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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

12-Year-Old Hailed as Hero After Saving His Friends Life After Disturbing Snapchat Posts

We certainly hope there are many more young people like Gabe out there willing to reach out and intervene when their friends are in trouble

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Most of the time, when we think of preteens using Snapchat, we think of all the scary things that can happen online. Bullying, predatory behavior, pornography. It’s a scary cyber world out there. But oddly enough, when one 12-year-old with a good heart and sharp instincts managed to use Snapchat to get his friend the help she needed in the nick of time, by responding quickly right when he noticed something was amiss. Yahoo News reports: Gabe Rongier had been chatting with his friend, who he met on the social media app through a mutual friend, when he noticed a drastic change in the girl’s emotions. According to CBS Pittsburgh, the girl shared a disturbing post that read she “wouldn’t be here tomorrow.” Want daily pop culture news delivered to your inbox? for Yahoo’s newsletter. Gabe, not knowing how to alert the authorities in Texas about the girl possibly being a danger to herself, called the suicide hotline. “I called the suicidal prevention services and it linked me to Officer Chandler [in Texas,]” Gabe told the outlet. “He went to her house, checked up on her. The next day he called me and said, ‘She’s fine. It’s real.’” Gabe’s parents, Fred and Lori, were informed by investigators that they used geotracking to locate the girl and that they arrived in time to intervene with any plans she may have had. “Of course, I’m very proud of him, but I really hope that other young people his age might see the story and also be inspired to also take action to help somebody in need just like Gabe did,” Lori said. Fred added, “When he went to bed, I always kiss him and, I’ve been telling him since that day, ‘You’re my little hero.’” Officer Chandler also sent Gabe, who wants…

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Faith

Huge Fire Tears Through Church…You Won’t Believe Went Unscathed

Firefighters were absolutely shocked when they finally got inside the razed church.

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Truly and utterly, there are some time in which the truth is far stranger than any conjured fiction. Here in America, we seem to love these stories and the mysteries behind them.  We’re obsessed with unsolved true crime, the paranormal, and all things hypothetical…including bizarre notions about the ancient Egyptians galavanting around with extraterrestrials. Is this simply escapism run amok?  Perhaps, but we have been drawn to the impossible and improbable throughout the entirety of human history. That is why the story of a church fire in West Virginia is so compelling. Firefighters in West Virginia surveying the damage from an inferno that had gutted a church over the weekend were astounded when they discovered that a bevy of Bibles and crosses had somehow survived the conflagration unscathed. The remarkable find was reportedly made early Sunday morning after the Coal City Fire Department helped to battle a blaze that had engulfed the Freedom Ministries Church in the community of Greenview. Upon entering the building, the team of rescue workers was stunned to see that every Bible inside the church had apparently made it through the harrowing ordeal undamaged. Posting pictures of the amazing sight to Facebook, the department noted that the fire had, at one point, been so hot that they were actually forced to pull personnel from the building for their safety. The temperatures were so extreme, they explained, that everything inside should have been reduced to ashes. Firefighters also remarked that none of the crosses inside the church itself were damaged by fire either, adding to the mystery.

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