June 21st, 2006

Brittany McComb, My Hero

But Brittany refused to back down. She memorized her speech. And when it came time to make a decision, she chose to give her original speech, containing references to God, the Bible, and Christ.

In the past two days I’ve watched news blurbs about a recently-graduated Valedictorian named Brittany McComb, from Foothill High School in Clark County, Nevada.

Brittany prepared her speech, which had some references to God, and one reference to Christ. As required, she delivered her speech to school officials for approval. They then forwarded it to the ACLU, who proceeded to scrub the speech of all religious references. They told her that if she did not read the approved version, her microphone would be cut off mid-speech.

But Brittany refused to back down. She memorized her speech. And when it came time to make a decision, she chose to give her original speech, containing references to God, the Bible, and Christ.

And then they cut off the microphone.

Sad. Pathetic. Downright despicable.

Brittany, my hat goes off to you. You are a modern-day hero, boldly facing the goliaths of our day. Good job, good luck, and God speed.

[UPDATE: Brittany is now suing the school district “for having violated Brittany’s constitutional right to free speech and equal protection under the law.”] [2]
[UPDATE x2: I just came across this article about Brittany, a very good read.]
[UPDATE x3: You can view the video clip at this website ]

3 Responses to “Brittany McComb, My Hero”

  1. Richard K Miller
    June 22, 2006 at 10:41 am #

    Wow, how did you hear about this? Las Vegas is my hometown so I’ve been following this too. Just a few years ago at my graduation there were references to God in the valedictorian speeches. I wonder if those would be cut off now too.

  2. January 24, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

    “Brittany prepared her speech, which had some references to God, and one reference to Christ. As required, she delivered her speech to school officials for approval. They then forwarded it to the ACLU, who proceeded to scrub the speech of all religious references. They told her that if she did not read the approved version, her microphone would be cut off mid-speech.”

    Wow! I don’t even know where to begin. The hyperbole is flying left and right. Have you even read Brittany’s full unedited speech? It did not simply have a few references to God and one reference to Jesus, it was very much like a sermon.

    The ACLU did not scrub all references to religion in her speech; it did not scrub anything at all. The school consulted with the ACLU, and then the school edited some religious references, but not all. The school was not concerned that Brittany mentioned God or Jesus in her speech, but that she was evangelizing. Here is text from Brittany’s original speech:

    “His love fits. His love is “that something more” we all desire. It’s unprejudiced, it’s merciful, it’s free, it’s real, it’s huge and it’s everlasting. God’s love is so great that he gave His only son up to an excruciating death on a cross so His blood would cover all our shortcomings and provide for us a way to heaven in accepting this grace.
    This is why Christ died. John 10:10 says He died so we no longer have to reach in vain for the magnificence of the stars and find we always fall short, so we can have life — and life to the fullest. ”

    In short, Brittany was evangelizing.

    Personally, I feel that our 1st amendment gives valevictorians the right to say whatever they want, unless their speech incites a violation of the law that is both imminent and likely. They’re not public officials, and therefore don’t fall under the “establishment of religion” restrictions. Students should be permitted to witness for Christ, Allah, or the Great Spaghetti Monster during their graduation speeches.

    Having said that, however, saying that students should be granted the freedom to evangelize during a graduation ceremony at a public high school, does not mean that they should do so. To evangelize under such conditions is tone deaf; it shows a lack of grace. Families and friends gather at public graduation ceremonies to honor the educational accomplishments of their children, not to be told that their faith or lack of faith is wrong.

  3. January 24, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    The problem is that christianity is so apologetic and evangelistic by nature. Any expression of the christian faith is likely to sound like either or both. Its not necessarily a characteristic of all religions in the world. For instance a hindu valedictorian for instance had this to say about prayer at graduation.

    “I’m a Hindu,” she said, “and I just don’t think it would be right for me to impose my prayers on other people at a school event that’s supposed to be for everybody.”
    when-praying-at-graduation-silence-is-golden

    But as a religious minority in the U.S. the dynamic may be totally different than it might be in a hindu dominated society.

    Christians should not feel singled out of rulings which limit things which could be said at public school graduations. I am sure nods to other religions likely also be edited. For instance, if a student claimed that he or she removed obstacles by appeasing saturn, that would likely be edited, especially if they repeated a shani mantra during a speech.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYdgdKjOv3E&feature=related

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