Opinion

High School Graduate Defies Government Edict Not to Mention Jesus in Graduation Speech and Why She Was Right.

Liberals love free speech when they are the only ones talking. The latest example of denying some people the right to believe and speak happened at a high school graduation in Pennsylvania where its Constitution states, “grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty.” Keep it in mind as you read the following:

“Moriah Bridges wanted to thank God for His immeasurable blessings on Beaver High School’s graduating class. But she could not because she was told it was against the law.

“The Pennsylvania teenager wanted to offer thanksgiving to the Almighty for parents and coaches and teachers. But again, she could not, because she was told it was against the law.” (WorldNewsPolitics)

She defied the government by ending her commencement speech with the following:

“When they said not to chew gum, I didn’t chew gum. When they said not to use your cellphone, I didn’t use my cellphone. But today, in the spirit of defying expectations, and for perhaps the last time at this podium, I say, ‘in the righteous name of Jesus Christ, Amen.’”

First, as a Christian, Moriah Bridges had every right to defy government officials. The Apostle Peter said it best: “And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, ‘Did not we command you that you should not teach in this name? and, behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.’ Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, ‘We ought to obey God rather than men’” (Acts 5:27-29).

Moriah obeyed God rather than men even though Peter would later write, “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right” (1 Pet. 2:13-15). Is this a contradiction? Peter didn’t think so. There are limits to what ecclesiastical and civil authorities can demand. Scripture often gives universal prohibitions but notes exceptions.

Second, there is no law that says a high school student can’t mention God. Government officials who appeal to the First Amendment need to read it and understand it:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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The prohibition is addressed to Congress, not a public school in Pennsylvania. In addition, take notice that no law can be made “prohibiting the free exercise” of religion or “abridging the freedom of speech.”

Third, the Preamble to the Pennsylvania states the following: “WE, the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and humbly invoking His guidance, do ordain and establish this Constitution.”

Why is it constitutionally permissible for the people of Pennsylvania collectively to thank God but it’s prohibited for a single person to do the same? Moriah Bridges was in line with our state’s Constitution. Those who were telling her she could not mention Jesus were not.

Fourth, the Constitution, while not making a direct reference to God, makes an interesting concluding statement. Just above George Washington’s signature, the following is found:

“Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty-seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the twelfth….”

“In the year of our Lord” is a reference to Jesus Christ. How do we know this? Because of the date: “one thousand seven hundred and Eighty-seven,” 1787 years from the birth of Jesus Christ.

To confirm that this is the case, the following is from a document signed by Pres. Thomas Jefferson in 1807: “In the year of our Lord Christ“:

What does “of the twelfth” mean? It’s a reference to the year the Declaration of Independence was drafted. God is mentioned four times in various ways: “Nature’s God,” “Creator,” “Supreme Judge of the World,” and “Divine Providence.

Let’s not forget that Sunday is set aside as a day of rest for the President (Art. 1, sec. 7).

It’s too bad that Moriah Bridges and here fellow graduates were not taught constitutional history and some of our nation’s hidden religious history. She could have educated her graduating class in a way that her school did not.

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