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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. R.M. Goodswell

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

    Yeeeaaahhh sure! True Story!!

    June 10, 2013 at 12:57 am |
    • faith

      Yoss
      To your brain-damaged satisfaction? No, I'm sure no one will ever get a single fact past your fat cheeks to your fat brain where it resides in your ass.
      As to actual refuting, it is the easiest thing in the world. Your god doesn't exist. There. All done.

      i'm sorry. i'll be good. i'll do anything, just knock off the jokes lil fatty sambo, u r killin me

      June 10, 2013 at 1:16 am |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      Faith,

      You might want to: 1: put the bottle of Jack down 2: drink at least 16oz of water immediately while you wait for 3: the pot of coffee to finish brewing.

      believe me, you thank me when you stumble out of bed tomorrow.

      June 10, 2013 at 1:50 am |
  2. faith

    amidst all the diversion satan throws our way, no one can dispute successfully that jesus is christ as described in the new testament

    June 10, 2013 at 12:54 am |
    • Yoss

      To your brain-damaged satisfaction? No, I'm sure no one will ever get a single fact past your fat cheeks to your fat brain where it resides in your ass.
      As to actual refuting, it is the easiest thing in the world. Your god doesn't exist. There. All done.

      June 10, 2013 at 12:56 am |
    • faith

      If God spared not the natural branches, but broke them off, neither would he spare those who were grafted in, if they degenerated. Thus the rejection of the Jews stands for a warning to all Christian churches to take heed lest the kingdom of God be taken from them. Those that sin like others must expect to smart like them; and their profession of relation to God will be no security to them. matt henry

      June 10, 2013 at 1:14 am |
    • sam stone

      amidst all the diversion satan throws our way, no one can prove successfully that jesus is christ as described in the new testament

      June 10, 2013 at 8:56 am |
  3. faith

    part of our lawsuit

    Yoss
    Matthew 10:21
    Matthew 10:34
    Revelation can be viewed in any murderous way very easily.
    Hitler massacred the Jews because they are "Jesus-killers".
    Your religion is filthy with vile murder and viciousness. You have no way to refute my facts, but that doesn't stop you from being in denial your whole life, does it?

    June 10, 2013 at 12:48 am |
  4. http://www.thedubaicitychurch.org

    i liked the blog. kind of a new start

    June 10, 2013 at 12:34 am |
  5. Portland tony

    How many of you high school grads remember the Valedictorian's speech a day after graduation? I sure didn't.

    June 10, 2013 at 12:17 am |
  6. MrCrewel Dude

    It's late, go to bed kids, don't make come down there!

    June 10, 2013 at 12:07 am |
    • Austin

      Good night.

      June 10, 2013 at 12:12 am |
  7. Observer

    Austin,

    Speaking of prior postings, please tell us if heteros engage in perversions or only gays. Any reason other than HYPOCRISY for why you'd pick on gays but not heteros for "perversions"?

    June 9, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
    • Austin

      ◄  Revelation 19:13  ►

      New International Version (©2011)
      He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.

      June 10, 2013 at 12:06 am |
    • Austin

      Come on..............it's the moral argument . It doesn't go away for being gay or hetero.

      The authority rests in the court of God. We have the resource we need, He provided us with it. Jehovah Jireh. the Lord Provides.

      June 10, 2013 at 12:10 am |
    • Observer

      Austin,

      Sorry you missed the question. Here it is again:

      Please tell us if heteros engage in perversions or only gays. Any reason other than HYPOCRISY for why you'd pick on gays but not heteros for "perversions"? Where have you picked on heteros for perversions on here?

      June 10, 2013 at 12:16 am |
    • Yoss

      Your god doesn't exist and never has provided a single thing EVER throughout history.

      There is no moral argument you can make. Your bible doesn't cover DNA, biology, neurological science, or ANY facts WHATSOEVER.
      It has ZERO to say about REAL THINGS.
      It can NOT be used as a guide to morals because it's morals are those of evil murderers. You sick fuck.

      June 10, 2013 at 12:33 am |
    • sam stone

      Austin: Ironic that you seek to spend eternity with a being in which you fear. I suppose some people just want to beg. Grow a set, boy, or get back on your knees

      June 10, 2013 at 8:20 am |
  8. faith

    fsm receives 0 criticism for proclaiming to b god

    June 9, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
    • Jesse

      Are you serious??
      Nobody, and I mean nobody, takes the FSM seriously...one would have to be the biggest freaking moron alive to believe that the FSM is anything more than satire. In other words, a joke. You cannot seriously be this dim.

      June 9, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
    • Austin

      I wonder what happened to The handle
      "End Religion" ?

      June 9, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
    • faith

      u don't believe in fsm? y not?

      June 9, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
    • faith

      cheesie, r u serious? u don't believe in fsm? fsm is god according to the gospel of of dodo

      June 9, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • faith

      cheesie, ask lil fatso sambo. she worships fsm

      June 9, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
    • Jesse

      I guess I shouldn't have expressed my disbelief that anyone could actually think that the FSM was anything but comedic satire. Wow.

      June 9, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
    • faith

      After the war, Co rrie set up r eh a b i li t a t i on centers for conce n t r a tio n camp survivors, and also for Du t ch people who had col la bor at ed with the Germans and were unable to get jobs. She spoke everywhere about the need for forgiveness.

      In 1 9 4 7, this was put to the t e st . She had just fin ish ed spea king at a meeting in Germany when a man in an overcoat and brown hat came up to her. She reco gniz ed him inst an t ly as one of the guards who had a b u s e d her and Bet sie.

      “I was a g uard in Rave n s bruck, but since then, I’ve become a Christian. I know Christ has forgiven me for the cruel things I did there. Will you forg ive me?” And he put out his hand.

      This was the most diff icul t thing Co rrie had ever been asked to do, but as she, by choice of will, gave him her hand, the love of Christ flooded her whole being, and she was able to say, “Yes, brother, I forgive you, with all of my heart!”

      June 9, 2013 at 11:59 pm |
    • faith

      After the war, Co rrie set up r eh a b i li t a t i on centers for conce n t r a tio n camp survivors, and also for Du t ch people who had col la bor at ed with the Germans and were unable to get jobs. She spoke everywhere about the need for forgiveness.

      In 1 9 4 7, this was put to the t e st . She had just fin ish ed spea king at a meeting in Germany when a man in an overcoat and brown hat came up to her. She reco gniz ed him inst an t ly as one of the guards who had a b u s e d her and Bet sie.

      “I was a g uard in Rave n s bruck, but since then, I’ve become a Christian. I know Christ has forgiven me for the cruel things I did there. Will you forg ive me?” And he put out his hand.

      This was the most diff icul t thing Co rrie had ever been asked to do, but as she, by choice of will, gave him her hand, the love of Christ flooded her whole being, and she was able to say, “Yes, brother, I forgive you, with all of my heart!”

      not allowed to discuss

      June 10, 2013 at 12:04 am |
    • faith

      lol. hide n watch murdie

      Yoss
      Have your imaginary god get in touch with me so we can meet and he can show me his imaginary wounds and list the damages I have incurred to his imaginary existence. You would not be a party to any suit as you have no standing and are mentally ill.

      June 10, 2013 at 1:37 am |
  9. get to know your religion

    don't just take what's on the inside for granted – take a good look from the outside as well:

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Evidence_for_the_historical_existence_of_Jesus_Christ

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Why_Won%27t_God_Heal_Amputees

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Failed_biblical_prophecies

    June 9, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
    • Austin

      You want to talk to someone who has experienced the revelation of the Holy Spirit?

      Right here. I have data and evidence.

      John 15:26-27
      New International Version (NIV)
      The Work of the Holy Spirit

      26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

      June 9, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Why can't you post any descriptions of your "dreams" except those that you can connect to some subsequent event, Austin?

      A: Because you're a fraud.

      June 10, 2013 at 9:25 am |
  10. Yoss

    Hey, if he wanted to express his devout Christardedness, he could have used a gun, too.
    How many of you frothing christards would be okay with this kid pulling a gun for the exact same reasons – giving a "speech" made of bullets?
    So many of you seem more than willing to take a dump all over the law if it doesn't please your "religious sentiments".
    You think "God's Law" is above every human law, right? So I guess we should just put all of you in prison.

    June 9, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • what?

      bullet? prison?

      June 9, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
    • Yoss

      It's 'anything goes' with religitards. Suicide bombs haven't really made an impression on you, I take it.

      June 9, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
    • Austin

      No it isn't anything goes. While there may be suicide bombs, find me a verse in the new testament that calls for violence. I'll show you verses that call a Christian to suffering for the sake of the gospel, as
      Christ was killed as a humble servant .

      June 9, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
    • Observer

      Austin,

      Wasn't the SAME God in both testaments?

      June 9, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
    • Austin

      Observer, are we talking about " anything goes". ?

      June 9, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
    • Austin

      Your question is very complicated.

      Same God..........yes and no. Jesus Christ is "one with The Father , but different. No , the human form of Jesus was not in the old testament . Israel was responding to God the father.

      June 9, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
    • Commenter

      Austin,

      You should have a talk with @HeavenSent. She/he says that Jesus wrote the OT.

      June 9, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
    • Yoss

      Any text can be 'interpreted' to mean whatever the person wants, so asking for one passage is silly when there are thousands to choose from.
      'anything goes' as usual.
      Don't bother denying it. You are one of those who thinks your religious laws trump all other laws or you wouldn't be trying so hard to avoid answering straightforward questions.
      Gen 1:1 can be used, just like any text, to justify murder. It has already been done in the past. Christards are some of the worst and most disgusting people on the planet, right after Muslims and Jews. None of you respect the law or anyone outside your group. Prison would be a 'blessing' so why not go to prison now? "Suffer" in humility while in prison and secretly pretend your god approves of every crime you committed at the same time. The prisons are full of christards.

      June 9, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
    • Austin

      Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
          and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
      he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
          and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
      11 After he has suffered,
          he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
      by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant will justify many,
          and he will bear their iniquities.
      12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g]

      June 9, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • Austin

      The reason anything does not go, as Isaiah 53 above states, written prophetically 700 yrs bc. Is because God extended full grace and mercy to mankind buy suffering a sacrificial death. We are imitators of Christ.

      Bible > John > Chapter 18 > Verse 36

      ◄  John 18:36  ►

      New International Version (©2011)
      Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place."

      June 9, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
    • Yoss

      You appear to be one of the more brain-damaged christards out there.
      You could shout those words just before you blow up your special Jesus Is Dynamite™ vest, or your Manly Jesus™ s.x doll with Special Anus Opening™. One is illegal, the other is not, but you could be praying while you explode either way.
      You really are dense. I bet you suck in person, too.

      June 9, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
    • Austin

      You have to show me a verse in the new testament that justifies murder or you are a pervert of the word of God.

      End of story. Are you a pervert?

      June 10, 2013 at 12:01 am |
    • Yoss

      Kill People Who Don't Listen to Priests
      • Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)

      Kill Witches
      • You should not let a sorceress live. (Exodus 22:17 NAB)

      Kill Homosexuals
      • "If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives." (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)

      Kill Fortunetellers
      • A man or a woman who acts as a medium or fortuneteller shall be put to death by stoning; they have no one but themselves to blame for their death. (Leviticus 20:27 NAB)

      Death for Hitting Dad
      • Whoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to death. (Exodus 21:15 NAB)

      Death for Cursing Parents
      • 1) If one curses his father or mother, his lamp will go out at the coming of darkness. (Proverbs 20:20 NAB)
      • 2) All who curse their father or mother must be put to death. They are guilty of a capital offense. (Leviticus 20:9 NLT)

      Death for Adultery
      • If a man commits adultery with another man's wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10 NLT)

      Death for Fornication
      • A priest's daughter who loses her honor by committing fornication and thereby dishonors her father also, shall be burned to death. (Leviticus 21:9 NAB)

      Death to Followers of Other Religions
      • Whoever sacrifices to any god, except the Lord alone, shall be doomed. (Exodus 22:19 NAB)

      Kill Nonbelievers
      • They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)

      Kill False Prophets
      • If a man still prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall say to him, "You shall not live, because you have spoken a lie in the name of the Lord." When he prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall thrust him through. (Zechariah 13:3 NAB)

      Kill the Entire Town if One Person Worships Another God
      • Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors. "The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him." (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)

      Kill Women Who Are Not Virgins On Their Wedding Night
      • But if this charge is true (that she wasn't a virgin on her wedding night), and evidence of the girls virginity is not found, they shall bring the girl to the entrance of her fathers house and there her townsman shall stone her to death, because she committed a crime against Israel by her unchasteness in her father's house. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst. (Deuteronomy 22:20-21 NAB)

      Kill Followers of Other Religions.
      • 1) If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him. Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you. You shall stone him to death, because he sought to lead you astray from the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. And all Israel, hearing of this, shall fear and never do such evil as this in your midst. (Deuteronomy 13:7-12 NAB)

      • 2) Suppose a man or woman among you, in one of your towns that the LORD your God is giving you, has done evil in the sight of the LORD your God and has violated the covenant by serving other gods or by worshiping the sun, the moon, or any of the forces of heaven, which I have strictly forbidden. When you hear about it, investigate the matter thoroughly. If it is true that this detestable thing has been done in Israel, then that man or woman must be taken to the gates of the town and stoned to death. (Deuteronomy 17:2-5 NLT)

      Death for Blasphemy
      • One day a man who had an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father got into a fight with one of the Israelite men. During the fight, this son of an Israelite woman blasphemed the LORD's name. So the man was brought to Moses for judgment. His mother's name was Shelomith. She was the daughter of Dibri of the tribe of Dan. They put the man in custody until the LORD's will in the matter should become clear. Then the LORD said to Moses, "Take the blasphemer outside the camp, and tell all those who heard him to lay their hands on his head. Then let the entire community stone him to death. Say to the people of Israel: Those who blaspheme God will suffer the consequences of their guilt and be punished. Anyone who blasphemes the LORD's name must be stoned to death by the whole community of Israel. Any Israelite or foreigner among you who blasphemes the LORD's name will surely die. (Leviticus 24:10-16 NLT)

      Kill False Prophets
      • 1) Suppose there are prophets among you, or those who have dreams about the future, and they promise you signs or miracles, and the predicted signs or miracles take place. If the prophets then say, 'Come, let us worship the gods of foreign nations,' do not listen to them. The LORD your God is testing you to see if you love him with all your heart and soul. Serve only the LORD your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him. The false prophets or dreamers who try to lead you astray must be put to death, for they encourage rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of slavery in the land of Egypt. Since they try to keep you from following the LORD your God, you must execute them to remove the evil from among you. (Deuteronomy 13:1-5 NLT)
      • 2) But any prophet who claims to give a message from another god or who falsely claims to speak for me must die.' You may wonder, 'How will we know whether the prophecy is from the LORD or not?' If the prophet predicts something in the LORD's name and it does not happen, the LORD did not give the message. That prophet has spoken on his own and need not be feared. (Deuteronomy 18:20-22 NLT)

      Infidels and Gays Should Die
      • So God let them go ahead and do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other's bodies. Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies. So they worshiped the things God made but not the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever. Amen. That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relationships with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men and, as a result, suffered within themselves the penalty they so richly deserved. When they refused to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their evil minds and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, fighting, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They are forever inventing new ways of sinning and are disobedient to their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, and are heartless and unforgiving. They are fully aware of God's death penalty for those who do these things, yet they go right ahead and do them anyway. And, worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too. (Romans 1:24-32 NLT)

      Kill Anyone who Approaches the Tabernacle
      • For the LORD had said to Moses, 'Exempt the tribe of Levi from the census; do not include them when you count the rest of the Israelites. You must put the Levites in charge of the Tabernacle of the Covenant, along with its furnishings and equipment. They must carry the Tabernacle and its equipment as you travel, and they must care for it and camp around it. Whenever the Tabernacle is moved, the Levites will take it down and set it up again. Anyone else who goes too near the Tabernacle will be executed.' (Numbers 1:48-51 NLT)

      Kill People for Working on the Sabbath
      • The LORD then gave these further instructions to Moses: 'Tell the people of Israel to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you forever. It helps you to remember that I am the LORD, who makes you holy. Yes, keep the Sabbath day, for it is holy. Anyone who desecrates it must die; anyone who works on that day will be cut off from the community. Work six days only, but the seventh day must be a day of total rest. I repeat: Because the LORD considers it a holy day, anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death.' (Exodus 31:12-15 NLT)

      Austin, you are not much of a christian if you've never read your bible. I guess you are too stupid for that, huh.

      June 10, 2013 at 12:15 am |
    • Yoss

      Matthew 10:21
      Matthew 10:34
      Revelation can be viewed in any murderous way very easily.
      Hitler massacred the Jews because they are "Jesus-killers".
      Your religion is filthy with vile murder and viciousness. You have no way to refute my facts, but that doesn't stop you from being in denial your whole life, does it?

      June 10, 2013 at 12:27 am |
    • faith

      this lil fatso sambo "yoss" is being sued along with cnn and other nazi god hating fascists who shout hate-speech, terroristic threats and defame our lord.

      u Yoss

      June 10, 2013 at 12:46 am |
    • Yoss

      Have your imaginary god get in touch with me so we can meet and he can show me his imaginary wounds and list the damages I have incurred to his imaginary existence. You would not be a party to any suit as you have no standing and are mentally ill.

      June 10, 2013 at 12:54 am |
    • faith

      report lil fatty sambo to homeland security. she is obviously mentally unstable and her threats cannot continue

      Yoss
      It's 'anything goes' with religitards. Suicide bombs haven't really made an impression on you, I take it.

      June 10, 2013 at 1:23 am |
    • lol??

      Poor yiddle yoss yost his way, bah, bah, bah.

      June 10, 2013 at 8:46 am |
    • sam stone

      How's that lawsuit coming, gash?

      June 10, 2013 at 9:00 am |
  11. Vic

    In case you didn't notice, the article is updated with a v i d e o of the interview with Roy Costner IV. Check it out.

    Related Previous Post:
    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/06/06/hear-what-valedictorian-said-for-cheers/comment-page-26/#comment-2404502

    June 9, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
    • Answer

      The jesus freaks can never control their triple postings.

      June 9, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
    • Athy

      Actually, I'm wondering if they can even count that high.

      June 9, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
    • Jesse

      Your comments were stupid the first time, Vic, why would you think anyone is going to revisit it a second time?

      June 9, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
    • Austin

      Haven't you been stuck on the second page where you have to click comments to see the latest posts. I'll bet that's why he tried to repost .

      June 9, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
    • Athy

      Vic is not the sharpest needle lost in the haystack.

      June 10, 2013 at 12:22 am |
  12. Vic

    In case you didn't notice, the a r t i c l e is updated with a video of the interview with Roy Costner IV. Check it out.

    Related Previous Post:
    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/06/06/hear-what-valedictorian-said-for-cheers/comment-page-26/#comment-2404502

    June 9, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
    • Answer

      No big deal.

      The guy is still a jesus freak.

      June 9, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
  13. Vic

    In case you didn't notice, the article is updated with a video of the interview with Roy Costner IV. Check it out.

    Related Previous Post:
    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/06/06/hear-what-valedictorian-said-for-cheers/comment-page-26/#comment-2404502

    June 9, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
  14. Portland tony

    No big deal.......Many valedictorians have thanked everybody from their parents, scoutmasters, to one outstanding teacher. Let him thank whomever! After all, how many high school graduation speeches are remembered 10 minutes after the ceremony.

    June 9, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Chelsey Ramer was fined 1000.00 for wearing a feather to her graduation symbolise her faith. The double standard here is outrageous.

      June 9, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      That fine was rescinded.

      June 10, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Bill – was it rescinded because it was illegal, or because of the bad publicity ?

      June 10, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  15. lionlylamb

    June 9, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      :$:

      June 9, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
    • LinCA

        🙂 = :smile: or :) or :-)  
        😀 = :grin: or :D or :-D  
        🙁 = :sad: or :( or :-(  
        😮 = :eek: or :o or :-o  
        😯 = :shock: or 8O or 8-O  
        😕 = :???: or :? or :-?  
        😎 = :cool: or 8) or 8-)  
        😡 = :mad: or :x or :-x  
        😛 = :razz: or :P or :-P  
        😐 = :neutral: or :| or :-|  
        😉 = :wink: or ;) or ;-)  
        😆 = :lol:  
        😳 = :oops:  
        😥 = :cry:  
        👿 = :evil:  
        😈 = :twisted:  
        🙄 = :roll:  
        ❗ = :!:  
        ❓ = :?:  
        💡 = :idea:  
        ➡ = :arrow:  
        :mrgreen: = :mrgreen:  

      June 9, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
    • Akira

      Hey, thanks, LinCA! VERY handy!

      June 9, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Akira

      You're welcome. And, if you are interested in posting videos, put this on a separate line in your post:
      [youtube=<insert YouTube hyperlink here>&w=640&h=390&rel=0]

      June 9, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Me too LinCA, thanks.

      June 9, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
    • Yoss

      😡

      June 9, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
    • Athy

      Thanks, LinCa. Nice try. But it doesn't help to decipher LL's deeply encrypted bullshit.

      June 9, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
    • lol??

      What do you use for "for a gud time call ____________"??

      June 10, 2013 at 8:50 am |
  16. Austin

    Austin
    John 3:11 ►

    Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.

    June 9, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
    • Science

      Penn & Teller; The Bible is Bullsh-it.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RV46fsmx6E

      June 9, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Austin, what dreams have you had recently? Why are you so afraid to describe them? Scared that not a single thing will happen that can by any stretch of the imagination be attributed to gawd talking to you?

      June 9, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Very truly I tell you, I have no reason to believe you or your book.

      June 9, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
  17. Austin

    ahahahaha

    Science I think you are laid back and cool. but i still have to make fun of you for this article about the archeopteryx.
    "Archaeopteryx will once again grace the pages of Korean science textbooks."

    June 9, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
    • Science

      And you are full of BS Austin so full of it if your eyes where blue they are brown now !

      opcat

      christianity is a cult of human sacrifice, just like all the false religions before it.
      christianity doesnt refutiate human sacrifice. it celebrates one sacrifice as though it were affective. john 3:16

      Science

      Agree the bible is BS !

      Biblical Marriage Not Defined Simply As One Man, One Woman: Iowa Religious Scholars' Op-Ed

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/06/biblical-marriage-iowa-scholars-op-ed_n_3397304.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/24/has-the-oklahoma-atheist-been-saved/#comments

      June 9, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
  18. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    Commenter, atheist crook, self centered, filthy eunuch, denier of truth absolute Enoch, dipwad by birth, your hind hurts, skunk

    June 9, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • Austin

      who you talking to ?

      June 9, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
    • Austin

      hey i know you can explain this............what does Enoch have to do with truth absolute...........? and then you say Enoch was the myth of the persians and hindus?

      Enoch was a prophet. what is the point you make. who do you believe Enoch is?

      who do you think Elijah is? who do you think Moses is?

      June 9, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
    • Commenter

      He's talking to me, I think - after he deleted his entire other thread where the convo went on.

      Not wasting time on this one.

      June 9, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
  19. Blessed are the Cheesemakers

    An article about a religious person breaking societies laws because his god told him to, big surprise.

    June 9, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
    • tallulah13

      No surprise at all. Nor is a surprise that believers are calling this young man a hero for his show of utter contempt for the civil rights of others.

      June 9, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Exactly, and I don't think any of those same people would consider him a hero if he offered prayers to Allah.

      June 9, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • Science

      Go splat chad/Austin and lol?? + HS and cookie crumbs and the little kiddies where at it again REPOST

      Science wins over creationism in South Korea

      Government asks publishers to retain examples of evolution in science textbooks.

      http://www.nature.com/news/science-wins-over-creationism-in-south-korea-1.11377

      June 9, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
    • Science

      Seems like some did not like this either on this thread

      topcat

      christianity is a cult of human sacrifice, just like all the false religions before it.
      christianity doesnt refutiate human sacrifice. it celebrates one sacrifice as though it were affective. john 3:16

      Science

      Agree the bible is BS !

      Biblical Marriage Not Defined Simply As One Man, One Woman: Iowa Religious Scholars' Op-Ed

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/06/biblical-marriage-iowa-scholars-op-ed_n_3397304.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/24/has-the-oklahoma-atheist-been-saved/#comments

      June 9, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
  20. Jeff

    Maybe he should have also talked about his views on abor tion and s ex. Maybe he should have talked about gen ocide or flat earth theory. Or maybe, he should have not disrupted people's graduation with his divisive views and kept his speech about graduating.

    How would he feel if the other speeches started with: "Lets all bow our heads reflect on the fact that our universe is godless." ???

    June 9, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      That day is coming, I think, and when it does, many may try to respond differently, and when they do, we have this video to play for them. And we'll say, "Sorry, you and the public had no problem with the rules being broken for the individual's private 'faith' in this case, you don't want to be hypocrites, now, do you?"

      June 9, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Jeff stated, "Lets all bow our heads reflect on the fact that our universe is godless." ???

      "Our universe"? LoL OUR universe ROFLMAO. Possessive peon!

      June 9, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • Jesse

      Yeah, dip, OUR universe. As in, it belongs to US. Now YOU, lionlylamb. After all, although I realize that you have a universe in every single cell of your body, (according to your delusional ravings), that simply isn't true, and you would have a point if Jeff said "MY universe", but he didn't. Don't understand possessives? Not surprised, given the way you write; you barely understand English.

      June 9, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
    • The real Tom

      LL, you have part of the universe between your butt cheeks. It's URANUS.

      June 9, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
    • Austin

      ahahahah

      June 9, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
    • Doobs

      LOL, Tom, that was funny!

      June 9, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
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About this blog

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.