If Christians Want to Pray During Their Graduation Speeches, They Should Read the Bible First

This is a guest post by Alise Wright.

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The most famous example of this year’s list of Christian students being unashamed of their faith was South Carolina student Roy Costner IV. The Pickens County School Board had banned prayers in the graduation speeches and he had written one that had been approved by the board. But after speaking with his pastor, he approached the podium, ripped up his speech, and recited the Lord’s Prayer.

He said it presumably to show his faithfulness to his Christian values that his parents instilled in him and that his pastor encouraged him to display.

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Public School Superintendent Tells Graduating Students to Live Up to God’s Expectations

Is there anyone who doesn’t abuse his or her position at graduation ceremonies anymore? Already this spring, we’ve seen student speakers and teachers use their power to promote prayer, and now we have a superintendent doing it, too.

Earlier this month, Superintendent Damian LaCroix of the Howard-Suamico School District in Green Bay, Wisconsion spoke at the commencement ceremony for Bay Port High School and used his time to encourage parents in the audience to pray, pray, and pray, and told students to be the people God wants them to be.

You can hear the full speech beginning at the 1:27:04 mark of the video below:

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FFRF Loses Challenge to Stop Arizona Day of Prayer… Again

In January of 2012, the Freedom From Religion Foundation sued Arizona Governor Jan Brewer in order to stop her from holding another Day of Prayer (PDF).

The FFRF, along with several members from the state, sued on principle — saying that the Day of Prayer was unconstitutional — instead of arguing that it “harmed” any of the plaintiffs… but that may have been their undoing. Last August, a court in Arizona threw out their lawsuit saying the plaintiffs didn’t have “standing” to sue to government:

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FFRF Sues Florida School District Over Literature Discrimination

You may recall that, back in January, World Changers of Florida, Inc. held Bible distributions at a number of public high schools in Orange County. No student would be forced to take one, but there would be a table set up where interested students could take a copy if they wanted one:

This alone could have been illegal, but the Orange County School Board agreed that non-Christian groups could also have a distribution if they wanted. The Central Florida Freethought Community called their bluff and planned their own giveaway.

The only problem was that the atheist giveaways were heavily censored:

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Prayer at a Preschool Graduation

During a Texas public preschool’s “graduation” ceremony on May 31st, one teacher urged a student to say “In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Amber Barnhill was a parent at that ceremony and she was surprised by what she heard. She didn’t want to make a big deal out of it — it was probably just an innocent mistake, right? So she decided to just chat with the teacher and let her know what the issue was:

[The teacher] replied “I’m sorry, but I cannot apologize for that”. She kept reiterating this line through the whole of our conversation. She also said “no one else had a problem with it” though clearly she did not ask everyone involved and “no one has ever said a word to me before about this”. I inserted the word “religion” to which she immediately cut me off with “oh it’s not a religion, it’s a way of life. It’s who I am” and elaborated on this.

The conversation just got more frustrating from there. In short, Amber was the voice of reason. The teacher was the voice of denial.

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