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Humanism in Our Home Town Residents of Gallatin m
5/30/2006

Humanism in Our Home Town
Residents of Gallatin may have read the news recently about Gallatin High School's valedictorian for the class of 2006.  During the graduation ceremony on May 19, this young man caused a disruption when he attempted to give a speech without the consent of the school.  The school's long-standing policy is to allow the student body president to speak rather than the valedictorian.  However, this year's valedictorian felt so strongly about what he had to say that he risked his own diploma and an arrest warrant so that he would be heard.
 
So what was so important that this young man would risk so much to say it?  According to The Tennessean, it was a message about a generation that is lost in a sea of conformity.  He intended to say, "Our generation can turn back the tide of decay and build a new America upon the values of reason and individuality. We can lead not only ourselves but all who follow us out of the swamp of the mind and onto ground paved with individual morality and reason driven ambitions."  Lest we misunderstand this latter phrase, "individual morality and reason driven ambitions," let us also consider a portion of what this young man wrote for the Gallatin High School yearbook:
"One may ask in a universe without a why where only the mechanical how exists to what purpose is human life driven? It may shock many to learn that in general the answer is nothing. There is no higher purpose. Each and every one of us is alone and unguided. This however is not a curse. We are one of the few forms of life able to act on our own volition. This is what we must do. Each and every one of us must find for ourselves a reasonable, individual purpose for our lives and one that makes us happy. We must not try and live for a higher purpose that does not exist but instead must learn to live for our own purpose and our own satisfaction."
A better explanation of the philosophy of humanism could hardly be written.  This is a young person who has rejected every notion of spirituality because he sees no evidence of it.  He sees no evidence of spirituality because such evidence has been withheld from him and his generation by schools and popular media.  Instead, a single, agenda-driven worldview has been taught to him that says that there is no God and that man is the product of an infinite series of freak accidents, otherwise called the theory of evolution.
 
Please understand that this is not written to condemn or blame a very impressionable young person for taking a poor view of life (many of us have made similar mistakes in the past, myself included).  In fact, his impulse to not conform with the masses is wise, but his application is foolish.  Rather, let this be a warning to us.  Our children are being fed such information that could lead any of them down this path.  If the best and brightest of our schools become convinced that man is nothing more than a well-evolved animal, then others can also.
 
For the full text of the speech and yearbook article, click this link:
http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060523/NEWS04/60523001
 
Stacey E. Durham

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