Since we often talk on this site about the need for young atheists to stand strong against religious indoctrination in their public schools, it’s only fair that we also discuss the backlash that sometimes results from that.
One particular story — that has a not-so-happy-ending — began in September of 2011 at New Heights Middle School in Chesterfield County, South Carolina, a place that’s home to over two hundred Christian churches.
I wrote about an assembly held at the school in The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide:
Not only did [Pastor Christian 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):