Even Today, Jessica Ahlquist is Facing Condemnation for Her Successful Lawsuit

The other day, I posted about how Cranston High School West, Jessica Ahlquist‘s old high school, was set to put up a new mural in their auditorium, to replace the religious one that Jessica’s lawsuit helped bring down. (As I mentioned, Jessica wasn’t invited to the new mural’s unveiling ceremony.)

Back when Jessica won her lawsuit in January of 2012, there was no shortage of insulting comments and genuine threats pushed in Jessica direction.

It’s been a year and a half since all that happened. Surely religious people would be a little more level-headed toward Jessica now, right?

Not a chance.

Since the story about the mural unveiling came out, Jessica’s been hit with another onslaught of #ChristianLove. Here’s a glimpse at what she’s had to deal with on Twitter just in the past day or so:

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Christian College Asks Transgender Theology Professor to Leave School

Azusa Pacific University, a Christian school in California, is trying to push a transgendered theology professor out of the school… but they’ll have to find an awkward Jesus-based way to do it now that there’s some media attention on the matter.

Sarah Pulliam Bailey of Religion News Service tells the professor’s story:

Heather Clements taught theology at the school for 15 years, but this past year, he has begun referring to himself as H. Adam Ackley.

Ackley, who is in his third year of a five-year contract, told RNS that he and APU have agreed to part ways as the university said it will continue to pay him through the academic year. But, he said, the university wants other professors to take over his classes. He also said that his insurance was denied when he sought hormone treatment and “top surgery” for his chest area.

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Jessica Ahlquist’s High School Now Has a New (Secular) Mural

Nearly two years after Jessica Ahlquist fought — and won — a legal battle against her high school over a religious mural, Cranston High School West has finally found a suitable replacement.

Just as a reminder, this is the mural that was in the auditorium for nearly 50 years:

Our Heavenly Father.

Grant us each day the desire to do our best.
To grow mentally and morally as well as physically.
To be kind and helpful to our classmates and teachers.
To be honest with ourselves as well as with others.
Help us to be good sports and smile when we lose as well as when we win.
Teach us the value of true friendship.
Help us always to conduct ourselves so as to bring credit to Cranston High School West.

Amen.

Jessica sued the school (with the help of the ACLU) in April of 2011. This was a constitutional violation with its endorsement of religion and the debate over how to handle the mural divided the community. The school board eventually decided they would put up a fight, a decision that ultimately led to them owing the ACLU $173,000 in legal fees. The pushback and threats from other students also led to Jessica not returning back to Cranston for her senior year.

Yesterday, the Class of 1963 — the group that gifted the school with the original religious mural — gave the school a new one as part of a celebration of their 50-year reunion (as well as another matching banner with the “School Creed”). This one, thankfully, is secular and constitutional:

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Atheist Ireland to Develop a Course About Atheism for Young Students

Atheist Ireland launched an important new initiative yesterday in which they will be “financing, developing, designing and piloting Ireland’s first primary school course about atheism.”

As it stands, the grade levels that Americans would consider “elementary” already teach kids about religion. (Most schools are denominational, after all.) But atheism isn’t mentioned in the curriculum and it’s barely touched upon even when the kids get older.

This project will help fill that void:

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A Misguided History Lesson from a Fundamentalist Christian Pastor

In a strange sort of anti-war, “Don’t be friends with other nations” sermon, Pastor Steven Anderson explained the history of World War I in a way that was supposed to show how the number of allied countries on both sides made things even worse (and, therefore, the U.S. should not make promises to defend its allies even if invaded).

What’s striking about the short sermon isn’t the rhetoric, but the mishandling of the WWI facts.

@VeritasKnight on Twitter was kind enough to listen to the sermon clip and provide analysis on where Anderson got things wrong. Turns out there’s a lot of misinformation, so I’ll just quote Anderson, then quote @VeritasKnight.

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