by Wayne Simmes:
So once again the dreaded censorship police has raised its ugly head. A Valedictorian in West Prairie High School in Illinois was prepared to give his speech when he was told that he had to remove all references to Jesus Christ from it or he would not be allowed to speak at all.
Now understand that this was not intended to be an hour long sermon, he simply mentioned the role that Christ should play in our lives. No Bible verses were to be quoted and no hymns were sung. Here is what he intended to say, “in life we search for all these satisfactions [but] only Christ can supply these things.”
After reading that one line, the principal told him that his entire speech was inappropriate for a graduation ceremony. While it is not specifically mentioned I am sure that this principle was thinking of the dreaded separation of church and state mandate found in the Constitution of the United States. But wait you say, there is no such mandate to be found in the Constitution. And you would be correct. What it does say is that the Congress shall make no law establishing a religion.
Even under the most strenuous of interpretation that clause would not forbid someone from mentioning the founder of their religion.
I have to ask if the mention had been of Mohammad or Buddha would the same prohibition be applied. I suspect that in our politically correct world that it would not have been. Religious leaders are quoted frequently in speeches before Congress and school assemblies. If you tried to find all the quotes from Martin Luther King that have been used it would take you days if not weeks to come up with all of them.
The Pope (any Pope) has been quoted countless times. And Mother Teresa has as well. The purpose of the establishment clause was not to stop people from worshiping as they saw fit. It was to stop the Government from forcing the populous from worshiping as the government saw fit. It was aimed specifically at their former Mother Country and its State mandated religion.
In a world where everyone sues at the drop of the hat, there may well be a lawsuit brought in this case. But that would be pointless as this young man’s hard work to be the top scholastic member of his class and the honor of speaking at graduation cannot be restored.
I am sure that at some point our President will be sued for his repeated use of the term “and may God bless the United States”.