The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

May 17, 2013

Letter: NOC Enid is not Phillips University!

Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Northern Oklahoma College Enid is not Phillips University! NOC Enid may have the former campus of Phillips University and use the Marshall Building Tower in its logo, but it is not PU!

Christian prayer was an integral part of the life of most students and professors, as well as Phillips’ public events.

Christian prayer may be a part of the lives of many students and instructors at NOC Enid, but NOC Enid is a state government-supported college, and prayer has no place in its public events!

The inclusion, again, of a Christian Invocation and Benediction in the recent Commencement on April 27, 2013, is an insult to every Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim and secular student among the student body present and past!

Some Christians find it offensive “Bible Belt religion” finds a place in this setting still, as well as in other school and sporting events. Some Christians find it “their Christian duty” to insist the Ten Commandments from Jewish, Hebrew, Old Testament tradition be in every school and court house in Oklahoma! How sad!

Several years ago, NOC added the phrase “... to succeed in a competitive global environment ...” to its mission statement. Nothing betrays the hypocrisy of this verbiage and the provincialism of Bible Belt religion than inserting Christian prayers in our government-supported activities!

It is not that NOC administrative personnel had not heard this argument before! Continuing a practice “because we have always done it before!” is no rationale in an academic enterprise. One may wonder whether it will take a lawsuit to change this practice!

Jerry Ray Galbreath

Former NOC Enid world religions/philosophy