California Salutatorian Defies School’s Denial of Christian Speech at Graduation

HambyBRAWLEY, Calif. — The salutatorian at a high school in California recently defied school administrators who disallowed him from speaking about his faith at graduation, presenting a bold Christian speech that urged his classmates to stand for what is right.

Brooks Hamby is a senior at Brawley Union High School. In a YouTube video posted on Friday, Hamby spoke out during his high school graduation, noting that he had presented several drafts for his salutatorian speech, each of which were rejected because of their religious content.

In defying the ban on Christian speech, Hamby urged students to do what is right, even if they must stand alone.

“In coming before you today, I presented three drafts of my speech, all of them denied on account of my desire to share with you my personal thoughts and inspiration to you—my Christian faith,” he said. “In life, you will be told, ‘No.’ In life you will be told to do things that you have no desire to do. In life, you will be asked to do things that violate your conscience and desire to do what is right.”

“The advice I give to you is this: No man or woman has ever truly succeeded or been fulfilled on the account of living for others and not standing on what they knew in their heart was right or good,” Hamby declared.

He then quoted the words of Christ from Matthew 5.

“So I will leave you with this, with a quote from the biggest, best-selling book of all time in history: ‘You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot,'” Hamby read.

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“Be the salt of the earth. Be strong and stand for your convictions and stand for what is right, what is ethical, what is moral and what is Godly, no matter what is the cost to you,” he exhorted. “Stand for what is good wherever you go and whatever you do.”

Hamby then concluded by again citing his faith.

“Congratulations class of 2014, and may the God of the Bible bless each and every one of you every day for the rest of your lives,” he said, being met with cheers and applause.

As previously reported, the mention of God at graduation has been a frequent point of contention at ceremonies nationwide. Last year, Roy Costner IV drew loud applause and cheers when he surprised attendees of South Carolina’s Liberty High School graduation at Clemson’s Littlejohn Colliseum following the school district’s decision to no longer include prayer at graduation ceremonies.

After taking the podium, Costner took his approved speech and ripped it in half for all to see. As he spoke from a separate script for a few minutes, Costner then began to thank his parents for his Christian upbringing.

“Those that we look up to, they have helped carve and mold us into the young adults that we are today,” he said. “I’m so glad that both of my parents led me to the Lord at a young age.”

“And I think most of you will understand when I say…” he continued, surprising the crowd with what came next. “Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come…”

As attendees realized that Costner was reciting the Lord’s Prayer, applause began to break out in the colliseum. Within seconds, the applause was accompanied by loud cheers.

The district decided not to take action against Costner, stating that they would not punish him for his faith.

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  • Servant

    Our Father God in Christ Jesus WILL in Truth instruct ALL non-believers some day — soon I hope — that as our Creator, Benefactor, Landlord and Friend, only HE is in control, in charge of everyone and everything and there will be NO more “you can’t do this or say that” in public schools when it comes to a solid belief in the One and Only True, Living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

    May this young man and his family be eternally blessed!

  • deeply offended by redaction of Jesus

    This young man has demonstrated how courage comes with faith, and has surely taught his teachers a lesson about excellence of character. His treatment at the hands of his “educators” was deplorable. America needs millions more speeches like his!

    It is often assumed by these anti-religious zealots that I, as a Jew, am to take offense at the inclusion of the name Jesus Christ in public speeches. On the contrary: I am offended–deeply offended–by the REDACTION of the name! I call upon educators across the nation to reject anti-religious bullying, and protect the constitutional rights of their students to free exercise of religion.

    Young Mr. Hamby, God bless you and protect you!

  • WorldGoneCrazy

    He is a budding hero of the faith. A young man who will not hide his light under a bowl and blend in with the world, regardless of the cost of his discipleship. [Matthew 5:10-16] Woe to the many adult “Christians” who go to church on Sundays and are indistinguishable from pagans on Monday-Saturday; who remain silent when it comes to Jesus and His little ones. The day is fast approaching when you will have no choice but to decide: Jesus or the world?

  • Yes I agree that personal prayer is best done in private as the scripture says. However the Lord has commanded us to go warn and inform our neighbors lest their sins be upon our own heads. He has given us the light of the Gospel and commanded us to go and preach it to all nations, even Muslims. He it was who asked; which one of you having a light will go set it under a bushel (A measure for wheat), Will you not set it on top of a mountain that it may be seen of men?

  • No matter now let them do what they want to do; JESUS is on the way. HE WILL COME SOON !!

  • mmoments

    God Bless all these young people who are standing up for what is right and against what is so wrong.