Middleton, Wisconsin has become the latest battleground for schools and religious freedom in the United States. The controversy has erupted after a group of school mothers started hosting a free lunch in a nearby park that included a message about Jesus. Many of the schoolchildren, who are allowed to leave school property to eat, were making their way to the park for the free meal and the message.
As these things tend to go, the local school caught wind of the program–whether by student or parent complaint is not known–and tried to confront the mothers in the park about the program. The school superintendent and principal tried to intervene and put a stop to the goodwill of these mothers towards the children. The mothers have stood their ground on the basis that they are in a public space and not affiliated with any specific church.
Todd’s American Dispatch (Todd Starnes) has a few of the arguments taking place around this subject. I encourage you to go read the article. His article offers some insight into why the school is so upset with these moms (it relates to food safety? and the religious message) and a letter that they sent out to parents over this event.
It should be noted that these mothers started what is now known as the “Jesus Lunch” a few years ago. One time a week the mothers will make a meal, head to the park, and serve it to the kids. This weekly event has grown to over 500 kids taking part in the free meal and message on a weekly basis–I should add, without major church sponsorship.
I am not sure where this leaves us, but the mothers have lawyered up and it looks like this will be heading to the courts. I just don’t understand the grounds that the school is trying to raise about this “Jesus Lunch” when the participants are voluntary and it is taking place at a public park–which is legal to gather in. I have a very strong feeling that these battles will be getting more and more frequent in the days ahead. It will be interesting to follow this and see how it turns out–I am banking on the moms in this situation. What are your thoughts? Comment below and we may use it for a follow up.