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June 6th, 2013
10:37 AM ET

With his speech, valedictorian brings God to graduation

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='JRavitzCNN']

(CNN) - Leading up to Saturday’s ceremony, Roy Costner IV prayed on what he was going to do. Liberty High School’s 2013 valedictorian would soon find himself in front of a microphone. He’d have a pulpit from which he could address his small community tucked away in South Carolina’s mountainous corner.

Only his father and pastor knew what was weighing on his heart and mind. Could he, should he, insert a prayer in his pre-approved graduation speech? He’d been told by the school principal that talk of religion wasn’t allowed, and so far he’d followed the rules.

But as the day approached, the 18-year-old couldn’t deny what he felt he needed to do.

“I wanted to stand up for God,” he explained Wednesday. “This is what God wanted me to do.”

So Costner, in cap and gown, stood behind the podium and ripped up his original speech. Before he gave shout-outs to coaches, cheerleaders and friends, there was something else he wanted to say.

“One thing I am certain of is we’re all a sum of our experiences, both good and bad,” he told his fellow graduates, a class of about 150. “All in all, those experiences, the people who mentored us, that we look up to, they have helped carve and mold us into the young adults that we are today. I’m so thankful that both of my parents led me to the Lord at a young age. And I think most of you will understand when I say, ‘Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name …”

The crowd before him began to cheer as he recited the Lord’s Prayer, drowning out a few verses. The school principal, sitting behind him, appeared uncomfortable and peered down at papers on her lap. The school district’s superintendent, a few seats over, couldn’t help but smile.

“I was tearing up,” Costner said, remembering the moment. “I was overwhelmed by the response. … The clapping was so loud I couldn’t hear myself talking into the microphone.”

His father told CNN's Piers Morgan on Thursday night he was overwhelmed with pride for his son. The younger Costner approached his dad a few days before the speech and showed him what he wanted to do.

"I said, 'Look, if you're doing this for political reasons, don't. But if you're doing it because you feel led to do it and you feel this is a part of your speech, then I want you to do it and I'll stand by you,' " Roy Costner III said.

Some who were there heaped on praise when talking to CNN affiliate WYFF. One called it “pretty impressive.” Another student said it “took a lot of courage” and that “people were proud that he stood up for what he believed in.”

What he believes is that Liberty, a town with three stoplights and a population of 3,000, “fully supports prayer.”

He also believes that organizations such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Madison, Wisconsin, group dedicated to maintaining separation of church and state, should stop meddling in the affairs of the Pickens County School District. The foundation, over this past school year, has leaned on the district to keep Jesus and student-led prayers out of school board meetings.

Other concerns went beyond board meetings. This spring, the foundation’s staff attorney sent a lawyer representing the district a letter about complaints of alleged discriminatory hiring and religious promotion in another county high school and praise music being played in an elementary school classroom. The foundation said it learned of such practices by way of community members who are, in fact, not fully supporting prayer.

Costner said he set out to make a statement, one he hopes will inspire others to stand up, too, for what he sees as the good of this country.

“Taking prayer out of schools is the worst thing we could do,” he said.

If Costner went to a Christian school, there would be no discussion, said Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. But in public schools, even in a place where there may be a religious majority, prayers such as his are clearly unconstitutional, she said. What’s more, she added, what he did shows contempt for school district policy and a lack of sensitivity for his audience.

“It’s aggressive. It’s supremely rude,” she said. “This student is old enough to know that not everyone in the audience is Christian.”

But Costner, who was bouncing between interviews and heading to New York for TV appearances, said he counts atheists among his friends. He said that even though he doesn’t agree with their beliefs, he respects them – and that they do the same for him.

The elder Costner said his son had been inundated with messages of support, even from atheists.

He said he thinks the video of the speech resonated with people across the country because many people "really want something to hold onto for hope."

The son said he’s experienced no blowback from the district for what he did. And a district spokesman suggested Costner won’t.

“He’s a graduate now, so there’s nothing we can do about it even if we wanted to,” John Eby told WYFF. “But the bottom line is we’re not going to punish students for expressing their religious faiths.”

The district, Eby explained to CNN Friday morning, is in a “nearly impossible position.” He said federal law, under the Establishment Clause, is clear that public schools cannot “approve in advance a student’s prayer” or “carve out time specifically for religious expression.” But, under the Free Exercise Clause, he added, “we can’t punish students who do pray.”

Gaylor doesn’t expect there to be any punishment. But without issuing some sort of statement expressing disappointment and reiterating school policy, she said, the district is making a mistake.

“It’s one thing if a school doesn’t have a policy,” she said. “But when they do, they really need to enforce their policy because otherwise it’s just a wink and a nod.”

Eby has an answer to this.

“I do want to reiterate that we don’t approve rule breaking,” he said. “But we are very serious about protecting our students’ rights to express themselves religiously – or refuse to.”

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Belief • Christianity

soundoff (5,383 Responses)
  1. TheVocalAtheist

    This kid is a selfish little brat with a father that endorses deception. All in the name of their crazy world view of a being watching and waiting for them to join it in the glory of it's narcissistic self. A barrel of nonsense backed by cruel people, hateful people and people who are afraid of reality. Isn't Colorado creating a place for all of you insane backward idiots to hold hands and sing and pray? Go away and shut the f-up!

    June 8, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
  2. Bootyfunk

    of course, the christians would have spazzed out if a muslim kid wanted to deliver an islamic prayer, but because it's a christian prayer, it's fine. if a buddhist, taoist, sikh or hindu wanted to deliver a prayer, christians would have been outraged at having another religion shoved down their throats. if an atheist wanted to confirm there was no god and rightfully thank the human beings that helped him become valedictorian, christians would have been outraged. but since most of the people in the audience were christian, who cares about the people that aren't? we're the majority.

    June 8, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
  3. aldewacs2

    Recipe to make a Christian: take equal parts water, Machiavelli powder, Orwell powder, and childish brain ability powder. Mix well. Serve at body temperature. For Muslim or other variety, add suitable food coloring.

    June 8, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • aldewacs2

      Forgot to add: don't try to add common sense or critical thought – it won't stay in the mix.

      June 8, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
  4. Bostontola

    "In good conscience no one can call an evil such as Islam anything but the vile and godless deception that it is. Better to tell a Muslim the honest Truth about its idolatrous beliefs than to be complacent and see the misguided fool of a Muslim lost to..."

    Wow. This from a Christian. In the scheme of all belief systems the difference between Christianity and Islam is minuscule. The hubris that goes with assuming your religion has truth while all others are false is astonishing. Just imagine what you feel about the truth of other religions with this kind of statement, and you have a pretty good feel how others think about the truth of your god and religion.

    June 8, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
  5. Bob

    The bible thumpers and god fraud sellers are hard at it on this blog today, so let's take a closer look at what's really in their Christian book of nasty AKA the bible. From both horrid testaments:

    Numbers 31:17-18
    17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
    18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

    Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

    Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

    Leviticus 25
    44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
    45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
    46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

    Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

    Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

    And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

    So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

    June 8, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • Colin

      Still stuck on Leviticus? When will you graduate to reading the Bible fully?

      June 8, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Bob

      Colin, learn to read, you pathetic moron. Many of the above quotes are not from Leviticus. As usual, the atheist knows the bible better than the Christian.

      Now ask yourself this:

      How is it again that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers? Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there, and that core premise of your religion is actually nonsense.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      June 8, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • Bob

      Salvation is found in Jesus Christ. Gods grace extended to man through Gods only begotten son.

      June 8, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • Bob

      Other Bob, how is it again that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers?

      Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there, and the basic premise of your religion is complete nonsense.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      June 8, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Science

      The e word wins all the time creationists ..........no god(s) made US............get over IT

      Hey Colin and the other Bob/creationists below...........think outside the bible (little box)...........highlight phrase above

      click on little blue box and then click on search with Bing................have fun

      June 8, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Colin

      Why is it that you can't read the Bible fully? Start with the New Testament first, understand what the Bible is trying to convey, taking scriptures out of context is meaningless.

      June 8, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Science

      Now that is real easy to do Colin a 5 year old could do it.

      June 8, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Bob,

      Only fools say to their fool, foolishness ideas conceptualized thru augmented faithlessness and bitter vainness of contemptuous valor.

      June 8, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Colin,

      There is plenty of violence preaching, family hating and misogyny in the New Testament too. Have YOU read the bible completely?

      June 8, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • Colin

      Read The Bible, not the skeptic bible or other chosen/ select verses from anti Christian websites.

      June 8, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • Science

      Hey Creationists..........Colin too...........from the little blue box...........which is Bing...........if you like facebook.

      Science Wins God Loses | Facebook

      https://www.facebook.com/ScienceWinsGodLoses

      "Creationists make it sound like a ‘theory’ is something you ... are all over it. ... that says I must submit to him or suffer agonizing punishment for all time?

      8,000,000 results Any time

      June 8, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @ Colin,

      I grew up in a christian home. I spent 13 years in a christian school and 18 years in a baptist church. I have much of the bible memorized and have read it many times as a believer and non-believer. When I was a child I wanted more than anything to believe the stories were true. I was amazed by the miracles and magic of the bible. As I became older though I began to see to more insidious and divisive nature of the bible and religion. You could say that when I became a man, I put away childish things.

      I encourage to continue your search for truth, but also to know there are more places than the bible to find it. These truths are more reasonable, less devices and are about peace without fear, love without guilt, and joy, humility and gratitude without god.

      June 8, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      GodFreeNow,

      While guiding others toward a seemingly unending truth hunt, how can you find time to really know what truth truly is and stands for? Be honest in your answer.

      June 8, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @lionlylamb,

      All I can tell you is that you know it when you find it.

      June 8, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      GodFreeNow,

      I see then, The hunt for truth can either be a soulless job or a spirited endeavor! Rest stops are approved ❗

      June 8, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
  6. Colin

    Gods grace is extended to the unworthy by the believer willing to stand on Gods principles. Well done young man!

    June 8, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Colin

      Islam is a false and empty deception unknowing and unknown. There is no God in Islam only an idolatrous demonic enslavement.

      June 8, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Any unbeliever in that audience will just have seen this particular Christian as rude and inconsiderate. If you want to convert people this isn't the way to do it and the think it effective is at best ignorant and at worst downright delusional.

      June 8, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Bob

      True.Grace abounds to the unbeliever that chooses to accept it. Roy exudes wisdom.

      June 8, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Bob

      Given that your god's principles include murder, torture and rape, you really shouldn't be pushing them at the world. According to the nasty Christian users manual (both foul testaments), god wants you to do the following for him:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

      Leviticus 25
      44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
      45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
      46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      June 8, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • Bob

      Other Bob, that is a steaming pile of BS, what you said about salvation. In fact, that core premise of the Christian religion is obviously nonsense:

      How is it again that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers? Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      June 8, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • sam stone

      free people do not need saviors

      only slaves do

      June 8, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • Bob

      The whole sacrifice for salvation thing is a steaming pile of bull doodoo. How is it again that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers? Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      June 8, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • sam stone

      a "proven lie"?

      where is this "proof", blob?

      June 8, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • .

      Did someone called blob comment? I wasn't able to find that particular comment.

      June 8, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • Commenter

      Bob,
      "Salvation is indeed found only in Christ, any post to the contrary is a proven lie."

      "Proven"... really? I don't think you know the meaning of the word "proven".

      June 8, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
  7. Hypatia

    The xians are in full force here. Such kindness, such compassion, such forbearance! Jesus would love their bleached bones!

    June 8, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Colin

      If you mean Christian say Christian otherwise you may be suspect as unable to spell or habitually lazy.

      June 8, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
  8. Supernatural starting point

    "False. Science does not start from unsupported assumptions."

    Oh yes they do... they have no source for: big bang, life, species... evolution goes backwards and forwards... going nowhere.

    God did exactly what he said he did. God sent Jesus to die for the sins of others that believe him and repent. God is the creator of everything, it is HIS creation. I will give him credit, because it is due HIM.

    June 8, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Time & Life

      Such a medium could be used to help others find the messiah, so they can know when sins would end. It could be used to tell them who to give credit for, for God's creation. Otherwise, the medium is wasted... and the time and life.

      June 8, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      The epitome of unsupported assumptions.

      June 9, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
  9. Cough

    Ummm Tipsy...yeah you proably are

    June 8, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
  10. tony

    Bible 2.0, it's updated version for modern times, can be read by correctly interpreting the signs we see in the starry sky at night. So says "god" in genesis 1:14.

    We've had somewhat in the region of 3000 years to figure all that out, but I haven't seen anything come from our religious leaders since maybe the "star over bethlehem".

    Whassa problem you Tele-evangelists? Letting this poor valedictorian work with 2000 years out of date data. No wonder his message was purely subjective.

    June 8, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
  11. sam stone

    you sound like a fine follower of christ, tipsy. time for you to meet him. do you have tall buildings where you live?

    June 8, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
  12. STFU

    Mohammad, no one cares for your terrorist talks, so wise up and talk nicely, or find yourself a turban bomb, like danish cartoonist put it in cartoon of pedo mohammad, mother cfker.

    June 8, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
  13. sam stone

    "serious" in the sense of worship, or in the sense of realizing it is translated, edited iron age mythology which has no bearing on our lives and our country?

    June 8, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
  14. The real Paula72

    So the solution for a girl throwing a fit because she didn't get her way is to continue to make her life easy beyond reality and treat her as if she actually has some kind of above average talent? That should help.

    June 8, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • Science

      boy the SH_IT hit THE fan..............chad needs a cookie ?

      The e word wins all the time creationists ..........no god(s) made US............get over IT

      Make sure to highlight above phrase..............then click on the little blue box and search with Bing.

      Think out side the box and have fun .

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/05/when-christians-become-a-hated-minority/

      June 9, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
  15. Roy Costner IV

    We also thank you dear Lord for protecting the students all across this nation and not allowing a single death at school this year. We know this is only possible because of your presence and love for us.

    Amen

    June 8, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • Saraswati

      "We"?

      June 8, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
  16. Bostontola

    This is the belief blog, not the religion blog.

    June 8, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • Read_A_Book

      "The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives."

      June 8, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
  17. PeterVN

    Like that great blog quote said earlier,

    "Religion is for the ignorant, the gullible, the cowardly, and the stupid, and for those who would profit from them."

    The valedictorian kid is smarter than some of his peers (which isn't saying much), or maybe just a better ass kisser. So, maybe he'll profit as well as being on the ignorant and stupid side. They aren't mutually exclusive, as the rich televangies have demonstrated (that is, if sincere in their stated beliefs, which is kinda doubtful).

    June 8, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • mary

      Love that quote. Thanks.

      June 8, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Ed

      Harsh, but true.

      June 8, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Sue

      You're baiting them, despite your accuracy.

      June 8, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • PeterVN

      Damning and faint praise Sue? I'll take it.

      June 8, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Vic

      Romans 1:16
      "16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek."

      New American Standard Bible (NASB)
      http://www.biblegateway.com/

      June 8, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Science

      There it is the gateway to the red horn-y beast aye VIC................the bible .

      June 8, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Science

      Something fishy going on here maybe ?

      June 8, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Bob

      Vic, since you are so inclined to dump quotes incessantly on us from your vile Christian book of nasty AKA the bible, let's have a look at some of the fine instructions that are in there. From both testaments:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

      Leviticus 25
      44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
      45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
      46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      June 8, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
  18. Colin

    With every new scientific discovery intelligent scientists recognize that they have but reached a plateau that someone else has prepared for them to find. The wise scientist recognizes that the someone else is God.

    June 8, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Colin,
      From this statement I take it you are not a bible literalist.

      June 8, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      .

      Oh my, how terribly clever you are.

      June 8, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      wrong post

      June 8, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Vic,
      Do you think the earth was created before the sun?

      June 8, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Geraldissimo

      Nice argument from ignorance there Colin. Good one. You must practice that one a lot.

      FAIL!

      June 8, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • .

      few trys the ohio wizard finally hits the right post thanks for proving my point

      June 8, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Mick

      I find it hilarious that people who put their faith in science spend so much of their time on religion boards trying to convince others of their beliefs. It smacks of insecurity.

      June 8, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      .

      And once again I tip my hat to your intelligence, insight, judgement, and ability to police the internet.

      June 8, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • OTOH

      Mick

      "I find it hilarious that people who put their faith in science spend so much of their time on religion boards trying to convince others of their beliefs. It smacks of insecurity."

      Perhaps so, but we've seen too many theocracies around the world and do not want to see one here. Christians, unquestioned and uncontested, might well think that silence is consent.

      p.s. Most Christian forums delete posts and ban posters who disagree with them. This board is a rare opportunity to speak from all sides.

      June 8, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
  19. Colin

    God's grace is sufficient.

    June 8, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Colin,
      That's great it works for you. Don't let that keep you from finding joy in science as well. There is a lot of beauty in the natural world too.

      June 8, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • Colin

      Without God's grace there would be no science, God was in science long before you were.

      June 8, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      gotta love circular reasoning.

      June 8, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • .

      When America was founded Pennsylvania was given land along lake Erie so that two loser states wouldn't border each other. Seems like ohio has continued to produce more idiots per square mile than anywhere else on earth.

      June 8, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      .

      Oh, my, how terrible clever you are.

      June 8, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Vic

      http://www.netstate.com/states/mottoes/oh_motto.htm

      June 8, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      embarrassing motto.

      June 8, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Doobs

      Sufficient for what?

      June 9, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
  20. Reality

    Talk all you want to and or/about your god just don't do it with taxpayers' dollars i.e. this is a public school getting local, state and federal funding. I am sure there are some private Christian schools in the area this kid could have gone to.

    And then there is this:

    The Twenty (or so) Worst Things GOD'S CREATURES Have Done to Each Other:

    M. White, http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u (required reading)

    The Muslim Conquest of India

    "The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

    Rank …..Death Toll ..Cause …..Centuries……..(Religions/Groups involved)*

    1. 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists/atheists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

    2. 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

    3. 40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

    4. 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

    5. 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

    6. 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

    7. 20 million Joseph Stalin 20C (Communism)

    8. 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

    9. 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

    10. 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

    11. 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

    12. 15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)

    13. 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

    14. 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

    15. 10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

    16. 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

    17. 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs. Christians)

    18. 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)

    19. 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)

    20. 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

    June 8, 2013 at 11:53 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.