Wal-Mart gets kind of a bad rap these days. Well, I guess it always has.. Being called the bully super store that knocks mom and pop stores out of business, and more. I have to admit… I like Wal-Mart. If Wal-Mart wasn’t around I probably still couldn’t afford to shop at the mom and pop shops. I love that I can clothe my family, feed my pets, take care of my home and more, without having to spend our rent money! Or an entire day shopping around for all that! Without Wal-Mart I would have a lot of trouble managing my home and all that goes with it! I also love that I can always find a huge selection of good movies, games, toys, faith based books, and more modest clothing then some other larger stores tend to carry. While I don’t agree with all that Wal-Mart stands for, or behind, they do a lot of good too and people tend to miss that.
Even for a big superstore though, it takes a lot of guts in this day and age to do something that brings God back into schools… and Wal-Mart is doing it. Check out this message I received from Focus On The Family today.
My colleague Stuart Shepard was in Walmart® last weekend shopping for back-to-school supplies for his son when he encountered some rather provocative Christian notebooks and folders. One of them read: “God Recycles. He made you out of dust.” Another read: “John 3:16. This message is illegal in 53 countries.”
Usually when we report on Christian expression in the public schools, it has to do with some official trying to kick religion out of school. But when the country’s largest retailer stocks school supplies with openly religious messages like this, we regard it as a pleasant change.
Such messages are perfectly legal and they conform with court rulings that give wide latitude to students who want to express religious views in public schools. Many times teachers have the mistaken impression that anything religious is not allowed in school, and they make on-the-spot decisions that religious items need to go. They are wrong. Some school boards have even adopted official policies that inhibit student-initiated religious expression. But these policies also are inconsistent with what the relevant laws actually say.
For faith and family,
Senior Vice President, Government & Public Policy
P.S. One more thing. It was refreshing to see Walmart’s willingness to carry the school folders with those messages on them. If you see those items for sale in your local Walmart®, please take a moment to let the store manager know how encouraging it is to see matters of faith displayed so positively.
I know when I do my school shopping I will be on the lookout for these and more like them! Kudo’s to you Wal-Mart!! We know you don’t hear that much!
For those of you who are not aware of Focus On The Family, you should really check them out. They have a lot of good causes, from helps for marriage and parenting to faith, and even a site called Plugged In where concerned parents can look up movies, tv, music and more to see exactly WHAT is in them and find out if you want your children to watch, play or listen to them without having to preview them yourself! I use it a lot!