Jump directly to the content

Valedictorian's Viral Video Continues School Prayer Debate

But question arises again: Does the Lord's Prayer count as non-sectarian?

The high school valedictorian who bucked school board rules by inserting the Lord's Prayer into his commencement speech hopes his decision—captured on a viral YouTube clip and covered by national media—inspires other Christians to stand up for their faith.

"Taking prayer out of schools is the worst thing we could do," South Carolina grad Roy Costner IV told CNN.

He said God led him to the decision to stray from his approved speech and pray, despite his county's new policy against sectarian, student-led prayers.

But is the Lord's Prayer a sectarian one? Courts and Christians have debated whether the familiar prayer actually represents multiple faiths since no Christian tradition existed when Jesus introduced it in the New Testament. From some perspectives, Costner's prayer would fit the non-sectarian types allowed by the district, which isn't planning on punishing him.

Some states have recently adopted policies that support certain student-led prayer. Louisiana now allows students to use school space during non-instructional time to gather and pray, and Missouri now permits the free expression of religious beliefs in classroom settings and school events.

Related Topics:Church and State; Prayer
Posted:June 7, 2013 at 11:41AM
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.
Recent Posts
God and America: It's Complicated
Surveys show fewer think America is a Christian nation, but many see ‘special relationship’ with God.
Burning Black Churches Rekindle Old Fears
(UPDATED) Two cases of arson found so far. Most weeks average five.
What Mark Driscoll Told Brian Houston at Hillsong Conference
(UPDATED) Debate continues over how long pastoral restoration should take.
Struggle over Same-Sex Marriage's Religious Liberty Ramifications Begins
(UPDATED) Liberty Institute sees good news, but other Christian legal groups disagree.
Christianity Today
Valedictorian's Viral Video Continues School Prayer Debate