Victory for Jessica Ahlquist

Jessica Ahlquist, the brave student at Cranston High School in Rhode Island, has won her lawsuit.  The prayer banner in the Cranston High School gymnasium is coming down.

I have often referred to Jessica as the Harry Potter of atheism.  She is young, got thrust into a situation against adults who tried to bully her, and stuck it out with class.  She’s a hero.  She is a testament to how our movement is owned by the young as well as the old.  She is a big part of the future of this movement.

I know she reads this blog.  Leave praise for her in the comments or over at her web site.  She’s earned it.

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.

  • John Eberhard

    Jessica is a very brave young lady and a patriot. She rawks!

  • Brian Wallace

    Awesome! Is it over, or is an appeal likely?

  • Jen

    Pfft, Harry Potter totally didn’t handle his situation with class. He was so emo it drove me crazy. Jessica, however, has been totally awesome :)

    • Michaelyn

      Thank you! You read my mind! Harry was super whiny and yelled at his best friends. To be fair, Jessica didn’t have a part of Voldemort’s soul attached to her. She definitely has more class than Harry.

  • Adam Lee

    I was pretty cynical and apathetic in high school – all the young people like Jessica who are being so awesome put me to shame. I can’t wait to see what they make of themselves in a few years!

    • kennethhansen

      Jessica for president!!

  • CeePeeThreeOwe

    Jessica – Congratulations from the UK, you will never know how many people have been empowered by your courage.

  • phillipmoon

    Congratulations Jessica. Well done.

  • stubby

    Way to go, Jessica!

  • gwen

    Some asshat posted her home address, an effort which I take is intended as a threat. I do hope the Judges hear about this and take appropriate action. That being said…congratulations Jessica!

  • tommypuckett

    Well done, Jessica! You rock, miss!

  • SuperMental

    Just before the new year I was thinking of writing JT and asking how Jessica Ahlquist was doing.
    Great stuff. Very happy about this decision Jessica. Thank you for going to battle with those fools.

  • Carl Baker

    Congratulations to Jessica on a well-earned and entirely justified victory!

  • ebotebo

    Cool and calm will always win the fracus! You held it together under pressure! You go girl!

  • neatospiderplant

    Congrats Jessica!

  • Mike Frieda

    Much praise and love from the California Lutheran University Secular Student Alliance!
    Congrats Jessica,I am thrilled to hear of your success! High school leaders like you are paving the way, and your lawsuit is yet another legal victory for the secular movement.

  • HerbieTheBeagle

    Excellent work Jessica. Thank you for standing up for what is right.

  • kennethhansen

    Jessica is truly a hero of the atheist movement! Go get em girl!!!

  • Matt Penfold

    The Judge seems to have been impressed by Jessica as, praising her for being an articulate intelligent young women who faced the hostility with courage.

  • Tally Isham

    Pretty cool. Theists do stuff like that to walk over us, really glad Jessica stood up for what’s right. Thank you.

  • Tom Tripp

    Hope you had fun with you little fame,, You are wrong in saying what this country was founded on. If you took the time to read the books that made history, you would see this country was founded on christian faith..
    The people that are leading you around by the nose are idiots. Its people like you that are trying to send this country further into chaos. Well enjoy hell and know that its our time to push back..
    We beat your people in Athens Texas and if you come back it will be the same!!!

    • rudy

      it’s really sad you are completely oblivious to reality. if you knew anything then you would know that the founding fathers were of neumerous faiths, and they chose to separate church and state because america was founded on religious freedom not christianity. I do agree you push people too far and eventually they will push back. christians have pushed and force fed their religion to others for years, they have corrupted politic’s and tried to control everyone based on their beliefs. you speak of others being weak and willing to follow like sheep cuz of weak faith but in reality thats all your doing. pushing for equality for all is not a step towards civil unrest thats a scare tactic used by christians to promote your own agenda, there are things called laws try following them.
      you say there is no definite proof that god does or doesn’t exist, you say that he exists because you were able to do a courages act, i have done things of that nature in service to my country and you know what i didn’t see god in a fire fight i saw me and my squad keeping each other alive. we did that on our own, you want to have an intellectual conversation then i pose this to you do your research on the bible, read the dead sea scroll’s, and then get back to reality.

      • Tom Tripp

        What you do or not do for this country has nothing to do with religion. You can read a million things written and if you chose to believe or not believe is up to that person. True that not everything that is wriiten is not true but its not all untrue. And dont start about reality. Man I live it every day and at age 50 I have lived a lot of reality and seen things that could only be explained by my belief in God.. And there are things that I can not explain.. But what I believe in is something you or no one else can change..But when someone comes out and trys to bash what millions of us believe , well you better expect us to stand by and do nothing… I have never went out and pushed anyone into believing. But your hero thought it was right for her to take down what was there for a long time . Now thats fine but dont talk reality to me.. Boy I have lived it . God has gotten me through much more than you can imagine.. so lets leave it at that. It will be answered in the end. To continue to argue will not end this. The only answer to this is when we die
        God bless you and have a great day

  • JT Eberhard

    Opposing insanity is always fun.

    My rebuttal to your Christian nation nonsense: Do you really think the founders of this nation were so stupid that they wanted to put Jesus, the bible, and god into the Constitution but just failed/forgot to do it? That’s a pretty big oops, isn’t it? Not even the most brain dead Republican alive today would make that faux pas. It’d be front and center John Hancock-style with RANDOMLY CAPITALIZED words. Give me a break.

  • Tom Tripp

    So you admit your an idiot Democrat,, no wonder

  • JT Eberhard

    I don’t see admitting either of those things. I provided an argument for why I think you’re wrong.

    You just called me an idiot, which seems like admitting you lack a counterargument. ;)

  • Tom Tripp

    You opened that can of worms , not me. You proved nothing.
    So you would rather put you faith in people as opposed to God? Seems like a foolish bet considering how things are with everything that has taken place in history that have ruined this country including a muslem president.. Kinda puts you in the same basket as Hitler and many others just like him..
    And in all honest I was not posting this argument for you. If the girl had the nerve she would contact me herself, not one of her lemmings

  • Tom Tripp

    Oh and by the way an answer in simplicty gives better thought to ones argument…

  • Tom Tripp

    Have a blessed day and God bless. I going to the job that job that God blessed me with and to the job that democracy demands that I pay more and more and more taxes..We will pick this up later

  • MAtheist

    Way to go, Jessica! I think the world can expect even more great things from you.

  • Tom Tripp

    Your as big of an idiot as she is. Has she saved someones life, has she pulled a drowning kid from sinking car, took a bullet for some one.. Well I did at least one of those things and By the great grace of GOD!!! that person and I lived.
    She has done nothing to be called a patriot.. None of you have done anything to prove that God does not exist. There are books that have been written for to many years and to many great events to show our proof.
    If this country were to stop believing that God is with use , just think of the chaos it would start. No morals, no laws and you would all become animals, and if you say there are already those that are animals. Well thats only because their your followers and have forgotten God.
    The thing I fear the most is you and the others like you will be forgiven by God , but thats the way it is… So I say God bless you and have a nice day

  • Derrik Pates

    @Tom Tripp:

    Please go read Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli before you spew more bile about what you believe the founding fathers would want. George Washington was involved in writing it, John Adams signed it into law, and the US Senate at the time passed it unanimously. It reads in part, and I quote:

    As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion…

    And to Jessica Ahlquist: Good work. It’s unfortunate that so many “good Christians” have decided that they should spew bile in your face, send threats, and do other such despicable things because they “lost”. They don’t even understand why this is a good thing for everyone. You have taken it all in stride, and for that we all owe you great thanks.

  • articulett

    Spoken like a true Christian!

    One does not need to prove the non-existence of something that has not been demonstrated to exist. Really. You don’t believe in fairies, right? Muslim hell (where Christians will go for worshiping Jesus as a god)? Gypsy curses? Xenu?

    Although each religionist may imagine that folks that believe like they do are the super-duperest people of all, measurable statistics show that religiosity is associated with social dysfunction, not health. Your indoctrinators are nursing imaginary fears. Secular democracies are the healthiest. Societies are healthier when fewer people think like you do– not more.

    I am glad to see that the world has increasing numbers of people like Jessica and fewer self-righteous bigots such as yourself. I think it’s time you trust your omnipotent deity to fight his own battles without threats and manipulations from his followers… just like you want the Muslims and all those with conflicting faiths to do. You can send your psychic prayers to the deity of your choice without having to shove your preferred magical beliefs in the face of those who find them silly, harmful, or reprehensible– just as you expect those with conflicting faiths to do.

  • articulett

    Tom @ 23. Hitler was a Christian, you hateful bozo. As were most, if not all of the Nazis. And Obama is too. Your spelling, grammar, and education are appalling! Are we witnessing an example of a Christian homeschooling by chance?

    There is this thing called the internet that allow people like you to correct the misinformation that your indoctrinators are dumping in your brain. Try a search engine like Google. It’s not too late to get a clue. Repeating a lie over and over doesn’t turn it into a truth.

    Once again– Bravo for Jessica. I hope more and more people stand up to ignorant theistic bullies such as Tom Tripp. The light you shined is sending the cockroaches scurrying into the open.

  • articulett
  • Tom Tripp

    Hitler was a lier. Your not a Christian if you do the things he did.. Obama is a not a christian.. You will not in any way win this argument win this argument with me. You think your right and I know im right..Oh so only based on my grammar that is supposed to make me wrong,, you really have a terrible argument. I guess that is your only way of winning a case.. Your a sad excuse for a moral person.. . And by the way the internet is filled with more misinformaton than true…
    God bless you and have a nice day

  • Tom Tripp

    your right , it was written by christians.. I feel comfortable knowing that
    God bless and have a great day

  • Tom Tripp

    Well its been fun and I will leave you with this.. this argument will go on long after we are all gone. What you or I take with it is mine ane your idea. If you believe or not it will or will not be decided by us.. But simply because you are pushing to change what has been there for many years will not leave you or me untested. Granted you will continue to believe what you will and so will I.
    As far as me I will tell you this, When you push people way to far the push back is in most cases even more painful. As a Christian I will fight back. People that change to what you believe are simply weak when they do not get a quick answer from God. First off you have to help your self before you can ask for help. God gave you a mind to reason with and work problems out before you give up and stop believing
    I can understand people such as youself that have believed what you have for so long that you feel its true. The same is my case.
    Now as far as some one wanting to start an argument with me over my grammar, please get a life.. Anyway to argue with you has not point.. You can not show me enough evidence to disprove God and I can never show you enough of what believe. Oh and please dont tell yourself that you have won this arguement just to makes yourselves feel better, for we have all lost in some way

    God Bless

  • Nepenthe

    I think that Tom is trying to communicate. What exactly, I’m not sure. Reading his posts is kind of like watching the cat chase her ass and then suddenly run out of the room: completely baffling.

    • Tom Tripp

      It real simple you idiot. I beleive in GOD and you dont. Does some one have to draw a picture in crayon.. I made my statement and there is no reason to continue to beat a dead hores,,,Right?
      There will never be an end to this argument so why keep going.

      I said what I was going to say and you people have said yours..
      have a blessed day!!!

    • Tom Tripp

      I have a couple of question for you.
      What is you take on the belief on what prophets have said for some many years?
      What is your belief that man evolved from apes?
      What is your idea behind what scientist say about other galaxies?

  • Jc of Bklyn

    The Black community in the U.S. needs a Jessica Ahlquist. Churches of all sorts and sects permeate the Black community. In fact per square block (city blocks) there’re more churches in African-American neighborhoods than White neighborhoods. Yet, violent crimes and the percentage of HIV/AIDS is the highest in Black ghettos. O, religions, what have you been doing? Religions/churches are the shackles around the necks of contemporary Black people in America. Yeah, I said and am Black.

    • Tom Tripp

      I can appreciate what your saying and respect that you stand by your conviction. But i do not agree that Blacks are shackled by anything. They have long since over come many things But saying that relgion is a shackle to them is not right.. As each one stands alone they each make their own choice and im sure that there is no man or woman that can force them to choose GOD. they have overcome so much and I just dont see anyone telling them what to do.. Yes I said it and I am white and believe in GOD!!!

      • Anteprepro

        ” I just dont see anyone telling them what to do.”

        Well, if that’s the case, African American churches must be less like other churches than I previously imagined.

        • Tom Tripp

          That cant be the case. I know more black people that are willing to help one another than white people help each other.. You just cant always get through to everyone.. If there is a community of 10000 black people, the chances of seeing black on black crime is going to be there. Same for a community of white people.
          ((((Simply because there are more churches in one area than others is not a way to judge if there is going to be more crime. Who is to say that those people that are causing the problem are believers or no-believers)))))
          I would like to say this and it will give you an idea of who I am and where I stand. I believe there are black people and niggers. But there are white people and there are white niggers.. I do not judge a person by their color , i judge them by their actions..
          Religion is the same. Their are those who believe and those that do not.. If you choose not to believe thats fine. In the end we will all face the choices we made.. I dont push religion on anyone. But people should not try to strip away what has been here for many more years with more people that believe than dont.

        • Tom Tripp

          So far from what you have written , I have respect for. You have not attacted me and you have seemed to be the most level headed person on here!!!

  • Jc of Bklyn

    Correction *violent crimes and percentage… ‘are’ instead of ‘is’ *