Opinion

Nursing Student Stands Up to Anti-Christian Bullies

It’s easy to give him. Most people don’t like to fight. But there comes a time when fighting is the right thing to do. If a person gives into a bully, the bully will only revert to more bullying. There are two ways to fight a bully. Become strong yourself and/or get some anti-bully backup.

Colorado Mesa University officials demanded that a student get rid of references to Jesus and the Bible in her graduation speech to fellow nursing students — that is, until she got a Christian legal firm involved, the Daily Sentinel reported. (The Blaze)

Let’s look at the legal side of the issue from Colorado’s Constitution. The following is the Preamble to Colorado’s Constitution:

We, the people of Colorado, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, in order to form a more independent and perfect government; establish justice; insure tranquility; provide for the common defense; promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the “State of Colorado.”

The following is from Colorado’s Bill of Rights:

Section 4. Religious freedom. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination, shall forever hereafter be guaranteed; and no person shall be denied any civil or political right, privilege or capacity, on account of his opinions concerning religion…

On constitutional grounds alone, Karissa Erickson, whose fellow-classmates chose her to speak at the nursing pinning ceremony, has her inalienable rights as outlined in the Declaration of Independence, her constitutional rights as stated in the First Amendment when applied to the States (government can’t deny the “free exercise” of religion), and Colorado’s own constitution.

After the nursing faculty reviewed Erickson’s speech, it took issue with her religious statements “about overcoming adversity and then noted, “God always has a purpose.” She followed that up with, “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.’”

It seems that the nursing faculty does not know Colorado’s own laws. “A school official emailed Erickson and told her to take out the part saying “you find comfort in Jesus’ words and cite a [B]ible verse,” a letter from an Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) letter noted, “adding that the official also said “speeches should be free of any one religious slant” and that “some people don’t appreciate those references.”

It seems “that several years earlier students took offense at Bibles being distributed on campus, the ADF letter explained, adding that ‘due to the ensuing negative publicity it received, CMU no longer allows Bible verses or remarks about any specific religion because someone might be offended.’ That official added to Erickson that she had to remove the religious references from her speech or ‘there will be repercussions. This program will not tolerate it,’ the ADF letter said.”

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There were repercussions. Karissa Erickson found an organization to help her fight the anti-Christian bullies.

Erickson contacted Alliance Defending Freedom, the legal outfit said in a news release— and once CMU received the letter from the law firm protesting the speech censorship, school officials backed down.

“When they were confronted with what the law required, they quickly backtracked and allowed the student to speak freely,” Alliance attorney Travis Barham told the Daily Sentinel. “I am genuinely impressed the university corrected its actions so quickly.”

Karissa Erickson knew her legal and constitutional rights, and she was not afraid of a fight. Two important items to keep in mind. It also helps to have organizations like the Alliance Defending Freedom around to pitch it on the legal side.

“This sort of thing pops up with alarming frequency, where university officials come under the mistaken conclusion that the First Amendment requires them to purge all speech of anything that’s religious,” Barham added to the Daily Sentinel. “They think they’re fulfilling the commands of the First Amendment, but they’re actually violating it.”

Barham added in the news release that, “America’s Founding Fathers regularly opened public ceremonies with prayer, and federal appeals courts have consistently ruled that universities can do the same at their graduation ceremonies.”

Christians! We Don’t Live Under Caesar ⋆ The US ...

The history of the United States is a history of the role that Christianity played in its founding. If these students are offended by a Bible verse, what do they think of the Constitution since it states the following:  “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…”

“The Twelfth” is a reference to the Declaration of Independence (12 years from 1776) that includes the following phrases:

  1. The Laws of Nature and Nature’s God…
  2. Endowed by their Creator…
  3. The Supreme Judge of the world…
  4. The protection of divine Providence…

If some of the nursing students are offended by a Bible verse, what do you think their response would be knowing some of the above historical facts?

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