Tag Archives: Valedictorian

Christian valedictorian tears up censor-approved speech and recites the Lord’s Prayer

From WXII 12 local news, a story from South Carolina.

Full text:

A school district under pressure to keep prayer out of meetings and gatherings got an unexpected delivery from one high school valedictorian

Saturday, at Clemson’s Littlejohn Coliseum, Liberty High Valedictorian Roy Costner IV took his speech to the podium, and in front of the crowd, tore it up.

John Eby, Pickens County School District spokesman, said, “They write their speeches. They send them to someone on staff to have them approved.”

But Costner clearly had something else in mind.

After speaking for a few minutes, he thanked his parents for leading him to the Lord at a young age, and then he said, “I think most of you will understand when I say, ‘Our Father, who art in heaven…” as he began to recite the Lord’s Prayer.

Much of the crowd broke into tentative applause that then grew into cheers that nearly drown out Costner’s voice as he continued the prayer.

Brian Hoover, who is from Liberty and attended the graduation, said, “You couldn’t even hear him doing the prayer anymore because everybody was clapping and cheering.”

Costner finished, pointing his finger in the air for emphasis, saying, “For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen,” followed by more cheers and applause.

Hoover said, “From the ACLU sending FOIA requests to every district in the state this year after the Chesterfield County case, then the Freedom From Religion Foundation sent us a complaint about religion at board meetings and some other issues as well. That is why the reaction to the prayer at graduation was loud.”

The district says there will be no repercussions because of the prayer.

Costner was out of town on Monday, but he said he added the prayer to the speech because God is the biggest part of his life.

According to a school publication, “Costner plans to head to Clemson University in the fall to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science. He said he hopes to work as a computer programmer overseas, but has dreams of saving up enough to come back and start a chain of restaurants in the U.S. He said computer programming was an interest he picked up outside of school as he developed a local news website, “Liberty Speaks.”

In the publication Costner is quoted as saying: “I have big ideas for mobile applications, and even for starting a new social network, but I don’t have the knowledge to pull it off yet.”

It warms my heart to see a good, brave Christian man take up computer science, where he should be able to find work in spite of the politically correct censors he might find on campus.

Here’s the verse that should scare anyone about what exactly it is that Jesus expects from his followers:

Matthew 10:32-39:

32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven,

33 butwhoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.

34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 

35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 

36 And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.

37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 

38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 

39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

That’s why he did what he did. He had to do it to honor God instead of pleasing godless men.

In other news, the ACLU, which opposes free speech that secular leftists find offensive, is also in favor of sex-selection abortions and race-selection abortions. I wonder which is more offensive? Free speech or killing a baby because it is the wrong sex or the wrong race? That’s what the ACLU stands for: sexism and racism and fascism.

Court validates student’s right to freedom of religion

From One News Now. (H/T Caffeinated Thoughts via ECM)


Montana’s highest court has ruled in favor of a former Montana high school valedictorian who was banned from speaking at her graduation because her speech contained religious references.

Among Renee Griffith’s planned comments were such statements as: “I didn’t let fear keep me from sharing Christ and His joy with those around me” — and “I learned not to be known for my grades…but for being committed to my faith and morals and being someone who lived with a purpose from God with a passionate love for Him.” She was ordered by school officials to replace “Christ” with the words “my faith”; and to amend the other statement to say she “lived with a purpose, a purpose derived from my faith and based on a love of mankind.”

Griffith, a co-valedictorian of her 2008 senior class, refused to do so and, consequently, was prevented from speaking at the ceremony.

[…]The Rutherford Institute helped to argue the case on behalf of Griffith.  “Renee wanted to mention Christ and God in her graduation speech, and the school said she couldn’t do it — then she insisted that she be able to do it,” explains Rutherford’s president, John Whitehead.

“She was actually forbidden from even participating in the graduation ceremony at all,” Whitehead continues. “So I think this [ruling] sends a shot across the bow of all these other cases that have happened across the country — and it’s a reaffirmation that we still have some freedom in the United States.”

A lower court had ruled previously that Griffith’s civil rights were not violated, and the school district had argued mentioning Christ or God in a speech is a violation of the alleged “separation of church and state.”

“But the [Montana Supreme Court] actually addresses that and says that’s not true — this is just basically free speech and students should have a right, as other students have a right, to mention what’s important to them and their lives when they’re up before the students speaking about graduation,” says the spokesman for The Rutherford Institute.

Whitehead says the ruling affirms to Christian students that mentioning the name “Jesus” in a speech is not taboo.

W. William Leaphart dissented from the majority of the judges – he ruled against Renee Griffith. He was opposed to Christians exercising their religious liberty in the public square.

This is a good lesson about how the public school system tries to force their secular worldview onto Christians. Can you believe that? The National Butte School District #1 actually told her what to say so that she could sound like them. They wanted her to pretend to believe what they believe. And they thought that suppressing her views would cause her no harm at all. That it was OK for her to be suppressed. That is was a good thing to silence her. That her rights could be breached so that their feelings would not be hurt. So that they wouldn’t have to realize that Christianity isn’t stupid, that it might even be true, and that smart people believe it.

The best thing Christians can do is to encourage their children to do well in school and to study apologetics. The atheists really hate the idea that smart people can be Christians. They really hate being confronted by smart Christians. Dumb ones they can accept, but the smart ones make them very angry. That’s what we want.

By the way, this censorship by the public schools actually happens a lot. I blogged about the last time this happened here.