If you want to be a rebel and stick it to The Man in the 21st Century, pray. If necessary, pray in public.
That’s what a valedictorian in South Carolina did. Liberty High Valedictorian Roy Costner IV took his preapproved speech to the podium (because students can’t be trusted and The Man must make sure they aren’t going to say something off-color), and in front of the crowd, tore it up. Then he recited the Lord’s Prayer.
Now the school in question does not allow that sort of religious expression, specifically because a bunch of atheists complained. Prayer makes atheists cry and wet their pants. The school didn't want to have to clean up the mess.
But in the 21st Century, if one wants to be counter-culture, if one wants to be a rebel, one needs to pray.
How far have we fallen where such activity is now considered rebellion? How far have we fallen where simple expressions of faith are against the rules? Why do we allow cry babies to dictate the behavior of the rest of us? Are people so sensitive that they break out in a rash if somebody expresses religious faith? Come on, people. Let’s grow up. But since we aren’t going to do that, allow me to speak to you in a language you may understand.
I know what you’re thinking. Freedom of religion also means freedom from religion, bla bla bla, but what you people want is the abolishment of any kind of public expression of faith, and that’s going too far in the other direction. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t allow you to tell the rest of us that we can’t express it. And saying we still have the freedom to do it privately, in our churches, etc., doesn’t count. Most of this country has some kind of religious faith. You people are the minority. That means there aren’t that many of you. I’m sorry to break it to you, but that’s the truth. You bang pots and pans to make a lot of noise so we pay attention to you but you’re few and far between. That means sometimes you need to be quiet and let the other person have his say. You are free to say something in response, should you have the floor, but otherwise you need to sit and be polite and quiet and let the grown-ups do their thing. When the graduation is over, you can piss and moan all the way home about how offended you are that somebody mentioned the name Jesus.
The same goes for the non-Christian religions. I’m sorry you’re upset that we aren’t praying to your sissy fake moon god, but tough it out. When you have the floor, you can pray to your sacred cow or your totem poll or your picture of Lady Gaga. In the meantime, zip your hairy lip. Better yet, wax that thing. You look gross.
You think I'm being intolerant? Honey, you haven't seen intolerant yet.
I will admit that this isn’t my most eloquent piece of writing. It’s downright juvenile, really. But I’m tired of people in this country looking at religion—particularly the Christian religion, which seems to get most of the attention—like it’s a contagious disease. Uh-oh, they might get their Jesus on us! Of course, if you read the Bible, you know full well that they hate us because they not only hated Jesus first, but they hated what Jesus taught. I write that in the past tense because this sort of conflict reaches back through history to the days before the Crucifixion. What Jesus taught demands a response. You believe it or you don’t, there’s no in-between, and people can’t handle not having a gray area to hide in. So they attack, attack, attack. This is not unexpected, because Jesus said it would happen. Those on the other side have drawn their line and while I can respect that, I also expect to be respected. If I am not respected, I will fight back. I will rebel. I will stick it to The Man by going to church. How silly does that sound?
The school in question, in their divine wisdom, says they aren't going to punish Mr. Costner for breaking the rules. I'm sure his knees were knocking at the thought. But if he was anything like me at that age, his last thought before taking the stage was, "The heck with this place, I'm graduating."
Good luck, Roy. Millions of us rebels are with you.