The forbidden words

The forbidden words

The courts have now become editors for graduation speeches at public schools. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals—the one that struck down the Pledge of Allegiance as unconstitutional—has said that a graduation speech by a student proselytized too much and that forcing other students to sit through it to be able to participate was unconstitutional. Note that no one has to sit throught the ceremony in order to graduate. And also that it was not school-sponsored or -approved speech.

    The three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling dismissing a lawsuit filed by the student, saying that the actions of school officials were correct because the “proselytizing” nature of portions of the speech amounted to forcing the audience at the commencement ceremony to take part in a religious exercise.

    … Lassonde was permitted to keep some religious references in his speech, such as saying that a grandfather who had recently died had gone “home to be with the Lord.” He also was cleared to close his speech with the words, “God bless and good luck.”

Well, I’m glad that the courts are now in the business of telling us what we can and can’t say at public functions. May the courts protect us from anything we might disagree with, or at least anything Christian.

I wonder why the 9 justices of the Supreme Court didn’t rush the podium at President Bush’s State of the Union address to provide quick edits? He did, after all, reference God several times. I guess it didn’t rise to the level of offensiveness.

On the other hand, I wonder what would have happened if the student had wanted to make anti-Christian remarks, to denounce Jews, to promote abortion, or to extol the virtues of pornography and extramarital sex. I have a sneaking suspicion that the court perhaps would have come down on his side. It’s a good thing the Founding Fathers protected us from religious speech. It’s so much worse than all that other stuff.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli

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