Hemant Mehta at Friendly Atheist and Jerry Coyne at WEIT have both weighed in on the flap over the school principal leading a graduation prayer in Lebanon, MO.
I wont cover it all again.
What I will do is repost the edited letter below from Hemants post above from one of the freethinking non-religious students who found the principals actions appalling but for him/her, a regular occurrence:
“I’ve lived in Lebanon, Missouri for all my seventeen years of life. I was raised in a very liberal, open-minded home, which I’d venture to say is different from 98% of the other students at my school. Neither my parents nor myself are religious, something that definitely stands out in this town. I’ve always been criticized for my beliefs (or lack thereof) so Lowery’s speech was not a first for me. Ever since I was young, I’ve been preached to, dragged to church by grandparents who were — and still are — convinced I’ll burn in hell for not attending, and bullied for being different. I’ve always stood firmly by my beliefs, and, quite frankly, I’m used to the discrimination.
As I sat and listened to my principal deliver the speech at my best friend’s graduation, I took it with a grain of salt and an eye roll. This is the same stuff I hear every day. While at first, I wasn’t deeply offended, I soon realized that the Muslim foreign exchange students probably didn’t like it very much, especially when their host families and classmates applauded the speech. For someone who is supposed to be a leader — a government paid leader at that — it sure was an arrogant (emphasis mine) and distasteful thing to do.
It wasn’t until I shared the link to the story on “The Blaze” to my Facebook page that I was truly bothered by the issue. My Facebook friends instantly started attacking me for my opinion (But don’t worry. It’s okay because their comments all ended with “I’m praying for you!”).
I’ll end this by saying thank you for bringing this issue to light. This town may be doomed to close-mindedness forever, but when there are people like you in far more accepting parts of our nation that are willing to take a stand, I definitely have hope for a better future. While I can’t say I’m a proud LHS student, I thank you for taking concern in my community.“
Only religion, in this case Conservative Xiansanity™ teaches such arrogance as this student witnessed and deals with daily.
We are all free to be religious (or not) in any way in this country, just kindly keep it to yourself. You will get challenged when you dump your religious ideas on the rest of us unsolicited, as we ALL have freedom of speech.
More importantly, you are free to believe and worship however you wish but not free to use a govt. paid position as a PUBLIC school principal with a graduation speech slot as your own personal pulpit.
That is not only arrogant, but unconstitutional.
The Arrogance of Religious Thought knows no bounds.
End Religion Now.