Before I start my ranting, I have another bit of sad Time Machine news: Carl Gardner, lead singer of MHOF band the Coasters, died last Sunday at the age of 83 from a variety of illnesses including congestive heart failure. His son, Carl Jr., has been in his spot since Carl Sr. retired in 2005.
On to the rant. It's graduation season, and that means it's time for dozens of stories about graduating students claiming "irreparable harm" if they hear God mentioned in a valedictory speech. Dozens of stories about overzealous administrators cracking down on even the simple bowing of heads. And more stories about the ACLU singing, "justice is served" every time they abridge the civil rights of people who just want to put credit where credit is due- to the Glory of God.
The latest came this morning on Foxnews- and I'm not going to print it, and you'll see why in a minute. A valedictorian wrote a speech in which he spoke eloquently about the one thing that transformed his life, the one moment that set him on the path to becoming the man he is on the way to becoming. I think that anyone- atheist, Christian, Wiccan, or total loon- ought to have the right to express that. And I think a valedictorian has earned the right to do it at his graduation, the biggest day of his life thus far. But because this young man was a Christian, his principal had to think about the possibility of poor atheist kids running through the crowd with their ears bleeding, judges and lawyers clamping down lawsuits upon the school system for the unspeakable crime of letting someone speak his heart, and the ACLU going on the Today Show to expose the horrible oppression of a minority by a school system that let a student say that totally obscene phrase, "Amen." So, the principal called him into the office and told him he'd have to delete about half of his speech to avoid trouble.
So, he gave his word. Because the Bible tells us to respect authority. Not twist it, lie about it, or throw another lawyer onto the fire.
And when his speech came, he could hear parents and students calling on him to give the full speech. Stand up for Freedom of Speech, as GUARANTEED in the constitution- or at least, as it is SUPPOSED to be guaranteed in the constitution. But what did this boy do?
He kept his word. He gave the censored speech. He showed more honor than most people on either side of the debate do. And in honor of his wishes, that's all the details that I am giving.
However, and I've said this a million times before- if I were in high school, I would not attend the graduation ceremony. If the government and the ACLU are in such a desperate panic to keep the name of God out of school, fine. While you sit and wonder why it is that we are fighting over the declining quality of schools all the time anymore, I will invite as many as possible to a private graduation ceremony, in a willing church, where we can celebrate the Great God who led us to this wonderful moment. Some of you will say, "but that's just giving up. We need to fight the fight, be an example by not giving up." Maybe so. And I will continue to pray for those who do fight the good fight. They are young, and believe that the world can be changed and made better. I am old, and very skeptical of a world that is desperate to crawl into the fire like a mythical salamander. For me, it is more important to see God praised and worshipped as is His due than to fight an acrimonious battle with every Michael Nedow that crawls out from under his anti-religious rock just to be a pain in the ass and give Satan the glory. The only glory Satan deserves is my empty seat.