Whenever someone objects to religious teachings in school — in science class, no less — or objects to a religious rally such as Texas Gov. Rick Perry hosted, that person is accused of being “godless.”

Most of the people who object to public displays of religiosity are Christians who go to church and pray regularly.

But they take seriously what Jesus told us about prayer:

Matthew 6: 5-6: “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

What we object to is ostentatious displays of religiosity. We object to being hijacked into a prayer that we don’t agree with at a public event such as a football game or a graduation ceremony. We object to politicians using God and Jesus to garner votes. We object to misusing the Bible as a primer for hatred toward anyone they think is the wrong color, religion or sexual orientation. Jesus taught love and forgiveness, not hatred.

We object to making worship a tacky event, and we object to people trying to teach our children to view Jesus as some kind of cheesy rock star who will make you wealthy if you will believe in Him.

We want our children to be left alone by those who want to practice loud, vulgar, trailer park religion so we can teach our children to worship with dignity and solemnity.

We are happy to leave them to their brand of worship; we just don’t want it forced upon us.

Sarah Stravinska

retired UL Lafayette professor