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When our Nation’s Founding Fathers wrote the Establishment Clause into the Bill of Rights, they envisioned it as a protective device – a means of safeguarding citizens from a federally-mandated religion. In just over two hundred years, it has instead become a weapon often wielded by government bureaucrats to stamp out any vestige of religion from our public life. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito even warned that religious liberty is “fast becoming a disfavored right.”
Among the most likely to brandish the Establishment Clause are school districts. Instead of cultivating conversations and curiosity, district officials are quick to quash any conversation that dare mention the Divine.
This time of year is particularly ripe for censorship.
Over the next several weeks, valedictorians all over the country will deliver commencement speeches and express gratitude for all the people who helped them complete school. Unfortunately, some schools will use this as an opportunity to censor graduation speeches under a perverted understanding of the Establishment Clause.
Instead of embracing the private speech of their brightest students, districts claim that the “separation of church and state” requires the government to rid graduation ceremonies