Friday, June 23, 2006

Run! Proselytizing Little Girls!

I'm not sure whether to explode in laughter or bust out crying. What a trend we have in Jesus ... first there was ...

Wearing 'purity rings' is banned at girls' school

Then ...

Schoolgirl Utters Profanity During Valedictorian Speech -- The J Word!

Now, "progressives" are protecting us from other teen and pre-teen girls who are getting all evangelical and what not. Seriously, pagans, what is it that you are really afraid of here?

Schools May Answer in Court for Censoring Students' Christian Messages

A Christian attorney says a Colorado high school was wrong to withhold a valedictorian's diploma because her commencement speech encouraged people to learn about Jesus Christ.

Erica Corder, an 18-year-old graduating senior at Lewis-Palmer High School in Monument, used her commencement speech to speak about the death and resurrection of Christ and to urge listeners to learn more about his sacrifice. After the valedictory address, however, school officials told Corder she would not receive her diploma until she wrote an e-mail to the school community's students and parents, apologizing for her comments.

Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Florida-based Liberty Counsel, believes the school acted inappropriately. "Frankly, schools have no right to withhold a diploma," he argues. "That diploma is earned. It's just like if you already worked at your job, and you get paid after the fact; what you do on vacation or off work does not have any bearing on whether you're going to get paid."

Corder's case has a number of "very disturbing components," Staver says, "because after she gave her speech, she was threatened that her diploma would be withheld unless she wrote an e-mail apologizing to the seniors in her class." But Corder had already "earned" her diploma, he insists, and as the valedictorian, "she was entitled to the diploma, and the school should not have forced her to give this apologizing e-mail."

The pro-family attorney feels this has been one of the most egregious incidences of abuse of power by school officials at graduation that he has ever encountered. Until this situation in Colorado, he notes, "I've never seen a case where a diploma is withheld because someone gave a religious message. I believe that was obviously illegal to do that."

In fact, Staver believes it was unconstitutional for the school to censor the Christian valedictorian's message. The Liberty Counsel spokesman has sent a letter to school district officials on Corder's behalf, informing them that, under the Constitution of the United States, she has the right to share her faith. He says even though Corder agreed to write parents and fellow graduates an apology letter, a lawsuit against the school is still warranted.

New Jersey Second Grader Barred From Singing "Awesome God"

Meanwhile, in another case of apparent school censorship, a judge will decide whether a New Jersey elementary school violated a student's free speech rights when it barred her from singing a Christian song at a school talent show. The Frenchtown School District described the lyrics of the second-grader's selected music -- the Rich Mullins anthem "Awesome God" -- as too violent and graphic for the elementary school presentation.

The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Olivia Turton. ADF attorney Demetrios Stratis says, contrary to the school's claims, allowing Olivia to sing the song would not have violated the First Amendment. In fact, he asserts, "It's preposterous. It really, really is, to think that an eight-year-old, a second grader, is singing songs or lyrics that are violent and that in some way violate the establishment clause."

Stratis feels the school's defense is particularly ludicrous in light of some of the acts the school did not choose to censor. He says far more questionable performances were allowed at the talent show. For instance, he notes, "Someone was dancing to Shakira, I think," referring to the Colombian Latin pop performer known as much for her provocative dance style as for her at times suggestive lyrics.

Also, someone in the talent show performed a song by the rock band Bon Jovi, and someone else acted out "a scene from MacBeth regarding witches," the ADF lawyer recalls. With all the things that were allowed in show, Stratis contends it is beyond the pale for the Frenchtown School District officials "to suggest that the song 'Awesome God' is violent" and, he adds, "it just goes to show you the 'logic' behind them refusing to let Olivia sing her song."

Both sides in the case have filed motions for summary judgment. Judge Stanley Chesler will receive the papers on July 3 and will then decide whether to issue a ruling or have the case go to trial.