, I would like to say that I was truly awed by the way the Lord worked though out the whole week. It was truly incredible. As I continue you will see what I mean. Well, the bill I wrote consisted of the following points.
1. Voluntary prayer in state funded schools shall be allowed so long as school activities are not interrupted.*
2. Prayers lead at a school activity such as a football game or school assembly shall be allowed so long as said prayer is voluntary.
*Prayer that would interrupt school activities will be allowed if religion requires prayers at certain times of day etc. and provisions are made with school officials.
I wrote this bill the day before and was really hoping for it's safe passage. After hearing several bills, my bill came up.
(First amazing point: My bill could have been placed lower in the stack of bills arranged by our steering committee. If it had, my bill would have not been heard.)
So I took the podium and begin reading my bill. About half way through my talk, a Senate member rushed in with the news that the entire Senate was convening to hear charges against our governor. So, the Senate moved to table my bill and go to the auditorium for the Senate hearing. When we returned, my bill was brought back up and I finished my talk and seat down. After some questions were asked of me, one senator gave a speech opposing my bill. After a more questioning my bill was again tabled.
(Amazing point Two: My bill could have died right there. It could have stayed on the table untouched and not been heard again. As it was, I found out later that one of the people who supported my bill wanted to table it while tempers were high over the governors impeachment hearing. My bill might have been killed on the floor or might have been amended to weaken it. But, by waiting, the bill was protected until tempers cooled.)
After hearing some other bills another Senator asked if we could bring my bill back up and finish it. The vote was heard and my bill was back on the floor. At this point another Senator asked to give a speech in favor of my bill. He proceeded to answer the arguments of the con speech and encouraged everyone to vote for the bill. (Amazing point Three: Had these two young men not recalled my bill could have died on the table. Also by giving a rebuttal to the speech against, the Bill's case was made stronger.
Then one of the aforementioned Senators motioned to add a friendly amendment. The amendments read as follows:
1. Teachers shall be allowed to pray in public schools2. Teachers shall be allowed to lead students in prayer if a student requests.(Amazing point Four: These public schoolers knowing more about the public school system then I, wanted to make the bill stronger and protect teachers rights as well!!!
Then the Senate voted on the bill. It passed some 68 to 2 in favor of the bill. Now the next hurdle was at hand. Now the bill had to pass the House of representatives in order to become law. The Senate asked me to take the bill over to the house and give a speech in favor of the bill. I said I would and was getting ready to go. Just as I walked out the door, one of the other senators asked me suddenly if he could go too. I said "yes" and we set off for the House.(Amazing point Five: Had this young man not gone with me, my bill might very well have , failed in the House, as you will soon see.
We reached the House and were asked to come in. The representatives voted to hear my bill immediately. After talking about my bill, I took questions. One young man stood up and told me that this bill was unconstitutional and had been declared by the Supreme Court. I responded that I did not know about that Supreme Court decision. My goose and my bill could have very easily been cooked right there, but then the Senator who had come with me took the floor. He replied that his school held prayers in public all the time and that there was no problem with the bill. The other guy sat down.
(Amazing point Six: I had no way of answering this person. I had not heard about that decision and could not answer arguments on those grounds. Had my fellow Senator not come my bill could have very easily failed in the House. Also, it is a wonder the young man sat down. He had won some prizes for debate in our state and probably could have given quite a fight.
After some more questions/statements it was put to a vote. It passed the House unanimously. With light hearts we took the bill to the governor for his signature.
Guys, I never cease to be amazed at the wonder of God. His hand was on this bill every step of the way. Had one of the links failed the bill could have fallen flat on its face. This is just one example of the Lord's faithful hand guiding me through the week at Boys State.
Guys, never loose faith in Him. He is our shield and a very present help in trouble. He will make a way, where there seems to be no way. He works in ways we can not see. He will make a way.