Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pubescent brownshirt suffers prayer-panic in Rhode Island





Prayer sparks atheist’s fight



01:00 AM EDT on Tuesday, October 11, 2011

By Paul Davis

Journal Staff Write
The Providence Journal / Kathy Borchers

CRANSTON

As a high school freshman, Jessica Ahlquist wore shiny braces, read books and never missed an episode of “Dr. Who,” a TV show about a time-traveling alien who saves civilizations, helps people and rights wrongs.
She bakes cookies shaped like Charles Darwin, too.

“I was very shy,” says the 5-foot-tall student.
At her press conference.

Hardly anyone noticed her — until she spotted a school prayer affixed to a wall in the auditorium of her new school, Cranston High School West.

When she regained consciousness, she told paramedics: "Take me to the ACLU!"

The prayer, still on display, begins “Our Heavenly Father,” and urges students to “grow mentally and morally.” Amen, it ends.

It was the 'mental and moral growth' that really ticked her off.   


That’s illegal, thought Ahlquist, who began speaking up about the prayer at school meetings.
A mundane prayer on a plaque on a wall in a school is "illegal". If we only had a Constitution that guaranteed freedom of speech....

Now, more than a year later, the 16-year-old junior is at t
he center of a U.S. District Court suit that alleges the prayer — on display in the school for nearly 50 years — violates the First Amendment.
The courts have plenty of time on their hands.

The Rhode Island Affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union filed the suit on Ahlquist’s behalf in April, alleging the prayer makes Ahlquist feel “excluded, ostracized and devalued as a member of the school community” because she does not share the religious beliefs on display. Ahlquist is an atheist.
Atheists have diaphanous egos. They're paragons of courage, reason, and logic. But with a brief glance at a prayer they collapse in exclusion, ostracism, and devaluation.

What a horrendous assault on her shy fragile soul spirit whatever.

To recover from her exclusion, ostracism and devaluation, she calls the police and sues her school district. Her complaint: 'I saw a prayer in my school'.

Her lawyers are seeking a court order to force officials to remove the prayer, which they claim violates the First Amendment’s establishment clause, which bars the government from promoting religious messages.
Censorship. Atheist boilerplate. Can you think of a single atheist lawsuit that protected freedom of speech?

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Ronald R. Lagueux is scheduled to consider the injunction and Ahlquist’s suit against the City of Cranston and the School Committee.
Federal judges are the prefect folks to be deciding what the people of Cranston put on the walls of their schools for their children.

“It’s a cutting-edge case that raises some important issues,” says Joseph V. Cavanagh Jr., one of several lawyers representing the school and city.

“Both sides,” he adds, “are passionate about the issue.”
One side (the people of Cranston) are passionate about freedom of speech and freedom of religion. The other side (the publicity-seeking little brownshirt and the ACLU) are passionate about censorship and suppression of religion.

In addition to Cavanagh — who frequently represents The Providence Journal –– the school is represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a conservative legal group in Washington, D.C. All of the lawyers are working pro bono for the school.

According to Cavanagh and the other attorneys, the case centers on preserving the past.
It's about preserving the Constitution, which guarantees free exercise of religion and freedom of speech, which is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.

In March, the School Committee voted to keep the prayer because it is a historic document created more than 50 years ago — along with a school creed, school colors and a mascot — to give the new school an identity and tradition, they say.

The vote was “based not upon some desire to inject religion into the public schools,” but on a belief “that school history and tradition should be maintained,” they argue.
No one, including the little victim, is required to assent to, read, or even look at the prayer.

In the last five decades, thousands of students, teachers, parents and residents have attended events in the auditorium, say Cavanagh and others.

“Except for the complaint that is the subject of this case, the record is devoid of any complaints about the mural.”
Thats because everyone else is sane and respects the rights of others.

Ahlquist’s attorneys –– Thomas R. Bender and Lynette Labinger, a Providence Housing Court judge –– disagree.

They say a similar prayer mural at the Bain Middle School “was quietly removed” after the ACLU filed its suit.
"Remove the prayer, or we'll destroy you financially. "  What to do...?

And before their vote to keep the prayer, School Committee members spoke about their religious beliefs — proof that their reasons are religious and not historic, they say.
Religious speech police, on the job.

In their arguments, both sides invoke New England’s early religious leaders — from the pious Puritans to Rhode Island founder Roger Williams, an early proponent of religious freedom and the separation of church and state.
A prayer isn't the church, and a school isn't the state. And 'separation of church and state' appears nowhere in the Constitution, which was ratified in a Congress in which prayers were invoked often.

“This is a state with a long tradition of religious freedom,” say the lawyers for the school and city. But it is a state with an “equally long tradition of religious expression in public.”



The issue surfaced in summer 2010, when a parent complained about the prayer to the ACLU.
"9-11. Can I help you?"

"....(noise, screaming, panic)... I've...I've... seen a...a...a... prayer... "

"Relax, Sir. Psychiatrists are on the way. Are you breathing ok...?"

In response, Executive Director Steven Brown asked Cranston School Supt. Peter L. Nero to remove the prayer mural, a 1963 gift from the school’s first graduating class.
"Remove it, and no one gets hurt, except for my usual and customary legal fees, damages, pain and suffering..."

“I understand that this prayer may have been posted in the auditorium for a long time. However, the crucial protections of the Bill of Rights have been around even longer,” Brown wrote.
The Bill of Rights was enacted to prevent public expression of religious belief... wasn't it?

Officials reviewed Brown’s request in 2010 and 2011.

Ahlquist, then a sophomore, remembers speaking at the first meeting.

Her "shyness" had remissions.  


“I didn’t want to talk. I was terrified of saying I was an atheist.
So don't say it.

When I spoke, I heard a gasp.

It was laughter.
I knew then that people didn’t share my beliefs. It was an unwelcoming atmosphere. People belittled me and treated me like a little kid.”
You are a little kid. A litigious closed-minded atheist little kid.

In March, after a heated debate, the School Committee voted 4 to 3 to continue to display the prayer.
But that's democracy! That's not in the Constitution!

“We don’t want to erase our schools’ history because one person in the history of the school objects,” said School Committee member Frank S. Lombardi in a news release.
An atheist is an army of 1.

A banner near the main entrance to the school explains what the school expects of its students.

A Cranston West graduate, it says, should be “an informed, involved citizen who advocates for positive changes ...”
Censorship, litigation and anti-Christian bigotry is so... positive.

Jessica Ahlquist grew up in Warwick and Coventry, the daughter of an atheist firefighter father and a “spiritual” mother. She was baptized in a Catholic church in Providence, bur rarely went to church.

“My parents encouraged me to ask questions and think for myself,” she says.

Unless she sees a prayer, in which case she collapses.  


She began questioning religion at 10, after her mother became ill. “I was praying and it wasn’t helping.”

In the fifth grade, she cried when she learned about American slavery. A few years later, she reacted in the same way to the Holocaust.

Such a sensitive soul. She'd never sue anyone, or try to censor a little prayer....

When a friend showed her the school prayer at Cranston West, she told her father, who said, “What do you want to do?”

“I wanted to say something, but I was busy with my final exams, and I didn’t know who to talk to,” she says.
"Hello, ACLU, this is Jessica. Can you help me censor the people in my school district?"

Later, when a school board subcommittee met to discuss the issue, Ahlquist spoke up.
Free speech is important to Jess. Not to others, though.

Since then, she says, students and adults have called her a “stupid atheist,” an ACLU tool, a witch and a “media whore.” They’ve also threatened her through e-mails or at school, she says.
What a terrible thing to say. She's not a witch.

A former classmate told her that, if she knew what he really thought of her, she would kill herself, she says.
That's sooo not nice. She's considering suing.

After the school prayer complaint, Ahlquist create d a Facebook group to support the prayer’s removal. She’s appeared on TV and radio, been a speaker for the Secular Student Alliance and has appeared on YouTube videos.
She's overcoming her shyness.

Next month, the ACLU will present her with the William G. McLoughlin First Amendment Award, named after a Brown University history professor and liberal activist.
She's also a finalist for the annual Stalin award, named after a fellow atheist who also got testy about free expression of religion. Here's hoping...

Her frequent appearances, say the lawyers for the city and school, show that she does not fear harassment, as she claims in her suit. “These are not the actions of a frightened student, but of a zealous advocate.”
She struggles so with shyness. The press conferences are so therapeutic.

The lawyers also question her delay in addressing the school prayer issue. And they note that in some interviews, Ahlquist calls the prayer’s message a positive one.
The prayer invokes mental and moral growth. She needs it.

Ahlquist says she made the statement to stop future threats and insults. She says she never imagined the issue would become so public — and so overwhelming.
Right. Censoring your friends and neighbors and dragging them into federal court to gag them usually goes unnoticed.

“At first, I saw this as a legal issue. But people on the other side have turned this into a religious war against atheists.”

Right. She sues her friends and neighbors in federal court to deprive them of the right to free expression of religion and freedom of speech. 

They don't like that.

That's proof that they are attacking her.

The proper court ruling on this farce will be to tell her that she can ignore the prayer, if she wants to. It's a free country. For everyone. And she and the ACLU can reimburse the good people of Cranston for all of their legal fees incurred in their defense against this pubescent totalitarian and her atheist enablers. 

55 comments:

  1. Dr. Egnor is now mocking a high school girl! Onward Christian soldier!

    We’re not really free until we all recognize the right of the majority to use government institutions to force their religion on others.

    -KW

    ReplyDelete
  2. Public display of Christian prayers is disgusting.

    Christianity is a false religion created to mock Allah.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Muhammed (pbuh) would kick Jesus' ass (dbih) any day!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mike,
    I certainly hope you are right about the verdict. If not, they may as well tear up their charter.
    One has to wonder where the father stood in this situation. I know if my son had come home asking to sue his High School for pushing materialism or Islam in the science classroom (some teacher did) I would have advised him to simply speak his mind, and that we would react if they attempted to silence or bully him. Only if they attempted to SILENCE HIM, not in order SILENCE THEM. I don't agree with their views, but the kids SHOULD hear them. The kids have to live in the REAL world, not an academic bubble graph.
    That is the difference in the two sides of the moral-censorship debate. One side wants to include traditional religious moralities when desired or required by the students and staff IN ADDITION to other and foreign ideas, the other wants to SILENCE any dissent from dogma. The former is grounded in reality, the latter based on current theory, grand assumptions, and PURE conjecture.
    I actually kind of feel sorry for this kid. I think she is a tool for her father's agenda.
    Ironic the holocaust is cited as a reason for her social disorder. Social Darwinism, and Positivism justify old hatreds and prejudices, that leads to genocide... so she embraces it and rejects the philosophy of those who were killed.
    It seems is motivated by fear and resentment. She fears being on the 'losing side' (ie death), and resents that God did not save her mother when she begged Him to. Poor mixed up kid. I truly feel the blame lays at the feet of Dad here.
    Sad, really.

    ReplyDelete
  5. @crus:

    I note with irony that the ACLU attorney's last name is... Nero.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Actually, Mr. Nero is on the other side... I need more coffee...

    ReplyDelete
  7. "The kids have to live in the REAL world"

    Said a religious fanatic.

    The irony is strong with this one.

    ReplyDelete
  8. LOL, Mike.
    I hear and second that motion! (Coffee)
    I just had a funny thought.
    Perhaps the proper response to these 'actions' would be to consider them a 'cry for help'. In responding to this, perhaps the local church groups could organize prayers for her. Maybe hold a vigil for her Mum....
    You know on the PUBLIC streets outside the school, in parks, near her home. Maybe they could all say 'God bless you and your Mum' each time they see her... things like that. I know the atheists would consider this a form of harassment, but let them prove THAT in court. As for the girl herself, such activity may just melt her iron fist. If not it would clearly show which is the inclusive and compassionate side.
    Just a thought....
    Now for that Coffee!

    ReplyDelete
  9. CrusadeRex, Wow, openly advocating for the organized harassment of a high school girl. How low can you go.

    -KW

    ReplyDelete
  10. @crus:

    Great idea. I'm serious. There needs to be a vigorous Christian response to this thuggery. Conspicuous public prayer, perhaps ordinary students posting prayers on the wall all over the school (students aren't "the state"), spontaneous prayers at high school graduations.

    Defiance.

    ReplyDelete
  11. @KW:

    [CrusadeRex, Wow, openly advocating for the organized harassment of a high school girl. How low can you go.]

    Free speech. Bummer, ain't it? Call it "Occupy Atheism". Has a ring to it.

    And what do you think that the decades long assault on the American public by atheist assholes and the ACLU is is not "organized harassment'?

    You need a taste of your own medicine.

    ReplyDelete
  12. So, protesting a clear violation of the U.S. Constitution is "thuggery"? The school is a public school. A creature of the government, and despite your whining that it somehow isn't, it is a state actor. Hence, it may not express any endorsement of religion.

    You are correct that the words "separation of church and state" do not appear in the Constitution. But the words "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion", a provision that has been applied to the states as a consequence of the Reconstruction amendments to the Constitution. Posting a prayer as an official action, which this has been done, is a prohibited endorsement of religion. And thus is unConstitutional. I know that thugs like you aren't used to having your thuggery called out, so you project and call the minority (whose rights the Constitution is intended to protect) thugs, but the only thugs are the loudmouthed jackasses like you who are finally being called on their jackassery and are braying in shock that you can't run roughshod over everyone else anymore.

    This is not preventing the free exercise of religion or free speech. You can pray all you want - as a private citizen. You can whine loudly all you want about it, as you have done. What you can't do is get the state, via a public school, to endorse any religious views. So go ahead, violate Matthew 6:5 by wandering the halls ostentatiously praying out loud for everyone - show us what hypocrites you truly are. But don't expect to be able to use the government to give you an assist.

    The Cranston school board will lose. This is a foregone conclusion. If the case reached the Supreme Court, Justices Alito, Roberts, and Scalia would whack the school board over the head and rule against them. The only ones who are costing them money are themselves, with their stupid refusal to obey the law.

    Oh, and your post formatting skills suck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You covered everything I intended to say.

      A grown man with intelligence to become a medical doctor, but he can't--or rather won't--understand what the Constitution says or even that it is wrong to bully and lie about a little girl, and still has the effrontery to say that non-Christians are the ones who are morally bankrupt.

      Delete
  13. I certainly hope you are right about the verdict. If not, they may as well tear up their charter.

    He's wrong. This is about as close to an open and shut case as one can find in 1st Amendment jurisprudence. The Cranston School Board will lose, and will likely be required to pay the opposing side's legal fees. Cranston is being poorly served by its school board here, because they have decided to engage in a fight they will not win.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great idea. I'm serious. There needs to be a vigorous Christian response to this thuggery. Conspicuous public prayer, perhaps ordinary students posting prayers on the wall all over the school (students aren't "the state"), spontaneous prayers at high school graduations.

    Matthew 6:5. I suppose you haven't heard of it? Or are you afraid that if you don't wail about your faith in public that it is so wimpy that it will whither and die off? Or are you just afraid that without state assistance your faith can't hold its own in the minds of the citizenry?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Fred Phelps would be proud of you Dr. Egnor.

    -KW

    ReplyDelete
  16. The thing that is truly funny about this is that Egnor thinks his counterfactual version of jurisprudence and history is going to carry any weight. It won't. The school board is about to have it's head handed to them on this.

    I just suppose it goes to show that when you spend your time obsessing over fantasy without checking whether your ramblings about the world actually match up to reality, you start to think that all you have to do is wish really hard and everything will conform to your delusions.

    ReplyDelete
  17. @KW:

    Right. People who feel the way I do-- 95% of the American public-- are all just like Fred Phelps.

    Atheists have such refined insight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No cretin, the number of people who are in favor of overturning the Constitution and of bullying little girls (doe that give you an erection, by the way?), is thankfully small. We just want it to go down to 0--and the way to do that is through education, lest your degenerate imagination starts making your nazified accusations against me.

      And I am going to sign this e-mail, since I take pride in heaping scorn upon villainous fool like you, and I notice you have your reply system set to force people without A facebook account to post anonymously. I don't want you claiming you're the victim of anonymous attacks.

      Helena Constantine.

      Delete
  18. @anon:

    [The thing that is truly funny about this is that Egnor thinks his counterfactual version of jurisprudence and history is going to carry any weight. It won't. The school board is about to have it's head handed to them on this.]

    Perhaps. Totalitarians have a long track record of victories.

    [I just suppose it goes to show that when you spend your time obsessing over fantasy without checking whether your ramblings about the world actually match up to reality, you start to think that all you have to do is wish really hard and everything will conform to your delusions.]

    Yea. I've got this delusion that we are all endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights.

    You don't share that fantasy, obviously.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Perhaps. Totalitarians have a long track record of victories.

    Only someone living in a fantasy land would equate the enforcement of the provisions of the U.S. Constitution with "totalitarianism". Every word you write on this subject just shows you to be a clueless rube.

    Yea. I've got this delusion that we are all endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights.

    Those rights (contained in a document with no legal force by the way) are enumerated as "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". Which of these rights have been infringed by asking that the 1st Amendment be respected and a state endorsement of religion be taken down?

    Your right to life? Nope. Not infringed. No one is intent on killing you. I have seen several people with that Jessica would die. if there's any infringing going on here, it seems to be coming from the theist side of the equation.

    Your right to liberty? Nope. Not infringed You are perfectly free to do anything you want to that is congruent with the Constitution. No one is preventing you from braying out prayers to your heart's content. You just can't get the state to do it for you. Your rights are intact.

    Your right to pursue happiness? Nope. Not infringed. You can run off to church and eat crackers all you want if that makes you happy. You just can't make the state espouse religion.

    Once again, reality is at odds with your fantasies. But facts have never been your strong suit.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Right. People who feel the way I do-- 95% of the American public-- are all just like Fred Phelps.

    So, you seriously think that 95% of the American public thinks that the state should endorse religion in schools?

    You are delusional.

    ReplyDelete
  21. She sues her friends and neighbors in federal court to deprive them of the right to free expression of religion and freedom of speech.

    Explain what individual is having their rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion infringed upon by Alquist's actions. Here's a tip: those rights are individual, not collective, and are not held by any government entity.

    Here's another tip: if you don't want to have your school board sued, then maybe they shouldn't engage in illegal actions.

    ReplyDelete
  22. “Right. People who feel the way I do-- 95% of the American public-- are all just like Fred Phelps.”

    No, only the ones who endorse an organized harassment campaign against a young woman are like Fred Phelps. Ironically, it’s this young woman, not you, who’s fighting for true religious liberty.

    -KW

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  23. All Mr Hydes today, and not a doctor Doctor Jekyll in sight!
    All sorts of Anons.
    Judging by the varying syntax I would say more than one - or one SERIOUSLY dysfunctional chicken shit conformist.
    Anyway...Seems you have hit a nerve, Mike.
    Nothing really worth responding to. All nasty personal garbage. 'Ghwal ghwal' as they say in Pashto. Not even good for the garden.
    But, seeing as I was quoted and he at least ID's himself, I will respond to KW.
    KW wrote:
    "Wow, openly advocating for the organized harassment of a high school girl. How low can you go. "
    I knew the folks on your side would see prayer and good wishes as harassment.
    Truly weak.
    Here is the truth of it: You would rather ISOLATE this child from her culture and community. You would shelter her from her peers and possible lifelong friends - and very probably from a catharsis or release of her pain..for WHAT?
    So she can keep feeling sorry for herself and try to pass on her MISERY to others? What type of dysfunctional brat do you think she should grow into?
    Patheticly WEAK position, KW...even for an atheist.


    She OBVIOUSLY wants the attention of the religious community in her area. I say give it to her. It is exactly what she needs. Loss is a very powerful pain. She needs love, not isolation and self pity.
    Poor thing.

    (Better cover you eyes Atheists)
    May God bless her and guide her back to happiness. May He keep the darkness at bay and let her find love and life down whatever path that may be.
    We pray: In the name of the Father, the Son, and The Holy Spirit.
    Amen.
    (you can take your blinders off now)

    See? No one died, no heads exploded, no children were harassed.
    (Herp may have derped, but he/it will live)
    Just a simple wish and prayer for the well being of this child. Maybe if she saw that from her peers and friends, she may feel differently about a plaque on a school wall.
    She may decide that being agnostic or atheist does not require one to be pretentious BRAT.
    There is still hope for this kid.
    Plenty of life and plenty of hope.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She is being threatened with rape and murder by you Chrisitans--you have a long hsitroy of organizing activities like that ont he orders of Yahweh, after all.

      The reason all of these posts are anonymous is because Engor (wasn't he an assistant to Dr. Frankenstein, once?) has set up this cite to force that. Any other site allows people to post with their name and an e-mail (to be kept private), Engor requires a URL, so if you don't have your own web-site , you can't post with your name, genius. But he set that up so that he, and his pathicks like you, can claim we are being cowardly. This is what known as a damned lie.

      Helena Constantine

      Delete
  24. If anonymous had a brain she'd be dangerous to society.

    Hey anon, in the famous words of Dorothy, "What would you do with a brain if you had one?"

    Poor little atheist scum bags, can't stand any kind of truth or anyone else's freedom, so pleasssseeee leave!!

    Go post you inanities and raving mad incantations of madman Dawkins and hypocrite Darwin over on the Islamic terrorists sites.

    I wish they will give you their usual welcome.

    Anons, you are asinine, effeminate, loud-mouthed cowards and rampallian scomm, that's all.

    Atheists, now they're playing the poor little innocent victims. How much lower can they go?

    Pitiful, just pitiful.

    ReplyDelete
  25. “Here is the truth of it: You would rather ISOLATE this child from her culture and community. You would shelter her from her peers and possible lifelong friends - and very probably from a catharsis or release of her pain..for WHAT? “
    The ones doing the isolating are the anti-atheist bigots, not those that support her. If her so-called friends what to shun her she needs new friends, and she will find them.
    “I knew the folks on your side would see prayer and good wishes as harassment.”
    No kidding, you said as much above, and you’re right. That’s what I was responding to. Of course its harassment and you know it. Good wishes, give me a break; you’ll preach love and Jesus to her face and call her a “brown shirt” and a “pretentious BRAT” behind her back. Disgusting.

    -KW

    ReplyDelete
  26. Gary H,

    I checked out your profile, and you forgot to list “Hateful Bigotry” in your interests.

    -KW

    ReplyDelete
  27. KW,
    It is obvious from the above comment you did not read the article. What is truly 'disgusting' is your low level of attention.
    You seem to miss the point, entirely and once more. Nobody gives a shit whether this kid wants to call herself an atheist...well except her FATHER.
    You'd know that if you READ THE BLOODY ARTICLE.
    But HELP them? No.No 'kin selection' here.
    You would rather weaponize her grief to push your bullshit ideas of earthy utopia in a high school.
    Again: NO ONE is telling her she cannot be an atheist.
    That is just NOT the issue.
    Even if you REALLY want it to be....

    ReplyDelete
  28. @KW
    " Good wishes, give me a break; you’ll preach love and Jesus to her face and call her a “brown shirt” and a “pretentious BRAT” behind her back. Disgusting."

    Take your pills and read the entire sentence.
    What in your tiny little world is wrong with suggesting a wayward, emotionally disturbed kid is acting like and/or in risk of being seen as a 'PRETENTIOUS BRAT'?
    She is acting like one, MAY become one, and is being instructed in it by a team of professional agitators. She is being USED in her time of need by very cynical people.
    THAT is disgusting, IMHO.

    You wrote to Gary,
    "I checked out your profile, and you forgot to list “Hateful Bigotry” in your interests."
    Hateful bigotry? As opposed to loving or endearing bigotry?
    Maybe more like 'fed up with monist cretins'.
    Besides, at the very least Gary has the STONES and drive to have a profile of some sort. At least we can address him by his nic and have some idea of where he stands.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Funny how you keep invoking the Constitution as some kind of fetish (in the religious sense, not in the sexual sense), just like how Christians invoke the Bible as a fetish. Is there any substance to your beliefs beyond waving things in people's faces?

    I actually don't give a damn if people pray in public, and I think it's funny how the atheists get riled up about it when there's so many greater evils done by Christianity that deserve to be acted against. But your response is just juvenile. You might as well just wave your dick in the girl's face.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Francois,
    Juvenile? Perhaps as opposed to senile or passive? I am not arguing a constitution or waving it in anyone's face. It is not mine anyway. Nor have I quoted the Bible. The ATHEIST lobby is making a FEDERAL constitutional case out of this plaque (waving dick) and the ATHEISTS on this page are the ones attempting to use biblical tracts as proofs of some sort.
    Perhaps in your neck of the woods talking about faith or politics is akin to such behaviour. Maybe helping someone in this condition is the job of the state where you live. Here and in the USA the state helps, but it is up to the family and community (in a cultural sense) to help out.
    My outlined suggestion is that the family is dead, the father is obviously impotent with grief, rage or both; and this girl is being used by a cynical POLITICAL lobby that uses children and YOUR BELIEFS to push it's agenda.
    Someone mentioned Phelps before. I should suspect that a sensible Atheist (?) would view this initiative to an Atheist version of the 'God hates Fags' crowd at military funerals. Do you?
    I do not like seeing children USED and so have suggested a peaceful and non invasive way for the faith element (LARGE) of her community to express their solidarity while NOT attacking the girl herself.
    You wrote "I actually don't give a damn if people pray in public, and I think it's funny how the atheists get riled up about it"
    Good. Then you're not one these fanatics who use children to PUSH their agenda of censorship. That is good. We agree on this. I do not want anyone silenced either.
    On the 'dick' comment: I have no idea why or how you equate a prayer on a plaque with exposing one's genitals to a minor. I simply suggest that such an outlook is absolutely IRRATIONAL and (to me) points to a very fragile/passive society with a very weak hold (humanist?) on the population. That or some sort of sexual hysteria of an individual. With such a weak and excitable attitude I expect you will all be praying together soon enough. Either to the glorious leader in the square or 5 times a day to Mecca. Where's the dick then? In the national/cultural posterior, perhaps?
    If you're LUCKY it will be Mecca.
    If your snide remarks emanate from THIS continent (NA), you are completely out of touch with the practical, cultural, social, and political reality.
    You're titling at windmill, Francois.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Egnor, Crux, and any other "kind, loving christian"

    LEARN the establishment clause. You are wrong, you are ignorant, you are misguided and you are a wonderful example of peace loving xians.

    You are throwing out all this vitriol, which is typical, and you embrace ignorance.

    It's the establishment clause, not freedom of speech or religion. You are wrong, the school is wrong and they will lose.

    Again, in case you're too busy thumping your heads on your book of gibberish...it's the ESTABLISHMENT clause, learn it and perhaps you won't look so foolish.

    -PJM

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  32. In case no one has yet posted this, here is a link to a partial list of cases in which the ACLU has intervened in defense of Christians seeking to exercise their right to free exercise of their faith:

    http://www.aclufightsforchristians.com/

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  33. This is really a simple issue. Christianity does not get to proselytize in government buildings or via government employees acting in their work capacity. Period. Full stop. That's the way it is. It is good that it is the law. Tyranny of the masses and all that sort of thing.

    If you disagree you are a short sighted fool. You are against much that is good about America. Sorry if you don't like any of these facts. Sorry if you disagree... you're wrong and an idiot if you do. Why do so many Christians hate America, a nation based on a set of ideals I hold dear? I will never understand that.

    The law is clear and clearly right. This school is breaking the law and should stop. If they will not do so willingly and immediately they deserve to be punished, both criminally and by civil decision. If you disagree, you are saying that criminal behavior is to be allowed in a school. If you think that, you are stupid and wrong.

    This is not a free speech issue. If you think it is, you are an idiot. No one is saying that anyone should stop believing or advocating their personal position, regardless of how inane it is. What the SCHOOL and the GOVERNMENT can't do is advocate for religion. Again, it's just that simple. Christians control institutions to such an illegal extent in America they actually think they are being persecuted when they are prevented from breaking the law and persecuting others. It's simply sad.

    The student pointing these things out is right in every way and the school and those that support the constitutional violation they are engaging in are wrong in every way. It's just that simple.

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  34. Dr. Egnor,

    Imagine that an atheist principal or teacher made a sign that said "There is no God: discard your outdated religious beliefs and start growing morally and mentally!" Then they hang this sign prominently in a public school.

    Would that be ok with you? Freedom of speech, right? Would you call a Christian student who complained about atheism being pushed by public officials a "little brownshirt"?

    I somehow doubt it.

    Private speech is protected. But government officials and institutions cannot push their religious views - be it atheism or Christianity - onto their students. This is the law, and it is a good law.

    (And by the way - comparing a high school student who had the guts to stand for her principles with Nazi youth? You should be deeply, deeply ashamed of yourself. If you have an ounce of integrity, you need to apologize for this, as publicly as your initial comments were made.)

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    Replies
    1. The last paragraph is a bit optimistic.

      Delete
  35. Swap the religious prayer for the Five Salahs. Compare and contrast your reaction. Then embrace the Establishment Clause, and thank your lucky stars that Jefferson and Madison were far wiser than you are.

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  36. Look you athiest liberals, religion in general and Christianity specifically is far too weak to survive without the support of government school endorsement. Especially where it enjoys majority support.

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  37. Amazing...Dr. Egnor manages to accomplish a Godwin in the second word of the title of his blog post. A new record!

    Please point out the article and paragraph of the Constitution in which the government is granted the explicit authority to support and promulgate the tenets of a specific religious creed (public schools are established, funded, and regulated by the government, which also requires all students to attend, and requires their parents - under threat of confiscation of property and incarceration - to pay taxes to support it). If you're uncomfortable with the first amendment (proposed and ratified by atheist Democrat liberals, no doubt), you might start by reading Article VI, paragraph III (the only mention of religion in the original Constitution, by the way).

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  38. I think it's a tragedy compounded by what can only be presumed to be a bold faced lie, when someone who claims to be a "Doctor", stupidly refers to Jessica Ahlquist as a, "Brown Shirt".

    It is simply impossible for an intellect capable of passing the boards, to dumb down to that level of hate. Especially when they pretend to be Christian at the same time.

    No thing could be further from the truth, by example.

    The Sturmabteilung in no wise are represented in Ms.Ahlquist's endeavor in this matter.

    She's simply young enough and strong enough to insist the separation of church and State in a public tax payer funded school, be enforced!
    This is implied by the first Amendment, by the way.

    What is equally tragic in this case, and in all others where certain Christians seem to think they deserve special treatment, special exemption from the law(s) that make this a free country for an eclectic mix of citizens, is when they bring shame upon the name of Christ, and his message, by acting like terrorists in order to forcibly pursue an agenda in which their personal level of ecclesiastical insecurity is so profound, that they are incapable of envisioning a world where there are other than Christians living in it.

    Thus, they think everything should be infected with the Christian tenets. Everyone should supplicate to rites, rituals and implied presumption of special privilege when it comes to the followers of Christ and their insisting even the secular realm is subject to their cult's jurisdiction.

    And when it's not, because this country was not founded as a Christian nation, which is news to them, they become the antithesis of the Christ's true message. They are hate, in flesh. They are intolerance, with a proud jaw and a stern back that will do anything to anyone in order to insure the rights of those who follow the Prince of Peace, reign over everyone else, whether they agree, whether law permits, or not.

    And the weakest of the sheep are those who invoke Godwin's Law, in their argument.

    Jessica Ahlquist is someone's daughter. Jessica Ahlquist, is the child of God,whether she is Christian or not she is to be seen in that light when the Christian myth claims Omnipotent omniscient omnipresent omnibenevolence is creator of us all! And in his image and likeness are we born.

    So, when the Constitution is revised so as to rescind the first Amendment and impart a directive that turns our Republic into a Theocracy, the zealot terrorist hate mongering verbally abusive insults to Christ alleged Doctor and his supporters, will have a hoof to stand upon.
    However, since that will not happen in their lifetime, they had better grow to understand this is a free country, not a land governed by Theocrats in the name of Christ!

    Because as it stands, the image and likeness of the intolerant like the alleged Doctor in this piece, and all those like him, who posture such hate while wearing the coat of a Christian, are what give a poor impression as to what a God can do to a life and a mind.
    And in comparison Ms.Jessica Ahlquist, is indeed not only Constitutionally sound in her pursuit, she's an example of a dedicated public servant who's campaign will hopefully save her school from the likes of zealots who assault young women verbally, because their god,by their own example, isn't strong enough to be omnipresent. He has to have mortal sinner zealots heralding his dominion in every nook and cranny of the world, so that they feel assured he's there thanks to their activist pursuits.

    What a tragic cowardice that makes them and their god.

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  39. To look at this blog entry, you would think this author doesn't even realize that the First Amendment includes an establishment clause. You would also think this author is completely unaware that the KEY PRINCIPLE upon which Rhode Island was founded was separation of church and state. You would also think that the author of this blog post is unaware that the sort of "Conspicuous public prayer," he is suggesting would be a direct violation of the teachings of Jesus Christ, as stated in Matthew 6:5-7.

    Nah. Surely someone being so judgmental in such a public forum must have familiarized himself with the issues enough to become aware of these things. Why, then, doesn't he mention them?

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  40. I wonder if all the people defending the banner would be so quick to defend it if instead of "Heavenly Father", it said "Allah"?

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  41. Egnorance. Says it all.

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  42. If she wasn’t going to hell before, she sure is now. Jessica Ahlquist was victorious in her fight against the Cranston West High School mural that was addressed to “Our Heavenly Father,” and concluded with the word “Amen.” Jessica — an atheist — made a stink about the mural earlier in the school year citing the separation of church and state. Her father, Mark, filed a lawsuit for his Jesus-spiting daughter. Yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Ronald R. Lagueux ruled that the: Read More at www.RhodeBlock.com http://www.rhodeblock.com/2012/01/12/satan-forces-mural-west/

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    Replies
    1. If you think following the US Constitution means automatic condemnation to hell, why do you continue to live in this country? You should move to Canada where they have an established Church and they can make your children in the schools follow the Church of England.

      Helena Constantine

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  43. You Christians better get after those teenage girls and teach them a lesson. Who else will defend your poor, defenseless, omnipotent god from those powerful girls?

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  44. @Helena:

    [Chrisitans--you have a long hsitroy... like that ont he... is because Engor... set up this cite... Engor requires a URL, so if you don't have your web-site...]

    I don't require a URL, but I do recommend spell check.

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  45. @Bill Smith:

    [To look at this blog entry, you would think this author doesn't even realize that the First Amendment includes an establishment clause.]

    What? Oh... wait... yikes!... it does!!

    [You would also think this author is completely unaware that the KEY PRINCIPLE upon which Rhode Island was founded was separation of church and state.]

    Right. Roger Williams was passionate about using state power to extinguish civic religious expression. He hated religious freedom. Oh, wait...

    Williams named his settlement "Providence"-- explicitly, he explained, in honor of "God's Merciful Providence", but he ordered that any signs in schools that contained any reference the city name he chose be torn down, and then he sued himself. He won, of course.

    [You would also think that the author of this blog post is unaware that the sort of "Conspicuous public prayer," he is suggesting would be a direct violation of the teachings of Jesus Christ, as stated in Matthew 6:5-7.]

    Yea. The Lord was reluctant to discuss His faith in public.

    [Nah. Surely someone being so judgmental in such a public forum must have familiarized himself with the issues enough to become aware of these things. Why, then, doesn't he mention them?]

    Because they're really stupid points.

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  46. This girl is nothing more than a Nazi youth certified BROWNSHIRT. Atheists are some of the worlds most fanatical fundamentalist terrorists second only to Islamic radicals. Not only is this girl a total brainwashed TOOL, but she is disgusting and a complete lying sack of liberal crap.

    You wouldn't catch this coward trying this move on Jewish or Muslim schools since Christians are such easy targets. This liar talks about how she is so moved by the holocaust, starvation, blah blah blah, then she decides that suing her school over a decades old historic plaque is her life's mission. Yup real courage there. Wow! Impressive.... Not.

    Does anyone even pick up that this is only a 16 year old girl? What on earth is this moron doing pissing off so many people for if not for publicity? There is nothing brave, nothing wonderful about this.

    It is simply this :

    Idiot 16 year old brainwashed publicity WHORE seeks attention by litigating a school in order to remove a piece of the schools's history.
    By the way, i am not in any way religious, but i don't piss myself if i see a plaque on a wall and suddenly have to sue with an army of sheisty lawyers. This girl is madness allowed a voice in a room full of nothing to do with their lives moronic litigators. Anyone that thinks a brainwashed tool of a child is somehow brave is dumber than dirt, this is a misguided stupid kid that should have focused on her education insead of pissing on the front steps of her school and expecting everyone to love her for it.
    The U.S Constitution was not designed for some stupid 16 year old publicity whore to use is as only she sees fit and start a media war against a school and people that never hurt her. What she did was not brave, it was stupid. Not impressed, really. Not even a tiny bit.
    Personally, I find atheists as vile as Islamic fundamentalists and I AM NOT EVEN RELIGIOUS MYSELF !
    This moron and morons like her are the reason sane people who are non-religious are viewed as sc@mbags. I used to call myself an athiest, now i guess i fall into agnostic or heck, Bhuddist even.
    Brave girl, fighting those evil school plaques so we don't have to. Pathetic attention seeking loser. The next Michael Moore who gets caught with halliburton stock portfolio.

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  47. Oh....

    And to you so called believers in the Constitution who use it as an example all the time for stupid cases like this while ignoring :

    Massive illegal invasion.
    Corrupt congress doing stock market scams and corporate bailouts.
    Triple ongoing wars in iraq, afghanistan, and whatever other country spur of the moment - libya.
    Non stop homeland security BS Laws and regulations used on citizens while ignoring real criminals.
    Higher and higher taxes to support lazy non working class and elitist politicians in an ever expanding government.

    Had this girl challenged a real cause, a real problem affecting anyone other than her own stupid azz, anyone would be impressed, but this is not the case.

    There is nothing impressive here, it is simply a sc@mbag selfish and stupid little 16 yeard old who took her school to the cleaners because she could. Her opinion matters most. Her feelings matter most, her views matter most, her reasoning matters most. Are all of you stupid or just too blind to see how a 16 year old moron made bigger morons of the media and the RI taxpayers as well as anyone that is dumb enough to believe anything this girl did was not aimed at publicity? This is a non story at best. The adults should have told this idiot to go home and do her homework and stop trying to attention whore. Seriously, it is disgusting the lengths some idiots go to get things their way and the moronic lawyers that think some old historic school sign is a threat to humanity and public safety.

    Pissing off a bunch of people for publicity. Plain and simple. Not impressive. Not one bit. There is no defense here, no logic. Just a stupid moronic impressionable 16 year old and her agenda driven moronic parents along with a bunch of cockroach lawyers looking at getting some air play.

    Really, what did she accomplish? Now people who are non-religious like me are viewed as sc@mbags by Christians and frankly I don't blame them one bit. She sure is a beacon of liberal tolerance, ain't she? Talk about a great resume. I sued my school to remove a 50 year old piece of their history that did't affect me in the least.

    Disagree all you like, but there is no denying that you are a moron if you think a 16 year old moron litigating her school for the heck of it is somehow a 'brave' battle. 16 year old girls are vengeful spiteful and hateful and this proves it in spades. In the end after all her lies and bravado about the horrors of the world, all she could do is pull down her skirt, take a huge dump in the hallway of her school, and say she scored a victory for freedom by having a simple sign removed from her school while simultaneously insulting the very people who most likely established that school in the fist place. In all hoesty, i truly feel sorry for Christian people, not since the Nazi party of germany have i seen such a full frontal assault short of bible burnings. Maybe they need to take a cue from the muslims and start chopping heads, lol. Seriously, a plaque, that's your big evil enemy? P A T H E T I C . Lame, dumb, and pitiful. Not impressed. Not one tiny bit.

    Athiests - fighting those evil plaques so you don't have to and can sleep at night in safety. Lol

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