High School Student Wins Lawsuit to Remove Prayer from School
#1
It's nice to see community support for once. I actually feel sorry for her. It's like she's crying out for some purpose in life now that she has cast out God. :pray2: that she return to the Faith.
The New York Times Wrote:She is 16, the daughter of a firefighter and a nurse, a self-proclaimed nerd who loves Harry Potter and Facebook. But Jessica Ahlquist is also an outspoken atheist who has incensed this heavily Roman Catholic city with a successful lawsuit to get a prayer removed from the wall of her high school auditorium, where it has hung for 49 years.

A federal judge ruled this month that the prayer’s presence at Cranston High School West was unconstitutional, concluding that it violated the principle of government neutrality in religion. In the weeks since, residents have crowded school board meetings to demand an appeal, Jessica has received online threats and the police have escorted her at school, and Cranston, a dense city of 80,000 just south of Providence, has throbbed with raw emotion.

State Representative Peter G. Palumbo, a Democrat from Cranston, called Jessica “an evil little thing” on a popular talk radio show. Three separate florists refused to deliver her roses sent from a national atheist group. The group, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, has filed a complaint with the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights.

“I was amazed,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the foundation, which is based in Wisconsin and has given Jessica $13,000 from support and scholarship funds. “We haven’t seen a case like this in a long time, with this level of revilement and ostracism and stigmatizing.”

The prayer, eight feet tall, is papered onto the wall in the Cranston West auditorium, near the stage. It has hung there since 1963, when a seventh grader wrote it as a sort of moral guide and that year’s graduating class presented it as a gift. It was a year after a landmark Supreme Court ruling barring organized prayer in public schools.

“Our Heavenly Father,” the prayer begins, “grant us each day the desire to do our best, to grow mentally and morally as well as physically, to be kind and helpful.” It goes on for a few more lines before concluding with “Amen.”

For Jessica, who was baptized in the Catholic Church but said she stopped believing in God at age 10, the prayer was an affront. “It seemed like it was saying, every time I saw it, ‘You don’t belong here,’ ” she said the other night during an interview at a Starbucks here.
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Many alumni this week said they did not remember the prayer from their high school days but felt an attachment to it nonetheless.

“I am more of a constitutionalist but find myself strangely on the other side of this,” said Donald Fox, a 1985 graduate of Cranston West. “The prayer banner espouses nothing more than those values which we all hope for our children, no matter what school they attend or which religious background they hail from.”

Brittany Lanni, who graduated from Cranston West in 2009, said that no one had ever been forced to recite the prayer and called Jessica “an idiot.”

“If you don’t believe in that,” she said, “take all the money out of your pocket, because every dollar bill says, ‘In God We Trust.’ ”
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Full article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/27/us/rho....html?_r=1
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#2
Full text of the banner (you can buy it on a t-shirt!):
[Image: CRANSTON-1-popup.jpg]
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#3
Wow, if that prayer removed the opening reference to a/the deity and contained the imperative form of the message, telling us to do these things, it would be a perfectly acceptable and lovely banner. Just because of this, she tears down what is a very inspiring thing to read...

Only one thing to be said: Kyrie, eleison. :(
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#4
The New York Times Wrote:She is 16, the daughter of a firefighter and a nurse, a self-proclaimed nerd who loves Harry Potter and Facebook. But Jessica Ahlquist is also an
State Representative Peter G. Palumbo, a Democrat from Cranston, called Jessica “an evil little thing” on a popular talk radio show. Three separate florists refused to deliver her roses sent from a national atheist group. The group, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, has filed a complaint with the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights.

“I was amazed,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the foundation, which is based in Wisconsin and has given Jessica $13,000 from support and scholarship funds. “We haven’t seen a case like this in a long time, with this level of revilement and ostracism and stigmatizing.”

Apparently facing the social consequences of being a petty village atheist is a human rights violation now. Calling her "an evil little thing" might be going kind of far, but what did she expect?
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#5
Hope she gets 1099s for all that $$$$ - have fun with that,sis
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#6
Why don't these morons realize the purpose of separation of Church and State was to keep the government out of the Church and not the Church out of Government?

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#7
(01-27-2012, 05:55 PM)piabee Wrote: For Jessica, who was baptized in the Catholic Church but said she stopped believing in God at age 10, the prayer was an affront. “It seemed like it was saying, every time I saw it, ‘You don’t belong here,’ ” she said the other night during an interview at a Starbucks here.

So basically she decided to prove what she thought it was saying?

What is she saying to everyone else but "You do not belong here", in this case, literally?
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