The country we live in has apparently decided that saying “Christ” in a valedictory speech is much more harmful than cheering the destruction of innocent life at its most vulnerable stages.
This tale of two valedictorians could not be more different. Elizabeth Turner in Michigan had to run her speech by her school administrators, who deemed it “not appropriate for a speech in a school public setting.” Why? Because Turner chose to talk about her relationship with Jesus Christ and how it has guided her life, solidifying her faith regardless of what lies ahead.
She wrote, “By trusting in him and choosing to live a life dedicated to bringing his kingdom glory, I can be confident that I am living a life with purpose and meaning. My identity is found by what God says and who I want to become is laid out in Scripture.”
The school would have none of that, and Turner filed a complaint against her own high school alleging free speech violations. The school backed down after a letter from the First Liberty Institute, and Turner was allowed to give her speech.
If you had no idea this story had happened, you’re probably not alone. You’ve likely only heard of the other valedictorian, the one who trashed her prepared and school-approved speech in favor of one that bashed the newly passed law in Texas banning abortion after a heartbeat is detected.
Paxton Smith said, “I cannot give up this platform to promote complacency and peace when there is a war on my body and a war on my rights.”
Her name and story have been splashed around the media for more than a week in an endless loop of praise. Hillary Clinton tweeted that what Smith did “took guts” and thanked her for “not staying silent.”
This took guts. Thank you for not staying silent, Paxton. https://t.co/DlwEgmMRGN
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 2, 2021
The contrast between these two women is stark. There is no gray area here.
Remember when actress Michelle Williams accepted her Golden Globes speech last year and credited her success to her abortion? She was a darling of the mainstream press and so-called women’s rights groups.
Abortion takes away our femininity, our incredible gift to grow a human being inside of us, that intimate and beautiful ability that has been given to us by God. The abortion industry does everything except empower women. They say to women that they cannot achieve their dreams unless they have an abortion. That is a lie of the greatest magnitude. And I’m sorry to say I told that lie to countless women when I worked at Planned Parenthood.
The battle we fight as Christians, as pro-life individuals and as families who seek to follow Christ and pursue the truth is all uphill. In fact, it seems impossible at times like these when everything you hear and see is the exact opposite of what we believe.
It can be disheartening, but it doesn’t mean we will give up. Ever. It’s impossible to turn away from the truth.
The stories you won’t hear are ones of hope and perseverance and love. One of the ministries I started in late 2019, Loveline, is on the front lines of helping women who are in desperate situations facing unplanned pregnancies — think abuse, domestic violence, on the verge of homelessness.
We have helped more than 400 women with rent, clothes, Christmas gifts for their kids, housing and medical expenses. Not only were babies saved from the horror of abortion, but their mothers were encouraged and empowered in their femininity. Many of the decisions they needed to make were hard, but we walked with them in their mess, being supportive and encouraging and available to help.
This is where the battle rages, I believe. And this is where it matters most, not on a stage or in the media.
Only one of those valedictorians spoke the truth, and she was shamed for it. But I don’t think she has lost heart. She knows evil won’t win this war.
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