Faith Is Apparently A Poor Motivation To Be Honest

Let’s get one thing straight, nobody honestly thought the banner at Cranston High was secular.  The tip off for anybody without a severed head are the words “Our heavenly father” and “Amen”.

And the residents of Cranston knew it.  Take this excerpt from the judge’s decision.

One citizen, who spoke after Plaintiff, suggested that, “If people want to be Atheist, it’s their choice and they can go to hell if they want.” At the end of the meeting, Plaintiff and her companion, who had also spoken out against the Prayer Mural, were escorted from the meeting by the police because of concerns for their safety.

At the February meeting, Plaintiff spoke again. Two speakers who followed Plaintiff suggested that she be charged with a hate crime. Although members of the subcommittee urged speakers to address their remarks to the committee, many of the speakers looked directly at Plaintiff when it was their turn to speak. Almost all of the speakers referenced their personal religious beliefs. For example, one speaker stated:

Jesus said, if you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of you before my Father. Not ashamed, please pass this on. I do believe this. People forget that we were born under God Almighty. If it wasn’t for God Almighty we wouldn’t be here. It’s just like I keep saying to everybody else and everything there is, “You can have your fun here on earth but on Judgment Day you’re going to be standing before God Almighty and you’re going to say…you know he’s going to say…” I don’t
know what he’s going to say but all I know is that you’re going to be happy to see Him face to face.

The school was even offered a compromise by the ACLU where the banner could stay minus the religious language.  The school refused, and by now that ship has already sailed.  Clearly, it was the religious language, not the wholesome message of the banner, that was important to them.

So one of two things happened here.  Either the banner committee realized from the outset that the case could not be won if argued honestly and decided to take a chance at lying, using taxpayer dollars for teen education as collateral, or they thought the case was winnable until they spoke with legal counsel who told them they could lie and have a chance, tell the truth and lose, or just abide by the law and not go to trial.  If the latter is the case, we all know what choice they made.

Comparatively, all Jessica ever did was stand up and tell the truth, always at the expense of harassment from people supporting the liars (while simultaneously touting their moral superiority).  If you have to lie to win, you’re probably not the good guys, and your position will not reduce to molecules of integrity.  Faith in Jesus is obviously a very poor way of getting people to appreciate truth.

You also lose all right to play martyr when somebody calls you on your bullshit.

The officials who decided to fight this lied.  That lie cost the city of Cranston.  What but religion could convince anybody that the dishonest officials were not the immoral ones and that the bad guy was the girl who told nothing but the truth?

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.

  • Johnnykaje

    I’m in a Twitter argument with a guy who claims Jessica is a “nasty piece of work” who “just wanted to look clever” and the banner was just asking kids to do well.

    I just now responded with the same point. If it’s the message that’s important, then why not just omit the God crap? It’d save the school money and time and you could keep the precious banner.

  • Wren, a Tru Hoppist

    But JT! Haven’t you read the bible? God was pretty cool with Abraham lying all the time about his wife, so clearly, lying for jesus is ok and doesn’t break any of the commandments.

  • MikeMa

    I do hope the backlash against Jessica dies down. She did a courageous thing and has paid dearly for it. The christers should be ashamed but they seem immune to that and to irony and honesty.

  • Ben Crockett

    Well said!!!

  • anteprepro

    Apparently, it’s also a good excuse to be incompetent. Did they really think that they were fooling anyone? Except themselves?

  • Johnnykaje

    It’s awesome that Jessica is receiving so much support. I imagine what would happen if this had been done in the early 2000′s. Back then protesting God crap (like the Pledge of Allegiance ruling) would have been so much worse.

    • Vel

      I can tesify to that. Defended my position on the case, was told to shut up and threatened to be sent to the principal’s office. Man, in retrospect I sincerely wish I would have stood up and marched out; given what I know today I think I would have.

  • Spanish Inquisitor

    We see this over and over and over with Christians. Blind faith can be truly blinding.

    Look at what happened in the Kitzmiller v. Dover case. The proponents of ID thought they could lie through the legal issues, and if they did the judge would see the “truth”. Not very rational, but faith isn’t.

  • P Smith

    Or the Santa Fe Independent School Dist. v. Doe lawsuit.

    The plaintiffs were catholics and mormons, not atheists, and they sued to stop fundy christians prayers before football games because they prayers verbally targetted and insulted them.

    The plaintiffs filed as Johns and Janes Doe for their safety. The defense lawyers repeatedly petitioned for anonymity to be revoked, and eventually the judge caved in. Within days of the names being revealed, the families were inundated with obscene and threatening phone calls as well as vandalism of their homes. There was also harassment and assaults of their children at school.

    So much for the myth of “christian love”.


  • Markita Lynda—-Happy New Year, everyone!

    We are shouting past each other:

    –It is the Constitution!
    –But God!
    –We want you to obey the law!
    –But Gawd!
    –Jessica is standing up for minority rights!
    –But G-o-d!
    –She’s telling the truth and you’re lying!
    –But God!
    –You’re threatening a student for upholding the law!
    –But Gawd!

  • gonzo

    There is definitely a God
    His name is YAHWEH
    God loves America.
    God wants what’s best for Americans
    God is the best thing ever imaginable
    God loves you
    Absence of God is hell
    God should be on everything and in everything possible
    God should be on school walls
    Those that oppose God on school walls are of the Devil

    Just goes to show, when you start from batshit fallacies, simple logic can take you anywhere…