Whatever Happened to the Young Atheist Whose Family Filed a Lawsuit Against a Christian Rapper and a School District?

Let’s go back to September of 2011, to New Heights Middle School in South Carolina. The school is located in Chesterfield County, a place that’s home to over two hundred Christian churches.

I wrote about an incident that happened there in The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide:

Not only did [Chapman] use his time to rail against atheism, evolution, and homosexuality, he told the students that “a relationship with Jesus is what you need, more important than anything else.” Christian rapper Bryan Edmonds (a.k.a. B-SHOC) later joined him onstage and performed “overtly Christian songs” for the crowd. Even the principal joined the mix by telling students to attend a local church.

But that wasn’t all. Students were told to sign a pledge dedicating themselves to Jesus Christ and teachers were told to pray with students before returning to the classroom. Afterward, the public school’s own website declared that “[b]efore the day ended, 324 kids had either been saved, or had re-committed their lives to the Lord.”

We know about this incident for two main reasons.

First, B-SHOC idiotically posted a video of the event to YouTube (the relevant portion begins at the 3:04 mark):

Rapper B-SHOC

Second, eighth-grader Jordan Anderson decided he didn’t want to attend the assembly because he was an atheist and he knew what it was going to be like. His teachers said he could skip it, but he would have to spend that time in the room normally reserved for in-school suspensions. Given that option, Jordan went to the gym.

Afterwards, with the help of his father and the ACLU, they filed a lawsuit against the school… and the case was eventually settled. Jordan and his family walked away with a whopping $2.00 (yep, two dollars) and the school was told in no uncertain terms that it could not hold religious assemblies again.

It’s been nearly 18 months since all of that went down, and Ellen Meder of the Morning News has a follow-up with the Andersons. Life hasn’t been easy for any of them, especially Jordan, since the lawsuit:

[Jordan's] eagerness to go back to school might be surprising for any teen, but it’s especially stunning in Jordan’s case, given that over the past two years he’s endured endless bullying, name-calling and threats — even death threats — in the halls of Chesterfield County’s New Heights Middle School.

“I had tons of bullying, just awful stuff I don’t even want to repeat,” Jordan said. “When some people make those death threats, they almost make you think they’ll really kill you.”

“I’ll put it bluntly,” [father] Jonathan said. “There were a couple of kids telling him if he doesn’t get himself to God, they’re going to kick his ass. Yeah, it’s very Christian-ly.”

Said [mother] Amy, “Oh yeah, people would drive up in our yard, honk the horn and flip us off. We are still called ‘the dark forces’ sometimes. I’ve heard that a lot.”

“You can only take so much of people telling you your husband needs to have his head bashed in and your son needs to do this or that before you go, ‘OK, really?’” Amy said. “We just had plenty of death threats.”

That’s Christian love for you right there.

And, as it turns out, it wasn’t easy for Jordan as an atheist in a religious community even before the incident:

Young girls attempted to pray over him on the school bus, trying to convert him. Teachers singled him out in class for not being a believer. One year a teacher told her class that Jordan was the reason they couldn’t play Christmas-themed games in school, since he wasn’t a believer. (Jordan said he actually loves the festive spirit of Christmas, and like his classmates was disappointed).

Even fairly mundane infractions with middle school rules turned into a proselytizing expedition. When Jordan got in trouble for not wearing a belt — part of the school’s dress code because of sagging pants issues — then-principal Larry Stinson required him to write an essay as punishment. For the essay to be accepted, Jordan said, it had to end by thanking both Stinson and God for allowing him to write the essay and by proclaiming how God would help him remember the dress code in the future.

It’s really incredible that Jordan has come out of this still eager to go back to school and face his peers who appear to have nothing but contempt for him.

Can you imagine putting yourself in his shoes? I don’t think I would have had the guts to keep fighting the good fight at that age. Middle school was awkward enough without painting a giant target on myself. (On the flip side, can you imagine how mentally strong this kid’s gonna be by the time he graduates?)

Jordan is only a high school freshman now. He’s gone through the same struggles that Damon Fowler, Jessica Ahlquist, and a whole host of other brave students have endured. I hope this isn’t the last we hear of him.

And I hope atheist organizations nationwide (Hello, Freedom From Religion Foundation!) will consider recognizing what Jordan has done when he’s ready to graduate and looking for a few scholarships.

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.

  • http://www.laughinginpurgatory.com/ Andrew Hall

    South Carolina: too small to be a republic; too big to be an asylum.

    • C Peterson

      Wrong on both counts!

      • http://www.laughinginpurgatory.com/ Andrew Hall

        A quote from a South Carolinian on the eve of the Civil War.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mahruk Dean Jay Smith

      I can’t disagree sometimes, and I live there.

  • Stev84

    “Christian Love” at work again. Always the same.

    • http://www.facebook.com/chris.ockman Chris Ockman

      I’m a Christian, but appalled by the behaviour of that school. That shit isn’t Christ-like at all. It’s what the hypocrites do. It’s a display for man.

      • Randay

        Well, what did Jesus say and what would Jesus do about music? Maybe he and his gay band of twelve were just traveling minstrals? Was Jesus just rapping at the sermon on the mount?

      • Robin Stauffer

        It is absolutely ‘Christ-like.’ He came with a sword, remember? Children against their parents, no way to Heaven but through him…plus eternal torture if you don’t love him. This kind of behavior repeats itself in a pattern that can be easily seen, and it would be pathetic and tedious if it wasn’t so damn dangerous. If you really are appalled, speak out to other believers….most of the people reading this already know it’s wrong to threaten death for thought crime. Declaring that these people aren’t ‘Real Christians’ doesn’t help these children – CHILDREN – feel any better about people threatening to kill them. It’s also not true, unfortunately–these Christians are true-blue, washed in the blood and cloaked in the Light!

        • Allen

          Robin- you point at one part of who the lord is. What you are forgetting is that he has MANY other parts, just like you and me. You think they (the bullies) are true christians, but you don’t seem to understand that they are not doing the christianly thing. On top of that they are not doing it the wrong way. You sir have been tainted by a false prophet. Know that the lord sees this and wishes you be cleansed and brought back to his flock. Know that the lord still loves you.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

            Actually, Robin is simply noting the fallacy that goes “No True Scotsman”.

            The character of Jesus as portrayed in the New Testament is wildly inconsistent and contradictory, just like the rest of the Bible (I reference the Skeptic’s Annotated: http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/contra/by_name.html ). You look at the sections that say “Love thy neighbor” and say “this is Christ-like” to do. Others look at the sections that say “shun the unbeliever” (e.g. http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/says_about/nonchristians.html) and say the same thing. And the Bible itself does not provide any way to say which one is actually Christ-like. People who disagree with you but still profess the basic tenants of Christianity are still Christians.

          • http://twitter.com/Roentgenster William Roentgen

            If you look at the history of how Christians behave, it’s pretty clear that they very much *are* doing the Christianly thing.

          • http://www.facebook.com/mahruk Dean Jay Smith

            I heard a wise man once said ‘by their fruit shall ye know them’.

  • Michele

    And your point is what? To have had someone instead at a public school talk to the kids about communal sex, wind up with a disease, which will more than likely happen according to national statistics. Kids need to be encouraged to yes think for themselves, but in all reality their brain is not fully developed until they are 25 years old…the frontal lope which develops last is where all the logic is contained. So my point is kids need to be motivated in the way that they are able to see the actions of their consequences before they are done. What consequences have the public suffered, and I do not men that word lightly, in the name of religion….Christianity in particular. I have not seen one statistic yet that has had a negative outcome with someone that truly comprehended and lived out a life of Christianity. Kids arE killing themselves because this is what our culture promotes…even atheism. It cracks me up your title, “the friendly atheist,” where did you learn to be friendly or at that how did you discover you were friendly? When describing yourself, would you say, “I am a friendly person.” Who is the “I am” in this sentence?

    • Stev84

      Why are you so obsessed with sex?

      • Michele

        “Are….YOU…so obsessed with sex”. Don’t you mean “we” as a nation? I think it is you that is if that is all you picked out of my post.

        • 3lemenope

          I’m pretty sure he meant “you”. You know why? Because he used the word “you”. It’s, like, a dead giveaway.

        • Joe Walsh

          Since you mentioned statistics in your jumble of incoherence about rising pregnancy/STI rates, you should know that Abstinence Only “education” does not work, has never worked, and where it is taught teen pregnancy and STI rates are far higher than where secular sex-ed is taught.
          Moron.

        • Verimius

          It’s normal for young people to be obsessed with sex. What’s abnormal is suppressing it.

          • Michele

            Madonna’s words

            • TheG

              That is a very sound argument and it most certainly will work… on uptight, valium-popping, bored, Connecticut housewives, but only if you tell them that during 1991.

        • http://www.facebook.com/Mad.Mullins Chris Mullins

          I think Stev84 was just trying to keep his input to a minimum, so as not to confuse you further.

    • The Captain

      “And your point is what?” That the xtians in this kids community are a bunch of thugs! Also tangentially that you have no reading comprehension skills, and write nonsense.

      • Michele

        What are you the Captian of….? What makes you think you have reading comprehension skills? And why do you think you write sense? Do you know your history? I challenge you to bring something up that I do not have a logical answer to give.

        • KeithCollyer

          see my previous post where I took your arguments apart

        • http://www.facebook.com/JamesRobertLowrey James Lowrey

          “What are you the Captian of….?” – are you 8 years old by any chance?

          “What makes you think you have reading comprehension skills?” – Again, how old are you?

          “I challenge you to bring something up that I do not have a logical answer to give.” – I think there should be a “for” in there somewhere.

          If you think that no serious harm as been caused by Christianity in particular, you have a screw loose.

        • Joe Walsh

          “Moreover, in the area of teaching, I am not allowing a woman to
          instigate conflict toward a man. Instead, she is to remain calm.” 1 Timothy 2:12
          why do you not obey the scripture and remain silent instead of trying to “teach” us your morbid death-cultist assumptions?

        • RobMcCune

          And why do you think you write sense? Do you know your history?

          You might want to defend yourself from the charge that you write nonsense by writing something other than nonsense.

          • Michele

            You as well…you can write posts such as this and maybe someone thinks what you are saying sounds good, but it actually sounds highly unintelligent.

            • RobMcCune

              I’m not the one posting non sequiturs.

              • Michele

                They are only non sequiturs because you say they are or anyone else.

                • John (not McCain)

                  Is this the part where you stamp your widdle feet and threaten to hold your breath until you turn blue? ‘Cause I really like that part.

                • http://www.facebook.com/Mad.Mullins Chris Mullins

                  Perhaps you should keep a dictionary close at hand.

                  Non sequitur (Latin for “it does not follow”), in formal logic, is an argument in which its conclusion does not follow from its premises

    • DKeane123

      “have not seen one statistic yet that has had a negative outcome with someone that truly comprehended and lived out a life of Christianity.” disease/pregnancy via inadequate abstinence only sex education, bullying/guilt over homosexuality resulting in increase suicide among gay teens, restrictions on stem cell research – because zygotes have a soul, lots of do nothing requests for prayer by politicians that were hired to actually do something. And this doesn’t even go into the nuttier stuff like the “christian nation” that marginalizes other religions….

      • Michele

        Wow, you are so informed…bullying, come up with a better word….didn’t you read my entire post….we are a fallen world, what do you expect perfection, like I said we have no “true” logic of right and wrong, biologically until we are 25 years old. Kids throughout time have always been self centered creatures, this is where mom and dad come in, parents that mimic Christ’s true love and compassion. I don’t need to defend facts.

        • RowanVT

          I knew right vs. wrong as a child because *gasp* my parents actually took the time to sit down and explain things to me. I’ve also always had a high degree of empathy. I would not tolerate teasing. I rescued bugs and baby birds from other children who were poking at them. I have never tried an illegal drug because I don’t want things messing with my already wonky brain. I knew what sex and pregnancy were when I was 5 and because I didn’t want to get pregnant abstained from sex entirely until I got engaged.

          And I was not brought up terribly religious and at age 13 decided the God of the bible was a tyrannical, evil psychopath and dropped Christianity entirely.

          Oh dear. I appear to have destroyed your premise.

          • Michele

            No, that is just your idea.

            • Burzghash

              No, he pretty much did. And you sat there, put your fingers in your ears, and went ‘lalalalalala’, and called that a rebuttal.

              Good try. No wonder theism is on the decline, when people see such intellectual profundity like the above.

        • http://www.facebook.com/izlude.hyral Izlude Hyral

          No, but you need to provide facts, which you didn’t provide any. Christ’s true love and compassion? I think you may have misread, or not read at all your bible.

          • Michele

            Have you? And why is it “my” bible? I have read many books and all books need to be read as they are written

            • http://www.facebook.com/trent.franklin1 Trent Franklin

              Which version do you read? Good luck finding a unedited original bible.

            • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

              In the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek? Or in the spirit in which they were written, in which case a bunch of dudes making shit up? Or the ones writing politico-spiritual myths to back up their kingdom of the time? Which “as they are written” did you mean, exactly?

            • Thackerie

              I thoroughly agree that the bible should be read as it was written — without the Jesus goggles that presupposes there’s any sort of Truth™ in it. Approaching it in this way has led thousands of rational people to become EXchristians.

          • Billy W

            Here is some interesting reading from your bible:

            1 Samuel 15:3: “This is what the Lord Almighty says … ‘Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ ”

            Psalm 137, which celebrates this terrible revenge: “Happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us / He who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.”

            1 Peter 2:18: “Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel.”

            Boy, you can just feel the love pouring out of the bible!!

            • Michele

              Why do people keep saying your bible…I never implied it was mine?

        • KeithCollyer

          you don’t need to defend facts, but you do need to defend opinions, which is what you present as facts. How are parents supposed to mimic someone who probably never existed, and whose representatives have so singularly failed to provide good examples?

        • Joe Walsh

          You don’t have ANY facts to defend.
          Do us all a favor and go, “Mimic Christ’s true love and compassion.” I’m certain there’s a cross out there with your name on it.

          • Michele

            Why are you implying I am a Christian?

            • coyotenose

              You did that. Thanks for admitting that you’re just trolling. It will make it easier to be rid of another desperate, clumsy attention-seeker.

            • John (not McCain)

              People are implying you are a christian because you are acting like a completely unhinged loon who is completely out of touch with reality. You’re welcome.

            • Antinomian

              Are you denying your lord and saviour Jesus Christ?

              • baal

                I’m sure Michele will deny him three times.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000217792276 Logan Boyette

          When your “facts” are actually opinions then yes you do.

          1) A Fallen World? – There are many people who would disagree with you on that! By what scale is Earth a “fallen” world? What are you making your comparison to?

          2) No “true” logic of right and wrong until we are 25? – Hate to tell you this sweetheart but EVERYONE has a slightly different perspective on “right and wrong” but there is still the law and even a 10 year old knows that breaking the law lands you in prison.

          3) Kids throughout time have always been self centered? – what about Malala Yousafzai? How is she “self-centered?”

          I can go on but there is no need. How about you back up your opinions huh? I mean really? What is with Christians and their need to label their personal opinions and disproven “beliefs” as fact?

          • Michele

            And what makes your opinions facts?

            • http://www.facebook.com/trent.franklin1 Trent Franklin

              What makes you anything more than ELIZA?

            • http://www.facebook.com/Mad.Mullins Chris Mullins

              Because they are proven….

          • http://www.facebook.com/trent.franklin1 Trent Franklin

            I would have to point out that Malala Yousafzai seeks power: Education “ends” in knolwedge. Knolwedge is power. :)

        • http://www.facebook.com/trent.franklin1 Trent Franklin
        • http://twitter.com/SherilynHerron Sherilyn

          “….this is where mom and dad come in, parents that mimic Christ’s true love and compassion.”

          Except that I’m atheist, hubby’s polytheistic pagan, and we have been complimented in public, by strangers, on our kids’ excellent behavior, their politeness, and how well spoken they are.
          While at scout summer camp, they have rescued insects and salamanders from “Christian” children who were; pulling the insect’s heads off, and burying the salamanders, alive, in sand.

          Imagine that; morality without the Christian god!

          • baal

            I (atheist parent) consistently hear from teachers and parents about how well behaved my son is and how he is a positive influence on those around him. My wife and I have pretty much never asked him to be nice or helpful. We rather ask him to think about what he’s doing from time to time or consider what his current action is doing to the stuff and people near him (as opposed to setting rules, spanking (we spared the rod) or guilting him).

        • Houndentenor

          Yes, actions have consequences. Everyone agrees with that. What does Jesus have to do with any of that. In fact Christianity teaches the opposite. Just say a prayer and all your past bad acts are erased even if you murdered thousands of people or robbed people of their life savings. That’s not consequences.

        • RobMcCune

          Fact, you use that word, I don’t think you know what it means.

        • Pattrsn

          You’re right, you don’t need to defend facts, but it would be good if you could produce one.

        • http://www.facebook.com/dominique.a.samuels Dominique Anthony Maze Samuels

          I’m 19 so I guess I don’t know right from wrong either right I’m 5 years away from being able to know that kind of stuff, So I think I’m gonna go on a cocaine induced rape/murder fest because I simply do not know any better, you cunt faced piece of shit. Btw sorry If I said something offensive I don’t know what’s right or wrong yet

          • http://www.facebook.com/zeilo.vogta Zei Monster Apoptygmancer

            LMFAO!!!

            • http://www.facebook.com/dominique.a.samuels Dominique Anthony Maze Samuels

              my comment got deleted nice

        • Burzghash

          Shut up Michele. No one is buying your apologetic bullshit just because you don’t like dealing with reality and think that your misinformed opinions constitute ‘facts’.

    • http://nomoremythology.wordpress.com/ No More Mythology

      Just a rash of LGBT suicides, for starters. Kids not learning the proper use of a condom in sex ed and getting STDs and pregnant as a result, for another. “What consequences have the public suffered… in the name of … Christianity?” Let’s start there.

    • http://nomoremythology.wordpress.com/ No More Mythology

      Oh, and of course, the death threats the family endures in this article. And you would DEFEND that??

      • Wild Rumpus

        That’s how Christians show Jesus’ love – with death threats to anyone opposed to them.

    • JET

      “What consequences have the public suffered… in the name of religion[?]” Okay, I’ll start. Science education.

      • Michele

        Where does science come from?

        • SoSueMe

          Science IS. It did not come from anywhere.

          • http://www.facebook.com/trent.franklin1 Trent Franklin
            • SoSueMe

              Thanks, Trent. I recognize my mistake.

            • Michele

              They do not even allow wiki as a resource in schools for reports

              • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

                Wikipedia indexes the primary sources for its information. You should used the primary sources for formal reports, but it is convenient to summarize by citing Wikipedia in other contexts.

              • http://www.facebook.com/trent.franklin1 Trent Franklin

                Wiki isnt a source. It’s an article based on sources. Do you need me to teach you how to click the link on the bottom of the pages the sources on wiki?

          • 3lemenope

            Reality “is”. Science is a human practice, and a damn effective one, of figuring out how many parts of reality work, so it came from the efforts of people who used techniques and tools and careful observation to painstakingly build that understanding.

            • SoSueMe

              Thanks for clarifying that. Of course you are right, and I spoke too soon.

              • 3lemenope

                Hey, no prob. I just didn’t want to give Michele an unearned opening in the debate. People who don’t actually have a point often pounce on minute word choice to “prove” something about what people “really” mean, and suchlike.

          • C Peterson

            No, nature just is. Science is a purely human invention, developed by people who were either nonreligious, or who had the intellectual strength to prevent religion from totally destroying their rational minds.

            It devalues the contributions of a great many people to suggest that science comes from nowhere.

            • C Peterson

              Oops, I see that 3lemenope just said about the same thing. No matter, it can’t be overemphasized.

            • SoSueMe

              Thanks, C. I understand. It was a poor choice of words on my part.

            • Michele

              So are you saying that science and naturalism are not the same thing?

              • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

                Naturalism is a philosophical position. Science is a set of methods and an accumulated body of knowledge.

                And not that C Peterson didn’t mention “naturalism”, but “nature” – nature is objective reality.

              • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                Well, dogs and mammals aren’t the same thing. That doesn’t mean they’re completely unrelated.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  Translation: Maybe science is a particular instance of naturalism?

          • Michele

            Exactly…you answered exactly how I wanted you to.

            • http://www.facebook.com/trent.franklin1 Trent Franklin

              Your post gave me cancer.

              • Michele

                Haha, funny that you think I have that power

              • 3lemenope

                Correlation is not causation!!!!11!!!11Eleventy-One!

                ;-)

            • RobMcCune

              Go on then, spring your trap with the laughable absurdity you always bring.

        • Joe Walsh

          The Scientific Method came about by MEN (and women) who were unsatisfied with religions explanations of how the natural world worked.
          And religion stands in the way every damn time; from Galileo medical research.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-Kovach/1270634973 Matt Kovach

            Francis Bacon gave us the Scientific Method http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Bacon

          • Michele

            And with men there is always error.

            • RobMcCune

              The only solution then is to claim a book written by men is the perfect creation of a magical man who lives in the sky. Then take said book and jam it into the wheels of progress.

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

              Humans always make mistakes. But science is constructed to eventually recognize and correct for mistakes. This is a feature, not a bug.

              • http://www.facebook.com/Mad.Mullins Chris Mullins

                Put it into the next release :D

            • http://www.facebook.com/Mad.Mullins Chris Mullins

              Yea, because religion has dropped a man from space, cured disease and given us technological marvels…oh wait….

        • C Peterson

          Rational thinking, which religion stands in the way of.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000217792276 Logan Boyette

          Science (from Latin scientia, meaning “knowledge”) is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. Hence Science has been around in some form of another since Humans have been able to ask “how?” So Science comes from knowledge.

          Religion is an organized collection of belief systems, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. So religion has only been around since the forming of society when people need to start answering “why?” questions. So where does religion come from?

          • Michele

            Science is a method for investigating the natural world, naturalism is a philosophy that says the natural world is all there is. Why is that? Since science only deals with the examination of nature, if something other than or outside nature existed….maybe God for instance….would it not by definition be outside the realm of what science investigates? Explain how science can determine that God does not exist? When exactly that…God is outside its realm? In all reality how can science say anything at all about the subject of God’s existence?

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

              If you hypothesize a god that is entirely disconnected from the observable universe, science can say nothing about it. But if you claim that there is a god or gods or any supernatural entity that has _any effect on anything in the universe_, that god can be investigated and disproven by scientific investigation. And the latter is what applies to Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Shinto, Sikhism, Judaism, Jainism, and a very long list of other religions.

              • Michele

                The question of whether God exists, or whether nature is all there is, is a strictly philosophical question. It’s answer cannot be determined by the use of the scientific method or scientific instruments. Would we think to use a microscope to discover whether right and wrong exist, or a slide-rule to determine courage is a virtue. Likewise, the fact that science has not stumbled over God.in the forest or been able to cook up a batch of angels in a test tube means nothing at all with the regard to the question of whether or not God or angels exist…only if they were material substances and they are not. Yet, naturalism is still considered to be somehow proven by science.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

                  Only things that have no effect on the observable universe are not subject to scientific investigation. Everything else – including everything anyone experiences – can be investigated. Also, the burden of proof is on the person making the claim: if you want to say that God or an angel exists, you need to provide credible evidence in support of that claim. Otherwise the null hypothesis of non-existence remains correct.

                  Also, proposing an entirely non-interventionist god is agreeing to functional atheism – the universe looks exactly like it would if no gods existed, therefore we should treat it that way.

                • Michele

                  Finally someone who can debate and talk intelligently and leave out the side comments (referring t the above comments). I admire you for not building a brick wall with name calling.

                  So what I see is the concomitant opinion dominates among a rising large number of moderns who consider themselves scientifically enlightened…that whoever denies naturalism and all of its ramifications is just uneducated. Illustrating this attitude….is this from Jesse Bering:

                  “With each meticulous turn of the screw in science, with each tightening up of our understanding of the natural world, we pull more taut the straps over God’s muzzle. From botany to bioengineering, from physics to psychology, what is science really but true revelation? We bravely favor truth, in all its wondrous, amoral, and meaningless complexity, over the singularly destructive Truth born of trembling minds of our ancestors.”

                  So this absurdity can be summarized as: science (a method of examination) comes to understand the natural world better (the object of scientific examination), somehow naturalism (the philosophical position which asserts that nothing exists but the natural world) is shown to be true. People are really expected to accept the claim that God is nothing but a concept, a fanciful notion, an idea “born of the trembling minds of our ancestors.”

                • http://www.facebook.com/trent.franklin1 Trent Franklin

                  People don’t accept it. But, the fact remains: Humans invented god/s.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

                  Do not mistake my writing style for agreeing with you. You are entirely wrong about naturalism being absurd.

                  As long as people assert any version of god that is distinguishable in any way from a non-existent god, they are making a claim that would require evidence to be supported. Absent such evidence, naturalism is the only logical conclusion.

                  And if you are asserting a version of god that is indistinguishable from a non-existent one, then you have already conceded that everyone should act as though no god exists.

                • Michele

                  You’ve misread my post if you thought I thought you were agreeing with me…I simply said thank you for your intelligence in debating this discussion with keeping each other integrity in mind. Not sure how you could have misread my comment, but if you had to clarify your stance for the viewers sake…that so be it.

                  There is evidence. I suppose it is a matter of how it is presented and ultimately everyone has their freedoms. I believe naturalism is very unreasonable because it cannot even make sense of even the most basic aspects of human experience.

                  I can debate in practical approaches. The Christians worldview can account for and make sense of the most basic and important aspects of their experience as humans, the atheist worldview cannot. Naturalists who say that nothing exists but matter cannot make sense of realities such as the existence of right and wrong, the possibility of knowledge, or the belief in human dignity, freedom, and personality. How does one make heads or tails of their experience as a human being?

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

                  I do not make any assessment as to your personal integrity. What I do observe is that you have said things that are outrageously wrong and unsupported, have reacted badly when people have pointed out your mistakes, and continue to make them. For example:

                  “naturalism is very unreasonable because it cannot even make sense of even the most basic aspects of human experience.”

                  That is not true. There are a very wide range of naturalistic systems describing human experience. Wikipedia indexes at least a dozen.

                  ” The Christians worldview can account for and make sense of the most basic and important aspects of their experience as humans, the atheist worldview cannot.”

                  You are mistaken in both of those statements. Christianity makes a large number of unsupported claims, many of which are provably false. It therefore must be discarded. There is also no one ‘atheist worldview’ – as with naturalism (which is not the same thing, although there is considerable overlap), there are many different atheistic worldviews that at least attempt to account for all of human experience.

                  ” Naturalists who say that nothing exists but matter cannot make sense of
                  realities such as the existence of right and wrong, the possibility of
                  knowledge, or the belief in human dignity, freedom, and personality.”

                  Also incorrect. Very roughly speaking, right and wrong are situation-dependent value judgements we assign to behaviors based on their likely outcomes. “Knowledge” refers to information that has been assimilated into someone’s brain. We can track, albeit with only limited precision, how the brain collects information and stores and processes it biochemically. Likewise, human personalities are emergent properties of incredibly intricate biochemical reactions and do not exist independently of human brains. Beliefs in the importance of dignity and freedom are ethical considerations are important because they lead to societies in which everyone is better off; but they have no existence independent of the intelligent animals that hold them.

                • Michele

                  The atheist-the naturalist must presuppose God’s existence even to argue against it.

                  So let us look at the book, God is Not Great, I am sure I do not need to introduce the author. No one would argue that he specifically wrote this book to disprove the existence of God (although in ch. 6 it is quite the opposite). So focusing on existence…the book is evidence that there is a case for Hitchens existence. A book speaks of it author right? Hitchens name is on the front cover, right? His picture? At book signings he is the one signing it right? It is evident he created (authored) this book. There is evidence that he wrote this book, not from just the dust cover, but those that know him, would have little problems with finding evidence of the authors existence but also his personality, style of writing, use of language, sense of humor, philosophy of life, methods of argumentation, and much more on every page. The book cries out the existence of its author…revealing something of his nature, character, and personality.

                  What would happen if someone denied that Hitchens actually wrote this book. Maybe it was a result of an explosion in a print factory. Or maybe it was a result of an excruciatingly long, random process of various molecules and compounds combining, dissolving, and recombining endlessly. Tis process, it is argued, involved relentless blind forces of nature that acted upon random collections of elements. So the book we see now, every word, sentence, paragraph, and chapter, is simply the form these molecules happen to have taken at this particular moment in time.

                  Can this claim be accepted? No one would give credence to such a claim because it is common knowledge that books do not come into existence as a result of random, blind forces of nature.

                  Humanity itself remains forever inexplicable when seen through the lens of atheistic naturalism.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

                  “The atheist-the naturalist must presuppose God’s existence even to argue against it.”

                  No. You do not need to presuppose Santa Claus’ existence to argue against it. The same for Superman, Batman, Vishnu, Odin, Allah, Yahweh, or the Flying Sphagetti monster. You can’t argue against the existence of an entirely non-interventionist god, but nor can you argue for the existence of such a god because there is by definition no evidence for one.

                  “Humanity itself remains forever inexplicable when seen through the lens of atheistic naturalism.”

                  No. We understand the evolution of humanity in quite considerable detail, tracing back through history into archaeology to behavioral modernity (when human cultures and technology really took off) back into paleontology and when our ancestors stopped having offspring with the rest of the chimps five million years ago. It happens that many of the details of human evolution were determined by random events, but the number of those events agrees with the expected rates of similar events happening.

                  Your larger argument is fallacious because we have a very successful model of the entire history of the observable universe that is based on entirely natural processes, without requiring the existence of any god. The comparison isn’t between “god did it” and “purely random chance did it”. It’s between “god did it” and “the laws of physics produced a system that is chaotic within certain bounds, and given a certain set of conditions at one point in the past, a long sequence of individually-likely events produced the universe as it is now.”

                • Michele

                  Not a valid response…you still have to be presuppose something to debate about it.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

                  No.

                  You do not have to presuppose that a statement about the universe is true in order to evaluate if it is true or not.

                  Otherwise, I could declare that you owe me a million dollars and you’d have to presuppose that I was right in order to disagree about writing me a check.

                  That is why presuppositionalist apologetics is nonsense. Look it up: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Presuppositionalism

                • RobMcCune

                  Presuppose, you keep using that word…

                • RobMcCune

                  I don’t quite know what you’re trying to say with this, but if your argument is that naturalists can’t believe Hitchens wrote God is Not Great because Christopher Hitchens was made of matter then you’re using absurd strawman arguments again.

                  If you’re arguing that nature shows design then you’re simply making long winded assertions without any actual examples or references to back up what you say. What’s more you ignore plenty of examples best explained by blind forces rather design, because the designer would be absurd.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  “Can this claim be accepted? No one would give credence to such a claim because it is common knowledge that books do not come into existence as a result of random, blind forces of nature.”

                  Read up on evolution. The randomness is a red herring (which happens to allow the process an escape clause when faced with what would otherwise be a dead end, at times). It is actually selection processes that drive evolution. NO ONE EXCEPT RELIGIOUS FOLK TALK ABOUT A WORLD WITHOUT GOD BEING DRIVEN BY RANDOM FORCES. What does that tell you? Hopefully, that you’re swinging at a strawman.

                  Would life have evolved the same way if run again? No more than you can play exactly the same billiards game. But life has a funny way of thriving. Complex life is hard, yes; intelligent life, harder still. But give it enough time, and the probabilities wear down. You seem convinced that such creatures coming about through the laws of physics and chemistry is impossible; I say, challenge yourself. Learn genuine biological principles, see what experts in the field have to say to your criticisms (asked respectfully — it’s amazing how genuine curiosity can soften hearts calloused by repeated barrages of cynical creationists aiming only to score points).

                  You want to be taken seriously? Learn.

                • Houndentenor

                  You were on a debate team with this sorry excuse for rational thinking? No one would use Christopher Hitchens’ book as proof that he lived. There’s plenty of other evidence. The fact that the universe exists is not proof of a supernatural cause. You can’t use natural evidence to prove that something not in the natural world exists. That’s nonsense.

                • RobMcCune

                  Naturalists who say that nothing exists but matter cannot make sense of realities such as the existence of right and wrong,…

                  brain is not fully developed until they are 25 years old…the frontal lope which develops last is where all the logic is contained.

                  Odd that you believe it takes physical development of the brain to understand a non-physical thing with a non-physical mind. Christians also believe libertarian free will is what makes people culpable for sin, at least past a certain age well below 25. How does this square with your argument that teenagers are don’t have impulse control due to their state of brain development?

                  Your [summary of the] naturalist position is a strawman, just because naturalists don’t believe the things you mention are fundamental to reality doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. Michael W Busch has made most of the points I would make about emergent properties. Things like morality, freedom and dignity exist in the scope of intelligent conscious beings.

                  What I actually think you mean when you say the christian worldview makes sense of human experience is that it provides intuitive answers that feel correct. That kind of thinking should not be a guide to any kind of truth about reality.

                • Charles Honeycutt

                  Your writing style changed dramatically. That means that either you got on your meds, or you acted badly on purpose so that you could pretend to be all civil later on and disparage those who treated you as you treated them.

                  You’re a shoddy liar, Michele. Does God love that about you?

                • Michele

                  This will be my last response to any comments of like nature. My writing style has always been….the way this screen is picking up my words is awful and writing on an iPad with auto correction or I should say… assuming that I want to say a word…and actually changes it without me noticing because it is spelled correctly, but wrong word obviously from previous comments….doesn’t help. It also doesn’t help when people are making comments just to make them and pretend they are atheists-naturalists. A lot of comments came by today that were just shoddy. I like to debate and not build brick walls….I will leave that to the Communists. Many atheist friends, many friends outside my belief system, none of which you know and understand. You want to converse then treat me with respect as I would anyone else. People already have their notions and they go in with their hearts instead of with their minds. One useful tool we should all take advantage of..the mind….I love the mind, we as humans only have knowledge and it is a shame when it is not used to the fullest. I see things in many directions and I also see facts as facts. Comments from Michael Busch have been intelligible and that is what makes debating fun! I may not agree, as well as many and I find that ok.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

                  You are mistaken to consider this a debate. A debate implies that there are reasonable grounds for disagreement. My posts here have been me explaining to you why you are wrong.

                • Michele

                  As well as mine, you are one sided, which makes it a debate. You are on one side or the other. You are no more intelligent then I because you say there is no God. You obviously believe in the law of morality if you are terming me as lesser than you because my belief system does not fall into spectrum of yours.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

                  I do not “term you as lesser” or claim to be more intelligent than you. I say you are wrong, are making bad arguments leading to nonsensical conclusions, and are not admitting to your mistakes when they are pointed out to you.

                  Two people disagreeing does not by itself make a debate. The usual meaning of the word implies a formally structured discussion where two groups are attempting to persuade an audience or each other of the value or lack thereof of an idea. That is not what is happening here. What is happening here is everyone else who has chosen to comment explaining why you are wrong about what you have said. And I find myself uninterested in continuing that exercise. Good bye.

                • Michele

                  You’ve clearly never been on debate teams or individual debates…debates are arguments. And yes, two people disagreeing does in itself make a debate…they are widely done across many campuses and in other public forums with many people in different organizations, etc. You keep slamming me as if I do not understand.

                  I am simply explaining as well why so many wrongs have been stated here. We can play the cat and mouse game…but when you are saying i am wrong you are making a clear statement that your belief system is superior. I do not care if anyone is agreeing with me, as we all know this is not somewhere where “many” would agree with what I am saying! Duh….but there are proofs and facts that debunk this delusion. That’s like me telling you if you were on a forum of Jewish belief or Christian belief, not many would agree with you either. I am only writing what I write because there are people out there that do have answers for comments that are made on forums such as this one.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

                  Debate teams are structured to improve skills of argument and rhetoric. The actual positions taken and their truth are irrelevant to that goal. This is not a debate team match where we each are trying to score points off of the other. Here reality and sound reasoning is what matters.

                  “I am simply explaining as well why so many wrongs have been stated here.”

                  If that is your intent, you are not succeeding at it, since you have merely said things that have been refuted a thousand times before. Also, this is not an internet forum. It is a comment thread on a blog, that you have been indulged in your derailing of.

                • Nilanka15

                  Atheism is NOT a “worldview”.

            • Verimius

              Nothing can be outside of nature.

            • Artor

              If your god can affect the world in any way, there will be evidence that science can detect and analyze. So far, no such evidence has ever been found. This doesn’t prove god doesn’t exist, but if it did exist, you’d think there would be some real sign of it. So far- nothing.

              • Michele

                Yes…not only is there the universe, but the is man himself, who can determine between good and bad, called moral law. How do we know this? Because of something so simple, conversation. Read CS Lewis’ Case for Christianity.

                • Artor

                  This is an argument for rational people, not imaginary beings.

                • Michele

                  Haha!

    • michael both

      A word of advice – rage less, work on spelling and grammar more.
      “I have not seen one statistic yet that has had a negative outcome with someone that truly comprehended and lived out a life of Christianity.”
      Well, for starters – every single child-molesting Catholic priest. Oh, but they aren’t ‘real Christians’? Hate the sin, love the sinner, remember?
      “What consequences have the public suffered…”
      Oh, cmon, you can’t be that ignorant – can you?

      • Michele

        And you….where is my ignorance…you are only seeing things from your side. Do you even know the stats on child molesting priests? Obviously not.

        • michael both

          Dunning-Kruger, Michele.
          Why is there more than zero child-molesting priests? I guess God made them that way. Nasty sense of humour your God has – maybe he gets off watching his ‘leaders’ rape children?

          • Houndentenor

            This was part of the question that led me away from any belief in gods. Why would a loving and compassionate deity allow children to be raped and tortured in Darfur. Easy. he/she/it wouldn’t. So either that deity is indifferent to the suffering of such children in which case he/she/it is a monster or he/she/it just doesn’t exist.

          • Michele

            No, it is us that gets off watching leaders get off watching ‘leaders’ rape children. Why has our government not put stricter laws or better yet upheld laws on tv, on sex trafficking, on educators, bus drivers, etc. etc. Rates are still higher amongst others involved with our youth in the community than the Catholic priests.

            • Eric D Red

              I’ve shown conservative (in both senses) numbers on priests. Can you show numbers on these other categories? And those offenders are charged and jailed. Can you show any evidence of a significant percentage of priests getting charged? Or even removed from the pulpit? As I said, it’s not even the fact of molesting priests (although there’s room for fault-finding there too), it’s the ongoing protection of those priests at the expense of children.

            • McAtheist

              Knew it! It’s not the priests fault, it’s the bus drivers and educators that we need to worry about.

            • Houndentenor

              Yes, because the priests get to hide behind a religion that protects them from prosecution. Religion is the problem. No secular organization would have been allowed to get away with that. But thank you for making my case.

        • Joe Walsh

          The simple fact about child molesting priests is that they exist and that the church does it’s best to protect them -and itself- from prosecution.

          • Houndentenor

            It’s that in our culture you can play the god card and get away with things no secular official would be able to get away with. Look at the Sandusky scandal. Horrible obviously, but there were consequences (and some who defended the school and his superiors who knew and did nothing…repugnant!) but he was tried and convicted. too bad he wasn’t a priest. He’d probably still be doing it and the church would have suffered no penalties or sanctions. No one claims I’m anti-football for wanting Sandusky prosecuted. But I’m an anti-Catholic bigot for expecting priests and those who knew about the abuse and allowed it to continue to be prosecuted and jailed.

        • http://www.facebook.com/trent.franklin1 Trent Franklin

          The truth will cloud your mind. The facts will set you free. Here’s your statistics.
          http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/PriestAbuseScandal.htm

          and also here.
          http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/facts/fm0011.html

        • Eric D Red

          Do you? At least 4% of priests have credible accusations against them. If I remember, about 95% of parishes are affected. That implies many or most Bishops and Cardinals had a hand in covering up crimes and allowing molesters to keep going. These are not outside attacks or ignorant guesses, but data from the the USCCB on the cases they both know about and admit. How much higher the actual numbers are is anybodies guess. Should I cite several other international studies or investigations?

          And to be fair, it’s not directly the molesting priests that are the biggest failure of the church. You will find bad people everywhere. It’s the intentional, systematic and pervasive effort to protect those priests from prosecution with no effort to prevent their predations.

        • Houndentenor

          Child-molesting priests would seem to be a point the nonreligious would make. What is your point in bringing that up? that’s a horrible thing and I think everyone hear is outraged that so many of them and their enablers have escaped prosecution because they hide behind their religion and cry persecution when anyone demands that they account for crimes that anyone else would have gone to jail for long ago.

        • http://www.facebook.com/christopher.wallander Christopher Wallander

          Please do provide the statistic on percentage of priests as pedophiles, Michele. As well, please provide us with an acceptable threshold in your opinion. Thanks.

        • http://www.facebook.com/trent.franklin1 Trent Franklin

          Do you need us to google that for you?

        • Mario Strada

          It is estimated that about 1.8% of priests may be child molesters. But that’s not the point. The real abomination and failure of Christianity in regard to child molestation is the immense cover up and the endless excuses.

          Priests molest pretty much at the same level as non priests. One would argue that we’d expect better of priests, being Christian, godly and all, but it turns out they are just average. What’s not average is the response of their organization. They behaved and still do to a large extent, like any garden variety mafia organization, protecting their own at the expenses of innocent children.

          For a religion that is supposed to help the downtrodden they behaved like any tyrant would.

          So even it it was only 0.000001% molesting children, the organization would still be as evil as if half of them were molesters.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

      Where’d you find your research?

      “Conclusions: Teaching about contraception was not associated with increased risk of adolescent sexual activity or STD. Adolescents who received comprehensive sex education had a lower risk of pregnancy than adolescents who received abstinence-only or no sex education.”

      http://www.columbia.edu/cu/psychology/courses/3615/Readings/Kohler_2008.pdf

      “I have not seen one statistic yet that has had a negative outcome with
      someone that truly comprehended and lived out a life of Christianity.”

      I’ll play devil’s advocate: How would you implement this plan? You can’t force people to convert — what’s your backup plan for all the people who decide not to go full-on Holy Roller? “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it,” and to Hell with the rest?

    • blasphemous_kansan

      >>”And your point is what? ”

      I think the better question is “what is yours?”

      Is it sex, frontal lopes, Christianity, kids killing kids, or the definition of ‘friendly’?

      The next time you’re going to toss out a word salad, try to include some croutons or dressing.

      • Michele

        I think your salad is wilted and you just wanted to join in the topic. Obviously my post structure a cord for people to respond.

        • RobMcCune

          Hilariously insane, keep ‘em coming.

        • http://www.facebook.com/trent.franklin1 Trent Franklin

          You just walked into the wrong neighborhood.

          • Michele

            That means what?

            • http://www.facebook.com/trent.franklin1 Trent Franklin

              You’re a theist in an atheist discussion board. We use reason, logic and debate as a matter of course in our daily lives. You – on the other hand – use suspension of disbelief daily. I would imagine you call this “faith”. It is not hard for me to continue to imagine you saying, “Genesis says that god made the plants before the sun… that totally makes sense.” There are other inconsistencies and factual errors in the bible that are too numerous to list here. You are using suspension of disbelief to “glaze over” the fact the that bible is so wrong in so many places that it is totally unbelievable.

              http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/

              http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/gen/drunk.jpg

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=807660441 Dan Livermore

          You *HAVE* to be a troll. Nobody is this stupid. Well played, fellow atheist.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

            I think she’s a bot. The way some of the responses just reword the comments they’re responding to reminds me of ELIZA.

        • blasphemous_kansan

          Well, I can’t argue with that. According to your definition my frontal lope should be fully developed, so I’m not sure what my problem is.

          Must be the wilted salad, after all.

          You sound quite insane, by the way.

        • 3lemenope

          Yeah, it struck a chord. This one.

          • http://www.facebook.com/boo.hoo.9440 Boo Hoo

            I like you. Let’s be friends. :-D

        • Mario Strada

          Yes, your post really “structure” a cord. Are you for real?
          I mean. English is my second language, so I too make a mistake or two now and again, but yours are just too funny. It’s like you are pulling words out of a hat.

        • http://www.facebook.com/Mad.Mullins Chris Mullins

          It struck a chord in the sense of a Christian posting, ‘I don’t know, so I’ll give God Credit’ instead of actually researching. Self awareness is attributed to the frontal lobe, and as someone who has been living on his own and acting morally since 17 I’d argue your point over 25 being the fully developed age, I know people (Christians, atheists and Muslims alike) who are on into their forties with less maturity than a baked potato.

          Edit: Also, your spelling, punctuation, and capitalization issues tell me that you should have spent more time in school, rather than church.

      • http://www.facebook.com/zeilo.vogta Zei Monster Apoptygmancer

        I just lost my shit over this. Goof stuff, most entertaining thread all day.

    • C Peterson

      Kids need to be encouraged to yes think for themselves, but in all
      reality their brain is not fully developed until they are 25 years old…

      Absolutely, which is why it should be a criminal offense to expose children to religion at all. Religion, like pornography (although it isn’t obvious the latter is particularly harmful to children) are matters for adults.

      • 3lemenope

        Do you believe the same about political and ethical views? Should it be illegal to teach your children what you believe to be right and wrong, or what one should value in a social context, because their brains are not fully developed?

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1078695333 David Kopp

          You can teach ethics without resorting to religion. An imaginary friend that gives you a free pass to be a douchebag to others that don’t believe in the same friend isn’t really a healthy thing to engender. I’m pretty sure C. Peterson is being a little hyperbolic with his suggestion, though.

          • Houndentenor

            it’s very easy to teach ethics to children. “Would you like it if someone did that to you? Then don’t do it to anyone else.” Not that hard. it works too. that’s pretty much how everyone does it. The imaginary person who will reward or punish us based on what we do only works with Santa Claus and even that is only effective starting about Thanksgiving. That isn’t going to work in February.

          • 3lemenope

            I was taking aim at the hyperbole. There are any number of things that parents can (and do) teach their children that have nothing to do with religion that are dangerous and/or destructive, and I find singling out religion in this particular way to be a bit silly. Beyond that, I don’t trust anyone to determine for others what they should or should not teach their kids, much less what they should or should not be *allowed* to teach their kids.

        • C Peterson

          Political and ethical views are matters of opinion, not fact. I think it is quite appropriate for parents to teach these things to their children. By any reasonable standards, religion and theism are factually wrong. They are lies, and in particular, they are damaging lies, both to children and to society as a whole. I therefore consider it ethically sound for society to place limits on how these things are presented to children (just as we do with pornography).

          The only reason I don’t expend much energy actually pushing for such laws is that I don’t know how we might construct them under our current system without risking all sorts of unintended negative consequences. That doesn’t stop me from picturing an ideal world, however, where it would be illegal to teach children about religion except in an academic way. In the meantime, I’ll fight for what is more reasonably achievable, which is making religion socially unacceptable. That’s a long hill to climb, but it’s a hill that is at least visible.

          • http://www.facebook.com/boo.hoo.9440 Boo Hoo

            I hear what you’re saying. I long for the day when we teach our kids about these various religions in the manner in which we were taught about the Roman and Greek gods and goddesses. Mythology…nothing more.

      • http://www.facebook.com/boo.hoo.9440 Boo Hoo

        If what she say is true, why bother teaching them anything it all. Why even have schools? Why not just let them flop around, oblivious to the world, while their brains are “forming”. LOL!

        No, it’s just easier to say that she’s full of crap.

    • Carmelita Spats

      Solomon’s communal sex is a biblical value along with servile concubinage, incest, rape, torture, coprophagy, coerced abortion, the mutilation of female bodies, slavery and genocide. I find Christ’s substitutionary atonement to be highly IMMORAL and I DO NOT want my kid exposed to your filthy Bible porn or to Yahweh’s perverse misogynistic violence. I am a parent and a taxpayer with RIGHTS. If you want YOUR kid exposed to biblical violence and porn, do it on your own dime, in your own TAX EXEMPT institution, locked inside your prayer closet (See Matthew 6:6) or else keep the bible porn/voyeurism inside your own head. Don’t molest my kid with your bible. Leave my kid alone.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/6358134/Biblical-sex-row-over-explicit-illustrated-Book-of-Genesis.html

      • http://www.facebook.com/boo.hoo.9440 Boo Hoo

        *Standing Ovation*

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

      You claim that kids are “killing themselves” because this is what our culture promotes. However, one of the main causes of suicide is bullying. So how is bullying non-christian and homosexuals supposed to lower the suicide rate? Or do you not see this as bullying? Or do you not care?

      Also Mr. Mehta is a “friendly atheist,” because if you noticed his post was focus on the atheist and his struggles. Even when pointing out the hypocritical stance and down right illegal behavior of many of xians, he never resorts to name calling.

      And unfriendly atheist, like me, would have focused the same article on the out-right bullshit of the xians like you. And I may have dropped in words like, “dumbfuck,” “inbred hicks” and “intolerant anchors around the necks of society.” and “thick-skulled morons who would benefit society the most by lumbering back to the dark ages where they belong.”

    • KeithCollyer

      I don’t like resorting to name-calling, but you really are stupid. Let’s agree that kids need to be encouraged to think for themselves (which is clearly why the school felt the need to try to force xtianity on an atheist) and even accept that the brain is not fully developed until around 25 (give or take several years, in some people it seems never to develop). I’ll also accept that they need to be motivated … to see (and here I swap the word order as I cannot believe you meant what you wrote) consequences of their actions. So I agree with around half your post.

      So, let’s look at the other points. Communal sex (as you call it) and (I presume you mean sexual) diseases are actually more common in states with higher religiosity. Strike one against religion. Maybe the rapper was there to encourage those things.
      Your point about negative outcomes is nonsense. Though this is where the “no true xtian” argument usually comes in. All those paedophile priests and Magdalen nuns probably thought that they “truly comprehended and lived out a life of christianity” – they just lapsed occasionally.
      I have no idea why you think atheism promotes kids killing themselves. Atheism itself promotes nothing. If you think that, then you clearly have no idea what atheism is. All it is is lack of belief in the existence of any gods, including, but not limited to, the xtian god. BTW, that means that atheists are not, and cannot be, satanists as so many xtians claim.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Mad.Mullins Chris Mullins

        “Atheism is a religion in the same way that not collecting stamps is a hobby.” – Unknown

    • http://www.facebook.com/alice.v.pua Alice Zindagi Pua

      Funny. I was under the impression that this article was about people trying to force their Christianity on this kid and his family. Regardless of what I think of Christians (some of whom are very nice people), the ones who threatened this kid and tried to shove Christian dogma down his throat would burn in hellfire are surely as they think he’ll burn for being Christian. It’s not their (or your) place to judge.

    • Billy W

      So, what your saying is to get to these kids before thier 25 and brainwash them into believing in your sky god! Because, thats essentially what your saying. Yes, they need to be motivated, motivated to search out the truth and make their own educated decisions. There is very little if anything friendly about christianity throughout history; The Inquisition, The Crusades, The Dark Ages. Teachers, educators have no right to enforce their cruel religious beliefs on any child.

    • http://www.facebook.com/hilary.mohr.5 Hilary Mohr

      I have to say that is quite absurd. I have heard of stories where women
      kill their children because they feel the devil is in them… And threatening a
      child for not believing in god doesn’t seem like a good point of view… As a
      believer in God he teaches to let people live their lives and they will come to
      terms once they “find” God… You cannot force it upon anyone. Children
      are killing themselves because they see the world as not fair or understanding
      (however crazy it seems- it is how they feel)… I believe the point is, how you
      can be considered a good godly person, and yet you threaten to kill or bash someone’s
      head it… It is amazing to mean that people will so easily choose to be angry
      and violent, and then you basically condone their actions by saying atheism
      contributes to this??? Well of course it does, when you don’t believe in what
      others find to be the truth… And to my understanding teaching your children to
      think for themselves gives them the opportunity to be good people on their own.
      You give them a foundation, and by telling them that if they don’t believe in God
      then they are going to hell and are evil is NOT the way to be and you will keep
      creating hatred and the acceptance of people who are “different”. I hope you
      have a child or find a person in your life that you truly love and then come to
      find out, that just because you don’t believe I God does NOT make you any worse
      of a person who is a devout believer.

      • Houndentenor

        To be fair, such people are mentally ill. I notice that such people believe aliens are contacting them rather than demons. Their delusion takes the form of the scary creatures from their culture, not so much from their religion. It just happened to be demons in that culture. I suspect these delusions take different forms in every culture based on what superstitions or fantasies are encouraged in that region.

        • http://www.facebook.com/christopher.wallander Christopher Wallander

          To be fair, the belief in magic and a desire to speak with invisible people seems to indicate mental illness, as well.

          • Houndentenor

            But you’re only crazy if the invisible people talk back. ;-)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=537968308 Scott Javoroski

      “Frontal lope”? Please back away from the holy water. While Christianity certainly can teach moral values, so can any other religion or non-religion. No religion has a monopoly on morals. My children are raised by The Golden Rule, which covers about 80% of your 10 Commandments. I would wager that in your normal life you yourself are only actually following about 80% at best, so where is the issue? Children learn from their parents behaviors, regardless of how developed their “frontal lope” is, THAT is where they learn intolerance and hatred from.

      As far as the damages that Christianity has caused, this story is just one of them. Anyone who has ever been persecuted by religious zealots has multiple stories of “good Christians” behaving in exactly this way. All religions have extremists within them, it should be the “tolerant” members of that religious community who reel them in and stop them from throwing mud on the image of the rest of them.

      • phantomreader42

        As this case proves (along with countless others) christianity is in fact incredibly shitty at teaching moral values.

    • RobMcCune

      And your point is what?

      That atheists face harassment for promoting the crazy idea that schools are there to provide an education rather than a forum for some jackass to proselytize.

      ? To have had someone instead at a public school talk to the kids about communal sex,…

      Actually I’d have them sit in class and learn reading, writing, math, history, literature, and science to name a few. It’s telling the only alternative you can think of to being forced to sign a pledge to Jesus is to have communal sex. LOL.

    • Houndentenor

      And nothing said in that assembly would fix any of the problems you mention. No parents would have objected to a presentation that showed that actions like driving under the influence or having unprotected sex have real consequences. Promoting joining a particular religion (not just Christianity I should point out, but a particular kind). Not only should atheists and other nonbelievers be outraged but so should parents whose children are already active in a non-fundamentalist Christian church. The school has no authority to advocate for one religion over another much less religion over non-belief. That is not their job. What is the reading level at this school? What are the math skills? Schools should do their own job and leave religion to parents and churches/temples/mosques/whatever.

    • Thackerie

      I really like it when nasty, disgusting christians like you show up here to defend you’re horribly hateful religion. It helps point out how fortunate we ex-christians are to have gotten away from that insanity. So, although you seem like a bad person who should feel bad about how bad you are, I thank you.

      • Commie pres

        You need Jesus. Redeem yourself and come back to the flock “critical thinker”

        • RobMcCune

          “Critical thinker” and “sheep” aren’t synonymous, you’re clearly the latter.

          • http://www.facebook.com/Mad.Mullins Chris Mullins

            Come one…*chuckle* look at the name! Obvious troll is obvious.

            • Charles Honeycutt

              Oh yeah, but that isn’t a reason for someone who wants to play with him to not do so.

              Someone explained to me a while back that shredding moron posts rather than ignoring them is a way to show lurkers who many lack confidence or knowledge how to handle such people, whether by deconstructing their claims or by mocking them endlessly, rather than letting them speak unopposed. This is true of both the sincerely dumb posts and the posts made by the insincere and dumb.

              That said, I have no complaints about anyone not responding to them either.

              And RobMcCune is right, the troll is no critical thinker. Just a crybaby who hates what he sees in the mirror.

        • http://www.facebook.com/trent.franklin1 Trent Franklin
          • Commie pres

            You need JESUS

            • http://www.facebook.com/Mad.Mullins Chris Mullins

              You need EDUCATION, And PUNCTUATION.

    • http://www.facebook.com/christopher.wallander Christopher Wallander

      In brief, The Crusades, The Inquisition, Vatican support of The Third Reich and Priest Sex Crimes and Cover-Up. You can ask for more if you’re completely unaware of history.

      As well, your argument that children aren’t able to think for themselves until 25 is contrary to Christian dogma. Children are held accountable and expected to understand their actions at age 7, according to your belief system.

      • Commie pres

        Where you there? Were is your proof crusades and inqusition? Priest sex crimes? Children and angry adults trying to “get back” at the church for there misrable lives.
        Godless communists making up lies to confuse the weak and help recruit cannon fodder for the antichrists dark army.

        • blasphemous_kansan

          >>”Godless communists making up lies to confuse the weak”

          The only one here that sounds confused and weak is you.

          • Commie pres

            Call names and attack me and GOD all you want but I know that heaven everlasting will be my just reward.

            • blasphemous_kansan

              >>>”Call names and attack me and GOD all you want but I know that heaven everlasting will be my just reward.”

              That’s awesome!!! I’m so happy for you!! So, since you know all this, you can just leave now, right? You’ve got your place in heaven and fuck all the rest of us….

              So….Bye!!

              • Commie pres

                You can too just give up your godless homosexal ways. Open your eyes and see the TRUTH. GOD loves you and only wants you to follow HIS LAWS

                • http://www.facebook.com/trent.franklin1 Trent Franklin

                  Laws like…? How severly I can beat my slaves? How I can rape a virgin then must marry her and have to pay her father 50 peices of silver? Which laws exactly?

                • http://www.facebook.com/Mad.Mullins Chris Mullins

                  I thought it was 50 sheckles ;)

            • http://www.facebook.com/trent.franklin1 Trent Franklin

              If heaven is so great why not go to heaven now?

            • coyotenose

              Actually, your just reward is far more likely to be getting banned from this board, and probably from Patheos.

              Praise Satan!

              • http://www.facebook.com/trent.franklin1 Trent Franklin

                Praise FSM!

                • coyotenose

                  Nowai, Satan gets blamed for ruining God’s entire creation by being too good at talking about APPLES. Much cooler than making trees.

                  Now if the FSM had a backstory where people picked and ate his eyeballs because they were told to by, I dunno, let’s say angry separatist muskrats, then you might get a convertee.

            • Antinomian

              Why wait? I mean if this reward you claim is so great, why not get it now? Show us how much faith you rally have..

              • Commie pres

                You woud like that woudnt you? Yuor evil words and evil thouhts are nothing I have JESUS on my side

                • Artor

                  Yeah, a fictional zombie 2000 years gone, if he ever existed, is a GREAT ally!

          • Commie pres

            no proof just attacks and name calling as I thoght

            • http://www.facebook.com/Mad.Mullins Chris Mullins

              thoght, that sounds about your level, what’s wrong? keyboard covered with crayons and drool?

        • http://www.facebook.com/trent.franklin1 Trent Franklin

          You seriously need to talk to a mental health care professional about how you’re nuttier that a squirrel turd.

        • NewDawn2006

          Proof of the Crusades and the Inquisition? Seriously? And then blaming the victims because they were molested? For a religion that claims it has the moral upper hand you are supporting our argument that it doesn’t.

        • http://www.facebook.com/christopher.wallander Christopher Wallander

          You imply that godless communists are powerful enough to rewrite history? Good thing for you religious that, with that kind of power, they don’t wipe you out, rather than just making you look like a bunch of under-educated, violent, child rapists.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

          Consult the Roman Catholic Church itself for the crimes of the Crusades and the Inquisition.

          Consult all of the criminal investigation reports for the ongoing revelations of priests and ministers sexually assaulting children. The coverups by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee are particularly horrific – in particular the case of Lawrence Murphy, who abused over a hundred deaf children (he selected his victims to have non-signing or at least non-fluent-signing parents, so that they could not tell them what he had done to them).

          If you were unaware of all of that, you should not be commenting here before you did your homework. And if you were, you are a liar.

        • Mario Strada

          Commie Pres is a garden variety troll that does not deserve an answer. In fact, those like him thrive on them because they can use them to troll more. Leave him alone.

          • Commie pres

            You deflect from the TRUTH with name calling, No answer to my questions. you foolish people and your egos. Evolustonsist lies and denying your creator. Look at the platypus, a warm blloded furred egg layer with a ducks bill and webbed feet? Sounds like the work of a divine creator to me.

            Answer this where you there? photos? proof?
            Maybe you came from a monkey, thats why your words make no sense.
            WIN for GOD!!!

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

              The platypus is an egg-laying mammal, related to the four current species of echidna and to a long series of fossils going back to ~125 million years ago (there is a fossil called Ambondro mahabo, dating to 167 million years ago that may represent an earlier sample of the lineage). Genetic analysis and the older fossil record agree that our last common ancestors with the platypus lived 200 ± 20 million years ago, and was a type of creature called the “crown group mammals” – characterized by the arrangement of bones in the skull, differentiated teeth that are replaced, the structure of the ear bones, and having sweat glands (including those that are specialized to produce milk).

              And the details of mammalian evolutionary biology are irrelevant to the case Hemant has described here.

              And I observe that you have not actually addressed any of the answers people have provided to your other questions here.

              • Commie pres

                More evlutionist claptrap

                • RobMcCune

                  All them funny names are totally made up.

              • Commie pres

                167 million years ago? Before the heavens and the earth? before there was light? wow the platypus has a spechial place in history

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

                  Please go measure the distance to the cosmic microwave background. You will get 13.82 billion lightyears. That that the light has been traveling that long, and the universe is a bit older than that.

                  And then go and count the number of atoms of uranium and lead, potassium and argon, and rubidium and strontium in a bunch of rocks. You will find that they all say that the Earth is 4.54 billion years old; about 1/3 the age of the universe.

                  If you are trolling, go do those exercises anyway. It is a better use of anyone’s time.

                • RobMcCune

                  Just can’t understand numbers bigger than 6000 doesn’t mean the earth was created in 4004 BCE.

            • Artor

              Were YOU there? No? Then by your own argument, you need to STFU troll.

        • http://www.facebook.com/Mad.Mullins Chris Mullins

          Obvious Troll is obvious.

    • http://www.facebook.com/trent.franklin1 Trent Franklin

      Will you pray for me?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=807660441 Dan Livermore

      Bachmann. That’s it. I’ve been trying to remember your last name. It is spelled Bachmann, right? Two n’s? How could I forget?

    • http://www.facebook.com/boo.hoo.9440 Boo Hoo

      Let me see if I can board your “Logic Train”…

      So, you can either listen to Christian-themed school assemblies, or get herpes. Does that sum it up? Yeah, we’re done here…. *pulls the cord*

      (PS: Speaking of ‘train’…you’re kind of all over the place in your train of thought, but you offer absolutely no evidence for your points, much like your religion. Are we supposed to take what you say on ‘faith’, as well?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000700002751 Sam West

      I’m sorry, but frontal “lope?” You are clearly unqualified.

    • Pureone

      what about the ante-lope? When do they mature?

    • NewDawn2006

      No. Our point is that no school should be holding an assembly to shove a particular religion down kids throats. Statistics show that kids who are taught how to have safe sex are much less likely to get a disease or wind up pregnant. Kids need to be taught how to think for themselves by giving them all necessary information to make an educated decision about a topic. You want to give them partial information that reflects what your idea of Christian doctrine is so they will make a decision that reflects your specific beliefs and ideals. Kids are killing themselves because religious bullying is allowed in schools against homosexuals, atheists, and anyone else that doesn’t line up with your specific morals/ideals. If you consider yourself and the rest of your kind “friendly” then we must have different definitions of friendly. One wouldn’t think that driving by and flicking people off, threatening to kill or “kick their ass” would be considered friendly. Yet no words for them? I can only take that to mean that you are OK with it. Since we are not friendly, please point out what was done that was unfriendly. If you consider wanting the government and its representatives to follow the Constitution of the United States perhaps you would like to take that up with our Founding Fathers who believed that the government should not place more value or pick a religion for the people. Or you should go and live in a country where religion is the law of the land. Iran comes to mind…

    • http://www.facebook.com/marcia.mcmullin69 Marcia McMullin

      Throughout history there have been countless murders, maimings, rapes, tortures, and everything else conceivable done “in the name of God”. You can’t tell me that those things, such as the Spanish Inquisition, for one, could POSSIBLY be the showing of love for one another.

    • Burzghash

      Sure, if you’re willing to just disregard the dark ages, the crusades, the uncounted amount of torture, bloodshed and death at the hands of Christianity. Then sure, Christianity has never had a single negative outcome!

    • Tyler Durden

      You should probably read the U.S. Constitution, first of all.

      Secondly, “Christians” have done all kinds of harm in the name of their religion and their god. Where do you want me to begin?

      Which parts of “living a Christian” life? The parts where the penalties for any violations of the commandments means you’re to be stoned to death? Or maybe the parts where Jesus says it’s ok to beat your slaves as long as they don’t die? (Do you guys even read your own Bible??)

      P.S. what the heck are you talking about having speakers who talk about “communal sex? I see we’re making up fantasy stories again.

    • http://www.facebook.com/j.m.hackler Marty Hackler

      That is a frontal lobe…..again, it’s a lobe…and to follow up for your next post…it’s struck a chord

    • Verimius

      Michele says “I have not seen one statistic yet that has had a negative outcome with
      someone that truly comprehended and lived out a life of Christianity.”

      That’s because if anyone who claims to be Christian does something bad or wrong you redefine them as not being Christian. It’s a self-fulfilling, no-lose proposition, also known as the No True Scotsman fallacy.

    • RobertoTheChi

      Are you seriously asking what harm religion (Christianity in particular) have done? Surely you couldn’t have typed your tirade with a straight face.

    • Mario Strada

      So, you are saying that it was the Christian values that made the kids, teachers and administrators ostracize, punish and threat with bodily arm one of their own for trying to make them observe the law?

      That’s great values. Congratulations. Looks like the Christian thing is really working out for you all. Too bad the Bible is sort of finished or this episode would look good in it.

      I think it’s telling that you don’t see anything wrong with the behavior of the school and students. Instead you get into a semantic diatribe about the title of this blog and go back to the premise of this article, ignoring the latest developments, which is the topic at hand.

      I’d love to see your reaction if the single ostracized student was a Christian in a school of atheists. I would probably hear the sqwaking all the way from here.

      By the way, it’s “Frontal Lobe” with the B. And “Friendly” doesn’t mean “Sucker”.

    • http://www.facebook.com/peter.moritz.351 Peter Moritz

      What consequences have the public suffered, and I do not men that word
      lightly, in the name of religion….Christianity in particular“

      http://www.truthbeknown.com/victims.htm

      and please elucidate what you mean by “truly comprehended and lived out a life of Christianity”. there seem to be some definitional problem her, as any of those committing atrocities claim to do so in the name of ‘Christ’.

      I do not even go into the present day attacks of Doctors providing abortions, violence against homosexuals induced by religion, the treatment of “witch children inAfrican countries (christian, of course), the attempts by US christian leaders to help draft laws promoting the death penalty for homosexuality in various african countries, the bullying of atheists in majority christian communities etc.etc. etc.

      “To have had someone instead at a public school talk to the kids about
      communal sex, wind up with a disease, which will more than likely happen
      according to national statistics.”
      Another bullshit statement that runs counter to the evidence that teenage pregnancies and venereal diseases are highest in states with a lack of sex education in schools. And where did you get this drivel from regarding: communal sex?
      What kind of arsehole must one be to present this as the reality of sex ed? Are you completely daft?

    • ijiji

      This troll has been a great success!

      • Charles Honeycutt

        You realize that mods ban IP addresses, not individual accounts, right?

        No? You’re that stupid?

        Enjoy.

    • baal

      What is ‘communal sex’ and is it more like communism or communion? I need to know if I need to convert or go red to try it out. Unless you just mean orgies and outside of swinger groups, they really don’t happen.

    • Carpinions

      “And your point is what? To have had someone instead at a public school
      talk to the kids about communal sex, wind up with a disease, which will
      more than likely happen according to national statistics.”

      Uh, no, actually we would have asked for the kids to remain in the classroom learning rather than be party to Jesus marketing on the taxpayers’ dime. You present a false dichotomy; look up what that means. Why does it have to be a choice between something you politically like, and something you politically don’t? You even built a fallacious straw man into your drivel.

      “What consequences have the public suffered, and I do not men that word
      lightly, in the name of religion….Christianity in particular.”

      I’d ask people in Northern Ireland, Kosovo, African slaves, Native North and South American peoples, the Middle Ages, the Crusades, the Inquisition, the average science teacher or biologist…you know, people at the pointy end of the Christian spear. And don’t even get me into how many peoples’ lives Christianity has needlessly distorted or ruined because of absurd rules your god passes down like not mixing fabrics, not eating shellfish, taking and marking slaves, massacring other tribes not “chosen”, etc. Oh those are all the old laws you say? I seem to recall Jesus saying something about the old laws not passing away…

      “Kids arE killing themselves because this is what our culture promotes”

      Where have you seen this? Source or GTFO.

      Who is the “I am” in this sentence?

      The “I am” Is Mr. Mehta, who is an individual responsible for himself to others. That’s how a free society that respects individual rights works. You cannot be individualistic if one cannot say those words. But don’t think I don’t know what you’re implying. You are the only one treating anything anyone says as if they think they’re a god unto themselves. It is one of your fundamental mistakes in even approaching us to battle with words and ideas. The problem for you is that most of us already know what it’s like to be religious, including myself, and you have no business telling me or anyone else so raised that we don’t know what it’s like to be like you. We know plenty well.

  • JET

    Hindsight is 20/20. Maybe we should have just let them secede…

    • Infophile

      And let them make it even worse there, with no First and Fourteenth Amendments to keep them in check?

      • http://www.facebook.com/andrew.chase.73345 Andrew Chase

        At least they wouldn’t be inflicting their insanity on the rest of us.

    • onamission5

      I do not understand it when people make statements like this. Problems don’t magically go away and stop causing harm just because they are happening in a different country.

      • TheG

        True. And something to weigh in consideration.

        At least my taxes wouldn’t be going to fund it anymore…

    • http://www.facebook.com/Mad.Mullins Chris Mullins

      HEY! I’m down here too!

    • Zanna White

      Please no! There are freethinkers in this bassakwards state (like me!) We need the sanity of the rest of the nation to help us hopefully change minds from the inside. It’s slow going, but there is still hope.

  • Deathlord666

    Oh come on Jordan, if people are giving you crap, kick their asses.
    Violence is the only thing bullies listen to.

    • blasphemous_kansan

      School shooters everywhere agree.

      • coyotenose

        Yet oddly, being bullied is not a common theme among school shooters.

        Equating self-defense with murder? Nice. And yes, when the school authorities won’t help you, physical self-defense is sometimes the only thing that works even against threats that haven’t yet been acted upon.

        • blasphemous_kansan

          >>”Yet oddly, being bullied is not a common theme among school shooters.”

          That’s neat. Source?

          >>”Equating self-defense with murder?”

          Where?

          >>”Nice.”

          Not really, but since I didn’t do it I think I’m in the clear.

          >>” And yes, when the school authorities won’t help you, physical self-defense is sometimes the only thing that works even against threats that haven’t yet been acted upon.”

          Where did I ever imply otherwise? You sure managed to build an intricate strawman out of 4 words!

          My point, which I thought was obvious, is that the acceptance of violence as a foregone conclusion to resolve an issue is probably not a good thing.
          Self-defend all you want, but the blanket statement that a kid in a bullying situation needs the mindset of eventually kicking his enemy’s ass if they want the bullying to stop is hilariously simplistic, and discounts all possibilities except the rosy one where the bully gets thrashed, realizes the error of his ways, and life is good.

          It’s just not that simple.

      • qt314

        And they’d be right, technically.

    • rick

      im gonna have to agree with ya on this. i was bullied a lot growing up and that all stopped when i finally had enough and kicked some ass. id like to say there is a better way but i really dont think there is

    • Joe Walsh

      beautiful invitation right there for a hate-crime: as Jordan attacks the body of his enraged mob beats the boy — to DEATH!

    • 3lemenope

      The better advice is “defend yourself”. People “giving you crap” really doesn’t justify “kicking their asses”, no matter how satisfying the experience might be in the moment. Obviously there are things that can complicate the analysis, but generally it is not true that violence is the most effective or only way to deal with bullies, and I say this as a person who was bullied through most of my school experience (basically up till high school).

    • Artor

      He’s completely outnumbered & outflanked. If fists start flying, he can expect a stay in a hospital.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=16901868 Joel Taylor

    Seems like it’s time for another lawsuit.
    Challenge in federal courts. Could probably get around $700,000. That’s what bullying based on sexual-orientation got in federal courts in the mid-90s.

  • Samantha Thomas

    Apparently they skipped the “love thy neighbour” part in the buy-bull (bible)

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

      There’s a disturbing viewpoint among some Christians that this only applies to other Christians, along with “Turn the other cheek” and every other line in the Bible which demands we treat each other with decency.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jeff.see.7 Jeff See

        Which is quite funny, seeing how they stick to the rules and writings in the old testament, which is for no one else but Hebrews, and how to properly treat Hebrews. “Love they neighbor” is for your Hebrew neighbor, everyone else is dead dirt.

        • Allen

          It’s not only for the hebrews though. It’s much more than a name of a man made religion or sect.

      • Isilzha

        But then there are the parts where you kill people and even stone disobedient children so I don’t see their behavior as really being “unchristian”, just that they’re following different bits of their nasty little instruction book.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

          Please don’t ever point that out to my father.

          • Allen

            The point here is that these people are only following specific points of the lord’s words. That isn’t how he wants his word to be followed. To do it that way is not christianity- it’s blaspheming. If we all read the WHOLE bible instead of just parts, and attempted to ACTUALLY understand it, then we would have a better understanding that the true battle field is within us. But hey, history is chocked full of people that didn’t want to read the directions first, so my point won’t be made unless you read ALL of the words.

            • http://www.facebook.com/quintavious.simmons Quintavious Simmons

              I’d argue, that more atheist have read the bible in it’s entirety than christians and even more, they’ve read it without a bias or prescribed “translation” given to them. I read the most of the bible as a young christian child and took every word of it as true (just like I was told) and understood it just the same (as I was told). Now in young adulthood I re-read it and find that there’s no way that you could come across those same understandings w/o the original seed of bias. I challenge you to read the WHOLE bible and ACTUALLY understand the text, and see if you leave the ring a christian.

            • http://twitter.com/c0rtana c0rtana/Scott Crain

              Then I hope you’re not shaving… or eating shellfish… or wearing fabric blends… and if you’re married that your wife was a virgin (or you had her properly stoned at least).

              Because your pal Yeshua, he is reported to have said “I do not come to change one bit of the law, but to fulfill it.” So all that Old Testament stuff you like to ignore, save for blood sacrifice? IT IS STILL IN EFFECT.

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

              The Bible repeatedly says “Do X” and also “Don’t Do X” (again, see the lists of contradictions). That makes it almost entirely unusable as a guide for behavior.

            • Artor

              Many of us here HAVE read all the words, which is why we aren’t Xtians. Your book is complete bullshit, I’m sorry to say.

      • Georginafs

        And they are right, it says ” Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (KJV), nothing about other people, fellow humans, creatures of the earth.
        Your neigbours are those in your community. Anyone else is fair game.

        • Kia

          Luke 10… who is my neighbor?

        • Allen

          Again, only reading a single part. It’s ok though. God does love you. He does want you back.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

            Please provide adequate evidence that there is any sort of god (and, no, a collection of multiply-re-translated books is insufficient for that claim).

    • 3lemenope

      Oh, but they’re just loving him with their fists and their threats. You know, tough love. That’s what Jesus meant by loving thy neighbor, right?

      Gah. This level of hypocrisy nauseates me so much I can’t even do a sarcastic bit on it without retching.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=20703981 David DeMedicis

    When people have threatened me in the past, I’ve just reminded them they are not going to do anything, that’s why they’re making threats, the classic “No you won’t.” And it’s true, they won’t. God help them if they do.

  • Malk

    These people are stupid for holding a religious assembly in a public school, but the comments are just…

    You want to know why atheists are commonly written off as assholes? You’re not being considerate of religious people. Yes, this boy was brave, but this doesn’t prove that we need freedom from religion or anything like that. Stop blaming religion for everything wrong, okay? Blame the idiots who don’t want to liberalize religion.

    • 3lemenope

      The blame fell on the people, not the religion. The religion is relevant only because the hypocrisy involved is really rather staggering, to the point where it would be a disservice to reality and everything else to not point it out. When an entire community of Christians get together to abuse and ostracize a kid because he isn’t like them, it stops being about individual bad actors and starts being a contextualized social problem, and should be discussed in that way. Why are you seeking for atheists to make Christians comfortable in discussing the bad acts of large tranches of their own community?

      I agree that such things can be pointed out with more tact and poise, but really that is a bonus, not something one should expect, and definitely not something that a person can demand in a situation like this. It may, indeed, be hard to accept that Christianity doesn’t seem to make people better people, and in situations like this actually seems to make people behave tribalistic and cruel, but that’s something you have to make peace with. If people on this end wish to address the Christian community with respect, it is a personal choice, and the respect is supererogatory. I can say that as a person who does seek to talk with religious and areligious people alike with respect and restraint, and am occasionally taken aback by the stridency that accompanies the anger.

    • Houndentenor

      The assembly was inappropriate. It promoted not just religion but a specific branch of a specific religion. Why are liberal Christians apologizing for things like this? The people promoting events like this don’t think any more of liberal Christians than they do of atheists.

      • 3lemenope

        I’ll admit, that has always confused me. Why defend people that would, in a hot second, turn around and toss you under a bus just as soon as the scarier threat goes away? It’s the sort of behavior one finds in people who have been systematically abused for long periods.

    • coyotenose

      The Christians are the ones who brought their religion into it and are using it as a tool to harm people. Deal.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

      >> Yes, this boy was brave, but this doesn’t prove that we need freedom from religion or anything like that.<<

      Actually, it does. Something you apparently have not yet learned: freedom _of_ religion also necessitates freedom _from_ religion. In this case, the student being discriminated against is an atheist. But consider what would happen to a Jewish student, or a Muslim one, or a Jain, or a Hindu, or even sects of Christianity other than the one that the school was promoting. Same problem.

      • http://www.facebook.com/boo.hoo.9440 Boo Hoo

        I actually had some idiot online try to tell me that since the Constitution says “of”, and not “from”, that it means there is no “freedom from religion”. I think I have a crack in my monitor from banging my head against it over the stupidity. I mean, seriously…is reading comprehension becoming a lost art form, or something? They actually believe that, and that’s why there is a serious threat from Dominionism in this country. It starts here, in the schools, and if we don’t smack it down now, then that’ll be a huge problem for future generations.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

          And that is why the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s work is so important.

    • RobMcCune

      I do blame the idiots. There are stupid people out there who will be offended at anyone who doesn’t want to go along with their little idea of how the world is and should be.

      In this case these idiot’s idea of what the world is and should be is the christian religion. That is the sole problem here, deal with it.

    • NewDawn2006

      Look at which comments? Are you speaking of the ones that were made by the Christians as they drove by his house and flicked him off? How about the ones that were threatening to kick his ass? All because the school is doing things that are totally unconstitutional and he took a stand? Shame on them and shame on you. There is no “but the comments”. It is people of your ilk that are perpetuating behaviors such as these “christians”.

      • Houndentenor

        This is typical of liberal Christians. Wringing hands and chastising anyone criticizing religion meanwhile enabling people who phone in death threats and vandalize people’s homes for not being willing to keep their mouths shut about their lack of belief.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=807660441 Dan Livermore

      who cares if your superstition is “liberal” or not? Religion, on some level, poisons everything it touches. “Know God, Know Fear. No God, No Fear.”

    • onamission5

      You do realize it wasn’t atheists threatening an 8th grader with death, right?
      Naming a problem is not the problem, the problem is the problem.

    • keynescoase

      failfail.

      “You’re not being considerate of religious people.”

      Public school = no preaching. Period. Religion isn’t everything that’s wrong, it’s the excuse fundies use to push their agenda. You can’t do that.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Mad.Mullins Chris Mullins

        Don’t preach in my school and I won’t think in your church ;)

    • qt314

      You’re an idiot and fuck religion.

    • Mario Strada

      Malk, where is your contempt for the death threats and ostracism suffered by this young man?

      These people are indeed stupid for holding the assembly, but you choose to gloss over the threats and instead concentrate on the posts in this blog (which I haven’t read yet, but I am a long time reader and I know what they say).

      Let me ask you a question: do you consider these posts more contemptible than the death threats?

      You will likely say yes, and with reason. The posts here don’t hurt anyone, no matter how nasty, while the death threats and the rest of the Christian behavior is reprehensible and wrong, no matter who is directed against. I’ll bet that if a Christian was receiving the same treatment from his or her atheist school not only you, but thousands of people would be outraged. We would never hear the end of it.

      Yet, you simply ignore all that and instead ask us that upon reading this story of gross discrimination by not only individuals, but by a public institution, we should refrain from speaking our mind and instead be “considerate of religious people”.

      I sure hope you have the brain power and the sensitivity to realize what an asinine proposition that would be. I understand that writing on the Internet is often done in a rush without thought of consequences, but re-read your post, read the article again and tell me if that the reaction you would have again.

      And if you would react again in the same manner, then do me a favor and switch the roles. Now the kid is a Christian and the rest of the school are atheists, but everyone is behaving the same. Would your post still prompt us (“us” would be Christian blog post readers in this role switching scenario) to be “considerate of atheists”.

      Somehow I think not.

      If I were you I would seriously reconsider what I wrote and test your own integrity, because there is no right and wrong relative to one’s beliefs. There is only right and wrong. If the behavior at the school is wrong, it is wrong regardless of the ideologies. Likewise for our answers.

      If you find yourself thinking that with a role reversal you would have responded differently (which is my bet), then you have a lot of work to do before you should feel ready to tell others how to behave.

    • Matt D

      Well….this was an issue about bullying and you’re concerned that it makes religion look bad. So I doubt we have any interest in discussing it until you learn some empathy for your fellow human beings.

    • phantomreader42

      So, Malk, according to you, the problem is NOT that a school BROKE THE FUCKING LAW, nor that christianist terrorists THREATENED TO MURDER A CHILD FOR POINTING OUT THAT THEY WERE BREAKING THE LAW! No, the glorious Malk has decreed that the ONLY thing wrong here is that atheists DARE to INSULT CHRISTIAN TERRORISTS!

      What color is the sky on your planet, Malk?

  • Praise Jesus

    This is how it should be, bring the so called “critical thinkers” back into the flock.

    • blasphemous_kansan

      Obvious troll is obvious.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=807660441 Dan Livermore

        Actually, obvious sarcasm is obvious.

        • Consumer Unit 5012

          Sadly, it isn’t obvious. As Poe’s Law says, there is NOTHING you can say on the internet that is so idiotic, insane, or repugnant that SOMEONE hasn’t said it in complete sincerity.

        • coyotenose

          It can be taken either way with equal validity.

        • MariaO

          It was SO nice in the 1980s when the norm on the nets ancestors was to use sarcasm/irony parenthesis: <>. Kept the debates reasonably civil, even though the trolls also has ancestors.
          <>

  • Guest

    This is as it should be, encourage the so-called ‘critical thinkers’ to come back to the flock.
    PRAISE JESUS!!!

    • brian schneider

      Fuck Jesus

      • Commie pres

        Ill pray for you heathen

        • http://www.facebook.com/trent.franklin1 Trent Franklin

          If you pray for us we’ll have to think for you.

        • http://www.facebook.com/marcia.mcmullin69 Marcia McMullin

          Nobody here has to worry about your “prayers” because the Creator hears and answers only SINCERE communications; and you are a very obvious hypocrite, invoking the act of “praying” when you are thinking “cursing”.

        • Burzghash

          How about doing something that will actually make a difference?

        • Matthew Delemos

          I’ll laugh at you, coward.

      • http://www.facebook.com/robin.whiteman1 Rob Wolfman Whiteman

        already did that. jesus is my lil bitch now. he rolls over on command!

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

          Hey now! Atheists don’t get a pass to be sexist or homophobic. Stop that!

    • Carpinions

      Encourage them by threatening their lives? Ya, that sounds like Jesus alright. You only have to act godly within the confines of your social group eh? I don’t recall that one being in the Bible…

    • RobertoTheChi

      Fuck you and fuck jesus.

    • Allen

      This isn’t christianity at work. I’d like to know where the pastors/ ministers/ priests of all these churches are sending the money. If they were true christians, they wouldn’t make money off of god. I bet they have nice houses and cars and things. I’d like to know where the money they collect from their churches goes and where the money in their personal bank accounts came from. Welcome to battlefield earth- not the real battle field though. These are false prophets doing the work of the devil. These are why people turn into atheists in the first place- it’s not real christianity. I would also like to state that any of the “christians” that are doing this most likely have their hearts closed to the lord. I’m very sorry this is happening to this family. I wish there was a way I could support them in their fight as they are fighting a force of satan. I don’t want to preach though.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

        “These are why people turn into atheists in the first place- it’s not real Christianity.”

        No. People become atheists because they _decide that religion is wrong_. That is all.

        And there are no “forces of Satan”. There are only people who decide to do evil things.

        Also – if you actually believe Satan is real and is so powerful, how can you consider yourself a monotheist? You are asserting something more like Zoroastrian good god – evil god dualism.

  • Commie pres

    If you have a problem with Jesus and Christanity move to afganstan you Godless commie filth

    • dorcheat

      Moronic trolling be here, gentle atheist readers. Please move on, nothing to see.

    • Houndentenor

      Why would a godless person move to a Muslim country? Perhaps Scandinavia where religion is rarely discussed in public. That sounds nice actually.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Mad.Mullins Chris Mullins

        I hear Norway is nice this time of year.

        • Houndentenor

          Copenhagen is an extraordinarily beautiful city. Even in the dead of winter. I wouldn’t mind living there now that I think about it. I certainly wouldn’t want to live under the Taliban. The Teavangelicals here in Texas are bad enough!

    • RobMcCune

      We don’t want to be ruled by religion, you do. Go ahead and move there, you’d fit right in.

      • Commie pres

        You dont understand look at the picture of the ‘man’ who wrote this. Godless muslim trash Antichrists all of you.

        • RobMcCune

          Godless muslim trash Antichrists

          You spelled it wrong, in raging christian moron you capitalize all those letters, don’t include spaces, and finish with a ton of exclamation points.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

          So you see a picture of Hemant and you immediately claim he is a “godless muslim” – which is a contradiction in terms – and also dehumanize him by your use of punctuation.

          You are a racist.

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

          How can you be a Godless Muslim? And how can a Muslim be the Antichrist, since I thought AC was supposed to look like a Christian and talk like a Christian but secretly be evil? And do you think all ‘brown’ people are Muslim? You’re neglecting the large Buddhist, Hindu, and Christian populations in Southern and Southeast Asia, as well as the Christian, Druze, and Jewish populations in the Middle East.

          Logic. You doesn’t haz it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

            Also the Jain and Sikh populations; which is particularly relevant since Hemant was raised as a Jain.

            • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

              Indeed

          • Commie pres

            their is only one GOD and he is not muslim hense godless muslim

          • Commie pres

            haz? go to school and get tauht some spelling

            • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

              Ok, now I know with absolute surety you’re just trolling for fun. There’s no way someone on the Internet has missed out on Lolcats.

              EDIT: Not to mention the oh-so-obvious misspelling of “taught”.

              • Commie pres

                feminerd I can tell from your name you are nothing but a useful idiot pushing the gay ‘twink’ agenda. Your personal attacks take away nothing from my original respons. You “people” just attack attack attack instaed of answering the questions Try to think!Use what the LORD gave you!
                repent and heaven everlasting will be your just reward

                • Connie Kane

                  Did you not go to school? Spell check!

    • coyotenose

      I don’t know about “afganstan”, but Afghanistan isn’t a Communist country.

      “Afghan Stan” would make a great pseudonym or video game character or something. Maybe the TV persona of a two-bit salesman from Jersey, like that toupee guy in Goodfellas.

    • NewDawn2006

      One obviously doesn’t understand the government of Afghanistan or what a communist is… However, those who are ruled by religion are in countries like Iran. Please feel free to head on over if you want religion to rule you.

      • http://www.facebook.com/boo.hoo.9440 Boo Hoo

        Oh, they don’t want that Brown God. They mean the God of White People.

        You know, blond-haired, blue-eyed, European-born Jesus who created America for the Chosen People.

        Excuse me while I go have a laughing fit…

        • Commie pres

          You are probably one of them

        • http://www.facebook.com/Mad.Mullins Chris Mullins

          I just shot water out of my nose…

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=807660441 Dan Livermore

      Come to my house and say that. I’m not threatening you, I just want to record your idiocy and post it on YouTube for all my fellow atheists to laugh at.

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      Afghanistan, the country that fought off the Soviet (Communist) invasion in the 1980s? The country we’re currently still embroiled in a war in, fighting Muslim extremists who arose because we gave them money and aid in the 1980s, then completely abandoned after the Soviets pulled out?

      Why would atheists want to go from a religious country to an even more religious country? I’ll go to Iceland or Denmark, those are nice secular places, but why would I trade one intolerable religion for another?

    • The Captain

      As an actual “atheist” “communist” (well marxist but you’re probably too stupid to understand the difference) all I can say to you is… try and fucking make me!

      • Commie pres

        How appropiate pedophile bear.

        • The Captain

          You’re the one who recognized this obscure intent meme… I think that says more about you than me.

      • Commie pres

        Captain Pedophile

    • Matt Delemos

      Being a jerk online doesn’t make anything bigger than it already is. Just keep that in mind

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=659951913 A I

    Good job, Anderson!

  • http://www.facebook.com/victoria.cole.927758 Victoria Cole

    HELLO to my friends out there i am testifying about the good work of a man who help me it has been hell from the day my husband left me i am a woman with two kids my problem stated when the father of my kids travel i never help he was living but as at two weeks i did not set my eye on my husband i try calling but he was not taken my call some week he call me telling me that he has found love some where easy at first i never take to be serous but day after he came to the house to pick his things that was the time i notice that things is going bad i help he will come back but things was going bad day by day i needed to talk to someone about it so i went to his friend but there was no help so i give it up on him month later i met on the the internet a spell caster i never believe on this but i needed my men back so i gave the spell caster my problem at first i never trusted him so i was just doing it for doing sake but after three day my husband called me telling me that he his coming home i still do not believe but as at the six day the father to my kids came to the house asking me to for give him the spell work to said to my self from that day i was happy with my family thanks to the esango priest of (abamieghe)esango priest he his a great man you need to try him you can as well to tell him your problem so that he can be of help to you his content email is this esangopriest@hotmail.com indeed you are a priest thank you for making my home a happy home again. remember his email is esangopriest@hotmail.com

    • blasphemous_kansan

      Flag the span

  • http://twitter.com/LovelyFam5 Cules

    Why aren’t there charges against these kids and teachers for criminal harassment? Why no firings at the school? This is a brave family and it sure indicates how nuts these chriSTAINS are. Who ever would want to believe in some cult that would drive you to do such hatefilled things.

    • Tyler Durden

      Because the authorities are a big part of the problem! The teachers, the admin, and probably the cops as well, all see no problem with harassing an atheist.
      THAT is exactly the problem.

      • http://twitter.com/goodfornuthin Ginga Ninja Avenga

        Exactly. I went through this myself growing up. The school administration protects the bullies, be they students or teachers.

      • Allen

        hmmm, I can agree on this point.

    • Allen

      Because this isn’t the work of true christianity. It’s the work of the devil.

      • http://twitter.com/Roentgenster William Roentgen

        No. It’s just the work of humans. Humans who pick and choose the parts of their scripture that they give importance. Everybody who follows a scripture picks the parts that appeal to them to emphasize, and ignores or deemphasizes the parts that do not.

        Research shows that everybody sees in their vision of God somebody who agrees with them on the important things – the whole concept is, in practice, just one big ego mirror.

      • Artor

        You keep sying that, but it doesn’t make it true. There is no devil, and no god. And there is no True Scotsman either.

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

  • Howie51

    Nothing quite like being “loved to death”

  • Burzghash

    Apparently Christians aren’t content with just one Dark Ages – Christian extremism is determined to bring about a 2nd intellectual stunting of mass proportions.

    • Allen

      Extremism isn’t christian though. It’s blasphemous. Extremism is the work of the devil. That means it’s bad. What you just said is wrong.

      • Artor

        Tell that to your fellow Xtians. There is no devil, only horrible people.

  • gahahaaaaha

    Uh… Bullying is going to make him mentally strong? Wow, that’s a new one.

    • Quintin van Zuijlen

      You know how hurting yourself can help you in the long run? It’s a bit like that, except the bullies are still bullies and shouldn’t be tolerated.

    • Carpinions

      How is that hard to get Hemant pointing out that JA remains strong in spite of such abuse? Nowhere did anyone imply bullying is OK because someone might come out alright.

    • Mackinz

      I was bullied throughout my childhood and I’m plenty mentally strong now. It’s all about how you take it… and I took it and made people realize just how smart I am.

  • Aron

    People used to say liberal was a bad word. Why because we believe in equal rights? Because we don’t let religion dictate who or what we are? Because we don’t force religion down peoples throats? Because we could care less what color someones skin is and treat them with respect? Or because we call out these incredibly naive useless bible thumping racist A-HOLES!! More power to this brave kid dealing first hand with nothing but the bottom of the barrel members of society! Where are the religious people who are smart enough to realize that these types of people give religion a bad name!!

    • Allen

      Right here. They are only giving the devil a bad name. They are not christians.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

        Stop it with the No True Christian fallacy. It has been refuted so many times that it is stale. You are not the sole authority on who is a Christian and who isn’t.

      • Artor

        They are entirely typical True Xtians, and it’s the vast majority that give the tiny minority of good Xtians a bad name.

  • http://twitter.com/lastAtheist ˹#lastAtheist™˼

    Why doesn’t he SUE THE SCHOOL DISTRICT for all the bullying? Am I wrong that this is against federal law?

    • baal

      You’re right and one of the most upvoted comments is for the kid to do just that. Keep in mind, however, law suits are a PITA and have a huge upfront cost (15k-50K for an easy civil matter in federal district court) to the plaintiff. It’s an escalation so the other side will go even more ape shit. Worst, it’s extremely emotionally draining to fight every day and ride the roller coaster that the various twists and turns of the legal process bring. So while lawsuits are an option, they are an expensive and harsh resort for normal humans (as opposed to legal humans* who don’t mind it nearly as much)

      *corporations are people = my friends.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jon.anderson.1048 Jon Anderson

      While it is against the law. It is also tough to prove as it boils down to my sons word against the “loving” christians.. Also huge up front costs. I dont have that kind of money.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cheryl.a.tomlin Cheryl Ann Tomlin

    The first thing these theists forget is “do unto others”, or they slept through that class! They are ALL Homo Stultus bigots!!!

  • Religion Kills

    Well Christians want to preach death to all but they say it’s wrong to bring death to them

  • Herman Gutman

    I live in a town like this…a church on every corner…and if you dont believe what everyone else believes..you are an outcast…thats christianity for ya..believe what they believe or burn in hell. thats nice….you’ll never get me to believe in a book that promotes violence..murder…incest..slavery.

    • Allen

      People promote those things, not god.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adam-Patrick/100000027906887 Adam Patrick

        You haven’t read the Bible have you?

      • Artor

        You fail as a Christian, You obviously haven’t read your own Bible. Do you need me to cite chapter & verse for you? Your God is a monster, and it’s only redeeming feature is that it isn’t real.

  • chris_wdsk

    Obviously that area has a lot more religious people than non religious which means they are not afraid to attack people that aren’t “one with the flock”. I find that interesting since I always seem to hear from that group that is “US” that persecutes them and that it is wrong to do so. Just saying. I judge you by your actions not your words.

  • Mark

    Middle school was the worst for me as an atheist. I had a lot of bullshit from people my age but strangely enough it all disappeared as soon as I entered freshman year. Go figure.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrew.chase.73345 Andrew Chase

    WWJB = Who Would Jesus Bully?

  • dumbass kid

    Shit, I’d make fun of some idiot that filed a lawsuit for two dollars cause they didn’t want to sit through something they didn’t agree with.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

      You miss the point. The goal of the lawsuit was to compel the school to not do anything similar in the future.

    • Charles Honeycutt

      Ignorant of you. Very ignorant.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jon.anderson.1048 Jon Anderson

      it was about the law and every ones constitutional rights. It was not about money. We had to put a monetary amount on the law suit. So we decided on a buck each. Maybe when you are older you will understand. But then maybe not.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kevin.peelle Kevin Peelle

    cry babies…………. should have went to the room if he didnt want to see it. who cares if you dont believe in that stuff. quit whining

    • Mackinz

      This kind of religious bullshit does not need to happen regardless of his choice to not be by himself for an hour.

      Know what else should not have happened? All the death threats from butthurt Christians who don’t understand that there exists more than one way of thinking or think that this sort of shit is legal in the first place. The death threats would be the same if the child were Hindu, Muslim, Jewish or Wiccan, or any other religion, the “rally” would still be completely and utterly unconstitutional, and the “loving” Christians would still be willing to end another life over which imaginary friend is better.

      So much for “love thy neighbor” or “do not pray on street corners” (or however it’s phrased in the Bible).

    • 3lemenope

      So…why are you here whining? Just go to your room.

    • Charles Honeycutt

      It’s very sad that you hate the Constitution so much.

    • Houndentenor

      So you’ll be okay if next week we have an atheist come in and explain to the students why religion is a lie?

      • http://www.facebook.com/jon.anderson.1048 Jon Anderson

        No I wouldn’t. Nor would I want a white supremist to come talk either. It was a clear and simple violation of the law. Religion has no place in public school. If you want your child to hae religion in school then send your child to a religious school of your choice.

    • http://www.facebook.com/boo.hoo.9440 Boo Hoo

      That’s not even the point. The point is, it’s a public school…funded by taxpayer money. Separation of church & state. Preach in your church and teach in your school, and never shall the twain meet. Get it? I know the voucher loving, anti-Constitution (except for the 2nd amendment) repubbies want to blur the lines and make church teaching allowed in schools (but only if it’s Christian schools), but that doesn’t make it right. And that doesn’t mean they aren’t going to get slapped down the second someone takes it to the Supreme Court, because they will, eventually.

      In hindsight, I might have chosen the room option, myself. It beats listening to stupid jackholes spouting nonsense and other even stupider jackholes applauding. But, hindsight is 20/20. The point was: It shouldn’t have happened. And it’s obvious that you either glossed right over that, or simply don’t care.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jon.anderson.1048 Jon Anderson

      Cry babies huh? No man it is all about the law and the constitution. If you don’t like the law and the constitution maybe you should umm I donno.. move?

    • Matt Delemos

      More verbal abuse really helps people see why we’re right. Please, continue.

    • Derrik Pates

      If you want everything to be about religion, maybe you should try living in a theocracy. I hear it’s all about religion there. Trouble is, they don’t really ask your opinion about which religion.

  • Drew M.

    Fucking assholes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.anderson.1048 Jon Anderson

    Hi I am Jonathan. Jordan’s Dad. Quick correction, Jordan is in 8th grade. Still i the same school. His Birthday is late so he is a little bit older than his classmates.
    I am so proud of this kid it is not even funny. I read the comments and am about in tears. The positive comments are overwhelming. Thanks for all of your support!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      Thank you for everything! I’ll make the edit in the piece to reflect his grade.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jon.anderson.1048 Jon Anderson

        Thanks!

  • Randall

    Jordan, hang in there dude.

  • Marcus Absent

    I’m a Christian, and I’m disgusted with the behavior of these people. Whether Jordan agrees with their beliefs or not, this is not how Christians ought to act. Period.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Paul-Bachand/100003582661960 Jason Paul Bachand

    Great article. I’m a little disappointed by Damon Fowler’s Facebook feed of late, which is rather misogynistic and hateful of the social justice aims of humanism. Yes, he’s only a teenager and a bit of selfish misanthropy is to be expected, but tossing the world “cunt” at prominent atheist women in such a public forum is inexcusable.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Paul-Bachand/100003582661960 Jason Paul Bachand

      *word.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Smith/100001259472996 Michael Smith

    damn, I can imagine it would have been pretty bad for me back in the 90′s if I would have come out full atheist but I don’t think it would be nearly as bad as what this kid went through.

    • Connie Kane

      This is the first time I’ve ever read ALL the posts. I’ve enjoyed all of it. Thank you.

  • Melissa Wilson Sayres

    Has anyone set up a scholarship fund? I couldn’t find it. If not, I’d like to help. I don’t know how, so any tips would be welcome.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jon.anderson.1048 Jon Anderson

      Not as far as we know. I have not heard anything anyway. If a fund was started it would be awesome. We are hoping to be financially solvent enough to send him to college in four years. Likely we will have to depend on grants and loans though. He is too intelligent and talented for him to not to go to college. I will not see his potential wasted!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.anderson.1048 Jon Anderson

    You know this has been tough. My landlord had been dropping subtle hints for the last year that she knows I have a ton of money from the suit and we should buy her house.. blah blah blah and we should move if we are not going to buy her house.. blah blah blah. Well since we are on a month to month lease she was able to get us evicted. Weird as I am current with rent. But rather than fight it we found a new house. So an already tough financial situation has become worse.
    Do I think she did it out of spite? Sure.. can I prove it? No.
    I honestly cannot understand the mentality around here. Why punish ppl for standing up for what is right?

    • Derrik Pates

      Sorry to hear that. Sounds like a crappy situation all around, but there are people out there on your side. If we can help, we’ll do our best.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jon.anderson.1048 Jon Anderson

        Thanks Derrik. It’s a tough ride, but we will continue to hold our heads high!

    • Artor

      Some people really can’t stand being shown that they are wrong, and so they take out their aggression on the person who holds up the mirror, rather than changing their behavior. Sometimes it makes me wish there really was a kind of cosmic justice that would smack down these hypocrites, but there’s just us. I hope you found a good place with a decent landlord. Does your local area have a database of landlords you can give a review on? Hopefully you can save someone else the trouble of living under the thumb of an ignorant bigot.

      • Jon Anderson

        no it is a pretty small community. Every one knows every one else.

  • ChristSandwich

    This is why I hit the gym. Anyone who wants to kick my ass for my speech can BRING IT. I don’t turn the other cheek

  • http://www.facebook.com/joninexile Jon Wilson

    To my reading, the issue is that Christians do NOT have the right, ethically or legally, to impose beliefs or attempt unwilling conversions, in ANY forum. Whether those beliefs are correct or not is NOT the issue. And oh yeah, I believe, so I guess it’s OK to hate me? Seriously, lose the anger, unless you’re going to go to SC to help deal with the issue. Anger is useful to fight injustice, but the equivalent of screeching at each other in a forum is useless. Good article, and helpful personally.

  • Edward

    If that was my family, those death threats would only have gone on so long. I’ve dealt with death threats, I called them on it. I encouraged the people threatening me to kick my ass. When a few tried, out of self defense, I broke one classmates clavicle, and wrist. The teacher standing by watching was given a warning from me, I told him that if he allowed this to happen again, the next broken bone would be his.The threats stopped shortly after. We shouldn’t have to resort to threats like that, but sometimes it is necessary.

  • Jon Anderson

    Hello this is Jon Anderson from South Carolina. My son is Jordan Anderson. I am sure you remember us. We are the ones who sued Chesterfield county schools almost 2 years ago.|
    I am reaching out to you in hopes you will have ideas on how to help us. The back lash and retaliation from our case is continuing. Almost 2 years later. From the beginning there has been threats. phone calls. hate mail. All the usual stuff. Well it did escalate. My dogs were poisoned. one died. We were evicted from our home of 5 years because the owner of the house was informed of what we did here in her home state (she lives in Denver Colorado).
    We thought we got lucky when we moved into this new house. Nope. The neighbors kid is not allowed to hang out with Jordan as we are those damned atheists. And my landlord kind of lives under a rock and didnt know who we were until about 3 weeks ago. Meaning he didnt know about the school thing. From what I gather his daughter inlaw who is a teacher at New Heights Middle school , informed him who we were. so he and his son have been nit picking at me about little things.. grass the dogs pen is too close to the house.. I put up a pool so we could beat the heat.. Nope he hit the roof demanded we take it down.. Then yesterday I go out to the dog pen to find my puppy dead. suspect it was poison. same deal as last time.. he was fine sunday night.. up to date on shots etc. We just want out of this state. We need help.. When are these crazies going to graduate from harassment and dog poisoning to trying to actually harm us? To be honest I am scared. Me who lived a very wild youth in Chicago. I am not really scared for me.. I am scared for my family. I know I must sound like a paranoid. But is it really paranoia when people are really out to get you?
    I know it is an effort on their part to run us out. Ok they win. We are going. We are just trying to work out how. Any ideas?
    Jon Anderson
    andersonlandsc@yahoo.com


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