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Roy Costner the IV made headlines last week when he tossed the approved valedictorian speech he had submitted, and started, instead, to recite the Lord’s Prayer. Immediately, he was thrown up on my Facebook feed, and even the news, as a hero.

But he’s not my hero. I think he’s self-centered, inconsiderate and rude.

To the Christian Facebook fans, he was a young man so brimming with his love of God and Christ that he risked everything to proudly state his faith (he was not disciplined by the school). To me, he’s just another pushy evangelizer determined to drag God into every last public arena possible. 

To begin with, this was a public school commencement. PUBLIC. And while it has been upheld that students may pray silently in public school, or may form student-led religious-based clubs on campus, and while many school board meetings AND while there was probably a prayer to start the commencement off in the first place, this was not enough. And it never is for these people.

Did this “hero” consider there might be Jews in the audience that don’t believe Christ is the Messiah? Didn’t care. Any Muslims in the audience? Doesn’t matter to this brave boy. Buddhists? Hindus? Agnostics? Satanists? Atheists? No. He had been so indoctrinated to wear his faith like a shield that he simply did not give a shit about anyone in that crowd who had a differing belief.

One of my FB friends posted the video of him pulling this and posted, “I’m tired of not talking about my faith because it might offend someone who doesn’t believe the same!” I didn’t suggest there, but will here, that the two could not be farther apart. She is welcome to talk about her faith all she wants–AS LONG AS IT’S NOT AT A SECULAR EVENT. 

At a religious school, I would get it. But this is public. And this school, the chairs the people were sitting on and even the electricity that Roy’s microphone was hooked up to was paid by taxpayers. Taxpayers of all stripes, which is why there is supposed to be this separation. 

There are plenty of places to talk about religion…more than there should be legally. But we let it slide, because they demand so much, we figure something is going to slip under the radar. But not only should someone this rude be praised as a hero, he should have been handed some form of consequence. 

But he wasn’t. And now the floodgates are open for any other defiant faithful that want to earn points with their church, the media, their Creator. Which leaves the rest of us to squirm uncomfortably in their taxpayer-subsidized folding chairs while the taxpayer-subsidized sound system reminds us, once again, that we’re not the majority. Gee. Thanks for that.

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