Traveling, traveling, traveling… (late comment roundup)

Hey all.  I know I’ve missed Friday comment roundup the last two-weeks, but I’m speaking and traveling a lot through the rest of the year.  I thought I’d be able to write more on the road, but I was wrong about that.  Ugh.

I’ll be back to doing comment roundup next week.  Here are the winners from last week’s comment roundup post.

Alicia, in response to organized religion in a public high school (re: Kountze high school cheerleaders wearing Christian uniforms to practice) said

ne of those little teeny-boppers, as previously called, is my niece. Several others on the squad I claim as mine as well. I am proud to see these young impressionable girls wearing crosses and standing for their beliefs over slutty tanks and shorts where their butt cheeks show. None of these girls are out prowling and can look in the stands at any given sport they play to see their families cheering them on. You guys seriously need to find someone of age to target. My take on those against the cheerleaders voicing their Christianity is that deep in the haters’ hearts, they know theses girls are on the right path. My prayers and our God in heaven are with these strong young ladies. God bless all you.

Eric dropped the hammer on her.

wearing crosses and standing for their beliefs over slutty tanks and shorts where their butt cheeks show

Is Alicia saying the only alternative to Jesus shirts is slutty clothes? Maybe she’s responding to a previous comment, but I’m not reading all of them.

You guys seriously need to find someone of age to target

Well, I guess kids aren’t beyond criticism of their beliefs, but I’m not too concerned with kids, and if anything I think it’s a parent’s right to raise their kids how they want. But we’re not really attacking the kids but the administration at the school.

My take on those against the cheerleaders voicing their Christianity is that deep in the haters’ hearts, they know theses girls are on the right path.

How arrogant to claim you know what’s in people’s hearts. We’re atheists, so we don’t think this path leads anywhere.

My prayers and our God in heaven are with these strong young ladies

Then I’ll tell you what, if the FFRF or AU bring a legal suit against the school, don’t fight it and just rely on your ineffectual prayers and impotent god, then at least you won’t waste a bunch of the school’s money fighting this battle just to lose.

Then AmyC came in and dissected this comment.

“I just have to say this. I believe that these girls have the right to voice their opinions and beliefs as they see fit. ”

The “as they see fit” is the problem here. Because apparently, they see it as fit to voice their religious beliefs at a public school sporting event while representing that school. Perhaps somebody should educate the girls on the law, and then they will understand when and where it is appropriate to hold up giant god banners.

“It is every AMERICANS right to FREEDOM OF SPEECH. It is also every AMERICANS right to FREEDOM OF RELIGION.”

Mom? Is that you? I thought I explained how to use the caps lock key already. Seriously though, nobody is disagreeing with what their rights are, we’re disagreeing with how the law applies in this situation. The situation being cheerleaders who represent a public school putting up sectarian religious signs at school events. It would be one thing if they were individuals in the crowd, but when they are on that field they are representing the school and should act accordingly. I know. I was in marching band, and we got this speech before every single football game, parade, and marching competition.

“That being said, if Christianity offends you , then by all means, do not partake, look at , or read anything to do with it.”

I would love to do this if only the Christians would let me. You see, every day I’m inundated with constant messages about the beliefs, practices and “goodness” of Christianity–at work, at the mall, at the movies, on tv, on facebook, with my family, and even with many of my friends. I spend every day trying to avoid Christianity, and the Christians just won’t let me. Now, it may be annoying to have to deal with these people, and they may be rude to constantly force me to deal with it, but it’s not illegal. So, when I see Christians illegally forcing their beliefs and practices on other people, whether it’s through legislation or through forcing non-christian students to sit through Christian messages at a public football game, I will not just brush it off as their “right” when they are capable, and oh so willing, to express their beliefs and practices in completely legal ways.

“If Atheism offends you , do not partake, look at , or read anything to do with it. The same goes for any religion or belief, be it Islamic, Atheist, Christian, Pagan, or the Great Spaghetti Monster……..”

I have a question: how often are you in your life confronted with Islam, atheist, pagan or FSM beliefs/practices? Could I hazard a guess of “not very often?” How often are you confronted with fellow Christians? Often, right? Not to diss on JT here, but you probably had to go out of your way to find his blog and find his article on this subject. Even if somebody left a link to it on your favorite social media website, you probably at least had to click the link. So, it’s pretty easy for you to not partake, look at, or read anything to do with Islam, atheism, pagan or the FSM, but it’s not easy for us. Who’s to say that’s even desirable? Why would you want to completely isolate yourself from other world views like that? We don’t want to do that, and that’s not what we’re fighting for here. I would throw all my support behind a class in public schools devoted to world religion and culture as an elective–of course “elective” being the key word here.

“If this is what you and your family choose to believe, then more power to you.”

Thanks, but I didn’t think we needed your permission. And no, my family does not share my beliefs, and they take every opportunity to remind me, thanks for doing the same thing.

“If you are not ashamed of your beliefs then , by all means , voice them. ”

Many people are not able to voice their beliefs, because unfortunately their families would disown them for doing such a thing. Many people live in places where voicing their beliefs would put them in jail for blasphemy. And here in the U.S. many people can’t voice their beliefs because they could lose their job and/or social status–both things they worked years to attain. So, not voicing your beliefs isn’t always about shame; sometimes it’s the most practical thing to do for your individual situation. We are not trying to shame the cheerleaders, as is implied, we are trying to explain why it is illegal (and inconsiderate) for them to voice these particular beliefs at this particular time.

“But do not belittle, degrade, or insult others that do the same.”

I didn’t see any belittling or insulting or degrading language from JT. Maybe you are talking about some of the comments made, but again, I must remind you that you went out of your way to come to this blog. Nobody forced you to come here and read the article and then read the comments. Also, criticism =! belittling, insulting or degrading language.

“EVERYONE has the right to BELIEVE, PRACTICE, AND VOCALIZE their particular beliefs….”

…unless of course those beliefs contradict the dominant Christian beliefs of this culture. I think a key thing you’re forgetting here is that everybody has freedom of speech, but nobody has freedom from criticism. Just as you can use your freedom of speech to vocalize your particular beliefs; I can then use my freedom of speech to criticize your beliefs.

Well played, both of you.  :)

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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.