Last week, the high school valedictorian for Liberty High School in South Carolina defied local school district rules when he ripped up his preapproved speech in front of everyone who was at the school graduation ceremony, and then proceeded to deliver a speech in which he emphasized the importance of Christian values.
At one point during the speech he said, “Those that we look up to, they have helped carve and mold us into the young adults that we are today. I’m so glad that both of my parents led me to the Lord at a young age, and I think most of you will understand when I say, Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name…”
As he concluded his recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, the crowd erupted with cheers and thunderous applause.
Earlier this year, after the “Freedom From Religion Foundation” filed a complaint against the Pickens County School District for saying a prayer at board meetings, the school district decided to end invocations at all high school functions and replace prayer at high school graduations with a moment of silence.
Roy Costner IV, the valedictorian of the Liberty High School graduating class of 2013, didn’t like what the school district did so after he stepped up to the podium and started reading from his approved speech, he hesitated, ripped the speech in half, and then pulled another speech from his pocket.
After the graduation ceremony, in response to a question from a reporter, Pickens County School District spokesman John Eby said, “The bottom line is, we’re not going to punish students for expressing their religious faiths. He’s a graduate now. There’s nothing we can do about it, even if we wanted to.”
A news release that was subsequently issued by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) quoted its co-president, Annie Laurie Gaylor: “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 has set an unconstitutional example by hosting school board prayer.”
I looked at the Freedom From Religion Foundation website and one of the items that is offered for purchase on the website is the book, Ten Common Myths About Atheists … And Other Freethinkers.
The so-called freethinking atheists at FFRF are highly offended by the freethinking teenager who decided he was going to say what was on his mind rather than read from a speech that had been approved by a school official. How dare he exercise his right to be a freethinker!
What is it about those atheists anyway? Why should they even care if someone else talks about God? How can they be offended by something they claim does not even exist?
One reason the atheists at FFRF want us Christians to stop talking about our beliefs is because we’re a threat to their religion – the religion of abortion on demand. One of the definitions of religion is “a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.”
The system of beliefs that is held by the members of the Freedom From Religion Foundation is outlined on its website:
The history of Western civilization shows us that most social and moral progress has been brought about by persons free from religion. In modern times the first to speak out for prison reform, for humane treatment of the mentally ill, for abolition of capital punishment, for women’s right to vote, for death with dignity for the terminally ill, and for the right to choose contraception, sterilization, and abortion have been freethinkers, just as they were the first to call for an end to slavery. The Foundation works as an umbrella for those who are free from religion and are committed to the cherished principle of separation of state and church.
These so-called freethinkers act as though they really care about prisoners, slaves, women, elderly people, and the mentally ill, while at the same time insisting that they should have the right to kill the most innocent and defenseless human beings among us — unborn children. Their atheism is nothing more than a convenient tool that they use to justify their evil and barbaric behavior.
They pretend that there is no God because if they were to acknowledge that they were created by God, they would have to admit that God has dominion over all His creation and that a human being comes into existence at the moment of conception, rather than at the moment of birth.
The dictionary defines the word “rebellion” as “opposition to one in authority or dominance.” Every once in a while we need to be reminded that as true Christians we must be willing to engage in rebellion against the evil forces that seek to (1) silence us, and (2) keep us from freely practicing our faith.
Roy Costner’s display of rebellion against the forces of evil took a lot of courage. There are times when we need to get out of our own comfort zones and courageously engage in acts of rebellion against those who seek to silence us.
Dear Georgette and Harry –
Powerful witness of Truth! Thank you. My thinking has been that if atheists rebel against the Existence of God, there must be a God to rebel against! I read another story about a student and her classmates rebelling against school rules. At the end of her Valedictory speech, the entire class of graduates SNEEZED and the speaker said “GOD BLESS YOU!” God bless all students with the gumption to speak out from the heart; give them the graces to know Truth! Love, Sister Roberta