After being forced to remove a religious mural donated by the class of 1963 due to Jessica Ahlquist’s successful lawsuit, Cranston West High School in Rhode Island now has two new banners to put up in its place. The class of 1963 donated the banners, which contain no religious references.
The Class of 1963 at Cranston High School West unveiled a new mural Saturday to replace the one that was taken down last year after a federal judge ruled that it was unconstitutional.
During an invitation-only ceremony in the afternoon, members of the class presented the new mural along with a second one containing the school creed as gifts to their alma mater…
The mural does not contain any religious words. It urges students to “foster an atmosphere of goodwill and respect,” among a series of positive messages.
Representatives of the class said the gift of the new mural was a way of moving on from the conflict, which drew national media coverage.
“The community is healed,” said Class of ’63 member Janice Bertino. “There is no more controversy.”
If only that were true. But these murals will no more “foster an atmosphere of goodwill and respect” than the old one, which failed to prevent the allegedly godly students from treating Jessica horribly after she stood up for the First Amendment and demanded religious neutrality. And some of the local residents remain as clueless as ever. One of the comments from someone named Al Gagne:
I guess it is ok because God isn’t mentioned. Rhode Island does not want God anywhere in the public education system or in the State House for that matter. RI is now a Godless State. No more moral behavior. Our Moral Compass is broken. God help us all.
Ah, irony. Mr. Gagne seems blissfully unaware that Rhode Island was founded as a colony that, for the first time, had separation of church and state. Its founder, Roger Williams, is the one who coined the phrase. And the claim that since the state is “godless” there will be “no more moral behavior” is simply absurd. Believing in God didn’t stop people from threatening Jessica’s life and that of her family, which is about as immoral as one’s behavior can get.
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