As a Christian, it’s my God-given responsibility to offend you in any way possible   6 comments

Ouch. It literally turned my stomach to write that title, but that is the exact attitude that some self-proclaimed Christians exude. They judge non-Christians, homosexuals/gays, single mothers (never the fathers of those out-of-wedlock babies), and anyone else who does not fit into their definition of a Christian. Never mind that simple and straight-to-the-point verse that says: ‘Judge not, that ye be not judged.’ (Matthew 7:1) Simply stated: Remember when you point the finger, three are pointing back at you. But sadly, not very many people are willing to openly judge the decision of the Cherokee County Board of Education to continue holding commencement ceremonies inside a church even though Jewish students have expressed their discomfort with the venue selection. I have a few issues with the board’s decision and the lack of support shown for the impending graduates as well as former Jewish students who missed their graduations because they were held in churches…

1. Did our country decide to do away with the ‘separation of church and state’ thingy and someone forgot to click ‘Send’ on the memo? If not, then why are publicly funded schools showing favor towards one religion (Christianity) by holding a school-sponsored (and funded) event inside a facility owned and operated by said religion? I sat through a Christian prayer at a publicly-funded school board meeting, where no recognition was given to any other religion. Is that not showing favoritism?

2. We encourage our kids to go to school, work hard, and earn good grades to prepare for college or other post-secondary plans. A high school graduation is the pinnacle of 13+ years of rules, early morning classes, uninteresting subjects/teachers, and overbearing education bureaucrats, yet some kids will miss that ceremony because they are not in the Christian ‘clique.’ As a student, I’d be pretty pissed. As a parent, I would support my child’s decision not to attend. But those two things are not enough. Oddly though, I doubt that any board of education in the bible belt would even seriously consider using a synagogue, mosque, or whatever as the venue for a high school graduation. Not a snowball’s chance in hell….

3. The justification excuse provided by the board is that other venues are too costly to rent for graduation ceremonies. During these tough economic times I can understand the need to tighten the purse strings, but someone will loosen them enough to pay the costs associated with renting the church. OK, so maybe the cost argument was a bad lame attempt to mask their lack of respect for Jewish students’ First Amendment Right. Perhaps to avoid conveying an attitude of apathy, the board could have decided to find a venue interested in a tax write-off (afterall, K-12 schools are non-profits) or they could have even opted to charge for tickets above the normal allotment of three per student. Maybe those options make too much sense…

I am not naive. I know that you cannot please all of the people all of the time, but this entire ‘discussion’ could have been avoided if the board, parents, and students of Cherokee County addressed the issue when it first arose several years ago. Usually, to avoid a repeat problems in the future most well-meaning people address them when they occur. Instead, the board would rather face a lawsuit (funded by tax payers), willingly accept the fact that well-deserving (Jewish) students miss their graduations, and reiterate what I have said time and time again: We still have a very long way to go and we ARE NOT living in a post-racial/religious/gender identity or anything-else society.

Monise, who is stealing imitating the style of her friend Jose Vilson and ending her blog with this thought: If she doesn’t stop fussin, cussin, and carrying-on like a heathen, she will be waiting on ‘Stand-by’ for her seat in heaven. Amen.

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6 responses to “As a Christian, it’s my God-given responsibility to offend you in any way possible

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  1. Very well put. It is showing favoritism and it is a problem especially for a public funded school. A privately funded school is a whole different matter.

  2. I think it would be an excellent idea for other groups (such as the Jewish community) to offer their facilities to the school. As someone living outside this community I have no knowledge whether this was made and turned down. As a Christian I have no problem entering the facilities of other groups–and have never heard of this from fellow believers. My faith is not centered around a building and I do not put buildings ahead my faith in Jesus Christ–that’s just silly especially when related to high school graduation ceremonies. I guess the bottom line would be the size of the facility and if it is able to handle large crowds. Some facilities, whether faith-based or not, do not want the wear / tear on their buildings. As a fact of life, it is usually Christian churches in most communities that have facilities of the requried size, accessibility, along with the willingness to offer their buildings for community use and the openness to allow everyone full access to their facility whether they hold the same beliefs or not. Would this even be an issue if graduation was held in a facility of another faith? Probably not. Would Christians through up a fit? Doubt it. Why? Because this is not an issue of faith…it’s about hosting a graduation ceremony where all the students can enjoy their graduation together with friends and family within their own community. WWJD? He tells us in the Bible to live at peace, to put others above ourselves and to not accuse. Is this about graduation or Jesus? I would love to talk more about the love, mercy, and grace of Jesus–especially His grace.

    • Many people in this area are very serious about their religion/churches/places of worship. Christians ‘appear’ to be in the majority as well. There are plenty of non-religious facilities in the metro-Atlanta area that could have been utilized for the graduation ceremony, as other schools do it all the time. It was very surprising to me to even hear of such ceremonies being held in churches in the first place. I am from the Mid-west and it is unheard of in my little city. We always used the performing arts center or convention center for graduations.

      • Instead of thinking Christians go out of their way to offend maybe it all boils down to what you just said about not being used to seeing such as this. Raised in the South, I can say this is a new trend that has nothing to do with Christians trying to offend anyone. Infact, until moving to Atlanta I had never heard of it either. So what’s the reasoning? Simple comfort. MamMaw and Papa’s walkers, wheelchairs and canes don’t work so well with stadium setting. Let’s not even talk about MaMa’s 4 inch heels sinking completely into the grass while trying to walk up the side of the road because there is not enough parking. Or Dad sporting a body odor smell from having to wear a suit in high heat and humnity. Then, let’s really tell it…have you ever sat through a May / June graduation in the South dressed in Sunday’s finest? After digging moths (attracted by stadium lights) out of hair, stumbling up and down bleachers, relatives pose with sweat obivously visible in pictures. When I attend a dear friend’s daughter’s graduation in Cherokee County this year I’ll smile at being able to park in a parking lot and not the side of a highway or having to pay for parking. When I enter the air conditioned building to sit in cushioned seats I’ll think back to my own graduation where my Grandfather could not attend because his health could not take the heat or walk up the bleachers. Yes, students and family can drive anywhere in the metro Atlanta area–but why? Why does a family proud to see their child graduate have to drive in ATL traffic with $3 a gal. gas when a comfortable facility is available in their community? I’m missing the reason here why being a Christian means there is automatic offense taken. It saddens me to think about good people being accused and maligned all because they would like to have graduation in a nice facility that can adequately meet the needs of their community. It’s sad Jewish students do not feel comfortable entering a building for a non-religious graduation ceremony solely because it is a Christian building. This is not about graduates attending a church service or listening to preaching. It’s about graduation. It’s about a building. There are good people with names and faces who simply want to see their children graduate, and many of them are followers of Jesus Christ. I would attend graduation at any facility, including that of another faith, because the bottom line is, it’s about graduation–building usage–convenience–cost–not about offending anyone. Truly sorry you are offended.

  3. i have thought about that before i do wish sometimes i could meet god or jesus but then othere days maybe not i have a lot of questions for him and i want his magic wand so he could turn my life around i suppose i am guilty for the way it has turned out so far and only i am to blame

  4. A similar situation occurred last year in the school district where I was educated. The students and families who petitioned the school board’s decision to hold graduation at a church – which, by the way, isn’t even located in the same community as the high school – won. What happened to graduation ceremonies taking place on the campus of the school? Somehow my high school managed to graduate almost 600 students from the back lawn of the high school. Of course , it was a beautiful June day. Still, don’t they make tents large enough to accommodate large groups?

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