Let’s start with a simple question: Can you spot what’s wrong with this picture of a group of praying teens?
It may seem harmless, but there’s a lot of people that have a problem with it. See, the picture was posted by a California journalist after it was sent to him by one of the pictured teen’s parents. She sent it to point out that in a culture where young people are making some poor choices, there are those that are making good ones.
“I want to share a picture of my daughter and her friends from prom night,” Noelle Smith wrote to KTVU journalist Frank Somerville. “Now with the stories today about teenagers and tide pods and condoms gathering headlines—this picture speaks for itself.”
“So impressed with these young people on their prom date at Longhorn,” she added. “They all said Grace before eating and were all well behaved.”
Sommerville agreed, so much so that he posted the picture on his Facebook page:
But here’s the thing: A LOT of people had a problem with it and some lost their minds.
- “So now we are supposed to praise kids for praying to an invisible man in the sky for animals that were slaughtered so they could eat? Maybe they should be thanking that animal for giving up it’s [sic] life so they could eat instead. So tired of Christians pushing their beliefs onto everyone else.”
- “I’m so tired of the arrogance many religious people display and their disdain for non-believers. If you are confidant [sic] in your beliefs then you don’t feel the need to ‘save’ everyone else.”
- “I’m glad these kids feel bold in saying grace in public – but I would never assume it’s a litmus test for the worth of their character. I’ve known plenty of people who are very public in their proclamations but not very practiced Christians.”
- “Frank, these types of stories are not news. They’re not even inspirational. Whether you’re religious or not, it doesn’t make you good people. I’ve seen terrible Christians and amazing Atheists. I don’t get the point of this pic. I really don’t.”
- “Behaving well at a restaurant while in your late teens, and being considerate to people, should not be Facebook praise worthy.”
Sommerville, however, wasn’t having any of it. He responded:
“I’m honestly surprised by some of these comments.. i wasn’t trying to imply that you have to be a christian to be a good person.. what i see from these kids is that they are respectful… that they are humbled… and that they are appreciative for what they have. … i could care less whether they are religious…. but by saying grace it shows me that they have those qualities.. and those are the qualities… regardless of whether you believe in god … that i admire.”
According to one the kids’ grandmother, one of the girls pictured “is an honor roll student, had taken AP classes for 2 years, plays softball and soccer and after graduation will be going into the [Air Force].”
Seems like the “good kids” label is more than warranted, don’t you think?