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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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Entertainment

Kanye West Asked ‘Jesus Is King’ Employees To Abstain From Pre-Marital Sex; Says Porn Is ‘Not Okay’

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Superstar rap artist Kanye West, who has been all over the news for the last few months due to his open proclamation of Christian conversion, recently opened up about the making of his latest album set to be released soon, “Jesus Is King,” saying he told employees working on the album they had to abstain from pre-marital sex. West also went on to slam pornography saying it’s “not okay.” Here’s more from The Daily Wire: “When collaborating with others on ‘Jesus Is King,’ West set up some lifestyle guidelines that they would have to abide by in order be part of the project,” Billboard reported. “Yeezy asked others to fast during portions of creating and also not partake in any premarital sex at times, which he knew would receive some blowback once it became public.” “There were times where I was asking people not to have premarital sex while they were working on the album,” West told Lowe, noting, “When people pray together and fast together, the power is increased.” The 42-year-old explained that he no longer views himself as a “slave” to the music industry, but as a “free” “son of God” spreading the gospel. West went on to talk about how he feels he has now been called to spread the gospel with his platform, noting how he used to talk about high fashion, alcohol, and others things that had a profound impact on his life. But now, however, all that’s changed. Jesus is what he’s all about now. “Now that I’m in service to Christ, my job is to spread the gospel, to let people know what Jesus has done for me. I’ve spread a lot of things. There was a time I was letting you know what high fashion had done for me, I was letting…

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Entertainment

Popular Christian Artist Toby Mac’s Son Dies Suddenly At 21

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Tragedy has struck Christian superstar TobyMac as his son, Truett Foster McKeehan, has died suddenly at his home in Nashville, Tennessee. McKeehan was only 21-year-old. Here’s more from TheBlaze: The Davidson County Medical Examiner’s office on Wednesday confirmed McKeehan’s death. In a statement, the office said that the aspiring rapper’s cause of death was not yet determined. “Cause of death has not been determined,” the office said in its statement. “Toby was traveling back from Canada and did not get home to be with his family until after midnight last night so there is no statement. We just ask that everyone please be respectful of their privacy during this time and allow them to grieve their loss.” TobyMac — real name Kevin Michael McKeehan — was touring in Canada when he received the news of his son’s untimely death. Last year, TobyMac released a song called, “Scars, dedicating it to his first-born son. The Christian artist posted a video where he explained the meaning of the song saying it was intended to provide encouragement and support for parents who sometimes “insulate [hardships] from the ones we love, our children.” “So to see them go out there and do this real world it’s painful. I wrote this one for my boy,” TobyMac explained. “I wanted to let him know that I’m here for him and God is there for him. So lift your head my son to where your help comes from.” Here’s a few lyrics from the song that illustrated what the Christian rapper said: When life cuts so deep Try and remember You are not alone We’ve all been there Scars come with livin’ You are not alone We’ve all been there So lift your head, lift your head Lift your head to where your help comes from Yeah,…

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