Laramie County School District No. 1 reopening plan

LCSD1 draft school reopening plan available online

Laramie County School District 1 has developed a draft plan for schools to reopen with in-person instruction using the Wyoming Department of Education’s recommended Smart Start framework. 

The Board of Trustees will be meeting virtually on Wednesday, July 29, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. to discuss the draft plan. The meeting will be open to the public by Zoom at https://laramie1.zoom.us/j/96440152137 and will be livestreamed on the district YouTube channel. 

The Smart Start reopening framework consists of three tiers, which will be in place depending on county health guidelines. According to LCSD1 Superintendent of Schools Dr. BoydBrown, the goal is to open school using Tier I guidelines, which would mean schools are open to students with new health precautions, social distancing and mask use when social distancing is not possible. 

“LCSD1 is committed to following the Smart Start framework provided by the Wyoming Department of Education and recommendations from our Laramie County and Wyoming health officers,” Brown said.

According to the framework, Tier II would be a combination of in-person instruction with possible intermittent closures and quarantining of students and staff. Tier III is the full closure of school, similar to what occurred in March. Depending on where the community stands with COVID-19, the district will be poised to pivot into each of the tiers depending on need. 

Families that are not comfortable with in-person instruction may register for Cheyenne Virtual School. Detailed information about the school and how to register is available by clicking the virtual school box on the homepage of the district website, www.laramie1.org

In addition, a link to the draft re-opening of schools plan is available on the homepage of the district website.

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Thoughts

First of all I apologize for poor spelling etc. I will fix it all tomorrow.

I have really been missing my mom lately. We went to her best friend, Jenny’s, house today and Jenny has these pics up of Mom. That is a picture of Katie and I with Mom right before Mom went into ICU.

I also love Cheyenne Frontier Days and I am so sad it isn’t taking place this year. I am sad we can’t visit family. But I am trying to make life feel normal for Katie and still have an enjoyable summer while also staying safe. I may sound like I have the virus to people but I have just been crying a lot. I am very fortunate to have my family and friends. I am grateful for living in Wyoming. We have a lot to be thankful for.  I haven’t been able to write for months. I have only been able to write  down my feelings.
It isn’t easy having bipolar disorder and diabetes. The stress has affected my diabetes as well as a recall in a medication I take for it. I have also been grieving and also the pandemic has made everyone grieve life the way it was back in February and prior to that. I just wish people were as scared of the flu as they are of Sars2 coronavirus Covid-19. They both are viruses.

Katie has been hospitalized twice with penumonia from the flu, even with a flu vaccine, but vaccines don’t cover every strain of the flu. Mom was a public health nurse. I know so much about diseases and vaccines. Mom died from community acquired pneumonia from the flu. She had both the flu and a pneumonia vaccine on board.
The flu vaccine isn’t a vaccine that is required when your kids go to public school. People sent their kids sick to school, to daycare. People went to work sick. Healthcare in America is so broken you guys.
I remember getting yelled at for not meeting deadlines and writing enough because I had a cold and stayed home from work. I remember writing articles in bed when I was sick and worked for the newspaper under the old owners.

I honestly don’t see how a vaccine is going to solve everything. If you go to the Center for Disease Control you can see how many other diseases are out there that don’t have a cure. For example the common cold virus, (coronovirus), norovirus Or the stomach flu, lyme disease, Aids and I could go on. If you don’t believe me go to the CDC’s offical website yourself http://www.cdc.gov. We shut down our businesses and closed schools, daycares, why? It was for not. And our economy is hurting and it isn’t over. We have a surge in Sars2 coronavirus Covid-19 cases for many reasons; protests of all kinds. People protesting being shut in their homes and businesses that were shut down, Black Lives Matter protests, protests of Trump rallies being held, the rallies themselves, anything with huge groups of people, like Fourth of July BBqs, tourism, traveling. I am sorry to say this but we all will be eventually be exposed to Sars2 coronavirusCovid-19. If we haven’t been already or already had it without even realizing it. Fine wear a mask. Wash your hands as often as you can, use sanitizer, stay home, be afraid. Or you can come to the reality that this virus is’now a part of our lives. America failed at slowing the spread of it. It isn’t our president’s fault either. He was going through an impeachment trial in January through March. He was acquitted. Wuhan had the virus in December. It was already spreading all over the world back then. There were international flights from China to everywhere in the world including the U.S.

The only place back in December to February mid March of 2020 that you wore a mask was at the doctor’s office. Not everyone did that either. I know because both my daughter and I were sick in February and we visited the doctor many times.
So hey, be kind and stay home if you feel sick. You all should have Always been doing that. But you haven’t.

I have been doing this my entire life. Mom was a nurse. It was a no brainer. I can show you emails and letters from my daughter’s school about her abscenses. She missed 15 days of school in 2019-2020 school year. My child has asthma. My child was a preemie baby. She had already been sick with the flu, norovirus, the common cold, but when she gets a viral infection it affects her asthma. Our whole family is vaccinated with the flu vaccine and all vaccines. At times my daughter needs to be hospitalized and needs oxygen to breathe. She takes two kinds of inhalers and allergy medicines daily. I kept her out of school the day the first case of covid-19 hit Wyoming where we live. I got scowled at and told it wasn’t a big deal and that was a dumb thing to do. My daughter’s doctor faxed the school and told them she isn’t coming there. And a week later all schools in Wyoming were shut down and eventually went to virtual learning. Businesses later shut down. Everything shut down. We were watching Tv concerts of musicians and celebrities performing from their homes. They were telling us all to stay home be safe. And in Wyoming we already were staying home. All of the roads were closed because we were in winter still and getting hammered with snow. We already stocked our pantries because semis can’t get through to our towns and cities when the roads are all closed statewide due to winter conditions. But now it is summer. Tourism is still huge in Wyoming. Yellowstone is a huge draw to people who can’t go to their national parks or beaches. Wyoming’s economy is based on a few things, coal, trona, oil and gas, natural gas and wind energy as well as tourism. And every single one of those resources took a financial hit during the pandemic. I can tell you how much money Cheyenne Frontier Days brings to Cheyenne and Wyoming. Our state lost thousands of dollars. The arts are suffering. And the arts are very important to a community. The bring businesses to communities, states, countries. And lots of money, too. So many artists, musicians, authors, dancers, actors, animators, film companies, all came to a hault. They also lost tons of money. Everything was cancelled. But in 2020 we have the ability for virtual everything and video chat, zoom, microsoft teams, facetime, facebook messenger, twitter, broadcast and print journalism. And drive-ins are huge now. Virtu concerts, conferences, lessons, museum tours, etc. you name it happened even auditions for The Voice on NBC. And people have found ways to keep creating. Anyway what I am trying to get at is don’t live in fear. Knowledge is power. Research your news sources. I am here to tell you the truth. I don’t have advertisers telling me who to write about or what political party to vote for. So it’s late. 1:30 am in the morning and I will write more soon. One side effect for me of the pandemic is insomnia and absolutely no free time to myself in my home unless I stay up late and wait for everyone to sleep. My husband is workinf from home and my daughter home virtual oandemic schooled and then shebis out of school for the summer.
The nights are usually quiet. Nobody is trying to call me, text me or anything. But for a few nights we have had major storms here.
I know I rambled on. You need to know, yes Sars2 coronavirus Covid-19 is new to us, but we know more than we did back in December. It sure seems scary. But there is a point I will make and I digress and I will write more tomorrow. I am exhausted and even my favorite movie and a night star gazing with my daughter couldn’t ease my mind. And dang I can’t even find that comet Neowise. And seriously why isn’t any media outlet talking about the astronauts aboard the International Space Station and Space X having a successful launch? It is huge!!! Maybe everyone are all jealous. They get to watch us from above. But eventually they will need to come back to earth. Our messy broken and disease filled earth. And not only is our earth filled with a newish virus. But there sure is a lot of hate and if people were kind to each other, and helped one another, and used people’s God given talents, were good to the earth’s natural resources and animals, we would find a cure for this virus faster and the world would be more peaceful. Life would be less stressful. But there will always be bad people who do horrific thing like murdering innocent people, sex trafficking, and I could go on, and there are not so bad people and people who shine with goodness, people who we truly admire. Heroes. What ever happened to honoring all of our frontline workers like we did back in March? They still are working their asses off to save our lives. We all need to work together for the greater good of our planet earth. It is all we have.

Lcsd1 Youth Feeding Program won’t distribute meals on July 22 due to the Air Show and program extends until Aug. 14 read more

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Carla Bankes, Carla.bankes@laramie1.org

7-9-20

Laramie County School District Youth Feeding Program won’t distribute meals on July 22. 

Laramie County School District 1’s youth feeding program will not be distributing meals on Wednesday, July 22 due to the Cheyenne Air Show. 

On Tuesday, July 21 Nutrition Services will distribute two breakfast/lunch combination bags. The program will continue toprovide meals Monday through Friday until the end of July.

People may pick up food bags Monday-Friday at a variety of sites, which have been approved by the Wyoming Department of Education and the USDA.

Food bag pick up will be held from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.through Aug. 14 at the following locations.1. Afflerbach – parent pick up lane on the south side of the school2. Alta Vista – northeast parking lot at 17th Street and Logan Avenue3. Arp – parent pick up lane on the west side of the school4. Baggs – bus lane on the west side of the school5. Cole – south of the school in corner of O’Neil Avenue and Eighth Avenue6. Goins – parent pick up lane east of school7. Hebard – east of school on Pebrican Avenue8. Rossman – parent pick up lane on the east side of the school9. Sunrise – parent pick up lane on the west side of the school10. Anderson – end of the parent pickup lane on the south side of the school11. McCormick – bus lane on the east side of the school on Education Drive12. Pioneer Park – south of the school in the cul-de-sac at the end of Talbot Court13. Dildine – northwest side of school on Polk Avenue14. Henderson – northeast side of school on Kelley Drive

Food bag pick up will be held from 11:30 a.m.-noon at the following locations. 1. Fairview – north of school on 10th Street2. Johnson – bus lane on the southwest side of the school

Food bag pick up will be held from 12:15 p.m.–12:45 p.m. at the following locations. 1. Lebhart – northeast of school on Hanson Street2. South – east parking lot

Any youth, 18 years of age or younger, are eligible for food bags at any location. Pick up is being done using a walk-up or drive-through process. Students need not be present for parents/guardians to pick up the bags.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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Lcsd1 school district reopening plan for the fall

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Superintendent of Schools Dr. Boyd Brown, 771-2121
7-14-2020

Officials at Laramie County School District 1 are developing aplan for schools to reopen with in-person instruction on Monday, Aug. 24 using the Wyoming Department of Education’s recommended Smart Start framework.

The framework consists of three tiers, which will be in place depending on county health guidelines. According to LCSD1 Superintendent of Schools Dr. Boyd Brown, the goal is to open school using Tier I guidelines, which would mean schools are open to students with new health precautions, social distancing and mask use when social distancing is not possible.

“LCSD1 is committed to following the Smart Start framework provided by the Wyoming Department of Education and recommendations from our Laramie County health officer,” Brown said. 

According to the framework, Tier II would be a combination of in-person instruction with possible intermittent closures and quarantining of students and staff. Tier III is the full closure of school, similar to what occurred in March. Depending on where the community stands with COVID-19, the district will be poised to pivot into each of the tiers depending on need.

In addition, the district is in the process of developing a virtual K-12 school for parents who do not feel comfortable having their students return for in-person instruction. Detailed information and registration procedures will be provided at the beginning of August.

Brown explained each nuance of this plan is being developed and will be submitted to the WDE at the beginning of August. Once approved by WDE and county health officials, the plan will be released. 

In June, the district surveyed parents/guardians to get their feedback prior to developing the plan.

“We are working to create and implement a plan which best suits the needs of our students, staff and families,” Brown said. “This is a challenging time, but our goal is to make it happen while keeping safety and health in mind.”

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Blessings

2020 has been an interesting year for sure. Here we are in July, it is half-way done. Some may say it has been the worst year of their lives, for me I feel blessed.

I was able to have both my daughter and husband home during the day. Even though temporary home schooling was difficult at times I really got to know Katie’s teacher and math/reading tutor well. We all helped my daughter jump reading levels to the point where at the start of the summer she grabbed one of her books from our home library, plopped under the tree in our backyard with her puppy in her lap and read an entire book on her own and she hasn’t stopped reading since, which makes her author/journalist mamma very happy. I have been rewarding her with a new book from Barnes and Noble after she reads five books in a row. I don’t mind supporting a business that has been a huge support to me.
I have been taking lots of free and inexpensive online writing and art lessons and workshops. I have been able to see authors I normally would never be able to see in person during their book tours. I have really enjoyed seeing art museums, zoos, and aquariums virtually from all over the world and learning from their workshops.
For my birthday in April I was able to zoom an art workshop party with all of my family and friends who are scattered all over the U.S.
I also played Heads Up over zoom with a couple of my friends who are twins and they live in separate cities when the roads were closed because of snow.

I also auditioned virtually for The Voice and I have always wanted that opportunity. Even though I didn’t make it I was able to do it. I met a new friend and a new vocal coach who is amazing. Thanks to a virtual choir I was invited to join.
i have seen Garth Brooks and Trish Yearwood perform now a lot more than I have in year’s past. Still nothing tops Garth’s Mile High Stadium concert last year in Denver.

There were a lot of virtual home concerts to honor people on the frontlines. And I got to see one of my favorite childhood bands NKOTB live every week in a new way. From their homes. I even got to attend a virtual cruise, something I have always wanted to go on, but it was always sold out. I saw them live last year with my cousin on their Mixtape tour with Debbie Gibson, Tiffany, Busta Rhymes and Salt and Peppa. It is sad they are unable to perform live, but who knows what the future holds. Drive in concerts are becoming a thing now.
I have also watched many other musicians and their free live stream concerts and it is so cool to be able to see them in a new element in their homes, more laid back and down to earth.

As far as my author career goes I had lots of cancellations of in person events, but I was able to travel more because of zoom and virtually met lots of new kids and teachers from all over the country and world. I was even featured on The Today Show and was part of the children’s book authors that started the movement of reading to kids during the pandemic to ease their anxieties. I also am going to be on Wyoming PBS on their social media channels reading this fall from some of my books. I joined a new writing organization and started working on my memoir, a romance, a cook book, and two of my picture books found the perfect illustrator! I also met a lot of new friends and have done virtual conferences without having to pay for hotels, food or traveling.

At Easter time we adopted a new fur baby. He is a mini schanuzer. When my kiddo was lonely and needed a friend the most he stepped into our lives at the perfect time. Last year we lost my mom and our 14-year-old dog. Luckily my daughter’s school social worker was able to continue working with her on grief therapy over the phone. Having a new friend in our puppy helped her cope, too. We also got to know our puppy’s human parents really well.

My daughter and I started a cooking show on facebook because she had been watching baking shows on Netflix and wants to compete on them someday. In the process she can make bagels, oatmeal, brown ground beef, make scrambled eggs, waffles and lots of other things. She has learned a lot of math and how to read a recipe and find one in a cook book.

I have taught my daughter photography and gave her my mom’s camera. She has been taking videos and photos all on her own now. She may be a film maker some day. We have been photographing our city of Cheyenne, Wy in all of the different seasons; winter, spring and summer so far. One of our favorite places to go is the Botanic Gardens. My daughter also likes to take pictures from our back seat when I am driving and has gotten some cool shots.

My daughter has been learning the piano from me and has decided she will do violin as a teenager. There are just some things that are taught better in person than over zoom she says.

My daughter got her dream bed, a loft bed with a desk underneath, which was the wrong size, which led us to switch rooms. Something that we have always wanted to do, but we never thought could be possible. Thanks to Target, TJ Maxx, Pier One and Bed Bath and Beyond we have been able to decorate our new rooms perfectly. My old office is now her bedroom and her old bedroom is now my office.

I have been decorating the outside of my house, too. I had a friend help me plant flowers, perennials, that will come back every year, in my garden. My mom’s friend has been harvesting our rhubarb and is making jam for her and us. I water my flowers and pull weeds in my yard daily. I have found Michael’s craft store to be incredibly helpful with decorating my front porch.

I bought a table and two chairs from a garage sale post and I have been having coffee with my friends there ever since people started being afraid of coming into other people’s houses. It was the best $20 I have ever spent!

We have been able to have dr’s visits virtually and that saves us on gas and stress from traveling and also being around sick people.

I have been able to watch all kinds of church services from all over our town and the world. I have always been interested in religion and I just like spending my Sundays watching online services and reading and journaling in my Bible and listening to Klove on the radio.

My daughter has been able to see her cousins over marco polo, video and skype and she plays for hours with them virtually. They live all over the country. We are grateful we can still see them and she can have fun.

We have been able to have playdates with friends outside and my daughter’s dance recital is outside this summer. We can bring a picnic lunch and our dogs and invite so many more people than normal because there is tons of space.

I have started golfing again. I hadn’t been able to exercise ever since I was injured in a car accident last year in June. I broke my foot and had other injuries, too.

I really realized how important massages, hair and nail care are to my well being and self-care. Once we weren’t able to do them. I even had a greater appreciation for the ability to have these kinds of services. With my anxiety and depression they are just vital.

My house has never been more clean and organized. Neither has my car.

I have realized who my close friends are and I have been blessed to be able to spend even more time with them.

I really appreciate small businesses and we did our best to help keep these businesses afloat by spreading their ads on facebook and twitter and visiting them when we could by using curbside.

It was depressing when things kept getting postponed or cancelled. But I have found lots of entertainment in books and magazines. And I got to introduce my daughter to some movies I liked when I was her age once the theaters opened back up.

Yes at times I have been scared of the virus, I have been scared about how people can be so hateful, so quickly. But I haven’t lost faith in people. I am grateful for all of my friends and family. Most of all I have learned how important our freedoms are as Americans. I have friends whose husbands have been deployed during all of this. And I respect and admire them so much.

and most importantly I reconnected with my penpal and dear friend in New Zealand after we had lost touch 20 years ago. She emailed me when she was home and bored and locked down:We have been Skyping a lot! I have learned so much about her country and what she has been up to the past 20 years. It has been a huge blessing to me. The only sad thing is not being able to travel over seas anywhere as of now. That has been the hardest part. Finally reconnecting with an old friend and not being able to see them in person. Thank you freaking Sars 2 Covid-19. but as they say and what I have seen is this too shall pass.

I will show you a photo essay of how quickly things changed from February of this year to now: it is crazy looking at the pictures on my cell phone. It seemed like around March 15 is when things started getting really different.

Prayers of love


This post is from Nick Windschitl, an American kindergarten teacher who is currently living with his family in Thailand where he is a teacher. He gave me permission to share this post with all of you: Everyone needs to hear about love from his son, Brecken.

Brecken decided to talk about fear tonight at bedtime. He said, “everyone fears something. I fear the dark.” I was prepared to tell him my second fear when he said, “You fear losing us.” I was shocked. He started praying and talking about love when I asked him if I could turn on the lights and have him explain what he was thinking. #prayersofBrecken #Love


here is the link to follow to listen to Brecken

https://youtu.be/f-PyUZcrhIs

A view about our world from an insightful pastor


I reached out to my dear friend Ahnna Ellie Cho Park who is a pastor based in Colorado. Here is her take on everything that is going on in our world.

Ahnna Ellie Cho Park

The America I Know

When I was 12 years old, my family moved to the United States of America from Saudi Arabia. We were in the Kingdom of Saud (KSA) as a missionary family for eight years. My father spent a total of 11 years out there. Our work was mostly hidden because KSA is a fundamental Islamic nation; the entire country abided by the teachings of Islam, down to the food they eat, to the dress they wear, and the clockwork prayer times that were designated for the whole nation; even TV programs and trafficstopped five times a day, to me and my sisters’ frustration. Ramadan was even worse. We couldn’t be seen chewing gum during the day in the whole month of Ramadan, or we would be arrested. Christianity was illegal in KSA and worshiping a deity other than the Allah was criminal activity punishable by imprisonment, fines, beatings, confiscation of property, deportation, and public execution.  

After the Gulf War of 1991, life in the KSA became more difficult for foreigners and Christians like us. The mutawa, or the government sanctioned religious police, enforced regulations at much stricter levels. When the opportunity came, my fatherchose to send my mom, my sisters, and me to the United States of America. He told us that unlike Saudi, the US is a Christian nation, a land blessed by our God, and one where Christians like us will be protected. In 1994, my family (minus my father) immigrated to the United States, to the small town of Morrilton,Arkansas.

The first two years in Morrilton proved my father right. My sister and I attended a wonderful private school called Sacred Heart Catholic School. I met wonderful Christian families there. Even though we were Protestant, we found that in the Catholic faith, Jesus was honored, and teachings of the Bible were lived out in the daily lives. 

In 1996, my father joined us in the States and our family moved to the Denver Metro Area. My sister and I were put into public schools. And that year, my understanding of America was turned upside down. 

At Columbia Middle School, I saw kids my age making out in the hallway, shouting profanities at one another, and flaunting gang signs across the cafeteria. I hung out with friends who did drugs during passing periods. My friends’ friends often braggedabout their biggest criminal activities, ranging from shoplifting to stealing cars. Then came high school. I enrolled in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Smoky Hill High School, where teachers often highlighted their lessons with winning points for atheism and Darwinian evolution. It didn’t matter whether I was in the biology class or the philosophy class or the literature class; the overwhelming message the school preached to the students was “God is fake. Christians are phonies. And science is king.” 

Keep in mind I came to the United States believing the US to be a “Christian nation” that would uphold my ways, the way Saudi Arabia was a Muslim nation that upheld the Muslim ways of life. Well, middle school and high school were a huge reality check. Feeling so belittled and attacked for my Christian faith, I started to wonder that maybe America is not any more friendly towards Christians than Saudi Arabia is. And I began to think, maybe the US is not a Christian nation that my family believed it to be.

My college and postgraduate experiences fully verified that unsettling hypothesis. I went to a fabulous school in Colorado Springs called Colorado College. CC too was a liberal school. Given the political milieu of 2002-2006, Christianity was often the butt of all jokes. My philosophy professors often mocked the idiocy of the Christian faith, and the few Christian faculty I knew seemed extremely reticent when it came to speaking about their faith. The same was true in graduate school. The LGBTQ agenda was so prominent that homosexuality was read into every text, even my all-time favorite, John Milton’s 17th century epic poem Paradise Lost (Adam’s interaction with angel Raphael is colored with such language that it conveys their mutual homosexual attraction, and so on). After my time at the University of Colorado at Boulder, I decided America is very much an anti-Christian nation. 

Since then, I went to Denver Seminary, found company in American evangelicals, and started working in the churches. Then Donald Trump became president. And I noticed that the political tables have turned somewhere in there; the Christians were now the ones voicing their strong preferences in the public arenas. I noticed that many people who have been in the US longer than I have, spoke with fond recollections of a Christian America, one that perhaps enjoyed its heyday before the 90s when I joined in on the American experience. 

I became a naturalized citizen of the US in the early 2000s. I took an oath to love and stand with this country. I am thankful to be an American. Yet, I’m still learning about my country. Recently, I’ve been relearning America’s history in light of the violent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. I’m taking more interest in politics because I know it is part of my civic duty to be an informed voter. I care about the Denver Metro Area that I call home and I celebrate every reform it brings to ensure equality, freedom, and safety of all citizens. 

At the back of my mind though, I keep asking the question, “Is America a Christian nation?” 

This can be a complex question. I know there are many American evangelicals who believe so, and there are people in the south or small towns whose entire lives support the beliefthat America is indeed a Christian nation. And I believe their convictions are valid, given their personal experiences.

My American experience tells a different story, though. At the same time, my American experience is just as valid as any other. Additionally, I can’t help but evaluate the statement, “America is a Christian nation” in light of my experience of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I know exactly what it means for a country to be a Muslim nation; it means nothing other than Islam is tolerated. It indicates unwavering commitment to the ways of Islam. So with that in mind, I ask myself, is America a Christian nation? 

Unsurprisingly, the only conclusion I can draw is “No, it is not.”In fact, because the Constitution of the United States promisesreligious freedom to all, we cannot be a Christian nation in any legal sense. Yes, there may be a considerable number ofpracticing Christians in the US and we may be “heavily influenced” by Christian traditions of the past; but the official, bona fide position of the United States of America is that we area pluralistic nation that grants religious freedom to all. We can’tjust ignore that piece of detail. And by the way, religious pluralism is not compatible with the Christian doctrine. To be Christian means to surrender our very selves to Christ. To be Christian means we cast away all other idols to only worship the Yahweh. It’s not hard to see that the American and the biblical value systems are founded on two mutually exclusive premises.

It is worth noting the lingering culture of Christianity is not what makes a nation truly “Christian.” Only the unwavering allegiance to Christ at the national level would afford any country the honor of being called a Christian nation. As wonderful a country the US is, we fall vastly short of meeting that criteria, even if we have historically been characterized byChristian traditions. 

With the November election in view, the fight over culture, morality, and ethics is growing louder and louder. I see so many American evangelicals fighting for one party as if it is the equivalent of making America “Christian” again. 

While I cherish the Christian traditions of this nation, I want to nudge my Christian brothers and sisters that by the virtue of the Constitution of the United States, our country legally championsreligious pluralism, not Christianity. To make our countryuniformly Christian would mean we’d have to rewrite theConstitution itself. I absolutely believe there are ways we Christians can exercise our American citizenship with wisdom and faith, but there is nothing that will make the current Constitution an obedient servant of the Word of God. Consequently, there is no one uniformly Christian way to vote this November either. 

I know so many people mean well when they want to champion Christianity through American politics, but I think Christians’ passions and energy can be better applied to sanctifying the churches— the actual communities of faith— rather than trying to purify the de facto pluralistic society of America. I think we can invest more creativity and passion into letting our gospel shine brightly in our own lives and communities, instead of trying to force Christianity down Americans’ throats, regardless of what they have chosen to believe for themselves. Remember, we Americans are held together by the social contract of religious freedom, and we have the civic duty to respect each other’s choices as citizens of this country. Now is that Christian? Not necessarily. But is that what it means to be American? Absolutely.

America is not a Christian nation. Still, I believe America is a wonderful country. I love this country and I wouldn’t be surprised if it is the greatest country in the world for many years to come. But let us be reminded that the glory of America pales in comparison to the glory of the eternal Kingdom of God. Don’tforget that the eternal Kingdom of God, not the pluralistic America, is the true Christian nation we believers have beenlonging for and we continue to long for. I think we will only deepen our commitment to the True Kingdom of God when we surrender our pipe dreams about America being a Christian nation that it is not. 

While we await the dawn of the Eternal Kingdom, let us be the best American citizens that we can be, respecting everyone’s rights, and voting to the best of our knowledge and wisdom. Let us learn from Jesus and render to America the things that are America’s, and render to God the things that are God’s (Matt. 22:21). Again, those two are not the same—make no mistake about that. Let’s remember now more than ever that we are pilgrims here on earth. And as such, let us wish our country peace and prosperity (Jeremiah 29:7). But our hope does not hang on the future of the USA, because we await to receive our True Country and True Home in the Promised Dwelling with our Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 25:34).