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Picture of teens praying at dinner sparks debate on social media

A photograph of teenagers saying a prayer at a California restaurant on prom night, posted on Facebook by an Oakland journalist, has caused a stir on social media, Fox News reported.

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Frank Somerville, who works for KTVU in Oakland, California, said he was sent a photograph of the teens saying grace at a Longhorn Steakhouse. He shared the photo and a comment from Noelle Smith on Facebook, Fox News reported.

“I want to share a picture of my daughter and her friends from prom night,” Smith was quoted as saying. “Now with the stories today about teenagers and Tide pods and condoms gathering headlines -- this picture speaks for itself.”

Smith also said she was “so impressed” with the group, who “all said Grace before eating and were all well behaved.”

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People reacting to Somerville’s post questioned whether the teens depicted were “nice kids” just because they were praying. 

“Saying grace over your food says nothing of your moral compass, integrity or character … Behaving well at a restaurant while in your late teens, and being considerate to people, should not be Facebook praiseworthy,” one poster wrote.

“I see well behaved people doing terrible things, misbehaved people who just take care of someone in need. Being a (C)hristian doesn’t mean they are well behaved,” argued another.

Several people defended Somerville’s post. One wrote that “not once did (Somerville) say that these kids are any better than non-Christian kids.” 

Somerville told Fox News that he was “surprised by how many people took offense.”

"What I took from the picture that that by saying grace on their prom night, it showed that they have qualities that I admire, qualities like respect and appreciation," he said. "But to be clear … you certainly don't have to say grace to have those qualities. I should also say that I enjoy and encourage people to have honest discussions on my posts. I think that's how we learn, by hearing different points of view.”

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