The Saddest Thing About Cranston…

Dear Joseph G. Murray,
I tell you, I worry;
I think something’s wrong with your eyes.
That you see what you see
Is a marvel to me,
And I write to express my surprise:

The saddest part, it seems to you
Is Jessica’s outdated view
Of what a god’s supposed to do,
Like answering one’s prayer;
Instead of wanting mother healed
You want, instead, the girl to yield
To love, which was in Christ revealed—
He taught us all to care.

You saw this as the saddest part
You felt it, deep within your heart—
I urge you, sir; I urge you, start
To simply look around
The Cranston Christians also prayed
The lawsuit would be turned, or stayed,
That Jessie’s feelings would be swayed
And compromise be found

And finding none, with no regrets
Began to issue taunts and threats,
And urged themselves to action: “Let’s
Make Jessica regret!
We pray that God His will compel,
We’ll use the press to mock as well,
And hope she wants to burn in hell
Cos that is what she’ll get!”

God will not bend to our request
It is enough that we are blessed
Through us, God’s love may be expressed;
It is a Christian’s job!
If Christ is, as you say, enough—
There is no need to ask for stuff—
Then, Mr. Murray, please rebuff
The Cranston Christian mob!

Bit of a rant, after the jump:

Joseph G. Murray writes a letter to the editor of Connecticut’s “The Day”:

The saddest aspect of Jessica Ahlquist’s lawsuit to have a prayer removed from her high school auditorium (“Rhode Island city enraged,” Jan. 27) is not the removal of the banner (I doubt it did much to enrich the spiritual lives of students), but the source of her militant atheism; apparently so-called unanswered prayers.

The God Jessica learned about from church and home appears to have been a combination Santa Claus, Superman, celestial magician, and on-demand wonderworker. Ask God to heal your mother (or see that you pass your exam or get you to the church on time) and it should happen “alakazam!” If it doesn’t, then this God thing is pure fable.

So Mr. Murray is not ignorant of the behavior of the other students, he’s just sadder about Jessica’s atheism. She believed, as a young child, in a god that actually answered prayers; when He didn’t, she (tragically) noticed. Mind you, the behavior of her peers implies that they also believe in an interceding god, though one who does not use the magic word “alakazam”, but rather the magic words “Our Heavenly Father”–and those magic words are worth fighting for!

Mr. Murray’s concern with Jessica is that she sees god differently than he does. And that’s “the saddest aspect” of the situation. Sadder even than the behavior of her peers and the members of the community who, while sharing the view of god that Jessica saw fit to abandon, also chose to intimidate and threaten Jessica, chose to deliberately put their religious belief ahead of their legal obligations, and who continue to blame (and demonize) Jessica for their own transgressions.

Since the Spirit of this Jesus is at the center of our being, we get in touch with it and thus with our calling through the prayer of silence, stillness, wordlessness. Forget about asking for stuff.

Hundreds of Cranston Christians have been “asking for stuff”, like the privilege to continue to violate the constitution, marginalize non-Christians, and flaunt their majority status. In addition, they have been behaving like a mob of thugs, both online and in the real world.

But the saddest aspect of the situation is that a little girl, years ago, prayed for her mothers help, and realized there was no god there to answer. Y’know, I can’t help but think this is actually one of the most positive things that has happened in Cranston in decades.


  1. timberwoof says

    I think Mr. Murray was a student of Sister Mary Ignatius, who Explained it All to You. Of course, God listens to all your prayers; sometimes He decides not to answer. And sometimes he does answer, with a bus.

  2. says

    I fear he has a log in his eye, that he can’t see that the Cranston Christians are also “asking for stuff,” but in a way uglier (I was going to say “unChristian,” but maybe it’s more Christian) manner. I wonder why he doesn’t see that?

  3. iknklast says

    Of course, Murray’s view of God would come as a big surprise to most of the Christians I know, who believe God does give you “stuff” (if freedom from pain, hunger, and so forth, are truly “stuff”).

    Perhaps he should watch football a bit more. The crowds cheering as Teebow claims his victory came from God might enlighten him as to just what the majority of Christians do believe – that God intervenes in the workings of the world (“stuff”), and that some of those interventions are truly, obviously, stupendously trivial.

  4. cag says

    Christians are so obtuse. If their god answered their prayers the judge would not have deemed the banner religious. Their imaginary omniimpotent god obviously wanted the banner down.

  5. Ashley Bone says

    I done submitted a letter to the editor:

    In response to Joseph Waterford’s letter, “Atheist needs lesson in Christian belief”, I would submit that it is Christians in Cranston that need the lessons. Referring to Ms. Ahlquist, Mr. Waterford arrogantly stated that the “saddest aspect” of the lawsuit was “the source of her militant atheism; apparently so-called unanswered prayers.”.

    Really, Mr. Waterford? Sadder than the hundreds of Christians in her community that responded to the ruling with threats of death, rape and other violence? Sadder than the slurs and hatred delivered by her Christian classmates and her Christian community? Sadder than her state representative calling her “an evil little thing” while ignoring the screams for violence from his Christian constituents?

    I suggest you reassess your criteria for sadness, Mr. Waterford.

    Ashley Bone

  6. G.Shelley says

    I’m surprised it took this long. When I read what took her away from belief, I expected the Christians to jump straight away to “She’s just angry with God”

  7. Hercules Grytpype-Thynne says

    Of course, even the Lord’s Prayer asks for “stuff”, even if it’s only basic sustenance. But what did Jesus know?

  8. grumpyoldfart says

    Luke 11:9,10
    Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find

    Matt 17:20
    nothing shall be impossible unto you.

    Matt 21:22
    whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive

    John 14:13
    And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that I will do.

    John 15:7
    Ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you.

    John 15:16
    Whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

    John 16:23
    Whatsoever you shall ask the father in my name, he will give it you.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *