Another Valedictorian Has Speech Censored Due To Religious Content
In 2006, the Brittany McComb story was huge here in Vegas. I could not get away from talking about it on my radio show, and it generated venomous response from both sides of the issue. Brittany was told her speech referenced God and Christ too much, and was told to change it. She did in order to get the speech approved before graduation, but in giving the speech she spoke the words she originally intended to say. She did not proselytize by any means, but did give credit to her faith for helping get her through rough times. Foothills High School staff literally pulled the plug in the middle of her speech, and drew contempt from the students and family in attendance.
Some said she should be allowed to give any speech she wants free from profanity. Others said her referencing religion was tantamount to the school endorsing Christianity.
Now it’s happening again in Vermont.
A high school valedictorian in Vermont was forbidden by school administers from delivering nearly half of his graduation speech in which he discussed how Jesus had changed his life.
I still remember one particularly angry caller asking me “Would you still support her if she were a Muslim?” Yes, yes I would.
A personal reflection on how your faith helped you is nothing to fear. If a student were to proselytize, and attempt to recruit audience member I’d understand the censorship. There is no federal law that justifies this violation of free speech, as described by this student’s principal.
The First Amendment states:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
Funny how the anti-religion crowd always forgets about the ‘free exercise’ part.
The First Amendment then goes on to protect freedom of speech. So this kid’s freedom to exercise, and his freedom of speech seem to have been violated.
It should also be noted that originally the establishment clause only applied to the federal government. It wasn’t until the 1940’s that the Supreme Court ruled it applied to all governments. The reasoning behind that was that if you didn’t like Vermont’s religion, you could move to Nevada. You can’t escape federal doctrine.
Another thing often ignored nowadays is the writings by founding fathers intended to be guides on the Constitution in case there was a discrepancy. Members of Congress should start pursuing these guides. Especially since they have no idea what the General Welfare Clause means.
Thomas Jefferson wrote the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom.
“[N]o man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.”
Every time there is religious censorship in this country, we aren’t adhering to the establishment clause. We are engaging in exactly the same kind of religious oppression our founders fled. Suppressing all religion is just as bad as suppressing all but one religion.
- Valedictorian fights judge’s ban on graduation prayer (thegreatone22.wordpress.com)
- Freedom OF – not Freedom FROM Religion (veteran-patriot.com)
- Court Lifts Ban on Prayer at Texas Grad Ceremony- Court Rules NYC Can Ban Schools From Churches (foxnews.com)
Posted on June 17, 2011, in Censorship, Constitution, Dumbassery, Politics, Religion and tagged Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, First Amendment, First Amendment to the United States Constitution, General Welfare Clause, Graduation, High School, Thomas Jefferson. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.