If I were an atheist, I would be more than a little mortified by the antics of the Freedom from Religion Foundation. It seems that they are determined to make their fellow atheists hated pariahs where ever they are by offending as many believers as possible. Read about their latest efforts to eradicate any public mention religion in Todd Stearns’ Townhall column.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation blasted what it called the “open defiance” of a valedictorian who delivered The Lord’s Prayer during a high school graduation ceremony last Saturday in South Carolina.
Roy Costner, a senior at Liberty High School in Pickens, created national attention when he ripped up his pre-approved graduation speech and instead led the crowd in a recitation of The Lord’s Prayer.
A video of the speech was posted on YouTube and has since gone viral. It shows the 18-year-old setting aside his speech.
“I think most of you will understand when I say, ‘Our Father, who art in heaven,” he said as the crowd began to cheer.
He concluded his remarks by pointing to the sky and saying, “For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.”
The school district had been in a battle over public prayers after the FFRF filed a complaint objecting to what they called an “unconstitutional prayer practice.”
They hold the school district responsible for Costner’s open act of defiance and what they called a string of problematic religious violations.
“The valedictorian who so insensitively inflicted Christian prayer on a captive audience at a secular graduation ceremony, is a product of a school district which itself set an unconstitutional example by hosting school board prayer,” FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor said in a prepared statement.
I’m happy with what I did,” Costner said. “I want this to glorify God. I want to use this as a witnessing tool and I hope others will stand up for God in our nation.”
He got the idea to deliver the prayer about two weeks ago when he learned that he had been selected as the top academic student in the graduating class. He was summoned to the principal’s office.
“She informed us that we could not have anything about religion or talk about God or Allah or whoever we choose to worship,” he said. “And they had to approve the speech prior to me going onto stage.”
The prayer controversy had gripped the small South Carolina community for quite some time – and many locals took issue with a group from Wisconsin causing problems.
The valedictorian inflicted Christian prayer on a captive audience? What about the Freedom from Religion Foundation inserting themselves and their values into a town in South Carolina where they were not wanted? Judging from the fact that the audience cheered, I am not sure how many of them felt that the prayer was inflicted upon them. If there were any atheists in attendance, I think they would have preferred to let their minds wander for the minute or so it would have taken Costner to say the prayer, rather than make a fuss that would be completely unnecessary.
I think that the people who are running the FFRF need to read the constitution and especially the first amendment.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
By prohibiting Costner from praying in public or talking about his religion in his speech, wasn’t the principal prohibiting the free exercise of his religion? By demanding and enforcing a state sponsored secularism, isn’t the FFRF insisting on establishing an official state religion, or at least an official state ideology? Who is being aggressive in forcing their beliefs and values on others? Who is being the bully here?
- Anti-Religion Group Blasts Teen Valedictorian’s Prayer (radio.foxnews.com)
- Atheist group blames school for student reciting the Lord’s Prayer at graduation (washingtontimes.com)
- SC valedictorian rips up approved speech, recites Lord’s Prayer (myfox8.com)
- Christian Valedictorian Who Ripped Up His Speech on Stage and Invoked God Explains Why He Did It: ‘I Felt Led to Have the Prayer at Our Ceremonies’ (theblaze.com)
- Hast Thou Forgotten? (christscrusader.wordpress.com)