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Young Life sucks the life out of Grady

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studentstance

Should Young Life (a religiously affiliated program) be allowed to host events on Grady’s campus? 

BY DECKER D’ALESIO

There has been a small group of young adults walking around Grady in the past month or so. They have been holding the door open and giving us flyers in the morning. These people belong to a Christian organization called Young Life, and they have no business being on the school’s premises.

Teenagers have problems … who doesn’t? When there are problems, there are people helping with those problems. Some of us look to God and some of us don’t, but you legally are not allowed to find God through Grady staff members. Church and state are separate. So, why should Young Life get to influence children at the school?

Grady is a facility run by the state, and Young Life is an organization fueled by the Church. These two things are not supposed to intermingle, yet there hasn’t even been any discussion about getting rid of these Young Lifers.

I can guarantee that if an atheist organization were handing out flyers at Grady it would be asked to leave by Assistant Principal David Propst, Assistant principal Rodney Howard or resource office Antwan Denson. Whenever there is an “undesirable” organization around Grady, its members are asked to stand across the street. Whenever there are creepy adults on Grady’s premises, there’s a lockdown.

These Young Lifers are arguably undesirable and pretty creepy, but our staff is biased. I understand that a large portion of our staff and students are believers in God, but the staff’s job is not to respect 94 percent of the students’ religious views. It’s their job to respect 100 percent of our views.

In 1992, a rabbi recited prayers at a school’s graduation ceremonies in Rhode Island. The case against the rabbi went to the Supreme Court and became known as Lee vs. Weisman. The Supreme Court ruled that the prayers were unconstitutional because it was “a state-sponsored and state-directed religious exercise in a public school.” Prayers at graduation ceased to occur.

Young Life events, which are hosted on Grady’s (state-owned) grounds, are, through association, considered to be “state-sponsored” and hence, illegal. State-sponsored religious practices directly violate the Constitution. I’m fairly sure that’s not allowed.

I decided to check out Young Life’s web page and I stumbled upon a tab entitled “What is Young Life?” If you read a little you get down to a part that says, “This is the first step of a lifelong journey; the choices they make today, based upon God’s love for them, will impact future decisions…” I’m not very keen on God and I’m pretty sure he’s not keen on me. Though some students say Young Life is accepting of all religions, the group’s website says lots of things about Jesus and spreading his love. That’s not how I want to spend my afternoons. I guess because of my choices, God is going to make life suck in the future. I think I’ll survive though.

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An upbeat website for a downtown school
Young Life sucks the life out of Grady