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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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Catholic Priest Says A Prayer For ‘Unborn Child In The Womb’ During The DNC

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A Catholic priest who was called upon to deliver a prayer during the Democratic National Convention no doubt made quite a few folks very, very angry by praying for and making a plea on behalf of unborn children at the end of the event. Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit who has caused quite a stir in the Catholic Church for his writings about gay and transgender issues, prayed that folks who were watching the event would open their hearts to “those most in need,” which included “the unborn child in the womb.” Here’s more on this from The Washington Examiner: “Help to be a nation where every life is sacred, all people are loved, and all are welcome,” he said. Martin confirmed to the Washington Examiner earlier in the week that his prayer would contain explicit references to the unborn. Although a hot-button issue for much of the Democratic primary, abortion did not play a major role in the Democratic convention. Aside from Martin’s prayer, the issue received only minimal attention, with some speakers mentioning it in their speeches. Republicans, by contrast, are gearing up to make a major issue of abortion at the Republican National Convention next week. In addition to several anti-abortion speakers, the Republican National Committee invited Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, to deliver the convention’s opening prayer. Dolan has previously done so at both the Republican and Democratic conventions, during which he prayed for the protection of the unborn. At the end of the day, abortion is one of the most critical issues to face our culture in modern history. The reason, of course, is because fundamentally, at the core of the issue, is the defense of the most basic right we all have. The God-given right to exist, to live. If we cannot…

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President Trump Says He’d ‘Go In And Do A Number On Middle East Countries Persecuting Christians’

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President Trump recently said that he would “do a number” on countries located in the Middle East that are persecuting Christians if he could find solid proof and evidence that sort of thing was happening. Christians in that part of the world are heavily persecuted, mostly by radical Muslim government regimes and terrorist groups, for daring to stand up boldly for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Here’s more on this from The Washington Examiner: “If you look at the way Christians have been treated in some countries, it’s beyond disgraceful,” Trump said Thursday during a news conference at the White House. “If I had information and if I had absolute proof — some of the stories that we’ve heard, which are not easy, which is not easy to get — I would go in and do a number to those countries like you wouldn’t believe. He added, “What they do to Christians in the Middle East — it’s disgraceful.” Trump made the comment while discussing the nascent “Abraham Accord” treaty to normalize relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. This is not only going to be a big help to Christians in that area of the world, but it will also help Israel as well. For many, many years, the Jewish Nation has been surrounded by countries who do not recognize it’s legitimate right to exist. Striking this deal is a first step in changing that way of thinking in that part of the world. It’s something a lot of folks probably never dreamed possible before. Christians are told in the Bible to expect persecutions and to rejoice in suffering for the cause of Christ. However, that doesn’t mean we should allow persecution to continue on as if it’s a good thing. It’s not. If we have an opportunity…

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