Politics

This Student Was Ordered to Remove a Bible Verse From Her Graduation Speech. Here’s What Happened.

Bible verse Christian religionLast week, Colorado Mesa University gave the Class of 2018 a lot more than their diplomas to celebrate. The Grand Junction campus finally decided to let Karissa Erickson quote the Bible in her speech. But not without a fight.

The controversy started a few weeks ago when Erickson, a nursing student, turned in her remarks for graduation. In them, she talks about persevering through adversity. “God always has a purpose,” she wanted to say. “I find comfort in Jesus’ words, and I pass them on to you. John 16:33. ‘These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take comfort, I have overcome the world.’”

CMU President Tim Foster apparently didn’t find comfort in Jesus’ words and ordered them scrubbed from Erickson’s address, along with any mention of God. He and his administrative team warned her of “repercussions” if she kept the text in. ” … Some people don’t appreciate those references,” they insisted.

Unfortunately for Foster, that’s not a legitimate reason for denying anyone—let alone a student—their constitutional rights. Erickson contacted our friends at the Alliance Defending Freedom who wasted no time schooling CMU on the particulars of the First Amendment.

“According to CMU officials,” ADF attorneys wrote, “the University is censoring Miss Erickson’s references to Jesus and the Bible because they might offend another student or attendee. But this reasoning flatly ignores decades of First Amendment jurisprudence. For the First Amendment exists precisely to protect controversial speech.”

Almost immediately, the university reversed course. College spokeswoman Dana Nunn said the faculty were “trying to do the right thing, but made a mistake.”

“It was a well-intentioned misunderstanding of what was appropriate,” she went on. “I think it’s fair to say that a lot of people have their own interpretations of the separation of church and state, and the faculty member that initially asked for the change was just trying to do the right thing, she was just not correct legally … It was a well-intentioned and honest error but an error nonetheless. As soon as the error came to our attention, we did our best to correct it.”

ADF’s Travis Barham was impressed by how quickly the university changed course. “When they were confronted with what the law required, they quickly backtracked and allowed the student to speak freely.”

Of course, it’s an important lesson to all of us that just because we have religious freedom doesn’t mean we won’t have to fight to exercise it. We tip our (graduation) cap to the young people like Erickson for standing up for what’s right—and giving their generation the courage to do the same.

From - The Daily Signal - by Tony Perkins

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Jim

President Foster’s disdain for God is evident. Perhaps he should be consistent in his beliefs and abstain from acceptance or use of any metal or paper/cloth which bears the phrase “ In God We Trust”.

Frederick Barton

Trying to do the ‘right’ thing? Perhaps in a muddled, coerced, or subtafuged way. But generally, not true.

Stephen Coe

This is a group of self important people who have Never had to work in the real world. They believe only in themselves and have no ability to think outside their own very small environment.

Steve Yount

This kind of restriction of free speech and religious freedom is becoming commonplace even among our secondary schools! Why aren’t there more lawsuits in these instances? Why isn’t the DOJ taking action against the schools and individuals who are restricting students’ speech?

Jim Hentnik

Hopefully those being silenced by the speech police and liberal educators will again speak when they vote for conservatism and constitutional practices this fall let the silent majority be hard

Joseph

‘IN GOD WE TRUST’, everyone else pays cash. ‘Good or bad’ statement?: Does the statement ‘support or deny’ GOD’? Begin by asking: Why do some individuals, groups, oriznations so vigorously oppose (a) Admitting, there is such an entity existing titled ‘GOD’, (b) that GOD, is, as we (humans) would say, ‘ALIVE’, (c) that ‘GOD’, who is alive, has, is and will be the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, or stated another way, ‘GOD’ always was and will always be (no beginning, no end), (d) that we, humans, do not or can not understand everything about the existence of ‘GOD’, (e) that we (humans) not being able to understand (figure out) , know for sure, communicate (talk to and hear the voice of GOD) frustrates, annoys, insults our (humans) intelligence (our own existence), so we (humans) , (to be continued}