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. palintwit

    How would you like to have a name that invites ridicule everytime it is spoken? A name that is synonymous with the highest levels of buffoonery this country has ever seen. I'm speaking of Sarah Palin, of course !!

    June 10, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • meifumado

      You could replace her name with the name of any religious leader.

      June 10, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • ...............

      Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr?

      June 10, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
  2. Science

    'Hey Billy your god and red horn-y beast did not create the earth.

    Dust Trap' Around Young Star Solves Long-Standing Planet Formation Mystery

    June 6, 2013 — Astronomers using the new Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have imaged a region around a young star where dust particles can grow by clumping together. This is the first time that such a dust trap has been clearly observed and modelled. It solves a long-standing mystery about how dust particles in discs grow to larger sizes so that they can eventually form comets, planets and other rocky bodies. The results are published in the journal Science on 7 June 2013.


    June 10, 2013 at 11:59 am |
  3. Enough already

    I am an agnostic, that means much like many of you and those in the atheist community I would be shocked if there actually were any supernatural beings that existed at all. That being said stop policing speech. It's sending a worse message to kids that they can't talk aobut what they want to talk about in their school. Pray ot Jesus, pray to satan pray to Obama for all I care but quit making one another shut up.

    June 10, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      So you'd be ok if the valedictorian said a prayer to the devil in front of a bunch of christians? I dont think you would be.

      June 10, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • fred

      I'm gonna guess that you missed the irony in your post.

      June 10, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      For roughly 16 hrs a day, 5 days a week and all weekend you can knock yourself out with the religious crap...but for 8 hrs, 5 days a week we should hope that our kids are learning something other than Humans and dinosaurs played and frolicked with sheep and lions in some old crusty war god's garden- compete with the trapped trees and verbose snake.

      June 10, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      Yea...... they'd shut 'em down pretty fast if he prayed to Satan. But if he did, I'm certain Dick Cheney would materialize from the shadow cast from the podium and say, "I am here...... boy".

      June 10, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
  4. The real Tom

    What this kid did wasn't "courageous." He blabbered a Christian prayer at a ceremony attended by people who were nearly all Christian. What he did was a noble protest. He was simply showing off his belief in an obnoxious, public way that cheapened his speech and belies the sincerity of his faith. If he believed in a truly omnipotent god, then he'd have known that his god was already there and knew what was in his heart.

    Just like the rest of you who have to bray about how holy you are on a public message board.

    June 10, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      This is the only thing you've posted all day that I agree with Tom. Also, the only thing I can support you saying since it is merely your opinion (which we've been waiting for with baited breath). Now, isn't that better than making up accusations of "Constiitutional infringement" and claiming parent hear God say "Let you children die" to try and inflame your point?

      June 10, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      I was just thinking a similar thought. If he had recited this in Egypt, that would have been courageous. But to recite this in a crowd of Christians, not so much.

      June 10, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Wow

      " "Constiitutional infringement""

      The Court rejected the school's argument that since the prayer was student initiated and student led, as opposed to officially sponsored by the school, it did not violate the First Amendment. The Court held that this action did constitute school-sponsored prayer because the loudspeakers that the students used for their invocations were owned by the school.

      June 10, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Doobs

      @ Bill Deacon

      Although YOUR breath may smell like fish, the word is actually "bated".

      June 10, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • The real Tom

      It's "bated breath," you fvcking moron.

      June 10, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • The real Tom

      If the Schaibles didn't think god wanted them to withhold medical treatment, Dill Doe, then why did they and their minister claim they were following his will?

      June 10, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • Chad@

      That a boy Bill declare that you won the debate and run away, works for me.

      June 10, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Tom, I know subtlety and nuance are lost on you but, as I understand it, the Schiables felt that they were following God's will by avoiding medical intervention. That's a step removed from whatever the outcome of that action became. There are a lot of people who continue to avoid medical intervention who experience healing. They too fell they have followed God's will.

      June 10, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • The real Tom

      You putz, I don't care if you want to kill yourself by avoiding medical intervention. There's a huge difference between that and denying said medication to SOMEONE ELSE.

      But it's not surprising that little "nuance" escapes you, Dill Doe.

      June 10, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Orange

      @@Bill Deacon some Feng Shui would go well on your non-on-Sunday shellfish. Give it a swirl.

      Can you smell superstishun?

      June 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Orange

      @@Bill Deacon some Feng Shui would go well on your not-on-Sunday shellfish. Give it a swirl.

      Can you smell superstishun?

      June 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      You're statement was that God told them "Let your children die". You can make the argument that they criminally neglected their children by avoiding medical intervention by their understanding of God's will. But, you cannot honestly say they heard God say "Let you children die". Oh, I forget, you don't need to be honest, you only need to be hostile.

      June 10, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      They denied their kids medical attention, believing that God would heal their children....Not that God told them to let the kids die. After the first death – resulting from SILENCE and INACTION on the part of the Supreme Overload...they reloaded on the faith and killed another kid the same damn way.

      Nice twist of words though Bill.

      June 10, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Orange

      @Bill Deacon, how was the Feng Shui? Spicy stuff huh. Sprinkle it extra conservatively on your shellfish, and never on a Sunday when the full moon is visible over your left kidney.

      Ain't superstishun fun... Jesus and Batman together in holy matrimony. Write it as you go, just the way the Christians rolled.

      June 10, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • The real Tom

      "You're statement"

      It's "your," you fvcking witless idiot.

      The Schaibles claim that's what god told them he wanted them to do–to withhold medical treatment. How else would you interpret that, Dill Doe?

      June 10, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
  5. R.M. Goodswell

    The kid's dad engineered the whole thing....to try and assault the only secular place in that bloody town....If the town is truly that religious, is it really necessary to make a show of running roughshod over the top of a public inst itution that is by law, supposed to be secular?

    did he call CNN and send the tape in too? shameless publicity stun to get people into Daddy's church on sunday...gotta have that payday.

    June 10, 2013 at 11:43 am |
  6. The real Tom

    Dill Doe and his alter ego Paltry can't seem to figure out how to answer the questions posed to them. They think the kid was just protesting and standing up for his first amendment rights.

    I'd love to see how morons like these feel about it when a Hindu or a Muslim student is valedictorian at a public school and prays aloud.

    Go ahead, hypocrites. Answer.

    June 10, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      I'd be for it. I think anytime someone has dedicated themselves to a value system that enhances their life and inspires them to achievement, it is worth hearing about.

      June 10, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • The real Tom

      Oh? So you would be happy to see a student recite a Muslim prayer at your kids's public school? Sure.

      Not only are you a hypocrite but you're a cowardly one.

      June 10, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  7. The real Tom

    " he's a Christina and you'll use anything you can to suppress him and others like him."

    What a lying POS you are, Dill. Did you lie to your wife, too?

    What's a Christina?

    You'll try anything, won't you? I don't wish to "suppress" Christians, you ass. I have said repeatedly that I don't bear any ill will toward believers who live their faith. You're not one of them. What you do is attempt to make your faith into law and suppress the rights others have when you disapprove.

    I am not "offended" by prayers. What disgusts me is the hero-worship jackwagons like you heap on this kid for ignoring protocol, disregarding the separation of church and state, disobeying authority, and showing off his "faith" in front of a crowd he knew would approve. What disgusts me is nutters like you applauding him as "brave" and "courageous" when he's nothing of the sort.

    Morons, every one of you.

    June 10, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • PaltryGuest

      Being "disgusted at hero-worship jackwagons" is being offended.

      June 10, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Paltry suggest you don't know what you are tom. But I disagree. You know exactly what you are don't you?

      June 10, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • The real Tom

      Paltry is an idiot and so are you, if you're not one and the same. I am not disgusted or upset by prayers when they're said in a church or at a function where they're appropriate and the attendees are there with the full understanding that prayers are most likely to be recited or led. A public school event is NOT such a function. Public schools cannot endorse specific religious practices and this kid was doing just that by praying aloud. Student-led prayers are in violation of the establishment clause. If you can't cite any evidence to the contrary as stated by the SCOTUS, then you are empty-handed here. I suggest you put up or shut up.

      June 10, 2013 at 11:16 am |
  8. Internet Fact

    Chuck Norris supports this guy.

    'Nuf said.

    June 10, 2013 at 10:50 am |
  9. The real Tom

    I love it when Dill Doe gets all het up. It's pretty funny to watch a dolt who can't write try so hard to look as if he has a functioning cerebrum.

    The Schaibles allowed their kids to die because they believed the bible and their god wanted them to withhold medical treatment. The SCOTUS has ruled that student-led prayers at public school functions violate the Constitution. The kid was told to submit his speech; he was TOLD not to bring religious beliefs into the ceremony. He completely ignored the directives of his teachers and principal–he wasn't "moved" to suddenly pray, and if he had been truly faithful, he'd have prayed in silence as the bible tells us to. Not aloud at a ceremony for the express purpose of grandstanding. A private citizen is perfectly welcome to pray silently when and where he chooses. He is NOT free to pray aloud at a public school function on the dimes of taxpayers.

    Now go fvck yourself, Dill Doe.

    June 10, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      I love it when the "There is no objective morality" crowd throws a fit because someone doesn't follow their rules.

      Tell us about the things you've been told not to do and then ignored tom. The list starts with the Big Ten doesn't it?

      June 10, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • lol??

      A fun speech would be reading from all the yearbook comments. Uncensored of course.

      June 10, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • The real Tom

      The "big ten" aren't laws, you stupid cluck. I don't break laws. You, on the other hand, have broken the commandments multiple times right here, Dill.

      June 10, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • lol??

      The horrified taxpayers would drop like flies.

      June 10, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      You admitted below that the kid didn't break any laws. He just didn't do what he was told. So which is it? Laws or orders? God's Commandments or Tom's rights?

      June 10, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • The real Tom

      Your god's commandments aren't laws, you dimwit. No matter how much you wish they were, they aren't. You can't arrest someone for not honoring his parents, Dill. If one could be arrested for violating the commandments, you'd have been in jail by now, Dill. You're bearing false witness right now.

      June 10, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • The real Tom

      "Tom's rights"? Where did I say a thing about my "rights", you moron? Are you drunk again?

      June 10, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      You can't have it both ways tom. Either people have to do what they're told or they have the freedom to protest. Which is it?

      June 10, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • The real Tom

      Oh, please. If he'd been Muslim, would you have been kissing his ass about his "protest", Dill?

      June 10, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Muhammad

      "You admitted below that the kid didn't break any laws. He just didn't do what he was told. So which is it? Laws or orders? God's Commandments or Tom's rights?'

      It's Allah's Commandments!

      June 10, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Tom shown to be a liar, then projecting her hatred of Muslims onto me as a defense:

      The U. S. Supreme Court has not specifically ruled on whether student-initiated nonsectarian graduation prayer is constiitutional.

      June 10, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Wow

      "The U. S. Supreme Court has not specifically ruled on whether student-initiated nonsectarian graduation prayer is constiitutional."

      Ruling "Students may not use a school's loudspeaker system to offer student-led, student-initiated prayer. "

      June 10, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • The real Tom

      Either the person posting as Bill Deacon is a fake, or Billy is drunk again.

      Why would I hate Muslims?

      June 10, 2013 at 11:53 am |
  10. Scott

    This person decided to use the power of the government to force his god on the audience. That's what the First Amendment was written to prevent. If the speaker had worshiped Zeus or Kali, and had offered a prayer to him or her instead, the speaker probably would have been dragged away from the microphone. But support the view of a majority who doesn't care about the rights of anyone else and you have this.
    - Scott

    June 10, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      What government authority did he wield Scott?

      June 10, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • lol??

      For control all future speeches will be recorded. Don't sweat it. Diana will continue along with Athena.

      June 10, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • ME II

      "This person decided to use the power of the government to force his god on the audience. "

      Well said.

      @Bill Deacon,
      The graduation was a school function.

      June 10, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Again, my question is What government authority did the kid wield? Was an agent of the school board or a private citizen?

      June 10, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • The real Tom

      Why are you so unable to look up case law, Dill? STUDENT-LED PRAYER at a public school event has been ruled unconstitutional. Are you claiming it hasn't been? I posted a link about it.

      June 10, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      You make the claim tom. Post the link. The U. S. Supreme Court has not specifically ruled on whether student-initiated nonsectarian graduation prayer is constiitutional.

      June 10, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • The real Tom

      Yes, they have.

      June 10, 2013 at 11:53 am |
  11. palintwit

    Al Qaeda martyrs believe there will be 72 virgins waiting for them in heaven. Tea party patriots believe there will be 72 of their sisters and cousins to boink.

    June 10, 2013 at 10:10 am |
  12. Bill

    I love the atheists.

    June 10, 2013 at 8:38 am |
  13. Jessica

    Is It Wrong to Make Babies Cry For Art?

    June 10, 2013 at 8:36 am |
    • Bill


      June 10, 2013 at 8:39 am |
  14. lol??

    The FLOOD from the dragon is the comments from the A&A's. It shows who is ruling in their temples...

    June 10, 2013 at 8:21 am |
    • Science

      Hey lol??....................remember be what ?

      9-18 of 27,000,000 results Any time

      My take: A word to Christians – Be nice – CNN Belief Blog ...


      Feb 09, 2013 · ... who have been made in God's likeness. ... are all over it. ... Evolution WINS hands down...time for the horn-y red devil to get the hell out of the way......


      June 10, 2013 at 8:29 am |
    • Bill

      Back for more, eh, science?

      June 10, 2013 at 8:41 am |
    • Science

      58,000 resultsAny time .................the matrix Bill................no horn-y red beast needed !

      When religious beliefs become evil: 4 signs – CNN Belief Blog ...


      Apr 28, 2013 · hey CNN, this takes the prize ... Hey faithy seems like you have not been weaned yet sort of like chadie .....reminds me of a 5 year old ?


      June 10, 2013 at 8:53 am |
    • Bill

      There have been plenty of instances throughout the course of human history where religion did more harm than good. I cannot deny that.

      However, science has also has a dark history too…

      Once when I was in high school, one of my science teachers asked if I’d stay late for just a minute. After each class I would walk and talk to a girl that I had a crush on and I decided that would be the day I’d ask her out. Well, since I had to stay late, she met up with another boy that also liked and accepted his invitation for a date! Years later, they get married and have a couple of kids. If it wasn’t for science, I never would have missed out on spending the rest of my left with my soul mate. Although, I like science it is not without its dark side too.

      June 10, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • Science

      Hey Bill..............science is working on the issue.

      How Do You Feed Nine Billion People?


      June 10, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • Bill

      I’m not denying that science has done a lot for civilization. My point over the past few days has been twofold:
      1) Science has not been all good.
      2) The bible is better than science.

      June 10, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • Science

      Penn & Teller; The Bible is Bullsh-it.


      June 10, 2013 at 9:51 am |
    • Bill

      I am unable to view that while I’m at work. I did see their evolution/creationism and walmart episodes. Those were good.

      June 10, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • Rupert


      When has science been bad?

      June 10, 2013 at 9:59 am |
    • Bill

      Once when I was in high school, one of my science teachers asked if I’d stay late for just a minute. After each class I would walk and talk to a girl that I had a crush on and I decided that would be the day I’d ask her out. Well, since I had to stay late, she met up with another boy that also liked and accepted his invitation for a date! Years later, they get married and have a couple of kids. If it wasn’t for science, I never would have missed out on spending the rest of my left with my soul mate. Although, I like science it is not without its dark side too.

      June 10, 2013 at 10:01 am |

    The LORD is with us,

    now and forever!


    June 10, 2013 at 5:01 am |
    • Science

      Hey Good News troll

      Go splat chad/Austin and lol??

      Science wins over creationism in South Korea

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


      June 10, 2013 at 5:39 am |
    • Pete

      So, what are you selling on your site?

      June 10, 2013 at 8:29 am |
    • Arthur Bryant

      Universal Magnificent Miracles? Wasn't that a disco band in the '70's?

      June 10, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
  16. The Bible is not healthy for children

    You don't live in the stone age like the Bible authors, so stop beating your kids.

    June 10, 2013 at 3:45 am |
    • faith

      u live in the age of who cares and anything goes and kids no best and all discipline rots. c ur pedophiles play?

      June 10, 2013 at 4:16 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      You kind of have it right faith. This is a very different generation than we were as kids but the world is not the same place it once was. We no longer travel by horse and carriage (or at least most of us don't); we no longer are oblivious to the outside world and thus, we are seeing the decline of religion...as people realize they don't need it to be happy or successful.

      June 10, 2013 at 4:36 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      the bloodthirsty christian god loves killing children. he killed the first born of egypt to punish the pharoah - anyone that didn't want yahweh to murder their child had to smear blood on their front door. god drowned millions of children in his great flood - filled little babies' lungs with water and called divine justice. god sent a bear to maul 42 children that made fun of his prophet for being bald. there are more examples...

      the christian god is a baby-killer. how could anyone worship such a monster?

      June 10, 2013 at 4:48 am |
  17. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things ,

    June 10, 2013 at 2:29 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      actions cause change; prayer wastes valuable time.

      June 10, 2013 at 4:48 am |
    • Bill

      For some, it is a good source of meditation. It helps some relax. That would waste any time.

      June 10, 2013 at 8:48 am |
    • Arthur Bryant

      Why yes, it changes amputees by regrowing their limbs.......oh, no, wait......it doesn't.......

      June 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      June 11, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Really?

      "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things"

      That's why the data, has shown that atheists have happier and healthier lives than conservative Christians. Your post is built on a lie!

      June 11, 2013 at 10:34 am |
  18. faith

    naughty naughty

    man, these girls will go to hell for nothin

    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 1:18 am |
  19. faith

    If I so und delusional in a lot of the se posts... I am sorry it upset you a ll because I am really d elusio nal.

    June 10, 2013 at 1:13 am |
  20. get to know your religion

    I think if I could time-travel back to the time of Paul, one of my first questions would be – why 500 witnesses? Why not 521 witnesses? Then there would be a lot more questions, but I might just start there.

    June 10, 2013 at 1:11 am |
    • faith

      There was no witne ss so some b od y just pi ck ed a num ber.

      June 10, 2013 at 1:14 am |
    • get to know your religion

      So faith, you think that Paul just picked that number out of his ass? (Or Luke, his boy Friday or Paul & Luke?)

      June 10, 2013 at 1:18 am |
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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.