Right Opinion

Pastor Under Fire for Graduation Speech That Mentioned Jesus, 'God Bless'

Todd Starnes · Jun. 20, 2019

Alvin Dupree, Jr. loves God, and it’s not that much of a secret around Appleton, Wisconsin.

He’s the pastor of a local church and currently serves on the board of education. His campaign platform boasted that he was a “Man of God First” and he would stand for Christian values.

So when Pastor Dupree was invited to deliver the commencement address at North High School, it should not have surprised anyone when he mentioned his relationship with Jesus Christ and ended his remarks with a hearty, “God bless!”

But the Freedom From Religion Foundation says it received a number of complaints and they are demanding the pastor be banned from speaking at graduations or any other public ceremony.

“We also ask that the [school board] take appropriate actions to condemn Dupree’s unconstitutional conduct, censuring or reprimanding him as appropriate, and taking steps to remove him from the board if necessary,” the FFRF wrote in a threatening letter to the school district.

The FFRF is a Wisconsin-based gaggle of atheists, agnostics, and free-thinkers, and they are especially triggered by public utterances of Jesus Christ.

“For me, my source of strength is my faith and my relationship with Jesus Christ,” the pastor told a cheering crowd at the graduation ceremony. “It sounds like I got some believers in this room. If you’re here, you believe that, you go ahead and clap your hands. Never succumb to the pressure of being politically correct.”

The aggrieved atheists were also triggered by another section of the pastor’s speech when he went off script and said “God bless” instead of “best wishes.”

The FFRF called the remarks “grossly inappropriate” and accused the pastor of “abusing his position to promote religion.”

Pastor Dupree, a 20-year combat Marine veteran, defended his remarks and blasted the Freedom From Religion Foundation during an interview on “The Todd Starnes Radio Show.”

“It’s an attack on those of us who are open about our faith,” he told me. “The Freedom From Religion Foundation and those who think like them are trying to prohibit those of us who will publicly speak up about our faith.”

There’s no doubt they want to silence Christian citizens, he said.

“I won’t be silenced,” Pastor Dupree said. “I fought for the freedom of speech. I have a father who served in the Army. My daughter serves in the Army. My wife served in the Navy and we all believe in serving God, serving our country, serving our communities.”

The pastor said he supports freedom of speech and freedom of religion for everyone — whether they be Jewish, Muslim, or Christian.

“But the problem is under the umbrella of inclusion, they want to exclude those of us who have [Christian] faith,” he said.

We need more pastors like Alvin Dupree — men of God who are willing to take a stand and speak up when religious liberty is under attack.

There is a war raging in this nation — a culture war. And the bad guys are winning the fight. They are literally turning American values and traditions into piles of rubble.

We either stand up and save America or we do nothing and allow the Left to prevail.

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