Today’s edition of the New York Times includes an editorial that defends Jessica Ahlquist‘s lawsuit:
The anger and hatred directed at Ms. Ahlquist — she was called “an evil little thing” on talk radio by a Cranston state representative — helps explain why the judge, responding to her brave lawsuit, did his duty under the Constitution and ordered immediate removal of the prayer, which begins “Our Heavenly Father” and concludes “Amen” and was visible throughout the auditorium.
… Recent meetings in Cranston about the prayer involved the kind of “excessive entanglement with religion” the court has warned against, with prayer backers reading from the Bible. The meetings showed why what believers consider a harmless request to respect a prayer can feel like coercion to nonbelievers.
… The kindness, friendship and other values the prayer champions are universal, but a statement of religious belief has no place in a public high school auditorium.
Jessica’s scholarship fund, by the way, has raised over $36,000 on her behalf. Some college atheist groups have told me they’re raising funds for her, some donations have been made directly to the American Humanist Association, and t-shirt sales still need to be included in the total amount. What you’re all doing for her is truly amazing.