The New York Times reports on the bullying of Jessica Ahlquist…sort of.
A federal judge ruled this month that the prayer’s presence at Cranston High School West was unconstitutional, concluding that it violated the principle of government neutrality in religion. In the weeks since, residents have crowded school board meetings to demand an appeal, Jessica has received online threats and the police have escorted her at school, and Cranston, a dense city of 80,000 just south of Providence, has throbbed with raw emotion.
State Representative Peter G. Palumbo, a Democrat from Cranston, called Jessica “an evil little thing” on a popular talk radio show. Three separate florists refused to deliver her roses sent from a national atheist group. The group, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, has filed a complaint with the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights.
Yes but…the Times sees the other side.
In Cranston, the police said they would investigate some of the threatening comments posted on Twitter against Jessica, some of which came from students at the high school. Pat McAssey, a senior who is president of the student council, said the threats were “completely inexcusable” but added that Jessica had upset some of her classmates by mocking religion online.
“Their frustration kind of came from that,” he said.
Many alumni this week said they did not remember the prayer from their high school days but felt an attachment to it nonetheless.
“I am more of a constitutionalist but find myself strangely on the other side of this,” said Donald Fox, a 1985 graduate of Cranston West. “The prayer banner espouses nothing more than those values which we all hope for our children, no matter what school they attend or which religious background they hail from.”
But it addresses “our heavenly father” in the process, and we don’t “all” hope for that for children no matter “which religious background they hail from.” The school could have removed our daddy in the sky and kept the values, but the school refused to do that.
At the very end the Times slips in the knife.
Does she empathize in any way with members of her community who want the prayer to stay?
You know…they could have just left that out. Many “members of her community” are telling her she should be dead and calling her things like “worthless cunt”…The Times could have just skipped the part where it shifts some blame to her. It could have and probably would have if this had been a racial issue…but it’s about religion, and we just can’t treat that the way we treat other subjects. It would be impious.