Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Saturday, January 18, 2020

Minutes before giving his valedictorian address, Sam Blackledge was informed by the school administration at West Prairie High School in Illinois to exclude references to God or Jesus from his speech. He is an openly professing follower of Jesus Christ and attributes his success to his faith. He is pursuing legal council for being denied his Freedom of Speech.

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The lefts position is odd to me....

God is the devil

and sexual material should be in the reach of children in the library.

They dislike the biblical "regulations", but promote regulations on everything from, food in schools, perfume and cigarette smoke.

Fascinating really ...

For instance, if the student was to give his valedictorian address and he was going to mention Islam and attributes his success to his faith as a Muslim,

Would he have been stopped? In that case would Liberals here defend the school? Or the Student?

Seems arbitrary, but its not, their behavior and attitude towards it Christianity and JC is tribal, non-inclusive, to be smashed at all costs.

My position is let the kid say whatever he pleases, he earned the speech.

#1 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2020-01-18 02:49 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

So you would be fine with a student doing a speech about Allah?

How about keep religion in places of worship, and keep them safe from science.

#2 | Posted by bored at 2020-01-18 02:51 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

More leftwing censorship. It's an epidemic. The leftist thought police will stop at nothing to suppress "political incorrect" ideas.

#3 | Posted by nullifidian at 2020-01-18 02:53 PM | Reply

So you would be fine with a student doing a speech about Allah?

Yes, next question?

#4 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2020-01-18 03:04 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Another "Christian victim story". I swear the religiously insane Christians like
Billy boy Johnson won't be happy until we have full fledged Christian Sharia law.

#5 | Posted by aborted_monson at 2020-01-18 03:39 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Bored,

"So you would be fine with a student doing a speech about Allah?"

Do you really think they would have put the same restriction on a Muslim?

#6 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2020-01-18 04:16 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Aborted,

"Christian Sharia law"

Considering there's no such thing, it would be hard to do.

Really, Christians don't even agree among themselves.

#7 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2020-01-18 04:21 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Perhaps if ultraconservatives like those at young man's new lawyers, the First Liberty Inst., represented a Christianity that in some way looked like that of Jesus and Paul and not that of Supply-Side Jesus, the Prosperity Gospel, and religious persecution of individual behavior.... perhaps then people who really have no problem with the teachings of Jesus and Paul wouldn't be so sensitive about having a religion that has become more of an extension of an ultraconservative authoritarian nationalist political party than it is a representation of those original teachings involved in education.

"Christian First Liberty Institute Turns Small Distortions into Big Cash Grabs

First Liberty is no stranger to unabashedly distorting the facts to its supporters and the general public in an effort to fundraise. This is the organization, after all, that puts out an annual report called "Undeniable" that fabricates hostility toward religious freedom to fan the flames of the Christian persecution complex. The report is full of intellectually dishonest distortions, such as cataloging court decisions that uphold state/church separation as "attacks" on religious freedom."

www.patheos.com

#8 | Posted by Corky at 2020-01-18 05:28 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Corky,

"perhaps then people who really have no problem with the teachings of Jesus and Paul wouldn't be so sensitive about having a religion that has become more of an extension of an ultraconservative authoritarian"

Ok then....focus on the teachings of Jesus.

Don't spend your time looking for reasons not to.

I mean...I'm disappointed in the way all organized religion always find ways to turn every single faith into a money maker and power grab.

But...using that as reason to reject my faith would make me just as much a fraud.

#9 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2020-01-18 07:09 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Here is a little girl 'christians' kicked out of school over a birthday cake. She doesn't have a clutch of white-shoed grifters to get her a settlement and will just have to live with religious bullying like the rest of us.

The lefts position is odd to me....
God is the devil
and sexual material should be in the reach of children in the library.
Fascinating really ...

What do you call a strawman that has already had the stuffing knocked out of it?

What I find "fascinating" is why none of you seem very happy. I mean, God himself has ordered your whole 'life'. He gives you 4.0s for nothing. He scores touchdowns and finds your car keys. He clearly made you more pure and righteous than the rest of us. You get to go heaven forever and ever where angles cover Metallica while you fish with Granpa everyday. It comes with a window where you can look down and see the torture of the damned. What fun that will be!
All that still isn't enough. You can't be happy unless I believe it, too. Other people's kids have to believe it. Everyone must sit in silent homage while a 18yo kid bestows the wisdom gained from your god.

I think the school should take this kid at his word. By his own admission he didnt earn anything. Give the diploma to Jesus and put the kid in a GED program.

So you would be fine with a student doing a speech about Allah?
No.

Would you be fine if he used his speech to call all believers a bunch of dopes and read excerpts from De Rerum Natura?

#10 | Posted by BluSky at 2020-01-18 07:28 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

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Good.

Nobody cares if you think sky daddy did it.

If you want to thank Jeebus and sky daddy, do it on your own time.

#11 | Posted by jpw at 2020-01-18 07:36 PM | Reply

"Would you be fine if he used his speech to call all believers a bunch of dopes ..."

No. That's deliberately trying to insult people.

Thanking God or attributing his success to his religious faith is fine. Attributing it to his agnosticism or atheism is fine too.

#12 | Posted by eberly at 2020-01-18 07:44 PM | Reply

It's funny how god oversaw this kid's entire academic career. Changing test scores when necessary, making sure his punctuation was correct and whatnot. Then, right at the end, after all this hard work, He fails to persuade the school principle to go along with His ordained plan. It's almost like, and hear me out here, God had nothing to do with it all along.

#13 | Posted by BluSky at 2020-01-18 07:54 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Changing test scores when necessary, making sure his punctuation was correct and whatnot.

Kinda like Liberal Hollywood parents? wouldn't you say?

It's almost like, and hear me out here, God had nothing to do with it all along.

Now do it with a Muslim!

If you want to thank Jeebus and sky daddy, do it on your own time.
#11 | POSTED BY JPW

He was .. it was his time, he earned it .....

#14 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2020-01-18 08:19 PM | Reply

Would you be fine if he used his speech to call all believers a bunch of dopes and read excerpts from De Rerum Natura?
#10 | POSTED BY BLUSKY

He didn't say that ... you did.... He just stated it helped him .. possibly if you want it can help you....

#15 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2020-01-18 08:21 PM | Reply

What do you call a strawman that has already had the stuffing knocked out of it?

Is it a strawman ... because its being debated right now on the DR?

#16 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2020-01-18 08:22 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Stop all speeches or have the school write them.

There are some great speeches you can watch, many not stopped, others were.

It is not just Jesus, or God, or Allah that caused stoppages.

Schools don't like many things. They don't like you pointing out their failures, they don't like you talking about sexual harrassment, or bullying you encountered, they want nice speeches, rah rah...

Fine, write the speech, read it out loud. Done. What's the point anyway.

#17 | Posted by Petrous at 2020-01-18 08:38 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa cry me a river

#18 | Posted by LauraMohr at 2020-01-18 08:44 PM | Reply

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa cry me a river
#18 | POSTED BY LAURAMOHR

This must be coming from some one that has never earned anything in their life.

he earned the privilege of speaking at his commencement, why take it from him?

I am really surprised by this attitude coming from you.... sad really you can't relate to someone elses oppression, given what you go on an on about.

#19 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2020-01-18 08:48 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

He was .. it was his time, he earned it .....

#14 | POSTED BY ANDREAMACKRIS

Captive audience and it's his and his classmate's time.

Keep your Stone Age goat herder myths to yourself or STFU. Nobody cares anyway.

#20 | Posted by jpw at 2020-01-18 08:56 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

This must be coming from some one that has never earned anything in their life.

#19 | POSTED BY trustfundbaby

Spare us.

#21 | Posted by jpw at 2020-01-18 08:59 PM | Reply

I mean...I'm disappointed in the way all organized religion always find ways to turn every single faith into a money maker and power grab.
But...using that as reason to reject my faith would make me just as much a fraud.

#9 | POSTED BY BILLJOHNSON

You might want to try rejecting your party and it's version of your faith that much of your faith has accepted.

You know, the version that is the fraud.

#22 | Posted by Corky at 2020-01-18 08:59 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

You might want to try rejecting your party

Why do you think the student is a Democrat?

#23 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2020-01-18 09:08 PM | Reply

Captive audience and it's his and his classmate's time.

He still earned it ... I realize someone earning things upsets you, given your job or lack thereof ...

But typically the valedictorian gets to address their classmate, its a privilege earned.

#24 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2020-01-18 09:11 PM | Reply

He still earned it ... I realize someone earning things upsets you, given your job or lack thereof ...

Yawn. Piss of trust fund baby.

Or at the very least stop assuming everybody else has had as much handed to them as you had handed to you.

#25 | Posted by jpw at 2020-01-18 09:12 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I'm aware they address their class.

But in my experience it was as an address that was meant to commiserate, uplift and celebrate shared experience.

Not brag about how Jeebus loves you more.

#26 | Posted by jpw at 2020-01-18 09:14 PM | Reply

I'm aware they address their class.

I don't think you do ... you seem to not grasp the concept.

But in my experience it was as an address that was meant to commiserate, uplift and celebrate shared experience.

Well you don't have any as far as I can tell ... so ... your "experience" is irrelevant.

But lets say you did, I as an atheist, don't see how someones religious and spiritual experience to help them perform, is anything but uplifting.

#27 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2020-01-18 09:20 PM | Reply

I don't think you do ... you seem to not grasp the concept.

No, you just make the typical Sunning-Kruger mistake of thinking your opinion is the only correct one.

BTW it's not a difficult concept to grasp sport.

Well you don't have any as far as I can tell ... so ... your "experience" is irrelevant.

Oh how nice. You get to decide what's real and whether that reflects what's real. Just like the Jeebus freaks.

---- you're an idiot.

I as an atheist, don't see how someones religious and spiritual experience to help them perform, is anything but uplifting.

Good for you.

I as an agnostic get tired of believers droning on about their particular flavor of stupidity.

I also tire of the virtue signaling dressed as faux humility.

#28 | Posted by jpw at 2020-01-18 09:29 PM | Reply

I wonder if this opinion piece was discussed when it was first in the news?:

OPINION Published May 21, 2018

Todd Starnes: Jesus banned -- School censors valedictorian's religious speech

#29 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2020-01-18 10:59 PM | Reply

It seems to me that the school in question over-corrected. IMO, it's okay for a student to testify to his/her own experience, but proselytizing the audience crosses the line:

IL School District's Revised Policy Will Allow Christian Preaching at Graduation

Last May, conservative Christians were raising a fuss over Sam ----------, a student at West Prairie High School in Illinois, because administrators at his school said his valedictorian speech for graduation was unacceptable since it included explicitly religious messages.

Once version of the draft speech posted online ended with him encouraging the crowd to accept Christ:

Where did Evil, Justice, Love and Forgiveness converge at a moment in history? Can I take you to a hill called Calvary and show you the person of Jesus Christ?

The Cross of Christ shows us our own evil hearts, that we would put an innocent man up to die. Christ came to show us God's justice in dealing with the unfairness of the world. The Cross demonstrates to us the very love of God who died in our place and how we find at the end of the day that without his forgiveness we would never make it.

... The most important thing in your life is to find that intimacy with God. He will guide you, he will hold you, and he will take you through safely in your journey. As you search for goodness, justice, love, and forgiveness, know that only God is big enough to provide that for you.

The school was right to ask him to change the speech to remove those references--and, to his credit, he did--because they had a policy of approving speeches ahead of time. Had ---------- delivered his sermon after administrators read his speech, critics could have rightfully accused the district of promoting religion at a school event.

But because they did the right thing, they didn't hear from church/state separation groups (who had no need to get involved). Instead, they heard from the conservative legal group First Liberty Institute, which said the school went too far in "censoring" this speech.


friendlyatheist.patheos.com

#30 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2020-01-18 11:38 PM | Reply

MFA:

For the past few months, the district has been working in conjunction with First Liberty to create a new policy that would allow students like ---------- to get away with preaching in front of a captive audience. The new rules look something like this:

The policy states students who speak at school assemblies or ceremonies are responsible for the content and delivery of their speeches.

It also states building principals can't prohibit or delete portions of a student speech unless it affects school operations or the rights of other students, is obscene, infringes on copyrights or promotes drug use or other illegal activity.

Student speakers must submit a draft at least two school days before the speech is delivered. The principal can make editorial suggestions.

"West Prairie's new policies ensure that students are free to express their faith at school as long as it's not disruptive," First Liberty senior counsel Roger Byron stated in a news release. "We, along with our client, are very pleased that West Prairie school officials clarified this important policy that will permit future students to share their faith in a graduation ceremony.


A valedictorian is not a preacher, nor is his/her speech meant to be a sermon. Sharing one's faith is one thing, and, in this context, that should be enough:

"The Cross of Christ showed me my own evil heart. The most important thing in my life was finding that intimacy with God. He guides me, He holds me, and He takes me through safely in my journey. As I search for goodness, justice, love, and forgiveness, I know that only God is big enough to provide that for me."

IOW, tell me what you did; don't tell me what I should do.

#31 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2020-01-18 11:49 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

finding ... intimacy with God...He holds me...He takes me....As I search for..love...only God is big enough

I would love to see him say THAT.

#32 | Posted by J_Tremain at 2020-01-19 12:46 AM | Reply

As for some people trying to say a Muslim student would never be banned... true.

Because a normal Muslim (not the cleric kind) would say.. at the most... "By the Grace of Allah, I made it"... and he/she would go on to talking about normal inspirational stuff that would be relevant to others.

There wouldn't be a lecture making other people feel bad for not being religious enough to succeed with Gawd's help.

#33 | Posted by J_Tremain at 2020-01-19 12:52 AM | Reply

Gal,

"don't tell me what I should do"

Valedictorian's blather about their own values trying to convince the audience to believe this or that all the time.

You wouldn't really care if it wasn't about Christianity.

That same year the school administration put in a new policy that would prevent it happening again.

#34 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2020-01-19 12:55 AM | Reply

"You wouldn't really care if it wasn't about Christianity."

On the contrary. I would feel the same way if the valedictorian was a follower of Allah, Shiva, Yahweh or Jesus, etc. The religion doesn't matter, the same principle applies. The valedictorian in a public high school should be free to talk about his/her own religious beliefs/experiences. Telling a captive audience of fellow graduates and their families that they, too, should follow Allah, Shiva, Yahweh or Jesus, etc. crosses the line into preaching/proselyting.

#35 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2020-01-19 06:22 AM | Reply

Wing dings can't grasp the idea of gov't being separate from religion.

That more than anything proves their anti-american beliefs.

#36 | Posted by kudzu at 2020-01-19 10:04 AM | Reply

Let's juxtapose this:

No, you just make the typical Sunning-Kruger mistake of thinking your opinion is the only correct one.

BTW it's not a difficult concept to grasp sport...

#28 | POSTED BY JPW

With:

Nobody cares if you think sky daddy did it.

If you want to thank Jeebus and sky daddy, do it on your own time.

#11 | POSTED BY JPW AT 2020-01-18 07:36 PM
----
Keep your Stone Age goat herder myths to yourself or STFU. Nobody cares anyway.

#20 | POSTED BY JPW AT 2020-01-18 08:56 PM
----

I as an agnostic get tired of believers droning on about their particular flavor of stupidity....

#28 | POSTED BY JPW AT 2020-01-18 09:29 PM

So, only your belief is the correct one? You really are a hateful, pompous ass at times.

#37 | Posted by JeffJ at 2020-01-19 11:17 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

#37 unless you have evidence of me preaching my agnosticism you're just knee jerking.

#38 | Posted by jpw at 2020-01-19 11:21 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#38

I'm talking about you making a comment about the fallacy of an individual's opinion being the only correct one and then nastily trashing people's beliefs because you disagree with said beliefs. It's as if you think you have all of life's answers.

#39 | Posted by JeffJ at 2020-01-19 11:24 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

Considering there's no such (Christian Sharia Law), it would be hard to do.
Really, Christians don't even agree among themselves.

#7 | POSTED BY BILLJOHNSON

What are laws that restrict abortion? In my state, the liquor stores can't open on Sunday. What is the reasoning behind that, except the Bible?

#40 | Posted by TFDNihilist at 2020-01-20 04:49 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Tfd,

"What are laws that restrict abortion?"

They are simply just that...secular laws.

Christianity and Islam are fundamentally very different at their core.

Islam (much like Judaism) is a religion of laws and consequences for breaking them.

Christianity is a religion of laws and forgiveness with a caveat.

That being said, our actions in this life may still have rewards and consequences of a secular nature.

#41 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2020-01-20 07:07 AM | Reply | Funny: 2

They are simply just that...secular laws.
#41 | POSTED BY BILLJOHNSON

No, it's a law based on a religion.

#42 | Posted by TFDNihilist at 2020-01-20 07:33 AM | Reply

Bill Johnson blue laws look into them.

#43 | Posted by LauraMohr at 2020-01-20 08:44 AM | Reply

It's as if you think you have all of life's answers.

#39 | POSTED BY JEFFJ

No, it's as if you don't have a real argument.

#44 | Posted by jpw at 2020-01-20 09:12 AM | Reply

Laura,

I know good and well what they are because I once lived in a state that enforced them.

Historically a great many laws in America originally had a biblical basis.

But my point was that Christianity doesn't have an equivalent to Sharia Law.

The closest Christianity may have is the 10 Commandments created before Christ was born.

Blue laws are local at best where each locality sets their own standards.

Sharia Law is a body of laws that in theory is universal for all Muslims as I understand it. It's application varies however.

#45 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2020-01-20 09:24 AM | Reply | Funny: 2

Laura,

Also blue laws are not biblical.

They are like many traditional beliefs of Christianity created by men as an outgrowth of biblical laws.

Keeping the Sabbath day holy and resting are biblical.

Blue laws are not.

I mean....not doing manual labor may be resting for some people who do that sort of work for a living.

For someone who works at a desk all week manual labor may not be rest.

My point is blue laws are only local interpretations of biblical laws and not universal truths.

Just my opinion.

#46 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2020-01-20 09:41 AM | Reply | Funny: 2

www.google.com

#47 | Posted by YAV at 2020-01-20 10:10 AM | Reply

No, it's as if you don't have a real argument.

#44 | POSTED BY JPW

I made my argument and you don't have a rejoinder.

#48 | Posted by JeffJ at 2020-01-20 10:46 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

This must be coming from some one that has never earned anything in their life.
{SNIP}
#19 | Posted by AndreaMackris

IRONY ALERT! IRONY ALERT! IRONY ALERT!

#49 | Posted by truthhurts at 2020-01-20 10:53 AM | Reply

Bill, you must be dizzy from all that spinning. Blue laws, abortion laws, even many drug laws, are based on religious traditions. While not exactly the same as Muslim Sharia, it is the same concept.
Many societies who never heard of the 10 comandments have laws against murder, theft, etc.

#50 | Posted by TFDNihilist at 2020-01-20 12:38 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Tfd,

Read where Sharia Laws came from according to their religion.

Christianity has no equivalent.

#51 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2020-01-20 04:57 PM | Reply

Sorry you find it impossible to see the whole picture.

#52 | Posted by TFDNihilist at 2020-01-20 09:20 PM | Reply

Tfd,

Maybe that's your problem.

The only thing you see is the "whole picture".

#53 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2020-01-20 09:57 PM | Reply | Funny: 2

Read where Sharia Laws came from

I did. When I was 10.

Christianity has no equivalent.

Yes it does. Google it.

en.wikipedia.org

Dumb fraker.

Sharia Law is a body of laws that in theory is universal for all Muslims as I understand it.

I'm afraid you don't understand ----.

Comment on your own religion, Padre. You clearly aren't qualified to talk about Islam (any of the 83 kinds of Islam).. except as a deflection.

#54 | Posted by J_Tremain at 2020-01-21 09:53 AM | Reply

So bloody ashamed of his own trash belief system he needs to drag Islam into his arguments.... LOL

#55 | Posted by J_Tremain at 2020-01-21 09:54 AM | Reply

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