+1 for Jessica Alhquist, -1 for Humanity

Just wanted to send some love to Jessica Alhquist, a high school Junior in Rhode Island. Jessica recently sued her high school for a flagrant violation of the separation of church and state. She represented all non-Christians not included in the “School Prayer” mural, which implied a blanket belief in “Heavenly Father”.

Best of all…she WON! Hoorah! Freedom of/from belief is an imperative right afforded to us in the US of A. Regardless of what a person believes, it is important to keep our government secular so as to respect the beliefs of all people, not just some.

Unfortunately (but not surprisingly), Jessica has come up against violent threats in response to her win. She has also been dealing with a shitload of Christian Love™ online.





The abuse goes on and on.

*sigh*

The bullying is seriously disheartening. As for Jessica, maybe yall could send her some love on her Twitter or her website. You may also wish to donate to her scholarship fund.

As for said “Christians”…

….it frustrates me that many uber religious American Christians don’t understand how their religious imposition works in the same way that sexism, racism, and homophobia do to oppress and silence. (Then again, Abrahamic religions are not exactly a hub of social progress.)

Remember that part of American history where religious dogma brought our predecessors here to begin with?

Remember that part of the Constitution that ensures the separation, not orgy-fication, of church & state?

Legal crap aside, I’m sure Christ would totally dig the way “#TeamHeaven” is handling the situation.

31 thoughts on “+1 for Jessica Alhquist, -1 for Humanity

  1. It is amazing (to me) to hear how many people believe that this country was founded on “Christian beliefs” when in fact it is founded on religious freedom. The separation of Church and State is so intrinsic to the core of what makes the United States a great place to live, yet it is being ripped from the fabric of this nation more and more every day.

    I spent a few days in a country where Church and State were (are) unified – it was no fun having to eat in my room with the curtains closed from sunrise to sunset because otherwise I would have been arrested for desecrating their religious holiday.

    I wish more Christians could see what they are doing from the other side of the looking glass. It is a horrible feeling to have someone else’s beliefs rammed down your throat.

    • I live in Norway. Christianity is a state religion and Easter is a national holiday, but you will not be forced to celebrate it or anything of the like. In school we sometimes have a service before Christmas, but we could chose not to go and stay in school doing something else. But I agree with you, it’s NOT fun having someone else’s views forced down your throat.

  2. RULE #1 of Christianity: Christians only forgive OTHER CHRISTIANS. Everyone else is less than dirt and to be disregarded.

    RULE #2 of Christianity: always use the Bible as a weapon, ignore all parts of the Bible that are “outdated” or don’t fit your self-righteous baloney, and above all, never really read the Bible. Nothing makes one an unbeliever faster than reading the “good book.”

    RULE #3 of Christianity: pretend outrage when anyone who doesn’t believe in your superstitious crap gets his or her way, however rare that may be. Be sure to claim victimhood while disregarding the fact that there are tens of thousands of Christian churches…and that’s just in the area in which I live.

    • Heyheyhey. I’m a Christian, but I’m not an asshole. Not all christians are assholes. Many of them are, but not all. I fully support Jessica Ahlquist in her right to religious freedom. I do not persecute, and I’d appreciate it if you didn’t persecute me.

    • Wow did you hit every nail on the head. Now if only I could hit a few Christians on the head – while no one’s looking of course so no one will accuse me of being hypocritical. Cause of my non violence stance while doing the opposite. Crap, hypocrisy. Man, I am no better than Christians

    • I am a christian and it’s sad to say i agree with you on some of this stuff. I think everyone can believe want they want too and i support jessica Alhquist. But not all christians are like that but alot are which is sad and they don’t understand that America has the first amendment grants right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference. Also i think somewhere in that rant aganist Jessica are “christian” so don’t blame all of us please.

  3. Hats off to her for both winning, and trying. It’s a shame that people are saying these terrible things to her. Even worse is that it’s unsurprising. :|

  4. “Remember that part of American history where religious dogma brought our predecessors here to begin with?”

    Well, that is not true for all settlers. The Puritans left England for persecution, sure. They then settled in Holland, which had a “don’t care what religion you are, we’re in it for the money” attitude. Disgusted with this religious freedom, the Puritans left Holland to create their own fundamentalist, no-other-religion allowed colony in New England.

    Apparently, 4/5 centuries later, some people still find this a great attitude to build a society. Besides damaging, immoral, stupid, unacceptable etc., the reactions of these nut bags is so predictable I find it so boring.

    • On a side note, last Thursday I attended a lecture given by Richard Dawkins in my hometown Groningen…in a church. Guess us dutch people have ourselves a couple of chilled out Christians.

  5. These people are sick. How and why would you attack a girl for standing up for what she believes in? How could anyone be angry at someone defending the constitution? These people shouldn’t even be called Christians. They are beasts that feed on hatred. I hope they take a second to look at themselves and the wrongs they’ve done to better themselves.

  6. It never ceases to amaze me how many self-proclaimed Christians will threaten violence and blatant ill-will against non-Christians when they don’t agree.

    It also never ceases to amaze me how many self-proclaimed Christians will claim that the Bible/being Christian is the only way to learn morals.

  7. As a Christian (specifically Catholic), I can NOT stand how people like #TeamHeaven claim to be Christians let alone good Christians. It just makes being Catholic more difficult. Good for this girl for standing up for what’s right. I’ll support people like her over hyper religious people any day.

  8. I really don’t like either side of this.

    My “belief” doesn’t currently have a classification, but simply put, it doesn’t involve a Deity or a lack of one, but that all things communicate to create a universal will.

    Anyway. The thing I don’t get is why people are offended by symbols and words if they don’t have some truth to them? She could’ve just ignored it and let people have the same freedoms as her. Instead she’s Forcing the issue.

    That’s the problem with most religions, and yes I count Atheism as a religion, Agnostic is the one that isn’t a religion. But again, religious people who pressure others to conform to their beliefs are just plain rude. I’ve never once been offended by seeing a Star of David or a Crucifix anywhere. I’m not offended by seeing a bible in a school library… I do think its inappropriate to put religion into commercial music, profiting just because you say “God, Lord, Jesus, Holy, Christ, etc.” is still considered blasphemous isn’t it? And it doesn’t take a whole lot of creativity either.

      • I call it a religion because people keep preaching it, and get offended by other “religions”, like what happened with this case.

        Its also a “belief” that no God or higher power exists. As with other religions this can’t be proven conclusively.

        There are Churches of Atheism.

        To say its not a religion is just trying to avoid the elephant in the room.

        • You are clearly ignorant about atheists and atheism. let’s just get a few links to clear this up.
          http://www.atheist-community.org/faq/
          http://www.atheistexperience.com
          http://www.atheists.org
          http://www.lesswrong.com
          http://www.askanatheist.com
          the list goes on.
          there are different levels of atheism,
          1) strong atheism: the near absolute certainty of the non-existance of god
          2)weak/agnostic atheism: the uncertain belief that there is no god.
          most people go into the second catagory. By the way, what definition of religion are you using? if it is just a social group, then this could be called a religion.

          Q: You guys believe there is no God, but you can’t prove that there isn’t. So being an atheist obviously requires at least as much faith as being a Christian.

          A: This assumption is rooted in the elementary logical fallacy that two opposite things–belief and disbelief–are actually the same thing. A basic tenet of logic is that anyone making a positive claim bears the burden of proof for that claim. For example, in a court of law the lawyers for the prosecution bear the burden of proof, because they are making the positive claim that the defendant has committed a crime.

          To take a skeptical position regarding an extraordinary claim for which one has not been provided with compelling evidence is not an act of faith; it is simple common sense. Here is an analogous situation: supposedly, as a Christian, you do not believe in the Roman or Aztec gods. Is it just as much an “act of faith” on your part not to believe in those gods as it was for the Romans and Aztecs to believe in them? If a man walks up to you and says he has an invisible magic elf sitting on his head, do you automatically believe his claim? If not, is it an “act of faith” on your part not to? Or are you simply responding to the claim with common sense and skepticism because the man has failed to provide you with adequate evidence for his elf? Choosing not to believe in something when you have no reason to believe in that thing is not an act of faith, it is just the smart thing to do.

          Finally, one can turn to the Bible’s definition of faith–the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”–to see that this is a definition that excludes disbelief. So if you still don’t agree with us that atheism is not a faith, then check your Bibles.
          Q: What’s the difference between an atheist and an agnostic?

          A: It has to do with the difference between what you believe and what you think you know. For any particular god that you can imagine, a “theist” is one who has a belief in that god. In contrast, an “atheist” is one who does not have a belief in the god. A “gnostic” is one who knows about the existence of god and an “agnostic” is one who thinks that god is unknowable.

          Notice that the terms “atheist” and “agnostic”, by these definitions, are not mutually exclusive. You could be an agnostic atheist, meaning you don’t think that the existence of gods is knowable, but you don’t choose to believe in one without further proof. Many people assume that atheists believe that gods can be proved not to exist, but this isn’t strictly true and there is no proper word to describe this. You could call such a person an “untheist”, perhaps. Or, you could just call such a person a “gnostic atheist”, one who doesn’t believe in a god and thinks that his non-belief can be proved.

          So there are four possible ways one could be.

          1. Agnostic-Theist: believes god exists, but the existence of a god is unknowable
          2. Gnostic-Theist: believes in a god for which he claims knowledge
          3. Agnostic-Atheist: does not believe god exists, but it can’t be proved
          4. Gnostic-Atheist: believes it can be proved that god does not exist

          Case 3 is sometimes referred to as “weak atheism” and case 4 is sometimes referred to as “strong atheism”. Only strong atheism positively asserts that there are no gods.

          Finally, it should be pointed out that when a person is asked about their beliefs and replies that they are agnostic, they are avoiding the question and answering a different one. Someone who can’t positively say he/she believes in a god is an atheist.
          “Q: Admit it, isn’t atheism just another religion?

          A: The website Dictionary.com gives the following definition of “religion.”

          Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
          A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
          The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
          A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
          A cause, a principle, or an activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.

          Clearly, definitions 1-3 do not apply to atheists since we reject the notions of supernatural powers and spiritual leaders. Definition 4 could possibly apply to atheists, but then, it could also apply to a bowling league or a Britney Spears fan club. The claim that atheism is a religion is generally made by Christians who have been religious all their lives and thus cannot conceive of anyone not having some kind of religion as an integral part of their lives.

          It’s instructive to point out that theism is not a religion either. Theism simply has to do with believing in a god, which one can very easily do without engaging in any sort of religious activity—to wit, the practice of worshipping that god. A person who believes a deity or higher power exists, but never in his life sees fit to go to a church or pray or partake in any kind of practice designed to worship or revere that deity, would be theistic, but not religious.

          Atheism, which is about not believing in god(s), and theism, which is about believing in god(s), are philosophical or theological points of view, but they are not religions.”

  9. I just get tired by crap like this… Seems like most people think she will go to hell but why can’t they just be satisfied by that and leave her alone?

  10. Thank you. It’s time for everyone to retead the constitution and come together. Remember sept 12? The day after our country changed? You could buy a flag cause they were sold out. Everyone was friends w everyone. I remember walking for ours singing the national anthem w scores if strangers. I’m now a disabled veteran because these events made me want to join the army. Jessica gave me hope then the “Christians” destroyed it. True Christians follow their teachings of love thy neighbor and judge no one. Fake christiaans Use “god” as an excuse to hate thinking this will get them in heaven. I assure you if there is s heaven you are not going to get in if you can’t learn basic lessons. Jesus loved the lepers and you can’t love atheists or gays? I don’t know how you sleep at night.

  11. I tweeted Jessica that for every one person that sends shit her way, there are a thousand who love her for who she is and for what she has done.

    In my country (the Netherlands), there is some religion embedded into society. But even at a Christian high school, you can wear a mini skirt, have sex before marriage and talk about it with teachers (in confidence) if you feel the need to. Hell, you’ll even be welcome if you’re Muslim (at protestant high schools that is, there are also stricter schools where this is not even thinkable, but less and less people go to these schools, or schools are loosening up). That’s because the main focus of that school is not to teach Christianity, it’s to just teach. And the fact that it’s a Christian school just means that they respect and understand Christian/religious views, and will teach what religion is. I’ve learned as much about Hinduism and I have about Christianity. There were prayers sure, but I chose to go that school because it was a good school. I didn’t have to pray, and I didn’t mind that other people did. If it would have bothered me, I would have gone to a different school (those were also like few miles closer to home, so…).

    Here there is a good harmony between what you personally believe religiously and to what extent one can use those beliefs to build some sort of public policy. We have political parties that are Christian, but they will never tell you that you can’t have an abortion because THEY feel its wrong. They will ask you to think about very carefully, or to lower the age of when a fetus can still be aborted. But they will not impose their beliefs onto those who do not belief the same. There is however a big drop in the number of religious peoples, and with that, the intensity of religious fundamentalism increases. The socio-political views are getting polarized more and more (I wonder where we got that…) so to speak. I just pray (pun intended) that we won’t end up as the US of A, where religion is embedded so deep into society that we forget what the message of religion is in the first place. That the battle between religious versus non religious becomes the most important issue.

    I was brought up as a Christian (my mom’s a minister), and I’m glad that I understand the ‘other side’, but I chose not to be a Christian at an early age. I believe that we are here by random chance and that we should enjoy the time we get, because this is all there is. And what my religious upbringing taught me was that you should make living on earth as life in heaven (that’s a message you can adhere to no matter what God you belief in, right?). And no matter if you use Jesus, Muhammad, Krishna or whatever to get there, that is what we should all strife for. I think Jessica made a big step by standing tall for everybody’s choice to do that in their own way.

    I also think that Laci is just a wonderful human being who knows what her qualities are and uses them for an amazing cause: educating the general public for free. She brings to our attention, the stories and topics that really matter in life. She talks about sex and sexuality the way I feel we should all think about it (as something that is normal, discussable and fun). You and people like Jessica make the world (and especially the Internets) a better place to be, and I thank you for that. Honesty forces me to say that the first video I watched of you was because of your broad shoulders, but after about 10 seconds I found out what I’ve already believed for many years: that outer beauty is also determined by your inner beauty. You’re amazing and I love you (in the non creepy way of course =P), and your boyfriend one lucky sob. =D Thank you once again, and I hope to continue to see your happy face in my subscriptionbox for a long long time.

    Love,
    Ruben

    PS: my apologies for the long ramblings, but sometimes you just have to let these brainfarts rip… =D

  12. wow those responses are disgusting! It really shows how far behind America is on the whole Atheism thing.. In my college, I think I could confidently say that Atheists are the largest single religious group attending…

    • Q: Admit it, isn’t atheism just another religion?

      A: The website Dictionary.com gives the following definition of “religion.”

      Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
      A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
      The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
      A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
      A cause, a principle, or an activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.

      Clearly, definitions 1-3 do not apply to atheists since we reject the notions of supernatural powers and spiritual leaders. Definition 4 could possibly apply to atheists, but then, it could also apply to a bowling league or a Britney Spears fan club. The claim that atheism is a religion is generally made by Christians who have been religious all their lives and thus cannot conceive of anyone not having some kind of religion as an integral part of their lives.

      It’s instructive to point out that theism is not a religion either. Theism simply has to do with believing in a god, which one can very easily do without engaging in any sort of religious activity—to wit, the practice of worshipping that god. A person who believes a deity or higher power exists, but never in his life sees fit to go to a church or pray or partake in any kind of practice designed to worship or revere that deity, would be theistic, but not religious.

      Atheism, which is about not believing in god(s), and theism, which is about believing in god(s), are philosophical or theological points of view, but they are not religions.

  13. it really sad that his is happening in Rhode island in particular as our state was founded by roger william for the the express purpose of having no governmental interaction after he was cast out of Massachusetts. he was the first in the nation to come forward with this idea that came to be a founding principle for this country. As his direct decedent i am appalled by this.

  14. I really hate it when people lump all Christian into a group with all the ASSHOLES who call themselves Christians. The people that follow the teachings of Christ should be Defending this girl. Love you Enemies, Love your Neighbor. She is not my Enemy but she is a Neighbor. She is standing up not only for herself but others.
    RELIGION is the problem….NOT Faith!
    I will probably get “CURB STOMPED” on both sides. I don’t care. This was a brave young lady and I applaud her and you Laci for supporting her.

    • When there is room to agree to disagree, there will never be any problem at all. But of course when this fails, Luke 6 verse 42 applies (I think):
      “How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye?”
      I might not agree with religion, but there is wisdom in there, clearly. As long as we can agree to disagree…

  15. For all the verses in the bible wherein Jesus accepts those the rest of society rejects and does not place judgement on those that others do, a vast majority of my fellow American Christians simply ignore that ideal. I really wish those that make the choice to judge others instead of accept them would either work to understand Christianity better or simply using the term “Christian” to define themselves.

    Now that I actually read some of the comments, it seems like many above are of similar feelings to me. Glad you have such a positive and knowledgeable viewership, Laci. :)

  16. Okay so I fell in love with what you do after watching Clit-ical Thinking! And now I love you even more for showing your support for Jessica Ahlquist!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>