"Think Jesus Preached Love? Think Again."

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 21, 2012 7:25 AM GMT
    An interesting blog post on Unreasonably Dangerous Onion Rings: http://unreasonablydangerousonionrings.blogspot.com/2012/01/think-jesus-preached-love-think-again.html

    Unreasonably Dangerous Onion Rings
    The Story

    Basically, there was a banner at Cranston West High School in Cranston, Rhode Island, that looked like this.

    CranstonBanner.jpeg

    The issue there is that Cranston West is a public high school and thus, pursuant to separation of church and state (SOCAS) laws, is not allowed to use public funding to support one religion over another or the presence of religion over the lack thereof, and thus phrases like "our heavenly father" and "amen" are problematic.

    Jessica went to the school administration and informed them that the banner was unconstitutional, and could they kindly take it down. They ignored her. She then went to the ACLU and told them about it, and the ACLU told the school that the banner was unconstitutional, and could they kindly take it down because the ACLU was willing to sue to have it removed. The school administration decided, mainly because the district owed the city more than $6 million, that they would "research the issue further." The superintendent, Peter Nero—also a practicing Catholic—seemed open to the idea of taking the banner down.
    “If people want to express themselves religiously, I would advise them to go to church,” said Nero. “I see a lot of empty pews next to me.”
    But the banner stayed up by a school board vote of 4-3. That was in December of 2010. In April of 2011, the Rhode Island ACLU filed suit against the city of Cranston with Jessica as the lead plaintiff. In the suit, she said:
    The prayer’s presence in the school promotes and endorses the ideals of Christianity and the concept of a single “Heavenly Father”. I firmly believe that it should not be on display in a public school and is in direct violation of my and other students’ civil rights. As an atheist, I do not feel included in the message of the prayer; in fact, I feel excluded. And the public hearings that I have attended have added to that feeling — that my views and beliefs don’t count, or have less value than those of the Christian majority. I don’t feel that I or anyone else should have to feel that way at school. The prayer does not belong in a public school and that’s why I have come forward to challenge it.
    She is, of course, absolutely right. The law is the law, whether a majority of people decide that it should be broken or not. Now, finally, the banner is down. More specifically, it's covered up.



    So that's that, right? It's over.

    And then the insults started rolling in.

    Over the past few days, Twitter and Facebook have lit up with horrific insults, responses to those insults, responses to the responses, etc. The worst of them, not by its content but by its source, came from Rhode Island State Representative Peter Palumbo, who called Jessica Ahlquist "an evil little thing" and followed it with, "Poor thing. And it’s not her fault. She’s being trained to be like that…she’s being coerced by evil people.” That's an elected official at the state level saying, essentially, that atheists are evil.

    But it gets worse. I either took or compiled 56 screenshots of abuse directed toward her, and they seem to fall into a few categories...


    There's much more on the blog itself. So much backlash over a single banner!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 21, 2012 8:11 AM GMT
    Unreasonably Dangerous Onion RingsThe New Testament and the teachings of Jesus are not books and sayings of love, nor do they preach tolerance. They espouse hate and bigotry.


    The author makes a good point backed up by plenty of biblical references. In practice, Bible-sanctioned intolerance would sort of be at odds with the whole John 8:7 "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" thing, but that's just one of the many contradictions in this supposedly perfect text. Thankfully, tolerance is within some Christians' capacity for picking and choosing Bible verses.

    Still, it's ironic that Americans tend to bash Islam for being an intolerant religion when Christianity has a long history of self-justified intolerance as well.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 21, 2012 12:16 PM GMT
    Sheesh. that prayer is perfectly harmless and quite positive.. I'd hate to live anywhere where religious intolerance runs so high they have to make an issue out of something like this....

    Now if they were promoting burning witches at the stake.. I would have agreed it should be taken down.. but this??

    Thanks goodness I went to a Catholic school where the teachers taught us religious tolerance .. I was lucky perhaps
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 21, 2012 12:37 PM GMT
    GreenHopper saidSheesh. that prayer is perfectly harmless and quite positive.. I'd hate to live anywhere where religious intolerance runs so high they have to make an issue out of something like this....

    Now if they were promoting burning witches at the stake.. I would have agreed it should be taken down.. but this??

    Thanks goodness I went to a Catholic school where the teachers taught us religious tolerance .. I was lucky perhaps

    First, creating and displaying a Christian prayer as the official school prayer is a suppression of non-Christian religions. I don't think many Jews would find this prayer "harmless." Or maybe that school also has a Jewish prayer for them, and a Muslim, and a Buddhist, etc. The same sentiments in that prayer could just as well be displayed as a general code of conduct, without appealing to "Our Heavenly Father" and ending it with "Amen."

    Second, I also attended Catholic schools, where I was taught religious INtolerance, not tolerance. Students were told we endangered our Faith to have non-Catholic friends, that it was wrong to attend secular public schools, and of course to never set foot in a non-Catholic church.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 21, 2012 1:16 PM GMT
    AMoonHawk saidThat's weird. This banner is made of paper? Has it always been there, or did someone just suddenly come up with it? And were public funds actually used to create the banner or was it some sort of school project or one of the youth groups that put it up.


    It was written by a student in 1962 as a class assignment . No taxpayer funds were used to make the banner. It was a gift from the class of '63.

    http://www.thewesterlysun.com/news/the-man-behind-the-banner/article_3dbc7822-3e63-11e1-bcde-001871e3ce6c.html
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 21, 2012 3:06 PM GMT
    RIGuy60 said
    AMoonHawk saidThat's weird. This banner is made of paper? Has it always been there, or did someone just suddenly come up with it? And were public funds actually used to create the banner or was it some sort of school project or one of the youth groups that put it up.


    It was written by a student in 1962 as a class assignment . No taxpayer funds were used to make the banner. It was a gift from the class of '63.

    http://www.thewesterlysun.com/news/the-man-behind-the-banner/article_3dbc7822-3e63-11e1-bcde-001871e3ce6c.html


    I think a nice "compromise" would be to put the banner in context by adding some sort of plaque that says something along the lines of what you wrote above, along with a brief description of the era and how it was not as open-minded a time (i.e. racism, McCarthyism, etc.), when Christianity was assumed and there was not much room in national or social discourse for the great variety of religions today.

    Then the school could sponsor a contest in which students of non-Christian religions could write their own "banner" using language typical of that religion to express wishes for the growth and character of students in the school. Winning entries from a variety of religions could be posted next to the banner as a gift from one of the current classes. Turns it into an opportunity for learning instead of a bone of contention.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 21, 2012 3:22 PM GMT
    I have the impressions the problem lies in fundie Christians only hanging out with other fundie Christians. They do so by design, but the result is a horrible amount of group-think.

    It's not news that a display of a religious banner in a public high school is unconstitutional. But since fundies are not exposed to dissenting opinion, when something happens to challenge their uniform world view, they are shocked. Shocked so badly, they become tweediots, posting updates they don't realize are going to be on the Internet forever.

    Maybe fundamentalist Christians should just be mandated to hear other people's opinions once in a while. How about a weekly hour with Rachel Maddow?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 21, 2012 3:25 PM GMT
    themachine saidI have the impressions the problem lies in fundie Christians only hanging out with other fundie Christians. They do so by design, but the result is a horrible amount of group-think.

    It's not news that a display of a religious banner in a public high school is unconstitutional. But since fundies are not exposed to dissenting opinion, when something happens to challenge their uniform world view, they are shocked. Shocked so badly, they become tweediots, posting updates they don't realize are going to be on the Internet forever.

    Maybe fundamentalist Christians should just be mandated to hear other people's opinions once in a while. How about a weekly hour with Rachel Maddow?
    Why do I like you so much?icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 21, 2012 6:59 PM GMT
    themachine saidMaybe fundamentalist Christians should just be mandated to hear other people's opinions once in a while. How about a weekly hour with Rachel Maddow?


    That could be a dangerous application of "the fairness doctrine", as atheists and right-wingers would then be subjected to a weekly hour of the "700 Club"...

    icon_razz.gif

    Intolerance is not just a Christian thing. I've seen plenty of folks in other religious traditions as well as atheists get mighty dogmatic and intolerant of people who were "not their kind".
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 22, 2012 10:40 AM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    GreenHopper saidSheesh. that prayer is perfectly harmless and quite positive.. I'd hate to live anywhere where religious intolerance runs so high they have to make an issue out of something like this....

    Now if they were promoting burning witches at the stake.. I would have agreed it should be taken down.. but this??

    Thanks goodness I went to a Catholic school where the teachers taught us religious tolerance .. I was lucky perhaps

    First, creating and displaying a Christian prayer as the official school prayer is a suppression of non-Christian religions. I don't think many Jews would find this prayer "harmless." Or maybe that school also has a Jewish prayer for them, and a Muslim, and a Buddhist, etc. The same sentiments in that prayer could just as well be displayed as a general code of conduct, without appealing to "Our Heavenly Father" and ending it with "Amen."

    Second, I also attended Catholic schools, where I was taught religious INtolerance, not tolerance. Students were told we endangered our Faith to have non-Catholic friends, that it was wrong to attend secular public schools, and of course to never set foot in a non-Catholic church.


    Yeah no, not in my school.. thank goodness.. they even taught us about Islamic faith and pre-Christian faiths... I heard about this situation in catholic schools in the north.. to me. that is absolutely perplexing.. if our schools did that.. they would have the entire society turning against them for preaching religious intolerance...

    Sorry to hear about your situation.. but it doesnt change my mind.. In my school we said the hail mary and what not .. we sang the national anthem.. and we had the pastors come over.. and we had statues of the saints.. and celebrated St Francis day and Carnival and all that stuff.. And wouldnt want to have missed out on all that
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 24, 2012 6:56 PM GMT
    cgal: ...pursuant to separation of church and state (SOCAS) laws...

    jockfever: "Separation of church and state" does not appear in the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, or any other founding document. It is a doctrine invented by the Left, centuries after the United States was founded.

    The Left's doctrine of "separation of church and state" is unconstitutional.

    The Constitution prohibits Congress from establishing an official federal religion, which at the time meant choosing one Christian denomination over the others.

    The Left's attempt to drive Christianity from all public institutions has nothing to do with the original intent of the Constitution. It's no wonder that informed believers resent having the meaning and intent of the Constitution perverted by pagans.



    cgal: "...As an atheist, I do not feel included in the message of the prayer..."

    jockfever: Maybe it's not surprising that a pagan couldn't relate to concepts like

    do our best to grow mentally and morally
    to be kind and helpful
    to be honest
    to be good sports
    value of true friendship
    conduct ourselves so as to bring credit to Cranston High School West

    Should we get rid of inspiring ethical ideals or invite pagan troublemakers to find another country? She could be happier in a Cuban or North Korean classroom.

    Let's compare the above prayer to a possible atheist "prayer": "Thanks to Nothing for creating Everything! Thanks to Worms who accidentally turned into us and will consume us complete when we die! Thanks that our existence has no real meaning! Thanks that we'll never see our departed loved ones again! Thanks that evil is not punished and good is not rewarded! Thanks that "evil" and "good" have no real meaning! Thanks that because where there is no God anything is permitted! Thanks that I can murder you just to see how it feels!"


    cgal: So that's that, right? It's over. And then the insults started rolling in.

    jockfever: You mean hateful bigoted insults like: "The New Testament and the teachings of Jesus are not books and sayings of love, nor do they preach tolerance. They espouse hate and bigotry."?

    Any semi-literate person knows that the rules of Christianity can be summarized as: Love God and love thy neighbor. Any semi-literate person should know that the essence of Christianity is (John 3:16): "For God to loved the world..."

    Any semi-literate person should know that a perfectly holy God probably has very limited tolerance for sin.

    Any semi-literate person should know what the only unforgivable sin, blaspheming the Holy Spirit, is. Hint: it occurred when unhinged men accused Jesus of performing healing and other miracles through the power of Satan rather than through the power of the Holy Spirit.




    EliStark: "...it was not as open-minded a time. when Christianity was assumed and there was not much room in national or social discourse for the great variety of religions today..."

    This was a tolerant Christian nation up until about the 1960's when the Left started driving Christianity out of public institutions, turning government schools into moral cesspools, then opening the floodgates of pornography, abortion, and anti-Christian bigotry on society as a whole.

    The Left is working hard to pervert a free, prosperous, tolerant Christian nation into a tyrannical, godless, God-forsaken, intolerant, third-world socialist has-been.


    EliStark: students of non-Christian religions could write their own "banner"

    jockfever: The concept of God as "Father" is not uniquely Christian. The intolerant Left would reject free religious expression such as multiple banners. The goal of the pagan Left is to drive Christian religion out of American public life, leaving only their phony atheist "religion" behind.

    themachine It's not news that a display of a religious banner in a public high school is unconstitutional

    jockfever: It would be big news to the superheroes who wrote the Constitution.

    themachine: Maybe fundamentalist Christians should just be mandated to hear other people's opinions once in a while

    jockfever: Like we're not drowning in pagan-Statist opinions flowing from the elite media and Holly-weird.