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Valedictorian Suing School Officials for Censoring Speech

By Editorial Staff
Published January 2, 1988

MOSS BLUFF, LA. (EP) – A Louisiana high school graduate is suing her local school officials for censoring her valedictory speech at commencement. Angela Kay Guidry, who was graduated from Sam Houston High School here in May, says her principal’s refusal to let her speak unless she omitted all planned religious references was a violation of her rights to free speech and free exercise of religion.

Guidry is being represented by attorneys of the Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit civil liberties organization specializing in religious freedom questions. Her attorneys are seeking a declaratory judgment protecting Guidry and other students from “interference [with] or denial of” constitutional rights.

According to the lawsuit, Guidry submitted her speech to principal Kerry Durr for review May 15. The speech began by thanking “my Lord Jesus who has allowed me to be in this position tonight.” The speech went on to explain Guidry’s personal source of motivation. “To me the most important thing in your life is not whether you have a good education or a good job, but whether or not you have the Lord in your life. It doesn’t matter how many years you go to school or how successful you are in this life, if you’re not doing it all for the Lord,” stated the speech.

She planned to close the speech by explaining her belief that people needed to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior. “My prayer and challenge to you tonight,” she had written, “is that you would seek the Lord Jesus, believe in Him, and give your heart and life to Him.”

Guidry’s lawsuit says that Durr read the speech and said, “You can’t argue with that,” but later that day guidance counselor Sylvia Seals telephoned Guidry and asked her to change the speech. A few days later, Guidry says, Seals “engaged in a tirade of criticism” within earshot of Guidry’s fellow students, and when Guidry attempted to walk away Seals “grabbed her arm and continued making derogatory and slanderous remarks” about her religious beliefs.

Guidry was later told by Durr to delete all references to personal religious views so no one would be “offended” by the speech. Guidry refused, and was told she would not be allowed to speak.

The school authorities contend that Durr’s decision was based on the fear that Guidry’s remarks may have been taken as an endorsement of religious view by school authorities. Rutherford attorneys, however, argue that a “valedictorian address is, by its very nature, a personal bidding of farewell,” and say Guidry was unconstitutionally deprived of “a meaningful opportunity to exercise her right of free speech and freely express her sincerely held beliefs.”

The suit seeks declaratory judgment forbidding similar interference in the future, and compensatory and punitive damages for Seals’ “inflamatory remarks impugning [Guidry’s] moral character.”


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The Four Keys to the Millennium (Book)

Foundations in Biblical Eschatology

By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.

All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?

These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.

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Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

Running Time: 257 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

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Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.

The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

Welcome to the Second American Revolution!

This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.

$14.95 — ORDER NOW!

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Frank Schaeffer Will You Please Shut Up! (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 200 pages

A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism

Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner

The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.

Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.

Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.

$14.95 — ORDER NOW!

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The Silent Scream (DVD) Eight Languages

“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981

Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.

The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.

“… a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine

Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese

Running Time: 28 minutes

$17.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

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