Looks like Jessica Ahlquist Made it into the NY TImes..

CRANSTON, R.I. — 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, theFreedom From Religion Foundation, has filed a complaint with the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights.

Here's a link to the full article.. 


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Comment by Jason on January 29, 2012 at 8:37am

Fellow atheist. – You’re doing it wrong! I don’t think the “hey take that down” approach is effective. It alienates atheist and puts people of faith on the defense. And now your probably thinking – “so what”. Yes there is certainly a time and place where “hey take that down” is completely appropriate. But in instances such as this, I think a different approach is needed.

Well, no doubt the prayer sign should come down. Instead of saying “take it down – it’s unconstitutional”. Let’s fight fire with fire. They want a Christian prayer sign up in a public school? Ok school board, we atheist will let you keep your prayer sign, but we want an Islamic prayer to Allah to go up right next to it. A sign the exact same size reading:

“There is none worthy of worship but Allah, and Muhammad [peace is upon him] is the messenger of Allah.”

If you don’t allow the Islamic prayer sign to go up, then the Christian prayer sign needs to come down. If the school board takes the bait and allow the Islamic prayer sign to go up…. Well that is a small victory as well. I would love to see the god fearing Christian parents cringe at the sight of an Islamic prayer being posed at their child’s school. Then they will get a taste of what Miss Ahlquist goes through every time she walks past their Christian sign.   Then we can take the "hey, take that down" approach.

Don’t get me wrong – Miss Ahlquist is a brave person and I commend her. She is doing the right thing.  I wish I was half as smart and brave as her when I was 16.  I just think for real change to occur…. For a more secular society to take hold…. It would mostly likely come with strength not from atheist, but from people of faith. They must realize /promote and want a secular role in government. If we force it on them they are going to oppose it more. Putting up an Islamic prayer sign in a predominate Christian community will make them think – Hey, that’s unconstitutional. And we can sit back and say “No Shit”.

Comment by Doc Feral on January 30, 2012 at 4:21am

You have a point, but I think if you're going to do the Islamic prayer, there should also be a Jewish one and a Hindu one and Hare Krishna one.. If they want equal time in Science class for all views, well, then they should make room for all prayers.... That would be your fight fire with fire. 


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