Britney Spears' "Circus" tour is just getting under way. Brittany McComb's tour through the federal court system is about to come to an end.
In 2006, McComb made national headlines with her high school valedictorian speech.
As the Nevada senior began to tell her fellow graduates how God's "love is something that we all desire, it's unprejudiced, it's merciful, it's free, it's real, it's huge, it's everlasting.... God's love is so great that He gave up His only son," school officials pulled the plug on her microphone.
The school district, after reviewing a rough draft of her speech, had warned McComb that she could reference her faith in the speech, but she could not proselytize. After all, it's a public school graduation ceremony, not an evangelistic rally.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, McComb's original 750-word unedited speech included two references to the Lord, nine mentions of God and one mention of Christ.
The school toned down the religious content and deleted a part in which she discussed God's love being so great he gave his only son to suffer an excruciating death in order to cover everyone's shortcomings and forge a path to heaven.
It was school policy to review all graduation speeches. Since this was a school-sponsored event, her remarks would be considered school-sponsored speech and must meet constitutional standards, the district's legal counsel had advised.
That was sound advice, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said last week.
The appellate court dismissed McComb's lawsuit against Foothill High School in which she alleged the school violated her free speech and equal protection rights by shutting off the microphone.
The school "denied me free speech, and it denied me the right to be who I am and who, you know, God made me to be," she said in a 2006 interview on Fox News' "Hannity & Colmes."
Judge Kozinski, citing previous 9th Circuit law, said that was not the case.
"[School officials] did not violate McComb's free speech and free exercise rights by preventing her from making a proselytizing graduation speech," he wrote. "Nor did they violate McComb's right to equal protection; they did not allow other graduation speakers to proselytize."
Attorneys from the Rutherford Institute, a legal group in Virginia often in disagreement with AU over religion in public schools, are representing McComb and plan to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.
John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute, argues that McComb's case is another example of a "politically correct culture" that silences Christians in order not to offend those of other beliefs.
Whitehead is wrong. This case is not about political correctness or "silencing" Christians. It's about our Constitution's promise of a government that respects all Americans, including those with many differing religious beliefs, or no belief at all.
Students should not be subjected to any form of proselytizing during a school event or made to think the school supports one religious belief over others.
While McComb has the right to practice her religion and persuade others to adopt her beliefs, she has to find her own pulpit, not commandeer the stage at her public school commencement.