Lebanon High School Principal Kevin Lowery gave a commencement address to his high school students. In the course of his speech, he spoke repeatedly of God and His role in our individual lives and in the life of our nation. Among other things, he reminded his students that our national motto is “In God We Trust,” and that it is imprinted on all of our currency. He gave a short history lesson, generally absent from the classes, that Francis Scott Key’s original version of our national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” made references to God.
Lowery also wryly noted during the May 23 commencement that even though “God is reflected in the very fabric” of the nation, it would be inappropriate to mention The Almighty at a secular ceremony.
“So while it would not be politically correct for us to have an official prayer this evening,” he said, “I would like for us to have a moment of silence in honor of tonight’s graduates. Thank you. And just in case you’re interested, during my moment of silence, I gave thanks to God for these great students, their parents, their teachers, and for this community.”
I find this extremely objectionable. I think it’s clear that Kevin Lowery violated the spirit of the First Amendment separations of religion and government. This was an underhanded and dishonorable way for him to forcibly inject his personal religious views onto his students and the others present and into his role as a government official.
That’s…unfortunate. I find Muscato’s comment extremely objectionable. I think it’s clear that David Muscato is trying to violate the spirit of the First Amendment’s free exercise of religion. This is an underhanded and dishonorable way for him to forcibly inject his personal religious views onto children and the others present and an abuse of his role as gadfly.