High School Atheist Files Lawsuit Against God-Banner-Loving City

Remember that religious banner up in Rhode Island’s Cranston High School West?

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.

Last we heard, the school board had voted 4-3 in favor of keeping that banner up.

For months, sophomore student Jessica Ahlquist has been fighting on the side of church/state separation. She began the Facebook group “Support the Removal of the Cranston High School West Prayer” and has been quoted as the “opposition” in just about all the news articles about the controversy:

… the prayer, critics say, stands in direct violation of the country’s laws.

Cranston West sophomore Jessica Ahlquist said, “In America, we have the right to believe or not to believe.”

“This prayer endorses religion. It endorses a specific religion,” said Ahlquist, who is an atheist. The prayer, she says, “is discriminating against us.”

For “a majority to say that you can take away a minority right, it’s wrong,” Ahlquist said. “It’s also un-American.”

As of yesterday, though, Jessica’s not simple the voice of reason. She’s taking a lead role in fighting back by being the lead plaintiff in the Rhode Island ACLU’s lawsuit against the city of Cranston.

You can read the actual lawsuit here (PDF).

Jessica Ahlquist, plaintiff in the lawsuit: “The prayer’s presence in the school promotes and endorses the ideals of Christianity and the concept of a single “Heavenly Father”. I firmly believe that it should not be on display in a public school and is in direct violation of my and other students’ civil rights. As an atheist, I do not feel included in the message of the prayer; in fact, I feel excluded. And the public hearings that I have attended have added to that feeling — that my views and beliefs don’t count, or have less value than those of the Christian majority. I don’t feel that I or anyone else should have to feel that way at school. The prayer does not belong in a public school and that’s why I have come forward to challenge it.”

Already, she’s facing backlash:

Ahlquist, who has spoken against the display at various School Committee meetings on the issue and asked that the banner be removed, said she has received indirect threats because of her involvement and once had to be pulled out of school.

Must be the result of Christian love…

It’s amazing how a sophomore knows more about what the law says than all these adult fighting against her.

After she wins this lawsuit, I hope every church/state group in the country lines up to offer her scholarships. This is the sort of courage you wish more students had — fighting back against what’s popular because you know what’s right.

  • http://yamipirogoeth.blogspot.com/ Sakura

    It’s great to see a younger generation person supporting such a cause. It will only help to improve the future for everyone and I totally support what she’s doing!

  • Cortex

    People can get particularly unreasonable when it comes to high school traditions. A friend of mine challenged her school’s ‘Redskins’ mascot and got threats; people even intercepted her mail a couple times.

    Of course, Jessica has something that my friend didn’t – a great blogger to keep a whole international community looking out for her.

  • http://pinkydead.blogspot.com David McNerney

    While I agree with her 100%…

    “This prayer endorses religion. It endorses a specific religion,” said Ahlquist, who is an atheist. The prayer, she says, “is discriminating against us.”

    How is this discrimination?

    Has she asked to put up atheist signs and was denied? And what is an atheist sign?

    (The obvious answer is that this is why you need separation of church and state – otherwise things just get silly).

  • http://www.zazzle.com/atheist_tees The Godless Monster

    @David McNerney,

    “How is this discrimination?”

    It’s discrimination in the sense that it officially highlights the difference between believers and non-believers, even if indirectly.
    By officially representing a religion – any religion- the state (by default) puts itself in the position of defending whatever bigotry and hatred that are a direct result of belief in that religion. Since one of the defining factors in modern monotheistic faiths is bigotry and discrimination, I would submit that anything that supports or represents that faith is also in and of itself discriminatory and encourages or creates a hostile environment for those who do not subscribe to this religion.

  • http://brickwindow.wordpress.com Brick Window

    I love Cortex’s comment:

    Of course, Jessica has something that my friend didn’t – a great blogger to keep a whole international community looking out for her

    It is necessary for our ragtag “group” (if you can call it that) to stand together when these situations appear, both in our own cities and in the larger community. Jessica, and other youth like her, should know she has a growing network that will support her.

    What a wonderful example of a civil servant she is. Her parents must be very proud.

  • Liam

    “Help us to be good sports and smile when we lose” -
    wonder how that’s going?

  • JJR

    But, if she has been pressured to leave school, doesn’t she lose standing as a student, or can they use that as further evidence of discrimination? Would hope the latter, but I’m no lawyer, so don’t know.

  • http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_179298715436387&ref=notif&notif_t=group_activity Brian

    If you guys want to show your support or offer any tips to Jessica, join the Facebook group she dedicated to this issue:

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_179298715436387&ref=notif&notif_t=group_activity

  • Nancy

    The school administrators could have so easily revised this prayer to be simply an inspirational message. Take out the heavenly father and amen and change it to “Let us each day strive to do our best…” Obviously the Christians don’t get it or don’t want to be inclusive. Good for this young woman to have the courage to challenge it!

  • Tina in Houston

    Please leave a comment on the article. It’s being taking over by people who don’t understand the First Amendment.

  • http://reverendredmage.blogspot.com Reverend Red Mage

    It actually disappoints me that it had to come to this. In a state like RI where the school system is already facing budget deficits, now they can pile what could have been a completely avoidable lawsuit on top of it. Now everyone, students and faculty alike, will suffer due to the stubborn self-righteousness of the board.

    Jessica should be commended for her bravery in this entire endeavor.

    • 555Aaron

      The means don’t justify the ends. The ends don’t justify the means; both must be just in order to arrive at equitable justice. Her bravery is very similar to that of the “Terrible Twos,” when a little tot doesn’t get ones way. Put it to a faculty, student vote and give the majority what they want; isn’t that democratic?

      • BasedinReality1

         Or is it the school board behaving like spoiled children by foolishly spending taxpayer money to violate the U.S. Constitution? They are throwing a fit and refuse to follow the rules”because they don’t wanna?”.

  • Rebecca

    You go, girl! We support ya!

  • Thegoodman

    How is this discrimination?

    By this logic, a huge sign that says “Being white is great!” is not discriminatory. It is discriminatory because by singling out a particular group, you indirectly exclude all other groups. The sign in protest has implications that in order to be kind, helpful, or even a credit to your high school; you must pray to this god and ask for these things.

    The existence of this girl is proof enough of the invalidity of this sign. She is clearly an asset to her school and she didn’t ask God to allow her to be this, she just is on her own volition.

  • Cindy

    You could just leave off the “Our Heavenly Father” and “Amen” and leave the rest.

  • Tom

    NO! No no no no no! She’s right: the banner is inappropriate and daft. But she shouldn’t be suing.

    If she makes the claim that the banner offends her and that this is enough to warrant it being removed, then all hope is lost for any atheist campaigns that want to go up as well. This is dangerous territory – to be demanding the removal of something which is, frankly, pretty inoffensive.

    Instead, she should make the case for prayers from a variety of faiths to be displayed alongside it, including some sort of non-denominational humanist “prayer”.

    The backlash is, however, unacceptable. But it does not serve to strengthen her argument. I hope she loses – even though I am an atheist and abhor religion – if she wins it will probably do more harm than good.

    I do think it warrants serious discussion. Just not legal action.

  • coyotenose

    Doog Dog no, Tom! While I see your point about what action should be taken, if she loses now (which won’t happen), it will destroy future attempts at righting the wrongs of “tradition” and other empty ideas.

  • Eskomo

    Is she claiming that the banner offends her? Or is she stating that by the school endorsing this banner, it excludes her. Sounds like the latter.

    As for avoiding the backlash of opinion, should we never complain about the majority excluding a minority? Doesn’t seem to be working that way.

  • Silent Service

    Tom,

    No she should not have to make a case for any other faith. That’s an absurd idea at best. Our law clearly tells us that government, and the institutions of government, cannot endorse a religious view without an appropriate secular supporting view. There is no appropriate secular supporting view to prayer.

    You purport the possibility of her winning her lawsuit, which history tells us that she very likely will, causing more harm than good. Evidence please? Short term she’s likely going to have a rough time and face some mental, emotional, and physical abuse; Christians will be indignant and angry, possibly abusive. Worst case scenario some psycho hurts or kills somebody (unlikely put possible). Long term results are that the school will be compliant with the laws and students will get a more balanced and secular education. In the end, the removal of the school prayer will be an improvement while any damage will have short term, if very ugly, effects.

    Scary and ugly as the worst case scenario is (death of an innocent), the long term gain will easily overcome the short term loss inevitably. Being timid because you fear the worst case scenario is what keeps prejudice alive. Fearing harm when right should never be justification for timidity or compromise.

  • Skwerl

    This controversy has been going on for months. The school committee is not willing to back down, and they have made it clear time and again that they feel the prayer is inclusive of all faiths….so I doubt the proposal of putting up other prayers would be taken seriously, anyway.

  • ACN

    The school committee is not willing to back down, and they have made it clear time and again that they feel the prayer is inclusive of all faiths

    Utterly mind boggling. They are either out of their minds or intentionally obtuse.

  • Matteo Watkins

    Odd… she looks perfectly normal. You’d never know she was an atheist.

  • Duxall Inarow

    A fundamental principle of American democracy is that even a democratic majority cannot be permitted to tyrannize the minority and restrict individual rights. The Bill of Rights was specifically adopted to protect certain fundamental freedoms from the will of the majority. (ACLU)

  • http://chandays.blogspot.com Larry Meredith

    I have been following this thing since you last posted about it and I nothing but respect for Jessica. She has shown a lot of pride and strength even though she has been outcast by much of her peers.

    I wrote a long letter to the school board before their meeting, pointing out previous supreme court cases about school prayer.

    A lot of the people standing up for the banner, including the person who wrote it, seem to be very stuck on the argument that it is non-denominational. In my research of supreme court cases, I found that the 1962 case of Engel v. Vitale was actually over a non-denominational prayer, which was found to be unconstitutional.

    I hope this case can set precedent that it’s not only illegal to make students recite a non-denominational prayer, but that’s it’s illegal to even have it painted on the wall of a school.

  • Poyndexter

    “This is dangerous territory – to be demanding the removal of something which is, frankly, pretty inoffensive.”

    The operative word being “inoffensive.”

    What a good little apparatchik, using the law as a sledgehammer to quash innocuous local sensibilities and traditions because of her faux-offense at being “discriminated” against by some pablum printed on a poster.

  • Neil Robinson

    Though I am an affirmed (and increasingly radical) Atheist, I have to say I disagree with this girls action.

    One has to look at this prayer in context. If as I suspect this prayer was first put up in or around 1958 then what is wrong with it exactly? The girl isn’t truly offended by it, after all she must realize that in 1958 putting up prayers like this was not uncommon, and certainly not controversial. It is simply part of what the school is and was.

    Speaking for myself my school, was absolutely full of religious prayers and iconography, it never did us any harm – I cannot think of one Alumnus that today is religious in any way.

    The difference between my school and Cranston High West is that my school was founded in 1571 rather than 1958 which helped with our perspecive on the schools religious base. There is no point denying that 16th Century England was intensely and deeply religious it was – and it is part of who we are today.

    20th Century America was also deeply and intensely religious and it is part of who you are. In time the Prayer at Cranston will be seen in this context and so it is important that it remains.

    Don’t worry about it, just make sure they don’t put up new ones!

  • Jim Kordahl

    Young lady BRAVO!!!!!!!!! You are right!!!!! You are defending other believes also… BRAVO!!!!!!!!!

    Wait… she doesn’t have horns on her head like most atheist. How are we to tell… WAIT…. shhhh they’re all around us.

    Fellow free thinker

  • Emily

    If she makes the claim that the banner offends her and that this is enough to warrant it being removed, then all hope is lost for any atheist campaigns that want to go up as well.

    She’s not arguing the the banner should be taken down simply because she doesn’t like it, but rather because it promotes particular religious views, which implicitly marginalizes all other views. The only way it would apply to atheist or any other materials is if they included elements specific to religion. It doesn’t have an implications for secular campaigns, and a banner saying something like “G-d does not exist” would be no more appropriate in a public school than this prayer is.

    they have made it clear time and again that they feel the prayer is inclusive of all faiths

    They couldn’t be more wrong though. The “Heavenly Father” reference is very specific to Christianity. Actually, it would have been *more* inclusive if they’d written “G-d” instead of “Heavenly Father,” since at least then it would include all monotheistic religions (at least in theory, although to me it still just feels very Christian somehow). As a religious Jew, I wouldn’t feel comfortable in a school with that prayer displayed. I would expect to see something like that only in a private Christian school, which is not a place where I would feel I belong as a non-Christian.

    I also have to say, I don’t understand how they can possibly believe that displaying a prayer from any faith is appropriate in a public school. Despite being a religious Jew, I would consider it completely inappropriate to display Jewish prayers in a public school (or to have mezuzahs on the doors, which I would consider far more important), because I recognize that many people do not share my beliefs, that public schools should be welcoming to all students, and that the government should not be allowed to force any religion on the public, even a religion I personally believe in.

  • Emily

    one of the defining factors in modern monotheistic faiths is bigotry and discrimination

    That hardly seems fair. Sure there are plenty of religious people out there who are bigoted and discriminatory, and many use their religion to try to justify it, but it’s not a “defining factor” of modern monotheistic faiths any more than prejudice against religious people, or members of certain religions, is a defining factor of atheism.

  • Larry Meredith

    Emily, the only defining factor of atheism is the disbelief in a higher power. There is no set of rules or stories that atheists follow. Modern monotheistic faiths for the most part follow a holy text. The bible, for example, does have a lot of defining factors that involve bigotry and discrimination. You can’t just ignore this fact simply because the majority of modern Christians have good intentions.

  • Demonhype

    One has to look at this prayer in context. If as I suspect this prayer was first put up in or around 1958 then what is wrong with it exactly? The girl isn’t truly offended by it, after all she must realize that in 1958 putting up prayers like this was not uncommon, and certainly not controversial. It is simply part of what the school is and was.

    In 1958, anyone who might have complained would have faced far worse sanctions against them for–quite rightly–complaining about this unConstitutional action. This is not “part of what the school is and was”, because this is a public school in America where public schools belong to the government and are funded by the people–all of them, not just the believing or Christian ones–and are prohibited from identifying themselves with any religion or endorsing any religion whatsoever, and so they were in the wrong the very day they put up such an implicit exclusion of atheists/non-Christians.

    Basically, taking down this Constitutional violation would be respecting who the school is and was. There is no reason to respect the fact that at some point in the past the school administrators decided to wipe their ass with the First Amendment. Just because some religiotarded assholes in 1958 decided it would be totally keen to ignore the First Amendment and force their faith down the throats of others is not an argument to allow it to stand. This prayer represents a grievous mistake that never should have been made, not the legitimate identity of a public taxpayer-funded extension of the government.

    Besides which, “tradition” is no excuse to allow a blatant violation of such a fundamental aspect of civil rights to continue. In fact, the “tradition” argument is how a lot of more serious violations have been allowed to occur. And yes, it does “hurt” people–how often do religious types cite “under God” in the pledge or “in God we trust” on the money to justify even worse violations of the civil rights of atheists and non-Christians, citing these violations as evidence that this is a CHRISTIAN nation and that this is our NATIONAL IDENTITY and if you don’t LOVE CHRIST and won’t kowtow to increasing religious oppression to just get the hell out, or better yet, go to hell? Hell, you’re doing something similar–they violate the law at a time when they were able to get away with it, and here you are arguing that this was a traditionally Christian nation and anyone non-Christian or atheist should shut up and suck it up instead of speaking out against historical Constitutional blunders. A Constitutional blunder does not magically become an acceptable piece of tradition just because it happened a certain number of years earlier.

    Considering again that this kind of violation happened at a time when the people who might have wanted to complain had to remain silent for fear of real persecution, it makes it more disgusting. That’s another way that such violations make way for other more serious violations–the powerful religious group violates the Constitution, and if they can manage to terrorize their opponents into silence for a long enough time then they can pull out the “tradition, can’t touch me” card.

    There is no point denying that 16th Century England was intensely and deeply religious it was – and it is part of who we are today….20th Century America was also deeply and intensely religious and it is part of who you are. In time the Prayer at Cranston will be seen in this context and so it is important that it remains.

    Crucial difference. 16th Century England =/= 20th Century America. England was not founded at all with the beliefs in individual rights and the right of the minority to be legally protected from discrimination and persecution from the minority, and instead chose to entwine religion into every part of private and public life. America was. End of story.

    But, once again, just because something was traditional does not mean that is a good thing or that it must remain. It may have been a tradition in your family to have Uncle So and So’s racist painting to grace every family gathering, but that doesn’t make it a good tradition, or right, and it doesn’t necessitate that the hallowed painting celebrating a “righteous” “traditional” lynching needs to continue to be displayed proudly at every family gathering–or at all, unless it’s at some kind of themed event illustrating the traditional evils of racism.

    This prayer must not remain. It is a blatant violation of everything a public school in America is legally supposed to represent, it was enacted during a time when those harmed by it were not in a position to safely stand on their rights, and by such oppressive action was carried into the status of purportedly untouchable “history”. If “history”, this is a shameful part of the school’s “history” and must be removed.

    Or at least changed to remove the religious shit. Without the explicit shout-out to god, it would be a perfectly acceptable and even inclusive collection of inspirational ideas–which makes it even sadder that someone had to sandwich it with prostrations to their favorite imaginary friend.

    BTW, being “deeply and intensely religious” is not part of who I am, nor is it part of any of the millions of other unbelievers who were wronged and disenfranchised in the 20th century America in direct violation of the very basic principles our country was founded on–which is, ironically, who we really were, or who we flattered ourselves that we were anyway, since hypocrisy is not something the hypocrite is usually aware of. I guess Bush the First was right–I’m not a citizen of this country, and I won’t be until I prostrate myself before Jebus.

  • Demonhype

    Many states have laws on the books that mandate jail sentences and fines as a punishment for professing atheists. Though unenforcable today, there is always a huge stink made by the religious contingent when any attempt is made to remove them on the grounds that these bigoted and highly unConstitutional laws are “traditional” or “historical”. Do they have a point? Should laws remain in our legal system that violate the very basis of our system of government, deny the rights and even the citizenship of atheists, and directly condone and/or mandate overt religious persecution, on the grounds that “it’s, like, totally traditional”?

  • PhiloKGB

    “This is dangerous territory – to be demanding the removal of something which is, frankly, pretty inoffensive.”

    The operative word being “inoffensive.”

    What a good little apparatchik, using the law as a sledgehammer to quash innocuous local sensibilities and traditions because of her faux-offense at being “discriminated” against by some pablum printed on a poster.

    Yeah, it’s inoffensive. So if she’s offended, she’s wrong. Or something.

    And really, this stuff is such ‘inoffensive pablum’ that it’s Sooper-Dooper important to keep it up, and this girl is an operative of a defunct Soviet political party for even suggesting that something that means so little to the people to whom it means so much might run afoul of the Constitution which the little pinko doesn’t even worship anyway.

    So there.

  • Geziel Aguilar

    I believe that claiming constitutional rights on those grounds is very dangerous. Let’s say straight people start getting offended by gay people in the same way she gets offended with religious people. Well, I guess straight people would have “the right” to be offended in that context, simply because they do not agree or share the same taste as homosexuals and vice-versa. Therefore, seeing a gay couple on the streets would not be appreciable for straights and vice-versa.
    I’m liberal, and I think tolerance is the key word for those issues. If she doesn’t like it or agree with it, why does it bother her at the end? I don’t get it!

  • Krystal Calderon

    I’m sorry but it is sad that people actually agree with this girl. What, we can have evolution in school but not religion. Just because a banner of a prayer was put up doesn’t force people to read it believe in God. You will believe what you want to believe no matter wants being thrown in face. I’m proud to say I believe in God and I know where I’m going when I die, what can ya’ll non believers say about that.

  • Krystal Calderon

    And to Nancy if you take out heavenly father and amen then it defeats the purpose of the message. People need to quit taking God out of everything. Just let it be cuz that’s how it should be.

  • Heidi

    @Krystal:

    What, we can have evolution in school but not religion.

    Correct. Thus separation of church and state. How would you feel if this was the prayer on the wall:

    School Prayer

    I invoke and call upon thee O Mother Goddess,
    who shines for all, who flows through all.
    Maiden, Mother and Crone,
    I invite you to my circle;
    Touch us, change us, make us whole.

    Or is it only okay to have prayers for your religion hanging on the wall?

  • Steve

    You will believe what you want to believe no matter wants being thrown in face

    And you will believe what you want even if that banner isn’t there

    Why do you need to inject religion into everything? Why isn’t it enough for you to have prayers in church and at home? Are you really that insecure in your faith?

    I’m proud to say I believe in God and I know where I’m going when I die, what can ya’ll non believers say about that.

    I know that I will cease to exist and that I will go nowhere. I know that I will live on the memories of those around me if I made an impact on them

  • ed-words

    The School Board members are probably

    “right friendly” folks who just have this

    religious addiction thing that’s been

    goin’ around.

  • Anetta

    @ Krystal Calderon:

    What, we can have evolution in school but not religion.

    Evolution is a proven science independent of religion. No comparison there. At all.

    And to Nancy if you take out heavenly father and amen then it defeats the purpose of the message. People need to quit taking God out of everything. Just let it be cuz that’s how it should be

    No, it doesn’t defeat the purpose of the message at all. Being a good sport and a good student isn’t a virtue unique to Christians. And what the hell do you mean “just let everything be cuz that’s how it should be”? Why should your beliefs be pushed unto everyone else? Would be so defensive if this school prayer was made in honor of Allah instead of the Christian God? I think not. Steve is right, you must be terribly insecure in your faith if you feel that it MUST be publicly enforced. No one is denying you your right to practice your faith, so why would you want to deny the right of someone to not have your faith pushed down their throats? Think about how unfair you sound. And this is coming from a believer.

    • 555Aaron

      To what has science subsided. In 1983, , based on the scientific method, even though there had been no scientific proof to the theory, it was forced into textbooks, nationwide.
                  During and prior to ’83-’85, there had simply been a great prliferation of theories and possibilities that, if had been proven true, would have supported evolution.
                  In Louisiana, around ’83-85, it had begun to be circulated that  the government had some how advocated evolution as the most probable theory, even though it had remained a theory.
                  Up until I earned my bachelor in 2003, I have never found any scientific proof. The 1984 text books had demonstrated how a little bone fragment had been found, and the big 3-D green “paleosaurus”-type images began to appear everywhere. It was and is not real science to call a theory true, while it still remains a theory. 

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/IG4L6GEQBG4KJGDFNRI5CKP4B4 John

    That prayer looks like something kind and good. As a parent I would call it good advice. The fact that anyone would devote time challenging it tells me that they are pretty lost and rotten inside. Its a shame that our country is now breeding such ugly people. Yet, most of today’s children are so obsessed with looking good on the outside. You look at a pretty teenage girl and think “awww…she must be precious”. But on the inside she’s as ugly as a troll, all because her parents teach her that religion is bad. Parents, you are shooting yourselves and your kids in the foot.  Giving children something good is much better than what atheism, which is to subtract everything down to nothing at all.

    • Parse

      John, your Christian privilege is showing, but your sympathy, empathy, and humanity are not.   Given that your comment isn’t constructive, and your words are ugly as a troll and rotten on the outside, I’ll ask that you not waste your time or ours with your trolling. 

    • KJS

      What you are missing is the fact that the prayer implies the need from an outside source to grant you these “kind and good” beliefs (which implies you can not follow them without the help of a God).  In other words it isn’t the prayer itself that is the problem, it is the idea of having to believe in a christian god to achieve these good and kind beliefs.

      The fact that you would categorize a person as lost and rotten inside and label them “ugly as a troll”  by merely challenging the idea of separation of church and state shows me that not only do you need a God to upkeep any kind of moral standards but further, you don’t practice Christianity in accordance to the Bible.

  • J Alexthomas

    You Will not Erase the Declaration of independence or the Constitution of the United States.

    “In God We Trust,” “One Nation under God,” “God Bless America” and “God Shed His Grace on Thee.”

    It is apparently clear our nation is completely out of sorts. Political correctness, social acceptance, toleration at any cost above faith and conviction. Is it any wonder, this great nation is experiencing uncontrollable hick-ups. The most disconcerting fact in all of this, is the fact that it is our very leaders who live in fear of retalliation from voters, promenient social icons and others who wield considrable financial influence and political stature to allow their individual conscious usurped and pinned to their feet. I was impressed during the end of Obama’s speech, when he expressedley called upon the Lord to bless this nation and all of it’s people to go forward in peace and brotherhood, yet many whinced and booed and continued in their criticism for the sake of disapproval. These people in my view are the “luke warm” patriots and citizens who go to the ballot box without a clue as to why they are their other than personal disapproval and selfishness. Damn if you do and damned if you don’t! Nothing will ever satisfy these individuals.“In God We Trust,” “One Nation under God,” “God Bless America” and “God Shed His Grace on Thee.” These are the words proclaimed and shouted from roof tops throughout Americas earliest history, recently as of the 60′s. Where have they gone? This nation could not move, could not think, could not act without calling upon God to inspire us and lead us to improvement and success. A cry out to God overturned child labor, slavery, Jim Crow, witch hunts, government black listing and much more – all national and public disgrace of a nation founded under God. Yes, founded under God. This Truth shall never be abated or covered up or buried within the political whim, or individual disproval of new comers; for it is written in blood and housed within tempered plated glass for all the world to read and view in documents which have with stood the test of enemies from within and enemies from without; precious shedded blood, not only on American soil but around the world and for as many reasons than I care to mention our blood as a nation under god shall continue to flow around the world. Why? Because, our “Freedom” under God compels us to shed blood and to deliver all those who doubt the greatness of God and the resolve of it’s people – Americans to persevere.Freedom is a contagious affliction that routes even the mightest armies, storms against oppression and slavery of the mind, body and spirit. I would never surmise that India would remove itself from the divine of Hinduism; that Saudi Arabia or Iran would remove itself from the glory of Allah anymore than we…a nation under God – one God, Jehova, indivisible and with justice for all. Why should we? There is no justifiable reason known to man for such a deprecation of faith and spirit. Is it any wonder that our great nation is tumbling every moment without a cry to the God who led many to it’s shores – to “Freedom”.I will always root for the underdog, and I always have. WE are now the underdogs of faith whose banners have fallen from the flag poles of our homes, schools and public institutions. Let us become the champions of the few, the champions who raise their banners with Love and respect to envision a once great people and nation under God without shame, without regret but with strength through Faith and it’s GOD. God Almighty, bless this nation, in the name of blessed Jesus, Amen. † The Character of Christ Within Us †

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Croteau/100000139232445 David Croteau

      You will not erase the Constitution. I do not care if you  like breaking the law or not. You are “the underdog” only in as much as what you are trying to support is a clear violation of law. The fact that you hold up Saudi Arabia and Iran as beacons of the sort of backwards religious theocracy is telling, and rather disturbing. Fortunately here in the United States we were protected from such things by the founding fathers, who knew better than to let a government force any religion on the people. If you want to pray, do it all you want to, if every student want’s to pray every day, fine, If a government institution wants to push religion, It is legal. You will not erase the constitution, no matter how much you want to try and rewrite history to erase the founding fathers. 

  • VoiceOfReason

    Okay, people.
    If having a banner that says “God” on it is catering to Christians, 
    And having a Star of David on the wall is catering to the Jewish, 
    and having anything with Allah is catering to Muslims,
    (etc. etc.)

    … isn’t having bare walls with nothing on them “catering to Athiests”???

    How about a little tolerance for diversity?  If she was being forced to recite the prayer, that’s one thing.  Its mere presence is completely another.


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