Valedictorian recites prayer

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by iMikeT, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. iMikeT macrumors 68020

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    #1
    From Yahoo News, Valedictorian Rips Up Preapproved Speech, Recites Prayer Instead



    A South Carolina senior tears up his graduation speech and starts to recite the Lord's Prayer much to the dismay of administrators and to the cheers of some of his fellow students.

    Personally, I'm fine with people exercising their First Amendment right and applaud this kid for doing so. However, I also think that religion does not belong in public schools. Good on the school for eliminating prayer at the graduation ceremony and the valedictorian could have chosen a better time and place to protest.
     
  2. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    Maybe it's just because I went to a graduation last night and had to endure the usual hillbilly hooting and hollering -- from people my age yet! -- but I'm not okay with the applause. Would those people have applauded as loudly for a Muslim prayer?

    The gall some Christians have, to think that this country is theirs and that everyone agrees with them, or ought to agree with them, is staggering.
     
  3. vega07 macrumors 65816

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    Do they not have a baccalaureate service?

    I think public school graduations should be religion-free, considering there are also non-religious students and those practicing different religions.

    This guy would have gotten in trouble in my HS. Valedictorian speeches are supposed to be a privilege, and not the right time to protest. He disrespected the honor code. They have you pre-write it for a reason.

    But on the other hand, the ban was recent, so of course the district will run into trouble with the current kids and their parents.

    So good for him that he had the balls to do it, and that the crowd received it well. But in the end, it was disrespectful, broke district rules, and he's lucky he won't get into any trouble.

    ----------

    Well said.
     
  4. chown33 macrumors 604

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    You should consider why prayer was prohibited in public schools. The First Amendment says:
    ... respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; ...
    If prayer is compulsory (e.g. dictated by a school adminstrator), then that represents establishment of a particular religion. If a student spontaneously decides to say a prayer instead of a prepared speech, then an administrator prohibiting that would go against the "prohibiting the free exercise" clause.

    It comes down to the role of the person controlling the prayer. State appointed: bad; individual: ok.

    If the student had decided to quote from The Communist Manifesto or the Quran, he/she may have been booed, but that would also have been free speech, by both the student and the hecklers.

    Unless there is some school rule that a valedictorian's speech must be approved by school administrators, and only an approved speech may be given, I honestly don't see the problem here. Spectators were not required to join in the prayer. They could have sat by silently waiting for it to end. Or they could have protested or even prayed aloud a different prayer if they wished (i.e. used their own freedom of speech and religion).
     
  5. vega07 macrumors 65816

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    He was required to have the speech be approved by the admin.
     
  6. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    Heh. Now if the school administration had the same disdain for the valedictorian that the valedictorian had for the rules, the admins would do something similar:

    Tear up his diploma.
     
  7. vega07 macrumors 65816

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    Haha, there's nothing they can do. He already graduated. Unless there's a fine in the rulebooks.

    Considering that the district's spokesperson said they can't punish him for practicing free speech, they need to go back and re-evaluate, because they apparently don't understand their own rules.

    Anyone else think a valedictorian's speech is not FREE SPEECH considering the respect and honor that goes along with the tradition? Not to mention it is scrutinized before it can be read.
     
  8. chown33 macrumors 604

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    #8
  9. xShane macrumors 6502a

    xShane

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    #9
    I do believe situations like this are allowed because it originated from the student. With regards to religion, this is one of the few cases where it's allowed in schools. In most cases, such as any school official/employee/teacher, they can not lead nor promote anything religious.

    Honestly, as much as I dislike religion, I don't have a problem with this particular event/situation. I support Americans' 'right to be stupid'* -- up until that right conflicts with the rights, health, and well-being of others.

    * http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way...an-students-americans-have-right-to-be-stupid

    Note: I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice.
     
  10. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #10
    I agree.

    A valedictorian going off-script at commencement is at most an eye roller.

    I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.
     
  11. Technarchy macrumors 603

    Technarchy

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  12. dec. Suspended

    dec.

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    #12
    If he thinks that he needed to do that, sure, why not... also it might help others to form their opinion about him. So it's a win-win.

    It should be everyone's right to stick a post-it to their forehead with the words "I'm an idiot". Or "I like Beer". Or "Meat Eaters are evil". Or "Satan ****s god". Or "Darwin sux, g0d is l33t". Or anything else. Advertise whatever you like, feel free. So yes, he did well.
     
  13. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #13
    Personally I think they should allow any speech to be made.
     
  14. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    Nope, they sure wouldn't. They would find it intrusive. But is that really a bad thing or just a fact of life? We live in a majority rules society. I'm sure people would also find it intrusive if a christian spoke prayer at a mostly Muslim surrounding.

    I myself don't believe in religion, but I feel it's wrong to try to exclude a majority belief just cause a few select don't believe. On the same note, I also think it's wrong to forbid or not cater to those who believe in other religions or none, no matter how small the minority.
     
  15. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

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    #15
    Snooze. A rude 18-year-old. Imagine.
     
  16. iMikeT thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #16

    Very well said. I'd love to see a Muslim student do exactly this so the Christians know how it feels when they try to force their beliefs on others.
     
  17. sk1wbw macrumors 68040

    sk1wbw

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    #17
    Nobody is FORCING a religion on you. Just because you HEAR or SEE something related to a religion you do not like, does NOT mean it's being FORCED on you.

    The reason for the 1st Amendment saying you have the right to freedom of religion was so the government could not mandate a religion under penalty of prison or fines if you didn't practice said religion.
     
  18. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68020

    ugahairydawgs

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    #18
    Who was forcing anyone to do anything there? He said a prayer. Those that agreed with what he was doing applauded the reason for him doing so.

    Nobody was being forced to pray. Nobody was being forced to clap.

    Its funny that very often people are applauded for taking a stand against someone trying to suppress something secular about them. But the moment a person does something similar with a religious tinge to it (and not really all religions, mostly just Christianity), and now all of a sudden a way of life is being forced upon those who do not believe.
     
  19. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #19
    When I graduated (way back in the 80's) I had to endure a speech from our principal about how freedom of religion did not entail freedom from religion. This was after the Supreme Court had ruled exactly the opposite. Prolonged religious statements have no place in a graduation ceremony in a secular school, and US public schools are secular even if people would like to fantasize otherwise.
     
  20. TheAppleFairy macrumors 68020

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    Good for this kid. I am not religious by any means, but I have stood by at many public and private events while prayer of Christian, Jewish and Muslim prayer was recited. I never once felt like any religion was being forced on me, and I stood there in silence to allow them to practice their religion in peace. Most prayer isn't that long, and isn't harming anyone.
     
  21. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #21
    I'm surprised to see some non-religious folks out in support of this stunt; to that I say thanks for being consistent, it's very much appreciated.

    For those who are claiming this is "forcing religion" on others I say: This no more forces religion on others than gay marriage forces homosexuality on non-homosexuals.

    Nobody (who doesn't want to) is going to be converted because of a stunt like this. And the only people who become offended are the ones looking for a reason to do so.
     
  22. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    #22
    I don't think this is forcing anyones religion on another. The only question I have as another member pointed out, would everyone there be receptive as they were if it was a muslim prayer?
     
  23. lannister80 macrumors 6502

    lannister80

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    #23
    Except there is no Establishment Clause regarding homosexuality. There is regarding religion.
     
  24. samiwas macrumors 65816

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    #24
    I'm not religious, but have no real issue with people who want to pray in school or even having prayer offered, even if that prayer might be heard by people who don't pray. However, it's very different when you are forced to join in or something, like in a classroom prayer. That's a very different situation. Also, this means that any and all prayers from any religion must be accepted.
     
  25. TheAppleFairy macrumors 68020

    TheAppleFairy

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    #25

    Right and as for religion don't forget the second half.


    respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof
     

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