Alvin Dupree Jr. is a man of God, the pastor of his local church, he also serves on the board of education. His campaign based on him being a “Man of God First” and his assurance he would stand for Christian values.
So, North High School invited Pastor Dupree was to present the commencement address, it shouldn’t have been a surprise that he would discuss his relationship with Jesus Christ and say the words “God bless!” at the end of his speech.
Apparently, some people didn’t get the word that Dupree was a pastor and sent complaints to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, according to the group. The complainants order that the pastor be barred from speaking at other public ceremonies.
The FFRF is a group based in Wisconsin of atheists, agnostics, and “free thinkers”. The group is known to get upset at any mention of the name Jesus Christ.
In a letter to the school district FFRF demands,
“We also ask that the (school board) take appropriate actions to condemn Dupree’s unconstitutional conduct, censuring or reprimanding him as appropriate, and taking steps to remove him from the board if necessary.”
The FFRF also argues that by ending his speech with a “God bless!” the pastor was “abusing his position to promote religion”, and that the statements were “grossly inappropriate.”
Dupree is a 20-year Marine veteran. During an interview on a radio show, he states, “It’s an attack on those of us who are open about our faith. The Freedom From Religion Foundation and those who think like them are trying to prohibit those of us who will publicly speak up about our faith.”
“I won’t be silenced. I fought for the freedom of speech. I have a father who served in the Army. My daughter serves in the Army. My wife served in the Navy and we all believe in serving God, serving our country, serving our communities,” He went on to say.
The pastor explains that he supports the freedom of speech and religion for everyone, no matter what religion it may be, but that because of the “umbrella of inclusion, they want to exclude those of us who have (Christian) faith.