FacebookTwitter
Hatrack River Forum   
my profile login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Valedictorian's speech cut short by school district because of reference to God (Page 6)

  This topic comprises 9 pages: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9   
Author Topic: Valedictorian's speech cut short by school district because of reference to God
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
It comes across as proselytizing to me rather than just a mention of God or two (or three or four). I'm sure she was earnest about her feelings, but I can see why the school decided not to provide a platform for her.
My primary concern with drawing this distinction is whether we will cut off a bunch of personal experiences.

I've heard graduation speeches about how school spirit, volunteering, education in general, or even books have helped the speakers find purpose, peace, or joy in their lives.

If she had kept only personal portions of her speech, would it have been OK as a true anecdote?

Compare this with the last section of the speech in the link (I tried to make sure all my changes are marked, but you can refer to the original):

quote:
The summer after my freshman year, I quit swimming. I quit trying to fill the huge void in my soul with the meager accomplishments I obtained there. After quitting, this amazing sense of peace rushed over me and I noticed, after 15 years of sitting on the story-time rug, this teacher standing above me, trying to help me: God. I disregarded His guidance for years, and all the while, He sought to show me what shape fits into the cut-out in my soul.

This hole gapes as a wide-open trench [that I had] filled with swimming, with friends, with family, with dating, with shopping, with partying, with drinking, with anything but God. But His love fit[]. His love [was] "that something more" [I had desired]. [I found it] unprejudiced, ...merciful, ... free, ... real, ... huge and ... everlasting. [I was moved by the thought that] God's love is so great that he gave His only son up to an excruciating death on a cross so His blood would cover all [my] shortcomings and provide for [me] a way to heaven in accepting this grace.

I now desire not my own will, but the will of God for my life -- however crazy and extravagant, or seemingly mundane and uneventful that might be. Strangely enough, surrendering my own will for the will of God, giving up control, gave me peace, gave me a calm I can't even begin to express with words.

Four years ago, recognition as one of the valedictorians for our senior class would have been just another attempt to fit the circle into the square cut-out. But because my heart is so full of God's love, the honor of speaking today is just that: an honor. Without it, I would feel just as full and purposeful as I do at this moment.

And I can guarantee, 100 percent, no doubt in my mind, that as I choose to fill myself with God's love rather than with the things society tells me will satisfy me, I will find success, I will always retain a sense of self-worth. I will thrive whether I attend a prestigious university next fall and become a successful career man or woman or begin a life-long manager position at McDonald's.

Because the fact of the matter remains, man possesses an innate desire to take part in something greater than himself. [For me, t]hat something is God's plan. And God's plan for [my life] may not leave [me] with an impressive and extensive resume, but if [I] pursue His plan, He promises to fill [me]. [God has said to me, in] Jeremiah 29:11, " 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.' "

Trust me, this block fits.

Does this make it less proselytizing and more of a relation of personal experience?

To what extent beyond a single "Thank you God" is it ok to relate an important event in one's life?

Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kwea
Member
Member # 2199

 - posted      Profile for Kwea   Email Kwea         Edit/Delete Post 
That was too much, IMO, and I would expect them to cut it off right away.
Posts: 15082 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Teshi
Member
Member # 5024

 - posted      Profile for Teshi   Email Teshi         Edit/Delete Post 
Yep, too much. She's essentially relating her conversion own conversion at the start, not something that particularly interests me:

quote:
I disregarded His guidance for years, and all the while, He sought to show me what shape fits into the cut-out in my soul.

This hole gapes as a wide-open trench when filled with swimming, with friends, with family, with dating, with shopping, with partying, with drinking, with anything but God. But His love fits. His love is "that something more" we all desire.

She goes further is saying that anyone who does not have God is incomplete- lesser- than the person who does. Now this may be a perfectly valid personal opinion, but when spoken to an audience of mixed people it's a sermon.

And she ends, not only with "This block fits for me" or "I have found the block for me" but the far more general comment intended for everyone: "Trust me," she says- implying we should follow her words and conversion with the kind of faith she devotes to her God- "this block fits." Not just for her, for all of YOU, too.

She goes beyond her own experiences to deliberately generalize her experience in order to convince her audience. That is proselytizing.

Posts: 8473 | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Irami Osei-Frimpong
Member
Member # 2229

 - posted      Profile for Irami Osei-Frimpong   Email Irami Osei-Frimpong         Edit/Delete Post 
[Smile]

The good speech- well-written, thoughtful, and powerful. Christianity put her on the road to being a valedictorian. I couldn't have produced-- and I possibly would have been scared to try to produce-- anything of its caliber at my graduation. I also wasn't a valedictorian, and it's a distinct possibility that those facts are linked.

As an aside, I read an article a few weeks ago about how Hitler and Totalitarianism came to power because its opposition was hand-wavvy humanism and liberalism. It doesn't matter how right these virtues were, because they weren't expressed with clarity, courage, and honesty.

I found the quote. It's from a book of Mortimer Adler essays, "We are losing our moral principles. But the vestiges of them remain to bother us and to interfere with a thoroughgoing commitment to amoral principles. Hence we are like confused, divided, inefffective Hitlers." the payoff is indicated: "In a contest between Hitler and people who are wondering why they shouldn't be Hitlers, the finished product is bound to win."

In my estimation, this girl is a finished Christian product, and if secularists can't muster an intellectual and emotional opposition to her, it's not her fault that her testimony is so persuasive.

Posts: 5600 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
And she ends, not only with "This block fits for me" or "I have found the block for me" but the far more general comment intended for everyone: "Trust me," she says- implying we should follow her words and conversion with the kind of faith she devotes to her God- "this block fits." Not just for her, for all of YOU, too.
So, if that's the problem, does the rewrite to just her experience correct the problems you see?
Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Glenn Arnold
Member
Member # 3192

 - posted      Profile for Glenn Arnold   Email Glenn Arnold         Edit/Delete Post 
Except that her testimony is not persuasive. It's just a rehash of the "god shaped hole" argument, which fails on the same basis as the weak anthropic principle. If you already feel that the hole in your soul (or psyche, as the case may be) is god shaped, then no doubt only "God" can fill it.

For those of us who can fill the hole with something other than god, the argument is meaningless. So essentially she's just preaching to the choir.

Posts: 3735 | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Irami Osei-Frimpong
Member
Member # 2229

 - posted      Profile for Irami Osei-Frimpong   Email Irami Osei-Frimpong         Edit/Delete Post 
Maybe I'm a sucker for a good felt testimony. I've seen so many ones that were the product of indoctrination or ignorance or to give up a habit that when one like this comes along, I actually appreciate it: A good old fashion realized apprehension of God's hand in this world.
Posts: 5600 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Glenn Arnold
Member
Member # 3192

 - posted      Profile for Glenn Arnold   Email Glenn Arnold         Edit/Delete Post 
To Dagonee: No. Teshi said it very well here:

quote:
She goes further is saying that anyone who does not have God is incomplete- lesser- than the person who does.
This is the whole basis of her speech. Changing the references to first person pronouns doesn't change that.
Posts: 3735 | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
King of Men
Member
Member # 6684

 - posted      Profile for King of Men   Email King of Men         Edit/Delete Post 
Well, I guess you all know my opinion, so I won't even bother to give it.
Posts: 10645 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
This is the whole basis of her speech. Changing the references to first person pronouns doesn't change that.
Then I have a serious problem with the whole concept of valedictorian speeches.

If I can listen to some jock go on about how school spirit was such a powerful factor in his life, or listen to people tell me this was the best four years of our lives when the only thing that kept me from killing myself was the knowledge that on June 23, 1988 I would be free, then other people can listen to this girl relate her powerful transformative experience. And, if they can't, then I say trash the whole damn idea of valedictories.

If we're going to have content-based discrimination, then I'd rather just not have non-necessary government-sponsored speech. And make no mistake, it's discrimination based on the content of the speech. You may think it justified discrimination, and it might not be actionable under the first amendment, but that doesn't make it non-discriminatory.

Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Bob_Scopatz
Member
Member # 1227

 - posted      Profile for Bob_Scopatz   Email Bob_Scopatz         Edit/Delete Post 
Does the use of the phrase "career man or woman" in this section bother anyone else?

quote:
And I can guarantee, 100 percent, no doubt in my mind, that as I choose to fill myself with God's love rather than with the things society tells me will satisfy me, I will find success, I will always retain a sense of self-worth. I will thrive whether I attend a prestigious university next fall and become a successful career man or woman or begin a life-long manager position at McDonald's.
If she's talking about herself and her experiences, what is that referring to? Is she leaving open the possibility of gender reassignment?

I'm also just a tad uncomfortable with her options listed as "a success" or "manager at McDonald's"

Allowances must be made for this being the speech fo a high school student, but, frankly, I heard a speech given by a high school kid recently at a major statewide meeting and it beat this one hands down. AND it was about the role of God in her life -- and how that related to doing good things in the world, and not sitting back to watch the bad stuff happen.

It inspired, and didn't belittle.

This speech, frankly, pales in comparison.

Posts: 22497 | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Teshi
Member
Member # 5024

 - posted      Profile for Teshi   Email Teshi         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
So, if that's the problem, does the rewrite to just her experience correct the problems you see?
To an extent. Instead of being offensive, your re-write version is merely completely inappropriate, in my opinion, as a valedictorian graduating speech.

I said earlier on in the thread how I felt that such a speech should not only be to the graduating class, but on behalf of it. I do not get the sense that she was attempting to talk about the time she'd had at school or the graduating class at all. This personal religious experience would be great if she had been asked to speak in church, or even if she were speaking only for herself- say, in a speech contest. However, where she stands in front of her class, relating her religious conversion is highly inappropriate and self-congratulating.

She doesn't even mention the time they spent at the school!

But, no, it's not actually offensive anymore.

Posts: 8473 | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
I said earlier on in the thread how I felt that such a speech should not only be to the graduating class, but on behalf of it.
I don't think that's possible. Certainly at my school, graduating class of 750, it wasn't.
Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Glenn Arnold
Member
Member # 3192

 - posted      Profile for Glenn Arnold   Email Glenn Arnold         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
quote:
This is the whole basis of her speech. Changing the references to first person pronouns doesn't change that.
Then I have a serious problem with the whole concept of valedictorian speeches.
Even leaving out religious issues, you think valedictorians are entitled to belittle their audience?
Posts: 3735 | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post 
I disagree with your assessment that the modified speech belittles the audience.

However, if I accept your definition of belittling, then all the standard speeches belittle a large, identifiable section of the audience, too.

Therefore, if I accept your premise, then I reach my conclusion: ditch them all.

I can tolerate disagreement about whether this speech belittles or not. But I won't tolerate a different standard for judging other speeches. And, if this speech belittled those who don't share her beliefs about filling holes in souls with God, then almost every valedictory I've ever heard belittles someone.

Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Glenn Arnold
Member
Member # 3192

 - posted      Profile for Glenn Arnold   Email Glenn Arnold         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:

However, if I accept your definition of belittling, then all the standard speeches belittle a large, identifiable section of the audience, too.

quote:
I've heard graduation speeches about how school spirit, volunteering, education in general, or even books have helped the speakers find purpose, peace, or joy in their lives.
Sorry, it's not on the same level. Most valedictory speeches will exhort the audience to find something: "school spirit, volunteering, education in general, books, sports, friends, family" or whatever, but find something and work at it to give your life purpose. She only offers God as the solution to her incompleteness. She even belittles "swimming...friends...family... dating... anything but God." She makes it clear that these things aren't adequate.
Posts: 3735 | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Sorry, it's not on the same level. Most valedictory speeches will exhort the audience to find something: "school spirit, volunteering, education in general, books, sports, friends, family" or whatever, but find something and work at it to give your life purpose.
You misread what I posted. The speeches I'm talking about each gave ONLY ONE of those things. Not all.

quote:
She only offers God as the solution to her incompleteness. She even belittles "swimming...friends...family... dating... anything but God." She makes it clear that these things aren't adequate. (emphasis added)
In the modified version, she makes it clear these things weren't adequate for her.

Further, the very idea that someone has to find "something" to give one's life purpose is saying that a lack of purpose isn't adequate.

You don't get to have it both ways. Either no one gets to suggest that those not doing what they are saying are somehow inadequate, or everyone does.

(And, again, I'm not granting that her speech does that.)

Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lyrhawn
Member
Member # 7039

 - posted      Profile for Lyrhawn   Email Lyrhawn         Edit/Delete Post 
Well, after having read the speech, I think it does cross a certain line...but I'm still not certain it was wrong of her to try it.

I think she is certainly preaching the faith. But it's a fine line between expressing appreciation for the role that God played in her life, and trying to impart that role on others'lives.

I think it is a very powerful speech, in a way, about her transformation. But it also sounds a bit like a God infomercial.

I think she would have been better off scaling it back a bit, but the basic core of the speech was just fine.

Posts: 21898 | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MightyCow
Member
Member # 9253

 - posted      Profile for MightyCow           Edit/Delete Post 
I've never attended a church service where someone stood up and tried to convince everyone there that they would be better off if they gave up believing in God.

It only seems fair a religious person shouldn't give a speech at a secular event trying to convince the people in the crowd that their lives are incomplete without God.

Not only did she break the rules, but to me, it's just plain rude. If the speech were about her, and she mentioned going to church, fine. When the speech is about God it's a sermon.

Sermons belong in church, and I'm sure hers would have been more than happy to allow her to give her speech there. They eat that kind of stuff up.

Here's a little something Miss Christian might have considered before deciding to break the rules.

quote:

1 Peter 2:13-15
13 Therefore subject yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether to the king, as supreme

14 or to governors, as sent by him for vengeance on evildoers and for praise to those who do well.

15 For this is the will of God, that by well-doing you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men

Or, you could just break the rules and get your mic shut off.

I'm sure Peter would have put that part in, if he'd thought of it at the time.

[ June 25, 2006, 07:20 AM: Message edited by: MightyCow ]

Posts: 3950 | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Not only did she break the rules,
This part I've agreed with from the beginning.

quote:
but to me, it's just plain rude.
The rudeness only arises out of the rules being broken. Assuming it is not rude to talk about oneself at all, then it is not rude to talk about how God has changed one's own life.

If people are interested to know why this incident might provoke such strong reactions, it's because many people are resisting the implication that speaking of their faith is considered rude in a situation where it is not considered rude to speak of other profoundly personal things with which others might not agree.

quote:
Sermons belong in church
Sermons belong anywhere it is considered OK to venture an unsolicited opinion on a topic of one's choosing.

If we want to make this country a place where there is no such place outside a group of people known to agree with the speaker, let's just make sure we apply that rule to all types of opinions.

Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dan_raven
Member
Member # 3383

 - posted      Profile for Dan_raven   Email Dan_raven         Edit/Delete Post 
1) I agree with Dag that we should not lock Sermons away in church. If so then what else can the church do by preach to the choir.

2) The wall between Church and State must remain firm. It is not their to attack the church, but to protect the people who don't belong to the church.

Suppose we eliminate it for Valedictorian speeches. What happens when the Lutheran principal or superintendent in a mostly Lutheran school district either chooses the valedictorian or edits their speeches to insure that a Lutheran sermon is given instead of a dangerous Mothodist one?

"Ms. Jones, you can't give Johnny an A. That would make him Valedectorian. He Jewish and we need a good strong Christian message at the graduation."

3) I still disagree with the speech. She is saying "God loves me. That is why I got the good grades. He must hate the rest of you."

Posts: 11895 | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
What happens when the Lutheran principal or superintendent in a mostly Lutheran school district either chooses the valedictorian or edits their speeches to insure that a Lutheran sermon is given instead of a dangerous Mothodist one?

"Ms. Jones, you can't give Johnny an A. That would make him Valedectorian. He Jewish and we need a good strong Christian message at the graduation."

It is this type of possibility that makes me leery of government-sponsored expressions of private speech in general. What if the local <choose unpopular cause> teen activist is about to become valedictorian? Same thing is possible.
Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post 
Dan Raven,

While by process of elimination one could conclude that is what she's saying, I've known or heard of few even fanatical religious zealots who actually think in such plain, malicious terms.

I think it is more likely she hasn't really realized the full implications of her ideas.

Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post 
Having looked at it, the speech no longer seems offensive to me; it's subtly insulting to her, and I think the people smart enough to be insulted by it would also be smart enough to realize she's actually belittling herself.
Posts: 37449 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Glenn Arnold
Member
Member # 3192

 - posted      Profile for Glenn Arnold   Email Glenn Arnold         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
You misread what I posted. The speeches I'm talking about each gave ONLY ONE of those things. Not all.
Dag,

No, I understood that you meant that speeches you had heard referred to only one thing. I simply haven't heard any speeches that were so single minded, so I took your examples and added my own (and hers) into my example of exhorting the audience to find something to motivate them. In my experience, that's the typical valedictory speech: "Here's what motivated me, now you go find something that motivates you. -> (examples)"

Tom,

That's one way to look at it. Except that she certainly doesn't see it that way. And further, I think it's clear that because she doesn't realize that she's belittling herself, she does think that she's belittling others.

Posts: 3735 | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MightyCow
Member
Member # 9253

 - posted      Profile for MightyCow           Edit/Delete Post 
If someone wants to voice her opinion in public, that's fine. She can stand on the street corner and sermonize to her heart's content. In a graduation ceremony, where the other students are required to be there, a student should not push an agenda on a captive audience.

It would be equally wrong for her to sermonize about how euthanasia is a great thing that everyone should support, or how it's wrong to have pets, or that Caucasians are an inferior race who should not be allowed to breed.

Tell your story and be done with it. It's not a persuasive speech, you're not trying to convert your classmates to your ideals, whatever they might be.

Posts: 3950 | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
she does think that she's belittling others.
This shows an almost complete misunderstanding of what she was saying.

quote:
In my experience, that's the typical valedictory speech: "Here's what motivated me, now you go find something that motivates you. -> (examples)"
I've NEVER heard a speech talking about "what motivates me" that intends to send the message "go find something for yourself."

At most, it suggest other things that are part of the same category, which is just a way of giving a single example with different specific means of implementing the same thing.

Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tresopax
Member
Member # 1063

 - posted      Profile for Tresopax           Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
It's not a persuasive speech, you're not trying to convert your classmates to your ideals, whatever they might be.
I'm pretty sure that every commencement speech I've been present to hear has been a persuasive speech trying to convert me to some sort of ideals or set of beliefs. One tried to convince the audience that ours was the greatest generation in 100 years, and that we would go on to achieve great things if only we believed in our ability to do so. One said the opposite, and suggested we not be impatient, that success requires time more than self-confidence. One tried to tell the audience that it was not as cool as it thought it was. One claimed it was a good idea to travel across the world and go exotic places. But all of them seemed to view the speech as one final chance to persuade us all to think and act a certain way in our lives. Proselytizing such beliefs is pretty much the entire point of graduation speeches.
Posts: 8120 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post 
MightyCow,

quote:
In a graduation ceremony, where the other students are required to be there, a student should not push an agenda on a captive audience.
Students are not required to be there. Speeches such as this one all push an agenda on an audience, captive or otherwise.

Of course I'm not saying students should leave or be subject to proseltyzing, I'm just pointing out your hyperbole.

quote:
Tell your story and be done with it. It's not a persuasive speech, you're not trying to convert your classmates to your ideals, whatever they might be.
Very, very few stories aren't persuasive towards something. Furthermore, Valedictorian speeches are supposed to be persuasive-to try and persuade others to emulate the valedictorian. And also to tell their story-yes, they are not solely the mouthpiece of the Almighty Political Collective-and the school's.

It is interesting that you are willing to be so militant in restricting the content of speeches of others, yet that type of perceived intolerance is one of your biggest problems with those speeches.

What if the valedictorian feels the core of her story is how she was converted to a religion? Not necessarily Christianity, either, although that's the popular devil for these sorts of things. Unsurprising, given American demographics, really.

Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BaoQingTian
Member
Member # 8775

 - posted      Profile for BaoQingTian   Email BaoQingTian         Edit/Delete Post 
If you took out God, and replaced it with School Basketball Team, should she still have been censored?
Posts: 1412 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
camus
Member
Member # 8052

 - posted      Profile for camus   Email camus         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
If you took out God, and replaced it with School Basketball Team, should she still have been censored?
Then I would probably agree with what Tom said that instead of being offensive to me, it's really a bit insulting to her. To say that the basketball team was important to her and that it provided some answers to her life is understandable. To suggest that basketball is going to solve everyone else's problems is just downright silly.

...

I thought Dag's changes were pretty good. I don't think it would be much of a problem if it was clearly showing that this was her personal experience. However, I think quoting scripture is always going too far.

Posts: 1256 | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
camus
Member
Member # 8052

 - posted      Profile for camus   Email camus         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
What if the valedictorian feels the core of her story is how she was converted to a religion?
She could have talked about religion or spirituality in general instead of promoting a specific god. That would have had the same message but it would then have been interpreted by each listener in a way that was the most meaningful to each individual.
Posts: 1256 | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Glenn Arnold
Member
Member # 3192

 - posted      Profile for Glenn Arnold   Email Glenn Arnold         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
quote:she does think that she's belittling others.This shows an almost complete misunderstanding of what she was saying.
There's a reason "holier than thou" is a cliche. This girl's speech is it. I would argue that your position shows an almost complete misunderstanding of what she was saying. Then again, I already argued that her position shows an almost complete misunderstanding of what she is saying, and her position is essentially your position.


quote:
I've NEVER heard a speech talking about "what motivates me" that intends to send the message "go find something for yourself."
I guess that's the problem then. You need to hear more valedictory speeches.
Posts: 3735 | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Glenn Arnold
Member
Member # 3192

 - posted      Profile for Glenn Arnold   Email Glenn Arnold         Edit/Delete Post 
I disregarded the basketball team for years, and all the while, They sought to show me what shape fits into the cut-out in my soul.

This hole gapes as a wide-open trench when filled with swimming, with friends, with family, with dating, with shopping, with partying, with drinking, with anything but the basketball team. But the basketball team fits. The basketball team is "that something more" we all desire.

Posts: 3735 | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
I guess that's the problem then. You need to hear more valedictory speeches.
I've heard many.

quote:
There's a reason "holier than thou" is a cliche. This girl's speech is it. I would argue that your position shows an almost complete misunderstanding of what she was saying. Then again, I already argued that her position shows an almost complete misunderstanding of what she is saying
So are you now retracting the contention "she does think that she's belittling others"? Because it's certainly not compatible with her misunderstanding what she said.
Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
I disregarded the basketball team for years, and all the while, They sought to show me what shape fits into the cut-out in my soul.

This hole gapes as a wide-open trench when filled with swimming, with friends, with family, with dating, with shopping, with partying, with drinking, with anything but the basketball team. But the basketball team fits. The basketball team is "that something more" we all desire.

If the referenced portion is what you find offensive about her speech, then you seem to think inaccuracy about what others desire is offensive.
Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Glenn Arnold
Member
Member # 3192

 - posted      Profile for Glenn Arnold   Email Glenn Arnold         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
So are you now retracting the contention "she does think that she's belittling others"? Because it's certainly not compatible with her misunderstanding what she said.
Reference Tom's statement about her belittling herself. She thinks she's belittling others, because she accepts God and is therefore better than those who don't. Tom says she's belittling herself, in much the same way that women are belittled when that they are told that aren't complete unless they can attract a man and get married. She doesn't understand that crediting God for her own achievments does her a diservice, and that if she felt incomplete despite her acheivments, it's because she is a shallow person.
Posts: 3735 | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
katharina
Member
Member # 827

 - posted      Profile for katharina   Email katharina         Edit/Delete Post 
Is it possible she doesn't think she's belittling anyone? That perhaps it isn't a zero sum game, and attributing success to God doesn't take credit away from someone else?

And now she's shallow? How badly do y'all need her to be the bad guy here?

Posts: 26077 | Registered: Mar 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
erosomniac
Member
Member # 6834

 - posted      Profile for erosomniac           Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Is it possible she doesn't think she's belittling anyone? That perhaps it isn't a zero sum game, and attributing success to God doesn't take credit away from someone else?
While it's certainly possible, I find it difficult to imagine that anyone who would meet the requirements for being valedictorian being unable to understand the implications of her graduation speech, especially given that she was warned against the content and made the conscious choice to violate the rules.
Posts: 4313 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Glenn Arnold
Member
Member # 3192

 - posted      Profile for Glenn Arnold   Email Glenn Arnold         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
If the referenced portion is what you find offensive about her speech, then you seem to think inaccuracy about what others desire is offensive.
Nope, just took a selection and followed BaoQingTian's suggestion, to see how ridiculous it seemed.

quote:
The speeches I'm talking about each gave ONLY ONE of those things. Not all.
Any one of those things, when inserted into the above quote, would create an equally ridiculous speech. If those are the only speeches you've heard, then it's no wonder you think they're ridiculous. But that is by no means the end-all of valedicory speeches.
Posts: 3735 | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
katharina
Member
Member # 827

 - posted      Profile for katharina   Email katharina         Edit/Delete Post 
Perhaps rather than her thinking being faulty, you do not understand that it isn't a zero sum game. She does not share your assumptions - this doesn't make her dumb. If you don't understand that, then nothing she says will be intelligible to you.
Posts: 26077 | Registered: Mar 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jay
Member
Member # 5786

 - posted      Profile for Jay   Email Jay         Edit/Delete Post 
I donít care what speech someone writes, it could be considered offensive to someone. Why do we have to be this ultra sensitive group? What happened to freedom of speech? If you go and read some of the speeches by our founding fathers they would have been cut off if they tried to give it today. Itís really a true shame.
Posts: 2845 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Glenn Arnold
Member
Member # 3192

 - posted      Profile for Glenn Arnold   Email Glenn Arnold         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
And now she's shallow? How badly do y'all need her to be the bad guy here?
If she'd said:

"This hole gapes as a wide-open trench when filled with shopping, with partying, with drinking, with anything but God..."

...then it would be comparing shallow behavior with her conversion experience, and I would have no problem with it. It would be demonizing the shallow behavior. But to include swimming, friends, family, and dating? Any one of those things could be the basis of her motivation.

For example:

"Until I took up swimming, I had no self confidence. I'd never succeeded in sports, I'd felt shallow, satisfying myself with shopping, with partying, with drinking. Swimming taught me that hard work can build success, and success builds self confidence. It helped me find motivation in the other areas of my life.

But if you focus on your failures, you will feel like a failure. So find something. Focus on your success. It doesn't need to be swimming, it could be school spirit, volunteering, education in general, or even books. Let it motivate you and go out into the world and acheive something that has meaning for you!" [/cliche graduation speech]

Posts: 3735 | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BaoQingTian
Member
Member # 8775

 - posted      Profile for BaoQingTian   Email BaoQingTian         Edit/Delete Post 
While you obviously find my point ridiculous Glenn, I'll try to explain anyway. The objections seem to be that what she said was offensive to a captive audience, that people may feel excluded, and that her success (and somehow by implicatios their lesser degrees of success) was due to God. Substituting the basketball team in would seem to fit most people's complaints in her speech except one: the religious card. If you didn't think my point was valid, you were welcome to say so and explain why you disagreed. Ridicule is poor form.
Posts: 1412 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
She thinks she's belittling others, because she accepts God and is therefore better than those who don't.
And, once again, you are essentially making this point up and demonstrating a HUGE misunderstanding of what she's saying.

You have no basis for saying she thinks she's better than anyone.

[ June 26, 2006, 03:19 PM: Message edited by: Dagonee ]

Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kwea
Member
Member # 2199

 - posted      Profile for Kwea   Email Kwea         Edit/Delete Post 
I do....she pretty much said it. That seemed to be the entire point of her speech, to me anyway.
Posts: 15082 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
katharina
Member
Member # 827

 - posted      Profile for katharina   Email katharina         Edit/Delete Post 
I understand that that is what you believe she means, but I haven't seen any evidence that that is what she is actually saying.
Posts: 26077 | Registered: Mar 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post 
She says she's happier and personally better off.

She says nothing about relative merit.

Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Glenn Arnold
Member
Member # 3192

 - posted      Profile for Glenn Arnold   Email Glenn Arnold         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
If you didn't think my point was valid, you were welcome to say so and explain why you disagreed. Ridicule is poor form.
I think you point is entirely valid, which is why I made the substitution. Any speech which relies on an exclusive experience to demonstrate the only "right" way to to live your life is going to be ridiculous.

The answer to your question is obvious. Yes. If she'd written a speech that was equally exclusive of people that don't play basketball, the school should have told her that the speech wasn't appropriate, and requested changes.

Posts: 3735 | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BaoQingTian
Member
Member # 8775

 - posted      Profile for BaoQingTian   Email BaoQingTian         Edit/Delete Post 
[Dont Know] Sorry Glenn. Confused. Should know better than to post on Monday.
Posts: 1412 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 9 pages: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9   

   Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2