Beliefnet
Activist Faith

According to one new report, students or school officials who pray at a Texas graduation could find themselves in legal trouble or even jail time.

Has it really come to this? Could a student who prays as part of their graduation find themselves arrested and imprisoned for thanking God for graduating high school? If so, our country has, from my perspective, hit a new low. We bemoan the harsh limitations of religious freedom in nations such as China or Afghanistan, but now find our selves creating the same restrictions we oppose elsewhere.

To truly be a country of religious freedom, the more helpful scenario would be to allow students to pray or say whatever else they wish at a graduation ceremony. I recall even years ago at my high school graduation that prayer was not allowed. However, a friend of mine was co-valedictorian that year and chose to include a short prayer as part of his speech. I thought that if a person could get straight A’s for four years and wanted to thank God, he deserved the opportunity to do so.

I would encourage readers to be praying for the Medina Valley Independent School District as they deal with this issue. I also encourage you to talk with friends about this issue today. Get the information out there and help people see that if we claim to be the land of the free, it is important we allow freedom for students to share their thoughts on this important day, including their prayers, as they celebrate an important life milestone.

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DILLON BURROUGHS is an author, activist, and co-founder of Activist Faith. Dillon served in Haiti following the epic 2010 earthquake and has investigated modern slavery in the US and internationally. His books include Undefending ChristianityNot in My Town (with Charles J. Powell), and Thirst No More (October). Discover more at ActivistFaith.org.

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