On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

Jesus is not an illegal word

A professor at the University of California at Los Angeles last spring prohibited a graduating student from saying “I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” in her own graduation speech. Christina Popa says other students were permitted to have their speeches read aloud at a pre-graduation ceremony. Christina was told she would also be allowed, but only if she didn’t mention Jesus.

UCLA Biology Professor Dr. Pamela Hurley censored Christina’s proposed speech, saying: “UCLA is a public university where the doctrine of separation of church and state is observed.”


The professor proposed a censored version of Christina’s proposed speech, deleting any reference to Jesus Christ.

When Christina objected, Dr. Hurley threatened, “If you prefer, Christina, I can read none of what you wrote. I am very sorry that this is a problem for you.”

Former Navy chaplain Klingenschmitt understood all too well. His career ended when he refused to quit praying in Jesus’ name.

“I am not Christina’s personal spokesman, but I admire her courage,” he said. “Jesus is not an illegal word, and UCLA has no business censoring her speech, especially if they claim to celebrate ‘academic freedom.’

“Instead, Dr. Hurley has terribly misapplied her own twisted idea of the separation of church and state. As a Government school, UCLA has absolutely no right to prohibit Christina’s freedom of religious expression, and she’s earned the right to speak her own words at her own graduation.


“UCLA is crossing the line of separation, not Christina, and we pray UCLA will repent of their anti-Christian discrimination.”

Want to read more? CLICK HERE to read whether faith in Jesus is just too shocking for the news media to handle.
CLICK HERE to consider more about why the media is offended by people of faith
To read “Why do they want to censor Jesus?” CLICK HERE
to consider whether we are headed for a God-free society
CLICK HERE to read about recent legal efforts to ban church bells
And CLICK HERE to consider a British journalist’s concern that Christianity is becoming criminalized in Western society.

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  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment lisa herthel

    Tell me what Jesus has to do with global violence and war? What happened to loving your enemys?”peace” means US military domination, “prosperity” means subsidizing US corporate interests abroad,and “democracy” means a system in which political decisons are made by the transnational and publicly unacountable corporate interests and their government allies.
    You are all a bunch of hypocrtits!!!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Lee Witte

    I am really not quite awake yet, but even in this state, I can easily give anyone 3 specific examples (probably more) of every example of American unChristian behavior which lisa herthel has had the courage to offer. Thank you, Lisa. Comments like yours really make my day!

    Sooo-Contrary to public statements has made about its readers (Christian, female and, ummm-DUMB), you are only 2/3 right. Is “On the Front Line of the Culture” wars a result of your enormous loss of readers and the decline of uber-fundamentalist churches?

    OR, given your malicious April 4 “prank” unicorn slam on our President
    is this just a sneak peek at a deliberately deceitful and racist 2012 PPresidential campaign? IMO, you are even worse than Donald Trump. And THAT really says something.

    • Rob Kerby, Senior Editor

      Thank you for your comment. Recent polls show a significant rise in the fundamentalist churches that you cite. The decline is in mainstream churches with non-fundamentalist theologies. And you may be pleased to know that Beliefnet has enjoyed a nice increase in readership in recent months — something of which we are understandably proud.

      As for your regretable slur of our readership, we have some of the most savvy, open-minded, ready-to-debate readers I’ve ever encountered.

  • Michael Allen

    I love it when people use the separation of church and state to keep God out of everything. The separation of church and state is a practice that was established so that the church could not dictate law and regulations to the government. It was not put in place to keep people from practicing as they believe.

    When a person makes a speech, they can talk about how we evolved, they can talk about political correctness, they can talk about character education in the schools, they can talk about handing kids condoms and they can talk about socialism. They have the freedom to talk about anything they wish. But mention the name Jesus, and their freedom of speech is immediately denied.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Bradford Rosenquist, D. D.

    To whom it may concern and be “news”:
    Assuming there is a God, how do you “keep him out of anything?”,
    especially something as obvious as the government. The constitution only declares no state sponsored religious practice. Each US citizen
    is guaranteed freedom of religious practice on their own terms as they understand their relationship to the Creator God. For any state-sponsored (salaries paid by state and local taxes) professor to deny a fellow citizen the right to speak as they choose is borderline
    anti-American and could be construed as treason.
    The whole idea of the founding fathers [yes, founding fathers, not
    mothers or mutually gendered adults]was to assure that if someone had
    a belief that was not quite in keeping with the majority of folks, that they would not have to worry about being persecuted…
    This professor is ironically doing just that…persecuting a student who has a personal belief different than the majority or in this case the minority that wants to go to the other extreme and dominate the situation. Let’s get some logic going here, and not just emotion.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment CKS

    The only thing more useless than congress is academia. Sending kids to college these days accomplishes nothing!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Abambagibus

    I wonder what would happened, had she wanted to thank Allah.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment MANUEL

    How soon have we as Americans that our Cristian faith in GOD hekped this country in making it what it is today. How sad that the “educated” have forgotten their original roots, where they came from and especially where they are going. How can a house of higher learning prohibit the use of the word “Jesus”, when that man died on the cross to forgive all of our sins.

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