I dont think they’re smiling

So how was your day? This is what Jessica Ahlquist’s mailbox looked like today.

Just to remind you all, here is the text of the prayer banner that was up in Jessica’s high school. Take note of the fifth sentence.

Seems odd they’re so intensely defensive of a banner whose message they have no actual interest in practicing.


  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    Technically, the line you refer to is the second sentence in the school prayer: those words between that and the first sentence are just fragments.

    Why didn’t the English Comp teachers get that damn thing taken down years ago?

  2. godlesspanther says

    This is the first time I have ever seen a picture of it. It’s ugly. They let that thing hang on the wall for almost half a century. The janitors need to be fired.

  3. CompulsoryAccount7746 says

    Without the banner, how’s Jesus supposed to know they need help being good sports?

    Obviously this is her fault for robbing them of the supporting ward against their own weak nature and/or devil influence.

  4. says

    I guess this amounts to an argument for putting the prayer up again. These people clearly need a daily reminder in order to act with basic human decency.

  5. Edward says

    Does anyone else want to watch her back for her? I feel a strong urge to make sure nobody fucks with her or her family, in a personal manner

  6. heisenbug says

    Isn t threatening someone a felony? Even if those are stupid teenagers, they should be punished by the law

  7. John M says

    what LykeX says: the Noble Lie still is needed. I don’t think Atheism/Humanism has the slightest chance of keeping such lowlife in check. Atheists (me included) could do worse than remember Churchill’s dictum about truth having need of protection by a “bodyguard of lies”. There is no guarantee; I would be skeptical that the truth will set society free. Hell, I’m a religous Atheist, and who knows how many clergy down the centuries were the same!:)
    Of course you cant’ say that too loud, once the genie is out of the bottle its going to be chaos.

  8. Howard says

    Right, now may be time to get the FBI involved. I’m guessing whoever wrote that didn’t bother to remove their fingerprints.

  9. fred jones says

    If I were the parent of a kid who got a letter like this I would hunt the writers down and piss on them

  10. Nathan Godwin says

    Ok, this obviously isn’t sincere. We’ve all seen The Bodyguard, so we all know that sincere nut-job pukes always compose their death threats with cut-out letters from various magazines.

    No X-ACTO™ knife, Glue Stic, and mutilated copy of Guns & Ammo – no death threat. Oh, these zany christian Cranston kids and their good-natured tomfoolery… good one guys!


  11. MaxEntropy says

    Angry Christians should try to keep in mind the inspirational words of Joe Dirt’s mother: “Is this where you want to be when Jesus comes back?”

  12. heisenbug says

    So the only way you convince a person not to rape or robe others would through religion? That is a seriously messed up idea, man. If someone is unable to listen to reason than someone should put that person in prison or in a nut house. One can either use their brain or suffer the consequences

  13. andrewhawkins says

    It’s easy to be cavalier when you’re not the one being directly threatened, but I kind of want her to say “bring it on.” Go ahead and show everyone what kind, loving Christians you are.

    Fucking hypocrites.

  14. says

    To put it kindly, it’s just a tad naive to think that if the banner went back up, this “Crusaders” guy would look at it and go, “Well, okay then, it’s back where it belonged, now don’t you ever…oh, hang on a minute…according to this, it was totally wrong of me to have sent that teenage girl horrible threats of death and gang rape. Well, I’m deeply sorry, and I guess I need to take some time off at a monastery to wear hairshirts and repent.”

  15. Dave says

    Except they will do just that. And then the ‘true christians’ will say that the murders are just as bad as she was and that will be the end of it. Let’s not make the mistake of assuming we are dealing with decent people.

  16. godlesspanther says

    Yes, it is a felony to threaten someone. Using the US mail to do so is a federal offense. The one who wrote this threatened Jessica, her sister, and her father. Three separate felonies.

    Even if this individual (yes, I would bet that it is one and not really “we”) has no intention of doing anything beyond writing a letter to frighten and intimidate — it is still criminal activity.

    A letter like this must be taken seriously. It may be nothing and it may be a real threat. If we don’t know for sure it has to be taken seriously.

  17. jacobfromlost says

    Is this one of those examples de Botton always talks about, where religious people get their moral educations from religion? Apparently it didn’t take on someone. I wonder if we can send them to that giant black obelisk thingie so they can get a REAL “secular religious” moral lesson stamped “approved”?

    Having taught English for many years, I can tell you I could identify about 75% of the students I had any given year by their handwriting and writing style/spelling. If this image is available to the staff, I would expect a very good lead on who wrote it…if any adults at the school have any morals left.

    If they don’t, fingerprints would be my next avenue. I think there is a 99.999% chance that the genius who wrote that never considered fingerprints at all. (Also, there is the possibility this wasn’t written by a student, as horrific as that notion is.)

  18. Escuerd says

    Ugh, much as I hate it, I think this is pretty much exactly what would happen if violence befell her.

    “Oh my, that person couldn’t have been a TRUE Christian to commit such an act of violence. Why at the very most, they were one who momentarily strayed and sank to the level of this horrible horrible girl who committed her own heinous act by violating our God-given right to have her school endorse our religion.”

  19. stubby says

    I hope they catch this person soon. The cynical douche part of me is really hoping the letter wasn’t written by an atheist.

  20. CompulsoryAccount7746 says

    So religion’s needed, but for monstrous people?
    Indoctrinate everyone to stop a few?
    – A gullibility-as-virtue theme to use in other lies.
    – A way to shirk personal responsibility.
    – Lousy motivation to do… whatever you can project onto an imaginary friend.
    – A social construct that prevents anti-social behavior from being reported or psychological problems from being treated.
    – Clubs that cultivate financial and social dependency then kick their staff and members to the curb when they stray from doctrine.
    Yeah. That’ll keep reckless people in check.

  21. andrewhawkins says

    Perhaps, and it’s probably best to assume the worst. Although threatening someone in an anonymous letter is an incredibly cowardly thing to do, and that’s the other thing that burns my ass and makes me want to see them called out.

  22. Zengaze says

    You surmised my thoughts to a tee. I hope jess pursues this with the full vigour of the law. I wonder how many heros for Jesus there would be after the scumbag who wrote this was put before a federal judge.

  23. John Kruger says

    More ugly religious tribalism. Why am I not surprised that the actual message on the banner is forgotten in favor of persecuting someone identified as your enemy? They think they know who the “bad guy” is, so anything goes and all is justified. Is there a more evil way of thinking?

    Perhaps they should have a WWII holocaust remembrance banner, but given the half assed nature of the letter I doubt this dipshit would make the connection.

  24. Kazim says

    “The cynical douche part of me is really hoping the letter wasn’t written by an atheist.”

    Oh, for fuck’s sake. I wouldn’t even dignify such a douche by calling him cynical.

  25. says

    what LykeX says: the Noble Lie still is needed

    Actually, I was being somewhat sarcastic. It should be quite clear from incidents like this that the “noble lie” approach is in fact not working.
    Lots of people who self-identify as Christians go about acting in a quite disgusting manner and see no contradiction. In fact, a lot of them are using their Christianity to justify their horrific behavior.

  26. Helena Constantine says

    Freud pointed that it was only fear of god that kept people like the one who wrote the letter (and there’s an uncomfortable number of them), from raping and murdering. Eventually they are going to figure out there isn’t any god, and what are we going to do then? More fundamentally, Religion, in the form of hatred of gays and abortion, is being used to brainwash about a third of the country into voting to give more and more power to a tiny class of the rich. Someday they’re going to figure they’re being lied to, and then they’ll want blood. Their revenge might be just, but do you want to live through it?

    The solution is to use education to transfer more and more people into the middle class and into atheism, but that hasn’t been working out so well.

  27. says

    I feel so much for Jessica. I was also tormented for being different in high school and I can remember how much it hurts and that nothing really took the pain away. Everyone wants to be excepted by their peers on some level. I know from listening to her speak that she is an intelligent girl and will be able to handle these attacks with courage and bravery. Thank you again and again, Jessica, for making Rhode Island a better place.


  28. FSAthe1st says

    This sort of nonsense coming from the Christian “right” makes me sick at their double standards. These are the same people that forever talk about how without a God we would all be murdering liars etc etc, yet they make this kind of trash and threaten someone for speaking out?

    Practicing what they preach is not in their lexicon.