1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Atheist intolerance?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by K.Venugopal, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. K.Venugopal

    K.Venugopal Immobile Wanderer

    Messages:
    1,662
    Religion:
    Hinduism
    I was amazed to read the following news:

    A prayer banner at Cranston High School West in Rhode Island, part of the school since 1963, has been covered after a teenage student there complained that it violated the separation of church and state. Student Jessica Ahlquist is standing her ground, since 2010, she's been receiving online threats and has been targeted by bullies for her convictions...

    The prayer, written by a student of the same school, reads as follows:

    Our Heavenly Father,

    Grant us each day the desire to do our best,
    To grow mentally and morally as well as physically,
    To be kind and helpful to our classmates and teachers,
    To be honest with ourselves as well as with others,
    Help us to be good sports and smile when we lose as well as when we win,
    Teach us the value of true friendship,
    Help us always to conduct ourselves so as to bring credit to Cranston High School West.

    Amen


    The full report can be read here:
    Atheist teen stands behind her position after school prayer banner taken down - Living Faith - Home & Family - Catholic Online

    I was wondering whether the student, who, according to the report is an atheist, is displaying the same intolerance in the name of atheism as those who are reportedly threatening her for her convictions. If her opposition is on the grounds of separation of church and state, would it hold ground considering the prayer was written by a student and is not a direct quotation from any scripture?
     
  2. Kathryn

    Kathryn Most Spoiled Woman Ever

    Messages:
    15,613
    Sounds to me like the prayer banner is painted on school property, and therefore the upkeep of this banner is probably paid for by the school (murals have to be repainted). Or it may be cloth, but if so, it's bound to be pretty tattered by now, since it's from 1963.

    I guess my question would be this: What would the reaction of the parents, other students, or the public in that area be if there was a Shinto or a Muslim prayer hanging there and maintained by the school?

    That's always the question I ask, because the people protesting the policy (or in this case, the people angry at the girl) are demanding tolerance for differing beliefs. If they are going to demand tolerance, they damn sure better BE tolerant.
     
    Kerr and Me Myself like this.
  3. cablescavenger

    cablescavenger New Member

    Messages:
    1,851


    Jessica sounds to be intolerant of people breaking a law which infringe on her educational rights.

    The poster is against the law. The school has to uphold the law, and should have removed the banner anyway.
     
  4. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,348
    Religion:
    None
    I find your equating a legal argument for the removal of a banner with threats of violence and bullying more than a little distasteful. Whatever the rights and wrongs of her campaign, the is absolutely no excuse for any form of violence.

    There is certainly an argument of tolerance on an "is it worth the bother" basis and personally, the answer would almost certainly be no. For this particular girl though, the answer was yes and I can somewhat understand her position too.

    I think the fundamental legal position is fairly clear. It's ridiculous to suggest the banner isn't religious just because it doesn't quite scripture and it was donated to the school by the student (many decades ago) so it is now clearly the school displaying it.

    This is really a nothing case in itself but is just one example of a fundamental contraction in the American psyche which talks about equality, freedom and secularism while in practice strongly favours Christianity and, to a lesser extent, Judaism.
     
  5. Splarnst

    Splarnst New Member

    Messages:
    561
    So, you're suggesting that asking a court to uphold the constitution is equivalent to threatening to rape and murder a person going to court with a perfectly valid claim?

    :facepalm: x 1,000
     
  6. Seyorni

    Seyorni Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,169
    Religion:
    Vedanta (reform)
    Yet another example of man's propensity to elevate symbols over that symbolized: "...to grow morally...to be kind and helpful...to be good sports and smile when we lose..."

    Why are these bullies, who obviously disagree with the sentiments expressed on the banner, so keen to preserve it?
     
  7. waitasec

    waitasec New Member

    Messages:
    21,014
    i guess the prayer only applies when the going get easy :rolleyes:

    the irony.

    i wouldn't say in the name of atheism ... in the name of the 1st amendment.
    i would say being met with threats for speaking your mind is intolerance.
    what the girl did was not intolerant...had she done something to the banner, like torn it down herself, spray painted it, thrown food at it..then i can see that as an act of intolerance...which isn't the case here
     
  8. Shades-o-Blue

    Shades-o-Blue New Member

    Messages:
    195
    It doesn't matter if the quote came from scripture. America used to be decidedly Christian. Kudos to the school for trying to preserve their traditions. Shame on the woefully miguided atheist student, and extra shame on those who reportedly threatened violence.
     
  9. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Atheist Capitalist Engineer Libertarian

    Messages:
    63,699
    We also have a tradition of observing the law. (Tis an uneven tradition though.)
    Shame on those who use taxpayer money to push their particular faith on others.
     
  10. Seyorni

    Seyorni Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,169
    Religion:
    Vedanta (reform)
    Used to be decidedly Christian? America is known the world over as the land of guns and religious fanatics.

    It's because the US is so Christian that religious minorities feel overwhelmed and imposed upon. Yet the Christian majority is still insecure, feels "warred upon" and needs to bolster its faith with religious symbolism/threats.
     
    cablescavenger likes this.
  11. waitasec

    waitasec New Member

    Messages:
    21,014
    epic failure... :facepalm:

    "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,"
    ~the treaty of tripoli
     
  12. Seyorni

    Seyorni Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,169
    Religion:
    Vedanta (reform)
    Signed and submitted by president John Adams.
     
  13. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Superstylin' Staff Member Premium Member

    Messages:
    38,314
    Religion:
    None (atheist)
    Your "decidedly Christian" country was never supportive of all of Christianity. The United States has a long history of sectarian intolerance. If "religious traditions" were all that they're cracked up to be, it would still be illegal to be a Mormon in Missouri.

    There was little to no room for tolerance of your particular brand of Christianity in the past that you're apparently nostaligic for. Be careful what you wish for.

    In reality, it's the exact same principle - secularism - that says that Mormons shouldn't be persecuted for their beliefs as it is that says that this prayer banner should come down. Both are instances where we say that religious sectarianism should not be allowed to dictate the policy of a government that's supposed to represent ALL the people.
     
    Katzpur likes this.
  14. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Atheist Capitalist Engineer Libertarian

    Messages:
    63,699
    Corrections:
    - Religious minorities have it pretty good here.
    - Guns have nothing to do with Xianity. We heathens like guns at least as much as do the fundies.

    So what if the country is mostly Xian.
    The very fact that separation of church & state works so well earns my admiration.
    No worries that we still chafe at niggling problems here & there.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
  15. Nakosis

    Nakosis Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,352
    I suspect a lot of Christians are going to use her actions to justify their dislike of atheists. Intolerance begets intolerance.

    Atheism becomes like a religion when they try to force their idealism on others.
     
  16. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Misanthropic Humanist

    Messages:
    22,701
    That's like pouring a glass of water into a lake to make it wet.
     
  17. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Superstylin' Staff Member Premium Member

    Messages:
    38,314
    Religion:
    None (atheist)
    I don't think the people angry at Jessica Ahlquist are asking for tolerance; I think they're asking for preferential treatment for their religion.
     
  18. waitasec

    waitasec New Member

    Messages:
    21,014
    because it is a christian nation after all...:sarcastic
    :no:
     
  19. DreadFish

    DreadFish Tiger Fish

    Messages:
    4,085
    Religion:
    Vihangam Marg
    Maybe the people who wanted to keep the banner up, need the prayer more than we realize ;)
     
  20. Ghost of a Rider

    Ghost of a Rider New Member

    Messages:
    205
    Believe me, there was plenty of dislike for atheists by Christians long before this incident.

    It is the constitution that is being forced here, not atheism.
     
Verification:
Draft saved Draft deleted