Cranston School Gets New Banners

After being forced to remove a religious mural donated by the class of 1963 due to Jessica Ahlquist’s successful lawsuit, Cranston West High School in Rhode Island now has two new banners to put up in its place. The class of 1963 donated the banners, which contain no religious references.

The Class of 1963 at Cranston High School West unveiled a new mural Saturday to replace the one that was taken down last year after a federal judge ruled that it was unconstitutional.

During an invitation-only ceremony in the afternoon, members of the class presented the new mural along with a second one containing the school creed as gifts to their alma mater…

The mural does not contain any religious words. It urges students to “foster an atmosphere of goodwill and respect,” among a series of positive messages.

Representatives of the class said the gift of the new mural was a way of moving on from the conflict, which drew national media coverage.

“The community is healed,” said Class of ’63 member Janice Bertino. “There is no more controversy.”

If only that were true. But these murals will no more “foster an atmosphere of goodwill and respect” than the old one, which failed to prevent the allegedly godly students from treating Jessica horribly after she stood up for the First Amendment and demanded religious neutrality. And some of the local residents remain as clueless as ever. One of the comments from someone named Al Gagne:

I guess it is ok because God isn’t mentioned. Rhode Island does not want God anywhere in the public education system or in the State House for that matter. RI is now a Godless State. No more moral behavior. Our Moral Compass is broken. God help us all.

Ah, irony. Mr. Gagne seems blissfully unaware that Rhode Island was founded as a colony that, for the first time, had separation of church and state. Its founder, Roger Williams, is the one who coined the phrase. And the claim that since the state is “godless” there will be “no more moral behavior” is simply absurd. Believing in God didn’t stop people from threatening Jessica’s life and that of her family, which is about as immoral as one’s behavior can get.


  1. Chiroptera says

    No more moral behavior.

    That is true. Remember, to the Christofascists, “moral behavior” means “stuff I approve of,” and “immorality” means “stuff I don’t approve of.” Whithout the state constantly propagandizing (and, in the worst cases, actually enforcing moral codes), people will decide on their own how to live their own lives, and this will include stuff that the Christofacists hate. But that is kind of the point, too.

  2. lofgren says

    “There is no more conflict” Sylvester said, following decades of unsuccesful attempts to mangle and consume the bird Tweety for sustenance. “The community is healed,” he assured the faceless marm who continued to leave the two unsupervised despite near constant threats to Tweety’s life. “I’ve completely forgiven Tweety for being such a delicious-looking morsel, and even for occasionally appearing to me as a freshly roasted stuffed game hen. We are ready to move on.” Sylvester suggested that they commemorate this momentous occasion by allowing him to escort Tweety into the nearby kitchen in the family’s nicest silver tureen for a light lunch.

  3. says

    Believing in God didn’t stop people from threatening Jessica’s life and that of her family, which is about as immoral as one’s behavior can get.

    One of the major ironies of how this whole thing went down is that, in their zeal to defend the first three and last one word of the original mural, Ahlquist’s detractors completely ignore, and even egregiously violate, the generally salutary sentiments in between. And then complain about lack of morality.

  4. timpayne says

    Secular these new banners may be, but also dreadful pedestrian treacle that will surely be despised by the students. Having been an admirer and about the 450th contributor to Jessica’s scholarship fund, I wonder what she’s up to theses days. Does she make that public?

  5. Hercules Grytpype-Thynne says

    Believing in God didn’t stop people from threatening Jessica’s life and that of her family, which is about as immoral as one’s behavior can get.

    Well, there’s always acting on their threats. That would have been more immoral.

  6. says

    They should have put up banners to Bryan Cranston ‘cuz Breaking Bad is so awesome.

    Or, at least have a “You’re killing me, Buster” banner. (Check out banner, Michael!)

  7. stever says

    Whenever we hear some Christofacist whine about how we’ve “taken God out of the public schools”, we need to remind them of their own dogma, which holds God to be omnipresent. Of course, the complaint isn’t about God, but about Christian propaganda, but we can just play dumb and watch them try to come up with an answer.

  8. kantalope says

    Of course in the 1780-90’s it was known as Rogue Island. I can’t tell if those in Rogue Island embraced this moniker or if it was just universal from the outside.

    The thing that frightens me about these people is that apparently the only thing keeping them from raping, cursing, killing, raping and all other forms of criminal behavior and debauchery is that an invisible man is watching them and will punish them if they don’t behave.

  9. says

    kantalope, did you notice that you said “raping” twice?…hmmm…Interesting. (/me scribbles on prescription pad) We’re going to increase your dose to two fifty milligrams per day, and I think it’s best that we start meeting twice per week. Arrange it with Hilda on your way out. And be sure to remember your journal next time.

  10. John Pieret says

    chilidog99 @ 7:

    What ever happened to that school in Ohio with the tacky Christ picture?

    Last I heard, the school had areed to remove it because:

    Jackson Superintendent Phil Howard issued a statement at the time that the district was removing the portrait because it could not afford huge legal fees if it lost the lawsuit.

    Occasionally sanity will out.

  11. martinc says

    Modusoperandi @ 15

    We’re going to increase your dose to two fifty milligrams per day

    So Americans don’t do medicine in ‘cups’?

  12. dingojack says

    MO – ‘two [hundred and] fifty milligrams’, or ‘two [lots of] fifty milligrams’? Sloppy instructions cost lives you know.
    ;) Dingo

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