SC valedictorian recites Lord's Prayer at graduation - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

SC valedictorian recites Lord's Prayer at graduation

Posted: Updated:

A valedictorian at a South Carolina high school ripped up a faculty-approved speech and opted instead to read the Lord's Prayer.

Liberty High School valedictorian Roy Costner hadn't been at the podium for more than 30 seconds when he tore up the speech he had gotten approved by the faculty and began reciting the Lord's Prayer to thunderous applause.

Patrick Elliott with the Freedom From Religion Foundation says they have received complaints about the district in South Carolina in the past for having student-led prayers at school board meetings, so they wrote to them and asked them to stop.

"Sometimes people think, 'majority rules' but that's not really the case with a constitutional right. So students do have the right to attend school without the school promoting or endorsing religion even if you know a large amount of people in the community would hope that the school would do so," Elliott said.

Jonathan Saenz with Texas Values is proud of Costner.

"It's very clear. If the student is allowed to speak, the government cannot pick and choose what words they like...specifically target them because they're religious," Saenz said.

Elliott says he doesn't feel what Costner did was illegal, just in poor taste.

"I think it's a symptom of the entitlement that has gone on in that district. They've been instituting prayers and religious practices for a very long time and so when the school is now coming into compliance with the law, I think there's bound to be some reaction to that. I also think if it were a non-Christian student, a Muslim or somebody who's non-religious, I think you would have heard "boos" there instead of you know, loud applause," Elliott said.

Saenz doesn't agree, saying those who complain usually target Christians expressing their faith.

"That's what we've seen in Texas, that's what we're seeing in South Carolina, and so all denominations have religious freedom rights but it seems like every time it becomes an issue and someone threatens with a lawsuit or some type of challenge, it's always a Christian student. And so that's unfortunate that you see this type of targeted discrimination. And we hope that's something that will end," Saenz said.

Link to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX28jjqu0HU

This story originally appeared on MyFoxAustin.com.

  • Viral storiesMore>>

  • VIDEO: Kids reenact Richard Sherman rant

    VIDEO: Kids reenact Richard Sherman rant

    Friday, January 24 2014 10:59 PM EST2014-01-25 03:59:32 GMT
    People are going to be talking about Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman's epic meltdown on-air for a long time to come. Even kids are re-enacting the conversation Sherman had with FOX's Erin Andrews following
    People are going to be talking about Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman's epic meltdown on-air for a long time to come.
  • One day after Snellville sisters' triple wedding, mom passes away

    One day after Snellville sisters' triple wedding, mom passes away

    Wednesday, January 15 2014 10:49 PM EST2014-01-16 03:49:33 GMT
    Three sisters from Snellville shared a very special memory with their mother when they got married in an emotional triple wedding ceremony on Sunday afternoon. 
    Three sisters from Snellville shared a very special memory with their mother when they got married in an emotional triple wedding ceremony on Sunday afternoon.  Her wish to see them all walk down the aisle came true, but Becky Swales lost her battle to breast cancer early Monday morning.
  • Sisters hold triple wedding for ailing mother

    Sisters hold triple wedding for ailing mother

    Monday, October 7 2013 9:24 AM EDT2013-10-07 13:24:08 GMT
    Support has poured in for three sisters planning a last-minute triple wedding. The Swales sisters were engaged at the same time and now they're getting married at the same time.
    Support has poured in for three Gwinnett County sisters planning a last-minute triple wedding. The Swales sisters all happened to be engaged at the same time, and they decided to get married at the same time after getting the heartbreaking news that their mother may only have a few months to live.
Powered by WorldNow

KDFW FOX 4
400 N. Griffin Street
Dallas, Texas 75202

Main Station Directory:
(214) 720-4444
News Fax:
(214) 720-3263 or (214) 720-3333

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices