School Board Urged to Reconsider After Removing Lord’s Prayer From Graduation Ceremony

Graduation Credit Zelman MenashiEAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio — A school board in Ohio is being urged to reconsider removing the Lord’s Prayer from its upcoming graduation ceremony after it was scrapped following a complaint from a prominent professing atheist organization.

According to reports, a parent of a student at East Liverpool High School contacted the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) following last year’s commencement to express their objection to the song.

The Lord’s Prayer has been a part of the graduation ceremony for the past ten years, but because FFRF contacted the East Liverpool School District to complain, officials decided to drop the song from the program to avoid a potential legal battle.

“The district should keep its musical program secular to respect the diversity of beliefs held by its students and families and to be inclusive of all students,” the correspondence read. “It makes no difference how many students want religious songs or wouldn’t be offended by them at their graduation ceremony. A graduation should be a celebration for all students, not an exercise in excluding non-religious students with a worship song.”

There was never any official vote on the matter nor public meeting about the issue, and the song was not fully discussed among the board until recently when members exchanged emails with each other about the issue.

“I am hearing parents threatening to withdraw their students. I was elected to represent the views of the community, and they are screaming,” wrote board member Patricia Persohn in correspondence obtained by The Review. “I do believe it is just a matter of time before we are engaged in a fight. We need to set this issue aside right now and move on.”

“The public can take it up with the Supreme Court. Clearly, trying to quietly remove it from [the] program didn’t work,” opined board member Sarah Porter. “My best guess, they (the students) will choose to recite, sing, whatever they want when it comes to the prayer. I’m ok with them reciting it, singing it, dancing it, but it doesn’t make it ok.”

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Superintendent Melissa Watson said that the prayer would have to go despite the personal feelings of the board.

“I am a Christian and it hurts me that there is even a question about it, but as superintendent, I have to put that aside. As you said, we can’t make it legal. I’m just sorry this is happening,” she wrote.

East Liverpool High School’s choir director, Lisa Ensinger, stood before the board during Monday’s meeting as she tearfully requested that the song be restored to the program. She has worked as the choir director at the school for 18 years.

“As a person of faith it means a great deal to me as you know, but as an educator I see this as an opening to a very broad door that can cause great detriment to our music education program,” Ensinger stated.

She said that if the Lord’s Prayer is not allowed, then the choir would also have to scrap other songs simply because they are religious in nature.

“Handel’s Messiah would no longer be allowed. All of the music of the Medieval period would never be allowed,” Ensinger explained.

She asserted that such songs are not illegal if they have educational value. Ensinger also relayed that her students are disappointed that the Lord’s Prayer will not be a part of the program this year, including one who identifies as an atheist.

“My students are devastated,” she said.

No changes were made following Monday’s meeting.

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  • 201821208 :)

    Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.
    Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
    Give us this day our daily bread.
    And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
    And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
    Matthew 6:9-13

    • LadyFreeBird♥BlessedBeTheLord

      Amen.

    • Emmanuel

      Amen.
      How is this offensive? the kids need to learn to be grateful for their daily bread, forgiveness and not to do bad.
      I’m guessing the atheists want to teach their kids the opposite.

      • gizmo23

        How about Jewish kids? Is this the Catholic or protestant version ?
        How about other faiths?

        • Emmanuel

          The prayer is to God. Same God but in different names.

          • gizmo23

            So what if the prayer was to Mary? I don’t think Jewish people would say the Lord’s prayer

          • Emmanuel

            Mary is a Jew. She’s actually a priest per her lineage.

          • gizmo23

            Do you think any protestants would complain if a prayer to Mary was said? I certainly do.

          • Emmanuel

            Go back to the prayer, who said it and to whom? let’s not get carried away

          • gizmo23

            I’m not. These are legitimate concerns. Which faiths prayers are OK and which aren’t? Here in lies the problem. The Lord’s prayer is different for different faiths

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Who cares? It was said as part of the official school program. Therefore it violates Lee v. Weisman. Therefore there’s really nothing else to debate.

          • Edward Silha

            How about Shinto gods, Hindu Gods, Allah, gods of native tribes in Africa and other countries, etc. So many gods. The program must be inclusive (all the gods) or none of the gods (requirement of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

          • tammy

            Can I have all your money that doesn’t say “In Hindu Gods We Trust”?

          • Bezukhov

            Funny thing. Our money says “In God We Trust”, but I highly doubt that He trusts us.

          • George T

            tammy: Thank you for accurately pointing out that our national motto is sectarian, favoring Christians over others. A 1st amendment violation.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Preferably the “none” part.

          • tatoo

            Not the same god. Maybe you should study the thing.

      • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

        I’m guessing the atheists want to teach their kids the opposite.

        No, the atheist want to teach their kids that gods are imaginary. Having a graduation prayer interferes with the parents’ rights to do that.

        • Emmanuel

          You just proved my point. Thank you.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            Uh, no. You don’t appear to know what words mean.

            Teaching that gods are imaginary doesn’t teach anything like the opposite of “need to learn to be grateful for their daily bread, forgiveness and not to do bad.”

          • Emmanuel

            Ok, this is obvious above your head so have a great weekend.

          • gizmo23

            One can be an atheist and teach and have good morals

          • Emmanuel

            Ok, we can discuss the topic but we will be here for years and nothing will change.

          • Rookheight

            At least you acknowledge that you aren’t willing to admit you’re wrong about this. It does save us all time.

          • gizmo23

            Such is the nature of these boards

          • Rookheight

            Sorry Emmanuel, you’re missing his point here. He’s challenging your assumption that belief in god is a prerequisite to “not do bad.” History disagrees with you fiercely.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            You can’t explain your blunder so you just say it’s above my head and leave.

        • The Last Trump

          God is imaginary?
          Prove it.
          Billions of people across the world would disagree.
          Making you the minority.
          Until you can prove it, you don’t get to promote your atheistic religion above all else.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            God is imaginary?
            Prove it.

            No. Atheist parents have every right to teach their children that gods are imaginary without the government interfering by having a prayer at graduation.

            Billions of people across the world would disagree.
            Making you the minority.

            Argument from popularity is a fallacy.

            Until you can prove it, you don’t get to promote your atheistic religion above all else.

            Nobody is advocating for that. What is being demanded is that public schools be NEUTRAL on religion instead of pushing belief in gods.

          • The Last Trump

            God bless you Muffin.
            You know, because He’s real. And He can. 🙂

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            No, gods are imaginary. They never do anything.

          • Sir Osis

            Hey Last Trump, I notice that you call men “Muffin” a lot. That’s a very strange thing for a man to call another man, so I wanted to ask you a question: Are you a homosexual?

          • The Last Trump

            Who said I was a man?
            Perhaps I’m a woman who IDENTIFIES as a man.
            Or a man who IDENTIFIES as a woman.
            Or a fully adult male who IDENTIFIES as a six year old girl.
            You’ll never know.
            Welcome to Bizarro Amerika. Muffin. AKA, “Crazy Town”.
            Where nothing is as it seems or as it should be.

          • Chrissy Vee

            heeheehee

          • tatoo

            God is real? Prove it.

          • Bezukhov

            13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

            14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

            Get it?

          • Brien

            Stop it! That is childish! Go to idiot sites with that sort of stupidity.
            We all know that one cannot prove that which does not exist, like unicorns!
            Your religion made the original claims centuries ago, and so the logic and responsibility remains with the persons making the claims.
            If you cannot then what remains is a lie.
            The Muslims are in the majority – then by your logic, they are correct!!??
            Btw, we were all born with no belief therefore the definition of A-theist: A = without.

      • Rookheight

        It’s not about it being “offensive,” it’s about it being a state-sponsored religious activity. Schools can’t tell students what to believe when it comes to religion, including the existence of any god or gods. Your comment that it’s the “same God but in different names” is irrelevant—schools can’t tell students that god does NOT exist, and also can’t ask them to participate in a prayer to any god, effectively telling them that a god DOES exist.

      • tatoo

        It is the witnessing thing. I am not atheist. It is anti every other religion.

      • Brien

        I work for my daily bread, as do all in my family; and actually everyone I know except for those on welfare.

        • Emmanuel

          I do to. 3 jobs to be exact

          • Brien

            Then give thanks where it is due!

      • JDOG

        well if you wanna go with stereotypes im sure you molest children you sick fuck!

    • Chrissy Vee

      Amen.

    • gizmo23

      Do you forgive debts?

      • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

        That is a reference to sin, not money.

        • gizmo23

          Do you forgive others sins?

          • hytre64

            I do my best to forgive those who sin against me…
            It is not within my power to forgive those who sin against God – that is His provenance.

          • Rookheight

            So you certainly wouldn’t advocate the state legislating these issues, right? Because they are only for God to judge, not the government?

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            It also means to forgive those who sin against US. and not God. And yes I do.

    • cobalt100

      Thanks for clearing up some confusion on my part. I always thought that it was “Howard be thy name.”

      • infidel1000

        As in Moe, Curly, and Shemp?

    • tammy

      I say this prayer SO many times a day. Before I go to bed, before I get in my car, and anytime I think I have sinned. If I get the privilege to think as I’m dying… This is the prayer I will be saying in my head. I want to leave this world FULLY repented. (this prayer also brings healing to your body) It means a lot to me. Maybe they have Christian kids come in a little earlier, and pray before the official time that it starts, so they can still have the option, and Christians can show the importance of it, by showing up for it.

      • Cady555

        Have you ever heard of a baccalaureate? It is an entire religious ceremony for graduates. It is not sponsored by the school and is held in a church. Chock full of prayers and completely legal.

        The secular graduation ceremony is for all the kids, not just the christian ones.

        • tammy

          But how will the non-christian families hear about Jesus if we hold it just at church 🙂 The should learn about their creator, so they won’t have to burn in the lake of fire for all of eternity…. The way I see it, it only benefits non-believers… Faith is built by hearing the Word.

          • Cady555

            Is this lighthearted or are you serious?

            Don’t ya think everybody living in America has heard all about jesus by now? It really is not necessarily to interrupt a celebration of the students’ accomplishments to pimp for your favorite deity. It is just rude.

            It is also counterproductive. Big time. The first thing that started me questioning my beliefs was the glaring disconnect between what christians believed jesus taught and how they acted. That wasn’t the final step, it just started me thinking about what was true.

            Treat others how you would like to be treated. Do unto others…. “Jesus said, I believe it, That settles it.”

            You would not like your children’s graduation to be used to convince them to abandon their religious convictions. So why do the christians commenting here think it is okay to do exactly that to other people?

            You would not like to pray to any god other that the christian trinity. So why do you think it’s okay to coerce people into praying to your god?

            This command is so basic. It is taught to toddlers. Treat people how you want to be treated. If amidst all the prayers and proselytizing, christians can’t even grasp this concept, why should anyone believe your god makes people better or has any power whatsoever?

            It is not a joke.

          • infidel1000

            Well said.

          • Elysia Valentine

            This is the year 2016. Everyone has heard it except for those in remote areas. If you aren’t traveling to the 3rd world, you can’t pretend you care about spreading the gospel. The internet is not the place to evangelize. Everyone on the internet has already heard it and considered it and decided on their own if they will accept or reject it. Trying to ‘evangelize’ on the internet or ‘spread the good news’ just looks like a cheap ploy for public baby Jesus points. If you really care, go be a missionary in Africa.

          • Chrissy Vee

            Amazing how the atheists will tell you how they think you should serve a God they don’t even believe in. Keep standing firm in your faith. Marantha! o/♪ ♥

          • Rookheight

            Your sentiment on the topic is precisely the reason the Constitution prevents this sort of thing. Government actors don’t get to use their position to spread what they see as “the Word” to try to convert nonadherents.

            As a side note, there is no eternal lake of fire, so stop worrying and enjoy this life. It’s the only one you get.

          • JDOG

            im sure you can find some other times to spread your lies….

      • Bezukhov

        7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. (Matthew 6:7)

        Just thought you’d like to know.

  • The Last Trump

    Heavens NO!! Say it isn’t so!! This is too much, TOO MUCH to bear.
    Not …… a SINGLE complaint!??
    Absolutely ridiculous.
    I miss America. Remember Her? Boy, those were the days.
    Freedom to offend and freedom to BE offended.
    Good times, good times.

    • gizmo23

      When was this golden time?

    • LadyFreeBird♥BlessedBeTheLord

      I remember those days. I miss America. Is she really gone?

      • gizmo23

        When was this golden era?

  • Emmanuel

    Hey atheists, what is so offensive about this prayer?

    • gizmo23

      Nothing. Why do you want government deciding your faith and prayers?

      • Emmanuel

        I believe the same as the government so I’m safe.

        • gizmo23

          I didn’t know the government had a faith

        • Rookheight

          So if it were a prayer to Satan, you would suddenly be on our side? If so, you understand why the prayer is illegal and are simply arguing for the government to ignore laws that don’t favor your personal religion.

        • Elie Challita

          So you support making others who don’t share your religion feel endangered?

          • Emmanuel

            please entertain me with the endangered part

        • Cady555

          You believe the same as the government for now. What if you move to Utah? What if your school becomes predominantly muslim or hindu? Do you still want school employees using govt authority to teach religion to your kids and tell them how to pray and who to pray to?

          The Constitution protects all of us.

      • DanH

        It’s not about offense, it’s about power over others. They hate religion because their lives are sad and empty. They are nothings and they resent people who have what they don’t have.

        • gizmo23

          Nice judgemental thought. I suppose you know every atheist and how they think. Your statement woulb be like someone saying ” all Christians hate Catholics”

        • Brien

          Yes, it is about domination of religion over others!

    • Ambulance Chaser

      It violates the Establishment Clause.

      • Emmanuel

        But, how are the words offensive?

        • Ambulance Chaser

          It’s a governmental entity promoting a particular religion. Governments are required to be religiously neutral.

        • Brien

          How about the reason that your religion is founded on a lie!
          Lying is offensive!

          • Emmanuel

            please explain the lie

          • Brien

            We point out the lie, that is, we are expressing a doubt!
            We do not need to explain anything!
            In fact, you do!
            You make the original claim of an ‘our father’ but yet you provide no evidence to your claim : This is what needs to be explained.

      • The Last Trump

        Oh, the Establishment Clause that has been just fine with these public displays of religious freedom for generations and reads:
        “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF”?
        THAT Establishment Clause?
        You see Congress here do you? And they are establishing something? Really!
        Your interpretation is full of holes I’m afraid, and fails to match at all with the historical record. Common mistake made by Christianity loathing types who desperately attempt to rewrite history and spin falsehood as truth.
        Nice try though. 😉

        • Jalapeno

          It’s pretty well set in precedent that having a school promote a particular religion through prayer at games or at ceremonies is a violation of the establishment cause.

        • Ambulance Chaser

          No, that’s the Free Exercise Clause that you all-capped. The Establishment Clause comes before it. Governments aren’t entitled to Free Exercise protection, only individuals and private entities.

          And the 14th Amendment Incorporation Doctrine applies the First Amendment to the states.

    • Cady555

      Every child in that room has a right to fully participate in their own HS graduation without praying to someone else’s god.

    • Brien

      Why do you have to force your beliefs on others when they do not want it?

      • Emmanuel

        I have never and never will. I’m a football coach, the kids pray, on their own, before the game under the goal post. We have a Muslim player, he stands in the back of the group and he is very respectful. We all stand when he does his rituals behind him and we are respectful. When there is respect and love, no issues.

  • Ambulance Chaser

    “School board urged to reconsider obeying the law, try breaking the law instead.”

  • Chrissy Vee

    More Christians should stand up and fight against these fools… ALL the fools out there who are winning battles they should not be. There are far too many people kow towing to these hate groups. Lord have mercy.

    • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

      You want to try and overturn Lee v. Weisman (1992)? Good luck, since it takes roughly $1,000,000 to appeal all the way to the supreme court, which is the only court that could overturn Lee, and since Kennedy voted with the majority in 1992, you probably have 5 votes against you already.

      Anyone who wants an official graduation prayer for a public school has no respect for other people’s religious rights.

      • Chrissy Vee

        Anyone who can’t handle prayer so much that they have to stomp it out has no scruples. This evil generation is the epitome of loss of self control. No matter how many cases we win or lose, the final judgement will be our greatest victory. In the mean time, we will continue to pray, stand firm, and trust in God. Sinful men only wish they could stomp Him out altogether.

        • Rookheight

          No one is trying to “stomp out” prayer, unless it is government sponsored. It only feels that way because Christians are so used to having a privileged position of imposing their beliefs on others on behalf of the government.

          • Chrissy Vee

            Oh, like the “privilege” that atheists and gays and other godless groups are getting while stomping out Christianity.

          • Ronald Carter

            This I gotta hear. What privilege are atheists (who are godless) and gays (who have nothing to do with being godless) getting and how is Christianity being “stomped out” in the process?

          • Chrissy Vee

            Hahaha,,, Oh boy. You need to get your head out of the sand.

          • Ronald Carter

            Thank you for the absolutely scintillating non-answer. Can we assume for the sake of argument that I am dense and need you to spell it out for me?

          • Chrissy Vee

            Unfortunately for you, I have read your comments to others and myself in the past. I do not waste my time on fools. But I am grateful you are so interested in my thoughts. I can not say it is mutual, however.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            You won’t give examples because you have none. You have none because you’re lying.

          • Chrissy Vee

            Hey, whatever makes you feel less icky about your sins.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            I see you STILL refuse to give any examples.

          • Chrissy Vee

            Well, I guess you are observant of some things… yet you still didn’t get the message. Boing!

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            And you still dodge.

          • Ronald Carter

            I can’t really improve on what EverythingYouKnowIsWrong said, so I won’t try. Thank you for providing absolutely no examples to back up your statement, and I’ll be sure to expect that from you in the future.

          • Chrissy Vee

            Please do. Glad to help your cause. 🙂

          • Ronald Carter

            Glad to help illustrate your failure to answer simple questions.

          • Chrissy Vee

            Sorry, I have found simple minds as yours and EYKIW don’t grasp simple answers.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            You refuse to give answers — you just keep avoiding owning up to your lie.

          • Chrissy Vee

            OK so, I guess the one lie I told was I don’t waste my time on fools. You got me. Now, I will turn that lie into a truth. I’m out. Ciao.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            Now you’re even lying about the lie.

            “the “privilege” that atheists and gays and other godless groups are getting while stomping out Christianity”

            You keep running away from your lie above. You can’t give any examples.

          • Ronald Carter

            Nice hypothesis. Too bad you’re not honest enough to put it to the test.

          • Chrissy Vee

            Thanks! 😀 Now go away… I am done wasting my time on you two. Go play with each other. You understand each other. And please, make sure you talk about me. 🙂 ♥

          • Ronald Carter

            You know Chrissy, you could save your reputation a lot of wear and tear and prove you’re not simply playing the smug holier-than-thou teacher’s pet to God if you’d simply answer the question put to you. Here’s your chance to prove that you are actually someone who understands the subject they are working in. So here’s the question again: What privilege are atheists (who are godless) and gays (who have nothing
            to do with being godless) getting, and how is Christianity being
            “stomped out” in the process?

          • Rookheight

            If you think atheists and gays have privileged status in this country, that word might not mean what you think it means.

          • Chrissy Vee

            Oh but they’re working on it. Please don’t ask me to “cite” or explain myself. if you don’t see it, it’s not my problem.

          • Rookheight

            Oh, the irony of arguing others are privileged while saying, “If you don’t agree with me, it’s not my problem…please don’t ask me to ‘cite’ or explain myself.” Do you even hear yourself? The reason you think your point-of-view is worthy without any support is because you live in a bubble where dissenting voices get censored by the majority. I think there’s a word for that, now what could it be…

          • Chrissy Vee

            Wisdom

          • Ronald Carter

            Your problem is much, much bigger.

        • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

          Anyone who can’t handle prayer so much that they have to stomp it out has no scruples.

          Anyone who wants the heavy hand of government to push their religion on other people’s children has no respect for anyone’s religious rights.

          This evil generation is the epitome of loss of self control.

          The ones without self-control are the ones trying to misuse the government to promote their religion.

          • Chrissy Vee

            Like the atheists, feminists, LGBTQRSTUVs and other godless groups….. I smell hypocrisy.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            Yeah, because Christians SHOULD have privileges that nobody else gets…

            Wow, you are so far gone into unearned Christian hegemony that you can’t even see it when it’s pointed out to you repeatedly.

          • Chrissy Vee

            Aw… Your opinion of me means so much.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            Aw, your non-argument is so pathetic. Wonder why the number of Christians is falling in the US?

          • Chrissy Vee

            “Arguing” with fools is not my forte.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            Arguing period, is not your forte. You babble about “the “privilege” that atheists and gays and other godless groups are getting while stomping out Christianity”, yet you give NO examples.

            Because you’re just lying.

          • Chrissy Vee

            You’re almost right. But I have gone back and forth with your ilk so many times, it’s like talking to lampposts. I’ve learned that I would rather write a comment and then sit back and watch fools respond to it with the same old clueless rap. And the begging for a response is a pathetic norm.
            You don’t even see what is happening right before your eyes. What makes you think that your carnal minds will ever understand spiritual matters? “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12

            You are the liar …“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8:44

          • 201821208 :)

            Amen!!!

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            And the begging for a response is a pathetic norm.

            No, the norm is to ask for examples when a Christian like yourself babble about how you poor, poor Christians are so oppressed. But you have none, because you’re lying.

          • Chrissy Vee

            “You can’t handle the truth!! Haha… this is fun. 😀

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            Keep trying to run away from your lies.

          • Chrissy Vee

            Actually trying to get away from you, but you’re still here. Face it, you love me. 😀 ♥

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            Any time you want to back up your lies with actual cites…

          • Chrissy Vee

            Oh, I will just search for you. ♥♥♥

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            C’mon liar, give us one example of “the “privilege” that atheists and gays and other godless groups are getting while stomping out Christianity” — just one.

            You said it, but you run away every time anyone calls you on it. Because you’re lying.

          • Chrissy Vee

            Wow, you and Ronald make me feel so special! Too bad you don’t have a clue… we could have been friends.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            Not with a selfish Christian liar like yourself.

            C’mon liar, give us one example of “the “privilege” that atheists and gays and other godless groups are getting while stomping out Christianity” — just one.

          • Chrissy Vee

            Down boy, no bones for you.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            C’mon liar, give us one example of “the “privilege” that atheists and gays and other godless groups are getting while stomping out Christianity” — just one.

          • The Last Trump

            Get some help.
            And do your own homework lazy.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            It’s not MY homework, I didn’t make the original claim — it’s Chrissy Vee’s homework to back up her own claims.

          • The Last Trump

            Yes Chrissy….please “cite”!
            Ahhhh, revenge is mine! 🙂
            Hey, is it just me, or are the trolls around here unbelievably lazy!
            Seems like always giving US their homework!!

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            No, the “homework” is for the person who made the claim. She keeps dodging because it’s just a lie.

          • Chrissy Vee

            Yeah, right? What is it they don’t see? Oh, well everything…. except of course us horrible Christians who are… praying! How dare we! Maybe instead we could go throwing people off buildings and beheading others… But praying?! What nerve!

          • The Last Trump

            Hee, hee!
            Ahhh, Chrissy! That was priceless!
            Yes, the trolls tend to forget all about the topic at hand and instead focus in on and target individual commenters don’t they! Can you even imagine Christians visiting atheist or LGBT websites to stalk the commenters there with never ending harassment!?? WHO does that!?
            Must be that unnerving and constant fear within them that the Christians will, once again, prevail over conduct that they know in their hearts to be wrong, that drives them to such desperate and shameful lengths.
            It’s sad really. 🙁

          • 201821208 :)

            “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9
            “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool” Proverbs 28:26

          • The Last Trump

            Well, look at you!
            The tough guy picking on the lady.
            You’re a disgrace pal.
            Keep posting. Give us all a good look at you and what you represent.
            Real attractive.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            Well, look at you!
            The tough guy picking on the lady.

            So, you think women are weak and need to be protected from logical arguments?

          • The Last Trump

            Logical arguments?
            Know of any?

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            Yep, that’s why citing a past supreme court opinion striking down graduation prayers makes sense.

          • The Last Trump

            You know, it’s ok to admit when you are wrong, right?
            Sure, sure, it takes a big troll to do so BUT it can be done.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            You know, it’s ok to admit when you are wrong, right?

            Where am I wrong? Your knowledge of legal issues is nil.

          • The Last Trump

            Oooooh! Wrong AGAIN!
            Take another drink…

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            I see you have no comeback except insults. If I’m wrong, state what I’m wrong about.

            Or you’re just lying.

          • The Last Trump

            Oh no! Am I lying!!??
            Hee, hee! Tell me these juvenile “debate” tactics haven’t actually ever really worked for you! What else have you got?
            Are you going to double dare me next?! Egads!! No!! 🙂

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            Am I lying!!??

            You’ve claimed I’m wrong about something, but you don’t say what.

            Yes, you’re lying.

          • The Last Trump

            🙁

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            Keep dodging. Just accuse people of being wrong, and then refuse to say what it is. Also claim Jesus said something about homosexuality, yet never say exactly where (but keep typing plenty of replies that don’t say exactly where). That shows how dishonest you are.

          • The Last Trump

            🙁
            Why are you so mean?
            Is that what your atheistic religion of magic teaches you?
            Not very attractive I’m afraid.
            Think I’ll stick with Jesus.
            Champion of traditional marriage and all of that.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            Just keep lying about people; lying Christians like yourself are one reason so many people are leaving Christianity.

          • Ronald Carter

            You are quick to label people “fools” without even attempting an argument. That says a lot, I think.

          • Chrissy Vee

            Yes, I tend to believe God who calls you fools, so…

          • Ronald Carter

            Because God talks to you.
            WhoooEEEE!!

          • Chrissy Vee

            LMAO! Oh you poor thing.

          • Ronald Carter

            You took the LMAO right out of my mouth, dear.

          • The Last Trump

            Oh oh. Looks like she’s on to you! “Ron”.
            No conversions today, huh?
            Shocker.
            Keep at it though. You’re doing, um …. great! 🙂

          • Ronald Carter

            You too, little buddy.

          • The Last Trump

            Keep your chin up, trollster.
            I’m sure somebody around here is good and tired of being happy all the time and just loooongs for some misery in their well adjusted, peaceful and content lives.
            Keep at it!

          • Ronald Carter

            You had one job, Last Trump. You failed to produce words from Jesus about homosexuality which you swore up and down that you had. You can try to steer the conversation as many other directions as you like, but I am as persistent as you are. Come clean about your lie. Until that time, we both know what you are made of.

          • The Last Trump

            YOU gave ME a job, did you?
            🙂
            That’ll be the day, troll.
            Keep dreaming.

          • Ronald Carter

            Yes. And you failed at it. Because you lied – Jesus said nothing about homosexuality. I just wish you had the guts to ADMIT to your lie.

          • The Last Trump

            Of course He did. He condemned it. Called it an abomination, He did.
            Everybody knows this….
            What? YOU didn’t know!!??
            Tsk, tsk.
            Queen James version Muffin?
            I expected better from you. “Ron”.
            Keep studying junior. Come back when you have a clue. K? 🙂

          • Sir Osis

            Hey Last Trump, you seem to call men “Muffin” very frequently. Are you hitting on them, and are you gay?

          • The Last Trump

            What are you insinuating about gay people? Muffin.
            And who says they’re all men?
            “Some” 😉 of these Christian website stalking trolls are known to be men, pretending to be women! And use multiple accounts due to the constant banning they receive for inappropriate and hateful conduct.
            I know, right?
            Well, look who I’m talking to! 🙂

          • Ronald Carter

            Chapter and verse, please?

          • The Last Trump

            Have you forgotten already?
            “Ron”, “Ron”, “Ron”.
            We’ve been through this before, Muffin.
            Go to the source. Don’t ever trust Trumpy as your filter to the Word of God.
            Always go to the source.
            You’re welcome, little buddy! Always happy to help! 🙂

          • Ronald Carter

            So we have once again established that you cannot provide scripture proving that Jesus Christ said anything whatsoever, not one single word, about homosexuality. Thank you Last Trump.

          • The Last Trump

            “We’ve established”
            “Once again”
            🙂
            Hee, hee! I just love this guy!

          • Ronald Carter

            Yep. Established over and over. You claimed chapter and verse on Jesus’ own words on homosexuality. Laughed about it. Mocked. But failed over and over to provide them. Utterly pathetic display of Bible ignorance and smug self-righteousness at the same time.

          • The Last Trump

            “Rarr, rar, rar! Arrrrrghhh! Trumpy bad!! Christians bad!
            Traditional marriage and family insanely bad!! AAaaaahhhhh!!”
            Breathe “Ron”. You’re gonna be ok, little buddy.
            It’s ok if you don’t get it right now. You’re quite obviously still in denial. But the way you stalk Christian websites 24/7 you’re bound to have it sink in eventually. There’s no rush. Feel better, Muffin?
            Just don’t rush out and get married just yet.
            Listen to Jesus.
            You remember Jesus, don’t you “Ron”?
            Say, when did He first appear in the Bible again, speaking of “utterly pathetic displays of Bible ignorance and smug self righteousness”….
            Yeah, when was THAT again, “Ron”?
            Ooooh, that’s right! YOU failed to answer that question repeatedly.
            Bringing an end to our discussion each time.
            Pity.
            Ah well, if you don’t know you don’t know.
            Explains a lot.
            Might wanna refrain from trying to pass yourself off as some kind of Bible scholar though. Cause you look pretty foolish Muffin.
            Just sayin’.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            You have time to type all kinds of nonsense, but no time to write what chapter & verse you’re referring to, to back up your claim.

            Because you’re just lying.

          • Cady555

            Yet still no chapter and verse.

          • Ronald Carter

            A few points:

            – I never said “traditional marriage” was bad. You simply SAID I said it. As you often do around here.
            – I never said family was bad either. Did you know that homosexuals and the transgendered also come from families?
            – There is no point urging me to breathe when you haven’t once caused me to lose my composure and so your self-congratulatory suggestion that you did is false.
            – I’m not your little buddy and I’m not a muffin.
            – I get it. You don’t.
            – I am not in denial.
            – I don’t stalk “Christian websites”, and if I did, it wouldn’t be 24/7. I am here having a conversation, exactly the same as you are. And I wouldn’t be quite so quick to align myself with “Christian websites” either if I were you because you are not a Christian. You are a FUNDAMENTALIST Christian. Big difference.
            – I don’t feel better because you haven’t made me feel worse.
            – I won’t rush out to get married, because I did that 25 years ago. Making up facts to suit your rant doesn’t make them factual.
            – I don’t listen to figures from history like Jesus or Charlemagne or Attila the Hun. They died quite some time ago.

            – I never said that Jesus spoke of utterly pathetic displays of Bible ignorance and smug self righteousness, Last Trump. YOU did that. You are making things up again.
            – I didn’t fail to answer any of your questions. As you can see, I’m addressing each of them head on, but most of them seem to be products of your imagination or outright lies.

            – I didn’t bring our discussion to an end. You did. I still have the message where you did so, in fact.
            – It isn’t necessary to be a Bible scholar to know that Jesus said nothing about homosexuality in the Bible. This is an easily-verified fact and you continue to claim you can prove he said it and you repeatedly, persistently, refuse to back up your claim. That’s why you’re in this mess now, Last Trump. If only you’d done it when you claimed it and not dragged in all the irrelevant mush in all the points listed above. You have trouble sticking to the facts and pertinent matters, preferring instead to talk down to people who disagree with you with cute nicknames and smug “hee hees” and talking to the audience for approval.

          • The Last Trump

            So we’ve established, yet again, that you know absolutely nothing about the Bible or the Messiah that the volume of the Book is written about.
            Thank you. “Ron”.
            And as soon as you can correctly identify the first appearance of Jesus in the Bible, I will continue to school you on what you know so very little about.
            Happy studying, “Ron”!

          • Ronald Carter

            No we haven’t established that, Last Turnip, because it hasn’t even been on the table until now. You are masterful at changing the subject, but you do it so often now that it’s very easy to remind you that you need to be brought back to earth and the subject at hand, which, if you’ll recall, was Christ’s words, his DIRECT words, about homosexuality. You were a failure the first time you were challenged to do this, and you are a failure now. And a liar as well.

          • The Last Trump

            Awww, “Ron”.
            Sticks and stones and all of that.
            Not very attractive with that big ol’ bottom lip sticking out!
            Not going to get any converts looking like that. Nope.
            Just like every other day, huh? 🙁

          • Ronald Carter

            And more of the same from you: Avoidance, mocking, talking down, and generally being as un-Christlike as possible. I really expect nothing less though.

          • Cady555

            “Muffin”
            “Little buddy”
            “Hee, hee! I just love this guy!”

            I think the truth is slipping out of the closet.

          • Sir Osis

            Hey Last Trump, I have noticed that you call men “Muffin” all the time, I wondered, are you a homosexual?

          • Ronald Carter

            Chapter and verse, please?
            Waiting…waiting…
            I have a feeling I’m going to be waiting a long time, don’t you?

          • The Last Trump

            Depends.
            Reading the Bible yet, Mr Procrastinator? 🙂

          • Ronald Carter

            How rich, being called a procrastinator by the man who’s been procrastinating for at least a week now. You don’t get to issue challenges before you address your own, Last Trump.

          • The Last Trump

            Hey. Where did your buddy go?
            Seems to have changed his name to “This comment has been deleted”.
            Go figure.
            Chalk another one up for Trumpy…
            You just about ready for a name change too, “Ron”?
            Keep posting! 🙂

          • Ronald Carter

            I don’t have “buddies” here. I don’t need them.

          • The Last Trump

            You don’t have buddies?
            Shocking.

          • Ronald Carter

            On this board? No. In real life? Many.

          • Rookheight

            “Of course He did.” Where, exactly, would that be? Do you mean in the Old Testament, which Christians are usually so quick to dismiss by saying, “well, Jesus came and changed all that!”? Or is there a quote in the New Testament we’re all missing? Or maybe—JUST MAYBE—you’re just reluctant to admit you have no idea what you’re talking about.

          • Ronald Carter

            Going with that last one…no maybes about it.

          • The Last Trump

            Oh goodie.
            Another Bible illiterate foolishly attempting to critique the Bible.

            Next…

          • Ronald Carter

            This from the man who insists Jesus spoke about homosexuality when he did not. Why are Christians often the least knowledgeable about their holy book?

          • Ronald Carter

            There is absolutely nothing “godless” about feminists or LGBT people. They just happen not to be fundamentalist enough for your liking.

          • 201821208 :)

            “God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie” 2 Thessalonians 2:11

          • Ronald Carter

            You want a quote from the Wizard of Oz?

          • The Last Trump

            How’s, “If you only had a brain?”

          • Ronald Carter

            Your theme song?

          • The Last Trump

            If YOU only had a brain?!
            Um. Yeah, sure. Why not!
            Hee, hee! Adorable.

          • Ronald Carter

            Yep, everything you post here seems to be hee hee adorable. Hire a new writer or something.

          • Chrissy Vee

            Whatever makes you feel less icky about your sins there Ronald. I can not help that you are deceived.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            So, lying isn’t a sin in your religion? You keep lying.

          • Chrissy Vee

            Sigh…. oh EYKIW, you’re so… so… deceived.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            Well, you’ve lied repeatedly while trying to defend unearned Christian privilege and pointing out all the motes in other people’s eyes.

          • Chrissy Vee

            Are you actually trying to use a Biblical term? Don’t. Just don’t… ew.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            That’s exactly what you’re doing — pointing out everyone else’s faults, while ignoring your own.

          • Ronald Carter

            And without knowing the first thing about me, you presume to know my sins. You might try asking me what they are rather than telling me. That is, if you want to be taken seriously.

          • Chrissy Vee

            Taken seriously by you? Hahahaha. Good one.

          • Brad F

            They live for nothing but sex, basically they are the same level as animals. They have no capacity for love.

          • Ronald Carter

            Why are they trying to get married, then?

          • Rookheight

            This must be that “Christian love” I’ve heard so much about. Your religion makes you see “others” as less-than-human. Wake up and ditch it.

          • The Last Trump

            Yes those atheists are crafty little devils, aren’t they!

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            Smarter than you, I’d say.

          • The Last Trump

            Yes, you’re probably right.
            In the beginning there was nothing.
            And then… IT EXPLODED!!??
            And from NOTHING……came EVERYTHING!! Yeah, yeah. Just because!
            Hee, hee! Yeah, bonafide intellectuals these atheists!
            They believe in MAGIC!
            Good luck with that.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            Thanks for showing your total ignorance of science. I see why “magic man done it” appeals to simple minds like yours.

          • The Last Trump

            Oh, no magic man?
            Oh, that’s right. Just MAGIC! 🙂
            Enlighten us professor.
            We’ll wait.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            I’m not your tutor; trying to teach a superstitious fool like yourself is a waste of time. But your pig-ignorance is slightly amusing.

          • Ronald Carter

            I second that.

          • The Last Trump

            Yeah, that’s what all the other believers in magic had to say too.
            Big on boasting. Short on any details or evidence whatsoever.
            Shocker.
            I’ll stick with Intelligent Design. You keep MAGIC.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            Yeah, that’s what all the other believers in magic had to say too.

            Uh, no. That’s due to your total ignorance of science.

    • acontraryview

      You got that right Chrissy. All these fools that don’t want a Christian prayer to be given a place of privilege at a ceremony that includes kids of all faiths as well as no faith. When will people understand that Christians should be allowed to put their prayers wherever they want to? It doesn’t matter if some the people there aren’t Christian. They have to sit through these prayers because that’s what Christians want. It doesn’t matter that prayer has nothing to do with a graduation ceremony. People need to understand that Christians are so fragile in their faith that they must ensure that their prayers are part of everything. And, in a sign of their wonderful Christian attitude, everyone else can take a hike if they don’t like it.

      • Chrissy Vee

        The blind do not see that praying has to do with everything. We are not fragile. We know the power of prayer. It seems as though it is the foolish who are so fragile (especially this generation) that they just can’t deal.

        • Rookheight

          Nothing fails like prayer. If you think you “know” the power of prayer, show us in a reproducible way. That’s been tried several times and it doesn’t work (surprise, surprise). Reasonable people should be very skeptical.

          Anyone in a children’s hospital can see that prayer is not effective. Count up how many young children with terminal illnesses are prayed for, and how many survive.

          • Chrissy Vee

            Anyone who doesn’t know God and lacks spiritual wisdom has nothing of relevance to say about anything in His realm..

          • Rookheight

            How convenient! Only those who agree with you are allowed an opinion…

          • Chrissy Vee

            Only those who agree with Him.

          • Rookheight

            Your version of “Him” is created in your own image, so it’s the same thing.

          • Chrissy Vee

            His image

          • 201821208 :)

            “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God. Corrupt are they” Psalm 53:1

        • Cady555

          You can believe that silliness all you want.

          Hold a church sponsored baccalaureate in a church for those students who want a religious send off in addition to a secular graduation.

          Just have enough empathy and kindness to keep your religious twaddle out of public school graduation ceremonies.

          • Chrissy Vee

            I can believe what I want? Oh, thank you for your permission! Wow. Glad that’s settled.

          • Rookheight

            It was you who brought it up. The rest of us are talking about government-endorsed prayers.

        • acontraryview

          No one is keeping people from praying. To force your prayer on others is a sign of weakness.

          “It bothers you people that we have the freedom and we live in the light that you reject.”

          Not in the least. I fully support people believing as they choose.

          “The sad part is, you expect the world to reject such a wonderful gift right along with you.”

          Not at all. I support the right of people to accept or reject whatever they care to.

          “Lord have mercy.”

          And on you.

          • Chrissy Vee

            Forcing our prayers on others? I see the weakness in those who can’t handle it. But hey, we have never really agreed on anything, so, why keep trying?

          • JDOG

            something that didnt happen, but u have so many dillusions why stop believing them now?

        • JDOG

          actually stupid cunt, its because we hear u christians say the most fucked up shit, child like fairy tales, and you believe it…..THAT is uncomfortable ..go find jesus in some toast you psychopath

          • Chrissy Vee

            Classy. Please don’t breed.

  • Chris Clayton

    Ms. Ensinger needs to find another job, such as director of a church choir. How does she not understand that public schools are constrained when it comes to matters of religion? Her tearful rant is evidence that her teaching days are numbered

    • Rookheight

      Her tearful rant (and the reactions here) also show that it really IS about religion, not music education. That’s why her understanding of the law—religious music is okay if there’s some educational value—is flawed. She needs to be retrained.

      • Cady555

        Yes, The pieces she mentioned are all fine in proper context. The graduation ceremony is not that context.

  • acontraryview

    It has no place in a graduation ceremony for a public school.

  • Ronald Carter

    This is a public school ceremony, meaning it contains people from all faiths and people of NO faith. A Christian prayer in such a setting is inappropriate.

    • Ambulance Chaser

      And illegal.

      • hytre64

        It would only violate the Establishment clause IF the school were the ones enforcing the prayer. If, OTOH, the valedictorian invited everyone to say the Lord’s Prayer with them during the course of their Valedictory address, that would be entirely legal, as that would be *their* free speech/exercise of religion, not established by the state.

        • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

          It would only violate the Establishment clause IF the school were the ones enforcing the prayer.

          Did you read the story? The school IS the one doing that.

          • hytre64

            Yes, I did read the story, and the School IS violating the Establishment clause.

            However, I have also experienced the reverse, where the school violated the student’s rights by trying to censor the Valedictorian’s speech to avoid any mention of God.

            The middle ground is that the school cannot force religious speech, but neither can they censor religious speech of their students.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            However, I have also experienced the reverse, where the school violated the student’s rights by trying to censor the Valedictorian’s speech to avoid any mention of God.

            Depending on how that’s done, it may be legal or illegal, depending on whether the school has approval for all graduation remarks, or is totally hands-off.

            The middle ground is that the school cannot force religious speech, but neither can they censor religious speech of their students.

            And I can’t wait for atheist or Satanist remarks during graduations.

          • hytre64

            My Graduation (many, many years ago), the principal was censoring the Valedictory Address to remove any reference to God. The valedictorian did not agree, but submitted to his (abuse of) authority.

            When the valedictorian went to give her speech, the first thing she did was to fake a sneeze. The entire Senior class (who had been let in on the dispute) stood and said, “God Bless You”, to which she replied, “Thank you, He has”, and then went back to her prepared, sanitized, censored and pre-approved speech

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            My Graduation (many, many years ago), the principal was censoring the Valedictory Address to remove any reference to God. The valedictorian did not agree, but submitted to his (abuse of) authority.

            The school CAN vet everything that will be said at graduation, if they want.

            When the valedictorian went to give her speech, the first thing she did was to fake a sneeze. The entire Senior class (who had been let in on the dispute) stood and said, “God Bless You”, to which she replied, “Thank you, He has”, and then went back to her prepared, sanitized, censored and pre-approved speech

            Yep, just more selfish Christians shoehorning their religion into a ceremony that should be for everyone.

            You left out many details — from snopes:
            With the help of the ACLU, the family of Natasha Appenheimer, that year’s (2001) valedictorian, brought suit against Washington Community High School in Washington, Illinois to prevent the inclusion of the invocation and benediction traditionally given at the school’s commencement ceremony. The suit was decided in the favor of the Appenheimers when, three days before the ceremony, the court handed down a temporary injunction barring the inclusion of the prayers on the basis of their having been deemed “school sponsored” (and thereby an unconstitutional violation of the first amendment’s “establishment clause”).

            So, Christians got all whiny that their illegal invocation and benediction was stopped, so Ryan Brown selfishly engineered some bit of Christian supremacy playacting.

            [golfclap]

          • hytre64

            Not selfish – The student body disagreed with the principal on the principle of whether or not the valedictorian should be able to mention God in her speech. One of my friends who was Jewish agreed with the action, and stood up with us to say, “God Bless You”. Many of the others thought that it was a good way to show class solidarity and/or to get one up on the administration.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            The student body disagreed with the principal on the principle of whether or not the valedictorian should be able to mention God in her speech.

            Every single one, eh? I doubt that.

            Many of the others thought that it was a good way to show class solidarity and/or to get one up on the administration.

            Like I said, they’re selfish.

          • Rookheight

            It would have been illegal for the school to approve a religious message. Students can disagree with the school’s decision to follow the law, but it’s pretty silly to try to “get one up on the administration” for their actions to follow the law and protect ALL students’ right of conscience.

          • hytre64

            It would have been better for the school not to review the valedictorians speech at all. She earned the right through 4 years of intense work and study to be the valedictorian, and had the right to address the student body during graduation.

            To the best of my knowledge, the principal had never reviewed speeches given by the class president or various teachers during school assemblies (which were mandatory for the entire student body) – why should he review and censor the speech of the Valedictorian during an optional function like graduation?

          • Rookheight

            Graduation is not truly optional—the Court said as much in Lee. You can’t require students to opt out of a once-in-a-lifetime experience to avoid government endorsement of religion.

            If you look throughout the country, I think you’ll find that the vast majority of superintendents know better than to let any minor, valedictorian or not, say anything they want to the graduating class and their families, with no oversight. It would just be really irresponsible, which is why it is in fact very rare. And if they DO review remarks, there can’t be any prayers, which we seem to agree on. Your view of the top student’s “right” through intense work to address the student body is just not shared by most superintendents and school boards, and for good reason.

          • Rookheight

            That might seem like a reasonable “middle ground” to you, but it’s not where the Supreme Court landed, and the Court got it right. If a valedictorian is scheduled to speak to the student body, as part of the school-sponsored activity, the school endorses that activity and it cannot include a prayer or other religious exercises.

          • hytre64

            Actually, reading the SC decision, it was against the school bringing in an outside representative (or actually having a staff member) performing an invocation. There was a lower court case that extended it to student led prayers, but to the best of my knowledge that specific issue (ie. students acting as students, not representatives of the school) either mentioning God or leading a student led prayer.

            Interestingly, there have been some cases going the other way, when school districts have mistakenly denied access to student led prayer/bible study groups, but have permitted other student groups on school grounds. Courts have ruled that the school must be neutral, not anti-religious; providing equal access to all student groups.

          • Rookheight

            I think you’re referring to cases that led up to the federal Equal Access Act. You’re right that schools have overstepped their limits by treating religious student groups less favorably than other student groups.

            When students are delivering a prayer to a large group of students during a school-sponsored function, though, the “student religious club” rules are out the window. Look at Santa Fe Ind. Sch. Dist. v. Doe, 530 U.S. 290 (2000), for instance, where a school allowed students to vote on allowing a student to give a prayer over the loudspeaker at a football game. The practice was struck down because it’s a loudspeaker at a school-sponsored event, even though it was a student giving the prayer, students voted on it, and the event was totally optional (much moreso, even, than a graduation).

          • hytre64

            IIRC, there was a Texas case where school cheerleaders were putting scripture verses on large sheets of paper that the football players tore through on their entrance to the football field at the start of the game. It was ruled that the cheerleaders were not representatives of the school and were not constrained from exercising their 1st amendment rights. Likewise, student led prayers in the locker room prior to the game – provided that there was no adult coercion – was ruled legal.

            IMHO, case law in this area is not 100% settled, and the courts will be detailing for years what is permissible and what is not.

          • Rookheight

            You might be right about that! It is a murky area.

            The cheerleader case, in Kountze, Texas, is indeed a close call. I think the court got it wrong, but it’s still being appealed and the Supreme Court hasn’t weighed in.

            With student-led team prayer (no loudspeaker involved), the government action is indeed gone, so that’s a good example too. But if the school is providing a captive audience and a microphone, I think it’s safe to say you are back in Lee/Santa Fe territory.

          • conman

            First of all
            , Jesus is not a myth.. and. Who told you that or did you come up with that lie on your own. Yours is an old, old argument that was settled a long time ago, by some one much wiser. Don’t use the argument of an old dead snake, you will not have a leg to stand on.

          • Rookheight

            I’m not sure which comment of mine you meant to respond to, since on this one I didn’t mention Jesus being a myth…but with that said, I’d be curious to know who the “some one [sic] much wiser” you referred to is. The question of whether a historical Jesus existed is far from settled. Look up Richard Carrier, who is an expert on the topic and is very skeptical that the New Testament’s protagonist was a historical person.

            And that’s just the debate about whether a human existed who claimed to also be a god. When it comes to the question of whether a god-man actually existed, we are firmly in the realm of mythology. If I referred to Jesus as a myth, this is the sense I meant it. Not whether a person may have existed who claimed to be the son of the Jewish god, but whether a miracle-performing magical carpenter existed. That character’s existence is simply a myth.

          • Rookheight

            As an afterthought—thank you so much, sincerely, for actually reading one of the relevant Supreme Court cases on this issue. You are leagues beyond most of the people here. It’s refreshing to see someone who does more than stomp their feet and insist they must be right.

        • Ambulance Chaser

          Incorrect. Lee v. Weisman held that no one can conduct prayers at a school graduation ceremony as part of the program. Santa Fe Independent School Dist. v. Doe held that students acting in an official capacity as functionaries of schools are subject to the same restrictions as school officials and people acting at the behest of school officials.

  • conman

    Why are these people so afraid of a GOD that they say doesn’t exist. If he doesn’t exist, your fears are not justified. If your scared, call the ghost busters or draw near to GOD and HE will draw near to you. Atheist are nothing without GOD. Think about it. Atheist are nothing but gnats that have nothing without GOD.

    • gizmo23

      Why do you need government to promote your faith?

      • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

        It is a song, not a tent revival.

        • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

          It’s a public school graduation, not a Christians-only baccalaureate.

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            PUBLIC as in there will be a lot of folks there that do not agree with you and that is okay because this is America and you are entitled to sit there and not like it or you can get up and leave.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            PUBLIC as in a government event. You are entitled to follow the constitution, includ Lee v. Weisman, and suck it up that you don’t get a Christian prayer at graduation. If you’ll look outside of your group, you might’ve noticed that no OTHER religious group gets a prayer, either, so you are being treated equally. Finally.

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            The constitution does not prohibit The Lord’s Prayer being sung at a public school event. Take a Xanax and get over yourself.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            The constitution does not prohibit The Lord’s Prayer being sung at a public school event.

            The supreme court disagrees with you.

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            No they do not.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            Yes, they do; from Lee v. Weisman (1992):

            The principle that government may accommodate the free exercise of religion does not supersede the fundamental limitations imposed by the Establishment Clause, which guarantees, at a minimum, that a government may not coerce anyone to support or participate in religion or its exercise, or otherwise act in a way which “establishes a religion or religious faith, or tends to do so.”

            State officials here direct the performance of a formal religious exercise at secondary schools’ promotional and graduation ceremonies.

            The school district’s supervision and control of a high school graduation ceremony places subtle and indirect public and peer pressure on attending students to stand as a group or maintain respectful silence during the invocation and benediction. A reasonable dissenter of high school age could believe that standing or remaining silent signified her own participation in, or approval of, the group exercise, rather than her respect for it. And the State may not place the student dissenter in the dilemma of participating or protesting.

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            Blah blah…..blahblahblahblah……blah.

            There is no mention of this school’s graduation ceremony and the horrible Christian song they want to sing anywhere in that blah…..blah blahblahblah.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            There is no mention of this school’s graduation ceremony

            Are you a total idiot?

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            No I am not. That honor belongs to you.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            Of course you’re an idiot — do you seriously object because a supreme court opinion from 24 years ago doesn’t mention a current event?

            Notice how the opinion is written about religion during graduation ceremonies in general, which means singing the lord’s prayer is covered.

            Well, no, you didn’t notice.

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            Peanut butter.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            Are you drunk now?

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            Tuesday

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            Can’t stand losing an argument, eh loser?

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            You need the help that only God can give and He is waiting for you to ask Him because He loves you.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            You need to respect the religious rights of other people.

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            You need to surrender yourself to God through the Blood Atonement of Christ Jesus.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            Sorry, that’s your superstition; I don’t believe in your violent god.

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            He is not violent needlessly. Only when He needs to be.
            He loves you and wants to save you from the coming wrath. If you do not know Him before you die, you will not want to know Him after you die.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            He is not violent needlessly. Only when He needs to be.

            An omnipotent, omniscient being would never need to be violent.

            He loves you and wants to save you from the coming wrath.

            From HIS coming wrath. Your god has the morals of an extortionist.

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            You are messing around with something you know nothing about.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            But YOU can speak for an omnipotent being. Riiiiiiight….

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            As a born again child of His I have that knowledge and authorization from Him to do just that.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            BWAHAHAHAHA!

            You are no different from any other religious fanatic who claims to speak for their various gods.

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            That is not true for I serve the one and only true living God.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            That’s what ALL religious fanatics say. They can’t all be right, but they can all be wrong.

          • JDOG

            you need mental help

          • Cady555

            There it is! Every time christians don’t have an answer, they say some version of “god is gonna send you to hell.”

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            I do have an answer and that is it. Tell your Mom you want a cookie.

          • The Last Trump

            I second that.

          • disqus_O2BUmbLecp

            [ ” ……. that a government may not coerce anyone to support or participate in
            religion or its exercise, or otherwise act in a way which “establishes a
            religion or religious faith, or tends to do so.” “]

            Are non-Christians being coerced by the govt to support or participate in religion or its EXERCISE, or otherwise act in a way which “establishes a religion or religious faith, or tends to do so, during the public school graduation when the Lord’s Prayer song was being played, in comparison to a Beyonce or Tiffany Swift song.?

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            Yes. I quoted part of Lee v. Weisman which explained it. Argue with the supreme court.

          • disqus_O2BUmbLecp

            I’m arguing with yr misinterpretation of the US Supreme Court ruling regarding saying prayers in a public school graduation, that it also applies to this case of playing a Christian song during a public school graduation bc a public prayer is quite different from a public song.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            No, you can’t put the lord’s prayer to music and claim it isn’t a prayer any more.

          • disqus_O2BUmbLecp

            What if it’s just a Christian song by Aretha Franklin or Whitney Houston(eg When I Believe).?

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            Nope — public school graduations are for everyone, not just selfish Christians. If you want to pimp your god, do it with your own ceremony.

          • Rookheight

            If the song is chosen because it promotes a particular religion, it’s illegal. Singing Handel’s Messiah in choir class is fine because it’s a huge work in music history. Setting a lame melody to a prayer is unconstitutional in the same context. As for Aretha Franklin, it depends on the lyrics and why it was chosen (a court would apply the admittedly imperfect “Lemon” test).

          • Rookheight

            Your previous comment stated it correctly. The “Lord’s Prayer song” is still a prayer. Adding a melody does not change that. In comparison to a Beyonce song, it’s pretty easy: the prayer “song” is illegal, the Beyonce song is probably legal, however awful it may be. Saying a prayer, in song or otherwise, is illegal at a function like this.

          • disqus_O2BUmbLecp

            What about Andrea Bocelli’s “The Lord’s Prayer” song n Celine Dion’s “The Prayer”.?

          • Rookheight

            It depends on the intent. In the case where you have a choir director and local Christians who are so upset that their prayer was removed, the song would be extremely suspect. If it were part of a normal curriculum covering a variety of singers, for instance, it might be alright. If the lyrics are straight-up devotional, the piece had better have as much music educational weight as Handel’s Messiah.

          • Cady555

            Yes, they are coercing prayer.

            If you are capable off empathy, consider how you would feel if you had to stand for a muslim prayer during your graduation ceremony. Most christians would object to this. Now can you extend the same mercy to those who do not want to participate in christian prayers?

          • The Last Trump

            The supreme court that uses the Holy Bible to swear in judges and witnesses in court?
            Yeah. THEY disagree alright. Try again bud.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            The supreme court that uses the Holy Bible to swear in judges and witnesses in court?

            Unless the person wants to affirm instead of swear, with no references to gods. See the Judiciary Act of 1789.

          • The Last Trump

            Aww, now. Don’t get mad Muffin.
            Get educated.
            You won’t look so foolish that way.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            Uh, have you even read the constitution and looked at the presidential oath? Swear OR affirm, and no “so help me god” at the end. Pierce affirmed, JQ Adams was sworn in on a law book.

            Just keep showing yourself as the ignorant chump you are.

          • The Last Trump

            Hey, you ever wonder why presidents are allowed to say “..and God bless America” after all of their speeches?
            Gee, that seems awfully unconstitutional to the uneducated and the misinformed…, you know, the “atheists”.
            Strange, huh?

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            Hey, you ever wonder why presidents are allowed to say “..and God bless America” after all of their speeches?

            Hey, try a red herring argument.

            Have you read the presidential oath, oaf? Notice “swear or affirm”, and no “so help me god” yet?

            Gee, that seems awfully unconstitutional to the uneducated and the misinformed…, you know, the “atheists”.

            And a straw man attack. You’re shooting blanks.

          • Cady555

            Individuals may choose to place their hand on a religious text when taking an oath. The government does not require it.

          • Cady555

            Yes, yes it does. The government cannot favor one religious view.

            It could be different at a choir concert, where multiple selections are sung. But at the graduation, it sends the message that the government approves of christians and everyone else is an outsider.

          • The Last Trump

            You mean the government that takes off and celebrates Christmas and Easter?
            That government?
            The government that had Presidents and Supreme Court judges swear oaths over The Holy Bible?
            That government?
            Hee, hee! Where do you people get your ideas from!
            Not a fan of history, huh? No worries. Just rewrite it like a good little liberal.
            Seems to be a lot of that going on these days.
            In case you hadn’t heard, Muslims founded America now!
            Hee, hee! It just gets better and better.

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            It only sends that message to people like you that cannot or will not think for themselves. What category are you in?

          • Rookheight

            “people like you…cannot or will not think for themselves,” says the guy who has no answers to the myriad questions thrown his way in this thread. I know it’s hard to admit you’re wrong, but you could at least take a crack at *thinking* about these things…

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            Oh believe me chucklehead. I have the answers. You just don’t like what I have to say.

          • Rookheight

            I believe that you believe you have the answers. I don’t like them because they aren’t based in reality.

          • JDOG

            obviously freedom from religion means nothing to you. get over YOURSELF, your religion is not everybodys religion, and this will be happening more and more. So get used to it!

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            It’s freedom OF religion not freedom FROM religion.

          • Cady555

            So if someone doesn’t like their own HS graduation being turned into a christian revival service, they can just skip their once in a lifetime chance to attend their own HS graduation.

            Wow. Such amazing compassion.

            How freakin hard is it to respect the fact that not everything revolves around christians? How hard is it to plan a graduation that celebrates all students, rather than only those of the favored religious view?

            Why would you want to treat some kids as outsiders? Why do you think that is a reasonable or kind thing to do?

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            Let me guess. You took that Stupid Challenge didn’t you.

          • Cady555

            Nice duck you’ve got there.

            You’re asked a question you can’t answer so you lob an insult. Mature.

            Like playing chess with a pigeon. It will knock over the pieces, poop on the board, then fly off bragging that he won.

            1. How freakin hard is it to respect the fact that not everything revolves around christians?

            2. How hard is it to plan a graduation that celebrates all students, rather than only those of the favored religious view?

            3. Why would you want to treat some kids as outsiders?

            4. Why do you think that is a reasonable or kind thing to do?

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            It is ONE SONG in what will be a rather lengthy ceremony.

            Quit being stupid. You are embarrassing yourself.

          • Cady555

            A person with compassion would plan a graduation ceremony that is respectful of the various religious views of all the students.

            Why pick a prayer that excludes everyone in a religious minority? There are so many options that would be meaningful to all.

            Kindness doesn’t cost anything.

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            Shut up. I am tired of the absolute crybaby nonsense from you and others like you.

      • disqus_O2BUmbLecp

        Are students not allowed by the govt to practice their religious faith or pray in their public schools.?
        …….Unless the govt mandates the Lord’s Prayer at every public school graduation, they r not promoting Christianity, eg like mandatory Obamacare vs optional Godcare.

        • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

          Are students not allowed by the govt to practice their religious faith or pray in their public schools.?

          Sure they are — but that’s not the case here. Here, the school was putting it on.

        • gizmo23

          No student has ever been denided their beliefs or stopped from practicing their religion in schools

    • Rookheight

      No one is afraid of a god they don’t believe in. We are afraid of schools perpetuating religious myths. Gullible students may actually believe it and start to say nonsensical things like, “Atheists are nothing without GOD.” The world needs young people who are in touch with reality, not beholden to ancient superstitions.

      • 201821208 :)

        “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?” Psalm 2:1

        • JDOG

          can u christians not think for yourself without quoting scripture?

  • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

    It is a song. It is The Lord’s Prayer set to music. I am quite sure that all of you who are AFRAID to hear it, will probably live through it. Or you can take a Xanax and go to your safe zone, safe spot, whatever you call it.

    • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

      It is a song. It is The Lord’s Prayer set to music.

      And it is a public school graduation, which includes people who aren’t selfish Christians.

      • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

        What selfish Christians? You are an example of common sense no longer being that common. I assume you are an adult. Try acting like one.

        • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

          What selfish Christians?

          The ones who want their religion (and only their religion) pimped during a public school graduation.

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            You need to get that knee jerk looked at by a doctor.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            You need to learn that your religion doesn’t give you special privileges from the government.

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            Having more trouble with that uncommon common sense thing again I see.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            Your “common sense” is the same old Christian supremacy. It doesn’t work any more.

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            My Lord my God is supreme. He is the Creator, Ruler, Lord and Savior of mankind and the universe. The day is coming when you will be forced by Him to acknowledge that fact.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            Blah, blah, blah. Until then, you’ll just have to learn to play nicely with others, which means public school graduation ceremonies are for ALL of the students, not just selfish Christians like yourself.

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            You really are a waste of my time so I will say good bye.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            Make sure to whine extra hard when this school decides to obey the law.

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            Roast beef.

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            You ARE drunk.

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            Fried Chicken

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            You’re what, twelve years old?

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            lol

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            Sorry, nine.

          • Cady555

            My nine year old is more sensible.

          • Brien

            So is mine as I have taught her to question claims of ‘truth’, and ask for evidence.
            Did you bring yours to this discussion? Because all you have is a lie until then.

          • LadyFreeBird♥BlessedBeTheLord

            Amen.

          • Cady555

            Ah yes, the ever popular “I can’t think of meaningful answer so I will change the subject and threaten them with eternal damnation.”

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            cheese and crackers.

          • Brien

            You did bring your proof, Yes?!
            Otherwise, all you have is a lie!

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            Look in the mirror.

          • Brien

            The answer doesn’t match the picture; I read the remarks of a child who can’t get out of the lie.
            You have been well indoctrinated, but you can still educate yourself – it’s not too late, not that it will make any difference, at your end.

          • The Last Trump

            Atheists again, huh?
            I know!
            Those religious zealots just won’t leave the rest of us in peace!
            Can you believe those m0r0ns even started their own churches!!
            Hee, hee! Too funny!

          • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

            I see you continue to babble without content.

          • Brien

            Wrong! Backwards as usual – Why don’t you leave us alone!??!

        • Cady555

          There are thousands upon thousands of songs that could be sung at a HS graduation. Out of all the choices, they picked one that that is meaningful only to members of one religion. They intentionally snubbed every student who wasn’t part of the majority religion at their own graduation.

          Selfish is far too mild.

          • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

            Grow up already. It is just a song and a short one at that.

    • JDOG

      you could do the same thing, that is a school and not a church. Always overstepping, you christians are always so out of line its not even funny

      • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

        You are sadly comical.

  • tammy

    Why would an Atheist parent complain about it? If you don’t believe in God, just don’t sing it. Kid’s sing sooo many songs that are just words (with terrible lyrics)… They have one whole graduation class that was video taped doing the “Whip and Nae Nae”, and it made news (but not bad publicity), and then some students say a tasteful prayer (with non-offensive words)… Why are people so OFFENDED by the word God? If you don’t believe in it, just don’t say it, and move on. There are plenty of things that Christians put up with at these ceremonies that are actually offensive to our beliefs… The reason why these kids are so out of hand now is because of the Atheist group’s EGO …. Which means they can’t just not worship God… They are trying to (E.G.O. = Ease God Out)

    • Cady555

      I don’t want our Constitutional protections set aside so that the government decides who everyone will pray to and which religious beliefs are approved and which aren’t. This means defending the Bill of Rights from death by 1000 cuts. Nobody gets to use government authority to lead people in prayer.

      I don’t want any child to feel like an outsider in their own school. This means fighting to keep religion out of school events.

  • tatoo

    When I wa in 7th grade ( this really dates me) , my Rabbi said we shouldn’t recite the Lord!s prayer. So I sat quietly during it and didn’t bow my head and fold my hands. I was sent to the principal’s office. I was mortified. I have never forgotten it. It was the first time I realized how hateful religious people can be.

    • jjgrndisland

      Anecdotes from the 1920s really have no bearing on today’s practices.

    • BanIgnorance

      Totally bogus.
      That never happened. The gold standard for hating comes from the religion-bashers.

    • Rookheight

      Funny how the Christians are so quick to yell out their denial at the suggestion that another Christian could be hateful. Reality can just be so unpleasant sometimes, I guess…

  • Carlos

    What a strange culture we live in.
    We shuffle through the airport holding our shoes in our hand because there is a very real threat of terrorism from a certain religion, and yet instead of focusing on the danger from that religion, we focus on the horror of having a Christian prayer recited in an auditorium. I keep trying to think of an instance when a Christian prayer cause death, but still can’t find a single one. Liberals are just pathetic cowards – they tremble in fear of Muslims and wouldn’t dream of criticizing them, so they bash Christians because Christians don’t bash back. They are bullies and cowards.

    • Rookheight

      Lots of liberals attack the tenets of Islam. If a public school wanted to include an Islamic prayer at a graduation ceremony, the response would be the same. The reason you don’t hear about that is because in this country only Christians think they can use their government position to promote their personal religion, with very few exceptions. The government should not be telling anyone what to believe when it comes to religion, which is why it’s a worthy cause.

      Your premise, that we can either combat Islamic terrorism or government endorsement of Christianity, is a false dichotomy, and a bizarre one at that. Of course we can, and should, do both.

    • LadyFreeBird♥BlessedBeTheLord

      You got that right.

  • http://www.bing.com/ Martin Smit

    Our leaders that art in the capital
    Government be your name
    May your state bloat
    May your laws be done
    in practice as they are on paper
    Give us today other people’s money
    And forgive us our taxes
    As we forgive those who cheat on their taxes
    And lead us not into economic disaster
    But deliver us from actual work
    For thine is the state, the red tape and departments
    For now until we replace thee
    Ahem

    Since they don’t want the Lord’s prayer, perhaps having one of their own to their own god will help them.

  • JDOG

    your site is a joke? shut down any logical debate and call it “blasphemy” because you know you cant back up your ridiculously extraordinary claims. You are gonna see a lot more of this happening, i willl rejoice =)

  • breed7

    Matthew 6:5 – “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”

    I guess these so-called Christians in Ohio aren’t really all that concerned about what the Bible tells them. Like most Christians, they only care that OTHER people follow their rules, while they themselves sit in judgment, ignoring what Jesus commanded them to do.

    This is why I’m an atheist. I used to be Christian, but I couldn’t stand the hypocrisy of it all, so I thought about it and realized that religion is only for those who are unwilling to think for themselves.