A columnist in Kentucky’s largest newspaper has endorsed a Baptist Center for Ethics pastoral letter urging support for public schools.

David Hawpe, vice president and editorial director of the Louisville Courier-Journal, writes a column twice a week on politics in Kentucky and southern Indiana.

On Wednesday Hawpe said “there’s some mail” Southern Seminary President Albert Mohler and former governor and state senator Julian Carroll might do well to read.

Hawpe quoted a May 8 story in EthicsDaily.com about Mohler repeating his call two years ago urging Christian parents to develop an “exit strategy” for public schools.

Carroll, meanwhile, recently lamented that “secular humanists” have led to moral decline in America, telling a church crowd that people in Russia have more freedom to read the Bible in public schools than here, according to the Associated Press.

“Both Mohler and Carroll might consider a letter issued by the Baptist Center for Ethics, and signed by more than 200 pastors, church staff members, convention and fellowship leaders and others, encouraging believers to speak up for America’s public school system,” Hawpe commented.

He letter “wouldn’t change their minds, but it might argue against branding public schools as havens of apostasy or fomenting an insurgency against them.”

The Baptist Pastoral Letter Supporting Public Education, issued April 21, pledges its signers to:

–Pray for public schools.

–Support public schools through worship services that affirm all school-related personnel.

–Advocate for “a high wall of separation between church and state” that is critical to good public education.

–Pursue a just society that benefits every child.

–Speak up for the role public education plays in democracy, especially the unity it creates in the midst of diversity so necessary in our society.

–Challenge religious voices that “demonize public education.”

With about 492,000 readers on weekdays and 670,000 on Sunday, the Courier-Journal is one of the 50 largest newspapers in the United States and the largest in Kentucky.

A total of 228 Baptist pastors, church staff ministers, convention and fellowship leaders and other ministers had signed the letter as of May 17. Other clergy wishing to add their names may do so here.

Due to technical limitations, BCE cannot accommodate the signatures of laity at this time.

Bob Allen is managing editor of EthicsDaily.com.

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