Sunday, July 18, 2010

More Commencement Censoring - Montana

Here we go again. A high school co-valedictorian's speech was censored before she gave it. Why was this done? Readers of this blog certainly can guess the answers. Her speech contained religious references.

The graduates were asked to speak about lessons they learned in high school. Her lessons had to do with applying her faith in real-life situations, and that was unacceptable to the school officials. Her speech was apparently censored solely based on this religious content. She was told she had to change it and she refused, so she was not allowed to speak to the class.

Perhaps you are thinking the officials had in mind something learned in school as content for this speech. Based on the changes they proposed, that was not the case. She was told to replace references to Christ with phrases like "sharing my faith" or "love of mankind." It is clear enough what the particular type of censorship was.

If a student had wanted to tell how she learned lessons about life because she had to balance her part-time job with school work and sports, would that have been censored? Or if a student went through a tough experience with a dying relative and learned to cope, would that have been censored? I'm sure not.

Once again we see an example where a (perhaps well-meaning) person believes it violates "separation of church and state" to utter the words God or Christ in a non-cursing context. I'm glad this student refused to change here speech, and I'm glad there is a group (the Rutherford Institute) willing to fight for her rights in the state's supreme court. We'll see how it turns out. Learn more about Rutherford from the book linked on the left.

Read more details by following the link below:

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