View; MT.commentIds = []; It won't work like they want it to work - hypersync

It won't work like they want it to work

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The politicized Religious Right and "pro-family" groups keep pushing for victim-hood status as they claim their free speech rights are being violated. There is an element of truth here in the sense that chaplains at the air-force academy, for example, are being kept from praying and saying very sectarian things in the midst of the religiously mixed student body. Another example, see below, is a high school valedictorian who began witnessing to the assembled students, family, and friends about Jesus Christ. Her microphone was turned off shortly after she deviated from her text and began evangelizing the crowd. She and the Religious Right legal organization - The Rutherford Institute - are suing for the violation of the student's First and Fourth Amendment rights.

There have been so much negative representations of Christianity over the past few decades – much of it self-inflicted and not as a result of blatant anti-Christian sentiments of the media, as some claim. It is not a matter of our rights to force people to listen to us as we witness to them, but we are to earn the right to be listened to. We fall far short in our actions and words, particular by those who most stringently demand their rights. Many in the politicized Religious Right claim that their imperative to “save souls” - in their particular, very American, and very sectarian understanding of how that is supposed to happen - supersedes any consideration of the rights or feelings of those who do not agree with them. They are demanding that they have the right and the ability to evangelize anyone, anywhere, no matter the venue or purpose of the event - especially when the situation is a government sponsored event, as in a public high school graduation ceremony.

It is their right to free speech. I agree that it is their right, in the same way that it is the right of a Muslim, Hindu, or a Buddhist to witness before the same crowd in the same way. (Of course, the politicized Religious Right would have a fit if a Muslim valedictorian evangelized the crowd at a graduation ceremony – because they have a right not to hear the deceptive lies of Satan spewed forth by false religions in a government sanctioned function.) I say, let them say all this stuff whenever and however they want as long as they allowed others the same right. I fear, however, that they do not want others to have that same right.

The problem is that in this day in age most people are going to react very negatively when they are confronted with blatant and sectarian evangelization - not necessarily because they hate "real Christians" or hate God, but because these "real Christians" are acting with very little respect or consideration for those before whom they are speaking. In the long run, it will be counter-productive to the Religious Right's cause of saving the souls of everyone - again, according to their understanding of how that is supposed to happen to the exclusion of any other form or means.

The loud, shrill, arrogant, and demanding tone of speech and action being employed by the politicized Religious Right will not bring mass conversations to their form of the Christian faith, but more likely will turn more people away from the cause of Christ and Jesus' call for all to be reconciled to God and one another. There is such a profound lack of "love your neighbor" in their actions - it’s all about securing their rights, regardless of the rights of anyone else.

Yes, anyone who claims to be a Christian can express their faith and their experience, but there are times and places and means of doing so that truly will be effective and others that will not be. A lot has to be undone at this point before earning the right to be heard from here on out.

July 14, 2006

Vegas Graduate Whose Speech Was Cut Short Files Lawsuit

A Nevada high school valedictorian whose mic was turned off after she mentioned her faith has filed a lawsuit that accuses officials of violating her freedom of speech, The Associated Press reported.

On June 15, Brittany McComb told fellow graduates of Foothills High School and their friends and family about Jesus Christ.

"God's love is so great that He gave His only Son up," she said. But the listeners did not get to hear the rest of the story, because school staff cut her off. Only those within earshot heard her finish: "to an excruciating death on the cross, so His blood would cover all our shortcomings and provide for us a way to Heaven in accepting this grace."

John Whitehead, president of Rutherford Institute, the legal organization backing the lawsuit, said school officials deprived McComb of her First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

"What makes a great constitutional case?" he said. "Great facts. Just what happened here is going to drive this case forward."

From CitizenLink

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This page contains a single entry by Bob Griffith published on July 17, 2006 8:43 AM.

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