Thursday, September 13, 2018

Her school tried to silence her faith
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world.”

That’s the Bible verse, John 16:33, that Colorado Mesa University student Karissa Erickson planned to include in her graduation speech.

Karissa was selected as one of two students to give a speech at her nursing program’s pinning ceremony. As a Christian, she wanted to acknowledge her faith and the role it plays in her life during her speech. After telling a few funny stories about her experience in the nursing program, Karissa planned to talk briefly about overcoming adversity, closing with the verse above.

The only guideline Karissa had been given for the speech was that she and the other student speaker had to keep their combined remarks to 10 minutes. Karissa had no reason to believe that her brief expression of faith would be a problem.

Unfortunately, she was wrong.

When Karissa submitted her speech for review, she discovered that school officials wrongly believed that they had to censor all religious speech on campus to avoid offending anyone.

One official went so far as to threaten Karissa with “repercussions” if she refused to remove the Bible verse, saying the nursing “program will not tolerate [this Christian content].”

That’s when Karissa decided to reach out to Alliance Defending Freedom.

Through God’s provision and your prayers and support, we were ready to act when we received Karissa’s call for help.

ADF attorneys sent a letter to the school, explaining that the First Amendment allows religious remarks at graduation ceremonies and that censoring Karissa’s religious speech was unconstitutional.

Praise God that the school was quick to recognize and correct its mistake!

The school acknowledged that students invited to speak at the ceremony “should speak uncensored.” As a result, Karissa was able to speak freely at her pinning ceremony in May.

Via email


Bill R. said...

How do these so-called "educators" not know that the First Amendment states the government may not prohibit the free exercise of religion?

Anonymous said...

avoid offending anyone. Well, I suppose Christians don't count as 'anyone'. I'm sure their actions offended this young lady, as well as any one sharing her beliefs. Beating someone over the head is 'offensive'. Listening to a few words that might actually do you some good is not.

Anonymous said...


They don't know because they were taught by others who either don't know or don't want people to know. The education system has been rotting away for decades now.

Anonymous said...

There is not any such thing or entity as God !

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:29 - You opinion which you have every right to share. And those of us who believe otherwise have every right to think you a fool. None of us have the right to force our beliefs on others but should have the right to try to persuade others.

Regardless, thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

A pinning ceremony sounds more appropriate for a wrestling competition.