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The Protest of Juanita

It is already several years ago that in American public schools, reading in the Bible and prayers were removed from the daily programs they have. After many discussions, the decision was made by the highest court in the nation.

There is a woman who takes a personal pride in what she regards as a triumph for the secular society against the Christians. Her name is well-known in the media and she is very vocal, traveling from one college or university to another, speaking to whoever wants to hear her; she likes everybody to know about her viewpoint.

She is especially interested in the young people. In fact, it seems she wants to organize them against everything that has something to do with religion. Well, this lady was delighted when one day she was invited by a university up North to address a party of about 350 students, who wanted to know what exactly she was standing for and what her reasoning behind it all was. They never met her before…

She stood there and she was full of praise for all kinds of humanism, but soon she started to attack Christianity. She called God “big pappa” and she referred to His only begotten Son as “J. C.” for short. The Holy Spirit was, in her vocabulary, “the spook.”

She ridiculed a number of well-known Christians of articular churches. As a news item in the press later stated, all her sentences were full of sarcastic, disdainful remarks.

It was obvious she had expected that the way she talked would be liked by the students, but it did not take long before she discovered that her audience looked at her with bewilderment.

Therefore, she changed her tactics and showered the young people with scientific-sounding terminology and platitudes, citing prominent people who thought like her, hoping to impress them. She tried about everything not to lose contact with her audience.

Finally, with a philosophical smile, she suggested that everybody would have the opportunity to put questions to her. Probably she had quite a few ready-made answers in store.

But the young people were not that easy to satisfy and she became nervous, blunt, and grumpy, so that they gave up.

But then, at the back, a girl stood up, looking pale of indignation. She was Juanita, and she walked quickly to the front. With a hoarse voice she spoke, carefully choosing her words.

She said, “Madam, I am glad that you have taken the trouble tonight to come to us with your speech, but probably I speak in the name of most of the others if I tell you that we have listened carefully to your tirades against the Christian faith…. You have shown us what an atheist really is…. We have been strengthened in our faith after listening to you…. But now we feel sorry for you, because you are standing here all alone, unable to hold on to anything. You will go back to an existence without prospects. We, however, have our faith in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit…. Thank you for coming and may God have mercy on you….”

The speaker was tongue-tied.

Juanita left the hall.

You could have heard a pin drop. Everybody heard her departing footsteps as well as the speakers angry snort of contempt in the microphone…. Then there was wild applause.

The students urged Juanita to come back and speak further, but she did not. In the hall, they stopped clapping their hands and calling her name. The students left without paying anymore attention to the speaker…. On the door of her room, Juanita had glued a piece of paper with the message: “See Psalm 1:1.”

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J.P. de Klerk is an author and journalist from the Protestant Reformed Church of New Zealand.