PROVIDENCE, R.I. (CBS/AP) — A prayer banner that has been on display at a Rhode Island public high school for 49 years is being covered up after a federal judge ordered it be removed.

Attorney Joseph Cavanagh Jr. said Thursday that officials are not removing it from the auditorium at Cranston High School West right away in the event the decision is appealed, and possibly reversed.

A judge on Wednesday ordered the prayer banner’s immediate removal.

The Rhode Island American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit over the banner last year on behalf of 16-year-old student Jessica Ahlquist, who describes herself as an atheist.

“I’m an Atheist, and I don’t believe in the Heavenly Father, so I shouldn’t have to look at it,” ” Ahlquist said. “Our country was founded as a secular state…that means separation of church and state…and schools.”

WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields reports

The banner was a gift from the class of 1964.

It begins with, “Our Heavenly Father…” and asks students to be good scholars and community leaders.

The school argued that the banner was part of the history of the school.

The city’s mayor agrees.

“That banner has been up there for many years,” Mayor Allan Fung said. “It’s part of the school.”

School Committee members say they plan to discuss whether to appeal the decision at their next meeting on Tuesday. Cavanagh said the banner will be taken down if the board decides against appealing the decision.

WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields contributed to this report.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (83)
  1. dawnkap says:

    this is crazy , this has been in this school for 49 yrs and because one girl saying she is an atheist doesn’t want to see it the courts want it down. well a true atheist is someone who has studied all religion and doesn’t believe in any of them so if this student can show that she has and knows what she is talking about then she might have a valid argument until then she should ignore the sign what does it mater any way if she doesn’t believe in it ,is she afraid that seeing it might make her believe in god?

    1. Christina Cara Dartez says:

      I agree with you Dawnkap!!

    2. cindy says:

      If anyone studies US History our country was built on Christianity. No one says YOU MUST BELIEVE, it’s all ones choice. But to take this banner down is taking away the rights of those who want it up.
      I say the parents buy shirts for their kids with the banner prayer I would even help pay for them. Where are the rights of those that want the banner up.

      1. dnsbubba says:

        If YOU would study history, you would know the US was ,in fact, NOT built on Christianity. And no rights are being taken away from anyone. Anyone who says that rights are being taken away should be forced to take a Civics class so they might actually know what they’re talking about.

        No one has any right to request, demand or otherwise force a government institution to promote their beliefs in any way. That “right” simply does not exist.

      2. elena billot says:

        exactly!! let me know… I will help you pay!! serious! what has this world come to? it’s sick!! ONE ATHESIST?? SOOOO WHAT? why even deal with this issure!! something is up!! It’s part of the school’s HISTORY!! AND…it’s part of OUR HISTORY!! CHRISTIANITY!! our Forefathers remember reading that?? I do NOT understand how SICK it is….to try and “DELETE” GOD of our existance!! it’s sick!! I LOVE GOD!! and proud of it!! I JUST found him, for real, 7 years ago…and I WISH I would of found him earlier!! It makes me SAD, to think..the devil has now taken over..and people are actually doing everything, to “avoid” GOD!!! SAD…but true!! what are we going to do about it???

  2. Cuttlefish says:

    Bravo, Jessica! This is a victory for the rule of law over the tyranny of the majority. The school should thank you for the civics lesson.

    1. Stanley11 says:

      Tyranny of the majority…..I guess you don’t believe in Democracy then, do you?

      1. dnsbubba says:

        I believe in it. I just know we don’t live in one. Our government is a Representative Republic. If you want an example of a Democracy, look at India.

      2. Skwerl says:

        We have a Bill of Rights precisely so that the majority doesn’t stomp on the minority. Maybe the schools should spend more time teaching civics and less time promoting religion.

    2. Don says:

      Missing the point here guys. Another example of cowardice on the part of civil leaders backing down to loud threats for alleged civil rights. Does a requesr to our Creator for students to live righteously amidst a troubled society scare you?

  3. Christina Cara Dartez says:

    I think it SHOULD stay put!! One student who disagrees should not dictate whether a Prayer which has been in the school for many years should be taken down nor should this judge just because THEY FEEL THEY SHOULD NOT have to look at it. DON’T LOOK at it!! WE NEED TO stand up and fight for our Country and our RIGHTS!!
    So Disgusted!!

    1. Mary says:

      Jessica are you bored or just trying to get attention. DON’T LOOK AT IT!!! What is the matter with this Country??? I don’t think the prayer should be removed..Jessica should be removed!!! If you can’t handle it Jessica go to another High School!!!!

    2. Skwerl says:

      “One student” spoke for thousands of Americans. Jessica DID stand up for our country and our rights. Now nobody’s religion will be favored in her school. Everyone will be treated equally.

  4. Cuttlefish says:

    Well, no, dawnkap, atheists have no more need to study all religions before rejecting them than you have to study all religions before choosing yours. Besides, the banner is not coming down because Jessica is an atheist; it’s coming down because it is unconstitutional. Read the ruling:

    1. Dawn Kaplan says:

      well according to the story she claims to be an atheist and it bothers her to read it.
      that is the reason it was brought to court so that is the reason it is coming down . and that sign is part of the history of the school , she has a choice whether wants to read it or not ! and so do the students that do want to so why are her feelings worth more then the rest of the schools . if the worst thing that she sees in her day is that sign she should thank hmmmmmmmmm the school because a lot worse is happening most schools

    2. Dave says:

      Unconstitutional?? Where is it found in the constitution that schools can’t have anything religious in them? Let’s check the first ammendment….Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

      So, did congress make a law that said everyone must believe in this banner, or look at the banner? NO. Public or private property has no bearing! That is the kicker. Liberals have been deceiving everyone by the misuse of the constitution to win cases (with liberal judges, of course). But this should come as no surprise because Jesus himself said: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first (John 15:18) . “They hated me without reason’ (John 15:25) And ” You will be hated by everyone because of me… (Matthew 10:22). They should be warned because He also said “Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14). And sadly… “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15).

      1. dnsbubba says:

        Want to know some other things that aren’t in the Constitution? Marriage, the right to privacy, the right to vote and a host of other things. However, we know that we are entitled to those things, in part, because the bodies (courts, etc.) empowered to interpret our Constitution have determined that they exist. You know, like pastors and priests interpret the Bible. Using a plain reading of the Constitution to denounce anything that you don’t approve of is no different than an atheist using a plain reading of the Bible (which is rife with genocide, incest etc.) to denounce Christianity.

        Neither is honest, or rational.

  5. firemanmark says:

    The only problem with any ruling concerning any constitutional matter is when the American Clueless Liberal Union gets involved.If a Muslim student wanted to pray during the day in school and pressed the issue,the shmucks in the ACLU would be all over that one.When 2 people were passing out Christian literature in Dearborn,Michigan and were surrounded by the Dearborn Gestapo (i mean Dearborn police) and the cellphone video confiscated;where was the ACLU? Nowhere to be found.When white voters were intimidated by night-club wielding Black Panther apes outside a Philadelphia polling center where was the ACLU? For that matter,where was the Justice Department? Oh,never mind…Eric the clueless was the Attorney General.It’s only racist if you are white! or Christian,or born in the USA,or work,or pay taxes.Get the picture? If the little atheist doesn’t like it..don’t look at it.Prime candidate for Umass or Harvard!

    1. Paul says:

      I would LOVE to see Boston College or Notre Dame offer her a free full four year scholarship…and see if she accepts it….

    2. massman says:

      What a refreshing racist, bigoted rant.

    3. donny says:

      The Constitution doesn’t really care what you all think or feel. It’s the rule of law that’s being enforced here.

      This is a free country for EVERYONE and EVERY RELIGIOUS BELIEF – not just Christians who want to keep their prayers up in PUBLIC places. How about a 49 yr old sign that says TEHRE IS NO GOD! Would you want your kid looking at that in their school every day?…

      Try actually LIVING the Golden Rule for a change.

    4. dnsbubba says:

      While I doubt you’ll be honest enough to actually educate yourself, here is a partial list of cases where the ACLU defended religious expression.

      Of course, you’ll still find some reason to hate them, and anyone that supports them, because someone somewhere gave you a reason to justify an irrational dislike of them, and I doubt that your mature enough to change your mind.

    5. delores delrio says:

      You said it best!! I second that emotion :)


  6. Paul says:

    There is a way around this nonsense. Sell the wall to the the class that donated the banner. Since the wall no longer is the property of the school/town, the banner can stay. It is similar to what a state college in Idaho did 10-15years ago….it evidently worked…it’s still there.

    1. Dawn Kaplan says:

      wow good idea

    2. Skwerl says:

      It’s amazing, the schemes people dream up to impose their religious beliefs upon others. Simply boggles my mind.

  7. massman says:

    Segregation was around for many years also. Doesn’t make it right. Get the banner down, and religion out of schools.

    1. petem says:

      I’m with you massman! If the sign said ‘Whites Only’ should it stay up just because some class 50 years ago gifted it to the school?
      Religion shouldn’t be in the school, unless it part of the curriculum. This isn’t, and as much as i agree with the portion AFTER ‘Our Heavenly Father’, that part makes it unconstitutional. The part that those of you who want it to stay are missing is that by the simple fact that it begins with the entreaty, makes it religious speech from one religious perspective. in curriculum that would be balanced by presenting other religions’ text etc…

      1. Stanley11 says:

        Well, it didn’t say “whites only” so let’s stop talking about hypotheticals. I will ask again…..what law is the sign violating? And what makes it Unconstitutional?

    2. newtsal says:

      I also agree with you massman. And Hi Stanley11 – it may not say whites only but there were signs that did for decades and they had to come down. The comments that the sign has been there for 49 years so it makes it right are not well founded.

      One person asked if you would leave a sign that says “There is no God”

      Would any of you who feel this sign should stay put accept a sign saying exactly that????

  8. massman says:

    It encourages religion. We’ve been down this road enough times. Thank you, once again, ACLU.

    1. Stanley11 says:

      Massman, I understand how you feel about religion, but encouraging it doesn’t mean it’s illegal. A fact from a Liberal to back it up would be nice. The ACLU makes me sick because they don’t care about all Americans. They only care about the minority. I feel bad for the people that support them because a lot of them are screwing themselves.

      1. newtsal says:

        Stanley – I am a bit surprised by your comment that the ACLU only cares for the minority. Yes, it does —– don’t you know why? Take a deep look at our history and then a close look at our present. There is bigotry woven through everything this country has ever done.

      2. Stanley11 says:

        Tsal, bigotry and hatred is present in all groups these days. I don’t for 1 second think that because of this country’s history that it’s OK for any group to get a pass on it. If they are truly the “American” Civil Liberties Union, then they should be protecting them for ALL Americans, and not just the minority. I never owned a slave, mistreated someone because they were a certain ethnicity, nor did I ever tell someone their religious beliefs were inferior. So why should I be lumped in with people that did because my skin color is the same? It’s totally asinine.

  9. Stanley11 says:

    Oh, this poor little girl must have felt oppressed having to see that every day. I hope she can still lead a normal life.

    One question….would the ACLU be running in there if it was a Muslim prayer? I’m certain they would not.

    1. massman says:

      As if you would need the ACLU involved. Don’t you understand Christianity’s hypocritical nature yet?
      Why stop using hypotheticals? Everyone supporting the banner is citing tradition as a reason to keep it. This is just another example of christians using their religion as justification for their actions.

  10. J070707 says:

    I wonder if her motivation for doing this had anything to do with having something interesting to write about in her college application essays.

  11. emom says:

    Oh wow, this world has truly lost sight of things. Whats next ,all churches will be told they can not display any religious icon out side. that the word HOLY will be banned from anything , The selling of any religious item in everyday stores will no longer be allowed,
    Will simply wearing a crucifix in public will be grounds for a lawsuit. What next wearing Pink will be disallowed, or if just simply do something another person does not believe in will result in a lawsuit. When will enough be enough,,,
    I agree If you don’t like it just don’t pay any attention to it, Its not as if its waking up to you and telling you to do something its just there. Have to wonder about people today, When something they claim bothers them its a must they make it NEWS worthy. Grasping for attention.

  12. KL, LLC says:

    Ladies and Gentelmen,

    This young lady claims that this banner impinges on her right to be an atheist. What about those students and faculty who are offended by it’s removal. Why doesn’t somebody sue her for restricting their first amendment right to free speech?

    She would back down quietly and rescind her case. And while someone’s at it, have a judge invoke a rule 11 on the ACLU for this one. Enough is enough.

    And to the little atheist. Pilgrims? Ever hear of them? What do you think prompted them to sail accross the Atlantic? It was not for the clam cakes in Rhody.

    1. Skwerl says:

      No, the young lady claims that the banner breaks the law.

      The Pilgrims came here to be free from religious persecution, and in turn they persecuted those of every other religion. That’s how Rhode Island was founded. Massachusetts kicked out all the Jews, Catholics, Baptists, and anybody else who didn’t fit their narrow definition of Christianity. Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson created the colony of RI as a safe haven for religious minorities. It’s a shame everything is so backwards now.

  13. massman says:

    Christianity really does cloud the mind. WHat part of keeping religion out of public places can’t you understand?

    1. Stanley11 says:

      I just want to know which law makes it illegal and where in the constitution it’s not allowed. Still haven’t got an answer to that one for about 3 years now.

      In any event….I somewhat with you about keeping religion out of public places, but to go on attack about something which really doesn’t amount to a whole heck of a lot, no matter what faith it may stem from, is quite extreme to me. I don’t like the pandering to one individual who, in my opinion, is being very petty here. The school hung a banner which was a gift from a class. The school is not forcing anyone to recite it, obey it, or practice it.

      1. CRattan14 says:

        Amendment One of the Constitution has the Establishment Clause, which essentially states separation of church and state. Then the Supreme Court case of Engel v. Vitale established that an official public school prayer, even if students are not required to say it, is wholly unconstitutional. Since the school is public, and therefore funded by the state and the taxpayers (who are not all christian, mind you), imposing an official school prayer in that way clearly violates the constitution. It isn’t the christian students’ rights that are being violated by the banner (as many have said), but Jessica’s. And yes, while I do think that the lawsuit was a bit much, she did give the district plenty of time to take it down, to which they disagreed. It was fully within her rights to file the suit, as the banner is technically illegal. If people are so offended by her defending of her constitutional rights, they should petition to purchase the wall as property of the students. That way it won’t be violating anything, as it is no longer a part of the public domain.

    2. fred says:

      Compare the test scores from Catholic schools who operate on much smaller budgets to the public schools and you will find that liberalism clouds your mind more so than Christianity. Would you also say the Islam clouds your mind? If she doesn’t like to read the prayer then she should just ignore it instead of having the usual liberal temper tantrum.

  14. David Frost says:

    Why does it seem to happen so often that one student out of several hundred gets his or her way. Wwhy don’t they ask the others what their desire is.I think it is time to counter sue these kind of people or situations. I am not sayi ng they don’t have their rights, but what about the rest of us. We have lost our rights over and over again to the one or two who find anything offensive. I find that offensive that we have to give in to them all the time.

    1. massman says:

      How have you lost your rights? You don’t have the right to practice and celebrate your religion? When these students leave school, they can go straight to church. Every student has the right to go to school without feeling as if the school is promoting religion.

  15. Virginia Nelson says:

    I guess she won’t want to accept any US currency then as it says “In God We Trust”.

    1. massman says:

      That should be removed as well.

      1. petem says:

        along with ‘under God’ in the pledge…

    2. Skwerl says:

      A black Sharpie works wonders on money.

      1. William Gregory Barr says:

        yes and its also against the law to deface curreny

      2. dnsbubba says:

        Only if the intent is prevent the money from being used or makes it unfit for circulation. Blacking out a few words that shouldn’t be there in the first place does neither.

  16. Denise says:

    So does this mean the unathletic will be able to have any trophy in the school removed because it makes them feel inadequate when they walk by it? How about those kids that barely wear any clothes or thier pants around their crotch – that offends me … but can we make them pull up their pants! Hell no… it infrindges on their rights! I tell you – Satan is one happy dude! This country use to be strong because everyone was working together to make it so. Today this country is being picked/pulled apart by single minded individuals. What if she’s offended by the color of the school next – will they paint it for her? Burning books she doesn’t think should be in the school library next??? Everyone is entitled to their opinion and that’s a good thing!

    1. petem says:

      It doesn’t help the conversation to throw in these straw men. This is a very a specific issue having to do with the separation of church & state and doesn’t have anything to do with kids with their ‘pants on the ground’.
      You’re right to an extent that it used to be that ‘the country was strong’ and that ‘everyone was working together to make it so’; although it probably varied where you were from and the color of your skin how you felt about the state of things. We were more informed 10 or 15 years ago before the advent of deregulation in the TV/Radio business. now all a company has to do to get good press is buy up the TV or radio stations and promote their agenda. Even CNN the ‘most trusted name in news is a shell of it’s former self. Their idea of covering news is to assign equal weight to both sides of an issue and decide that, well this is what this side says and this is what that side says, and provide no context or facts or real argument to question on side or the other…
      Its a disgrace and I wish my Dad was alive today to see what has become of the journalistic profession he worked at for 45+ years; then again maybe he’s better of not having to experience that.

  17. Dave_D says:

    “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men”

    “….when thou prayest, enter into thy closet and when thou has shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret….” Mathew 6:5-6

    I never really understood why people support public prayer

  18. jaygee says:

    While I agree in principal with the removal, I think that Jessica is going to have a rough road ahead of her in school and out of school.Having said that, both teams “pray” before a game but one still loses, right? Both sides pray before going into combat and then they kill eachother, right? Televangelists pray for you everday but then steal your money so I guess it can be said that “prayer” really doesn’t mean much…..right?

  19. Patricia says:

    I feel the law is wrong in this case. This was a gift from a graduating class a long time ago. It has not hurt anyone or bothered anyone until now. She is a minority of one and she should just “live with it”. Maybe some day she will need help from God and he will not be there because she denied him now. I would be worried if I were her.

    1. Skwerl says:

      People have come forth since the ruling and have admitted to having been bothered by the prayer banner in past years. Nobody has been brave enough to stand up against it until now. That’s all. This girl has thousands of people supporting her. She speaks for all of us.

      Atheists don’t worry about nonexistent gods. And if your God is so petty to deny someone when they need help, then he’s not a god worth worshiping.

  20. Denise says:

    I’m curious now – when an Athiest has a family member or a friend that gets in an accident or is deathly ill… what do they do? say Oh well – that’s life – I’ll bury you in a cemetary w/o any pomp and circumstance because we don’ t believe in anything. i’ll miss you! I don’t believe in a God so maybe Lady Luck will help you get better!

    I have know people that have questioned their “faith” but when mortality reared its head it’s funny how people all of a sudden look for “God” for help!

    1. dnsbubba says:

      I am constantly amazed at some peoples ability to marginalize others solely because they may not share their views. Your simplistic view of atheists is about on par with a child’s view of a playmates fondness for a toy they themselves dislike.

      Why don’t you call atheists “a big do do head” and be done with it?

  21. Countessa says:

    Our laws were written in tandem with most of the ten commandments, including the one about the Sabbath, which is why most stores used to be closed on Sunday (blue laws). The sale of alcohol on Sunday is still prohibited in many cities. You can’t bear false witness (perjury), you can’t murder, steal, etc. Where do you think these laws came from? My problem with God-haters is that they refuse to acknowledge the powerful impact religion has on the country and the world. When 911 happened, people ran to the churches and packed them in. They didn’t run to the places where atheists congregate looking for solace. That’s because atheists offer no solace. They say we are without purpose and are mere non-spiritual beings resulting from a one cell protozoa that occurred on its own. Other than for reasons of society norms we have no compulsion to do right things. No wonder we have an increase in suicides, murders, and substance abuse. These young people have been told they are without purpose and are the result of a happenstance. Offers lots of hope don’t you think???

    1. newtsal says:

      Countessa – you can believe what you choose but you have no right to force your belief on another. None of us have that right. Our country was founded with the premise that church and state do not mix. Most of the founding fathers were diests – many were freemasons. In a Masonic temple, discussion of religion is NOT allowed. Freemasonry plays a huge part in the laws – not God.

      Before you accuse me of being a “God hater” as you so incorrectly termed those who agree that the sign should come down, I have a very strong faith. I also feel either we represent all or we represent none – this is not a Christian country. It is a melting pot.

      I’ll ask you the same question I asked above and that no on e has answered.

      Would you allow a sign on the wall in this same school that says “There is no God?”

      1. Stanley11 says:

        Tsal, it would not bother me one bit. It would bother me if it insulted me personally or told me that I had to do something. If it said “there is no God”, then I would choose not to look at it. That’s just me.

        …and by the way. Since you were not part of the first 30 posters, I took some liberties as to what I was saying. You can’t pull another sneak attack like that again…..LOL.

      2. Countessa says:

        Newtsal: Oh so you agree with ME that this young female should not be able to force her atheistic beliefs on an entire school? Okay, I’m glad you agree.

      3. newtsal says:

        countessa – please tell me how having a pro God banner is not forcing ones opinion and having a I do not believe in God is? I think you are seeing things incredibly one sided.

      4. newtsal says:

        Stanley I’m not surprised that it would not bother you and that’s how it should be. Basically, I feel the banner should stay and the girl should not look if it bothers her. No one is forcing her to look. But as long as we have the view that Contessa has then it needs to come down. Contessa feels the girl is forcing her views but doesn’t seem to understand that she (contessa) is doing the very same.

      5. Skwerl says:

        Countessa, please describe to me which atheistic beliefs are going to be displayed on the wall of the high school.

      6. Countess says:

        Atheism isn’t neutral. It’s a belief system against God. Never make the mistake of calling atheism “ground zero” as in neutral. What makes her views more important than the majority? I am offended by her lack of respect for my beliefs. I’m also tired of atheists and peddlers of political correctness treating my religion like a biohazard that must be disinfected. 29 of the original 56 signers of the constitution actually held seminary degrees. 370 court decisions since the inception of our nation have deemed this a Christian nation. I’ll not go quietly into the night to practice my religion in the cloak of darkness. I’ll not pretend that it’s alright to be treated with such vehemence as I’ve seen on this page. If you want to pick a fight with me you better be better armed with correct historical knowledge. Hint, don’t rely on what’s being taught today in government schools.

    2. Skwerl says:

      There is nothing in the United States Constitution about God, Jesus, the ten commandments, or the Bible.

      Most prosperous societies, regardless of religion, have laws against killing, stealing, etc. Those are not exclusively Christian principles. America, for having so many Christians, also has an exceedingly high crime rate and large prison population. There are nations in Europe and Asia that are far less religious and don’t have the societal problems we do.

      When 911 happened, religious people ran to churches. I spent my time with my friends and family, and we comforted each other. I’m sorry if you don’t have that.

  22. delores delrio says:

    I see and hear a lot of things I feel offended by, does that mean I can call the ACLU? where is this going to end??? if you are an atheist, that’s fine, worry about your own soul!! oh sorry, you don’t have a soul. Jessica don’t stop the Christians from praising Our Heavenly Father :) Jessica you always look so glum and angry. Has being an atheist done this too you?? why don’t you use your energy and do something positive, like working in a soup kitchen, maybe that will put a smile on your face ???

    1. Skwerl says:

      Why do you assume that atheists don’t do volunteer work? Your bigotry is showing.

      I’ve helped in soup kitchen. I’ve served homeless people Thanksgiving dinners. I’ve helped raise funds for a domestic violence shelter. I help with cleaning up litter on highways. There’s more.

      Oh, and I served my country to protect your right to spew hatred at minorities. You’re welcome.

      1. delores delrio says:

        How dare you judge me!! I am not a bigot because I don’t agree with you. I applaud you for protecting this country, which gives each citizen the right to practice any religion that they choose. I was not implying that atheist do not do good deeds, I think that’s wonderful that you helped with all the above mentioned charities, I am a firm believer in helping others. I just feel, and still do, that this young girl could have put her energy to better use. I never used the word “hate” in my comment. You are the one who assumed that I was a hateful person. You are wrong.


  23. Contessa says:

    You can’t sue God into non-existence. He exists, whether you are aware of it or if refuse to accept it. This young female has only shown herself to be intolerant and self-centered. Lady Gaga offends me but I don’t tell people who have her CD displayed that I’ll sue them. God will still exist long after all of us have been buried and our bones have turned to dust. He is as far above us as we are above the amoeba. Keep thinking of yourself as more important than you are. Just because you refuse to acknowledge God doesn’t mean He goes away. Even if I said that I don’t believe you exist, it doesn’t mean you cease to exist. And God is far greater than you or I. You really think that by declaring him not to exist He just goes away?

    1. newtsal says:

      No Contessa – he exists for you. You cannot force your views of God onto anyone else. Period. And that is what the problem with this country is. Too many feel their way is the only way.

      1. Dave says:

        I see so many people talking about Christians “Forcing” their beliefs on others. Tell me something: Can I force you to believe anything?? Of course not. Nobody can be forced to believe anything they simply don’t believe. Christianity NEVER condones forcing one’s beliefs on others. RELIGIONS sometimes do, but there is a difference between religion and Christianity. Christianity is NOT a religion. Christianity is an existance. By God’s comandment, Christians are to share the good news of Christ. That is what true Christians do. Sharing and forcing are polar opposites. God is the one that says you must believe in Him if you want eternal life. But the choice is yours. He won’t force you either. I hope you make the correct choice. Your entire future depends on it.

      2. dnsbubba says:

        Can you force someone to believe something they don’t? No. No more than I can force someone to be tolerant or reasonable. However, what many theists will do is attempt to force others to live by their beliefs, either by wanting them to be deferred to or trying to codify them into law. And that IS forcing your religion on others.

      3. newtsal says:

        Dave you do not think Christians force their beliefs on others?? Really? The pilgrims came here to escape religious persecution and then immediate insisted everyone worship as they did. The jews have only been barely tolerated in this country for several decades. Do you remember the cry that went out when JFK ran for office because he was catholic and that a catholic could not be president of the united states? Now we persecute the muslims. We are so steeped in bigotry that wraps itself around religion that it is sad. When I was a kid Jewish kids sang Christmas songs yet with a holiday of their own at the same time Christian kids would never have been expected to sing their songs. When my kids were young this was still the case and it took an extreme effort to have the Jewish songs incorporated into the CHRISTMAS concert in a heavily populated jewish town.

        Might be a good idea for you to do a little checking on your history.

    2. Skwerl says:

      If your God exists, he created me as an atheist. Who are you to question him?

      1. delores delrio says:

        If he exists? seems to me that you already made up your mind that he does not exist. He did not create you as an atheist, however he does give us freedom of choice.

  24. Countessa says:

    Atheism is not neutral. It’s a belief system against God. Never make the mistake of calling atheism “ground zero” as in neutral. What makes her views more important than the majority? I am offended by her lack of respect for my beliefs. I’m also tired of atheists and peddlers of political correctness treating my religion like a biohazard that must be disinfected or kept from public view. 29 of the original 56 signers of the constitution actually held seminary degrees. 370 court decisions since the inception of our nation have deemed this a Christian nation. I’ll not go quietly into the night to practice my religion in the cloak of darkness. I’ll not pretend that it’s alright to be treated with such vehemence as I’ve seen on this page. If you want to pick a fight with me you better be better armed with correct historical knowledge. Hint, don’t rely on what’s being taught today in government schools.

  25. tarquin says:

    “the enumeration of this bill of rights shall not be construed to disparage others retained by the people”

  26. tarquin says:

    The constitution protects us from three dangers 1) government 2) religion
    and 3) the masses (majority).

Leave a Reply