After High School Student Blows Whistle on Christian Abstinence Speaker, She’s Told She Can’t Speak at Graduation

Another quick recap of the Katelyn Campbell story: Christian speaker (and Liberty University graduate) Pam Stenzel was invited to speak at George Washington High School in West Virginia. Student Katelyn Campbell told the media about how it wasn’t an optional assembly. In response, her principal, George Aulenbacher, threatened to tell Wellesley College (Katelyn’s future school) about how she was a “backstabber.” Katelyn told that to the media, too. Wellesley responded with open arms for Katelyn. As it turned out, one of the school board members confessed that her husband helped pay to bring the speaker to school.

Katelyn Cambell

There’s another update and it’s not a good one.

In the past, students who graduated with highest honors spoke during the graduation ceremony. Sounds like a long line of speeches, but this year that would have amounted to nine students speaking for about two minutes each. Really not a big deal. This year, Principal Aulenbacher decided to limit speakers to only the top two graduating seniors. He announced it yesterday, after the students had already written, submitted, and memorized their speeches… oh, and the move totally coincidentally removes Katelyn from the list of speakers.

Katelyn, who has a 4.8 GPA and is ranked seventh in her class, was disappointed to say the least:

I was shocked to hear from Mr. Aulenbacher today that myself and other highest honor graduates will no longer be permitted to speak at our graduation ceremony next Wednesday. For as long as I can remember, highest honor graduates of George Washington High School have been given the privilege to speak during their commencement exercises on their relationship to the class as a whole. This year, only the top two students will be allowed to impart their wisdom and experience. Dr. Duerring referred to the situation as a process of “streamlining” the event that has been in the works since September. While this is all fair and good, why were students notified today, precisely one week before our graduation, that the speeches we had written were moot? Why has it been advertised for months that highest honor graduates should turn in their speeches to the appropriate authority for review?

Politics, I suppose, play a greater role in the graduation of seniors than I had previously expected.


In a longer statement made to the website Liberals Unite, Katelyn mentioned how other students were also looking forward to the chance to speak at graduation. While the request to expedite graduation ceremonies had been in place for months, it’s a horrible bit of timing on the principal’s part. If he knew only two speakers were going to be onstage, it’s something he could have told the affected students months ago. It’s hard not to think this is some passive aggressive form of retribution.

Obviously, it’s not the end of the world. Katelyn’s graduating and she’ll be gone from this awful Christianity-promoting school. But what a way to end her high school career — with a last-second slap in the face from her principal.

The Charleston Gazette spoke with Aulenbacher about this and he said:

“This is absolutely nothing against [Campbell],” he said. “Anybody that knows me knows that I’m not hateful toward kids. That’s not me at all.”

Of course, that would be easier to believe if he hadn’t threatened to blackmail one of his best students.

(Thanks to Brian for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

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

  • John A. Anderson

    George Washington H.S. is in Charleston, WV. I graduated from GW in 1972. This is an embarrassment.

  • corps_suk

    He is just jealous this girl will amount to WAY more than this lowly bigoted spiteful little principal.
    She just needs to move on and continue her excellence in school and life… knowing more about the constitution and your freedom than a silly bigot at her age is already a good start.

  • rustygh

    Why is this principal still there? Get rid of him.

  • E. Cedric

    She is going places – Aulenbacher is stuck in WV hell and will never amount to anything more than a second rate administrator in a third rate school.

    Success is the BEST revenge.

  • ortcutt

    As someone who hates assemblies and ceremonies of any kind, I’d be much happier if no students spoke, and seven or more students relating earnest platitudes is more than anyone should have to bear.

  • erp

    I should note that it is entirely possible that more than one student (or their speeches) on the list from 3-9 may have been uncomfortable for the admnistration.

  • EpicusMontaigne

    The Catholic portal at patheos is writing some good stuff about abstinence education (condemning it). Even if you all don’t agree with Theology of the Body stuff, at least there’s some common ground in thinking that abstinence education is bad for everyone.

  • John A. Anderson

    No, it’s not a third rate school. Many consider it the best in the state. It tends to attract the best teachers and administrators. That’s what makes this so depressing.

  • E. Cedric

    Misplaced post!

    Great, so it is the best school in the third worst state for public education. Basically it is just the prettiest turd in the bowl.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Many consider it the best in the state.

    I’m going to forego the cheap joke.

  • Zugswang

    At the end of the day, I don’t think she’ll miss delivering a speech at her high school graduation. High school is rarely the best time of many peoples’ lives, and she is on to bigger and better things. This petty attempt by her school’s principal to commit whatever tiny inconveniences he can while he has the authority will do nothing but provide a cautionary anecdote about unenlightened bigotry, while she pursues whatever path in life she chooses, and hopefully has a great deal of success in it.

  • LesterBallard

    These fucking scumbag crybaby Christians. Where’s Nero when you need him?

  • Baby_Raptor

    Of course he’s not hateful. It’s not possible for Christians to be hateful…Everything they do comes from God’s Love and Absolute Truth. And everybody knows those things make you immune to any negativity that might result from what you say.

    Nope. Christers can’t be hateful. Only people who dare disagree with them can be hateful…

  • busterggi

    Know what’s admirable about Christians? Their willingness to follow Jesus’ command to forgive others and turn the other cheek. Or not.

  • Lloyd Lachow

    stupid christianists, who promote “abstinence education” at the cost of more abortions.

  • r3t0dd

    Why are you people so hateful and intolerant of Christian’s hate and intolerance? Why do you persecute them like this?

  • Stev84

    They still think sex is dirty unless you are in a straight marriage and don’t use contraception. Oh, and masturbation is evil too. Their attitude towards sexuality is better when it comes to this, but still very much messed up.

  • Charles Honeycutt

    Bad schools tend to not turn out people like Katelyn Campbell.

    Also, you don’t seem to know how averages work. The best school in the third worst state could easily be ahead of the pack compared to all other schools.

    Oh look!

    The school consistently wins awards as a National School of Excellence. It is currently ranked as the 363rd best school out of Newsweek’s America’s top 1300 public high schools. In 2005 it was the only high school in West Virginia to win a blue ribbon for excelling in No Child Left Behind requirements. Additionally, the school offers a wide array of Advanced Placement
    courses to students such as English Literature and Composition, English
    Language and Composition, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Calculus,
    Statistics, Computer Science, US History, US Government and Politics,
    Art History, World History, Human Geography, and Spanish. In 2003, the
    schools’s average SAT scores for Math and Verbal were 570 and 566,
    exceeding the United States’ average.

    This school in 2010 was recognized by President Barack Obama.

    Being dismissive and pulling a “Well I’m right anyway” when you’re mistaken doesn’t fool anyone.

  • Luther

    A most Christian compromise would be to go more than half way and let six students speak. In fact, then it would be likely that the speakers would mostly be or at least claim to be Christian.

  • Charles Honeycutt

    Indeed. He’s continuing the behavior that made her future college welcome her publicly by name. That jackass is helping her with his childishness while befouling his own legacy. He might as well dump his garbage on his own porch on the premise that his hated neighbor won’t like seeing it.

  • GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    Meanwhile, she could submit her “speech” in written format to the local newspaper and national media, and it thus this would BACKFIRE on the principal since it will get WAY more coverage than if he had just let her speak in the normal graduation format.

  • Charles Honeycutt

    It’s because I hate Jesus of course, duh. I want to drink and have sex* all the time, so I pretend I don’t believe that an omniscient carpenter can cast infinite magic spells but chooses not to so that rapists can have free will at the expense of their victims’ free well.

    *and listen to rock music while drawing Satan faces in a Bible and masturbating to poorly-drawn boobies in old Dungeons & Dragons books.

  • A3Kr0n

    A principal who is hateful toward kids. What a combination.
    I don’t mind wearing a “evil little thing” shirt, but I’m questioning if I should get a “backstabber” shirt?

  • EpicusMontaigne

    You mean WV and education?

    …just asking for clarity…

  • Spuddie

    Can you feel the expression of Christian Love in the room!

  • Spuddie

    Which puts it on par with most upper middle-class suburbs or magnet schools in large cities. The state hovers on the bottom end of most education stats.

    Meaning there is some money accumulated in the school district which is atypical of the state overall.

  • JET

    Oh, yes. Not only would she be given more than two minutes, but she would not be restricted to the school approved, edited version of her speech. Go for it, Katelyn.

  • randall.morrison90

    Of course, you would not have a problem with a Christian student’s speech being restricted to a school approved, edited version.

    And I know it.

    Because it happened to my brother.

  • randall.morrison90

    Thanks for the admission.

  • randall.morrison90

    “Christers”…always got a kick out of that word; Madlyn Murray O’Hair used it all the time. And she didn’t like blacks or Jews either.

    Oh no, atheists can’t be hateful?

  • randall.morrison90

    “Christianists”…another hate term.

    Highly amusing.

  • randall.morrison90

    Actually, anal sex is dirty and a “load of crap”…bahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!

  • randall.morrison90

    “fucking scumbag crybaby Christians”…I gotta hand it to ya. This site is a goldmine for hatequotes from atheists! snicker

    Keep em coming!

  • Bob Becker

    Be interesting to see if the two being allowed to speak give god- bothering talks. If I had to bet, I’d bet they will.

  • corps_suk

    Being an ignorant prick based on your mythology is a choice… We get to make fun of choices.
    Being black or ethnically a jew is not a choice so we respect that.
    See how that works kiddo?

  • corps_suk

    So is scienTIST a hate word for someone who studies reality?

  • corps_suk

    Yeah and probably smells like sh!t too, what’s your point?
    That you imaginary friend doesn’t like crap even though he “create it”?

  • Edmond

    Do you compare them to “hatequotes” from Christians on their sites? Because I’ve seen some doozies! Or do you just ignore those and pretend they don’t exist?
    Do you take into consideration the despicable behavior of Christians that inspired the anger that you’re mocking, or do you simply assume that atheists cuss Christians out for no reason at all?
    Can Christians simply do no wrong in your eyes? Do atheists never have justification to be upset with religious exclusionism and over-reach?

  • DavidMHart

    There is a difference between ‘Muslim’, which means someone who follows Islam, and ‘Islamist’, which means someone who tries through political or militant means to impose Islam on society. Why should we not draw a similar distinction between Christians and Christianists?

  • Matt D

    That questions doesn’t apply to all “Christians”, only a small amount of them. And since even an idiot understands why people are intolerant of hatred and bigotry, it’s pointless to explain such a simple concept to those who lack empathy and the morals to be a better person.

  • Artor

    Pardon my language, but fuck that in the neck. This is entirely about silencing Campbell, not streamlining the graduation.

  • Artor

    Can you explain why that’s a hate term? I’m not seeing it.

  • Artor

    I bet he doesn’t. Christianists are congenitally too stupid to understand details like that, amirite? Care to comment, Randall?

  • Artor

    If the shoe fits man. Did you even read the post?

  • AntiTroll

    Sure, if you’re a coward, it’s easier to think the worst of what you don’t understand.

  • Artor

    I think he should cut off his nose to spite Campbell’s face next. I’m sure that will help his cause.

  • Artor

    Uh- you’ve got a little Santorum on you. Better clean that up.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    I agree that this is shabby treatment, and the principal cannot justify the claim that this was in the works for a long time.

    But in general, I think student speeches are generally a waste of time. What accumulated wisdom does a 17-18 year old have to convey anyway?
    “Be excellent to each other. Party on, dudes.”

  • DavidMHart

    No one is claiming that atheists can’t be hateful. We can admire Madalyn Murray O’Hair’s secularist activism while being disappointed at her attitudes towards ethnic minorities.

    All that is being pointed out is that behaviour like this is very strong evidence against the hypothesis that you hear from Christians all the time, that being a Christian makes you a better person.

  • Jason Sullivan

    Of course anybody can be hateful. But in religion it’s sanctioned

  • DavidMHart

    If you want to read an atheist student’s full-length, unedited speech, a local or national media format is a better way to make that happen than a pre-edited, time restricted slot at graduation. Change the word ‘atheist’ to ‘religious’ in that sentence and nothing important changes. No one is advocating that religious students’ speeches should be censored and non-religious students’ speeches shouldn’t (all other things being equal). You are going out of your way to find excuses to claim oppression. Drop the martyrdom complex, please. All that we are asking for is secular government and equal treatment regardless of religion or non-religion.

  • meekinheritance

    As long as the school is approving and editing the content along Constitutional lines, to ensure that the school is not unintentionally supporting a religion, you’re right. There should be no problem with the individual student’s religious background.

  • JA

    Principal is butthurt over the fact that Kate’s college mocked him, so he lashed out like a 5 year old throwing a tantrum.

    “Katelyn, who has a 4.8 GPA and is ranked seventh in her class,…”
    Even taking into account stellar grades and all the extra credit work available, is a 4.8 GPA even possible?

  • Michael W Busch

    Again, it depends on what the student was going to say. Mentions of personal religious beliefs or lack thereof? Fine. Attempts to use the public-school-sponsored platform to promote a religion or to promote irreligion, or to promote various forms of bigotry that the school has a duty to not tolerate? Not fine.

    Not having seen the details of your brother’s speech, I cannot say if it being restricted was acceptable or not. Ms. Campbell’s story, on the other hand, reads very much like a principal who is using his position to penalize a student for calling the school on its illegal promotion of Christianity.

  • Michael W Busch

    What I worry about here is future students at the school. If the principal’s actions lead to the school getting badly-ranked by undergrad admissions committees, future students will have a somewhat harder time getting into good colleges.

  • Michael W Busch

    As DavidMHart said, the term in current usage denotes “those on the fringes of the religious right who have used the Gospels to
    perpetuate their own aspirations for power, control and oppression”. I’m quoting Andrew Sullivan, who was one of the first to use the word that way. Sullivan happens to be Catholic, and rejects Christianism as not being true Christianity. Reference:

  • E. Cedric

    Too many Christians in this world, and not enough lions.

    How is that slappy?

  • r3t0dd

    Relax, Sparky. It wasn’t a serious question.

  • KrSpo

    Does it matter? Nope, not in the least. People put way too much stock in high school graduations and memories. What does a High School diploma alone get you today? a shot at working for a McPaycheck, or joining the Military.

    This girl needs to put this all behind her, go on to her University and forget her High School ever existed.

  • E. Cedric

    Precisely. The claim is that Newsweek (what a great source for figuring out education criteria there…*snark*…) ranks this school 363rd out of 1300, and the poster is trying to defend it as a stellar and wonderful beacon of erudition.

    Sorry, no. It is still in one of the three worst states for public education and is only ranked 363rd based on a Newsweek survey. Fail.

    It is still just the prettiest turd in the bowl.

  • E. Cedric

    Wait, what? Where did it say she was going to deliver an atheist speech? Is your reading comprehension that bad? Did you go to public school in West Virginia and somehow end up with poor reading skills?

    There was no mention she would give an atheist speech; you assumed it. And you know what happens when you assume? You make an ass out of you and m……oh wait, you didn’t make an ass of me….you just made an ass out of yourself.

  • E. Cedric

    Prove it. Give us some citations of this alleged event. And was the event at a public school? Government sanctioned event? If so, then we already know that is a no-no, so it isn’t Xian persecution (which is like the Tooth-Fairy, Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, Jesus Christ and Lipstick Lesbians – none of them are real) – it is making sure the laws are followed. Big difference there Ace.

  • E. Cedric

    Success is the best revenge, and something tells me this girl is going places and is on the track to achieve great success.

  • phranckeaufile

    You’re doing it wrong.

  • kagekiri

    Yeah, they’re great examples of long-suffering and going the extra mile even for someone who’s an “enemy”, just like Jesus commanded being vindictive, authority-abusing assholes with short fuses, “just like Jesus commanded”.

  • phranckeaufile

    Because it hurts his feelings.

  • Spuddie

    It must be tough for Randall to do it correctly with his head so far up his ass.

  • decathelite
  • E. Cedric

    Ahha AHHHH AHHHHH!!!! You said “butthurt” OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD the sky is falling ! The sky is falling! Bias! Bigot! Bad thoughts! Stop it stop it stop it! How dare you think like that!!!

    *this message has been brought to you by the ‘you must think like us and water down language committee. And Kool-Aid. Kool-Aid has sponsored this too….MMMM MMMM good…..drink up the nice Kool Aid***

  • eric

    It doesn’t pass the smell test. You can’t get upset about a speaker complaint and then cancel the student’s 2-minute spiel citing a desire to shorten the ceremony, because if you were really all that concerned about time, you would’ve not invited the speaker in the first place.

  • E. Cedric

    You know, a lot of people around here try and act all like Christians with this “we don’t hate Christians, we hate their actions” bullshit. To that I say, pansies. Pussies.

    Frankly, I do kinda hate Christians, and by Christians I mean the people who actively call themselves Christians but do not even com close to acting like Christians or even practicing a small iota of the decent stuff this “Jesus” dude allegedly said. SO yeah, I do hate your type. I hate your actions. I hate your hypocrisy. I hate your lawyering up of your user manual, the bible, so it fits any situation where you wish to oppress/control reproductive rights/hate on LGBT etc.

    I have no love for you and your ilk. And yes, there are a great many times I would classify my feelings towards you as hate. Which also pisses me off, because that takes a lot of energy on my part, energy that should be better spent not having to fight little bullshit myth followers like yourself.

  • E. Cedric

    Mr. Morrison;

    I am willing to bet the deed to my house that at some point in recent history you referred to getting a bad deal at the whatever lot as getting “jewed” or that you have referred to Latinos as “beaners” or that you feel women are subservient to you. So when you try and invoke Madlyn Murray O’Hair’s bigotry and racisms, it strikes me as the black pot calling the black kettle “nigger” and then acting like its all cool.

    It isn’t. I am not excusing Madlyn Murray O’Hair’s racism or bullshit anymore than I am excusing yours. But by all means, try and use strawman arguments to distract from your flaws. Remember though, this is what as known as the “speeder’s defense”. YOU speed. You get caught and get a ticket. In court you say, “but everyone else was doing 85mph too!” All this defense does is show an admission of guilt on your part. It does not excuse your poor behavior, and when you consider that you are claiming to belong to a culture where this is a sin, it really makes you look like a rather sad and pathetic little loser.

  • E. Cedric

    I guess your father really failed you on many levels…..

  • Whata Toolsack

    I see this concept is difficult for you to grasp. Maybe if you would USE the brain that your “God” gave you, you may have an easier time understanding some basic principals andor ideas. I have to agree with what corps_suk said 100%. You may be able to learn something from himher.

    Cheers, corps_suk!

  • Whata Toolsack

    Just wanted to say cheers to your post, sirma’am.

  • JET

    Point missed. I’m sure the other six students who had their speeches pulled at the last minute are just as upset. I would like to hear their take on the situation as well. I’m guessing that the goal was to pull Katelyn’s speech and the others were caught in the principal’s attempt to not appear vindictive. It’s not fair to any of the seven whose speeches were cancelled at the last minute simply because the principal is a sore loser and needed to exercise his power. I would also hope that any Christian students who got their speeches yanked would place the blame exactly where it belongs.

  • GloomCookie613

    When students take AP courses, they’re weighted differently if I recall correctly. So if she took AP classes and got As, her GPA would be higher than 4.0

  • RobMcCune

    Can’t tell when people are making fun of your deluded thinking, can you?

    Highly Amusing.

  • Rob

    If I were the people ahead of her I would step down so that she could speak.

  • RobMcCune

    If he can’t understand that I’d like to introduce him to someone called randall.morrison90.

  • guest

    Shouldn’t you be tending your bridge to make sure billy goats aren’t crossing?

  • Antinomian

    Yup! passive-aggressive alright. I wonder what would have happened if Principle Aulengobblemyballs had been wearing his big girl panties when he decided to limit the speakers.

  • Crud O’Matic

    Except for the fact he tried to sabotage her going to the college she wanted. Other than that, he’s not hateful toward kids.

  • RobMcCune

    Not spreading one type of misinformation about sex doesn’t amount to much when they spread another type of misinformation about sex. Though it is a bit comforting to see they don’t subscribe to the worst aspects of purity culture.

  • CottonBlimp

    Do you even understand what “kool-aid” refers to?

  • blasphemous_kansan

    I have a question for you: it seems that about 1 out of every 3 of your posts are actually related to the topic in any meaningful way, and the other 2/3 of them are either gloating about how stupid people are for not living where you live, or meaningless foam-flecked screeds against political correctness as illustrated in the beautiful writing sample above. So are you here to discuss things or are you just bored looking for flame wars?
    If it’s the latter, then there’s better places to tell everyone how smart and cool you are.

  • RobMcCune

    Because Cecilia Banes, Kinky F., I mean E. Cedric is a morphing troll who is enraged by hugh-mon feelings and sentiment. So he’s going to act like act like a 5 year old trowing a tantrum because he’s butthurt over other threads till he gets bored an morphs again to randomly flame someone else.

  • blasphemous_kansan

    oh shit, this is Cecilia?

    I wouldn’t have touched this pot of crazy if I knew that.

    Question redacted.

  • Charles Honeycutt

    Very fine idea!

  • RobMcCune

    I’m pretty sure it is, same M.O. Cecilia wasn’t this guy’s first appearance either.

  • Charles Honeycutt

    Poor dear. You failed over and over again to get the point of any of those responses that made you so angry. I don’t mean that you failed to agree with them; it’s clear from this post that you didn’t even understand them.

    Here’s a little help: when you ape comments without grasping them, your lack of comprehension is actually quite obvious to everyone.

  • Charles Honeycutt

    Comparing people who disagree with you to racists. Does Jesus love that you lie about your neighbor?

  • Charles Honeycutt

    It’s funny how you can’t spare a word about the students getting trod upon by lawbreaking authoritarians in all these recent blog posts, because you’re too busy being offended by three mean words spoken in response to seeing students being trod upon. Your sympathy is with the power abusers and bullies, just like Jesus wanted.

  • Bradley Dean

    It may make them a better person, you never know. They might have been an even bigger a**hole without “the love of Christ” in their life.

  • E. Cedric

    A little of both. But, am I at your Kansan home forcing you to read my entries at gunpoint?

    That’s a BIG nope there Regis.

  • E. Cedric

    Your point?

  • Charles Honeycutt

    Right before some atheist threatened your life. You sure are full of extremely vague persecution anecdotes.

    Even if true – and you lie and troll so it probably isn’t – you are defending a side in a way that as a inescapable consequence promotes paying forward bad behavior, only worse and it isn’t the first time you’ve done it.. You lack ethics or even morals, Randall. Your philosophy is nothing but bigoted revenge fantasies on strangers. Not jokes, not hyperbole, not blustering, just the straightforward musings of someone who would like to see strangers be harmed as retribution for something he imagines happened to him somewhere else. It’s very sad and foul. Even sadder and more foul than your lying – again – by making up an opinion and attributing it to JET.

    So again, does Jesus love that you make up things about people to justify wanting to hurt them?

  • Michael W Busch

    To that I say, pansies. Pussies.

    Once again: You can insult people all you want, but don’t use sexist slurs to do so. There are plenty of other words to chose from, as the rest of what you say to randall.morrison90 quite eloquently illustrates.

    This has nothing to do with being politically correct or restricting thought. It is simply not tolerating bigotry.

  • Charles Honeycutt

    Second time in one thread you’ve waved your hand dismissively and declared yourself “right anyway” when the evidence didn’t support you. And this time you added “lying about the other poster”.

    Typical Creationist logic and honesty you have there. Very sad.

  • E. Cedric

    Again – to you once more – do not ever tell me or anyone else what to say, how to think or what to do. You got that you sniveling little pussy?

    Seriously, you have no fucking grounds to dictate what is said and how it is said, and frankly, you are as much of a problem as the “christers” and radical right. But, you go a step further and try to demand thought control and speech control.

    Eat the shit out of my ass. Pussy.

  • Charles Honeycutt

    Of course, but none of that speaks ill of THIS school. It appears to be doing quite well. The matter of WV as a whole isn’t relevant to that, no matter how badly the other poster wants to use his precious borrowed phrase.

    Actually, let me correct that: WV’s impoverished education system is relevant to GWHS’s success in that it suggests GWHS is working much harder than many schools in states with better overall resources, notwithstanding the asshats in charge who are trying to hurt Katelyn Campbell and indoctrinate students.

    GWHS is in Charleston, which of course is going to provide it better opportunities than most of the rest of the state gets, but Charleston is not a hotbed of surplus educational funds to my knowledge.

  • Charles Honeycutt

    Hey yeah, you’re right! Imagine how big of a jerk Darth Vader would have been if he had never met Luke at all.

  • RobMcCune

    Giving bigotry sanction is what strike>Cecilia Banes, Kinky F., E. Cedric’s purpose is. He hates other atheists for not wanting to demean others, so he morphs, then randomly flames people.

  • Charles Honeycutt

    Now that you mention it, “transgender Hollywood helicopter pilot doing movie work” does seem more likely to be a troll’s false persona than a real description.

    Let’s find out if this guy is also contemptuous of retail workers for not having better jobs.

  • Charles Honeycutt

    Same excuse that bullies and their defenders use when they pressure a kid into suicide. Good company you keep there, sociopath.

  • RobMcCune

    Just letting others know who you are, you’re certainly not honest about it. What’s with the “ordinary commenter turns hateful asshole” schtick anyway?

  • Alex

    If you dont like people criticizing your religion then pick one that hasnt killed millions of people over the last 2000 years.

  • Rich Wilson

    IDK randall, you do a good job of bringing out the eyerolls from us, that’s for sure. You trying to prove the whiny Christian stereoptype?

  • Michael W Busch

    Do not ever tell me or anyone else what to say, how to think or what to do.


    You have freedom of expression, albeit with certain limits to avoiding infringing on the rights of others. I have the freedom to call you on things you say or do that should not be said or done. Freedom of expression is not freedom from challenge.

    You are free to disregard being challenged on your bigoted statements, but that does not erase them. And reacting to being called on bigoted words with more bigoted words does not do anything to justify your actions.

    And if you think that not tolerating sexism is any sort of problem, you continue to be disturbingly poorly informed.

  • Trawg

    Your brother had no business preaching about his imaginary friend during his speech. Your ‘god’ does not belong in our schools. Period. Why is this concept so difficult for you people to wrap your minds around?

    You can waste our time with your Christ (whom would be ASHAMED of how some of you ‘christians’ act in his name) in our classrooms and other tax payer funded functions when we are given equal time to debrainwash the children in your churches so they can become productive members of our society instead of antiquated stooges who hold us back as a species.

  • blasphemous_kansan

    Wow, you are just so strange.

    Time for a new sock, this one’s getting smelly!

  • RedGreenInBlue

    So, because your brother’s school edited his speech, you know what a blog commenter (who AFAIK knows neither you nor your brother) thinks?

    Logic: UR DOIN IT RONG.

  • sideshow billybob

    Congratulations, you’re no better than those Christians you’re against. What an asshole.

  • Michael W Busch

    It matters because the school, and particularly the principal, is doing things that advocate one particular flavor of Christianity and is retaliating against people who challenge that illegal action.

    Ms. Cambell will most likely do very well at Wellesley, and at whatever she does after that. And that is a good thing.

    But the school should not get a pass on what has happened.

  • LesterBallard

    You forgot the Nero part.

  • Pepe


  • T_Pete

    Their “WISDOM” I think Tosh said it best, “No loser’s life was ever changed by a high school grad speech.”

  • RobMcCune

    That’s the problem with this guy in a nutshell, looks like the coward deleted his account. He’s only tolerant of offensive speech if he’s the one offending others.

  • RobMcCune

    All of this guys posts have changed to an unregistered Guest with the old photo, so it looks like he deleted the account.

  • Freedom Educator

    Christian is as Christian does.


  • Rich Wilson

    Or Hemant, although in that case he would have removed the offending comment in full. For all the Christians complain about censorship, the surest way to get yourself booted from this blog is to use sexist language, regardless of your religious stance.

  • Carmelita Spats

    You are like a one-legged man at a butt-kicking contest. Yeah, it sucks not having access to a captive audience. I feel your pain. Hell, the same thing happened to me. This Easter I put together an Easter egg hunt for the neighborhood kids. I bought some of those hollow, plastic, fluorescent eggs and hid them all over the neighborhood. When the Easter egg hunt was over, the kids complained, “but there’s NOTHING inside these eggs!” After a moment of maniacal throat-clearing I explained, “Kids, today you have made an IMPORTANT discovery! These eggs contain ALL the evidence we have for the existence of god!” Johnny broke the silence…”But my egg is full of horse shit!” I replied, “Guess Johnny found the MORMON egg!” It’s nice to have a captive audience. Praise!

  • AdolfOliverFace

    As an Atheist (well, an Ignostic with and “I,” if you want to get technical) and someone who cares about schools teaching children facts rather than lies, I support Ms. Campbell speaking out against GWHS for allowing religious ideals and biological falsehoods to be promoted in a publically-funded place of education. However, by the same token, I’m also sick of reading the falsehoods that have been propagated about this situation.

    In the first place, her principal did not “threaten” to do anything; according to this WV Gazette article (, “Aulenbacher said he called Campbell into his office after finding out
    she had contacted reporters but said he was simply using an analogy to
    explain that he felt ‘stabbed in the back’ because she didn’t come to
    him with her concerns first…Aulenbacher said Tuesday that he had no intentions of calling the school and was simply presenting a hypothetical scenario, saying ‘How would you like it if [I contacted Wellesley] without you even knowing?’” If Ms. Campbell couldn’t understand that Principal Aulenbacher’s statement was hypothetical, then she’s clearly an idiot who has no comprehension of context.

    However, that clearly isn’t the case according this WV Gazette article (, which says that, “Campbell…admitted that she didn’t believe Aulenbacher would keep her from graduating or tarnish her education records. ‘Ms. Campbell seeks the injunction for reassurance that nothing will happen…’” So, Ms. Campbell apparently took Principal Aulenbacher’s words so seriously, and felt so threatened by them, that she requested an injunction against him to ensure that he wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize her education — even though she apparently didn’t believe that he actually would do anything to jeopardize her education? Something sounds a bit fishy here…I wonder why?

    Oh, what’s this that we find in the latter article? “Campbell was in New York City on Monday, where Seventeen magazine is working on a story about the situation…” Ah…of course. Now it all makes sense. I just hope Ms. Campbell enjoys her 15 minutes; after all, she’s worked the media hard to in order to get it.

  • YourBestFriend

    Wow what a read! Some spunky liberal teenager doesn’t like the speaker at a high school assembly and needs to let the world know. Then the clear correlation between her protesting a hour long assembly and not being able to speak at graduation because her 4.8 GPA happens to not be the highest in her class. Get over yourself you fucking joke, you are 18 years old. How about this poor slave to the american public school system thank her principal for providing her with the opportunity to graduate and attend a prestigious college like Wellesley. Textbook privileged child who cant handle when things don’t go her way.

    I’m so glad i found this site, where the top comment’s name is “corps_suk” hahah wow how psychotic are you freaks going to get once a republican enters office again? Sorry that your liberal arts degree in Social Justice didn’t net you the life you dreamed of, I’m glad the liberal blogosphere can keep you occupied so I don’t have to see any of you in real life.

  • FBG

    Wellesley is $57K/year with room and board. She needs to rethink her strategy. College isn’t worth it unless at the end of 4 years there’s a tie-in job, and a degree from a high status school these days means indentured servitude with no way to repay the debt.

    If you want to go $200K in debt, there are a lot more fun (or lucrative) ways of doing so.


    HE’S going to regret all of this soon enough, lol, with r/atheism and numerous humanist groups behind this girl, this man will NOT enjoy his future…

  • Michael W Busch

    No. A student correctly recognizes that a publicly-funded school is illegally promoting Christianity. She challenges that, entirely appropriately, and the principal of the school first threatens to blackmail her (unsuccessfully) and now appears to be changing the graduation ceremony out of spite. That is not “privileged child”. That is “entirely out of line school administrator”.

  • Michael W Busch

    Stop the sexist nonsense.

  • Michael W Busch

    And how does your opinions about higher ed. in the US at this time have any relevance to this story?

  • Rusty Yates

    Brave girl.

  • rgcustomer

    A 4.8 GPA doesn’t know how to use the word “myself”?

  • David Kopp

    So… what if someone found out who you were, and came and caved your face in with a baseball bat? Oh no, that’s just a hypothetical, not a threat!

    Sheesh. How stupid can you be?

  • Alejandro Guerrero

    Please tell me you’re 12.

  • Anon
  • Rwlawoffice

    Of course there is no evidence that the decision to limit the speakers had anything to do with this girl speaking out but don’t let that stop you from giving a clearly misleading headline. You people really have a persecution complex

  • RobMcCune

    He’s not, but that’s when his education stopped.

  • RobMcCune

    wow how psychotic are you freaks going to get once a republican enters office again?

    Not nearly as bad you, for instance I won’t seethe with resentment toward high school seniors.

  • TCC

    Schools that offer weighted courses frequently operate on a 5.0 scale rather than a 4.0 scale.

  • TCC

    Or when his intellectual maturity calcified.

  • Matt

    “myself will no longer be permitted”?

    This must not be very good school if it’s 7th highest GPA would write
    something like that in a formal public statement!

    I wouild hope a 4.8 GPA student would know enough to write “other
    highest honor graduates and I will no longer be permitted”.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Yup, what one person did to your brother is totally what every single person you don’t share religions with believes.

    Are you REALLY that stupid, or do you just totally fail at insulting?

  • Baby_Raptor

    Are you proud of that joke?

    Run along now, Mommy needs to change your diaper.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Child, you have no idea what hate is. None.

    Not that it matters. If you really were being hated and persecuted, you’d probably be wetting your pants in a corner somewhere instead of getting off to it.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Are you seriously trying to imply that I’m racist and anti-Semitic because I used a word that lots of other people use?

    The stupidity inherent in that is shocking.

    And, no. I thoroughly admit that I can be hateful. You know what the difference is? I don’t adhere to a religion where the #1 command is “Love everybody,” and the entire religion is about love.

    And I own my hate. I’m open about it. I don’t lie, or hide it, or try and fabricate excuses. I don’t get offended when people call my hateful actions hateful. Nor do I demand special privileges to continue hating people all the while.

    In other words, I have integrity. I’m not a hypocrite.

  • Baby_Raptor

    I’m beginning to wonder if you even know what the word “hate” means. Seriously. You cannot come up with a single instance of someone actually being hateful to you. All you have are people being insulting (which is NOT hate,) and people using words that you don’t like.

    And if people were really hating on you, you wouldn’t be gloating over it.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Sarcasm. Another thing that goes over your oh-so-clever head. Gonna chop that one out of context and use it as a gotcha quote too?

  • Baby_Raptor

    You think the Republicans are ever gonna get in office again? That’s just the tip of the delusion iceberg in your word salad.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Hey, watch whatever wall RW is standing by. PowerPoint is about to show up there.

  • Spuddie

    So is GWHS is an affluent area or is it a magnet school? A magnet school is one which siphons off good students from other districts and receives the lions share of funding.

  • KrSpo

    I agree with what you say about the school, I was merely stating this young lady should not give this a thought in the least. She should leave the neolithic to their own era…

  • Amakudari

    Ah, honest question: how do we know the changes were designed to not let her speak or string her along as a form of retribution? My personal experience has been that the students with the two highest GPAs were the valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, and that school administrations are awful at communicating with top students. That’s not to say that I trust the principal fully, but he’s cutting out the speeches of 7 students not just her. The county apparently wanted to cut the number of speeches as well.

    In my high school, those of us competing for the top two spots (7 including me) prepared our speeches and had them vetted, because we wouldn’t know until the last minute who those top two were. The administration announced this policy after midyear, when the valedictorian had traditionally been determined. The girl who was #1 at that point fell to #3 at the end of the year. That was unfair, but I don’t think it was malicious. I was first told I would speak at the rehearsal the day before graduation, which was a shock because I had barely made the you-should-at-least-write-a-speech cut. Again, I’m not far enough removed from high school to forget how frustratingly inept some administrators are.

    I’m not asserting that everything is peachy in Charleston. I’m just saying that I have personal experience with an incompetent administration keeping hard-working students in the dark, and so I have difficulty assuming malice without more information.

  • Michael W Busch

    Perhaps she cares what other students at the school will have to put up with.

  • Kazi Rahim Ullah Rahi

    Teach your teenagers that the benefits pf abstinence is the best form of birth control. Teach them why it is so important for them to wait until they are in a committed relationship and have at least graduated from high school. Make their life a little bit easier.

  • Derrik Pates

    Admittedly it’s far from certain, but given the mentioned history, plus the timing, it’s awfully convenient.

  • Derrik Pates

    Well, Pam Stenzel (the invited speaker that started all this) herself said she didn’t care – because she doesn’t care about “outcomes”, she cares about teaching “truth”. So she admits her ideology, ridiculous as it is, is way more important to her than actual people. I think that’s how a lot of these loons think.

  • KrSpo

    OK, that may be a valid point. But sorry, sometimes we cannot save those who wish not to be saved Those that will not rise up and use their own voice fall into that category.

  • Michael W Busch

    Sometimes we cannot save those who wish not to be saved

    That is a true statement, but I am confused as to how you think it applies here. Who is “those” ? The school administrators that used their position to advocate a religion? The students who will have to put up with anything similar in the future? The people in the culture around them that penalizes those who confront Christian privilege?

    Those that will not rise up and use their own voice fall into that category

    Wrong. What you are doing here is called victim-blaming. Don’t do that.

  • Michael W Busch

    It happens abstinence-only sex ed is correlated with people having sex slightly earlier in their lives, and causally linked to higher rates of unplanned pregnancy and STIs, particularly but not exclusively among teenagers.

    People will have sex. And given that, everyone needs to know how to use actual effective contraceptives and barrier methods and to have access to them. Withholding information from someone, or giving them misleading information, does not make their life easier.

    (And the link you gave most definitely withholds information – such as the actual effectiveness of contraceptive methods at preventing pregnancy and of barrier methods and people getting relevant medical care at preventing STI transmission. It also outright lies about the situation in Uganda (which is horrific, but also not particularly relevant to the piece). HIV rates in Uganda have dropped, but not as much as stated in the link. And that drop was primarily due to factors other than people not having sex and the rate has started to increase again because of an ineffective over-emphasis on abstinence and under-emphasis on condom use and HIV screening – ref. ).

  • KrSpo

    You stated ” Perhaps she cares what other students” I was merely answering that as to whom can be saved. Oh good grief, you’re one of those.. “victim-blaming” If you choose to be a victim, I have no time for you. This conversation is over in my eyes.. RESPONSIBILITY learn it.

  • Michael W Busch

    The victims I referred to are the other current and potentially future students at the school.

    You cannot claim that kids who are not being taught what they should be taught are “choosing to be victims” – they are being denied the information necessary to make informed choices in the first place. That was one of the main points Campbell made in her statement about the case – that statement triggered the principal’s attempts at retaliation.

    The only party in this case that apparently needs to learn responsibility is the principal.

  • KyukiYoshida

    “I’m not hateful torwards kids.” Even though he threatened to contact her college and say terrible things about her, so they would deny her entry and potentially ruin her future. In some articles I read he actually did try to contact her college but they shrugged it off.

  • KyukiYoshida

    So it’s not ok for Christians to be sexist, offensive, hateful people and they should be fought and silenced. But it’s perfectly ok for you to be so and no one should dare question you or anyone else? Fucking hypocrite. “do not ever tell me or anyone else what to say, how to think or what to do. You got that you sniveling little pussy?” Again I say, you fucking hypocrite. Sure you have the freedom to say and do whatever you please, but you do not have the freedom to be exempt from the consequences when you say or do something that’s stupid, illegal, bullshit, flat out wrong, offensive or hypocritical. Just like the Christians. If we smell bullshit we have the freedom to call you out on it as well, and boy does your shit stink.

  • swinedance

    This guy would be an asshole regardless of his religion.

  • Jill

    Indeed, the hypocricy is nauseating, yet they thinnk they are in the right always.

  • KrSpo

    Yes because those of us that have a voice but do not use it are victims, right? That is called not using RESPONSIBILITY Don’t do THAT! Don’t think for a moment people do not have a voice.

  • KrSpo

    Sitting by and allowing something to happen to you, without attempting to defend yourself, is not being a victim. It is called Apathy. Your ideal of “victim” is skewed. I am here, I allow them to do ‘this’ to me, I do nothing, I get to wear the victim label? Hardly. I am Apathetic because I will not take responsibility for myself and stand up for MY rights. The only victim here is the young lady that stood up for herself and no one stepped up to assist her in her rightful attempt. All of the others are sheep.

  • vincent findley

    No Randall, but I’m quite sure they would be ok with a valedictorian speech from a non-theist expressing there views as such,because even though the highest court says it is they don’t think Atheism, Humanism, etc. etc. is a religion, these defenders of the constitution they are.

  • vincent findley

    I agree, so when she expresses her non- theist views there can be a 1st amendment issue and the FFRF can send the shool a letter denouncing it!!

  • vincent findley

    Oh Randall, I forgot to add these defenders of the constitution.

  • Rich Wilson

    Well, on the upside, if atheism were a religion, then Hemant could surely set up a church, pay himself for all his time, and then claim it as a tax free ‘housing allowance’.

  • vincent findley

    Really Lester!!! You fucking Atheists weren’t fucking whining when the valedictorian ripped up the approved speech and made up his own speech, protected by the constitution mind you. You know the one you fucking Atheists are always claiming to defend!!

  • vincent findley

    Be very afraid, this fucking moron that was elected again and all his stooges are fucked in the next election year and you all know it. Richard Nixon had to resign for less than what this fucking communist has done!!

  • vincent findley

    As the law says he can Rich. He won’t because he’ll be admitting that your faction is a religion so says our high court.

  • Rich Wilson

    No vincent, it doesn’t. FFRF and AA have already tried simply to make the point. My ‘faction’ is only opposed to being called a religion because it simply isn’t. Your faction seems to think we take it as some kind of insult. We don’t. It’s just a dumb thing to say, not an insulting thing to say.

  • vincent findley

    It wasn’t put out there to be an insult. Bottom line is the high court says you’re a religion, therefore you are. You all can talk till you’re blue in the face.

  • Rich Wilson

    That’s kind of like an atheist saying:

    But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

    John 3:16

    So don’t pray in public.

    The question is what part of what I’ve said will you attempt to correct, and is there any chance you’ll understand how it relates to what you said.

  • ZeldasCrown

    We actually had some ties for GPA in my year. There was one Valedictorian and 3-4 Salutatorians. So if two people have the same GPA (and same difficulty in classes), how would one choose between equally accomplished students?

  • Trutherator

    Problem is state-sponsored indoctrination centers that teach anything approved by the political powers, by the Ministry of Truth. Paid for by government theft from its subjects. We all know if you went into history or science classes in your local high school you’d find some little or big thing in School-Board enforced teaching or text you would disagree with, especially like history. The omissions are as bad as the commissions of contra-factual teaching.

    The solution is to get the government out of the teaching business altogether. Might work in a perfectly homogeneous society where 100% of everybody agrees on everything, but it is wrong to pay for teaching that teaches kids that their parents are wrong, or that they should just believe what the “authorities” tell them whatever it is.

    Or teach the kids that the Bible is wrong, another example.

    Solution to the academic stupidity malaise inflicting our government schools today, and the enforced thought-conformity indoctrination in them, would be solved by booting government out. They do it with stolen money anyway that they get by picking your pockets (they don’t ask you politely for it anyway).

  • SeeJaneGogh

    You are absolutely right, Guest, Jesus Christ WOULD be ashamed of the behavior of those who impose their version of HIS Word on others. The actions of humans, however, make His position no less real and almighty.

  • Carmelita Spats

    Liar for Jesus, you sound sad, lost and not a little bit unhinged. Jesus Christ is a fictional character. Think about it…Just because New York City exists, does not mean that Spiderman is real. Christians are so focused on the fairy tale that they forget to investigate HOW the Bible was cobbled together. It’s a rather sad state of affairs best described by George Carlin, “You expect results like these from an office temp with a bad attitude.” …Copies of copies of copies…Rampant forgeries…Interpolations…Contradictions…Overzealous scribes who changed “Jesus’ words” to the point that we do not know what “Jesus” said. Christianity is in shambles.

    If you want to stick to the tired script, you’ll notice that Jesus was a jerk and was perfectly okay with the death of those who refuse to have “his/God’s” word imposed on them…Luke 19:27, “But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.” Only a sociopath would want to WATCH another person die. It’s sick. Jesus has a habit of ranting like an annoying Facebook girl and he huffs at those who won’t “believe”…He’s okay with torturing them in Hell:And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:15-16) Stop with the insufferable sanctimony. You KNOW these are the words of a sociopath.

  • youmustbejoking

    If in every previous year, all the top students were given their two minutes and this year, when one of those top students was one the principal had already threatened with retaliation for her exercising her right of free speech, it is not too difficult nor out of bounds to wonder if the decision that came right before the graduation may have had something to do with her free speech.

  • Cafeeine

    Um, you realize that decisions made in a single country’s court for internal tax purposes have little to do with what philosophical positions entail, right?

    Saying that e.g. atheist organizations have equal standing to religious ones as per the US Constitution, because to do otherwise would be discriminatory, is a legal administrative compromise, not a philosophical reality. What should happen is for all privileges awarded to religious institutions for being religious should be aborted, and good-will organizations (like church soup kitchens) get privileges based on what they do, rather than what they claim they believe. But that would enrage all the entitled church leaders with their tax-free palatial estates and bought politicians. So, the compromise is made. Thinking that this is a knock-down argument is just silly.

  • James Nimmons

    the bible IS wrong..what are you talking about? When you first tell kids snakes dont talk..youre telling them the bible is wrong..when you speak against slavery you tell them the bible is wrong..also the govt is needed to educate and it used to ensure that thats all they got in school. trusting our education to nothing but private companies in stead of state regulated education that meets at least some general standard so you can be sure the kid can find the area of a triangle and about things like oh say.. seperation of church and state perhaps? or you can trust each ones parents to teach them all the history and things they need at a level of a professional educator…..

  • Trutherator

    So put your kid in the state indoctrination center but let parents put their kids where they want to, you know “diversity”. Best diversity is independent thinking. “Professional educators” are state-approved for a reason: support the rulership. Who are you or anybody else to tell the rest of us what to think?

  • tee

    Jesus Christ is just the last of a long line of imagined god-men. In fact he is nothing
    but an allegory about the SUN thru its annual course. Dec. 25 has always been known as the b-day of the SUN ‘rising with healing on its wings’ not some magic man in the desert somewhere. Christianity IS Solar Worship…now too blind to know how read the book, check into it, just Google Christian sun worship, I’m sure you’ll find something.

  • Trutherator

    Point is there should be no thought police to teach all the kids the same. Or else. Thought police are always wrong. Betcha there’s something they teach that you disagree with. Get government out of the indoctrination business, freedom of thought is a natural right…

  • Trutherator

    Quit trying to change the subject. I have no right to extort your money to teach your kids what I think, you have no right to extort mine to teach my kids contrary to my views.

    All government indoctrination centers are funded by such extortion by the biggest gangs with guns in the country. There is no “general standard” except the ones in power say it is. Do YOU PERSONALLY have any say in what they teach the kids? No you don’t. You just trust them. What if they taught opposite to YOUR views?

  • 3lemenope

    What if they taught opposite to YOUR views?

    It’s almost as though you’ll have to do work!