God Out of the Bag

by Lou Binninger

A Camp Fire photo of burned cars, big rigs and a school bus strewn helter-skelter on and off a roadway near Paradise looked like a Hollywood science fiction set, total destruction and no survivors.

Where did the people go, what happened? Did the fire burn over the road killing everyone and leaving this surreal look?

One bus load of 22 Ponderosa Elementary School children plus adults made it through the inferno with smoke billowing into the bus and embers sweeping across the line of gridlocked traffic. Fire, heat and fumes became so threatening that the group considered abandoning the bus to flee on foot.

Recently hired bus driver Kevin McKay who gathered the passengers, gave wet pieces of his shirt for breathing masks and courageously stayed the course is being called a “hero” and the “bus driver from heaven” by passenger and teacher Mary Ludwig.

McKay even provided refuge to a disoriented woman on the roadside who also happened to be a teacher. Ludwig said that the rescued teacher kept saying she was convinced she was going to die, and that the pair of educators prayed together as they continued on the journey to safety.

The bus survived the trek through Paradise “Armageddon” to reunite all passengers with loved ones.

Now, the desperation, fear and panic are understandable, but being employed at a government institution, Ludwig should not refer to McKay as the “bus driver from heaven” and teachers just cannot be praying together on the school bus. Isn’t it a violation of some state education code? Even calling Mr. McKay a “hero” may hurt the feelings of fellow drivers who work hard each day, as well.

Twenty-four hours prior to encountering what appeared to be the fires of hell in Paradise, teachers could not acknowledge God, forbade prayer on campus and told children they evolved from monkeys. If we indeed came from primates then there is no heaven and no one to pray to. And since there is no God then there are no miracles. Everything is a coincident. The humans in the bus were just lucky, McKay just doing his job.

Ponderosa Elementary like most schools has stopped referring to Christmas and Easter break using instead Winter and Spring vacation to make the purging of Jesus and the supernatural complete. No singing about God, nativity scenes, or talk of the resurrection.

The state religion is a God-free doctrine. However, there is the occasional slip-up calling the Earth mother which is a referral to witchcraft and also Gaia worship.

Even the nonprofit Red Cross people stopped victims and community volunteers from praying together at the Sutter-Yuba Fairgrounds. Red Cross founder Clara Barton would be dismayed at their callousness.

Maybe these God-free schools have an exception to the rules for when tragedy strikes or when the odds of dying are high? Is there a God lesson plan under lock and key not to be opened until lives are threatened or trauma occurs? If the dead simply become dust with no consciousness then why sweat the end?

Is permission granted by schools to cry out to God when your friend’s warm blood and brain matter are spattered on your face from a gunshot to the head? Are there exceptions when being held hostage or facing incineration?

People under duress (in warfare, prison, drowning, being murdered, facing fire and flood) often violate secular protocol and man’s rules prohibiting calling on God.

In the book of Jonah such a violent storm arose that a ship threatened to break apart. Gnarly veteran sailors were so shaken that each “cried out to his own god.” It was so desperate that they dumped the cargo overboard to lighten the ship. The ship captain confronted Jonah saying “Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish.”

Amazing how a person can be motivated to pray and get focused on what’s important when facing death or serious harm. It’s also sobering how authoritarian, controlling and lost schools have become all while posing to really care for children.

When students are brain-washed that there is no God, then they face life’s tragedies and confusion without the most important resource available to them. They don’t know what they don’t know. Essentially, government schools blind children to the truth.

Fortunately, the occasional pants-messing tragedy lets God out of the bag.