Margeaux’s Stand: Catholic Teen Defends Her Right to Attend Mass

True Leadership

“The American Legion Auxiliary is the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization. Through its nearly 10,500 units located in every state and some foreign countries, the Auxiliary embodies the spirit of America that has prevailed through war and peace. Along with The American Legion, it solidly stands behind America and her ideals.

Well?

While the nation discusses and debates the attacks on religious freedom, a high school junior in Florida has put her academic reputation on the line to stand up for her faith. Margeaux Graham was selected this year to participate in a prestigious 9-day leadership event in her state’s capital. The American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) of Florida has an annual “Girls State” program whereby the participants “learn how to participate in the functioning of their state’s government in preparation for their future roles as responsible adult citizens.” It is a “nonpartisan program that teaches young women responsible citizenship and love for God and Country. They are awarded 3 college credits and rare notoriety in the college application process.

Margeaux is a faithful Catholic. That is, she takes her obligation to attend Mass as just that — her obligation. When she inquired about nearby Catholic churches to plan where she would attend, she was told by the staff that the only opportunity any of the girls would have to participate in a Sunday service is to attend the “non-offensive”, non-denominational service offered for all at the conference. The event takes place at the University of Central Florida Florida State University and the cathedral is nearby the campus. [see update] A member of the national American Legion even contacted the Auxiliary to arrange for a priest to celebrate Mass on campus, and this accommodation was denied.

So Margeaux took action herself. She wrote to the organizers declining the invitation, with firm resolve, unless she was allowed to attend Mass. This is her letter, reprinted with permission. Mind you, she is a high school junior.

 


TO: American Legion Auxiliary Unit #21
FROM: Margeaux Graham
RE: Girls State 2012
DATE: May 7, 2012

I am regretfully writing this letter to formally inform you that I will be unable to attend Florida Girls State in June. I am extremely honored that you found me worthy to represent American Legion Auxiliary unit #21 and am devastated that I cannot participate. I attended orientation on May 6, 2012 and was informed by [name private] that I would not be allowed to attend Mass on Sunday.

My faith is very important to me, as it has been to countless Americans. This country was founded on the principles of religious and personal freedom, the fundamental rights that either you or your loved ones fought to protect. It is disheartening that the Florida Girls State program is structured in such a way that it prohibits participation of young women who have a strong conviction for their religious practices.

The only opportunity to participate in a Sunday service is presented in a “non-offensive”, non-denominational service. As a Catholic Christian I find it offensive that I am not allowed to attend Mass and am perplexed as to how this service could accommodate the beliefs of other religious groups, such as Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and all Christian religions. I am disappointed to see the lack of respect for religious creed from the Florida Girls State program by limiting participants to only one religious paradigm.

Miss [name private] made it quite clear that I had to choose between my faith and Florida Girls State. I was looking forward to attending with great zeal, the knowledge, experience, and friends gained would have been invaluable. My faith has made me who I am, it has shaped me into the young woman that you chose as your delegate, for me to deny my faith would be hypocritical. Words cannot express my disappointment that the Florida Girls State program is designed to only accommodate delegates who fit into a pre-determined religious belief system or none at all.

Margeaux Graham


 

Brava!

The letter was forwarded to the State Director, who forwarded it to a state level officer, who also identifies as Catholic, and thus felt compelled to respond to Margeaux. Here is part of her response, emphasis mine.

“Only an elite group of young women are given the privilege of attending each year and it is a once in a life-time opportunity to do so. Along with that privilege comes some sacrifice. They must attend an orientation and for some that means missing a track meet or dance competition and they must remain with the program from beginning till end and sometimes that means missing other important programs throughout the summer and other camps whose dates over-lap ours. And yes, it means girls are unable to go to the church of their choice on Sunday or what ever their day of worship is.” -ALA Florida Officer (Catholic)

Missing Mass is a Sacrifice?

The adult role model went on to say that she knows God understands and accepts her decision to work this program each year even if it means she must miss Mass. “It does not make me any less a Catholic. My faith is stronger than that!” Really? Catholics are supposed to yield to politics on sacred obligations? In order to show they have strong faith? After she accused Margeaux’s mother of creating a “negative impact” on her daughter, the officer went on to scold, “Life is full of choices and she will be faced with many in her lifetime. One of life’s lessons is she can’t go through life blaming others for the decisions she makes.”

It’s remarkable to note that on the ALA website their preamble states: “For God and Country, we associate ourselves together for the following purposes: To uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of American…[sic]“ Yet, they are using coercive force to violate this young woman’s fundamental constitutional and civil right to worship, guaranteed to her by the First Amendment.

One last thing.

The officer says that in her 19 years of service no one has ever questioned this “sacrifice.” That’s longer than Margeaux’s been alive, and her stand is nothing short of heroic. Applaud her! Say a prayer of thanks, and then, if you know anyone at a Catholic university who could possibly arrange to grant Margeaux the three credits she ought to have received, please send them this article and let me know. She’s earned it for demonstrating true leadership and courage, because although she has the right to participate in leadership development as a citizen and to worship as she chooses, if she has to make the choice between one or the other, she has demonstrated that she will not compromise her priorities. Nor will she trade her faith for temporal prestige. That’s most fundamentally what leaders – and Catholics – do.

Thank you Margeaux. You inspire us all.

[Stay tuned though...she may just go to that conference yet.]

 

UPDATE: Just heard that the university is not University of Central Florida, but Florida State University (FSU) in Tallahassee. The cathedral is literally right across the street.

175 Responses to Margeaux’s Stand: Catholic Teen Defends Her Right to Attend Mass

  • This is silliness on stilts! The American Legion Auxillary should recall that the military supplies chaplains because of the importance of religious duties. Additionally this gives them terrible press instead of making a simple reasonable accomodation for this young lady. Stupidity always offends me and the attitude of the Auxillary officials in this case wreaks of stupidity.

  • Art Deco says:

    This is silliness on stilts!

    Think of the source. The woman in question who wrote that smarmy letter organizes boondoggles for a living.

    A curt response from Miss Graham informing said state officer that attendance at Mass is obligatory (“in case you’ve forgotten”) and that jaunts like Florida Girls State rank in any serious person’s list of priorities behind prayer and worship, family duties, employment, school work, and exercise might but this broad in her place for a while.

  • Bonchamps says:

    I certainly applaud this young woman and wish her the best. The attempt to corral people into a “non-offensive” worship service is creepy and bizarre, to say the least.

    I do have to question this, however:

    “Yet, they are using coercive force to violate this young woman’s fundamental constitutional and civil right to worship, guaranteed to her by the First Amendment.”

    I don’t see it that way. They aren’t using coercive force. They’re establishing a condition for participation in their event. I’m fairly certain they’re allowed to do that, no matter how repugnant we find it, and that it doesn’t rise to the level of “coercion” or a violation of the young woman’s rights. She is free not to attend, free to publicly protest this abhorrent treatment, and hopefully garner enough support to put sufficient public pressure on this organization to change its ways.

  • Dale Price says:

    The worst threat to the faith of Catholics in America are other self-identified Catholics.

    Part of the rebuttal needs to be to point out that arrangement nicely *privileges* (not accommodates, but flat-out privileges) Protestants, who have their needs met, but no one else. A reminder to the Legion that the military is still disproportionately Catholic wouldn’t hurt, either.

    And, yes, it is a discriminatory act–it conditions participation in an activity that is supposed to be open to participants regardless of creed with a requirement that one is not able to observe one’s creed. Whether it is actionable or not, I’m not certain. It’s not like a Methodist camp open only to Methodist youth, for example, where such a requirement would not be a problem.

    It is certain that the Florida AL has certainly bought itself a PR nightmare far worse than any suit.

  • MB says:

    When our son attended Boys State, we were allowed meet him at the gate, take him to mass, and return him to the facility where the event was held. The local auxiliary was very accommodating and Nick’s sponsor commended him for making his faith a priority ( he was not Catholic).

    It is appealing to see the officer making personal attacks on the girl and her mother, and equating mass with a track meet. I am nearly speechless , but I’m glad Ms. graham is not. I hope she is selected as a congressional page and eventually runs for office. Or that she becomes a religious sister and joins her community in praying for our country. Or that she becomes a wife and mother who raises up the next generation of clear thinking, passionate, convicted U.S. citizens.

    Her mother has every reason to be proud.

  • Art Deco says:

    Part of the rebuttal needs to be to point out that arrangement nicely *privileges* (not accommodates, but flat-out privileges) Protestants, who have their needs met, but no one else. A reminder to the Legion that the military is still disproportionately Catholic wouldn’t hurt, either. And, yes, it is a discriminatory act–it conditions participation in an activity that is supposed to be open to participants regardless of creed with a requirement that one is not able to observe one’s creed.

    One cannot practically be comprehensively accommodating. Any sort of common activity is likely to be abrasive to someone in some degree. The trouble here is that they appear to have made no efforts to be accommodating nor to explain any logistical problems with being accommodating. Instead, this institutional apparatchik attacks the girl and her mother for their priorities.

    I should note that the people being accommodated are not ‘Protestants’ but rather 1.) low intensity Baptists and 2.) Protestants whose observance is haphazard. Protestants in liturgical denominations are not being accommodated; the Orthodox are not being accommodated; &c.

  • Doc Kimble says:

    Pretty obvious to me what’s behind this. The Masons want to create a voodoo religion that makes all religious thinking “equal” so that they may then simply brainwash people into thinking no religion is necessary….and then a purely secular One World Government will rule anything at all for any reason at all….which the elites running the show will determine themselves. Just like Mr Obama is doing with the HHS Mandate.
    Catholics have already found God, and aren’t looking for another. Margaux Graham gets that, and has a right to live that belief , guaranteed by the Fist Amendment. In living out her faith, she is actually blessing Girl’s State. By dliberately eliminating the Freedom guaranteed under the First Amendment, the petty officials of Girl’s State are cursing themselves.

  • Mandy P. says:

    Quibble here:

    I’m from Central Florida, went to the University in question, and lived literally across the street from the campus for several years. It’s UCF, not UFC. And this piece is not accurate in stating that the “cathedral” is right across the street from the university. It’s not a cathedral. And it’s several miles down the road from the campus. Probably a ten minute drive with traffic. But certainly not within a reasonable walking distance considering the distance, the fact that the university itself (which is quite large, and even getting to University Blvd from the dorm area is a good mile at least, so it’s not like walking out the front door onto the street) is located on a major roadway that’s not known for safe pedestrian traffic, and to get to the church requires crossing a MAJOR intersection that crosses a highly trafficked highway.

    Now, they should certainly accommodate this young lady. A non-denominational service is most definitely not the same as a Catholic mass and it’s incredibly ham-handed of the hosting group to suggest that this “service” would be sufficient. If they can’t get her ten minutes down the street to the church for mass then I don’t see why it’s a problem for the priest they contacted to say mass on campus. It’s silly that they can’t accommodate this young lady. But let’s not over-exaggerate the situation in her favor, either.

  • Pinky says:

    You guys recently featured the story from The Onion that every possible presidential candidate in 2040 had already disgraced themselves. It’s good to be reminded that there are some great kids out there.

    (BTW – Off subject, I love this site, but it’s taking about a minute to load the home page, on both my home and work computers. It’s been getting worse over the past few weeks. Verifying that Onion article took me five minutes. Yes, I’m using Windows Explorer, but I don’t have any other options on my office machine.)

  • Mandy P, THANK YOU. I edited that sentence. Thanks for catching the typo too. Really appreciate it! You are right, we shouldn’t exaggerate.

    Appreciate the other comments too. Hope to have a good follow-up soon.

  • Karl says:

    I am absolutely stunned that the America Legion could be so bigoted!

    Let us hope the National Oranization will act to address this religious
    hostility in public and fast.

  • Mandy P. says:

    Stacy,

    No problem! :)

    And really, I have no idea why the Legion can’t accommodate this young lady. It’s my understanding that there’s a Catholic group on campus, so either finding a mass on site or getting her to the one nearby is just not a big deal. Why the ALA is being so rigid about it is beyond me.

  • Justin says:

    Not sure if you wanted to keep the woman’s name private, as you did above, but it seems to be listed again towards the end of the letter. Great story, thanks for posting.

  • Mike Petrik says:

    Agree with Art Deco entirely.
    Actually, I’m even inclined to give the organization some slack in terms of what types of accommodations are practical. But the response from ALA Florida Officer (Catholic) was discouraging and infuriating beyond measure. She needs some serious fraternal correction.

  • Mary De Voe says:

    “Why the ALA is being so rigid about it is beyond me”. The ALA may be frozen to the bottom of hell, else they would have known that there was a Catholic presence on campus and wholly made arrangements for Ms. Graham. After all, that is their job. A little respect.

  • Pinky says:

    Paul – Internet Explorer. 66 seconds just now to load the home page. If it’s just the firewall at my office getting stuck on something I wouldn’t complain, but it’s been noticably slower from my home computer too.

  • Arkasha says:

    “Yet, they are using coercive force to violate this young woman’s fundamental constitutional and civil right to worship, guaranteed to her by the First Amendment.”

    That is absolutely untrue, and stating so is as bad as what this program is doing in denying the girl the right to attend Mass.

  • Arkasha, I know it’s strong wording, but it fits. Coerce means to constrain by authority resting on force; to constrain to compliance or obedience by forcible means. Force refers to, in this context, might or power, not physical. The superior used intimidation to coerce a young woman to violate her conscience or be rejected from an honor she earned. I appreciate that you disagree, but I stand by it.

  • Mary says:

    This is Margeaux’s mom, keep in mind this is the Florida State ALA, we contacted the National office and received a supportive letter from them, also, the school is Florida State University. Sorry I think that was my mistake.

  • Defender says:

    I have forwarded this article to Ave Maria University Dean of Students Dan Dentino. I pray that he will be able to pull some strings and get this courageous young lady her three college credits.

  • Defender, You are awesome! Thank you.

    Credits, recognition, scholarship, etcetera!

    Seriously, she is showing people how to stand up for your faith in a tactful, peaceful, yet firm way. We need more of this.

    Also, it might interest some readers here to know that I also received a couple of inquiries about marriage prospects from parents of sons. ;-)

    Go Margeaux!!!

  • James says:

    OK, I’m going to do some profiling, here, so if any of you are queasy about such things, turn away now. “The adult role model went on to say that she knows God understands and accepts her decision to work this program each year even if it means she must miss Mass.” The profile indicates that the adult role model uses the “God understands” phrase not only to justify missing Mass, but to justify other things as well. Things such as her voting for the most liberal, pro-abortion, pro-homosexual marriage, in general the most pro-socialist candidates in any particular election. And it does not make her any less of a Catholic, just ask her.

  • Anzlyne says:

    This kind of coercion goes on Sunday mornings for T- ball games. There are lots of other ways society ignores the Sabbath and expects Christians to just go along because Christian parents, just like other parents, also want their children to participate in all these neat and nifty activities.
    Why do they schedule all these things for Sunday morning and we all go along with it– forgetting the 3rd commandment.
    Can’t Boys and Girls State schedule free personal time at least until noon on Sunday and still provide these gifted young people with an awesome learning experience?

  • mary says:

    Something to keep in mind the girl state program is sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary. The third party that called on our behalf was a member of the American Legion who works with the boy state program. The Florida boys state only runs 7 days so they do not have the same problem.

  • Elizabeth D says:

    The thing that made my jaw drop was the letter from the supposed Catholic so dismissive of the Sunday Mass obligation as something one could “sacrifice”. That is one of the precepts of the Church. The Mass is the source and summit of the Christian life, the re-presentation of the one saving sacrifice of Christ, now risen and lives forever. This young woman has her priorities straight and is really to be commended. There is also a lesson here for all Catholics, that when traveling one should have a plan in advance how one is going to get to Sunday Mass.

  • The time is coming when confrontation against the forces of liberalism won’t be as peaceful as this.

    May God bless this young lady, and may God’s justice prevail upon “The American Legion Auxiliary.” Indeed, the “ALA Florida Officer” who identifies him/herself as Catholic is no more Catholic than Ananias and Sapphira who lied to the Holy Spirit in Acts 5:1-11, no more Catholic than that sex pervert in 1st Corinthians 5, no more Catholic than blasphemers Hymenaeus and Alexander in 1st Timothy 1:19-20, no more Catholic than that idolatrous hedonist Jezebel in Revelation 2:20-23. And without repentance, that is exactly how he/she will be dealt with on that Great and Terrible Day.

    May God have mercy on this once great nation.

  • Barbie says:

    Someone needs to tell the auxillary and that Catholic officer–the US Constitution doesn’t protect track meets, dance competitions, and/or summer camps. The US Constitution does protect her ability to go to the church of her choice.

  • Valentin says:

    I sympathize with Margeaux, I myself have to deal with my Feminist Nazi mother constantly giving me flack about being Catholic and going to mass. The Truth is that the Mass is the one place where you truly can offer all your gifts to God the Father because you become a part of his only Son’s body.

  • Valentin says:

    This so called “Catholic” guy working as Florida acts like politics is more important than coming to know the Existence from which all being flows as though politics were more important than good Himself.

  • Arkasha says:

    No, she is being neither coerced nor forced. I sympathize with the girl, but creating an attack on faith where none exists cheapens coercion and force, as well as the denial of freedom of religion, where they really exist. In a pluralistic society, not everyone’s preferences can be accommodated at all times. The girl is free to choose to attend or not attend. I’m of a minority religion. If I held my breath waiting for society to bend to my religious beliefs, I’d asphyxiate right quick. ButIi’m not being discriminated against just because a voluntary program doesn’t go out of its way to accommodate my religious beliefs. Being barred from practicing my faith, or being forced, without choice, to violate my religious faith, would be religious discrimination. But none of those things are happening here.

  • Valentin says:

    Another issue I see is that there is discrimination against Catholics here but if I want to run a business and a Buddhist wants to be hired by me I can’t legally say “No I think Buddhists are too self destructive and dull.”.

  • Sandra says:

    I’m a member of the American Legion (not the ladies Aux) and I find the response from the State Official MORE disturbing. We have to remember that this woman may be one of those CINO (Catholic in name only) and that she really does not understand why a practicing Catholic that is true to Mother Church, cannot slough off Mass for one weekend. She must evidently do it and do it often that this is NOT an issue anymore. “Bless her heart”

    May Our Lord bless Margeaux Graham, and may she be strengthen and supported by our prayers.

  • Jim says:

    ” creating an attack on faith where none exists cheapens coercion and force, as well as the denial of freedom of religion, where they really exist. In a pluralistic society, not everyone’s preferences can be accommodated at all times.”

    The problem is this isn’t just any organization or any event. It’s an organization that represents those that fought for our freedom and an event to teach American ideals and leadership. Contradicting First amendment principles may be fine for the Little League, Walmart, or the local Dance studio, but this is one organization and event that should see an opportunity to put into practice what their members put their lives at risk for….

  • Art Deco says:

    I sympathize with the girl, but creating an attack on faith where none exists

    Read the state official’s missive, Arkasha. She was attacking this girl and her mother for giving priority to Sunday worship over the legion’s weekend boondoggle.

    We have to remember that this woman may be one of those CINO (Catholic in name only

    Or the lectrix in jeans, sneakers, and a cardigan.

  • Kat says:

    When I served in the US Army I was never denied my right to attend mass on Sunday, even in basic training. Our military acknowledges the right of soldiers to worship according to their religious creed, it’s sad that the American Legion has forgotten that.

  • Faith says:

    I’ve heard this happening with Boy Scout camping trips where they are just too far away from any Catholic Church to get there for Sunday Mass. One thing you can do if there is no way out is ask your parish priest for a dispensation. Not that that deals with this organization’s insensitivity or lack of respect, but the Catholic Church does realize that sometimes it is very difficult to get to Sunday Mass on particular Sundays and so they do allow for occasional misses for very justified reasons.

  • digdigby says:

    Chariots of Fire – The Catholic Version
    What REALLY gets me is the arrogant asinine so-called ‘Catholic’ woman who responds. She ‘unloads her thoughts with a square shovel’ if you catch my meaning.

  • enness says:

    “The girl is free to choose to attend or not attend.”

    The other problem I see, Arkasha, is that they invited her in the first place. They wanted her there, but not badly enough to make a relatively simple accomodation, I guess? If they couldn’t do that then what are they thinking inviting anyone? And now the state officer is condescending to her because she won’t miss something obligatory for something voluntary (she did, in fact, decline to attend!).

    Mass is not a track meet or dance competition. Receiving our Lord will always outshine any human honor, no matter how “elite.”

  • Maureen says:

    May you be strong to live the convictions and baptism of your faith. May God always guide you Margeaux. I will pray that the decision is for you to be allowed to attend a Catholic Mass. For we know that Jesus in Eucharist is our Source and Summit. God bless you.

  • Arkasha says:

    “Receiving our Lord will always outshine any human honor, no matter how “elite.””

    That’s fine. But it’s not anyone else’s obligation to accommodate that during a voluntary program.

    I think what Girls State is doing is wrong. And I think the girl was right in writing to them and telling them why she declined. She had a choice to make, and she made it. More power to her.

    But I stand firm in my belief that this is NOT force or coercion, and I also believe that referring to it as such cheapens the struggle of people who are facing real force and coercion in their daily lives.

    And in the immortal words of Forrest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that.”

  • Marion Mael Muire says:

    Hire a lawyer! Sue the pants off them!

    Margeaux and her family should contact an attorney, and the attorney should notify the event organizers that Margaux has, with her parents’ permission, decided to attend, and that Margeaux will be absent on Sunday morning to meet her obligation as a faithful Catholic to attend Mass at a Church located on such-and-such an address, and will be travelling in a cab operated by such-and-such a taxicab company from such-and-such time to such-and-such time.

    Ahead of the event, Margeaux and her parents can locate a Catholic church as close as possible to where she will be staying. (The article refers to the event as taking place in “the state capital” – Tallahasee, it would seem, where Catholic churches are available. Margeaux and her family can find the address of, directions to Mass times of the nearest church at www. masstimes.org.) She should select the earliest possible Sunday Mass, and she and her parents should arrange for and pre-pay a taxicab to pick her up and return her from the event to the church.

    In his letter to the event organizers, the attorney can provide all the necessary details.

    The letter from the attorney should be worded in such a way as to leave no doubt that if the organizers refuse this arrangement, or penalize Margeaux or make matters difficult for Margeaux in the slightest way over her fulfilling her Sunday Catholci, that there will be nothing left but a smoking crater where their headquarters used to stand (metaphorically speaking, of course – the smoking crater would be lawsuit-wise and publicity-wise).

    You go, girl!!

  • Judith W says:

    I am shocked that the American Legion would be so obtuse… At an event promoting love of God and country no less! Brava, Margeaux! You are making our country safe for Catholics!

  • Bee says:

    I think Marion has the right idea, maybe not so much with the lawyers unless her invitation is revoked on this point.

    She should respond to that state officer that breaking a commandment (missing Mass) is not a valid sacrifice, but a sin. And for one hour out of an extensive program, she will simply not be present. And she should quote the Constitution, the ALA ideals, anything that grants people the right to free exercise of religion without fear of punishment or retribution (loss of credits, etc.) and CC someone higher than that state officer.

  • Donkey says:

    In my limited experience, sometimes insurance requirements are such that youths are not allowed to leave supervised areas without adult presence, even if the girl is 17.

    If so a simple arrangement involving written consent from the parents to let her catch a taxi-cab for mass and back could be agreed to.

    Lord willing this is all a simple misunderstanding of the ALA coordinators of that one event, based on a misreading of safety requirements. I don’t doubt a simple solution can be come to, perhaps the young Ms. Graham can invite the coordinator to mass with her.

    The ALA in my region have been very active and very supportive of local Christian and Catholic groups in their ministry to returning veterans and veterans ill or dieing. According to ALA’s about us page their values include “Service to God, our country, its veterans and their families,” “Personal integrity and family values,” and “Respect for the uniqueness of individual members.”

    I have no doubt the ALA will rectify this problem.

  • Kevin says:

    The requirement was not coercive; the event wasn’t life or death. But it’s one thing that Margeaux cannot now put on her CV, one foregone opportunity to network with the next generation of leaders. Faithful Catholics, move to the back of the bus.

    Just more QUANGO anti-Christian bigotry. And I just love how there was not time for attendees to attend Mass but time was made for a “non-offensive” service. Such arrogance offends me.

  • Bee says:

    Margeaux’s mom, if you’re still reading, is a compromise an agreeable solution to you? Would the national representative who started to arrange a priest to say Mass at the event instead be willing to order the state chapter to allow for Margeaux to attend Mass outside of the event’s hours (even if it’s 6 pm or 10 pm), and everyone’s parents sign a hold-harmless waiver for this excursion?

    It should not be so difficult to address everyone’s needs: the organization to have full and protected participation and the students to exercise the right to freedom of religion.

  • Marion Mael Muire says:

    I’ll bet if, while attending the event, Margeaux confided to one of the organizers that she had just learned that previous weekend that she was pregnant, and wanted to leave for a couple of hours during the event to go to the local Planned Parenthood clinic to undergo an abortion, and that without her parents’ knowledge or consent, that not only would the event organizers NOT raise any objection, but that at least one would volunteer to drive her to and from the Planned Parenthood of her choice!

    Without her parents’ knowledge or consent.

    Pods! They’re pods!

  • Marion Mael Muire says:

    Errata: I should not have proposed the hypothetical above using Margeaux’s name.

    I apologize. I should have said, “if a young woman attending the event asked to be excused for a couple of hours to go have an abortion . . . “

  • Dan B says:

    As a new Catholic convert (Easter Vigil, 2012), I’m extremely impressed, inspired, and touched by this young woman’s fortitude and resolve. She serves as a shining example for all of us that aspire to embrace our Catholic faith and live within the tenets of God’s beautiful Church. Thank you, Margeaux, for helping me realize how I must set my priorities as a I make travel plans this summer. God bless you!!

  • Art Deco says:

    Margeaux and her family should contact an attorney,

    Ach. There is more then enought of that in this world.

    In my limited experience, sometimes insurance requirements are such that youths are not allowed to leave supervised areas without adult presence, even if the girl is 17.

    Well, if that is the case, the ‘state official’ in question certainly chose an obnoxious and circuitous way of making that known.

  • patrick lahey says:

    Thank you so much for bringing us this important news to the web. However, I have to agree with those who contend that you are stretching it a bit to say that they are coercing her. I think there is a much better case to be made for anti-Catholic discrimination. The ALA has structured their program in such a way that it becomes impossible for a faithful Catholic to attend it. They thereby discriminate against faithful Catholics.

  • Art Deco says:

    ButIi’m not being discriminated against just because a voluntary program doesn’t go out of its way to accommodate my religious beliefs.

    They accommodated one set of people and not the other, so they are discriminating. Whether it is legally permissible, should be legally permissible, is prudent to do so, or is right to do so is another question.

  • Mary says:

    Margeaux had responded with a pretty aggressive letter to the “Catholic” rep that had emailed her. A couple of local papers have done stories and the National office has called them. The state director is supposed to be calling Margeaux tonight to discuss the situation. I am expecting a happy ending.

  • Art Deco says:

    I’ll bet if,…Without her parents’ knowledge or consent.

    I would not make that wager with regard to this particular organization, but would not put it past a generic women’s association (e.g. the Girl Scouts) or a soi-disant educational agency (e.g. the two associations who hired Dan Savage to deliver a key-note speech to a convention of high school yearbook staffs).

  • Patrick Lahey and Arkasha,

    Point taken.

    After giving it some thought, I will concede that point because I don’t want to take the focus off of Margeaux and I understand what you are saying. I suppose it’s a matter of perspective, so let me at least explain mine. My husband used those words, and he is a Cuban exile, well sort of. He was 2 when his parents and grandparents brought him here on a Freedom Flight and left two generations of wealth earned in a free country behind completely. He was raised to see things a certain way. I’ll let it go and refrain from using those words in the next article (coming soon!), but I wanted you to know where I was coming from when I chose them.

    I promise — no more talk of coercive force. :-) I like the way Patrick put it.

    Thank you!

  • Harren says:

    I understand that to miss an obligatory Mass on purpose…was a mortal sin. Why would the AL insist this young woman purposely miss Mass and call it a sacrifice? Jesus Christ is the one who made the sacrifice so we could have eternal. Someone call the press!

  • Marion Mael Muire says:

    “Why would the AL insist this young woman miss Mass and call it a sacrifice?”

    She’s not going to miss Mass, or miss the event. She’s going to the event and to Mass on her own time, with a signed permission letter from her folks.

    Or the AL will be sued back to the Stone Age.

    This is my hope, anyway.

  • Marion Mael Muire says:

    Allusion had been made to this event and the sponsoring entity as “prestigious” and “elite”.

    A truly prestigious, elite, and classy group would have the sophisticated outlook and the magnanimity of spirit to say to any young person, “you have an obligation engendered by your faith? How can we help you to meet that obligation?”

    That’s how a “prestigious” and “elite” group of people operate.

    As opposed to faux-prestigious and faux-elite groups, who are operate as we see here, as know-nothings, petty tyrants, and/or clueless losers.

  • John says:

    I applaud standing up for your religion, but may I ask if Margeaux spoke with her priest for guidance or even of asked for dispensation? I recently read an article about th Our Lady of Sorrow’s baseball team forfeiting the state championship because of respect for their beliefs. They did so graciously, because they felt it was in the best interest of thier boys. If Margeaux believes it is in her best interest to take a step back for this program… Do so graciously.

  • What a wonderful girl! I am so impressed with her devotion and maturity.

    And it is such a shame that this is even happening. I keep thinking that nothing will surprise me anymore, but every time I hear a story like this I do find myself shocked at the double-standards and utter intolerance of religion in this country.

  • Marion Mael Muire says:

    “If Margeaux believes it is in her best interest to take a step back from this program . . . Do so graciously.”

    Be “gracious” about being on the receiving end of religious discrimination?

    Yeah?

    No.

    No red-blooded American person of faith should take any injustice “graciously”.

    There’s another word for what it would be to do so, and it’s not “graciousness”.

  • John says:

    Faith is personal and we all make sacrifices for our faith. I don’t call the local television station when they air something I find to be morally offensive…I simply change than the channel and choose to watch something else. If you find the organizations practices don’t coincide with yours…change the channel. That being said I took the time to read the other comments and find the hate and vitriol to be horrendous. These hate filled comments are the exact reasons why I find my church to be ostracized more and more everyday….by the way my question was not answered Did she seek guidance from her priest or ask for dispensation? Could all of this have been avoided? Most priest have the wisdom of Solomon and would have nipped this in the bud with dispensation.

  • Art Deco says:

    These hate filled comments are the exact reasons why I find my church to be ostracized more and more everyday….by the way my question was not answered Did she seek guidance from her priest or ask for dispensation? Could all of this have been avoided? Most priest have the wisdom of Solomon and would have nipped this in the bud with dispensation.

    John, there is no manifest ‘hate’ in the comments above. Either that word does not mean what you think it means or you cannot recognize the object when you see it.

  • Foxfier says:

    Ah, “graciously” fail to stand up for the Church.

    Perhaps, John, if you bothered to act like you were actually offended by things they do that are morally offensive, they might take note.

    But it’s so much easier to just keep quiet and leave.

  • John says:

    “May God bless this young lady, and may God’s justice prevail upon “The American Legion Auxiliary.” Indeed, the “ALA Florida Officer” who identifies him/herself as Catholic is no more Catholic than Ananias and Sapphira who lied to the Holy Spirit in Acts 5:1-11, no more Catholic than that sex pervert in 1st Corinthians 5, no more Catholic than blasphemers Hymenaeus and Alexander in 1st Timothy 1:19-20, no more Catholic than that idolatrous hedonist Jezebel in Revelation 2:20-23. And without repentance, that is exactly how he/she will be dealt with on that Great and Terrible Day” = hate

    ” The profile indicates that the adult role model uses the “God understands” phrase not only to justify missing Mass, but to justify other things as well. Things such as her voting for the most liberal, pro-abortion, pro-homosexual marriage, in general the most pro-socialist candidates in any particular election. = vitriol.

    Matthew 7:5

  • John,

    I’ll try to answer.

    This is something more serious than entertainment, it is something M. aspired to and accomplished on her merits. Her obedience endowed her with such merits.

    Did she seek guidance? Yes. I don’t know whether it was from her priest, but I do know that her family regularly attends Mass and she has been catechized to understand the weight of the obligation to honor the Holy Eucharist.

    Her mother also offered to drive to the conference and escort her to Mass. Arrangements were offered for a priest to come to the campus, to the “non-offensive” service and celebrate the Mass privately for Catholics.

    This was all rejected. Margeaux is not looking for a fight, she just refuses to subject her faith to academic honor — an honor that she in fact earned.

  • enness says:

    I gave a magazine a piece of my mind that they won’t likely forget when they printed a very ignorant story involving a Catholic priest. It may have been read by up to 5 million people, so the damage was done.

    Changing the channel has an impact because somebody is calculating ratings based on the number of viewers, so you are expressing your opinion, even if you think you are doing so in a very passive way.

    Any actual priests here who could answer the question of whether they would grant a dispensation for an activity that is voluntary, as so many have pointed out, *and* that is Catholic-unfriendly?

  • John says:

    Thank you for your responses and it looks like I touch a nerve where I simply meant to offer a different perspective….the tv reference was simply a metaphor. And I also understand a perceived slight is still as slight, seeing that perception is reality. I bid you a good night and God bless you as I am blessed every day.

  • Marion Mael Muire says:

    Hate.

    What rubbish.

    Was it “hate” that motivated Rosa Parks to refuse to move to the back of the bus when ordered to do so by the white patrons who wanted her seat? By John’s reasoning, Mrs. Parks should have “graciously” gotten up and moved.

    Was it “hate” that motivated singer Marian Andersen to object to being denied the opportunity to perform at the DAR Constitution Hall? By John’s reasoning, Mrs. Andersen and her supporters should have “graciously” advocating sweeping the matter under the rug.

    No, no, no, . . . no, and no!

    When there is an injustice, you don’t walk away, you don’t take it, you don’t say “please, sir, may I have another!”

    Pusillanimity is not one of the virtues, natural or supernatural.

    When injustice is perpetrated against you, you shout it from the rooftops. You fight back. You make it hard for the evildoers.

  • Anzlyne says:

    At the same time that we should be ready to stand steady for our principles, we can also remember that Christians are known by their love.. John 13:35. I think Margeaux stood up for herself and her faith very well. A good example of Christian behavior is sometimes our best way to evangelize (and to change the culture). The best way to get rid of an enemy is to convert them into a friend.

  • Art Deco says:

    Her mother also offered to drive to the conference and escort her to Mass. Arrangements were offered for a priest to come to the campus, to the “non-offensive” service and celebrate the Mass privately for Catholics.

    Worse and worse.

  • Marion Mael Muire says:

    A consistent pattern of refusing several reasonable and legitimate offers by this minor child’s parents to make it possible for their minor child to participate in a 45 minute religious service which her religious faith obligates her to attend . . . ?

    Oh, yeah. A jury is gonna love this!

    Six figures in damages. Maybe high six figures.

  • Mary says:

    John,
    No we did not seek dispensation. I do agree with you that the hatred comments are not necessary and both Margeaux and I find those statements offensive.

    However, we do need contact the TV and radio station when you see offensive things they would change their programming. We have many times seen companies change their policy or their programming when we let them know we were offended. After you let them know if they do not change, then you change the channel.

    As Catholics and Christians we need to stand up to the Culture of Death. If Marg

  • Margeaux says:

    Hello everyone this is Margeaux. I greatly appreciate all of the support I am getting, you all rock! In response to some of the comments, I am not trying to be hateful, nor am I trying to attack the legion in any way shape or form. I am simply trying to address an issue that is present in an old policy that needs to be changed. This is not to be blamed on the people running the program, they are only volunteers. Yes, some were unfriendly but this is not to be blamed on the whole. One can never be certain of what another is going through at any given time and all Christians need to try and give some understanding to the personal life of others. I am extremely disappointed in anyone that would purposely send hateful emails to the personnel of the Florida Girls State program. I just had a long conversation with the Girls State director Jackie Ihnenfeld, and guess what, she was human and very kind, loving, and compassionate. We discussed where the problems arose and she reassured me that they would be addressed. My belief and respect for the American Legion Auxiliary has been restored.

  • @ John – “That being said I took the time to read the other comments and find the hate and vitriol to be horrendous. These hate filled comments are the exact reasons why I find my church to be ostracized more and more everyday…”

    Consider the following:

    “You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.” Deuteronomy 12:31. We have done exactly that by murdering the unborn.

    “You shall not set up a sacred pillar, which the LORD your God hates.” Deuteronomy 16:22. We have done exactly that by putting Caesar first and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass second. That’s our “sacred pole to Asteroth”.

    Shall I go on with what the Lord God Almighty hates? Sexual depravity, infanticide of the unborn, idolatry, adultery, fornication, homosexual sodomy….

    I was the one who quoted the passages about Ananias and Sapphira, the sex pervert at Corinth, Hymenaeus and Alexander, and Jezebel at Thyatira. God loves His holy people so much that He will tolerate wickedness only so long, and then He will smash the wicked into nothingness if they continue in unrepentance. One cannot have the love of God without the justice of God. St. Faustina’s Divine Mercy Diary is full of that theme. So let us take the plank out of our own eye – the plank of apathy and hypocrisy and false luvy-duvy piety – so that we can SEE to remove the dust from our brother’s eye. Or would we rather he stay in sin and go to hell?

    BTW, I love Psalm 58 – The Just Judgment of the Wicked

    To the Chief Musician. Set to “Do Not Destroy.” A Michtam of David.

    1 Do you indeed speak righteousness, you silent ones?
    Do you judge uprightly, you sons of men?
    2 No, in heart you work wickedness;
    You weigh out the violence of your hands in the earth.

    3 The wicked are estranged from the womb;
    They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.
    4 Their poison is like the poison of a serpent;
    They are like the deaf cobra that stops its ear,
    5 Which will not heed the voice of charmers,
    Charming ever so skillfully.

    6 Break their teeth in their mouth, O God!
    Break out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord!
    7 Let them flow away as waters which run continually;
    When he bends his bow,
    Let his arrows be as if cut in pieces.
    8 Let them be like a snail which melts away as it goes,
    Like a stillborn child of a woman, that they may not see the sun.

    9 Before your pots can feel the burning thorns,
    He shall take them away as with a whirlwind,
    As in His living and burning wrath.
    10 The righteous shall rejoice when he sees the vengeance;
    He shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked,
    11 So that men will say,
    “Surely there is a reward for the righteous;
    Surely He is God who judges in the earth.”

  • Foxfier says:

    Thank you for your responses and it looks like I touch a nerve where I simply meant to offer a different perspective

    Hint: accusing people of being “hateful” and the reason that the Church is under attack is rather graceless, especially when it’s followed up by supposed shock that anyone takes offense to such a thing. Clumsy attempts to brow-beat people into a preferred perspective do tend to get on peoples’ nerves.

  • Pat says:

    You go girl, stand by your faith and God will reward you many times over. When I hear of a young person in another generation who places God ahead of ambition it makes me feel that there is hope for us all.

  • John says:

    I just believe in finding solutions. I also have faith in my fellow man and believe most want solutions too…not Arguements. And the fact that you are still sniping at me rather than apologizing to the people you were condemning to Dante’s Inferno and threatening to sue….that’s the problem. Mary and Margeaux, I wish you all the best and God bless.

    2 Timothy 4:7

  • We are called to have faith in God, not man, and it is God at work in Margeaux. Indeed, St. Paul fought the good fight because he placed God, not man, first.

    BTW, he was the one who wrote that “hateful” message about that sex pervert at Corinth and that other “hateful” message about Hymenaeus and Alexander. How convenient to quote 2nd Timothy 4:7 while ignoring what St. Paul did to qualify in fighting the good fight. PS, by 2nd Corinthians 2:5-11, the sex pervert had repented because he was harshly dealt with.

    Go, Margeaux, go! Be another St. Paul!

  • Foxfier says:

    I just believe in finding solutions.

    By giving up and insulting those who don’t do the same?

    Perhaps, if you don’t want arguments, you could try not opening up by making false accusations and blaming those who disagree for what’s wrong in the world.

  • Ioannes says:

    Way to go Margeaux!
    What an inspiration.

    I wonder, if the event lasts 9 days, that means it would be TWO weekends without Mass—even with the Cathedral right in front! Wow…

    And the reply of the officer is most alarming: “And yes, it means girls are unable to go to the church of their choice on Sunday or what ever their day of worship is.”

    Wow!!!

  • Mary De Voe says:

    “she was told by the staff that the only opportunity any of the girls would have to participate in a Sunday service is to attend the “non-offensive”, non-denominational service offered for all at the conference.” NON-OFFENSIVE” means that Catholic Mass is offensive. Insulting and dangerous.
    Marion Mael Muire: A lawyer insures that their complaint will be taken seriously and that they have a legitimate complaint and will not be dismissed EASILY. It is a First Amendment civil rights freedom case of being ignored and dismissed without just cause, and discriminated against because of her religion being Catholic.

  • Mary De Voe says:

    Eleanor Roosevelt ended her membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution when Marion Anderson was discriminated against because of her color. My daughters were never enrolled because of this.

  • ioannes says:

    So, The event starts on a Friday and ends on the following Saturday.

    That means it would be the first Sunday that she would not be allowed to attend a Mass.

    The Cathedral is right next to the Universities’ President’s house, with Sunday services a-plenty. Even Google has it pictured within the colored area of the Universities’ campus.

    http://maps.google.com/maps?q=st+thomas+more,+tallahassee&hl=en&ll=30.446588,-84.297688&spn=0.001727,0.002824&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=51.488837,92.548828&t=m&hq=st+thomas+more,&hnear=Tallahassee,+Leon,+Florida&z=19

    http://www.fsucatholic.org/index.cfm?load=page&page=154

    The name of the Cathedral?

    ST. THOMAS MORE!

    Also, Rule # 6 of the actual event states that the ‘Citizens’ are to respect each other’s creed among other things.

    I Can’t believe the official actually thinks Mass should to be sacrificed akin to a recital or track meet.

    Tell that to a Marine (40% percent Catholic btw) sacrificing his life for country, when even in the mountains of Afghanistan, Mass is celebrated.

  • ioannes says:

    “nonpartisan program that teaches young women responsible citizenship and love for God and Country”

    Imagine that officer telling young women serving in the armed forces that Mass must be sacrificed like a track meeting or recital…

    Ash Wednesday 2011 aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, CVN72:

    https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-qHBhq6QRh_4/TfektU3BY0I/AAAAAAAAAiQ/00en1yDXbHg/s512/Ash%2520Wednesday%25202011%25201.JPG

    ——
    SHA-WALI-KOT, AFGHANISTAN – U.S. Army chaplain Carl Subler celebrates a Catholic Mass for soldiers on March 5, 2010 at an American small combat outpost in Sha-Wali-Kot in Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan. Military chaplains travel the battlefield throughout Afghanistan, providing a backbone of support for thousands of soldiers struggling with the difficulties of war and year-long deployments away from home. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images):

    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-NEnDdBHyWyE/TfIWP7U545I/AAAAAAAAAio/5v56G9CZWO0/s912/091212-F-GQ530-034.jpg

  • Ginny says:

    Mary, you got the DAR/Eleanor Roosevelt story all wrong. When Marian Anderson sought the use of DAR Constitution Hall, the organization WANTED to allow her to perform, but was constrained by the law in effect in the District of Columbia in 1939 that made it illegal for the DAR to grant the permit. Jim Crow was law in DC at that time. The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution sought the assistance of its most influential member, the First Lady, to persuade the government of the District to either repeal the law, or at least to allow a special dispensation for Ms. Anderson. Instead of interceding, Eleanor Roosevelt stabbed the DAR in the back by making a public resignation and painting the NSDAR as the “bad guy,” a lie that persists to this day.

    Sadly, by buying into Mrs. Roosevelt’s subterfuge, you have denied your daughters not only their birthright, but also a valuable experience. Fortunately for them, however, it is not too late. I highly encourage you to reconsider.

  • Kathy from Kansas says:

    I blame 30 years of woefully deficient Catholic religious education, which has left most American Catholics not even realizing that missing Mass on Sunday, except under the most extreme circumstances, is a mortal sin.

  • Another godless Democrat lie is exposed to the light of day:

    “…you got the DAR/Eleanor Roosevelt story all wrong. When Marian Anderson sought the use of DAR Constitution Hall, the organization WANTED to allow her to perform, but was constrained by the law in effect in the District of Columbia in 1939 that made it illegal for the DAR to grant the permit. Jim Crow was law in DC at that time. The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution sought the assistance of its most influential member, the First Lady, to persuade the government of the District to either repeal the law, or at least to allow a special dispensation for Ms. Anderson. Instead of interceding, Eleanor Roosevelt stabbed the DAR in the back by making a public resignation and painting the NSDAR as the ‘bad guy,’ a lie that persists to this day.”

  • Peter says:

    Interesting how quickly they respond with allegations of “hateful” when anyone challenges their view of the world….

    Here is the response I received when I sent an email pointing out that Mass is mandatory.

    “Thank you for our email, but clearly you have received mixed information. The details included in your email are neither accurate nor worth the time it would take to clear up.

    I am sorry that one-sided information has upset you, but as a responsible citizen of our country, I encourage you to dig a bit deeper and inquire about additional information before sending such hateful emails to a volunteer.

    Jackie Ihnenfeld
    Director, Florida Girls State

    Sent from my iPhone”

  • Mary says:

    @KATHY FROM KANSAS
    AMEN! That is really the greater issue here. That doesn’t mean we should sit around and point our fingers and blame individuals for the past. Everyone of us have done or said things that we should not have in our lifetime. The important thing is that we repent and learn from our mistakes. Yes, that means leaders of the church who had good intentions made mistakes.

    Pope John Paul II empowered the laity to roll up our sleeves and get to work cleaning up this mess. Pope Benedict has encouraged us to carry on. We do not do this by slinging mud and attacking individuals. We need to direct our attention towards the issues not the people. We must take a stand for the culture of life every chance we can. But it needs to be done through a culture of love.

  • Anzlyne says:

    ionnes thank you so much for those photos. Pictures like those ARE worth thousands of words. Those photos laid along side the words of the woman from the American Legion Auxiliary in Florida point out the incoherence in our society concerning our national ideals.

    The fabric of America, which in warp and weft maintains and promotes personal religious freedom- is torn. The Florida lady elevates what she thinks is tolerance or multi-culturalism, believing that somehow personal sacrifice of personal religion helps get liberty and justice for all. The soldiers in your photos who exemplify personal sacrifice are shown freely honoring the Sacrifice of the LORD, while on duty.

    The photos, shown in contrast to the words of the Florida lady could make an Exhibit A in an article written by a press full of free curious truth-seeking journalists for an interested truth-seeking populace. In times past there might have been a “LIFE” (or such) magazine cover story which might have done that.

  • Anzlyne says:

    in times past there might have been a “LIFE” (or such) magazine cover story which might have done that

    oh the dangers of anachronism– actually in the era of the “LIFE” magazine there would not have been such a large constituency who were so automatic about the multicultural trump of the individual as is the Florida lady.. I should have said, if “LIFE” were in print TODAY — and there were such a free and curious press and populace.

    I wish those kinds of photos would have been on NBC news on Ash Wednesday, or FOX just to remind us all.

  • Mary says:

    @Peter
    Margeaux and I had nice long chat with Mrs. Inenfeld last night. There are two sides to every story. We were both working with the information that we had.

    For example: she personally did not know that I was willing to drive to Tallahassee and pick her up and take her to Mass.

    Another example: We had sent an email a month earlier inquiring about this and did not get a response. Turns out that email landed in the mail box of some one who had just had a baby. I can appreciate what it was like to be a new mom, I am sure her email box was overflowing. I have personally overlooked many important emails because they had gotten buried in the pile. It was in innocent mistake.

    I am sure from their perspective they felt this was an attack from an angry opponent….just as from our perspective we felt it was an attack on our faith and discrimination.

    As Margeaux stated last night in her post…they are working with policy and procedures that have been established by their organization. Mrs. Ihnenfeld reassured us that this issue will be brought up for review. Margeaux will be writing to explain the churches stand on this and why it is important.

    It would be great for everyone to pray this Pentecost Sunday for tongues of fire to fall upon her and guide her fingers as she types.

    Pray that through this we shall decrease and He shall increase!

  • Ann Margaret Lewis says:

    Hi, Margeaux,
    I’m so happy the folks are working it out with you. I have to admit, had I been in the same situation….and your age…I would have done one of two things. I would have researched where the nearest Mass was and what time (on campus or off) and I would have simply called a cab or walked to Mass, leaving the event without permission. I would have just gone. Oh, I might have made sure someone knew I was going, but if they said I couldn’t go I would have gone anyway. And…I would have probably found a bunch of fellow Catholic attendees to go with me en masse to Mass. I’m a little rebellious and independent that way, I suppose and a bit of a ring leader. =) My mom always said i was a little too independent that way. Your way of handling this is probably better in this day and age considering how dangerous things can be. They were probably as dangerous in my day, but I was too stupid to realize it.

    God bless you and enjoy going to Mass. :)

  • Ann Margaret Lewis says:

    Correction – I said I would have done “one of two things” – I meant to say I would have done two things. (sigh).

  • Marion Mael Muire says:

    “Mrs. Ihnenfeld reassured us that this matter will be brought up for review.”

    Not good enough!

    No! No!

    The AL owes you and Margeaux an apology . . . instantly . . . and their assurances . . . . instantly and without qualification . . . that your signed letter giving your permission for your minor child to walk across the street to Sunday Mass will be honored.

    Not “reviewed”; not “we’re looking into it”; not “well, maybe” !

    How dare they attempt to prohibit a minor child under their supervision from fulfilling her religious obligations?

    This is not a case of “the volunteers didn’t understand”, “some of the underlings didn’t get it.”

    This is a case of top management . . .and I mean TOP . . . holding a disdainful and contemptuous attitude toward those young people who may be coming to them with religious obligations to fulfill.

    That’s what this is about!!

    And on Memorial Day weekend I hear about this.

    I have an uncle buried in Arlington National Cemetery. A Navy Pilot who went down off the U.S.S. Enterprise in the early 1960s.

    If he were alive to hear about this today, Uncle Ed, a devout Catholic, would be aghast and ashamed of what the American Legion has come to represent.

    “Are they Soviets?” he would ask “Are they Communists?”

    Margeaux, you know what? I wouldn’t blame you if you walked away. Sign up with a TRULY elite and prestigious organization, one that doesn’t tyrannize over, harass, and make things difficult for young people of faith.

    Who needs that kind of rubbish?

    As for me, my regard for the AL is now going out the door in a 30-gallon Hefty bag sealed up with a tie-tie.

    I have no idea who these characters in the AL are but they sound more like they’re channeling the former Soviet Union than anything “American”.

    I’d steer clear of them, Margeaux. They’re not “prestigious” and they’re not “elite”. They’re losers.

  • Marion Mael Muire says:

    Outrageous!

    Absolutely outrageous!

    And all people of faith should be utterly outraged!

    Mom, you and Dad should be on the phone with an attorney yesterday!!!

  • Marion Mael Muire says:

    Mary, no more chats with anti-Catholic bigot Ihneneld!

    Give her the name and phone number of your attorney, and say, “Let our attorney know as soon as your board has reviewed the matter. He will let you know what further actions we may decide to take.”

    B*stards!

  • Marion Mael Muire says:

    Here is what a genuinely classy and elite and American operation says when presented with a young person who will be under the supervision over a Sunday, and indicates that she will need to be excused for religious exercises.

    And from the Get-Go:

    “Sure! I’m sure something can be worked out”

    or

    “Your church? Sunday? Well, I suppose so. Church? Yes, that’s important, isn’t it? We’ll figure out how we can make that work.”

    or

    “Of course. Participants who wish to go to church, mosque or synagogue over the weekend will need to have permission letters from their parents stating when and where they will be going, and how they will travel. We prefer a pre-paid taxicab.”

    Preferably, the latter.

    And if the volunteers somehow missed that, or didn’t get that, or didn’t hear that, or weren’t told, then Bigot Ihnenfeld should have sung it to you, Mary, from the rooftops, from the first moment you spoke together.

    Instead, you got this baloney song-and-dance about “oh, gee, someone else has to, gee, I don’t know.” As she twirls the end of her pigtail and kicks some dust with the toe of her Keds sneaker.

    If you buy that, I have . . . not a bridge . . . Ihnenfeld’s already got that wrapped up . . . but a tunnel in Brooklyn to sell you.

  • Mouse says:

    What a great young lady. It’s called “real commitment to Christ.” The supposed role models should learn something about it!

    I hope her stand changes their outrageous policy.

    Anyone who understands what the Mass is, and Who it is that we receive in Holy Communion, would understand that NOTHING is worth missing Mass for. To faithfully worship God on His day and worthily receive Holy Communion is more important than anything else one can do–those who don’t get this, have not really understood the Faith!!

  • Marion Mael Muire says:

    You know, I’ve been thinking: I could be wrong. I could have this issue all backwards.

    Maybe it’s not “young people of faith” whom this organization holds in contempt.

    After all, AL officials have pointed out that young participants of faith are free to “sacrifice” their religious observances. You know, as they would a hockey game, or a scout picnic.

    However, if it is the wish of the parents that their minor child should attend religious services of their own denomination during that program . . . and the parents also wish that their minor child not be refused permission to participate in the program or be otherwise discriminated against, then we have a case of the AL not holding young people of faith in contempt . . .

    . . . . they hold parents of young people of faith in contempt.

    Or maybe they hold the young people and the parents in contempt.

    I may have to rethink what I had written above. It may be worse than I thought.

  • Mary says:

    @Marion

    We have received an apology from both the member who wrote to us and Mrs. I

    I am not sure where you are getting your info but I spoke with Mrs. I… The lady I spoke with was not an anti-catholic bigot. She is a volunteer who was unaware of the teachings of the Catholic Church. Unfortunately for the last 10 years this program has run over a weekend, she said they have many Catholics who participate and no body has ever questioned this problem in the past. She listened to our concerns and explanations as to why with an open mind. She asked us for our suggestions. Her/their knowledge of church teaching had been formed by the example of Catholics who were not following Church teachings.

    This will be brought before their board for review, and she re-assured us that she would keep us informed on the matter. We have complete faith and confident that God is over seeing this entire matter. We do not need to get angry or aggressive. We need to maintain a heart of love and compassion and allow the Holy Spirit to do his work.

    I am so proud of Margeaux and her attitude, she is wise beyond her years. Margeaux did choose the elite group. She chose Christ and His Church. We do not have to worry, He will provide, He hasn’t let us down yet.

  • Marion Mael Muire says:

    Mary De Voe, thanks for your kind remarks. They are appreciated.

    I would be doing a disservice to my Catholic ancestors who suffered persecution and discrimination, if I didn’t say that I hope certain heads will roll at the AL over this matter.

  • Sean says:

    “a track meet or dance competition…”

    Ah, so in the view of the American Legion, the holy sacrifice of the Mass — instituted by Christ Himself as the perfect way of adoring Almighty God — is comparable to a track meet or a dance competition. Further, failing to to blur the distinction is a sign of an inability to make a sacrifice. What a telling insight about the American Legion, who seems to think it is more important than God.

  • anzlyne says:

    I guess so Sean. My thoughts are that None of those activities, like dance or sports competitions should even be scheduled on a Sunday. No matter how great the organization is sponsoring it. We as Catholics esteem the Holy Sacrifice as no other, but also other Christians should be allowed their services and attempts to keep the day Holy – a day set apart by God.
    There used to be strong societal proscriptions against even shopping for a gallon of milk on Sundays. Ach! (as another friend poster is wont to say)

  • Mary Ann says:

    She should go to Girls’ State, and leave the events for Catholic Mass nearby. Then, if punished or penalized, she can defend herself and/or sue. But she should go, with every intention of fulfilling her obligations. Preemptively backing out is sacrificial of her, but not brave.

  • Fr. JP says:

    To intentionally miss Sunday Mass or a Holy Day of Obligation is a mortal sin. God doesn’t understand our willful choice to disobey his commandments. The Catholic woman who wrote back to this this fine, upstanding and devout young lady back, is in a state of mortal sin if she has intentionally missed Sunday Mass or Holy Days of Obligation. One unrepented mortal sin can send a person to eternal hell. For her to tell her that “sacrifices” are to be made in life, that there are choices in life and God understands her choice to disobey the Third Commandment bespeaks of the sickening apostasy of people’s faith in this day and age in the USA, the pick and choose faith that only makes us comfortable. This person is not only is guilty of mortal sin but is actually encouraging others to follow her down the road to perdition. What prideful and disgusting arrogance to the sovereignty of God. We are a very spoiled and arrogant people. So many of our fellow Catholics throughout the world suffer each day because their government forces them to hide their faith under penalty of jail, torture or death, yet they freely and willingly go to underground Masses in homes, undercover of darkness or even the wilderness because their love for Jesus Christ and His Bride the Church, because they know in their heart that God comes first in all things, because they love the Eucharist and are willing to die to receive it, because the Blessed Virgin is their Mother and they follow her wherever she goes. And this so called leader of the ALA who claims to be Catholic is trying to make Margeux fell guilty about exercising her right not only as an American citizen but, more importantly, her Baptismal and canonical obligation to attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Divine Liturgy commentating of the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Disturbing and despicable.

  • Rosemary E. Lloyd says:

    No permitting this young lady to attend Mass because you think your leadership conference is more important is wicked and evil. She is showing true leadership by doing what she knows is right,even if it means being “punished” for it. Sure makes you people look like a bunch of clowns.

  • Catholic Mamma says:

    Thank you Miss Graham for being a true example of a Catholic living your faith, not just calling yourself Catholic in name only. I just shared your story with my young daughter and she thinks you are a heroine. So do I. We are in desperate need of young women and men like you in this culture. Please keep fighting, praying and being who God made you to be. As a Catholic mother I am so proud of you and of your mother. Courage! God Bless you.

  • MarkM says:

    My first thought was, gutsy kid. Way to stand firm on what you know is right. Second thought, why is the person responding saying anything aside from, that’s our arrangement, it doesn’t accommodate you and we have no plans to accommodate you, sorry it didn’t work out. But instead my second thought was shock and disgust at the claim of a sacrifice, as if obligations to faith are like indulging in some ice cream. I’m speechless that someone would attempt to undermine a determined young lady and even go after her faith, convictions or family to get some silly point across. Wow! Standing up for her values is in itself something we need more of. Misunderstanding the faith you claim to be a member of to the point Sunday mass is an option we could use less of.

  • Mack Hall says:

    Because of the VFW’s unexplained connections with labor unions — and the VFW was very defensive about this — I dropped my membership with them. I am very sorry to hear that apparently the American Legion, too, may be succumbing to fashionable anti-Americanism. I will certainly write them a polite but firm letter in this matter.

    Margeaux is demonstrating love of country far more truly than the American Legion is.

  • mary says:

    @Mack
    Each AL is Independent. The position in Florida is not reflective of every state and every AL. We actually had support from the AL…It was the auxiliary.

    Also keep in mind, the ALA has apologized and will be reviewing their policy. Be sure you read the follow to this story. For that we are grateful. Do not hold the actions of one or two people against the entire organization, especially when they have apologized and are working to make a change.

  • Laura says:

    How ironic that religious freedom is one of the rights she should be learning about at Girls’ State and yet she is being denied it. Sounds like her case is one that should be up for discussion by the entire group of girls. I think this year’s Girls State should go through the process of setting up a law to further define what is defined as a crime against religious freedom.

    BTW, it is wonderful to see how many really good people are defending the faith.

  • Capt. Blighe says:

    The American Legion Aux. is doing what it needs to be doing to save its bacon. Discrimination against Catholics will ingratiate the AL Aux to Obummer, who they need to get $$$$$$$ and avoid prosecution.
    Follow the money.
    Also, no-one is denying the girl any freedom. The AL Aux has their rules. If you don’t like them, don’t go. Which the girl, obviously, won’t.
    God shipped out from the Am. Legion long ago.

  • Marion Mael Muire says:

    Just for the record, I am hopeful that this matter can be worked out satisfactorily.

    However, for the record, I am not buying that any reasonable, well-meaning organization working with academically gifted young people should have in place a policy that the young people are not to be excused from the program, on a Saturday or a Sunday for a brief hour or two to attend religious exercises at a nearby house of worship, on a pre-arranged basis, with their parents’ permission, particularly if it is the wish, desire, and intention of the parents of the minor child, that the religious exercise is to be attended.

    THIS SHOULD BE A NO-BRAINER!!

    THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN A NO-BRAINER FROM THE GET-GO!

    Here’s what the answer should have been on Day One: “Of course, Mrs. Graham, sorry that the volunteer didn’t understand that it was your wish, and that Margeaux had your permission.”

    Parents are the ones who ultimately call the shots for every blessed moment of every blessed day that their minor children spend their time! Including the time minor children are spending in soi-disant elite programs. Parents call the shots, not the program, especially in serious or obligatory matters, and in matters that involve an hour or two and take place very close by.

    What if this minor child had some ongoing disability, such as a severe problem with her knee and ankle, and was undergoing therapy three times a week? And the parents informed the program that their minor child was perfectly up to participating in the program, but it was imperative that she be excused to meet with a therapist anywhere, such as in her dormitory room for a 45-minute therapy session to have a supervised workout, and needed to be briefly excused for this proceeding two or three times during the program. Do you think that anyone higher than a staff volunteer would need to say, “gee, I don’t know, we’ll have to review the matter . . . ” . . . ?

    Nope. Not if the have their act together.

    It would be, “Sure, Mrs. Graham. This is important, and we will see to it that Margeaux has no problem participating in the medically necessary therapy that you have arranged for her to undergo while she is under our supervision.”

    If they had the competence and the good intentions of even the average well-run business outfit, such as, oh, say, and automotive garage or ice cream shop, this would be a no-brainer. Minor child, serious matter, parents’ wish and written permission, arrangements all set up ahead-of-hand – badda bing! badda boom!

    Not a problem! You’ve got it, Grahams.

    That’s how a well-run and competent operation runs.

    Do they even know what time it is? Do they know where they are located on the map of Tallahasee, Florida? If there were a civil emergency, do they have a plan in place? Would they know how to change a tire if they had a flat?

    Bah!

    If the Grahams asked these AL Auxiliary folks: may we know briefly your plans for handling any civil emergency that might come up while our daughter is in your care with your program, would the AL Auxiliary folks say, “No, we really have no such information; that’s not our policy to tell parents anything about our emergency preparedness; we can’t help you; we’ll have to review that with our board.”

    Bah! Clueless, clueless.

    Which makes me say, no, no organization with the slightest pretenstions to having an “elite, presigious” program can possibly be that helpless, unable to function, and incompetent.

    It’s all very well and good that they are “apologizing” and “reviewing”, but I’m wondering, if a famous Florida sinkhole were to open up in the middle of the front plaza where this event is taking place during the course of the program, would these program organizers just . . . walk the girls right into its crumbling edges because to alter their path would require a review?

  • Marion Mael Muire says:

    “Dear Mrs. Graham, we’re sorry for being utterly and completely bereft of any idea whatsoever of how to operate as reasonable adults.

    Entrust your daughter to us for nine days anyway.

    Thank you. And again our apologies for being two fries short of a Happy Meal.

    Sincerely,

    The American Legion Auxiliary of Florida.”

    That’s the wording I want to see on their apology.

  • Valentin says:

    OK let us clear up this whole “personal issue”, if you are going to be Catholic you have to be fully Catholic that means at work, at home, at the bar, at a party, and in public. If somebody wrongly accuses you or lies in public you can bring it up in public, I certainly think it is probably wise not to bait the Nazis but if possible bringing such a thing to bear might aid in finding a solution to the problem because pussy footing does not help in asking people why they did something.

  • Patricia Cornell says:

    SO……..the Cathedral is across the street from this young woman’s classes of 9 days. A Cathedral should have a Mass, at least one on Sunday, unless the Cathedral is under some sort of renovation.

    Would not an hour on Sunday be permitted so anyone who wants to attend their respective religious program be allowed? So all the girls attending could go to a religious program of their liking. Does not the leadership program have some sort of religion component in the syllabus? What planet are we on here!

    Patricia in St. Louis, MO

  • Mary says:

    I wish we could click like next to the comments….

    The last two address core of the issue here. If they are going to run over Saturday and Sunday then they should accommodation all religious sects. Respect of religious creed is a critical element of there mission. Their protestant service is actually planned by their girls and executed. Which means that they have time allotted for the girls to work on this. They could make that an educational element of their program in some way shape or form. Really the easiest solution for this matter is to run from Sunday to Saturday like the boys state does. Catholics could go to mass on Saturday before and they are home for mass on Sunday.

    According to them they have a high number of Catholics and Catholic High schools that participate each year and this is the first time that it has come up. It is discouraging to hear that so many Catholics have ignored this for so many years.

  • Marion (Mael Muire) says:

    “According to them they have a high number of Cahtolics and Catholic high schools that participate each year, and this is the first time that it has come up.”

    Indeed.

    My, my! What a surprise!

    In’t that Margeaux Graham jis’ the meanist an’ the orneriest gal you’d ever want to meet?

    Makin’ a dust-up like this? About her goin’ ta her Papist Church on Sunday?

    Ah jes’ don’ know what this world is comin’ to; I really don’t!

    Let’s tell ‘er – ah know – let’s tell ‘er she’s th’only one! We’ve nevah had this come up before with all the many, many Papists who’ve come through here.

    That’ll flap her flippers real good. Spiteful li’l thang!

    That was one possibility.

    All right; maybe they really had never heard of any Catholics coming through the program wanting to attend Holy Mass. Maybe that’s all true. However, that raises a new question: shouldn’t it have been necessary to have some board review the decision to release this piece of information about Catholic participants in prior years, and “then get back to us” . . . ?

    Or maybe:

    (1) this is the first year that the program has run over the course of the entire weekend; perhaps in previous years the girls’ program ran from Sunday to Saturday, as the boys’ state does. So any faithful Catholic female participants were in previous years free to to assist at Holy Mass before reporting in to participate fully in the program.

    (2) in previous years, the girls’ program did run nine days, and in previous years, when faithful Catholic families learned that their minor children would be precluded and hindered from participating in the program AND meeting their Sunday obligations, as their parents wished, the parents decided not to have their daughters participate.

    Everything I hear out of this crew sounds more and more dodgy to me.

  • Patt says:

    Catholics should be VERY PROUD of Margeaux for stanching up. God bless her. All the officials, including the “Catholic” traitor–are wrong. Our country is in a Battle for religious freedom.

  • Art Deco says:

    According to them they have a high number of Catholics and Catholic High schools that participate each year and this is the first time that it has come up. It is discouraging to hear that so many Catholics have ignored this for so many years.

    I will wager them’s making this part up.

  • Marion (Mael Muire) says:

    Let’s see: this director of the program says she didn’t know that Catholics are obligated to attend Catholic services on Sunday; didn’t know that Margeaux’s mother had offered to drive to Tallahasee to convey her daughter to Mass; didn’t know that Margeaux’s parents had tried to follow up with an email . . .

    Didn’t know, didn’t know , didn’t know. . .

    But here’s one thing she knows: she knows that there are many Catholics who have participated in this program, and this difficulty about Mass has never come up before.

    That she knows.

    If this lady happened to comment to me that the sun was shining outside, I’d look out the window for myself before putting away my umbrella.

  • Dale Price says:

    Thank you for your responses and it looks like I touch a nerve where I simply meant to offer a different perspective…

    No, you came here to vent, call people names and feel superior to those tax collectors over there.

    Have a nice day.

  • Kerrie says:

    Dear Mary & Margeaux,

    I hope they do resolve this situation to a happy satisfaction. Providentially, the Holy Spirit novena has been going on these past 9 days. Happy Pentecost! Perhaps this cross was necessary for you to endure to bring the message of the LIVING Holy Spirit to this other uninformed (and a bit insulting) Catholic volunteer who clearly doesn’t understand her faith as well as for other future Catholic participants. If we have crosses, they are gifts from God He entrusts to our care to awaken His love in us as well as all of His other children. Perhaps this has made such a stir and with your charity, will cause others to reflect deeper on the seriousness with which people do take their faith. If people are free to be lukewarm, they must certainly be free to be devout.

    Of all the things troubling about how this was handled, it most sad that this woman would seek to minimize in stating this is the first time in 10 years it has been an issue, as though the problem is with you and not their format. It matters so little that you are the first to bring it up. It is a problem. It needs addressing. Period. End of Sentence. You are not the freak here for taking your faith seriously or making waves. You are faithful to the Church and trying to be to your country as well. It is commendable and admirable. If it is singled out, then know you are in good company with the saints, as another pointed out with St. Thomas More (had that feeling as well). I will ask his intercession since not only is he the patron of legal issues, which this is not, but also the first to start the trend in all of England and then onto Europe of educating his daughters in Latin and other topics formerly reserved only for sons and thereby the education of all women. Your daughter reaps these results, as do all of our daughters in the Western World, for his courage, faith and love. He will help you as you clear this matter.

    But the insults she gave to you as a mother, Mary, well that is hard to fathom b/c it is in print. It is one thing to accept a person’s rejection of attendance and yet another to add insult ontop of the obvious injury. This was in poor taste and reflect a lack of basic civility that seems par for the course with one who likewise belittles her own faith. You have made her uncomfortable and so she has lashed out and who knows, perhaps in the end, you will awaken her. She would not have needed to insult Mary’s ‘negative impact’ upon her daughter had she not felt threatened and convicted of her own lukewarm approach to her faith. She could’ve simply written it off and not needed to make these personal attacks. And yet in this month of May, the month of Mary, it is more than obvious she insults her Heavenly mother all the more than you as she derides your role as a mother and therefore all of motherhood, including her own earthly mother. Even if she thought these things, it is another thing to write them as a reflection of her own poor character and that reflects poorly of her understanding of mothers. I will pray for this woman in my rosary.

    As for attending mass if you do happen to go, (wow! I just looked up the Co-Cathedral and did not realize it was St. Thomas More–ha!), I hope it is a morning mass. We went one time to the student 6pm mass as we were on the road and running late (drive every year through Florida) and it was not a good experience; a bit scandalizing truth to be told. It was more of the students and less of the priest and so hopefully the morning mass will be different. We just vowed never to stop in again though we go to St. Louis sometimes off of I-10.

    Peace be with you and I pray this gets resolved shortly. It sounds like you are on the path!

    Kerrie

  • Mary says:

    Kerrie,
    Thank you for your kind words, they are appreciated. I hope you read the second article, it has Margeaux’s response to their letter, she did a great job. I am a middle child of 9, needless to say I have pretty thick skin. We believe that God had a bigger plans for Margeaux then attending Girls State, we are looking forward to opportunities that await her.

    God Bless,
    Mary

  • johnnyc says:

    Marion (Mael Muire)…..glad your on our side! :)

    Thank you to Margeaux and her mom for taking this to where it needed to go. God Bless!

  • Marion (Mael Muire) says:

    johnnyc wrote, “Marion (Mael Muire) . . . glad you’re on our side!”

    Thanks, . . . I think, johnny . . . Listen, I appreciate our faithful Catholic young people so much and want to do all I can to support them. Some people in my age group like to say that the Church’s future is over; it’s finished; the young aren’t faithful anymore . . . etc. I don’t see that at all. I see a good number of faithful Catholic young people who are devoted to Christ . . . they are my heroes. And I thank God for them.

  • Monica says:

    I’m very glad Margeaux is a witness to the importance of the Eucharist. And I’m very very glad she is proceeding in both strength *and* charity. Some of the almost knee jerk attack and ‘circle the wagons’! response we Catholics often have to stuff like this can be a poor witness to our faith. We have to take a stand, and hold our ground, but do so in CHARITY and not always assume the worst. Faith and Reason.

    It’s very sad Margeaux is the first Catholic to do this in the program’s experience. What a shame. But I’m glad she’s done this simple and basic thing- it needed to be done.

  • Dale Price says:

    That’s fine. But it’s not anyone else’s obligation to accommodate that during a voluntary program.

    Except that they already do, with their “inoffensive” accommodation of low-church Protestants. Some animals are more equal than others in Girls’ State.

    The military is also a voluntary activity, at present, but “inoffensive” sops to broad churchers only wouldn’t cut the mustard. Yes, I do recognize that the military is an arm of the state subject to the Constitution (albeit in a special way), but all analogies limp.

    No, it’s not what Christians are enduring in Muslim lands, or in China, but it’s still a good idea to at least recognize discrimination when it delivers an uppercut.

  • Marion (Mael Muire) says:

    “It’s very sad that Margeaux is the first Catholic to do this in the program’s experience.”

    “I would not assume the organizers are telling the truth about that.”

    In all charity, I would like to suggest that instances in which faithful Catholics had inquired about an accomodation in the form of permission to depart the premises to attend Holy Mass, with their parents’ written knowledge and consent, and had met with refusal by the program, may not have communicated themselves to this particular spokesperson, and if they did, the spokesperson may have experienced a transient and inexplicable spell of forgetfulness with regard to them.

    That much more fortuitous for all concerned, then, that Margeaux’s valor has brought this question to an ineffable forefront.

  • Foxfier says:

    With the college Catholic group having Mass there, at 6pm on a Sunday? Yeah, I’m pretty sure anybody else worried about it just went. Never made any high-level waves because whoever is chaperoning wasn’t going to insist that the girls miss Mass when it’s right there, and didn’t mention it to anyone above them who might get angry because it’s a technical violation. Pretty common in the enlisted areas. ^.^

  • Cynthia Trainque says:

    Bravo for Margeaux’s faith coming first! Bravo for one so young to do this! I would make the exact same chice as Margeaux if I had to — and write the same letter. Shame on those who require faith-filled students like Margeaux to have to choose between their faith and a civil commitment.

  • Dr. George Richter, CMfgE says:

    May Margeaux’s future be blessed! She is an exceptional person, truly understanding that Holy Mass is our Lord’s real presence and sacrifice for us. And acting accordingly!

  • John R. Briscoe says:

    Doc Kimbel; where in the world did you come up with the Mason’s having anything to do with this issue? As a Mason, I am offended by your remarks, and as a Paid Up For Life member, and twice Past Commander of my local American Legion Post, I find you to be less than honorable, lacking in knowledge of the topic, and totally unbelievable. The young lady should get a medal for taking her stand, and young people across this country would be wise to head her words of wisdom.

  • Jesusfreak says:

    After she accused Margeaux’s mother of creating a “negative impact” on her daughter, the officer went on to scold, “Life is full of choices and she will be faced with many in her lifetime. One of life’s lessons is she can’t go through life blaming others for the decisions she makes.”

    Wow really? an adult responded with insults? I am sorry but who is the adult & the child? or better who is the Christian & not? . . . I cannot believe the condescending & insulting reply the director gave to this girl. Margeaux gave a good rising above it, well thought out letter & this is the immaturity she gets in return? . . . news flash to this director Mass every Sunday is a “HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION” & we are to “Sacrifice” things of the world & of man to attend “Mass” the Holy Sacrifice not the other way around! I can’t stand watered down, liberal Catholics! they are an insult to the entire Roman Catholic Church & also all Eastern Orthodox churches too! How dare she put some man made organization before God! & have the nerve to make such a statement. newsflash to this director…NO ONE NEEDS this organization or what they offer on a college resume to get a good solid education! biggest bunch of BULL! I am sorry but this woman to me & to many Catholics is not really Catholic! If she really were, her response would have reflected alot more of Christ’s love than what she exhibited in her response! Her response says ALOT! I don’t understand why these students or girls can’t be given sundays off! If I were Margeaxu’s mother I’d have a whole lot to say to this woman along with a law suit! & you damn sure bet I’d go to the news & demand an apology to my daughter for speaking to her like that! that was completely uncalled for by the director! if I were a priest & knew this director & knew of the situation I would deny her communion over it! its insulting ….to the Eucharist!

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