POPLAR BLUFF, MO - In a dramatic gesture protesting his Awana leader's demand that he memorize and recite several Bible verses each week, local youngster and Sparks member David Reynolds remained stoically seated for the entirety of the Awana pledge of allegiance last Wednesday evening.
"I pledge allegiance to the Awana flag, which stands for the Awana clubs," the rest of the clubbers began in unison, hands solemnly placed on their hearts. Reynolds alone stayed sitting, bravely ignoring his Sparks leader's whispers, nudges, and hand signals urging him to stand in honor of the traditional pledge.
In a post-Awana-meeting interview, Reynolds indicated his gesture was a selfless act on behalf of all clubbers like him who are suffering under the class's harsh memorization regimen.
"There are dozens of us," the usually reserved second-grader said emotionally. "As we pile in the car to Awana after school on Wednesday, our parents ask us if we've learned the verses, so we have to give up a whole five minutes to try to hurriedly fill out our workbooks and memorize the verses just long enough to mumble them out to the teacher."
"It's just not right," he said as cameras flashed.
Reynolds was reportedly disciplined by his parents when he got home, continuing his suffering of persecution for his noble cause.