At her age, I was building model airplanes »« Glitchety-glitchety

It does look vaguely religious, doesn’t it?

In a completely unsurprising decision, Jessica Ahlquist has won her court case, in which she was complaining that a prayer banner was an inappropriate object to hang in a public school. The defendants tried to argue that it was “an historical memento of the school’s founding days, with a predominantly secular purpose.” Judge for yourself. It’s the banner titled “School Prayer”, which begins, “Our Heavenly Father” and ends with “Amen.” Somehow, the judge in the case was not fooled and recognized that it seemed to be rather obviously religious in tone, and has ordered it taken down.

Next thing you know, these religious gomers will try to argue that creationism is a secular, scientific theory. No one is going to be fooled by that, are they?

Comments

  1. 'Tis Himself, OM. says

    A banner with “school prayer” on its top is secular?

    I wonder if the school board would be interested in my Manitoba ocean front property. They certainly seem gullible enough.

  2. Brownian says

    I wonder if the school board would be interested in my Manitoba ocean front property.

    You own property in Churchill?

    Anyways, poor Christians. First, crucifixions and lions. Now, this.

  3. crowepps says

    Article on the decision here, with POLL as to whether one agrees to the removal:

    http://cranston.patch.com/articles/judge-orders-prayer-banner-removed

    And the entire slip opinion is available here, with the history of the case, references to all the important decisions and the precedents they set, and a very nice quote from the founder of the colony, Roger Williams, statement to the Town of Providence in Jan. 1655:

    “There goes many a ship to sea, with many hundred souls in one ship, whose weal and woe is common, and is a true picture of a commonwealth, or a human combination or society. It hath fallen out sometimes, that both papists and protestants, Jews and Turks, may be embarked in one ship; upon which supposal I affirm, that all the liberty of conscience, that ever I pleaded for, turns upon these two hinges–that none of the papists, protestants, Jews, or Turks, be forced to come to the ship’s prayers of worship, nor compelled from their own particular prayers or worship, if they practice any.”

    http://cranston.patch.com/articles/full-text-of-prayer-mural-decision#pdf-8877143

  4. shouldbeworking says

    And whts wrong about Manitoba ocean front property? Ok, the ocean is the part of the Atlantic better known as Hudson Bay, but salt water is salt water. And a prayer is still a prayer.

  5. says

    Next thing you know, these religious gomers will try to argue that creationism is a secular, scientific theory. No one is going to be fooled by that, are they?

    Certainly not the religious people, who always know that it’s about religion. They’re as pissed that we recognize it as religious in nature as they would be if the religious didn’t recognize the same.

    They can be fooled into believing that creationism is supported by science, however. Just don’t understand science, and assume that any “proper science” will support your religion, and you just “know” that the IDiots have to be doing proper science.

    Glen Davidson

  6. johnmarley says

    They can be fooled into believing that creationism is supported by science, however. Just don’t understand science, and assume that any “proper science” will support your religion, and you just “know” that the IDiots have to be doing proper science.

    Yeah, if Pastor says it’s science, then it’s science. Pastor wouldn’t lie. Pastor knows science better than those atheist athiest scientists.

  7. Francisco Bacopa says

    In spite of the fact that I think religious people are morally degenerate subhumans, I think such lawsuits are a bad move. Let them have their prayers. If we fight them through the courts we strengthen them by giving them the opportunity to feel oppressed.

    We are not strong enough to attack them from the top down yet. We need to attack from the bottom up. We need to ridicule them and be open about who we are when it is safe to do so until we have the numbers to make things count

  8. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    In spite of the fact that I think religious people are morally degenerate subhumans

    Get the fuck out of here. If you’re trolling to see if you can provoke commenters to agree with you you’ll fail. If you really hold such anti-human views than people here will scorn you. Stop fucking up multiple threads with your psychopathy.

  9. says

    Francisco:

    In spite of the fact that I think religious people are morally degenerate subhumans, I think such lawsuits are a bad move. Let them have their prayers.

    Shut. The. Fuck. Up. Already. Your accommodationist crap didn’t work on TET, and your bigoted yet still accommodationist crap won’t fly here either. Shut Up.

    Here, have a rotten, fly-blown porcupine, Cupcake, and be sure to shove it up your ass (you’ll have to move your head to the side to make room.)

  10. SallyStrange (Bigger on the Inside), Spawn of Cthulhu says

    Francisco Bacopa: concern troll, whether he admits it to himself or not. Forcing people to confront their cognitive dissonance by challenging their beliefs is the more effective approach. Each time atheists challenge belief in the public sphere, a certain percentage of believers are forced to confront whether what they believe is true and humane or not, and inevitably a certain percentage of those people will cast off religious belief and start the journey toward rational thinking. Allowing them to marinate in their delusion, unchallenged, does nobody any favors. Truly, only if you did regard them as subhuman would you willingly condemn someone to wallow in their delusion rather than offer alternative hypotheses that are more plausible, correct, and humane.

    If you’re fooling anyone, Francisco, it’s yourself.

  11. davidcortesi says

    The judges opinion (available at various links cited above) contains a wonderful quote from a Supreme Court decision, which just nails the whole issue:

    The touchstone for our analysis is the principle that the First Amendment mandates governmental neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion. When the government acts with the ostensible and predominant purpose of advancing religion, it violates that central Establishment Clause value of official religious neutrality, there being no neutrality when the government’s ostensible object is to take sides.

    Will that fit on a t-shirt, do you think?

  12. says

    I think such lawsuits are a bad move.

    The law is on our side, and we shouldn’t use it? Shall we also abandon reason and logic? It just pisses them off, after all.

  13. Azkyroth says

    If we fight them through the courts we strengthen them by giving them the opportunity to feel oppressed.

    Where could you possibly have gotten the impression that they wait to be given an opportunity?

  14. says

    You know, I totally am for keeping religion out of schools, but I don’t think we should go so far as to destroy relics or start chiseling things out of the marble of beautiful old buildings or whatever.

    We need to have some appreciation for history and important cultural artifacts, and if you read the decision you’ll see that the school’s argument was that this important work of art has a strong historical connection to the school’s founding in the olden days of the 1960s.

  15. says

    Comments on the local news websites have included her personal home address and multiple death threats.

    I have to wonder, is it just that there are far more magical thinkers in this country than not that accounts for the disproportionate representation of this disgusting phenomenon?

    I very rarely hear of this sort of response to Christian bullshit. That is to say, if someone writes an article or tries to promote creationism in school or something, I rarely see the person receiving death threats.

    Sure, the Christians claim to be TEH PERSECUTED, but their examples are benign bullshit. Merely questioning their beliefs are TEH PERSECUTION.

    But something like this, a high school girl having a clearly inappropriate banner removed, or Damon Fowler (another fucking high school kid) complaining about a school supported sectarian graduation speech – and suddenly the death threats and physical intimidation follow.

    Basically, I’m interested to know whether in countries with a fairly high representation of atheists have this phenomenon in reverse.

    My guess would be – accounting for confirmation bias and attempting to be objective – this is far more common amongst religious fanatics. Given the whole violent them-vs-us underpinnings with eternal consequences thing.

  16. consciousness razor says

    You know, I totally am for keeping religion out of schools, but I don’t think we should go so far as to destroy relics or start chiseling things out of the marble of beautiful old buildings or whatever.

    This is a mural, so I figured they’d use paint thinner rather than a chisel.

    We need to have some appreciation for history and important cultural artifacts,

    Agreed, but this is neither.

    and if you read the decision you’ll see that the school’s argument was that this important work of art has a strong historical connection to the school’s founding in the olden days of the 1960s.

    Is this a joke? It isn’t an important work, the school’s founding shouldn’t have had anything to do with prayer in the first place, and the 1960s is not the olden days. So if that’s the schools’ argument, it’s bullshit.

    And if they want to “grow mentally and morally,” they should stop asking some celestial despot to give them the desire to do so and find some reason to desire it all by themselves. That would actually be consistent with mental and moral growth, if that’s what they want, rather than wanting to impose their brand of nonsense on everyone by pretending it’s backed up by a big, invisible, tough guy in the sky.

  17. says

    Jafafa Hots @#30

    And that is relevant to the current discussion… how?

    Nobody called for anything destroyed, or anything chiseled out of marble. It was removing, not destroying, a banner hanging, not embedded, from a wall.

    Your point, like the argument of the school, is moot.

    Or, from another perspective, let’s imagine a school’s history, as is embarrassingly the case, is mired in abject racism and segregation.

    The argument, “it’s a part of our history lol” doesn’t hold in regards to a giant “NO NIGGERS” sign hanging over the good bathroom.

  18. terranrich says

    When it comes down to a battle between so-called “historical significance” and an unconstitutional, illegal act that goes against the very nature of the First Amendment… guess which wins?

  19. says

    consciousness razor:

    Is this a joke?

    Yes, it was. A riff this bit from the OP:

    The defendants tried to argue that it was “an historical memento of the school’s founding days, with a predominantly secular purpose.”

  20. thinice says

    Please consider donating to a college fund for this young lady. You can donate by going to Hemant Mehta’s Friendly Atheist post on this and scroll down till you see the donate button:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/01/11/jessica-ahlquist-has-won-her-lawsuit/

    She is a smart, courageous 16-year-old, and has a promising future. She deserves our support for the way she has stood up to the forces of ignorance, and as a result has suffered verbal and emotional far worse than any of us will experience.

  21. says

    Caine #35

    Shit. I pride myself on being able to catch sarcasm online. So now you’ve got me worried.

    I’m still 80% sure that was an earnest post though, maybe because of that pride. :D

  22. says

    tkreacher:

    I’m still 80% sure that was an earnest post though

    It wasn’t. Jafafa Hots has been a regular here for years and tends to sarcastic humour (the whole ‘olden days of the 1960s‘ was a dead giveaway), which is one of the reasons he recently received a Molly. :D

  23. says

    Caine #38

    As the kids say, pwned, I was.

    Well, they don’t say it in that Yoda way, but I’m like 36 so whatever.

    Molly was well deserved as the subtlety was flawless. XD

    I’ll down a few more beers to mend my dented pride.

  24. consciousness razor says

    It wasn’t. Jafafa Hots has been a regular here for years and tends to sarcastic humour (the whole ‘olden days of the 1960s‘ was a dead giveaway), which is one of the reasons he recently received a Molly. :D

    Yeah, it certainly seemed like a joke. Or maybe Jafafa Hots has been huffing too much paint. And who’s to say how much paint is too much??

  25. anubisprime says

    #OP

    “Next thing you know, these religious gomers will try to argue that creationism is a secular, scientific theory. No one is going to be fooled by that, are they?”

    Well…Benny baby bought the crud hook, line and sinker…until he realised that it made him the laughing stock…he did not appreciate that turn of events and sacked his chief astronomer from the Vatican observatory for publicly berating his boss…papal ego is a jealous vainglorious master.

    And a significant gaggle of C of E bishops are friendly to the premise if not outright surreptitiously backing the nonsense.

    But that said…the wedge document has failed spectacularly and the illegitimate spawn of Creationism…ID is not really a force majore in ecclesiastical terms or science lessons.

    I think the failure stems in part from the fact that few clergy understood the scientific arguments anyway.
    They liked the fact is sounded impressive, and appeared to challenge mainstream scientific thought but the details escaped them and the lack of great insight into the principles of real science let alone the twisted abomination that sprung from demented fuckwit desperation left them stranded in not a clue land.
    Even ‘dumbass scientifical jeebus flavoured brain fart 101′ was to technical for them.

    In a way the greatest ally to anti-theism is the fact that rank and file are not particularly gifted in either knowledge or critical analysis.
    But whacking a bag of dumb rusty nails can end up bruising the knuckles after a time!
    Mind you although bad enough as they are now…if they had a brain they would indeed be damnably outright dangerous.

  26. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    In spite of the fact that I think religious people are morally degenerate subhumans, I think such lawsuits are a bad move. Let them have their prayers. If we fight them through the courts we strengthen them by giving them the opportunity to feel oppressed.

    We are not strong enough to attack them from the top down yet. We need to attack from the bottom up. We need to ridicule them and be open about who we are when it is safe to do so until we have the numbers to make things count

    I’m not sure what country you live in but if you look at the history of suits brought against public institutions who choose to have overtly religious displays such as this, they tend to get their asses handed to them in the courts. On top of having to sit on a bag of frozen peas to ease the pain from the ass kicking, they also frequently have open their wallets wide to pay for the whole affair. An act much more likely to discourage them or others in the future from such acts that a sore ass.

    So there is damn good merit is going forward with suits against schools, school boards, city councils, local government offices, etc.. who thumb their noses at the Constitution.

  27. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Jesus fuck, what a butchering of the English language that was.

    me fail English? thats unpossible!

  28. inflection says

    Thirty years ago, in Doe v. Aldine Independent School District (563 F. Supp. 883 (S.D. Tex. 1982)), my high school failed the Lemon test with its school song. Results? It was still up on the auditorium in 1995, when I graduated. It is as follows.

    Dear God, please bless our school and all it stands for.
    Help keep us free from sin honest and true.
    Courage and faith to make our school the victor.
    In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

    I tell a little lie: the last line was gone by ’95. Apparently that makes it less of a prayer.

  29. johncryan says

    Francisco, I’m trying to understand: they’re brought to court, they LOSE in court, and somehow, paradoxically, their position becomes stronger? While it might make them feel ‘more oppressed’, that and a dollar won’t get them coffee at Starbucks.

    As to date they’ve been unable to demonstrate actual unconstitutional oppression before a court of law they’ve lost-not gained-ground every time a case like this has been heard.

  30. Rey Fox says

    An act much more likely to discourage them or others in the future from such acts that a sore ass.

    And yet they just never.

    Ever.

    Learn.

    The one thing they might have learned is to start stacking the judges.

  31. Denephew Ogvorbis, OM says

    I think such lawsuits are a bad move. Let them have their prayers. If we fight them through the courts we strengthen them by giving them the opportunity to feel oppressed.

    Please point out a human rights or religious rights issue that has been settled by accomodationism. If we do not fight illegal religious intrusions in government, what will stop them? Despite the law, they think it is right now with opposition. How would it get better if we ignore it?

  32. says

    On the poll – Do you think they will notice when the number of “yes, this was a good decision” votes becomes greater than the population of the town?

    When I voted it was running about a hundred no votes and nearly a thousand yes votes.

  33. stonyground says

    Presumably these things are put up in the first place by religious idiots who know the rules but think that, with God on their side, they can ignore them. As with the Damon Fowler case, the unpleasant reaction of these people when they are called out on their lawbreaking pretty much makes the case for them not to have the Government on their side too. It never occurs to these people that one day they might be the ones that are in the minority and needing protection from laws on government neutrality.

  34. crowepps says

    I’ve been wondering lately if any of these court decisions are actually heeded. I mean, who enforces the removal of these things?

    The ACLU is scrupulous about follow-up. If you appreciate that, send them a donation. They could use it, the tide of stupid seems to be rising rapidly.