Its not often that I post two posts about intolerance on one day. This one is about religious intolerance….or rather, intolerance against the non-religious.

FIRST-THE FACTS…..

You see, a young teenage student in Rhode Island saw a religious prayer banner in her high school auditorium. And it wasnt just religious, it was Christian. (Only specifying because Im sure there are those of other faiths/denominations in this town)

Here is the banner in question:

Text of what the prayer banner says:

Our Heavenly Father,
Grant us each day the desire to do our best,
To grow mentally and morally as well as physically,
To be kind and helpful to our classmates and teachers,
To be honest with ourselves as well as with others,
Help us to be good sports and smile when we lose as well as when we win,
Teach us the value of true friendship,
Help us always to conduct ourselves so as to bring credit to Cranston High School West.
Amen

I think we all would agree that the banner is, in fact, highly Christian in nature. However, this young lady is a non-believer and thought that displaying this banner in a prominent place in her school auditorium was in-the-least excluding those who werent of like mind.

So, she decided to do something about it. She created a facebook page to rally support for her cause. And so it began…..a year and a half of threats and insults.

There were heated meetings of the school board and then the ACLU picked up the case against the Cranston School District.

Yesterday the courts ruled that the banner should be removed. See 40 page decison:  http://news.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/2012/01/11/ahlquist_decision_011112.pdf (examples of what occurred at the school board meetings are made within this 40 page decision)

After the courts decision, Mayor Chafee put in his two cents and surprisingly agreed with the courts decision.

AND THEN IT GOT ‘INTERESTING’

You see, somewhere along the line, the defenders of this prayer banner forgot the words contained on it. Specifically the ones that said

  • To grow mentally and morally as well as physically
  • To be kind and helpful to our classmates and teachers
  • Help us to be good sports and smile when we lose as well as when we win
  • Help us always to conduct ourselves so as to bring credit to Cranston High School West.

In what world do threats of violence and hateful attacks fit in with those words?

Or, if youre really inquisitive you could head on over and look at some of the following links-

See article:  http://cranston.patch.com/articles/ahlquist-fight-over-mural-despite-harrassment-threats-worth-it  Quote:  Ahlquist today was dubbed “an evil little thing,” a “clapping seal” and a “pawn star” on WPRO today by state Rep. Peter Polombo. (I have to wonder how an elected official describes a constituent in this manner.)

The courts decision led to online threats, not only from strangers, but from those in her own community and school.

See:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2085964/School-ordered-remove-religious-banner-tells-pupils-kind.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

See: (Warning-graphic language) http://jesusfetusfajitafishsticks.blogspot.com/2012/01/ahlquist-screenshots-if-by-christian.html

Lets get real now people. I dont personally care what you believe in, or dont believe in. Thats not my business. But when a court says that you need to remove something religious from a public building because it violates the Constitution, you probably should do it.

Theres this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

Quote:  I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.” Jefferson reflected his frequent speaking theme that the government is not to interfere with religion.

CYBER BULLYING INVESTIGATED

Let me wrap this post up with where it currently stands. The police and school officials are now investigating threats of violence against this student. Apparently someone posted her home address, and there are horrible threats (as seen in above links) against her personal safety.

Personally, I dont care if I agree or disagree with someone, I will NEVER threaten someone with violence. And those who call themselves Christians making these threats against this teenager (especially those who are adults) should be ashamed.

http://www.rifuture.org/girl-at-the-center-of-the-cranston-prayer-banner-case-targeted-by-cyber-bullies.html

http://cranston.patch.com/articles/police-school-officials-investigating-online-prayer-case-reaction-for-cyberbullying

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