A couple of years ago a cousin graduated from a Tech school. We went to the graduation, which I think was probably the most raucous graduation ceremony I’ve ever attended.
I was conflicted a bit about the raucousness of the event. On one hand I hate stiff bogus ceremonies that nobody much cares for, that they have to get dressed up for and suffer through. I hate inauthenticity and I think a lot of the events people are forced to attend are phony bullshit and so I should welcome a lively one.
On the other hand I felt a bit bad for the people who didn’t have a cheering section or whose section was not prone to cheering. Plus, many cheerers continued to cheer through the names of other graduates than their own, which is pretty fucking disrespectful. But none of this is really the point of this post.
The point of this post is the invocation. There was an invocation and it was delivered by an energetic man in a snappy grey suit. He ranged back and forth across the stage of the Unity Center and spoke about how he “knows a man.” And this man was the giver of all that was good and this man parted the sea and this man was the hope and the light or something (by now y’all know who he’s referring to), and he even said that this man said that if you graduate you’ll be saved (I don’t even know what he meant by that AND I want to see a chapter/verse reference on that because I think Jesus sellers often just make a lot of their shit up on the fly).
There were two parts to the invocation, the rousing southern gospel sermon part and the rousing southern gospel bow your heads and thank Jesus part.
The institution my cousin graduated from is private, they can have an invocation and have it delivered by anyone they like. And anyone who wasn’t a part of the speaker’s particular brand of Christianity got the message loud and clear. The message is “you don’t belong,” and it is one of the primary messages religion delivers (along with “you suck” and “you will be crushed” and a few other gems). I don’t know if there were any Jews or Muslims or Hindus there, hell I may have been the only admitted atheist in attendance. But as soon as this man began to speak I knew what I was in for. Shit.