Christianity seems to be under attack in America. Turn on the news and you’re bound to uncover a story about how some organization masquerading around as a defender of civil rights won a “victory” when they tore a picture of Jesus out of a high school or had a Christian statue removed. Christianity is an important religion in America, just like the others are. But the government seems to have forgotten that. And in a long line of Anti-Christian attacks, the Beaver Area School District just conducted another one. When a high school graduate was planning to give a speech at the ceremony, the school ordered her to remove her references to Jesus in the speech. Now she’s fighting back claiming the school violated her civil rights.
On Tuesday, Moriah Bridges came forward to tell the country how she wanted to pray during her graduation speech on June 2. She believed it was her first amendment right to do so. But the school shut her down before she could even get started. And now she’s fighting the good fight for proud Christians across the country.
“I just wanted to share all of my hopes, calling upon my Christian identity at graduation,” Bridges said.
Because she has a real case against the Beaver Area School District, First Liberty has taken her case. They are a Texas-based religious freedom law firm and love fighting to support people like Bridges. They believe that Bridges’ graduation speech was a personal message to her fellow classmates and therefore was protected under the United States Constitution.
Because they plan to play hardball, the firm sent the superintendent a letter demanding a meeting and for the district to change its policy when it comes to Christian messages.
“I think we can just simply sit down and say, ‘Here’s a good policy. I think we can move forward on this.’ If it ultimately comes to a lawsuit at some point in the future, we’ll examine that at that time,” said First Liberty lawyer Jeremy Dys.
In response, superintendent Carrie Rowe released the following statement:
“Beaver Area School District applauds the Class of 2017 for its accomplishments… We are especially pleased when passionate students speak at the graduation ceremony… Moriah Bridges, a good student and gifted athlete, was a natural choice to express gratitude on behalf of her fellow students…
“Students who speak at graduation, including the valedictorian and class president, know that the District will review their remarks in advance, and the District assumes responsibility for the content. In Moriah’s case, the District could not approve a speech written as a prayer, but did approve a second version that she submitted.
“As Superintendent, I took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States…
“A U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2000 involving Santa Fe Independent School District held that school officials may not permit ‘a teacher, faculty member, member of the clergy, or student to deliver any sort of prayer, invocation, or benediction at public school-sponsored events, including graduations.
“Although I can understand why this restriction might upset members of the community, I cannot choose which laws to follow. My hope is that we will continue to focus on creating opportunities for our students, rather than taking a position that establishes new legal precedents,” superintendent Rowe concludes.
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