Watch Principal Kevin Lowery Sneak References to God Into Public High School Graduation (VIDEO)

(Screenshot: Tuna Fish/YouTube)

As principal at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, Mo., Kevin Lowery wanted to thank God in his remarks during last month's graduation. He was well aware of the ban on religious references in public meetings, so he found a way to get around it.

He snuck in references to God into his introduction without outright leading a prayer or directly thanking the Lord. At one point, he reminded students that "In God We Trust" is found on U.S. currency. Also, he shares that during a moment of silence, he "gave thanks to God for these great students, their parents, their teachers and for this community."

While the audience at large applauded Lowery's back-door praises, atheist groups have criticized his remarks. Atheist blogger Hemant Mehta called them "completely inappropriate," while Jerry Coyne, an evolutionary biologist the University of Chicago, pronounced them "a violation of the First Amendment."

What do you think about Kevin Lowery sneaking references to God at this public high school graduation?