Comments about ‘Valedictorian rips up approved graduation speech, talks about religion instead’

Return to article »

Published: Wednesday, June 5 2013 5:00 p.m. MDT

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
West Jordan, Utah

Stand for something, or fall for anything.

Courageous young man!!!

Bountiful, UT

I suspect the reaction would have been quite different had this young man exclaimed "Allah Akbar!" or bore witness to Joseph Smith restoring the gospel to the Earth, but as long as the majority support his views, he's a hero against liberalism and has great courage, or something like that.

Springville, Ut

Not courageous at all. Just a typical teenager thumbing his nose at authority. Just because it had a religious overtone doesn't make it impressive.

I don't understand why a prayer needs to be said at all. Religion is a personal thing. What this kid did seems more like standing on a Rameumptom than defending religion, especially since no one was attacking it.

We didn't have a prayer at our local high school graduation a few weeks ago. I wasn't offended. I doubt the Lord was either.


If this young man had torn up his speech and shouted a bunch of curse words, would he be applauded? Or if he had given a political speech? What if he had endorsed a religion other than Christianity?

Maybe by some. But most people would have been offended that they were forced to listen to something with which they disagree while at a public function.

Just because he appealed to beliefs shared by the majority does not make him right.

salt lake city, utah

Why would this even make the paper here. What's your agenda DN?

Sandy, UT

If he'd been a Muslim and done the same thing, they'd be calling for his head on a pike.

Secularism doesn't mean the absence of religion; it means that religion is a private matter.

AZ Blue & Red
Gilbert, AZ

As much as I want to say this was good I have to agree with some of the comments that if this was something else I think the tone and reception would have been a lot different. Glad we have some good people out there but not sure this was the best solution. Send them out preaching or service. Can you imagine if at a ball game here in the USA someone sang the North Korean or Iranian National anthem? Maybe that is a stretch but you get the gist. There is a time and place for everything.

Centerville, UT

Onward Christian Soldiers! What will fill the moral void created by the educational theory our children have been subjected to? I believe the most important battle today is that between Christians and atheists. I congratulate this courageous young man for standing up for Christian virtues, which atheists seek to destroy at the peril of civilized society.

Joan Watson

Good for him! May he ever have the courage to stand up for his core beliefs and be an honor to God, and to his parentsbeliefs in spite of this nations governmental muzzling of religious christian principles.

Grandma 20
Allen, TX

Hooray for that courageous young man. The angels have recorded what was done and said today.

St. George, Utah

Freedom of speech? until you talk about Christianity, even if the majority has the same belief.
I say hooray to this young man, he did what is expected of a Valedictorian, he spoke from the heart to encourage his fellow class mates for life, and did not buckle to the politically correct group. Had it been a muslim speaking his uplifting beliefs I would support him as well, though if there were any problems the government and attorneys would come to his defense.
As Claudio stated earlier "Religion is a personal thing." I agree, so is the morals and standards of our great nation a personal thing and needs to be fought for. Once again I say Hooray to this young man.

Pleasant Grove, UT

"Religion is a personal thing."

Yes. A personal thing which is expressible through free speech, whether in public or in private.

Infantry Blue
Bountiful, UT

This is wrong--and the positive “Hooray for this young man!” comments are wrong--on so many levels.

Most of us would agree we should “Do unto others as we would have them do unto us.” Yes. That sounds fair and right.

How would we have reacted if the young man had been a Muslim, ripped up his approved speech, and testified there was one God—Allah—and Muhammad was his prophet?

Probably not very well.

How would we have reacted if the young man had been an atheist, ripped up his approved speech, and argued there was no God?

Probably not very well.

If we would object to that, why would we feel good about this?

Salt Lake City, UT

salt lake city, utah
Why would this even make the paper here. What's your agenda DN?

Dialogue, perhaps?

Sandy, UT

Secularism doesn't mean the absence of religion; it means that religion is a private matter.

And freedom OF religion isn't the same as freedom FROM religion or MARGINALIZING religion by pushing it into as small a space as possible.

As for me -- and I gave the prayer at my high school graduation years ago -- perhaps the best alternative would've been for those who wanted a prayer to hold a separate prayer service before the graduation ceremony, even if it were a day before, and invite all who would like to attend. That would draw those who wanted to acknowledge and thank the Lord, and might also act as a proselytizing service for the curious or interested. In many, many cases there is a third alternative, especially when the only alternatives are banned or offensive.

Midwest Mom
Soldiers Grove, WI

I doubt all of you who applaud this young man's cheek would be cheering if he were a Muslim.

Did the young man flaunt authority because he wanted to bear testimony, or because he wanted to pray on the street corner? Only God knows and He rewards in secret.

Springville, Ut


They held a moment of silence. Sounds like a perfectly good compromise to me.

Nate et al,

I don't recall saying he should be forbidden to do anything. Just because one is free to do something, doesn't mean one should. This young man was free to say bigoted comments about his classmates over the microphone as well, but he didn't. There was no threat or loss of the freedom of speech here.


Who said atheists complained? Maybe the LDS voiced concern because the prayer wasn't to their format. Maybe the Muslims objected. Maybe the Jews. Since when did Christians have a monopoly on prayer, or the right type of prayer?

The Pharisees prayed in public for attention and gratification from the masses. Seems this boy knows that Bible story quite well. History does repeat itself.

opinion 47


He mentioned religion in his speech because it was important to him- the valedictorian ,
the school chose him to speak and he wanted to share a message with religious overtones .

A typical teenager is not a valedictorian to begin with. A typical teenager would be in the crowd half listening and plan on popping his pimples that night before going to see a "fast and furious " movie talk about girls and cars.
Don't mistake typical for atypical.

Moses Lake, WA

Finally somebody with the nerve to push back. Sounded like the said something that I believe the founders of the country would have been proud of. And it did take courage, way more courage than most of our politicians have.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Well said, SAS. If this was a Muslim the Christian right wing in America would be going berzerk.

Mainly Me
Werribee, 00

I like what SAS said. Anyone who thinks the Founding Fathers meant that religion should be a private matter that you don't discuss with anyone needs to do a little bit of research. It seems to me that the reason for people coming to this country in the first place was to practice their religion without goobermint interference...of course, I may have been wrong since history is being revised by the socialists.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments