Anti-Religion Group Blasts Teen Valedictorian's Prayer
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2013 Jun 07
The Freedom From Religion Foundation blasted what it called the "open defiance" of a valedictorian who delivered the Lord's Prayer during a high school graduation ceremony last Saturday in South Carolina, Todd Starnes reports. Roy Costner, a senior at Liberty High School in Pickens, created national attention when he ripped up his pre-approved graduation speech and instead led the crowd in a recitation of the Lord's Prayer. A video of the speech was posted on YouTube and has since gone viral. It shows the 18-year-old setting aside his speech and saying, "I think most of you will understand when I say, 'Our Father, who art in heaven...'" As the crowd cheered, he concluded his remarks by pointing to the sky and saying, "For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen." A school district spokesperson said the valedictorian will not be penalized for what he did, and Costner said he has absolutely no regrets. "I'm happy with what I did," he said. "I want this to glorify God. I want to use this as a witnessing tool and I hope others will stand up for God in our nation." As for his critics, Costner quoted a passage of Scripture from the Gospel of Matthew. "If you deny me among men, I will deny you to the Father," he said. He also had a special message to the Freedom From Religion Foundation: "We are not in a country where we have freedom from religion. We have freedom of religion."