16-year-old student, Jessica Ahlquist, is an atheist, she also attends a public high-school, Cranston High School West. This school happens to have a prayer banner hung in their auditorium that reads:
Our Heavenly Father.
Grant us each day the desire to do our best.
To grow mentally and morally as well as physically.
To be kind and helpful to our classmates and teachers.
To be honest with ourselves as well as others.
Help us to be good sports and smile when we lose a well as when we win.
Teach us the value of true friendship.
Help us always to conduct ourselves so as to bring credit to Cranston High School West.
The areas in bold above will become strikingly ironic in a few moments. Shortly after noticing the banner Jessica started a Facebook page to rally support for its removal.
Eventually the ACLU got wind of the situation unfolding at Cranston and began planning to file a lawsuit to get the banner removed, Jessica volunteered to be the plaintiff as she felt very strongly about it. The lawsuit was a success and the court ordered the banner removed by the school. Up to this point, pretty uneventful, but it was after the judgement that Facebook and Twitter started overflowing with the ever famous fundamentalist Christian tolerance and love. Here’s a sampling:
May that little, evil atheist teenage girl and that judge BURN IN HELL!
She just destroyed a piece of Cranston West’s history. Hope you’re happy #stupidbitch
to the girl who had the prayer taken off at Cranston west – why the fuck does it matter? it’s basically history. just don’t look at it. #Bitch
U little brainless idiot, hope u will be punished, you have not win sh..t! Stupid little brainless skunk!
she’s not human shes garbage
Let’s all jump that girl who did the banner #fuckthatho
It goes on and on, if you want to see more just take a look at the gallery here. My favorite has to be, “just don’t look at it.” Really? Let’s hang an Islamic prayer banner in their auditorium and see how well they respond to “just don’t look at it.” All about religious tolerance as long as its their religion. Now you can see how the messages about being kind, good sports, and conduct in their prayer were entirely lost on them. Granted some of them could be parents, which would be deplorable, but most of them are definitely students.
In all honesty, I care less about the banner being in the school and more about the reaction of Jessica’s fellow students knowing full well that if the tables were turned and a religion, other than Christianity, were represented on a prayer banner, they’d be all up in arms about it.
- Atheist teen defeats high school prayer banner (examiner.com)
- Judge says school must remove prayer banner (radio.foxnews.com)