Friday, June 17, 2011

Graduation Day Applause

It's Friday--time for a grin. Feel free to send your favorite jokes or funny stories to post on Fridays. This story makes me want to count my blessings and my freedoms. I love their spunk! ferree

The Sneeze

Posted in: Wake Up With The Wolf, Words To Live By
Author unknown (*based on a true story—see note below)

They walked in tandem, each of the ninety-three students filing into the already crowded auditorium. With rich maroon gowns flowing and the traditional caps, they looked almost as grown up as they felt.

Dads swallowed hard behind broad smiles, and moms freely brushed away tears.

This class would not pray during the commencements —– not by choice but because of a recent court ruling prohibiting it. The principal and several students were careful to stay within the guidelines allowed by the ruling. They gave inspirational and challenging speeches, but no one mentioned divine guidance and no one asked for blessings on the graduates or their families.

The speeches were nice, but they were routine…until the final speech received a standing ovation.

A solitary student walked proudly to the microphone. He stood still and silent for just a moment, and then he delivered his speech. An astounding– SNEEZE!

The rest of the students rose immediately to their feet, and in unison they said, “GOD BLESS YOU.”

The audience exploded into applause. The graduating class found a unique way to invoke God’s blessing on their future with or without the court’s approval.

*The commencement ceremony described was for the Washington Community High School class of 1991. Class valedictorian Natasha Appenheimer and the American Civil liberties Union won a court injunction the day before graduation that banned any type of prayer at the event. Even though the Benediction and invocation were suggested by the students and intended to be student-led, U.S. District Judge Joe B. McDade ruled that, since the prayers were subject to teacher review and would be promoted in school-printed programs, that the prayers violated the constitutional separation of church and state.

During the ceremony, Ryan Brown, a fellow student and one of the scheduled speakers, paused on his way to the podium to bow in silent prayer, which was greeted with cheers. During his speech, he faked a sneeze, and a few students, with whom he had previously arranged, shouted “God Bless You” in response.

Subtle protests by students were seen throughout the ceremony. Many used tape to spell out the words “Let’s Pray” and “Amen” on their caps, while others wore cross necklaces passed out before the ceremony.

Posted from:  93.1 Wolf Country » Words To Live By

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