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University of Georgia - commencement prayer - Comments

StephenJoiner's Avatar Comment 1 by StephenJoiner

Thanks for putting this up! I am happy to answer any questions about what has taken place at UGA.

Mon, 02 Apr 2012 18:20:44 UTC | #931961

SaadKhan's Avatar Comment 2 by SaadKhan

Great job Stephen and everyone else who contributed! Glad to see this getting some attention.

Mon, 02 Apr 2012 18:37:12 UTC | #931966

Nairb's Avatar Comment 3 by Nairb

My niece goes to this college!*

What happened? Has it been stopped?

Mon, 02 Apr 2012 18:59:09 UTC | #931971

MattyP!'s Avatar Comment 4 by MattyP!

You think the commencement prayer is bad, just look into Mark Richt's Christification of the football program!

Mon, 02 Apr 2012 19:38:32 UTC | #931981

debonnesnouvelles's Avatar Comment 5 by debonnesnouvelles

There you have it indeed!

The last bit is such a singsong -from 1:48 on, what a deeply annoying pseudo musical roller coaster ride of pitch up and down...

Is it meant to hypnotize or brainwash? Or meant as a kind of lullaby?

Who in their right mind wants to listen to anything like that?

Mon, 02 Apr 2012 20:09:30 UTC | #931987

drumdaddy's Avatar Comment 6 by drumdaddy

This is a public university, yet these arrogant preachers believe that they are entitled to hijack any crowd that they see. Can't they restrict they're embarrassing conversations with magical ghosts to the superstition schools and the mental institutions?

Mon, 02 Apr 2012 20:32:09 UTC | #931992

gloves71's Avatar Comment 7 by gloves71

Yes, I was hoping Jessica's case would be the first of a wave of cases against US state schools who include prayer at official events. Great work Stephen - keep going!

Mon, 02 Apr 2012 20:32:59 UTC | #931993

KennyMoore's Avatar Comment 8 by KennyMoore

Excellent work, Stephen et. al! I'll be graduating from UGA this May and while I've all but given up most hope that my graduation will not include a few infringing prayers, this does not stop me and should not stop any of you other UGA students or onlookers in the nonreligious community from stepping in and protesting this!

They can't ignore us forever. Other deeply traditional schools have kicked this terrible habit and its time we helped UGA do the same. Please, everyone, get involved and do not give up the fight!

Tue, 03 Apr 2012 00:15:00 UTC | #932026

mjwemdee's Avatar Comment 9 by mjwemdee

I am a Senior Tutor at a theatre department in a British university. Our graduation ceremonies have usually been held, appropriately enough for the vocational training that the students receive, in the local municipal theatre, and we have always had a warm welcome there. Some years ago the theatre was closed temporarily for refurbishment and we had to seek elsewhere for our ceremony. One of the few places available and capacious enough for the day was the local cathedral, and the Dean and Chapter eagerly extended an invitation. We finally accepted, but we had quite a hard task insisting that the ceremony should remain entirely secular. To their credit, they did eventually keep their hands off - but it never felt quite right to me, sitting amongst all the Xtian paraphernalia. Everyone was relieved when we were able to return to the status quo ante.

Tue, 03 Apr 2012 02:02:48 UTC | #932041

aroundtown's Avatar Comment 10 by aroundtown

Comment 1 by StephenJoiner Thanks for putting this up! I am happy to answer any questions about what has taken place at UGA.

Do not waver Stephen and stay strong for you are certainly in the right. They will balk as they alway do but that is their problem. I am glad to see this effort. Best.

Tue, 03 Apr 2012 03:37:49 UTC | #932050

Anonymous's Avatar Comment 11 by Anonymous

Comment Removed by Moderator

Tue, 03 Apr 2012 05:05:06 UTC | #932068

Vorlund's Avatar Comment 12 by Vorlund

Comment 6 by drumdaddy :

This is a public university, yet these arrogant preachers believe that they are entitled to hijack any crowd that they see. Can't they restrict they're embarrassing conversations with magical ghosts to the superstition schools and the mental institutions?

It happens all the time whenever there 's some ledge of publicity to cling on to like a memorial or disaster or even an opening ceremony you're sure to find a mountebank for the myth if christ lurking ready to dispense his miraculous unguenta for those who are psychologically unequipped for life without a comfort blanket.

Tue, 03 Apr 2012 06:30:30 UTC | #932074

CJHefford's Avatar Comment 13 by CJHefford

Comment 9 by mjwemdee :

I am a Senior Tutor at a theatre department in a British university. Our graduation ceremonies have usually been held, appropriately enough for the vocational training that the students receive, in the local municipal theatre, and we have always had a warm welcome there. Some years ago the theatre was closed temporarily for refurbishment and we had to seek elsewhere for our ceremony. One of the few places available and capacious enough for the day was the local cathedral, and the Dean and Chapter eagerly extended an invitation. We finally accepted, but we had quite a hard task insisting that the ceremony should remain entirely secular. To their credit, they did eventually keep their hands off - but it never felt quite right to me, sitting amongst all the Xtian paraphernalia. Everyone was relieved when we were able to return to the status quo ante.

I just wanted to applaud this. Whilst I think I can understand the discomfort of being in such a setting, I think you achieved something great by doing this. Getting religious bodies to respect the rights of the many is something I see discussed daily, with little success.

Both you and the cathedral such be held up as examples.

Tue, 03 Apr 2012 11:43:32 UTC | #932110

78rpm's Avatar Comment 14 by 78rpm

[Comment 10 >

They will balk as they alway do but that is their problem.

Those rednecks will do more than balk, they will fight in righteous indignation. But that doesn't mean we should let them continue to flip the bird to the Constitution.

Tue, 03 Apr 2012 11:48:20 UTC | #932112

RomeStu's Avatar Comment 15 by RomeStu

Great job Stephen. It would be interesting to see how many other state-funded universities enforce the woo at graduation ceremonies, or in football or other sports teams.

I'm sure this is just the tip of the iceberg...... So lets melt it!

Tue, 03 Apr 2012 12:18:49 UTC | #932116

GBile's Avatar Comment 16 by GBile

A prayhead sandwiched between St Mary's en Coca Cola, a sorry sight.

Tue, 03 Apr 2012 13:27:47 UTC | #932124

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 17 by rod-the-farmer

Can anyone speak to the point of law if a student were to stand up and object out loud ? I understand there would likely be considerable peer pressure to sit down and shut up, but still, this needs to be brought to the attention of the public. I wonder if students of other faiths or none would stand and support such an intervention ? If it is graduation, and you have already received your diploma, what can they do to you ?

Tue, 03 Apr 2012 13:29:46 UTC | #932125

Finch's Avatar Comment 18 by Finch

From the article:

After being stonewalled by the leaders of our school, we decided to seek the help of the FFRF and the SSA. Early in 2012, the FFRF wrote to UGA with an official complaint regarding the ceremony I had attended. Only time will tell whether the administration has come to its senses regarding the illegality of their actions, but the fight against religious oppression is not limited to my Alma mater.

Pressing the University to change its policy may be a good place to start but I wouldn't waste too much time with that approach because the onus rests squarely upon the government (state and federal), not the a university or college, for thumbing its nose at the 1st Amendment and ignoring court rulings that uphold separation of church and state.

  1. Petition the government at the state and federal level, to put an end to it.

  2. Identify politicians who perpetuate these practices via their voting record.

  3. Establish a significant voting block that threatens to remove these politicians from office.

  4. Send a clear message to those politicians that their jobs will be in jeopardy next election cycle, if change does not occur.

The greatest power that US citizens possess is the collective power of the ballot box. Think about it: That's what initially prompted the uprising of the KKK and its intimidation of Blacks to discourage them from voting...and that's what prompted male-dominated America, for over 150 years, to kept women from being able to own property and vote.

Politicians are scared shit-less when citizens begin to rise up against them and their jobs are threatened...because they understand the power of the vote.

Tue, 03 Apr 2012 14:06:32 UTC | #932129

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 19 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 17 by rod-the-farmer

Can anyone speak to the point of law if a student were to stand up and object out loud ? I understand there would likely be considerable peer pressure to sit down and shut up, but still, this needs to be brought to the attention of the public. I wonder if students of other faiths or none would stand and support such an intervention ? If it is graduation, and you have already received your diploma, what can they do to you ?

You make a good point. I wonder how many students are biting their tongues or just paying lip service out of undeserved respect. I bite my tongue quite often in situations of religious ceremony...out of respect for those that I'm there to support I find restraint from remark, usually, but then I'm a volunteer in the captive audience on those occasions and more often than not, I will stand outside the ritual. These students have not really got the same luxury.

Tue, 03 Apr 2012 15:56:22 UTC | #932147