In my opinion it is one of the absolute coolest things ever! I just came from the Pioneer High School Sports Banquet - at the beginning of the banquet one of the Coaches said a brief prayer of thanks for the athletes, the families, the food, etc. At the very end of the banquet, after the seniors had received their letter blankets, the senior athletes led everyone in the Lord's Prayer to end the evening. The HS Principal announced that it would happen, the District Superintendent simply nodded his head as if to say "Of course", and no one batted an eye much less stood up in protest, gave a disapproving look, or even muttered a derogatory comment. These are not church fanatics nor are they religious zealots. These are working people - farmers, ranchers, teachers, military (active or retired), business people, etc. I'm quite sure, because I've heard many of them do it, that they take the Lord's name in vain on occasion - honestly I've heard some of them swear like sailors on leave! They aren't always "good Christians" - I've seen some of them be total jerkwads. There's a high rate of broken families around this area, and probably a higher rate of dysfunctional ones. But a prayer is said at the beginning of every sporting event and the start and end of every banquet. And if you don't care to join in, you don't have to...but don't tell them THEY can't do it...reaction will run the gamut from your being politely ignored to being the recipient of a few very "un-Christian" words to feeling like you've been smacked with a wall of ice. Rural schools and NASCAR - the last bastions of "religious freedom"! *LOL* And the last groups of people you EVER want to tell that they can't pray in public.
Last week was the Tri-State Music Festival in Enid and Saturday was the parade. The first thing you see in this parade is the color guard from Vance Air Force Base carrying the American Flag, the Oklahoma State Flag, and the Air Force Flag. Everyone...and I do mean EVERYONE stands until the flags have completely passed by. The gentlemen remove their hats and most everyone puts their hand over their heart. Our veterans proudly wear their caps and ribbons and salute. And parents bend over and make sure their children are standing too. A granddad not far from us stood a little one up, pointed at the American Flag, and said (quite kindly), "That's our flag.. you ALWAYS stand up for our flag." And then proceeded to teach his grandchild to applaud as she passed by.
These are just a few of the many reasons I love rural life...even though I'm not REALLY all that rural. Sometimes I miss being in a bigger city...and then I visit OKC and remember why I like Enid. Being back in Baltimore was exciting...at the risk of sounding like an advertisement or an old song, there's a pulse in a big city that just makes your whole body/soul/mind vibrate...and it's a great feeling. But there's also a comfort in knowing a good portion of the people in your city, by name if not any other way, and feeling safe and secure when you go out or go to sleep at night. Don't get me wrong...Enid has it's share of crime...and I still lock the doors and watch over my shoulder and hold my purse close. As they say, "You can take the girl out of the city but....etc." It's still a very peaceful feeling that I've come to enjoy.
And now I will step off my observational and opinion soapbox and go and listen to "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath"! *ROTFLOL* Just kidding of course...my favorite song at the moment is Brad Paisley's "I'm Still A Guy"...that song is hilarious!!!!!!! Anyways...good night...God Bless (if you choose to let Him)...and a have a good tomorrow regardless.