La’Shar Sharp, 19-year-old Crawfordsville citizen and freshman at Indiana Bible College, had the chance of a lifetime Wednesday. She got to read her essay/letter on the myths behind the separation of church and state, to a room full of concerned citizens, State Representatives and Senators at a prayer rally in the Rotunda at the Indiana State House in Indianapolis.
The rally was held because of a recent federal order stating that the name of Jesus Christ can no longer be said in opening prayers for house sessions. According to Sharp, on Nov. 30, Judge David S. Hamilton of the U.S. Federal Court made that ruling in a lawsuit from the Indiana Civil Liberties Union naming Speaker of the House Brian Bosma as the defendant. Hamilton ruled that the Indiana House of Representative can no longer open its sessions with a prayer that specifically promotes any denominations.
"For 189 years, the house has always opened up with prayer," Sharp said. "I had no idea what was coming when we left Crawfordsville Wednesday. We were going over there anyway to pray and hold up signs that said ‘In the name of Jesus Christ’ and signs with the American flag with the verse ‘Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.’ Before we left, I felt like I should bring a long a copy of my essay. When we got there I went up to Sallye Burton, Indiana State Coordinator of the United States Strategic Prayer Network, and showed her my essay. She said that she felt like I should read my essay to the citizens.
I led a prayer and read it in the Rotunda," Sharp said. "I felt God working in me and I started asking God to give us unity in the State House. Afterward, I had a lot of people come up to me and ask me for copies of the essay I read. I believe I handed out around 15 copies and even gave some to some representatives and senators," Sharp said.
"A lot of reporters were coming up to me, asking me questions about what I think should happen to Judge Hamilton. I’ll tell you the same thing, and I’ll be honest; I believe judges like that, who go above the Federal Constitution, deserve to be impeached. Our next step is to file a lawsuit against Hamilton as citizens.
"I am excited about what the Lord is doing," Sharp continued. "I give Him all the glory, honor, and praise. The Statehouse and the federal government need to use the name of Jesus in their sessions because they will be blessed and they will have more unity. Without the name of Jesus, there is no unity," Sharp said.
Sharp is the daughter of Larry and Sharon Sharp. She is a freshman at Indiana Bible College, studying theology and international studies. She plans on moving to a secular university eventually where she will major in politics and criminal justice. After obtaining a bachelor degree, Sharp plans on attending law school. She was valedictorian at Daystar Christian Academy in May of 2005.
Sharp works part-time at Ability Services Incorporated raising money for college and daily commutes to Indianapolis for class.