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Christian Student May Sue School District After His Valedictorian Address Was Censored

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There is nothing more offensive to this world than the Cross of Christ.

As the nation once again debates the best way to keep children safe from mass shooters, a high school in Illinois is reminding us of one thing from which school children are guaranteed to always be shielded: the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The class valedictorian of the West Prairie High School, Sam Blackledge, loves the Lord and wanted his class to know the role He played in his high school success. He dreamed for months of telling his class about Christ during his speech on graduation day.

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“The most important thing in your life is to find … intimacy with God,” his original speech read.”As you search for goodness, justice, love and forgiveness, know that only God is big enough to provide that for you.”

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Sam turned in his speech to school administrators the Saturday before graduation, but mere hours before the ceremony, he was called into the principal’s office and told he must edit his remarks–to exclude anything about Jesus or God.

“They said they didn’t want to make it a religious ceremony,” Sam said on the Todd Starnes Radio Show. “They told me that if I took out Christ I could say everything else.”

“The principal told me it wasn’t appropriate for the setting,” he added. ““I offered to begin my speech with a disclaimer but they turned that down, too – twice.”

Sam was devastated.

“I never felt that feeling before,” he said. “It was terrible. I felt like I wanted to cry. I had basically – for months – I knew I wanted to talk about Christ in my graduation speech. For that to be taken away…”

But as school officials offered him the opportunity to give the speech without the references to Jesus, he refused.

“I believe as a Christian we should respect the authority above us,” Sam said. “I told them I would not disrespect them. I told them I would respect their wishes. And I told them the reason why is because I’m a Christian.”

The school district, Sam says, feared that people might believe he was speaking on behalf of the school district. But First Liberty Institute says that the speech was always protected by the First Amendment–and the district may soon have a lawsuit on their hands.

“They actually violated the Constitution. They’d do well to remember, as ‘Tinker v. Des Moines,’ the case in 1969, reminds us, that students do not shed their constitutional rights when they walk through the schoolhouse gates,” says  Jeremy Dys, a lawyer from First Liberty who has taken on Blackledge’s case. “The Department of Education, by the way, puts out guidelines on this every single year, and it’s very clear in those guidelines that student speeches like Sam’s are protected by the First Amendment.”

“These school officials ruined the only high school graduation Sam will ever know,” Dys added. “How many more graduations have to be ruined before school officials will learn that the First Amendment protects student remarks at graduation?”

You can read Sam’s powerful speech, which was published in the McDonough County Voice, here.

“The Cross of Christ shows us our own evil hearts that we would put an innocent man up to die. Christ came to show us God’s justice in dealing with the unfairness of the world. The Cross demonstrates to us the very love of God who died in our place and how we find at the end of the day that without his forgiveness we would never make it. Graduates, I hope your life is devoid of evil, full of justice, full of love, and full of forgiveness. I think our parents however, could attest that trying to manage this on our own is more than difficult,” he had planned to say.

“The most important thing in your life is to find that intimacy with God. He will guide you, he will hold you, and he will take you through safely in your journey. As you search for goodness, justice, love, and forgiveness, know that only God is big enough to provide that for you.”

 

 

 

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Faith

Argentine Photographer Captures INCREDIBLE Image of Christ-Like Cloud

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christ cloud

It cannot be denied that our world is in the midst of turmoil unlike anything we’ve seen in the past. From Birmingham to Beijing, we are seeing unprecedented poverty, crime, hate, violence, war, famine….you name it.  Combine these issues with a mainstream media who is salivating at the chance to rile us up for ratings and money, and the world becomes a downright scary place. Where do we turn when the world seems to shun us?  For some, the answers lie in the bottom of a bottle.  For others, it’s self-harm or outward violence. For many, however, their faith is their rock.  They turn to the religious world for answers to the questions that plague us today, and, often, they discover signs of encouragement. Such is the case today in Argentina. Monica Aramayo was in San Salvador de Jujuy in Argentina when she noticed the holy figure shining through the thick clouds Social media user Mariela Romano said: “The Lord will soon come for us all and we should be ready. While another said: “Thanks for the image that allows us to keep on our path and have a better hope for tomorrow.” The photo has to be seen to be believed. https://twitter.com/faithdefender/status/1128809009153097728 The pose and grand scale of the image has reminded many observers of the famous Christ The Redeemer statue in Brazil. https://twitter.com/OtravelAI/status/1082513665700507648 And while the cloud formation certainly isn’t going to change the minds of the unfaithful, it does provide us all with a reminder that we are loved, and we must remain harmonious with one another on this turbulent little space rock.

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Faith

Former Pope Blames ‘Swingin’ Sixties’ for Catholic Church’s Cesspool of Pedophilia

The Catholic Church is again attempting to blame their rampant pedophilia on the outside world.

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Pope Benedict

The high pontiffs of the Catholic Church would make fantastic dodgeball players. Given just how well they’ve avoided taking the blame for, or properly reacting to, the disturbing prevalence of pedophilia among their ranks, there is little doubt that these purposefully-ignorant would be able to dodge just about anything. The problem is obtuse, obvious, and ostensibly disgusting.  There are literally thousands upon thousands of young children who have been sexualized by Catholic priests over the course of several decades in all corners of the globe.  The problem is not isolated at all, and the only common factor between these horrific crimes is that they occurred at the hands of the Catholic Church. If the entire world got sick from eating a certain food, we would stop eating that food.  In the case of the Catholic Church, the children of the world are being undeniably harmed by their religious leaders in habitual and systemic acts of pedophilia, yet the leaders at The Vatican continue to ignore and obfuscate the truth. Now, one former Pope is even blaming the cultural revolution of the 1960’s for the issue. Emeritus Pope Benedict has emerged from his cone of silence to offer a personal analysis of the clerical sex abuse crisis, citing the sexual revolution, a corruption of moral theology, and the formation of “homosexual cliques” in seminaries as causes of the problem. Benedict says that he felt compelled to contribute to a response to the present situation “since I myself had served in a position of responsibility as shepherd of the Church at the time of the public outbreak of the crisis,” and so penned his reflections, obtaining the present pope’s blessing to make them public. In his new, 6,000-word bombshell essay, the former pope turns his gaze toward societal forces outside the Church as well as…

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