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Rhode Island Atheist Society Message Board › A Constitutional Crises in Cranston: A victory that raises questions.

A Constitutional Crises in Cranston: A victory that raises questions.

A former member
Post #: 12
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When I removed this morning's New York Times from it's plastic wrapper and opened the paper, I saw Jessica Ahliquist's photo right below the fold with a caption that read: Protesting a Prayer and Facing Wrath.

The article by Abby Goodnough, Student Faces Town's Wrath in Protest Against a Prayer, ends with a quote from Ms Ahliquist in answer to this question from the reporter: "Does she empathize in any way with members of her community who want the prayer to stay?"

“I’ve never been asked this before,” she said. A pause, and then: “It’s almost like making a child get a shot even though they don’t want to. It’s for their own good. I feel like they might see it as a very negative thing right now, but I’m defending their Constitution, too.”

I understand Jessica has many admirers but not many of them residing in Cranston or at least being vocal about their support. But 4000 of them have joined her facebook page dedicated to this issue.

Read this interesting sentence: "Pat McAssey, a senior who is president of the student council, said the threats were 'completely inexcusable' but added that Jessica had upset some of her classmates by mocking religion online."

It's the, "but added" coda that gets me.

And this bit is nice: "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."

Once again, Coventry and, by extension, Rhode Isand covers itself in glory.

"In the weeks since,[the ruling] 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."

But at least the law and the courts seem to be working properly in this case.

"In Cranston, the police said they would investigate some of the threatening comments posted on Twitter against Jessica, some of which came from students at the high school."

Won't it be interesting to follow the the Cranston Plolice investigation and see whether any legal action will be taken.

I read an interesting blog post I came across on Twitter titled, Intellectual Dishonesty which cited some precedent for the Cranston ruling, Engle v Vitale, and in which the blogger offered up a simple yet elegant solution for handling the prayer issue: remove the heading, "School Prayer" replacing it with "School Vision" and removing the reference to "Our Heavelny Father".

These are the above links I mentioned: Intellectual Dishonesty and Engle v Vitale

This truth remains: people generate and perpetrate more hate, anger, death, and destruction in the name of god than in any other name.

Cranston: Take it down.

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