Liberals love free speech when they are the only ones talking. The latest example of denying some people the right to believe and speak happened at a high school graduation in Pennsylvania where its Constitution states, “grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty.” Keep it in mind as you read the following:
“Moriah Bridges wanted to thank God for His immeasurable blessings on Beaver High School’s graduating class. But she could not because she was told it was against the law.
“The Pennsylvania teenager wanted to offer thanksgiving to the Almighty for parents and coaches and teachers. But again, she could not, because she was told it was against the law.” (WorldNewsPolitics)
She defied the government by ending her commencement speech with the following:
“When they said not to chew gum, I didn’t chew gum. When they said not to use your cellphone, I didn’t use my cellphone. But today, in the spirit of defying expectations, and for perhaps the last time at this podium, I say, ‘in the righteous name of Jesus Christ, Amen.’”
First, as a Christian, Moriah Bridges had every right to defy government officials. The Apostle Peter said it best: “And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, ‘Did not we command you that you should not teach in this name? and, behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.’ Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, ‘We ought to obey God rather than men’” (Acts 5:27-29).
Moriah obeyed God rather than men even though Peter would later write, “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right” (1 Pet. 2:13-15). Is this a contradiction? Peter didn’t think so. There are limits to what ecclesiastical and civil authorities can demand. Scripture often gives universal prohibitions but notes exceptions.
Second, there is no law that says a high school student can’t mention God. Government officials who appeal to the First Amendment need to read it and understand it:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The prohibition is addressed to Congress, not a public school in Pennsylvania. In addition, take notice that no law can be made “prohibiting the free exercise” of religion or “abridging the freedom of speech.”
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