Chip in for Cranston

DrB here.


Note exhibit 1:

The faithful of Cranston.


I do not doubt for a single minute the Christians of Cranston felt deep conviction that the school banner needed to stay up.  They showed up at meetings, they have some pretty sweet signs hanging there, and took time out of their schedule to send violent death threats to a high school student, all while basking in the warm glowing embrace of their Lord.

That’s the power of a believer. These people know the One True God(TM) is on their side.

Over a century of legal precedent, judicial rulings, and established law was on our side, but that’s not the point.


These people know in their heart that if they could just appeal the ruling, they could keep their banner. They know that no cost is too great to ensure that prayer stays hanging on the wall. After all, Romans 8:31 “If God is for us, who can be against us?

Except here we are, a week later, the school district decided not to spend the money on an appeal…..and that’s it.

No fundraising. No bake sales. No plate being passed. You can donate to a scholarship fund for Jessica, but there’s nowhere for the minions of God to donate money for an appeal. For all the sign waving, “Under God” yelling, religious posturing, and faith their god is on their side, there’s not one of them willing to spend their own money to make sure their religion gets special privilege. Not so much as a Chip In webpage.

Honestly, I’m all in favor of the devout citizens of Cranston paying for the appeal. As long as every penny comes from the private & pious, I say have at it. They got off easy the first time only owing $173,000. The lesson in constitutional law from the RI ACLU might not be so generous the second time.

I hear religion makes you a better person, I just wonder why they always want to use my tax dollars to tell me about it.


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  • David Hart

    Talking of chipping in, you remember how you were talking about Cranston music programmes being cut? How would you feel about a fundraising drive to provide music lessons for the school? I don’t know how much money we’d be able to raise, but we ought to be able to get together enough to provide at least one pupil’s worth of music lessons for an indefinite period? Call it the Jessica Alhlquist music scholarship, perhaps – and tell the school that this is a thank-you from the secular community for declining to continue to violate the Constitution. I’d chip in for that.

    • ash

      Can’t find the post at the moment, but I believe that very project has been initiated!

      • David Hart

        Having trouble locating it on the web. Anyone else able to help?

  • penn

    I think the lack of a fundraising for the appeal shows how shallow these people’s deep convictions really are. These people were screaming about how taking down the banner was an assault on Christianity and the constitution, but they aren’t willing to put the money up themselves. They are willing to threaten, harass and insult a 16 year old, but they aren’t willing to actually pay to defend their faith and their country from this wicked onslaught. If the cost of appeal is $500,000 it would only take 5,000 Christian families donating $100 to continue the fight for God and country. That’s only 1 month of cable/internet or about 3 dinners out. But, no. It’s not worth it if it’s their money.

    • penn

      I’m also sure that the local churches in Cranston have been talking about this issue and how important it is to stand up and fight for God and country. Why didn’t those churches offer to donate one week’s worth of contributions to the cause?

      I’m also pretty sure that if the faithful of Cranston did fundraise that some Christian lawyer, firm or organization would take the case for them pro bono, and then they’d only have to pay the ACLU’s costs when/if they lose. And how could they lose with God on their side?

    • Rory

      One argument I’ve heard a bunch of townspeople make is that they already ARE paying the cost of an appeal, because they pay their taxes. Not clear on why the people who don’t agree with them should also have to contribute, but then again, forcing other people to behave the way you want them to behave is what this has been about from the beginning.

  • Dan Hay

    Personally, I think it would be an interesting possibility for us (as a community) to donate towards the school (perhaps, as I believe David discussed, the music program). It would serve as sort of a reminder that we aren’t trying to be an entirely destructive force for the school (I know that we are not, but that seems to be the appearance to those who want an appeal). It would certainly be a grand PR move for us, especially if we do it in a very public manner. You could imagine how the conversation would go: “Those atheist bastard took away our banner!” “you mean those atheist bastards that donated $X,000 to the music program? they don’t seem that bad.”

    As I said, just a thought I had.

  • Eric Sweeney

    How do we know Christians made the death threats?

    • Marshall

      How do you know atheists write for this site? Because they identify themselves as atheists and talk about atheism. Many of the death threats were made by people identifying themselves as Christians. Are you saying they were lying or plants?

      • tubi

        Well, many of them do seem to have the mental acuity of a ficus, so…

  • Rieux

    One other notable thing about the picture in the OP is that all the “APPEAL” sign-wearers are middle-aged or older. They’re not the generation that’s driving the continuing secularization of the American populace.