Lawsuit claims that school kids were hectored by an evangelist

Lawsuit claims that school kids were hectored by an evangelist July 9, 2016

 Hector (‘El Father’) Delgado, above, a reggae-artist-turned evangelical preacher, has sparked a lawsuit in Puerto Rico for targeting schools with his Christian preaching.
The lawsuit was filed because last March, four schools from the town of Arecibo invited Delgado to preach Christian mumbo-jumbo on school grounds and during school hours.
According to this report, on July 7 the Ateístas de Puerto Rico (Atheists of Puerto Rico) filed a lawsuit at the San Juan District Federal Court against the Department of Education of Puerto Rico and the Arecibo Regional Director of Education, Luis G Rodríguez Ramos.
The lawsuit relates to Delgado’ s proselytising in March, 2016. His shenanigans were sponsored by the Department of Education and the Municipality of Arecibo.
Also named in the lawsuit are the principals of the schools that hosted the events
The atheist organisation’s attorney, Miguel A Rodríguez said:

We requested, on various occasions, to be granted equal opportunity to carry out the same type of event, but from an atheist, humanist and secular point of view. Our request was ignored even though we presented it in writing several times. Because the state chose one particular religion over other beliefs, or lack of belief, they broke the law.

In the lawsuit, they request an injunction to stop all school activities of religious nature while the court case is considered, as well as punitive damages due to the gross violation of the separation of church and state. The organisation is also demanding permission to schedule events of secular nature in the same schools.
Said the spokesperson of the organisation, María Berríos.

Freedom of religion is an inalienable human right. Every human being has the freedom to choose his or her religion, to choose none, or to not validate the existence of any god, and to exercise that right and profess his or her beliefs publicly, without being oppressed or discriminated against, and without being forced into changing their beliefs. The events that took place violated the freedom of religion of the students who do not practice the Christian faith, and who were forced to attend the activities, which were held during regular class hours, and under the authority of the school that supports them.
Moreover, the schools engaging in these activities, and the mayor of Arecibo who is also supporting them, are engaging in an illegal practice, violating our Constitution, which provides the complete separation of church and state.

The secretary of the organization, Nathaniel Torres, added:

The students who do not share the same faith feel forced to listen anyway. We have received confidential information, in calls and in writing, from students who are non-believers who were required to assist at the basketball court where the religious service was being held. When they refused to participate, the teacher told them that they could not stay in the classroom by themselves and that they had to go down to the court.
We understand that the teacher represents an authority figure, and students who did not wish to participate may have felt intimidated and thus forced to participate and remain quiet. Furthermore, in the case of non-believer families, the teacher is infringing on the rights of the family to educate their children in a way not based on religious arguments.
We live in a democracy founded under secular precepts. If the Department of Education will not allow students to learn about alternative philosophies like humanism, atheism, critical thinking and scientific skepticism, then we will not allow them to bring sectarian, Christian and superstitious proselytism to the public schools of our country either.

Shirley Rivera, above, President of the organisation, added:

It’s either all or none. Besides, it is not the responsibility of public schools to teach religious beliefs, which have no scientific base, are impossible to prove, and thus contribute nothing to the intellectual development of the students, simply because religious beliefs are completely irrational.

Ateístas de Puerto Rico is a non-profit secular organization. It promotes anti-theist and anti-religious thinking as a ways to preserve religious freedom and secularism (separation of church and state). It believes that organised religion and the belief in gods has a negative effect on society, as well as on human rights. It also affirms that the goal of a secular country is to safeguard humans rights in general.

Hat tip: Elisaúl RC

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  • Broga

    “We requested, on various occasions, to be granted equal opportunity to carry out the same type of event, but from an atheist, humanist and secular point of view. ”
    Nope. It has to be a version of Christianity or nothing. Giving a secular point of view just shoots religion in the head. The BBC knows this and censors secular opinions.

  • Jolie

    Secularism means a neutral government with respect to religious belifs, which, at the same time means equality for all with priviledge to NONE, in order to guarantee and preserve every cityizen’ legal rigths. That’s only possible through separation of government and religion. Religion by itself means discrimination.

  • CoastalMaineBird

    I hope I never get to be omnipotent, like god.
    He seems awfully dang sensitive and fragile.

  • José Solis

    Please, don’t call that guy reggae-artist. He doesn’t do reggae, he does reggaetón, which is trash, and has nothing to do with reggae.

  • AgentCormac

    What truly beggars belief is the unequivocal certainty these people have that only their own brand of stupidity can be right and that they alone have all the answers. Like there haven’t been thousands of other hugely popular deities conveniently discredited and forgotten over the millennia! Just to harp back to a recent thread here on the FT:
    ‘Only Christianity can provide a safe and secure moral foundation for our nation. It is Jesus who has the power to transform lives and change nations. Radical obedience to His commands will lead the nation forwards. It is Jesus who has the power to transform lives and change nations. Radical obedience to His commands will lead the nation forwards.’
    Yeah, right. Whatever.

  • AgentCormac

    OT, but some good news for a change.

  • Barry Duke

    Sorry, my bad José. I have corrected it. Until you pointed out my error, I had never heard of reggaetón.

  • RussellW

    The religiots never give up, they’re relentless, fortunately resistance isn’t futile. The attacks on secular education are occurring world wide. Is there some international conspiracy of Christian loonies? The grotesque truth underlying the ‘Christian’ religion is that Jesus, if he ever existed, was a Jew preaching exclusively to other Jews.
    Agent Cormac,
    “It is Jesus who has the power to transform lives and change nations”
    Or more accurately, it’s his demented followers who have the power, they almost destroyed Greco-Roman civilisation.

  • Why don’t fools spot hucksters from a mile away

    Delgado is yet another of those tricksters who realise that loads of easy dosh can be extracted from the pockets of the credulous. Easy money for the taking, all you got a do is put on a stupid hat and shades, cover yourself in bling,howl the word of the lord jesus christ and get down with some funky gangsta groovin moves. How anyone can be taken in by these cheap lying fraudsters is beyond my comprehension. The world is riddled with them.

  • Why don’t fools spot hucksters from a mile away

    The god franchise is way bigger than MacDonalds. The franchise makes billions of dollars for those who operate it. What a business model – zero start up capital, zero inventory costs, zero start up risks but huge profit margins. Just offer the credulous the undeliverable promise of salvation and a place in paradise after death and the cash just floods in.

  • Peter Rosendorf

    Excellent article! The encroachment of religious teaching in public schools must be stopped. It is time for religious privilege to be recognized and halted. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
    A small nitpick: Your last sentence needs to be proofread. It contains a couple of serious grammatical errors. You don’t want to leave a bad taste in the mouths of your readers after such a good article.

  • Angela_K

    Hectored by evangelists? Well I never:

  • Cali Ron

    Why don’t fools. ..
    You forgot to mention the generous tax breaks.
    To answer your question they prey on the desperate, vulnerable, lonely, depressed and children. Especially children who can be indoctrinated before they are mature enough to understand. I was one of those indoctrinated children. Barriejohn can also attest to their devious tactics.