I’m a Student at Lebanon High School and I Thought My Principal’s Religious Graduation Speech Was Distasteful

Over the weekend, I posted about how Kevin Lowery, the principal of Lebanon High School (Missouri), gave a very unusual greeting speech at graduation. It was full of references to how religious he was and how our currency and motto point to God’s impact and influence on our country.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has already sent the school a letter warning them not to do it again, though I have to say I don’t find it very persuasive when they write, “A reasonable observer would conclude that, as principal, Mr. Lowery’s statements were being endorsed by the school.” His comments seemed to me to be wholly his own — and still completely inappropriate. No non-Christian principal would’ve been able to get away with a speech like that without a national uproar. (I’m not quite ready to surrender to Jerry Coyne just yet…)

Yesterday, I heard from a current student at Lebanon High School who attended that ceremony. She preferred to remain anonymous (for good reason, as you’ll see below), though I was able to confirm that she is indeed a student there.

Her (edited) message is below:

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After Son Comes Out, Baptist Pastor Tells Church He’s No Longer Anti-Gay… and Gets a Surprising Vote of Confidence

Danny Cortez, the pastor at New Heart Community Church in La Mirada, California, did something very unusual for a Southern Baptist Church earlier this year: He told his congregation that he no longer accepted the church’s teachings on homosexuality:

It’s a beautiful sermon, really, with passages that could even move atheists to tears.

Buoyed by his own son’s admission that he was gay, Cortez told his church that he knew not everyone would agree with him but he had to say something:

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Christian Ministry Quotes Adolf Hitler on Billboard, Not Realizing That’s a Bad Idea

It’s never good when you cause your own unintentional billboard controversy…

Alabama-based Life Savers Ministries (LSM) put up the following ad in the city of Auburn. Let’s see if you can figure out why it caused a stir:

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Church Deflects Blame for Pedophile Priest by Arguing That He Was “Not On Duty”

In the 1980s, Chris Naples was sexually assaulted multiple times by Rev. Terence McAlinden, his one-time youth group leader through the Diocese of Trenton (New Jersey). A few years ago, Naples sued — in Delaware — because he said his Church sanctioned the visits there. The Church basically replied, “No we didn’t,” adding that McAlinden wasn’t working for them at the time (he was off duty), so they weren’t to blame.

So the matter at hand wasn’t whether the abuse happened; it was about whether Delaware was the proper jurisdiction for this case.

And that led to an incredible exchange this past January — only coming to light now — in which the Delaware Supreme Court judges asked an attorney for the Diocese of Trenton, “How do we determine when a priest is and is not on duty?”

Just listen to his jaw-dropping answer:

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Hey, God, That Wasn’t a Bad First Draft, but…

Mike Lacher offers God some feedback on the Creation of the world:

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