Brooks Hamby, salutatorian of his high school class, seems destined for greatness. He’s a mock-trial star and a cross-country runner. In summer 2013, sponsored by California Senator Barbara Boxer, he was selected to serve as a U.S. Senate Page in Washington DC.
And now, the student at Brawley Union High School in Brawley, California, can claim another badge of honor: Fearless Christian.
When Hamby’s high school administration rejected the first three drafts of his commencement speech, insisting that he could not speak about his Christian faith, he did it anyway. Breaking the school rules, while exercising his First Amendment right to free speech, the student stood at the podium and told his story to the parents, students and friends gathered at Warne Field on June 12 for the BUHS graduation.
According to The Blaze, the teen first exposed the efforts of school staff to censor his religious speech. Hamby said:
“In coming before you today, I presented three drafts of my speech, all of them denied on account of my desire to share with you my personal thoughts and inspiration to you: my Christian faith. In life, you will be told, ‘No.’ In life you will be told to do things that you have no desire to do. In life, you will be asked to do things that violate your conscience and desire to do what is right.”
Then Hamby encouraged the crowd to stand for their convictions:
“No man or woman has ever truly succeeded or been fulfilled on the account of living for others and not standing on what they knew in their heart was right or good.”
He then quoted from “the biggest best-selling book of all-time in history” — the Bible.
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”
“Be the salt of the earth,” he concluded.
“Be strong and stand for your convictions and stand for what is right, what is ethical, what is moral and godly, no matter what is the cost to you.”
I applaud this talented young man who, in his resolve, has already begun to change the world. Perhaps someday he will follow in the footsteps of his 2013 sponsor, Senator Barbara Boxer, representing his state of California in the halls of government. There he would be, I’m certain, a statesman and not a politician–beholden not to special interests and political cronies, but rather, to the noble ideals upon which our nation was founded.
Congratulations, Brooks Hamby.