A Californian high school student was warned not to mention his faith in his graduation speech, claiming this would be in violation of the US constitution.
According to the Christian Institute, 18-year-old Brooks Hamby was told by Brawley Union School District officials that if he mentioned God or Jesus, he would be breaching ‘government case law’.
Three drafts of his speech were rejected because of ‘reference to religious content’, but the fourth one did not receive a reply.
Reports suggested Mr Hamby had been told that if he were to talk about religion, the sound would be cut off during his graduation speech.
The fourth draft of his speech, which did not receive any reply from officials, started off by mentioning that he had ‘three drafts rejected’ and went on to explain why. Standing in front of his classmates, he quoted from the Gospel of Matthew and encouraged his peers to ‘be the salt of the earth’.
He is being supported in his fight back against the officials by US religious liberty organisation Liberty Institute, which said Mr Hamby was well within his legal rights to deliver a speech containing references to God.
Spokesman Hiram Sasser said, ‘No government official may censor simple references to God that served as personal acknowledgment by Brooks of something greater than himself’ (more from: www.youtube.com/watch? v=tQGFQYRk2sc).