Ideological Bullies and a Young Woman Standing Up To Them

As the high school specialist at the Secular Student Alliance, I have spent a fair portion of the last year working with Jessica Ahlquist.  I have worked with her not only to help her request that her school stop breaking the law, but also with handling the backlash from Christians who cannot fathom why somebody would think the law is more important than their religion.

If, for some reason, the ripples of Christianity have not yet pissed you off, look into this story.  The short story here is that there may be one high school student in the whole country capable of keeping their head on straight while dealing every minute of every day with the ideological bullying of Christians across America, and thankfully she was in Cranston, Rhose Island at the right time.

Digital Cuttlefish wrote a post on it that sums up the whole sordid mess elegantly.  Here’s an excerpt, but you should all go read the whole piece.

I mean, how can you not laugh, when you compare the pragmatic protest that Jessica represents, with this:

Wouldn’t it be neat if all Christians all over the world united to pray for this teenager. Her name is Jessica Ahlquist. I promise to pray for her daily for the next 30 days. If you are with me pleasecopy this and put this as your FB status. It would also be neat that a girl who tried to take prayer out of school managed to get hundreds, thousands, or even millions of Christian’s to pray for HER.

Yes, let’s all pray for her. And then… wait.

Get right on that, would you?

After that great start, the stupidity just kept coming. It is quite clear that the commenters have no idea about the issues at stake, and they really don’t seem to care. It’s all about her attention-seeking; it’s all about an individual trying to deprive a Christian majority of their rights. For a network that features American flags as prominently as they do, Fox is doing a poor job attracting readers that actually understand the law of the land. There is a history of establishment clause cases; Jessica knows this, and Fox readers do not. And again, do not seem to care. When the occasional commenter brings it up, they are accused of being libtards, aclu lackeys, godless evolutionists (seriously, in the comments on this story, I swear to you, some pinhead actually wrote “if we descended from monkeys, how come there are still monkeys?”).

And then I read this:

I say just take her out to the parking lot, put on some gloves so as not to leave any marks, and just b e a t her selfish little a s s for her. If she tells on you, b e a t her a s s again. What have you got to lose? I can guarantee that throwing bibles at her isn’t going to help.

And this:

She should be removed…PERMANENTLY…Nothing here but a wannabe future aclu w h o r e….

They are talking about a 16-year-old girl. A five foot tall girl.

It turns my stomach.

Jess is the future.  She is a badass.  And she’s taking on a nationwide cabal of thugs and she’s going to win.  This nation, not only the atheist movement, owes her a tremendous debt of gratitude.

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.