I was with my dear Honey Badger this evening, at our mutual Alma Mater, Danville High School in Danville, KY to watch the youngest of his children participate in a Baccalaureate service. There was a brief introduction and then the young lady who was going to give the invocation stepped forward.
Rather than a prayer for this traditionally Christian event in this small, Christian, Central Kentucky town, the speaker — a student — started chanting in Arabic, followed by a call to Allah, and then she started chanting again. I honestly can’t describe the anger that rose in me. We didn’t stay long enough to hear the rest of what was going to happen… but perhaps we should have.
This is what we heard before leaving (if you want to hit the play button and hear it for yourself):
We were told by others that the primary speaker from Centre College (my OTHER Alma Mater in this town-turned-upside-down) proceeded to give a presentation in which he said that the Bible was not historical, but merely symbolic. (Participant’s comment was removed upon request) Since I didn’t hear that portion of this evening’s festivities, I can’t say how I feel about it.
As we sat on the steps outside our old once-beloved school, and people began to file out, a lady came over to us. “You were the ones that walked out, aren’t you?” she asked.
“We did,” he and I replied together.
“I’m so angry I’m literally SHAKING!” she said. “I can’t believe this, I spent the whole program praying that those in the audience would be delivered from this.” She continued to bemoan the evening’s events for some time.
Now, I’ve never been a particularly religious person. I’ve always been rather “middle of the road” on that count, so for this to make me as angry as it did — I can only imagine how angry it would make those who are extremely devout. But what I can’t understand is… why were he and I the ONLY ones who walked out?
We were told by another attendee that there was no formal Christian prayer, but a few words of blessing for the graduates at the end, “without bowing of heads, without any ‘amen’,” she told us. She said she upset that there was nothing to balance the opening invocation.
I just have to wonder… what has happened to my school, my college, my town?
For those who think this was GRADUATION — it was not. I apologize for any confusion. This was the Baccalaureate SERVICE — a Traditional Christian event dating back to the 1400s. It was held at the school — which it should not have been, if there is to be a separation of church and state.
My objection is that this was “blessed” if you will, by those on the Baccalaureate Committee — my objection was not aimed at or against this young lady, who is a mere teenager. There should have been adults — or there should have been some adults present with knowledge of the tradition surrounding this event. Those adults should have known better, they should have made better decisions, and been better guides.
For the main speaker who was an adult to tell the audience of a Christian event in the Bible Belt that the Bible is merely symbolic — was probably ALSO not a good idea, but I didn’t hear that myself, so I can’t say for certain that’s what he said. (Although I’ve now heard it from multiple sources who did stay for the entire time.)
Despite many comments I’ve received today, I’m not a bigot, close-minded or against everything that’s not like me. I’m neither a religious nut of any flavor, nor am I in alignment with many who would spew hate from the other side of the fence. To tell me that I need to be educated and need to understand that both sides are worshiping the same God is futile — tell the two sides, not me.
What I am TOTALLY against this “politically correct” society that continually tramples the traditions of others in the name of open-mindedness and progressiveness. If our differences are what make us wonderful — and they are – then quit trying to homogenize my world!
Case in point: Had this been a traditional Muslim event, and the invocation had begun with a Christian’s speaker’s statement that there was no way for salvation other than through Christ, I would have ALSO walked out. Why? Because, given the audience, the traditions, and the faith of that group — that statement would have represented a total lack of respect and propriety.
Wrong place, wrong time. Ditto for last night.
I will no longer sit idly by while this continues to happen. I will no longer “get along to get by” as so many in our society seem so fond of doing. Wrong is wrong and it’s time that someone stand up and call it out. Today I chose to do that. When will you?
Want to take me on about my objection to the cancer of political correctness? To how weak it makes us individually and collectively? THEN BRING IT ON!
Additional information for those interested in attending the next Board of Education meeting:
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|Location||Jennie Rogers Elementary|