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Atheist teen stands behind her position after school prayer banner taken down Comments

A prayer banner at Cranston High School West in Rhode Island, part of the school since 1963, has been covered after a teenage student there complained that it violated the separation of church and state. Student Jessica Ahlquist is standing her ground, since 2010, she's been receiving online threats and has been targeted by bullies for her convictions. Continue Reading

11 - 20 of 46 Comments

  1. MakeItSo
    2 years ago

    The best thing they could do is cover up the “offensive” portions with the words “Censored by U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Lagueux"

  2. Todd
    2 years ago

    This girl became an atheist at age 10. What comes to mind it Mark 9:42:

    But anyone who is the downfall of one of these little ones who have faith, would be better thrown into the sea with a great millstone hung round his neck.

  3. Bulbajer
    2 years ago

    PhilipMarie, yes, that would be ridiculous if a Catholic objected to Islamic imagery in an Islamic school. But American public schools aren't Christian. Neither are they Muslim or Jewish or atheist.

  4. Vance
    2 years ago

    Here we go again, the Anti Christ Litigation Union ( ACLU ) is attacking God again. And we won't be surprised when the School Board caves in to the anti-Christ. The Catholic patents should stand firm and demand the the Banner stays. Let them take it to the Supreme Court. The ACLJ will defend the School Board well.

  5. Darrell Phelps
    2 years ago

    Absolutely ridiculous how a simple prayer can be rejected and the mass majority bend to the wishes of one. True prayer is for everywhere and always for the good of all persons. I would say if the atheist is feeling left out, let them add their own words of prayer. Oh yeah, sorry, atheists don't pray. And therein lies the rub!!

  6. PhilipMarie
    2 years ago

    PhillyChief, how can having an innocent prayer mural discourage anyone from blending in? Does it tell them that if you're ana theist than you're evil? No, in fact it is there to encourage but not force people to be Christian. Why can't a school bear something that it trusts in? Its like having a Catholic student object to religious imagery being present in a Muslim school, they have no business to.

  7. DKeane
    2 years ago

    joechia - Your statement does not make any sense. If the cafeteria were to ban the sale of pork because of Islam, then that would also be the state sponsoring a privately held faith, in the same way the the prayer banner is also an endorsement. Now if there was a ban on pork and an atheist objected, I bet every christian in the state would back her up - it's only christian beliefs that seem to need protection from the government.

  8. Rob
    2 years ago

    From a historical standpoint, I think the banner should be allowed to stay. And of course as a Christian I would love for it to stay. And it's unfortunate that we have a system that seems to bend to the demands of one versus the majority. But I suspect that if someone wanted to put a banner regardng muslim prayer or some other faith traidition, it probably would not be received well. But I do believe this is an issue to be hased out at the local level. Maybe they can move the banner to a trophy case given it's historical nature. I think Christian parents should take the opportunity that God's power is not reduced to a banner and that perhaps the best way to witness to Christ is to pray at school before your meal. Pray with your friends etc. We do not need some banner, a department store full of chinese crap to say merry christmas or any affirmation of our faith to proclaim Christ's lordship over our eyes. I get the debate on this, but I wonder if sometimes we try to make God little?

  9. PhillyChief
    2 years ago

    For once I'd love to have it explained to me why personal belief must entail subjecting others to that belief. In all of these cases (and exhibited in some of the comments here), the believers claim persecution and being denied their personal expression but what part of personal means involving others? No one's PERSONAL rights to pray or even hang such a banner in their personal space is being threatened. It's the official endorsement of such things by the school or any school employee that's the issue for they are an extension of the government. Perhaps you've heard of the Establishment Clause?

    Lastly, objecting to this banner is not a means to impose another belief on the school to supplant the old. The accusations that this is foisting atheism on the school is ludicrous. Neutral doesn't mean atheism. Neutral means no impositions upon personal conscience. Neutral means anyone entering or attending that school feels welcomed and encouraged to be part of the whole rather than feel like an outsider. Objecting to that is simply selfish and mean spirited.

  10. joechia
    2 years ago

    Why doesn't Jessica just move to another school ?. No one is forcing her to stay on. Others have their rights too to have the prayer left intact. Jessica and those who don't like it can go elsewhere. Why is a person allowed to change what has been for such a long time ?.

    If she wants to be an aethist or satanist its her choice but not saying that its wrong for others. What next if a muslim student were to complaint of pork being served in the school cafetaria ?. Is pork going to be banned then ?.

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