Seniors' Baccalaureate Speaker at Public High School: You're Going to Hell If You're Gay

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    Jun 03, 2015 9:25 PM GMT
    LGBTQ NationKINGS MOUNTAIN, N.C. — A North Carolina pastor told graduating seniors at Kings Mountain High School’s annual baccalaureate service that they’re going to Hell if they are gay.

    Parents say the message by Pastor Scott Carpenter of the Temple Baptist Church in Kings Mountain, N.C., is bullying from the pulpit, but Carpenter says he has no regrets.


    I'm sure that Colorado charter-school principal would have welcomed this pastor's speech with open arms! icon_lol.gif

    Somebody, anybody more theist than me, please help me with the whole concept of Baccalaureate Services. A public school district takes a day to "honor" its seniors with... prayers and preaching? Why Is This Still A Thing?

    WBTV-TV (Charlotte)“Do I hate anybody? Absolutely not. I just love them too much not to tell them the truth,” Carpenter said.

    But what Carpenter calls truth, is being summed up as something else to Kings Mountain parent, Chuck Wilson.

    “This is bullying. Bullying doesn't have to happen from the back hallway of a school or a back parking lot. It can happen from the pulpit, it can happen from the stage,” Wilson said.

    Wilson tells WBTV he was floored when he caught wind of the message delivered during his daughter's senior baccalaureate service.

    A student tells WBTV Carpenter told the audience they would go to Hell if they were homosexual.

    “It's a public school. There are children here. I think there should be some level of responsibility of the speaker coming in to not take advantage of a captive audience,” Wilson said.


    A "captive audience"... same rhetorical argument the Colorado charter school used to deny the valedictorian the opportunity to speak before his fellow graduates. Interestingly, only this pastor guy gets to speak and spread his "love"!
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    Jun 04, 2015 3:01 AM GMT

    I believe I had one of these services, graduation from eighth grade, '79. Wearing a white robe and a red sash, home made in class, out of felt. But mine was Lutheran (Missouri synod) middle school, not Catholic. I do remember having a cake made from a bakery, in the shape of a cross then having family friends over for a backyard party. I don't remember having another one for Lutheran high school graduation. I did receive graduation tassels from eighth grade and twelfth grade. I do have old pictures of me and my cross cake. I also have one picture of me, in robe, sitting at the church organ, holding a hymnal. I had full mouth metal braces then. icon_lol.gif

    I suppose, this "passing" reminds one of the Jewish celebration, a bar mitzvah (13 years old which is the same age I was when I graduated eighth grade, before starting high school). I assume they are the same meaning and celebration, just different religions icon_neutral.gif


    Baccalaureate Services
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baccalaureate_service

    A baccalaureate service (or, baccalaureate Mass in the case of institutions affiliated with the Catholic Church and its religious institutes) is a celebration that honors a graduating senior class from a college or high school or eighth grade. The event is typically a Christianity-based interdenominational service, though it may also be of a strictly Catholic nature.

    The service is held within a few days of the graduation and/or commencement ceremony, perhaps on the Sunday before, the day preceding, or immediately preceding the graduation. Speakers selected tend to be community leaders, faculty members, students, or local religious leaders, and may be elected by the graduating class. Speeches are often intermixed with musical performances, drama, and worship. Baccalaureate addresses can range in length from under half an hour to as long as four hours
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    Jun 04, 2015 1:50 PM GMT
    ELNathB said
    I believe I had one of these services, graduation from eighth grade, '79. Wearing a white robe and a red sash, home made in class, out of felt. But mine was Lutheran (Missouri synod) middle school, not Catholic. I do remember having a cake made from a bakery, in the shape of a cross then having family friends over for a backyard party. I don't remember having another one for Lutheran high school graduation. I did receive graduation tassels from eighth grade and twelfth grade. I do have old pictures of me and my cross cake. I also have one picture of me, in robe, sitting at the church organ, holding a hymnal. I had full mouth metal braces then. icon_lol.gif

    I suppose, this "passing" reminds one of the Jewish celebration, a bar mitzvah (13 years old which is the same age I was when I graduated eighth grade, before starting high school). I assume they are the same meaning and celebration, just different religions icon_neutral.gif


    Baccalaureate Services
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baccalaureate_service

    A baccalaureate service (or, baccalaureate Mass in the case of institutions affiliated with the Catholic Church and its religious institutes) is a celebration that honors a graduating senior class from a college or high school or eighth grade. The event is typically a Christianity-based interdenominational service, though it may also be of a strictly Catholic nature.

    The service is held within a few days of the graduation and/or commencement ceremony, perhaps on the Sunday before, the day preceding, or immediately preceding the graduation. Speakers selected tend to be community leaders, faculty members, students, or local religious leaders, and may be elected by the graduating class. Speeches are often intermixed with musical performances, drama, and worship. Baccalaureate addresses can range in length from under half an hour to as long as four hours


    Thanks for sharing!

    It's still puzzling to me why public schools get away with running these "services." It seems like a traditional Christian preacher-show that eventually became "interdenominational" (i.e., drag a rabbi or imam into it so it's not totally obvious) once people started rightfully complaining.
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    Jun 04, 2015 5:51 PM GMT
    dayumm said
    ELNathB said
    I believe I had one of these services, graduation from eighth grade, '79. Wearing a white robe and a red sash, home made in class, out of felt. But mine was Lutheran (Missouri synod) middle school, not Catholic. I do remember having a cake made from a bakery, in the shape of a cross then having family friends over for a backyard party. I don't remember having another one for Lutheran high school graduation. I did receive graduation tassels from eighth grade and twelfth grade. I do have old pictures of me and my cross cake. I also have one picture of me, in robe, sitting at the church organ, holding a hymnal. I had full mouth metal braces then. icon_lol.gif

    I suppose, this "passing" reminds one of the Jewish celebration, a bar mitzvah (13 years old which is the same age I was when I graduated eighth grade, before starting high school). I assume they are the same meaning and celebration, just different religions icon_neutral.gif


    Baccalaureate Services
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baccalaureate_service

    A baccalaureate service (or, baccalaureate Mass in the case of institutions affiliated with the Catholic Church and its religious institutes) is a celebration that honors a graduating senior class from a college or high school or eighth grade. The event is typically a Christianity-based interdenominational service, though it may also be of a strictly Catholic nature.

    The service is held within a few days of the graduation and/or commencement ceremony, perhaps on the Sunday before, the day preceding, or immediately preceding the graduation. Speakers selected tend to be community leaders, faculty members, students, or local religious leaders, and may be elected by the graduating class. Speeches are often intermixed with musical performances, drama, and worship. Baccalaureate addresses can range in length from under half an hour to as long as four hours


    Thanks for sharing!

    It's still puzzling to me why public schools get away with running these "services." It seems like a traditional Christian preacher-show that eventually became "interdenominational" (i.e., drag a rabbi or imam into it so it's not totally obvious) once people started rightfully complaining.



    Key here: Public School, I looked up the high school in question and could not find any reference to religion or theology in curriculum or in its history. I did find the below mission statement which does not reference theology either. 1) This high school Baccalaureate service is fake, public schools do not have such things 2) The ONLY thing that could be connecting the two is the location of the high school, conservative North Carolina 3) Since this public high school is in conservative territory, as we already know, conservatives have great difficulty in separating their church from state. 4) Pastor Scott Carpenter of the Temple Baptist Church is probably well known among conservative NC town, but he should have, whether or not he was invited, turned the invitation down from public school and accepted invitation to a primary theology school. This pastor created the "controversy" himself, im sure on purpose icon_rolleyes.gif



    MISSION STATEMENT

    The mission of Kings Mountain High School is to provide a safe and orderly environment where high expectations enable students to obtain skills and knowledge necessary for graduation and for becoming responsible and productive citizens.


    BELIEFS

    We at Kings Mountain High School believe:

    * Students can learn.
    * A safe and orderly environment promotes student learning.
    * High expectations increase individual student performance.
    * Open communication will improve home-school relations.
    * Learning is a joint effort between parents, staff, students, and community members.
    * Students should demonstrate good citizenship.

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    Jun 04, 2015 11:12 PM GMT
    ELNathB saidKey here: Public School, I looked up the high school in question and could not find any reference to religion or theology in curriculum or in its history. I did find the below mission statement which does not reference theology either. 1) This high school Baccalaureate service is fake, public schools do not have such things 2) The ONLY thing that could be connecting the two is the location of the high school, conservative North Carolina 3) Since this public high school is in conservative territory, as we already know, conservatives have great difficulty in separating their church from state. 4) Pastor Scott Carpenter of the Temple Baptist Church is probably well known among conservative NC town, but he should have, whether or not he was invited, turned the invitation down from public school and accepted invitation to a primary theology school. This pastor created the "controversy" himself, im sure on purpose icon_rolleyes.gif


    Good find! While I already new Kings Mountain was public, other readers might not have figured that out, so that helps.

    I wish I could say, "public schools do not have such things," but I know they're prevalent here in Georgia, another "conservative territory." To get around the traditional religious connotations, a few call it the benign-sounding "Day of Reflection."

    I only found out about these events when I met teachers who were being mandated by their managers to go (presumably to help staff the thing), which smells fishy from a constitutional standpoint.

    Plus students were being egged on to attend as well, since there will be colleagues up on stage dancing and singing and speaking and whatnot, and it would be awkward doing it in front of an empty auditorium.

    I have no qualms with the services at private schools like you attended, but these "services" when hosted for or by public schools are just screaming for some ACLU intervention.

    I do see that the Freedom From Religion Foundation posted a helpful guide to Baccalaureate Services. I'm guessing some folks up in Kings Mountain would do well to read it before their next one.

    http://ffrf.org/outreach/item/14024-school-involvement-in-baccalaureate-services

    FFRFIt is a fundamental principle of Establishment Clause jurisprudence that a public school may not advance, prefer or promote religion. Because it is generally understood that a baccalaureate service is a religious event, a public school may not be involved in the organization or execution of a baccalaureate in any way that would make an objective observer believe that the school is endorsing the event.

    It is impermissible for a school to financially support, organize, or have direct influence over a baccalaureate service.


    An Atlanta example of what I'm talking about, this public high school re-named its Baccalaureate Service "Visions of the Future". Note that in order to attend graduation (Commencement) your Senior dues must pay for not only Commencement but the "Visions" ceremony as well. No separation. And the school organizes the collection of the fees that help pay for "Visions" online.

    http://www.atlanta.k12.ga.us/domain/3465

    North Atlanta HSWhat happens if I do not pay?

    You will still receive your diploma if earned, but you will not be able to participate in Graduation, the Visions of the Future program, the Senior Breakfast, or the Senior Cookout.


    Can you imagine paying through the nose to graduate, only to have to risk sitting through a ceremony hoping a guy like this fire-and-brimstone preacher WASN'T invited to lecture you?
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    Jun 05, 2015 3:58 AM GMT
    dayumm said
    ELNathB saidKey here: Public School, I looked up the high school in question and could not find any reference to religion or theology in curriculum or in its history. I did find the below mission statement which does not reference theology either. 1) This high school Baccalaureate service is fake, public schools do not have such things 2) The ONLY thing that could be connecting the two is the location of the high school, conservative North Carolina 3) Since this public high school is in conservative territory, as we already know, conservatives have great difficulty in separating their church from state. 4) Pastor Scott Carpenter of the Temple Baptist Church is probably well known among conservative NC town, but he should have, whether or not he was invited, turned the invitation down from public school and accepted invitation to a primary theology school. This pastor created the "controversy" himself, im sure on purpose icon_rolleyes.gif


    Good find! While I already new Kings Mountain was public, other readers might not have figured that out, so that helps.

    I wish I could say, "public schools do not have such things," but I know they're prevalent here in Georgia, another "conservative territory." To get around the traditional religious connotations, a few call it the benign-sounding "Day of Reflection."

    I only found out about these events when I met teachers who were being mandated by their managers to go (presumably to help staff the thing), which smells fishy from a constitutional standpoint.

    Plus students were being egged on to attend as well, since there will be colleagues up on stage dancing and singing and speaking and whatnot, and it would be awkward doing it in front of an empty auditorium.

    I have no qualms with the services at private schools like you attended, but these "services" when hosted for or by public schools are just screaming for some ACLU intervention.

    I do see that the Freedom From Religion Foundation posted a helpful guide to Baccalaureate Services. I'm guessing some folks up in Kings Mountain would do well to read it before their next one.

    http://ffrf.org/outreach/item/14024-school-involvement-in-baccalaureate-services

    FFRFIt is a fundamental principle of Establishment Clause jurisprudence that a public school may not advance, prefer or promote religion. Because it is generally understood that a baccalaureate service is a religious event, a public school may not be involved in the organization or execution of a baccalaureate in any way that would make an objective observer believe that the school is endorsing the event.

    It is impermissible for a school to financially support, organize, or have direct influence over a baccalaureate service.


    An Atlanta example of what I'm talking about, this public high school re-named its Baccalaureate Service "Visions of the Future". Note that in order to attend graduation (Commencement) your Senior dues must pay for not only Commencement but the "Visions" ceremony as well. No separation. And the school organizes the collection of the fees that help pay for "Visions" online.

    http://www.atlanta.k12.ga.us/domain/3465

    North Atlanta HSWhat happens if I do not pay?

    You will still receive your diploma if earned, but you will not be able to participate in Graduation, the Visions of the Future program, the Senior Breakfast, or the Senior Cookout.


    Can you imagine paying through the nose to graduate, only to have to risk sitting through a ceremony hoping a guy like this fire-and-brimstone preacher WASN'T invited to lecture you?



    Good find yourself, this is just wrong for public school, no matter what state its in. I can tell you, my 12 years of Lutheran school (K-8 & (9-12) were half paid for by the Lutheran school(s) collective as long as your parents were or held church affiliate memberships. Basically, if you did something to support one of the churches in the Missouri synod collective and give your so called "10%" ($$) to the church. I suppose my parents thought it beneficial to them and their yearly cost for our school since they got a "discount", of course that is the bottom line with any education, is cost. And this was a private parochial school in which full tuition was much more expensive if the student parents were not affiliated with any collective church. Theology classes were required as a graduation requirement(s). No classes, no graduation.

    What it does sound like in this particular public school in North Carolina is that they do not recognize the separation. They should not require there students to do anything religious. This is one reason, the pledge of alliance was removed from many public schools across the country, "under God". Of course, conservatives through fits of anger which the rest of us don't understand. In Lutheran school, (K-12) the pledge was required and everyone did it. But my playmates from the neighborhood, who went to public school, their requirements were much different and no every day pledge. So it would appear the town of NC (or state) wishes that all of its public schools were treated as if they are private Christian schools, and the people who run them are violating the rights of others when they do so, if any kid in one of these NC public schools feels uncomfortable with the schools mandated religious pressure, the kid and his/her parents should be able to file complaints against the local school board of which im sure are also church going Christians pushing their agenda in a public setting. My advise to these parents is to find a NC public school that does not have any religious connotations or teachings in order to graduate. But this is the south we are talking about. Its the same principle that Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore's refusal to obey a federal court order to remove Ten Commandments monument in front of a public building. Those in the south refuse to separate their church from state and think they need to impose that upon everyone whether they like it or believe in it or not. The right wing nut jobs are created under these conditions icon_rolleyes.gif

    Chief Justice Will Not Remove 10 Commandments Monument: Other Justices Meet
    http://www.wsfa.com/story/1402557/chief-justice-will-not-remove-10-commandments-monument-other-justices-meet



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    Jun 05, 2015 6:23 AM GMT
    I've already lived in hell so my divine penalty for being gay has already been paid.
    Try living a year in central AZ and you can be free of the gay sin thing too. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jun 07, 2015 5:31 PM GMT
    Ironic that this happened near the site of a major American victory over the British in our Revolutionary War. The good pastor makes a strong case for reestablishment - of the Episcopal Church!