Skip to comments.Graduates: We will not be silenced!
Posted on 05/27/2006 2:02:39 AM PDT by JohnHuang2
I wish I could have been there to witness it myself.
After Judge Joseph H. McKinley Jr. issued a restraining order barring Russell County (Ky.) High School and senior Megan Chapman from including prayer at the school's graduation ceremony, students decided to take matters in their own hands. (Miss Chapman was elected by students last fall as the senior class chaplain.)
In an act of protest to the court order issued just hours before the graduation, about 200 seniors spontaneously stood and began reciting the Lord's Prayer, prompting a standing ovation from a standing-room only crowd at the ceremony.
The student message: We will not be silenced.
The religious freedom organization Liberty Counsel, which is representing Miss Chapman, reported that thunderous applause drowned out the last part of the prayer.
"The revival-like atmosphere continued when senior Megan Chapman said in her opening remarks that God had guided her since childhood," Liberty Counsel reported. "Megan was interrupted repeatedly during her speech by the cheering crowd as she urged her classmates to trust in God as they go through life."
What an amazing scene. But it's a scene that never should have transpired because the court order, according to Liberty Counsel, is "invalid, wrong and limited."
"First, the court had no authority to order Megan to refrain from prayer as she was never made a party to the case," said Mathew Staver, the founder of the organization who is also the interim dean of the Liberty University School of Law. "Moreover, a temporary restraining order which restricts a person's speech cannot be issued without first providing the affected person notice and an opportunity to be heard. Second, the court order runs contrary to the best legal precedent established in Adler v. Duval County School Board, a case successfully litigated by Liberty Counsel. Finally, the order was limited because it only addressed prayer. It did not, nor could it, prohibit Megan from thanking God or sharing her religious viewpoint during her speech."
I never cease to be amazed at how activist judges and militant leftists are bent on forbidding even the most basic expressions of faith from the American landscape. In this case, students had voted, under no duress, to have Miss Chapman act as their chaplain. But because a couple of people express offense and bring in the ACLU, the entire class loses its right to have the graduation they wanted, solely because God and/or prayer was to be mentioned.
Mr. Staver noted, "It is a clear violation of the First Amendment to require a school to intentionally censor religious viewpoints of student speakers at graduation. Religious speech has just as much protection as secular speech. In fact, the First Amendment elevates religious expression to our first freedom."
I am pleased to partner with Liberty Counsel in the "Friend or Foe Graduation Prayer Campaign," which is designed to help students like those at Russell County High School to be able to pray if they so choose. Liberty Counsel, which is comprised of hundreds of affiliate attorneys in all 50 states, has offered its services to defend the school board and to work on behalf of Megan Chapman to protect her right to free speech against the ACLU's lawsuit.
Any students in America who face similar problems (or any type of religious-freedom problem) should immediately contact Liberty Counsel to receive pro bono legal help.
A little late, but what the hell.
:::stands and applauds:::
May God continue to bless her!
God is good and should be thanked often. Amen. What a brave young women. Amen.
And kudos to these brave future leaders of America.
Articles like this restore my faith in the youth of America. Our future is in good hands....
Bless her for her courage, and for those 200 or so young people who stood to recite the Lord's Prayer! It may very well have caused a few people to consider going back to church, or renew their former relationship with Christ! Amen!
My goodness...what is this country coming to? Doesn't a student have free speech rights?
This kind of crap is just plain ridiculous!
Good for her and anybody else who gives their "own" speech.
Sweet music to the ears.
For once, the majority was not silent.
The future looks a bit brighter, this morning. Thank you, Russell County High School Class of 2006.
May you always be as insightful and decisive.
The growing conflict between believers and non-believers moves ever closer to outright combat. The battle lines are being drawn more clearly with every occasion such as this one. That's really what earthlife is about: the old battle between good and evil. That has never changed. Only the players change. Believers must be better soldiers. We need to take back our constitutional rights that have eroded over the years with the help of evil forces such as the ACLU, Democrats, some cowardly Republicans, atheists, liberals; even some fanatical conservatives. What will summon us to the final work of freedom?When will we finally declare "Enough!" and join together to save our country and our freedoms? For certain,we must not fight among ourselves over this religious doctrine or that. The distinguishing characteristic for all is simply believing there is a Supreme Being to whom we owe allegiance; who encourages us to use commonsense in all aspects of our lives. No fanatical unreasonable teachings or behavior. Just calm insistence on commonsense and freedom for all without injuring or curtailing another's freedom. Who wins the final battle is questionable. Whoever is the most passionate and dedicated to his/her belief or lack thereof. It is not set in stone that good will win at last. That depends on the strength and passion of the good soldiers.
What business does a judge have issuing a court order in regards to a commencement speech?
This is censorship.
God Bless those kids for doing a courageous thing, and for the parents who stood to give them a standing ovation.
"about 200 seniors spontaneously stood and began reciting the Lord's Prayer, prompting a standing ovation from a standing-room only crowd at the ceremony."
It's a beautiful thing.
"For those who know WHY they believe WHAT they believe LEADERSHIP is inevitable."
These young grads have more backbone than most members of Congress.
True so true.
Also was just wondering. Is a student who prays or thanks GOD in a speech speaking for the school (government)?
The school is not an individual student, the student is not conveying the policy of the school.
The ACLU (All Criminals Love Us) (Allow Child Love Unfettered) organination should be OUTLAWED for abusing the system and getting OUR money when they win a case from judges who should be Impeached.
compare the courage of this young woman to that 'courage' of little miss jean rohe....
God Bless these wonderful young people!
Great quote! Is that yours? Can I repeat at will?
Everyone needs to flood their email and mailboxes with congratulatory letters! And possibly legal funds, but then maybe not!
You just gotta love the small town south and west, it's where the real America still lives.
Here in VT we had a girl strip naked on the dais and give her graduation speech in the raw. Nobody stopped her.
I really live in the wrong place.
No, I think too many former MA, CN, and NY liberals now live in VT.
I had good neighbors when I lived in FL who were native VT and NH people. They were salt of the earth types who put me to shame with their American traditional values and common sense. If you VT and NH folks had built a high wall around your states 40 years ago and posted in with "NO MA LIBERALS ALLOWED" signs your young people might not be infected with the liberal disease.
Surely you jest?
Who wins the final battle is questionable.
The outcome is indisputable, Christ wins.
...but graduating seniors can't pray at their own ceremony....
..Where is their freedom of speech?
During graduation ceremonies seven years ago this week at a small private high school in Vermont, each of the 14 seniors was given a chance to address the assembled guests and speak for a few minutes on a topic of their choice. Most of the graduates chose the conventional topics of what they remembered most about high school, their plans for the future, and the obligatory litany of thanks to family, teachers and friends. A few of them even thanked God. This was before the Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional for anyone to invoke God's name for anything at any time during a graduation ceremony unless of course somebody sneezes.http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8318170/site/newsweek/
One of the graduates, a young woman whom we shall call Molly Smith, began her speech. At its beginning, Molly's speech was just like all the others. She spoke of how the school had challenged and inspired her individuality, and then, as she explained later, in her attempt to express the spirituality of her graduation, Molly tossed down her mortorboard, slipped out of her white graduation robe and completed her speech about truth, wisdom, confidence and the road less traveledstark naked. Even though they were in Vermont, the audience of 200 went wild; then the local media went wild; and then the national media went wild. Molly was even invited to appear on the David Letterman show.
Some in other places might not agree with that. They might want to come to Vermont.
Russel Springs is a little wide place in the road but they grow them strong .
The quote is not my original (wish it was). There was a fellow who led a workshop at NCHE conference (North Carolina Home Educators)a few years ago. He used as a resource a book about how the communists indoctrinated members into their party; only in this instance he applied principles from the book to home education. I no longer have the book nor remember his name (Davis??), but the quote I remember. Thanks.
ACLU=American Communist Lawyers Union