July 24th, 2006

Brittany McComb Part 2 and the War on Religion

Last month I wrote about Brittany McComb. Today a friend just referred me to this letter to the editor in a Las Vegas paper (home of Ms. McComb).

The letter is very well written, and raises excellent points. Some are as follows:

In a system that tolerates the profane outbursts of the worst of seat-warmers, and coddles the daily offenders with layers of special programs, why would they seek to silence the very best they have at their moments of reward and thanksgiving?

From the Vice President dropping F-bombs to tenured college professors calling 9/11 victims “little Eichmanns”, we repeatedly see the boundaries of free speech and accepted decorum being pushed. But mention God or Christ, or talk about the Bible, and you’re the target of the next ACLU lawsuit and are being labeled as a right-wing religious bigot.

If Brittany had given thanks and acknowledgment to any other person or group for the positive influence that changed her life it would have been allowed — any person or group, that is, except God or Jesus Christ, or possibly another religious figure. She could have acknowledged any sports star no matter what his criminal record, but not Jesus Christ.

That is specific discrimination.

I don’t think that anybody can deny the legitimacy of this statement. Praise Darwin, drugged-up sports “heroes”, or a celebrity, and you’re fine. But praise God, and you’re in trouble.

Brittany’s assessment that others might be rewarded the same way she was for taking God’s plan into their lives was no different than if she had reminded them that “practice makes perfect” in the athletic arena. For her, God was her vehicle for success. And, she is not supposed to share that with the student body she cares about?

Indeed, that’s not proselytizing, it’s a simple recommendation that can be ignored or followed, based upon the desire of each individual. Honestly people, “freedom of religion” in our founding documents was never meant to be interpreted “freedom from religion”.

The reason the district is having trouble getting good teachers is not due to the Brittany McCombs of the world giving their sincere thanks to God. It is the discrimination against top students such as Brittany while the classrooms are made intolerable because of the delinquents who don’t embrace the God that could change their lives.

Amen.

3 Responses to “Brittany McComb Part 2 and the War on Religion”

  1. August 8, 2006 at 9:26 am #

    Yeah, that’s what we need a lot more of in this country, talk about how wonderful Jeezis is. You never get to hear about Jeezis these days!

  2. February 20, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    The Supreme Court and the School Board were wrong. Brittany, like all valedictorians, should have been permitted to say whatever she wanted to say. If she wanted to give a full-blown sermon, so be it. If she wanted to witness for Allah and bow to mecca, once more, so be it. If she wanted to come out of the closet, again, so be it. While it’s true that public officials have a duty to uphold the separation of church and state, students do not. And that includes valedictorians at graduation.

    This poster claimed that Brittany was not proselytizing; I beg to differ. Here is an excerpt 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. I now desire not my own will, but the will of God for my life — however crazy and extravagant, or seemingly mundane and uneventful that might be. Strangely enough, surrendering my own will for the will of God, giving up control, gave me peace, gave me a calm I can’t even begin to express with words…”

    In short, Brittany was proselytizing.

    While valedictorians should have the freedom to say what they want, those that use that freedom to speak foul language, demean people of a certain demographic, or witness for Christ, Allah, or the Great Spaghetti Monster or gay rights don’t deserve our respect; they deserve our comdemnation (which is why I’m posting this ). To act in such a manner is tone deaf: it reveals a lack of grace. There is a time and a place to witness for religion or athiesm or gay rights; that time and place is not when families of various beliefs and backgrounds gather to celebrate the educational triumphs of their children in a public school.

    Many people in the audience yelled with joy when Brittany spoke about her faith. This is not surprising. Many Americans are evangelical Chrisitans, and Brittany affirmed their faith. However, I wonder how other, quieter members of the audience felt? Did they share her faith? Were the Jewish, Hindu, Moslems, Agnostics, or Athiests intimidated by the fact that their hitherto secular ceremony had become a pep rally for Christ?

    If I, an agnostic, had been there as a parent wanting to celebrate the accomplishments of my child on graduation day, I would not have been drawn to Christ by her words and the boistrous yelling. Far from it: I would have felt a deep resentment. I may have approached Brittany afterward and said, “I came here to support my child on this day, to specifically celebrate his education and the benefits it brings. Not to hear hear witnessing for Jesus. You, unfortunately, made this day about you and your religion.”

    It’s Brittany’s free speech right to evangelize during her valedictorian speech; it’s my free speech right to say that she was very insensitive to do so

    A last, separate note: If Brittany felt so strongly that only a speech that emphasized her relationship with Jesus Christ would do, why did she not simply refuse to give the edited speech? Instead she lied. She agreed to give the edited speech, and instead gave the original version. Not very ethical, that, whether or not God was standing by her side at the poidum.

  3. February 20, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    And another thing. There is no “War on Christianity” in America. I looked up the definition of “war” in several online dictionaries. The general gist is that war is usually “open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations.”

    No need to use hyperbole to state your case. Yes, it’s true that some anti-theist athiests and the ACLU are submitting law suits to restrict religion in the public sphere. And yes, some public officials and school teachers have gone overboard in restricting religious expression over fear of law suits. And, yes, most of those law suits invlove expressions of Christianity. But, that’s hardly surprising: over 85% of our population is Christian. It certainly doesn’t consitute a “War on Chrisitanity.”

    As far as I know there’s no armed conflict. Christians are not being arrested, beaten, or killed for their beliefs in America. In fact, quite a few of them have and continue to do quite well in our country. The roster of U.S. presidents includes 43 Christians out of 44 officeholders (Jefferson was a deist). In any city or town in the U.S.A, even in liberal localities such as San Francisco or New York, you can find Christian churches every few blocks. Christian religious institutions receive billions of tax payer dollars to provide social services. If that’s “War,” I say “Bring it on!” I want some of “War’s” benefits.

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