Author of Cranston High School West Prayer Banner Lashes Out Against Jessica Ahlquist

Just when you thought the story was finally over…

David A. Bradley, the person who wrote the prayer banner (at the age of 12) at the center of Jessica Ahlquist‘s successful lawsuit againt Cranston High School West, has a letter-to-the-editor appearing in today’s Hartford Courant.

David Bradley (Freida Squires - The Providence Journal)

Turns out he’s not pleased with the fact that his banner has been torn down because a judge (and the Constitution) sided with Jessica.

I read the article… about a fundraising campaign among atheists to build a $40,000-plus scholarship fund for Jessica Alquist of Cranston, R.I…

How nice of them. Jessica was duped by her ACLU-leaning father and uncle into bringing suit against the city of Cranston over the display of a school prayer that I wrote in 1960.

Dear Jessica isn’t yet old enough to know the meaning of atheism. She was used (and permanently injured) by powers and ideologies in the name of secular liberal progressivism that she can’t possibly understand at her tender age.

I can’t believe The Courant would dignify such an award by such a group and to such a person with a piece on its pages. The R.I. judge’s ruling in this case and the subsequent headlines fly in the face of all that is decent and moral about the United States and its Constitution.

Furthermore, I’d like to think that, as the author of the moral and upstanding school prayer in question, I’d be entitled to ten or a hundred times as much money as Jessica has been awarded for having torn it down and repudiated decency and morality in our schools. Where are my donors?

David A. Bradley, Stonington

Where do you even begin with tripe like that?

Jessica’s in her mid-teens now. She became an atheist *years* ago. I became an atheist when I was 14. A lot of people can tell you that they became atheists at a young age. Whenever we first began to think critically and ask questions — that’s when it happened. (Edit: Obviously, Bradley knew he believed in god at the age of 12, but Jessica can’t be an atheist at 16? Hypocrisy, anyone?)

Jessica wasn’t duped by anyone, nor was she a pawn of the ACLU. This was a decision she brought to their attention, not the other way around.

Oh, and the scholarship for Jessica isn’t for $40,000. I’m still awaiting the final numbers, but it’s more than that.

A *lot* more than that.

Bradley isn’t entitled to anything. But if he wants to help pay the $150,000+ in legal fees the district owes, I’m sure they’d appreciate his help, considering he’s part of the reason they got into this mess in the first place.

(Thanks to Luther for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Anonymous

    How old do you need to be to tell fact from fiction, from probable from highly improbable? It dawns on some kids in kindergarten that Santa is unlikely.

  • Ggsillars

    The Constitution, like the Bible, is a document that many people are taught to revere, while possessing only the vaguest idea of what’s in it.

  • http://www.everydayintheparkwithgeorge.com/ Matt E

    I was brought up religious, went to church every Sunday and often attended Sunday school. I was also interested in science and read lots of books and magazines. I became an atheist at age 11 because I couldn’t square what I was told in church with what I had learned about the universe. So 16 year olds can’t possibly understand the meaning and ramifications of atheism and shouldn’t be exposed to it but it is perfectly ok to teach toddlers and elementary school kids about Jesus in day care and Sunday school because the clearly can understand the moral, social, geo-political and theological ramifications of Christianity? Really? How Interesting…

  • Mairianna

    Wait!  Jessica doesn’t understand what atheism is at HER age, yet this BOZO claimed to understand god’s will at the age of 12?????   What an idiot!  

    • Rnadeau77

      He obvious has not heard her speak. She is a very articulate and intelligent young lady.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregm766 Gregory Marshall

    Looks like somebody is but hurt.
     

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    Mr. David Bradley way to make yourself sound as if you are a giant douche nozzle.

    Job well done.

  • HowieV

    A bitter birther methinks.

  • gski

    “Dear Jessica isn’t yet old enough to know the meaning of atheism.” 
    What!  At what age do you baptize, perform first communions and confirmations?  Anyone for a little brain washing?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ED6TTXZER7BVAJZVM5OB26GPT4 MarkM

      My thoughts exactly.  If she was brainwashed by atheist parents to get rid of the banner, then wasn’t he brainwashed by religious parents to create the banner in the first place?  And if he created the banner at the age of 12, then he was years younger than she was when this whole thing started!

    • Darkheart8686

      Oh, abortion should be illegal because the child does not have a say?
      Please, tell me more about how old you were when you were baptized and/or circumcised.

      It’s shit like this, people…

  • guest2

    Wait, so he was old enough at 12 to write the banner, but she isn’t old enough at 16(?) to object to it?

    • http://profiles.google.com/statueofmike Michael S

      Step 1: Write a prayer banner
      Step 2: Grow old without learning or changing a thing
      Step 3: …
      Step 4: Profit!

    • datadev1

      Isn’t it amazing how he accuses Jessica’s relatives of influencing her atheism and fails to see how his brainwashing lead to his writing this prayer at the age 12. I have made up my mind. Don’t confuse me with facts.

  • SeniorSkeptik

    So, a brainwashed twelve year old is better equipped to judge reality than a skeptical, rational sixteen year old?

    I don’t think so!

  • Anonymous

    I think his implication that a 12 yr old BOY can masterfully parrot the words of his indoctrinated parents, but a simple minded GIRL has no place to do such a thing. Is he sexist? an idiot? both?

    • Anonymous

      Idiot.  I’m in no position to say whether he’s sexist, but I imagine the adult him is thinking “kids don’t know nothin’” and the kid him is going “i special!  i make sign!” 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553145445 Gordon Duffy

    Jessica’s scholarship was crowd sourced, if he feels entitled to more money he should ask the banner supporters to pay it to him. 

    • Reginald Selkirk

       AFTER they pay the cost of the court judgment which he cost the school district.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    Only reason they pull the “she’s a kid duped” line is that it’s less cool to attack a ‘kid’ directly.

    That whine for money sure sets up a contrast between Jessica and him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=527982303 Jonathan Arthur

    If there is a god, it doesn’t think much of David A. Bradley. I think old David should point his bitter disappointment heavenwards.

  • http://twitter.com/RantBot5000 RantBot Grikmeer

    I spoke to my parents about not believing in God when I was 8 years old. I say God, because I was only aware of the Christian god at the time. As I became aware of other ones, I rejected them as they had the same quality of evidence. 

  • Justin Miyundees

    I’ve seen this before.  

    Child writes devout prayer.  

    School displays devout prayer on banner.  

    Child grows up to be Rip Taylor look-a-like.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz91DSXCkGY

    • Michael

      I thought the same ting…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000669664970 Steven Bloomfield

    Was it really TORN down, or was it simply TAKEN down? 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Reed/692599362 Paul Reed

       And, I’d assume, it was taken somewhere else and put back up.

    • Matto the Hun

      Actually I peed on it and it became so heavy with urine it fell.

      True story!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Leithiser/593361421 Chris Leithiser

      Physically cut from the wall with the wallboard it was mounted on, and the wall patched.

      • Annie

        Makes me wonder what the cost was to remove it and repair the wall… and who paid for it?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/6ENHH6EVEK5AXXD3XHTXRXQRE4 Haplo42

       It was “torn” down, in the same way that seculars “rip” christ out of christmas and wage “war” on their religion. It’s hyperbole, exaggeration, fairy tales… thats all they know how to speak in.

      And if he needs money, he should pray harder.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Why is he dressed like Captain Kangaroo?

    • Anonymous

      He looks more like Joe Eszterhas (the director)

      • http://www.facebook.com/RexVeniversum William Schoen

         I was thinking Rip Taylor.

        • Reginald Selkirk

           His face and hair do look a lot like Rip Taylor. And a little research indicates that Captain Kangaroo wore a single-breasted blazer; so I retract my original characterization.

  • http://twitter.com/DangerousTalk Staks Rosch

    What an assclown. So this guy wants money for being a prick? Maybe he should ask his Church for a hand out. As far as I know, Jessica didn’t ask for the scholarship. Atheists donated to it because we think she earned it and deserves it.

    • bismarket

      I think you just hit the nail on the head “This guy wants money”. That’s it, the rest is just fluff, he’s jealous & he sees (wrongly) Jessica getting money for something that he’s always seen as “His” (The banner). I imagine that he’s not been as successful in life as he probably imagined he would be (with Gods help) when he did the banner, so it’s become one of only a few things he’s achieved in his life. It’s “His” accomplishment “His” success that’s now in the trash. Sad isn’t it?

  • AndrewZollinger

    So when he says “Dear Jessica isn’t yet old enough” to understand her choice of atheism and what atheism means does he tell people of her age that choose christianity that they are too young to understand it and what it means?

    • Anonymous

      What he means is that atheism is some evil liberal conspiracy, and Jessica is too young to understand that.


      This isn’t about logic. It’s a total knee-jerk reaction.

  • Simon

    Worse argument ever.

  • Alan Eckert

    Dear Jessica isn’t yet old enough to know the meaning of atheism.

    If someone is too young to “know the meaning of atheism,” wouldn’t that person also be too young to know the “meaning” of any religion or religious ideas, especially at the age of 12?

  • Schnauzermom

    The Catholic church, at least when I was serving my 12 years in their school system, considered the age of reason to be 7. At this age, you made your first confession and were allowed to participate in communion, because you were considered to be old enough to understand the “reality” of god, the implication of sin, and the meaning of the eucharist. So if they think you can do that around age 7, I think you can understand what it means to be an atheist when you’re more than twice that age.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Hikari.Pop Crystal Jenae Hollis

    Boohoo! My illegal prayer banner I made for a public, tax-payer funded, constitutional-obligated high school got put down by a girl who can actually read the constitution. Booooohooooo 

    • Scott

      This is in reply to a post of Crystal Jenae Hollis of about a month ago…..I don’t think she has read the Constitution. I take that back maybe she has she  just doesn’t understand it. Having religious symbols or prayers etc. in a public building is not unconstitutional the reason people think that is true is because of the 1947 case of Everson vs The Board of Education where a sentence of a letter from Thomas Jefferson to a Danbury, CT church was taken out of context.  The original intent in the first amendment was to prevent the government from forcing a particular religion on the people, Which was done many times before in history. Answer this: if the founders intended separation of church and state like she says, which by the way those words are not even in the Constitution. Why is it that if you go Washington, DC that you find all kinds of religious symbols in the Federal buildings. The Capital has a prayer room and at one time they even use to hold church services there.   And just for information I am a” atheist” I can’t stand groups like The Freedom of Religion Foundation  who go around the country causing law suits. Hopefully someday the Supreme Court will get their head out of their asses stop this crap.

  • Matto the Hun

    What a condescending asshole.

    “Dear Jessica isn’t old enough yet to understand atheism…” and from earlier “she was duped by her ACLU-leaning father and uncle”

    What a pathetically backhanded way of saying Jessica is stupid. I suppose I should not expect anything less from a Christian who is told he cannot use a public place to shove his religion down the throats of other people’s children. By pretending concern, Bradley is nothing more than a liar who is too spineless to say out right what he really is saying

    Further, he is discrediting the intelligence of every teenager by saying someone of their “tender” age cannot understand the meaning of X-belief.

    If, as Bradley erroneously posits, these kids cannot understand atheism at their age, then they cannot understand Christianity or any other belief, and should therefore not have it pushed on them in a public institution where they are a captive audience. Funny how Bradley is too stupid to realize that his own arguments cut both ways. 

    Finally Bradley is saying he can dupe these poor dumb, unwitting children into his faith, but the people who are related to Jessica are wrong to impart the way they see the world to her. Mr. Bradley could be in a football stadium and still suffocate under his own hypocrisy. 

    “I’d like to think that as the author of the moral and upstanding prayer in question…”.
    Well your prayer isn’t moral. Teaching children that they are so worthless and vile that they have to beg your imaginary friend in the sky to make them honest and to work hard is deplorable. How dare you diminish and lie to children in this way. If it gives you a lift in life then good for you. If it gives any individual child a lift then good for them, that doesn’t mean you get to tack it onto everyone else.

    Mr Bradley, you presume to push your faith, and only your faith, onto a captive audience of other people’s children. You presume that your faith, and only your faith, is moral or is the key to morality. You have no regard for the beliefs of others. You are arrogant, hypocritical, selfish and worst of all, a great fool to discredit young people. When I was at that young age, I saw that people of any belief or none could be good people. Then I saw the behavior of people just like you and I increasingly became aware of what religion is really about.

    Now let me condescend to you Mr. Bradley, there are these buildings in our (and many other) societies where people can voluntarily take their children for religious purposes if they feel it’s important. They are called churches. People are free to go or not go to whatever one they choose. I know, crazy right? Why is it with so much tax free land allowed to these churches it simply isn’t enough for some of you people, that you have to push your belief on property owned by a public comprised of so many differing faiths.

    • Youwish

      Well said!  Thank you!  I’m so tired of defending *my* atheism to religious nuts that I’m just plumb worn out.  They are everywhere, they are legion, they are WHAT’S WRONG with our country. *sigh*

      • Matto the Hun

        Thanks… when I write lots of words I sometimes wonder if I’m getting carried away. I’m sure I repeated some points w/o meaning to, but after typing so much I just kind of end up saying “fuck it, I’m posting this”

    • Anonymous

      Wow – I wish I could give you 100 ‘likes’ for that. You hit pretty much every point I was thinking and stated them very clearly. Thank you.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UUGXUZW5EQH7EMUTCT5DAVA5DI LP

      Screw him.  I’m so glad Jessica got that money.  She’s going to do some amazing things to help shape secular society, I can feel it.    

  • Mmcknight

    Jessica doesn’t understand atheism at her age but he understood Christianity when he was younger than her? Invalid argument is invalid.

  • Anonymous

    It’s just so sad that the newspaper that published that fellow’s delusional whining doesn’t allow us to comment on it there! But not surprising.

    • Anonymous

      I just submitted my own letter replying to Mr. Bradley, but I don’t know if it will be published.  Probably not.

  • unction

    I don’t know why this guy thinks he is entitled to any money (unless maybe the school district sold the banner after they took it down), but I also don’t know why you would say he is responsible for the school leaving it on the wall for  50 years. It doesn’t appear he has any such power in the district.

  • rhodent

    I actually feel a certain amount of sympathy for Mr. Bradley.  I disagree with what the prayer and I feel it is right that it came down.  But at the same time, I understand that he would have a lot of emotional investment in that banner.  It was effectively a piece of art which he had a major role in creating, and I understand how it would hurt to have that work of art removed from public view.  I can understand how a person in Mr. Bradley’s situation might react in a way which isn’t completely rational, and indeed think it would be unfair on our part to expect him to be totally rational about what has happened.  I can even understand how a person in his situation would find psychological comfort in the talking points (“Jessica Ahlquist was used by the ACLU and her family!”  “This ruling flies in the face of all that is decent!”) that opponents of the banner’s removal are making.  Even his comments about money make sense in a strange sort of way: If he believes that the ruling came not as the result of violating the Establishment Clause but rather as the result of Ms. Ahlquist feeling emotional distress (and he probably does believe this, since it’s another one of those talking points I just mentioned), then I can easily see him believing that he is feeling a greater level of emotional distress at its removal and that he thus is entitled in some fashion to a greater level of compensation.

    All that being said, when you stand back and think about it his comments actually make no sense.  The talking points have been refuted repeatedly.  Even if the ruling had been the result of emotional distress that Ms. Ahlquist had suffered, the scholarship would still be completely independent of that.  And of course the Courant covered the scholarship fund: it’s news, and the Courant is a newspaper.

    But I’m willing to let the market decide.  We all know that there are plenty of people who wanted the banner to stay up.  They can just as easily start a fund for Mr. Bradley as supporters of SOCAS started up a fund for Ms. Ahlquist.  If they do this, and he gets the ten-to-a-hundred times as much money, then more power to him.  And if not, we can only conclude that it isn’t just atheists who think he isn’t as deserving of the money.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Leithiser/593361421 Chris Leithiser

      He’s just being used by the pro-banner people.

      • Coyotenose

        They’re taking advantage of the fact that he’s too old to understand Christianity.

  • JeffH

    I guess he doesn’t take his own advice about being gracious in defeat

    • Anonymous

      Or being a “good sport”!

  • Edwin

    Maybe Mr. Bradley was able to understand his religion at age 12 when he wrote the prayer , but the school officials and his parents should have understood the law and constitution a little better. Then this whole mess could have been avoided.

  • Alex

    What a loser.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

    One would think that at 64 years in age, he would be old enough to understand the constitution.   

  • Carla

    He may be an ass, but hopefully some of the other crazies take his reasoning for Jessica’s behavior and stop harassing her. Of course, it’s a horrible disrespect to her to consider her an unknowing pawn, but people generally don’t send death threats to pawns….

    • Hockey Bob S.

       Carla – you’re using logic and rational thought in a discussion of a religious believer; there’s no place for critical thinking when dealing with faith.

    • Coyotenose

       They’ll pin the full blame on whomever they’re thinking of or talking about at the moment without regard to consistency with their own previous claims. It’s pretty standard neocon methodology.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Leithiser/593361421 Chris Leithiser

    This guy sounds like he PEAKED at 12.

  • Hockey Bob S.

     The loss of christian privilege butthurt is strong with Mr. Bradley; to refer to him as an asshat is too good for him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mgdupille Marc Gregory du Pille

    Mr Bradley is being rather overgenerous to himself with his view of his contribution to the banner.   The text of the school prayer was identical to one which had already been in use by the school for  some years and was broadcast over the school PA until this practice was deemed illegal by the Supreme Court in 1962.  The artwork was almost identical to a similar banner at nearby Hugh B Bain Middle School, except that the school colours were changed from Bain’s to CHSW’s.  There was no student artwork involved whatsoever. Mr Bradley and his group’s major involvement was to raise funds for the project.  The Creed and the School Prayer Banners were painted and erected by a professional.  The whole project was initiated and supervised by the school administration at every stage.

    • walkamungus

      Perhaps you’d like to communicate this information in a letter to the Courant?

      • http://www.facebook.com/mgdupille Marc Gregory du Pille

        walkamungus, I would, although I’m sure it would carry more weight if mailed by someone more local than me (I’m in Auckland, NZ).  The information comes straight from the court records, by the way.  There are heaps of good resources at the Support The Removal of The Cranston Banner FB group page, in the document section, which detail the Plaintiff’s Brief and Judges Decision, amongst other things (at 
        http://www.facebook.com/groups/179298715436387/ ).  I also have an FAQ page on my own blog which is at 
        http://warzytopia.blogspot.co.nz/2012/01/jessica-ahlquist-faqs-to-questions-that.html#!http://warzytopia.blogspot.com/2012/01/jessica-ahlquist-faqs-to-questions-that.html which details the many, many erroneous and contentious nonsenses which have been characteristic of this whole extended drama.

        • walkamungus

          Auckland? Cool! *waves furiously*

          On the other hand, you communicating with the Courant would make it clear that this story is being followed worldwide, and perhaps reinforce the message that research and fact-checking are good journalistic practice.

          The Courant has a “Submit a letter” link on their website.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mgdupille Marc Gregory du Pille

      I’m going to have to amend my statement above slightly. CHSW opened in 1959 and Mr Bradley would have been a 7th grader then.  I’m not sure why a 7th grader would have been assigned a task by the Exec Council, rather than have one of them do it, if it was indeed done in 1959, but let’s let that ride for a moment.

       This is what the the Judge said:

      “The student council selected the school’s mascot and team colors, and a seventh grader by the name of David Bradley was assigned the task of authoring the school’s creed and school prayer.  As was the wide-spread custom of the time, Cranston West opened its school day with the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer.”

      “Although Bradley testified that both the Prayer and Creed were his original work, the Creed, at least, most assuredly was not.  With the exception of about five words and substitution of the reference as “Cranston West” instead of “Hugh B. Bain,” the Creed adopted by Cranston West is identical to that already adopted and on display at Bain since at least the 1950s. ” (Lombardi Dep. at 23-24 and Jt. Ex. 7-14).

       So although Bradley might have penned the Prayer from scratch, we have only his word for that, and his recollection that he penned the Creed has already been shown to be false.  The artwork definitely was copied from Bain.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mgdupille Marc Gregory du Pille

        Oh, and there is this:

        “Defendants have also admitted that the prayer that is displayed was adopted as the “official School Prayer” of Cranston High School West beginning around 1960; that it conveys a message that had been approved by school officials; that it was recited in place of the Lord’s Prayer and continued to be recited for some time into the early 1960s; and that around the time that it stopped being recited daily it was affixed to the auditorium wall to give it a place of permanency (Lombardi Dep. at 27, 36-38, 43, 78-79), in order “to pass on [its] message to future classes” of students.  (Lombardi Dep. at 76).

        They admit that the phrase “Our Heavenly Father” is a Christian reference to God, and that “Amen” “suggests the ending of something religious”  (Lombardi Dep. at 61), and that in a “vacuum,” “Our Heavenly Father” and the word “Prayer”  convey a religious message (Lombardi Dep. at 108).”

    • Groinrock

      This was fascinating info. Thanks for posting it!

  • Hockey Bob S.

    I made this for Jessica’s Facebook group – I hope Mr. Bradley appreciates it.

  • Anonymous-Sam

     

    Dear Jessica isn’t yet old enough to know the meaning of atheism.
    She was used (and permanently injured) by powers and ideologies in the
    name of secular liberal progressivism that she can’t possibly understand
    at her tender age.

    I love the wooly mammoth-sized pile of shit this part contains. So, Jessica is the victim in all this? A poor misguided pawn, used and thrown away by powers beyond her understanding? Sir, I believe you need to pull your head out of your arse and try listening to her. Just a couple excerpts from her interviews and you’d understand that she’s anything but being carried by the waves. She knew exactly what she was doing.Also, “secular liberal progressivism”?You say that like it’s a bad thing.

  • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    Surely, nobody _becomes_ an atheist, at any age. We are all born atheists. Many lose their atheism, and some of those become atheists _again_. But to argue that you became an atheist at 14 is to acknowledge that you had become a theist before that.

    • Anonymous-Sam

      Born-again atheism? XD

  • Abram Larson

    The first time I can actually recall taking a stance against god belief, I was in 6th grade, so that made me 11 or 12. I remember we moved and my parents decided I should go to catholic school in the new town. And I said, “but I don’t really believe in any of that.” I grew up going to catholic church with my grand-parents and never do I remember actually believing any of it, I always thought going to church was just something you did.  My point, here is that while I didn’t actually acknowledge that I was an “atheist” until a few years ago after reading the God Delusion, the fact is, I’ve been an atheist for as long as I can reasonably remember.

  • Zeggman

     I don’t know whether David Bradley’s prayer was written to defy the 1962 Supreme Court ruling against official school prayers. It may have been written before that ruling. I *am* certain that when the banner was hung in 1963, it was done in deliberate defiance of that ruling. The fact that the defiance went unchallenged for almost half a century, and his prayer was read by thousands, should be enough payment for him. I do feel sorry for him that he’s reduced to public begging at this point in his life.

    I’ll leave it to the prayer banner supporters to decide whether they want to add to his reward, after they’ve paid the legal costs they’ve already incurred for failing to understand the law.

  • Anonymous

    Arrogance, ignorance, and stupidity, all in one package.  How efficient of him…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrew-Greathouse/836318901 Andrew Greathouse

    Doesn’t belong there period. It does not matter what age the guy was. Hah! Sorry bunch of chaps.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cburschka Christoph Burschka

    I’d be entitled to ten or a hundred times as much money as
    Jessica has been awarded for having torn it down and repudiated decency
    and morality in our schools.

    Hot damn, where do I address the cheque?

    A man with less emotional maturity at 64 than a young woman of 16 accuses her of being too young to know better than he did at 12.

    The decent thing for him to do would have been to apologize in the name of the people using his banner to threaten and vilify Jessica, and maybe contribute himself. Since he didn’t do that, he is no better than them and should stay the hell away from using words like “decency” or “morality”.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Leithiser/593361421 Chris Leithiser

      Envy is so unbecoming to him.

  • Ben

    “Where are my donors?”

    The Free Market has spoken, David!

  • Bruce_wright

    Maybe we could set up a scholarship fund for this guy in remedial Constitutional Law…

  • Anonymous

    The problem with these old timers is that they are relics of the cold war and
    McCarthyism and equate Atheism with Communism, hence his remark that “Dear Jessica isn’t yet old enough to know the meaning of atheism.”

    • Anonymous

      That’s right – “atheism” is the same as “communism” to the children of the post-war world. Even many of my peers born in the late 50′s (or later) treat the two as interchangeable. It harkens back to the placing of “under God” into the Pledge at about the same time.

  • Hockey Bob S.

    …and one more, with feeling; paraphrasing a part of the Cranston High School West prayer banner for Mr. Bradley… ;-)

    • Anonymous

      Roflmao – REALLY good one …!

    • Ggsillars

      Brilliant, sir, brilliant!

  • http://twitter.com/christophla Christopher

    Is that Captain Kangaroo?

  • Gus Snarp

    This is just pathetic. Mr. Bradley, you should be the adult in this situation. Instead you, a 64 year old man, are lashing out at a 16 year old with all the childish spite of a twelve year old.

  • ORAXX

    The freedom of religion is not a license to force one’s beliefs on others.  What part of that do the evangelicals fail to understand?  I can only imagine the reaction of these fine folk if someone suggested posting a banner honoring Islam in a public school.

    • Derrik Pates

      Basically all of it, I think. Or at least, they intentionally ignore the point.

  • Frank Mitchell

    Brother Bradley is right.  All children are born Christian (specifically Independent Baptist Fellowship of North America, the only true Christianity).  Unbelieving parents like Jessica’s brainwash them to be atheists, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, or Lutherans.

    Atheist brainwashing is especially subtle, since the child believes she reached that conclusion by herself, when in fact some atheist uncle, science teacher, or unidentified and unremembered person converted the poor thing to atheism.  (It’s a well known fact that atheists prowl schoolyards looking for innocent children to convert to their disgusting lifestyle of promiscuous questioning.  Why, an atheist might ask over a hundred questions in a single year.)

  • SteveS

    Grumpy Captain Kangaroo! ‘Sounds like he missed his nap and now he is going on a public pout.

  • http://twitter.com/Buffy2q Buffy

    “Dear Jessica isn’t yet old enough to know the meaning of atheism. ”

    Meanwhile all of those little toddlers in Sunday school know exactly what they’re doing and saying as they regurgitate prayers, and you knew it all at the age of 12.

    “Where are my donors?”Did you have to go to court to have the prayer banner put up?  Did you face harassment and death threats?  Your unconstitutional banner was up for decades and now you want money to boot?  You’re a real piece of work.

  • Clay Johnson

    Ironic that Mr. Bradley hasn’t successfully read the constitution in 64 years, despite those 2 pairs of glasses around his neck (great look, btw)!

    Rx # 1: Jebus = GOOD!   Rx # 2:  Commies = BAD!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mgdupille Marc Gregory du Pille

    Further, Gerald Zito, who was Vice President of the Class of ’63 testified

     “No one in the senior class designed the art work, wrote the prayer or creed, or participated in the installation of the two displays.  The senior class chose the gift and paid for it to be installed”.  (Zito Dep. at 31-32) “

  • Anonymous

    Holy FSM… could this be a Poe? Or could a grown man really sink to such a profound level of arrogance, whinyness, obliviousness and cluelessness?

    • Drakk

       Um…

      The Pope?

  • Disqus

    What a stupid ignorant diatribe by a guy whose inflated ego has finally been popped!

  • T-Rex

    Sounds like this automoton still has the mentality and intellectual level of a 12 year old kid. Some people are just too far gone.

  • T-Rex

    Anyone else think he looks like the original Capatain Kangaroo after a bender? Just an observation.

    • T-Rex

      Captain*

  • Why

    What a rant of name calling, hatred and bigotry!!!  So what you don’t believe in something you don’t understand.  Why all the time wasted in your futile rant.  If something is wrong with this world try looking at your own heart.

  • Rieux

    His credibility gets a big boost from the fact that he misspelled both “Ahlquist” and (twice) “atheist.” (Or perhaps the “atheist” misspellings were the work of a copy editor? If so, that’s a shot to the credibility of the Courant.)

  • Rieux

    On the bright side, two more reasonable people responded to Bradley’s nonsense:

    Here’s Edward Crocco:

    In response to David Bradley’s letter “Objects To Scholarship For Atheist” [March 12]: 

    It appears Mr. Bradley believes that Jessica Ahlquist was “duped” into suing the city of Cranston for the display of a prayer banner in a public school that he wrote. It was written in 1960 (52 years ago, when Mr. Bradley he was 12 years old. Yet he believes Jessica “couldn’t possibly understand (the issue) at her tender age.” 

    I would counter that at 12 years old, it was Mr. Bradley who was duped and conditioned by religious nonsense. 

    If he wants “10 to 100 times as much money” as Jessica, I would suggest he become a lawyer who sues the churches over cases of child molestation.

    And Nicholas Vendetti:

    Regarding David A. Bradley’s March 12 letter to the editor “Objects to Scholarship for Atheist”: I find it curious that he claims that Jessica Ahlquist is too young at 16 to know the meaning of atheism, given that Mr. Bradley was apparently old enough at age 12 to believe in God and create the prayer banner that triggered Ms. Ahlquist’s lawsuit. I also enjoyed Mr. Bradley’s suggestion that he deserves some financial compensation for his brave violation of the First Amendment, given that his prayer has cost the Cranston, R.I., school district upward of $150,000 in legal fees. I seriously doubt he has any concept of the hardship and harassment Ms. Ahlquist has endured simply for asking her school to obey the law, but perhaps someday he will embrace the message of the prayer he penned as a child and learn to be a good sport — and smile even in defeat.

  • Scott

    This is in reply to a post of Crystal Jenae Hollis of about a month ago…..I don’t think she has read the Constitution. I take that back maybe she has she  just doesn’t understand it. Having religious symbols or prayers etc. in a public building is not unconstitutional the reason people think that is true is because of the 1947 case of Everson vs The Board of Education where a sentence of a letter from Thomas Jefferson to a Danbury, CT church was taken out of context.  The original intent in the first amendment was to prevent the government from forcing a particular religion on the people, Which was done many times before in history. Answer this: if the founders intended separation of church and state like she says, which by the way those words are not even in the Constitution. Why is it that if you go Washington, DC that you find all kinds of religious symbols in the Federal buildings. The Capital has a prayer room and at one time they even use to hold church services there.   And just for information I am a” atheist” I can’t stand groups like The Freedom of Religion Foundation  who go around the country causing law suits. Hopefully someday the Supreme Court will get their head out of their asses stop this crap.


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