"Evil Little Thing" or Constitutional Defender?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2008
"Evil Little Thing" or Constitutional Defender?
13
Fri, 01-27-2012 - 10:11am

I think that her accomplishment is admirable, but I'm not sure if I would have done the same thing. High School can be hard enough without death threats and hatred.

Atheist teen forces school to remove prayer from wall after 49 years State Representative calls girl, who has been escorted by police to school, 'an evil little thing'

She is 16, the daughter of a firefighter and a nurse, a self-proclaimed nerd who loves Harry Potter and Facebook. But Jessica Ahlquist is also an outspoken atheist who has incensed this heavily Roman Catholic city with a successful lawsuit to get a prayer removed from the wall of her high school auditorium, where it has hung for 49 years.

More here~ http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46160046/ns/us_news-the_new_york_times/#.TyK8lPmnJn0

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Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998

We're an Atheist family. I was born and raised this way. DH came to it on his own despite Catholic upbringing and 12 years of Catholic schooling.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2008
turtletime wrote:

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
While I agree with the girl, I also would look at that sign as a part of the history of the school, unless the kids were forced to read it aloud or something every time they went in there. If I were her parent I would encourage her to do the same. Religion is all around us and in the Constitution. She shouldn't be exposed to death threats though.

As far as the separation...well, my kids are homeschooling with an ALE in WA. Their classes that they go to once a week, are located in a church. The school district is renting the space. There are church things all over the place. Now, a strict enforcement would mean that the district could not rent this space because it is paid by tax dollars. On the other hand, the program is voluntary and kids don't have to come in except to meet with teachers periodically if that is what the family chooses. Personally, I think it is a very "green" thing. The church still has to be heated during the week or the pipes would freeze. We make use of space that is otherwise not being use, without building new or setting anyone out of space they are already in. Win-win for me.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2008
treddlesewingmachine wrote:
While I agree with the girl, I also would look at that sign as a part of the history of the school, unless the kids were forced to read it aloud or something every time they went in there. If I were her parent I would encourage her to do the same. Religion is all around us and in the Constitution. She shouldn't be exposed to death threats though.

That's a great point, to keep it as part of the school history. I also the thoughts contained within the sign (do your best, be helpful, etc.) to be very nice. They could adopt it as their school mission or creed.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2002
Is now a good time to say that the while the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, it does not guarantee freedom FROM religion?
Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998

Let's not go there lol. Most Christians enjoy using that particular phrase but many of the same people would have a fit if a non-Christian faith was allowed to post their own doctrine on school walls. You can only say it if you really mean it.... If you are happy to have the county courthouse with a sculpture of the Koran on the front steps. If you wouldn't mind scientologist putting up posters of how we all come from aliens in front of the science classrooms. If you have no issue with Mormons putting statues of John Smith in the public park because like you said, the constitution doesn't protect you from THEIR religions. Maybe you are the one of the few who "really" means it but lets be honest, most say it because they only ever see their own faith represented in government buildings and functions and so it's not ever an issue to them personally. Their own faith is the exception to the rules and so why should it offend them? They use the constitution to protect their own beliefs and not the beliefs of others.

"Religion" is just a word coined to describe a set of beliefs. I am an Atheist and I have a code and set of beliefs that I was raised with and that I pass down to my children. I could write them all down and post them on the wall of your child's school and tell you the constitution doesn't protect you from my religion. I could do it but why would I? I don't really care whatever method you use to be a decent person. It doesn't have to be my method. I don't need your children to follow my "religion." I just need your children to behave lol.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2011

I think that her battle would have been better faught if she were to have re-written those words in a format that is not a prayer and asked for the prayer to be replaced.

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Seems most schools already have a secular version of this anyway.
Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Honestly, my first thought after reading the prayer was, if you take out the "Our Heavenly Father" and the "Amen" at the end, its simply an anthem for the children to look up to and try to emmulate. I do believe that its part of the school history and that is really more what they are trying to protect than the actual "prayer" itself.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998

What a horrible thing to call a teenager! I know that's not the issue here, but it's the first thing that came to my mind. The state rep may not agree with her position, but to call her "evil" is really unacceptable.

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