I encourage young people to organize and promote freethought — it’s the way we’ll grow and become more influential. But there’s no denying that sometimes it is hard, with even friendly, innocuous groups receiving public opposition. People resent the fact that other people don’t need their god.
Here’s a great example: Rising Sun High School in Maryland has the standard default take-it-for-granted attitude that Christianity is just fine — there’s the usual well-funded and usually teacher-promoted evangelical groups, like the Fellowship of Christian Athletes — and when one student tried to form a club for non-religious students…well, you can guess what happened. All their signs were torn down and destroyed, and the students were threatened by their peers. There were also letters to the editor of the local paper.
My daughter comes home today and informs me they have started a new club in Rising Sun High School. The club is known as NRS, which stands for Non Religious Society.
The members of this club have proceeded to hang posters along the halls of the school. When a student tore the posters down, because they offended him, he got suspended from school. Apparently the students are not allowed to touch these posters.
To say I was shocked is putting it mildly. My daughter does not hang posters of her Catholic religion throughout the school, and I expect the same type of respect from others. We cannot control what others think or their beliefs, nor do we want to. But I will not have this type of atrocity taking place without having my voice heard.
My daughter has my permission, if she sees these posters around school, to put up her own. I challenge the principal to say one thing about this. I guarantee you do not want a religious war taking place, as I have God on my side and you’ll lose.
Schools usually have policies about what can be posted on the walls; random messages and commercial ads and that sort of thing are no-nos, but announcements of student events and groups are just fine. If his daughter wants to set up an organization for Catholic students, that shouldn’t be a problem. But that’s not what’s bother this jerk, obviously: he’s irate that a godless organization even exists.
It is now the end of the school year, and that means it is time for the yearbook, when students and student organizations are all acknowledged. Except, unfortunately, for the Non-Religious Solutions student group, which has been blackballed and is not mentioned anywhere. The Christian groups are proudly represented, however. Here are some excerpts from the yearbook:
“The FCA… is an outstanding embodiment of Christian spirit.”
“Students gather together… to reflect on their on (sic) God.”
“…lesson is presented in the form of Bible readings,”
“Before closing, everyone gathers in the center of the room to join hands in prayer.”
“…the opportunity to pray with their fellow students to revel in what God has done for them.”
“Every meeting is finished by joining hands in prayer to prepare for the oncoming day.”
Well, aren’t they a fine bunch of pious toadies. It’s fine for the book to recognize that there are large numbers of sanctimonious public exhibitors of their superstition in the school — they are there, and it’s right that they be represented — but it is simple exclusionist bigotry that the staff decided that NRS would not be mentioned at all.
Wanna bet that the reason is that cretinous parents like the Catholic daddy quoted above put pressure on them?