Durango Skeptics and Atheists

A Community for Critical Thinkers in the Four Corners Region

Way to go, Jessica!

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”.

Most of you are probably  familiar with the story of Jessica Ahlquist, a high school junior in  Cranston, Rhode Island who filed a suit against her school after they refused to remove a mural with  christian religous references contained therein.  The case went to trial and the judge ruled for the immediate removal of the mural.

Since then, Ms. Ahlquist has endured an endless barrage of hate mail, death threats, cyberbullying and even being called “an evil little thing” by her own state representative, Peter Palumbo.  Last night, the Cranston school committee  met to decide whether or not to appeal the ruling.  After several hours of public comments representing both sides, the committee members, in a vote of 5-2, decided to let the ruling stand and not appeal the case.

But is this over for Jessica? Probably not. The amount of hatred already thrown at this 16-year-old by teenagers and adults alike, is reprehensible. And these are Christians?? To be fair, there are some Christians that have spoken out against the treatment of Jessica.  I just have a difficult time understanding how people who claim to be Christian would act out in this way. I’m pretty sure that is NOT what Jesus would do (although, back in his day non-believers were most likely burned or stoned to death).  How this behavior is reconciled with a religion that proclaims “God is Love” does not compute.  Here’s a fun fact: florists in the town of Cranston even went so far as to refuse delivery of flower orders made for Jessica. WOW!

So what did Jessica do that warranted so much vitriol and anger? She stood up for her 1st amendment rights. She did what every single Christian in Cranston would have done had the mural been in reference to Allah or Krishna.  Jessica has taken a step for all of us and should be commended for the strength she exhibited, and continues to exhibit,  in the face of so much opposition.

I think  Jon Stewart says it pretty succinctly:

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1 Comment

  1. Tyler

    Indeed….bravo Jessica. This is a brave girl. The Friendly Atheist (Hemant Mehta) is managing a scholarship fund for her. Last I looked, atheists had donated nearly $50,000.

    In a similar case, Krystal Myers is following in her footsteps. She is a senior at Lenoir City High School, in Tennessee. Swim team captain, editor of the school paper, honor student, etc. I really wish her well, Tennessee is a harsher environment for atheists, than is Rhode Island. FFRF already gave her $1,000.

    http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/feb/23/lenoir-city-high-school-wont-publish-atheist-on/

    Her banned article for the school paper:

    http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/feb/26/krystal-myers-school-promotes-religion-and-of/

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