Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery has ruled one student's practice of the First Amendment to be a violation of another student's right not to be offended. (Fox News, Christian Post reports) In a case involving Medina Valley High School in Castroville, TX, Biery forbid students from using the words "amen," "bow your heads," "in Jesus' name," and other religious expressions during their commencement speeches.
While I don't support school sponsored prayer, when a judge goes so far as stating that students in their personal comments can't use certain words, the First Amendment right to freedom of speech has become meaningless. Unlike Texas Attoney General Gregg Abbott who stated that, "Part of this [ruling] goes to the very heart of the unraveling of moral values in the country today," I don't believe it has much to do with declining moral values. It has everything to do with an individual having the right to express their beliefs and opinions without interference of the government. Just because someone finds another person's comments offensive that is no reason to strip that individual of the right to state those beliefs and opinions.