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Should Cranston appeal Judge Lagueux's decision on the prayer banner at Cranston West?


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When otherwise good people put their personal holy books/scripture before our public and shared secular Constitution – then we are no longer the country which is the birthright of every American – a government which does not cater to nor favor any one religion over another.

The ‘Republic’ which Ben Franklin once doubted we could keep is now lost and a majority of Americans are willfully ignorant of the lessons of the Enlightenment and seem to be ‘hell bent’ and doomed to a neo-Medieval theocracy.

Our precious secular Constitution is a manifesto against all kings – earthbound and/or celestial. Why do people insist on subverting our birthright for myth and legend? It’s illegal and it’s wrong. Willful subversion of our secular Constitution and the 1st freedoms granted by the Bill of Rights by those who are sworn to uphold the Constitution is tyrannical and treasonous.

So, if the government is going to allow one religious display, it must allow all religious displays – and even displays against religion. After all, government properly is the property of all – all taxpayers and all views and opinions. The government cannot and must not pick and choose what it deems to be acceptable. This also runs afoul of the 1st Amendment.

The remedy? Keep public space free from all private (not public) displays. On private property – put what ever you want. But, please, keep the public space free from religious favoritism and coercion.

Oh, and please – those of you who think this is a ‘Christian’ country and is based on the 10 Commandments – please get a proper education. You’re willful ignorance and illegal behavior is disgraceful.

APPEAL THE DECISION THAT FAVORS ATHEISM OVER OTHER RELIGIONS. Please Share This Video on Facebook and anyplace you can, including in the comments on posts with a large number of comments already posted to reach more people. Clearly, the Pravda Propaganda Providence Journal's polls are rigged!

Vote Them out if they do not appeal - Mayor Allan Fung, City Council, Frank Lombardi, Paula McFarland, Andrea Iannazzi, Steven Bloom, Michael Traficante, Janice Ruggieri, Stephanie Culhane, Richard Santamaria, Steven Stycos, Robert Pelletier, Paul Archetto, Anthony Lupino, Emilio Navarro, James Donahue, Leslie Ann Luciano, Michael Favicchio, Beatrice Lanzi, Hanna Gallo, Joshua Miller, Charlene Lima, Nicholas Mattiello, Peter Palumbo, Robert Jacquard, Arthur Handy, Joseph McNamara, Michael Marcello, Stephen Ucci!

http://youtu.be/6D52AqtJhDc

Please call into talk radio and explain that we have the right to vote out politicians in a democracy and republic. This seems like common sense, but WPRO and Dan Yorke seem to lack common sense. If the Cranston school Committee, the City Council and Mayor Fung do not appeal the decision to forcibly remove the banner at Cranston West favoring the atheistic religion over any other faiths, then we must vote them out of office. Please call 1-800-321-9776

This is a quote on Jessica Ahlquist's twitter page - this seems to be full of hate ... it is strange the police refuse to investigate this:

"Pep rally has everything I love. Ass-kissing Mayor Fung, crappy administration, obnoxious classmates, and bad music.

9 Nov"

The atheists killed 6 million Jews and Christians. The Providence Journal is a propaganda rag promoting atheism. I think the blatant hypocrisy of the liberal agenda is nicely exposed here! (I'm surprised, however, to see Jon Stewart's very liberal Daily Show exposing it.) By the way, MANY agree that The Providence Journal often exhibits a bias in favor of atheistic, communistic, pro-abortion, and pro-same sex agenda views. http://blogs.wpri.com/2012/01/13/watch-projo-columnist-froma-harrop-on-the-daily-show/

Chris Young CRANSTON, R.I. -- The Cranston High School West auditorium doors were chained. Is this freedom?

Please stand up for your country! This is the promotion of atheistic communism and the clear attack on religious freedom. This is the state's endorsement of the atheistic religion and a clear violation of the establishment clause!

The Supreme Court has recognized atheism as equivalent to a "religion" for purposes of the First Amendment on numerous occasions, most recently in McCreary County, K...y. v. American Civil Liberties Union of Ky., ___ U.S. ___, 125 S.Ct. 2722, ___ L.Ed.2d ___ (2005). The Establishment Clause itself says only that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion," but the Court understands the reference to religion to include what it often calls "nonreligion." In McCreary County, it described the touchstone of Establishment Clause analysis as "the principle that the First Amendment mandates government neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion." Id. at *10 (internal quotations omitted). As the Court put it in Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38, 105 S.Ct. 2479, 86 L.Ed.2d 29 (1985)

Under the City Charter, the City has a Finance Department, headed by the Director of Finance appointed by mayor Fung with the approval of the City Council. Reporting directly to the Mayor, the Director of Finance is in charge of the administration of the financial affairs of the City, with specific responsibility for assessing, collecting and authorizing the disbursement of all City money, for pre...paring and administering the annual City Budget, and for accounting of all financial transactions. It is the finance director who is the defendant in this action. Fung clearly has influence over this appeal. If Fung refuses to appeal he must be voted out of office!

Fung approves city budgets and he clearly has influence over the city council and school committee. WPRO is posting on their website that mayor Fung is not currently supporting an appeal. I hope this is not currently accurate. If Fung has no power and if his position on this matter is so irrelevant, then why is WPRO making this public? It is clear Fung must be voted out of office if he refuses to suggest an appeal!

Fung approves city budgets and he clearly has influence over the city council and school committee. WPRO is posting on their website that mayor Fung is not currently supporting an appeal. I hope this is not currently accurate. If Fung has no power and if his position on this matter is so irrelevant, then why is WPRO making this public? It is clear Fung must be voted out of office if he refuses to suggest an appeal!

Out of 133 million for the school budget they are saying they can not stand up for the students rights to APPEAL? Vote Them Out!

The party to the action was not a state resident. The ACLU acted to solicited a in state client with knowledge they would seek attorney fee's if they won. This is a bad faith action for a civil rights action. What matters is that the original party was not legally qualified to sue. The plaintiff had no standing to bring this case, if appealed the American Center for Law and Justice thinks the city may not have to pay ANY costs!

In 1931, just eleven years after the ACLU’s inception, the US Congress convened a Special House Committee to Investigate Communist Activities. On the ACLU it reported:

The American Civil Liberties Union is closely affiliated with the communist movement in the United States, and fully 90 percent of its efforts are on behalf of communists who have come into conflict with the law. It claims to stand for free speech, free press and free assembly, but it is quite apparent that the main function of the ACLU is an attempt to protect the communists.

The aclu has done this in other states and this type of solicitation of clients seems to be a bad faith action to me, since the original complainant had even less standing, and is a reason for the court to deny attorney fees, if allowed it is something that needs to be fixed in the Court system. It seems they intentionally lost this case to set president and all these politicians who refuse to appeal this decision in favor of the atheist religion over other faiths must be voted out of office!

Hitler reserved special scorn for the Christian values of equality and compassion, which he identified with weakness. Hitler's leading advisers like Goebbels, Himmler, Heydrich and Bormann were atheists who hated religion and sought to eradicate its influence in Germany. “Those who refuse to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.”

Recognizing the absurdity of equating Nazism with Christianity, Christopher Hitchens seeks to push Hitler into the religious camp by portraying his ideology as a "quasi-pagan phenomenon." Hitler may have been a polytheist who worshiped the pagan gods, Hitchens suggests, but polytheism is still theism. This argument fails to distinguish between ancient paganism and modern paganism. It's true that Hitler and the Nazis drew heavily on ancient archetypes -- mainly Nordic and Teutonic legends -- to give their vision a mystical aura. But this was secular mysticism, not religious mysticism.

In his multi-volume history of the Third Reich, historian Richard Evans writes that "the Nazis regarded the churches as the strongest and toughest reservoirs of ideological opposition to the principles they believed in." Once Hitler and the Nazis came to power, they launched a ruthless drive to subdue and weaken the Christian churches in Germany. Evans points out that after 1937 the policies of Hitler's government became increasingly anti-religious.

Please consider the fact that Atheistic Nazi's stopped celebrating Christmas, and the Hitler Youth recited a prayer thanking the Fuhrer rather than God for their blessings. Clergy regarded as "troublemakers" were ordered not to preach, hundreds of them were imprisoned, and many were simply murdered. Churches were under constant Gestapo surveillance. The Nazis closed religious schools, forced Christian organizations to disband, dismissed civil servants who were practicing Christians, confiscated church property, and censored religious newspapers. Poor Sam Harris cannot explain how an ideology that Hitler and his associates perceived as a repudiation of Christianity can be portrayed as a "culmination" of Christianity.

If atheistic Nazism represented the culmination of anything, it was that of the nineteenth-century and early-twentieth century ideology of social Darwinism. Read historian Richard Weikart's revealing study, From Darwin to Hitler. As Weikart documents, both Hitler and Himmler were admirers of Darwin and often spoke of their role as enacting a "law of nature" that guaranteed the "elimination of the unfit." Weikart argues that Hitler himself "drew upon a bountiful fund of social Darwinist thought to construct his own racist philosophy" and concludes that while Darwinism is not a "sufficient" intellectual explanation for Nazism, it is a "necessary" one. Without Darwinism, quite possibly there would not have been Nazism.

We are talking about making atheism the only belief system allowed in public schools. Do they even know what Darwin's book the "Origin of Species" was originally titled?

Darwin's book was originally titled the"Origin of Species and the Elimination of Undesired Races" Athiests support Darwin, who was a racist that inspired Hitler.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6D52AqtJhDc

Martin Luther King said in his last speech, "I'm not worried, I'm not fearing anyone, Mine eyes has seen the glory of the coming of the Lord." Do not be afraid to stand up for God and your right not to be forced to believe in non religion or atheism. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0FiCxZKuv8&feature=fvsr Stand up against the state'...s endorsement of atheism as the state's religion!!!

Hitler reserved special scorn for the Christian values of equality and compassion, which he identified with weakness. Hitler's leading advisers like Goebbels, Himmler, Heydrich and Bormann were atheists who hated religion and sought to eradicate its influence in Germany. “Those who refuse to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.”

For me,this has nothing to do with Religion, It has to do with one young person being manipulated into being a part of something she would never have been a part of if it had not been for conniving adults with ulterior motives. I disagree with those claiming it is "illegal for this to be in a public school" also. This is a historical part of the school, it has never injured anyone, even miss Ahlquist is quoted as saying on page 16 of the 40 page decision from the court that "the prayer was not offensive and that the message was a positive one", and "Yea, I'm not offended by it", her ONLY objection to the prayer was that "You can't violate the Constitution". I feel that without those at the ACLU, who we all know has motives that are far from the majority of Rhode Islanders, Miss Ahlquist would have done what every other person who saw the banner over the 49+ years it was hanging in the auditorium would have done if they didn't like it....She would have ignored it. Miss Ahlquist states on her website (jessicaahlquist.com) that "I can remember a time when I was the shyest girl in school, completely unnoticed by anyone besides my few friends. When all of this started, everything changed. I went from being afraid to even tell people I was an atheist to saying it on national television. And, despite being incredibly shy, I find myself surrounded by attention at school". To me, this sounds like a young girl with no self-esteem and few friends who was manipulated by adults to step into a highly controversial issue because they knew they would get nowhere without the face of an innocent person to play the part of the 'wounded kitten". Miss Ahlquist also says she "didn't even notice the mural during much of her freshman year"...And after a friend called her attention to it, she made no complaint and admitted she " didn't really think that much of it." (pg.18 of court decision) That does not sound like she was injured in any way by this banner. Miss Ahlquist goes on to say several times in a radio interview that she did not find the banner offensive. This case is clearly about the ACLU USING a child as a pawn in their mission to rid the world of anything THEY don't like. I would like someone to show me where the Constitution say's that either a historical document can not be shown in a school or where it say's that a gift from the first students must adhere to any kind of rules in what it says. This can not be about the money, some things must be fought for no matter the cost. If the ACLU had their way, every case they took to court would be won due to the financial burden it puts on whoever they are suing. I am sure the people of Cranston and the people of the United States would give donations so that this historical banner could be kept right where it is. The ACLJ agreed to take the case on behalf of the Cranston School Committee and the people who agree will pick up the rest. This will cause some controversy but in the end the people will be served and the students, former and future, will reap the benefits. I am not offended by anything that makes others feel better and would never ask that something be removed because I didn't like it, I would ignore it...just like jessica Ahlquist did for her entire freshman year.....Until the ACLU got a hold on her.

Wow.

What a lot of whining and complaining in this thread. Boo-hoo you poor, trampled Christian Majority. It's a terrible shame that you can't force your prayer into a tax-supported school. Shall I escort you to the fainting couch?

Thanks for whipping out the old "Atheist=Hitler" card. Nice one, genius. That's really helpful.

Appealing this would be complete foolishness. The banner was clearly unconstitutional, and was removed on those grounds.

Lick your wounded pride and move on.

Christianity is in the process of destroying itself and the Christians don't even know it. The hypocrisy over the prayer banner is the dirty laundry Cranston citizens are so proud of. All those good Christians should come together and fight the phrase stamped on all US currency," In God We Trust". After all, didn't their savior get crucified for overturning the tables of the money changers? Also, all Christians should fight the use of the phrase, " God Bless America" . That is the most racist line afloat today, as if to hell with the rest of the world? It truly will be the Christians who are left behind. They want prayer in school, creationism taught in public school, the ten commandments placed in public buildings and they desperately want the most Christian president to lead the world. Apparently finding god shuts down critical thinking. Around 6o million people in America fall into the category of freethought today. Christians do not like Atheist billboards on public roads and censorship is gradually whittling away at faith. We will represent 25% of the voting population by the end of the decade.

You all sure have a lot of people named Chris Young in Cranston. One of them doesn't even know Adolph Hitler was a proud Catholic.

this girl should just go to another school where she could be with her own kind next we will have to take in god we trust off of all uscurrency

what we should do is ban the aclu

lets just stop celerbrating all holidays there should be no type of religouse displays in stores curches should not be able to have signs

in front of them and there should be no religous advertisment as these may offened some one this is what is becoming of this country

there are no more values

The Supreme Court also ruled that "Corporations are People", now your one vote means NOTHING against major corporations....how does THAT sit with those who are leaning on what the "Court" decided?

I love it that one of the commenters on here is the self-same person whose disingenuous arguments were put by him to the School Committee in April 2011 and largely used by them in their ill-fated and costly defense of the "prayer banner". You know, this totally secular, not at all Christian, historical artifact that only a crazed liberal activist judge could possibly order removed and that would cost the City of Cranston little if nothing because the ACLU couldn't recover its legal costs. The same person who is urging us, with his snappy, 45 second advertisements to go out and spend maybe another $100,000 or so on top of the the likely $50,000 already wasted from the school budget, that in all probability will not go to benefit the city's kids education because he thinks it would be better trying to defend the words "Our Heavenly Father" with tax dollars rather than his own. You know, the person showing us all, as clearly as day, that the whole thing is entangled with religion, making it easy peasy for a judge to just shrug and say "appeal dismissed". Oh, and to make the whole thing binding on not just Rhode Island, but the whole of the First Circuit. Smart.

It's not about the money. It's about whether the people should let the ACLU use a child as a pawn to remove a gift of the first class to further their agenda. I'm NOT Religious and I think it should stay. It was hurting nobody until the ACLU said it was. The cost will be picked up by the ACLJ, just like the cost to bring it to court was picked up by the ACLU. he ACLU's motis operendi is to try and bankrupt anyone who goes against what THEY feel is proper.....and many times, it works.

Wow. Chris Young 2012 is really on a roll posting his nonsense, isn't he? Denying reality doesn't make it false. For instance, the Nazis and Hitler were actually Christians - Catholics, predominantly, with some weird paganism thrown in. Hitler used his religion - Christianity - as an excuse to carry out the Holocaust. Unlike Chris, however, I won't be dishonest enough to state that this is what all Christians would do. The opposite, is true, in fact. The majority of Christians, as with the majority of most other groups, are decent people.

I see that there are several hundred "no" votes. That is encouraging; but I would like to address a few remarks to the others.

Loyalty is not morality. Morality comes from recognizing that we are all in this together. Loyalty to a religion merely reflects one's alignment. In the case of Christianity, and many other religions, loyalty is maintained as an absolute good. The Christian god abandons those without loyalty, to predation by the chthonic Jesus, Satan. This does not absolve the deity from the act of torture, any more than one might expect absolution from a court for hiring a hit-man. The only real excuse for this behavior is the convenient fact that neither the Christian god nor its devils actually exist.

Religion limits clear thinking. It sets a precedent for truncated thoughts: if one may not question the god's intention or morality, one may find that it is convenient to fail to question other immoral acts, notably war, or economic and social injustice, for example, American apartheid. In this case some of the adherents of Christianity are indulging in immoral, violent, degenerate, threatening behavior, evidently without thinking clearly enough to realize that they are acting like sadistic fools. Or devils, if you will.

If we are to move forward as a society, we must abandon such intolerant cowardice.

You are clearly putting too much thought into your post. This is about a Gift to the School by the first graduating class. It has been there for over 59 years, it bothered nobody until the ACLU said it did. It is historic artwork and how the ACLU got a kid to be the face of their lawsuit. She said herself she never saw it until her friend pointed it out and it was not offensive, she also said it had a good message... so what is the problem? All of you are religious whackos, those claiming to be Christians and those claiming to be Atheists. Leave it alone and go feed some hungry children together.

Roger Williams is rolling in his grave. Shame on Cranston!

joebannister:

The "historic artwork" defence was put forward to the judge and rejected by him, read the full judgement for the reasons why. Similarly, the length of time it as been on the wall was dismissed as being unable to cure a constitutional infraction. Whether it was offensive or not was also deemed as irrelevant, for the reasons why, again, read the judge's ruling. The fact that it has a good message ...again irrelevant. What was relevant was that it was found to be a religious prayer and a specifically Christian one at that, and that the government acted outside the constitution by promoting one religion over another. For reference, placing something on the wall of a school is considered "teaching", whether students choose to absorb the lesson or not.

It'd be a waste of time and money, and would only compound the original error of taking on a hopeless case to begin with. Time to admit error and concentrate on providing a safe learning environment for Ahlquist, who is under constant threat.

Warzypants:

The "Court" also ruled that "Corporations are People". Now companies can pay to sway what would have been and honest vote by the people... But according to you, as long as the Court ruled......The Courts in the US have never gotten anything wrong and nobody should stand up for what they believe...What a great country! This is where you now call me names and say how religious people are crazy.

I saw in Thursday's ProJo (front page, 1/26/12) that they are comparing what Mr. Ellery Shempp did when he was 16 (55 yrs. ago) when he stood up to the school in Abington, Pa.. Then, the students were made to stand up and recite the Lord's Prayer after reading 10 Bible passages, the School District required all students to do this daily. IF the School District was forcing Jessica to do that, I would be on her side of this argument. The Cranston Banner issue is not even close to Mr. Shempp's. NOBODY was ever made to look at the banner, let alone recite it....EVER. Jessica said herself she never even noticed the banner and 49+ years on the wall should outweigh the ACLU's agenda....I mean Jessica's issue. . Jessica was trained to say what she is saying and she does it well. She said herself she never even noticed the Banner and the Banner never bothered her, THEN... the ACLU sends her an e-mail and all of a sudden she is making noise about her Civil Rights being violated...you do the math on that one.

Chris Young: Time to up the dosage, pal. I'd ask your buddies to start raising the $173k, frankly, if you want to actually accomplish something for Cranston. Or you can continue worrying about your precious bodily fluids. Your choice.

This isn't a question of whether Jessica was offended or not. It's a question of legality. This decision doesn't favor atheism, it favors equality. You can't have a prayer displayed in a public school. It's not legal. You can have church signs and holiday displays and all kinds of things in privately owned buildings and businesses, but if the government spends money on the institution (like a public school) then it may not display or support any religion. That banner doesn't belong in that school.

Calling atheism a religion is like calling Off a tv channel

It's funny, Christians are so use to their special treatment in this country that when you take away their right to discriminate others and use public tax dollars to fund their own religion, they think they're under attack. No, you're not. Christianity isn't under attack. What is under attack is any special treatment of any religion by the government.

Our government cannot establish a religion and cannot promote or deny a religious belief. This is our government working as intended. A person is within their right to pray at any time and in any place (this includes schools) so long as they are not disrupting or harming others, this is a direct effect of the 1st amendment (the same law that requires that our government cannot recognize a religion). The same law that requires that this banner be taken down is the one that allows you the right to believe what you want to believe, and attacking it will only impede personal freedom.

Schools do allow prayer, in fact a large number of schools have a "moment of personal silence" before or after the pledge of allegiance to accommodate students who wish to pray. In a school environment a child can pray at any time that it is not directly disruptive of others (the same as any other speech, as protected by the constitution). Our government recognizes that religion is a deeply personal issue, and the idea is for state and church to be completely separate pillars of society, each supporting and protecting the people in their own way. In places where the state interferes in religion you get the oppressive church that lead some of the first settlers of America to leave England. In places where religion interferes in state you get nations like Iran where people cannot openly state their beliefs out of fear of the government.

You have a right to express your beliefs, and you have a right to pray. What you do not have a right to do is threaten violence against a girl because she does not believe the same thing that you believe or because she pointed out the unconstitutional nature of your school's display. Threats of violence are not protected speech, and hateful discrimination is intolerable, especially from Christians.

Oh sure. Waste more of the taxpayer money that should never have been spent defending it in court to begin with.

All through my childhood i have had great respect for the grownups for their maturity and understanding of life. These past few months my understanding of said people has been completely destroyed. I am shocked to see the sheer amount of people who thinks it is alright to combine schools and religion. Somehow you want your religion into the world of science, but you do not want science into the world of religion... I have become increasingly aware of the old kindergarten tactics of putting your fingers in your ears and scream as lowd as you can. I have never stopped questioning life and my heart dies every time I hear about someone who lives for their faith. You cannot be truely free, truely happy or a truely good person while having faith in a deity.

Religion teaches you to be comfortable with not knowing. That is first step on the path to ignorance and arrogance.

***WARNING***

This poll has been hijacked by atheists at reddit.com/r/atheism

Here is the link to the post telling over 400,000 members to vote no. This poll should be negated as it's not a true sample any longer.

http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comments/p6kzc/support_jessica_ahlquist_vote_no_for_the_appeal/

Title: Support Jessica Ahlquist! Vote No for the appeal!

Atheism is not a religion. No more than not believing in Zeus is a religion. The only difference between the atheists and Christians is that atheists believe in one less god. How would Christians feel if Muslims put up quotes from the Koran, or pictures of Thor in a tax funded public school, or forcing churches to teach evolution so they can teach the "controversy". Teach facts in schools, keep religious beliefs in churches.

Separation of church and state ring a bell to anyone? Having that banner was a clear violation of that and finally some brave girl has the guts to protect our secular constitution and all the Christians are hell bent on trying to get an appeal. You all disgust me and should all be stripped of your citizenship. Educate yourselves by reading the constitution or continue to treat it like your bible, in which you all pick and choose what you care and what to read and ignore everything else that sounds 'bad'.

@ChrisYoung2012 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler%27s_religious_views Hitler not an atheist

In regard to Jessica Ahlquist and the religious banner, religion is solely a personal and private matter, the province of the individual, the family, the home, the church, the religious denomination school, the private school if so elected. It is not the prerogative of government agencies such as public schools that are funded by taxpayers of many different religions or of no religious persuasion to organize, incorporate, integrate, inculcate, or receive official approval or sanction. It is disingenuous to claim that this is an issue of atheism (unless someone is trying to put up an atheism banner in the school.) As a Mississippian I would love to visit the state of Connecticut, but if I do I hope that I will be able to avoid some of those "God fearing" folk who send hate mail and death threats.

***WARNING***

jonsnowthewall thinks internet polls can be scientific. He also appears to think they actually matter. Avoid this mentally deranged person at all costs.

America was found on religious freedom. The same right that allows you to not be a Muslim or Jewish is the same right that allows me not to be those or Christian as well. Atheism is a religion like 'off' is a TV channel. Mant of the founding fathers were agnostic/atheist/deist. You can deny it all you want but you can't rewrite history.

Religion is fairy-tales for people who are just afraid to die.

Internet polls, in fact any poll that is self-selecting, has no bearing on reality. This is why reputable polling firms do not use them, and why entertainment outlets like Rhody Beat and Fox News do use them. They generate entertainment. Understanding how polling works is something that is often taught in math or science classes at a High School level, and I am surprised that visitors to this website think that an online poll has any bearing on reality. I'm also surprised that this important part of their education seems to be lacking.

But maybe I should not be surprised, the idea that the Government should support one religion over any other religion is not only unfair, but Unconstitutional. Yes, the prayer banner was donated by a student of Cranston high school, but the simple truth is that the school has given this banner special dispensation. The walls have been painted, the room redecorated, and this banner has been placed, time and again, back into it's prized position by school officials. It is allowed to stand, and no other students have been invited to place other banners to stand alongside of the first, Christian, banner.

There is a proper place for this banner, in school textbooks, for Civics, Social Studies, or History. It should be taught as an example of government interference to Church / State separation. It should be in every single textbook in the country for this reason. But it does not belong, as it is, on the walls of a public school.

Evolution has already been proven to be fraudulent many times over: http://goo.gl/mqObr

Having a religious banner endorses religion. Illegal.

Having no banner Endorses NOTHING. Completely legal.

Comparing this to the nazis is the stupidest thing a person could do, this is a FOLLOWING OF LAW, in fact, the CONSTITUTION, of a country...

for perky4175, you are an idiot.

She is attending a public school, and public schools must not endorse religion, telling a girl with no religion that by going to a school that illegally endorses religion, and then fighting that according to the law of the country, she is being bad, is the stupidest thing you could say. Or so I thought before reading this thread.

You go on to say that churches should be banned from endorsing religion because it might offend some people, hoping to satirize what you perceive this as. A church is PRIVATE PROPERTY, and as such it's WELL within their rights to hang such banners, a SCHOOL is public property, and they do NOT get to hang such banners. As for Holidays, they are not illegal, because they are the government recognizing that that time of year has a special meaning to people and that giving them the day off will boost productivity, in terms of schools many children would not be in school for those holidays and would miss curriculum.

To Joebannister, who goes with the "it wasn't hurting anyone" argument: Yes it was. If a school you attended endorsed Islam, you would feel threatened and excluded. Forget that it is illegal, why don't you? Except you shouldn't, because it IS.

Ahlquist was not "used as a pawn", she has been behind this from the start and endorses their movements because she is a MEMBER. They didn't find the problem and say, "Hey you! we don;t like this" and have her endorse it, SHE brought it to THEIR attention.

It is basic discrimination, and by upholding her DUTY to the constitution to keep her school secular, she did the RIGHT thing. Taking it down costs nothing, and who really cares how long the banner has been there? It matters about the environment it creates, and, more importantly, about the legality behind it. It's illegal, so it goes. End of story, that's how the law works.

Then you say that because the courts have once made a stupid ruling on an unrelated subject, everything they say is wrong and evil, and when they get it right we shouldn't be proud of them? Maybe I'm using a little bit of hyperbole, but get over yourself.

To jansnowthewall: The good people of reddit have been asked to participate in a poll. Does this make the poll invalid? no. Feel free to go to reddit's Christianity page and tell them to say yes! But advertising a poll to a group of people does not make it invalid.

Also, Chris Young, you are an idiot, and I'm not taking the time to show you how.

The Constitution calls for a separation of church and state. A state institution featuring or promoting a particular religion would seem to fly in the face of what the founding fathers had in mind. This is pretty straightforward. Please take others' viewpoints into account. Would you want your children going to a school featuring quotes from the Qu'ran or the Ramayan?

@ Mike "The" Infidel.

So I call you guys out when you stack a poll and I'm the deranged one? No wonder you all aren't doing all that well in real life.

@ChrisYoung2012 You sir are a noobfag, that is all.

"So I call you guys out when you stack a poll and I'm the deranged one?"

It's not just this one, Hodor. I've seen you post the same thing on *every* link to a poll that r/atheism posts. You have a deranged obsession with telling people to discount polls. Guess what? Internet polls DON'T MATTER. They don't actually MEAN or DO anything.

@jonsnowthewall You truly are the deranged one if you think traffic to one shitty site who click on one shitty link represents a true sample. That's kind of like me putting a poll on my facebook wall asking if people knew who i was? The results of the poll from the 'true sample'...everybody knows me!

Mixmax: That has got to be the biggest gang of mouth-breathing, incompetent man-children I've ever seen. Don't ever link there again.

ChrisYoung2012 is spreading lies. Let's see.

1) Atheism is a religion - FALSE. Atheism, by definition, is a lack of belief in gods.

2) Hitler was an atheist - FALSE. Hitler was a Christian, Catholic flavor. Every SS soldier had a belt buckle that said "Gott mit uns" (meaning "God with us"). Current Pope was in the Hitler Youth program, there are many photos of him flashing the "hail Hitler" hand sign while smiling, just google it.

3) This is an attack on religious freedom - FALSE. No, this is a support of the Constitution. 1st amendment, which prevents one religion to be endorsed by the government. If the banner had some Quran quotes, you would totally change your bullshit campaign.

4) This is a promotion of atheism - FALSE. Promotion of atheism would be putting anti-religious text on a banner.

5) Evolution has been proven to be fraudulent - FALSE. There's not a single peer-reviewed scientific article that proves evolution fraudulent or even incorrect. So far all the evidence support is. Evolution can even be observed directly in a lab. Evolution has been observed in modern nature. Just google it and educate yourself.

Mixmax: This douche doesn't know anything about sampling, refers to it, then calls people who do know about it incompetent man-children. Also he through this he somehow brilliantly infers that they are mouth-breathing.

This is so obviously rigged, 30 thousand votes and 5 tweets, it's laughable, this poll has been clearly rigged. Get this one like, hilarious. For the past week the people have voted for the appeal 74% in favor of the appeal. The people can see through these lies! The ACLU must be trying really hard to scare people to hold onto the $173 thousand the now want in attorney fees. I have been watching this poll. All within one hour 30 thousand votes appear. If your going to rig a poll make it look a little realistic. Atheists are so hate filled and not so smart. APPEAL or VOTE THEM OUT!

1 like, lol

"We establish no religion in this country. We command no worship. We mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are and must remain separate." -- Ronald Reagan

This is about protecting everyone from being forced to accept any state support of religion Both Madison and Jefferson wrote about their intent and the meaning of separation of church and state. Those of you screaming about supporting an appeal need to step back and think about by the Puritans, the Quakers, English Catholics, French Protestants came to this country in the first place - freedom! Freedom to worship in private the way you choose without any fear that you would be rounded up, threatened, or harassed. Read the history of the Crusades, or the Inquisition.

There is no 11th Commandment that says: "Thou shalt be ignorant".

Michael

"Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they're sure trying to do so, it's going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise. I know, I've tried to deal with them."

- Barry Goldwater

I'm only 16. However, I do know that the constitution requires America to have a separation between church and state. At a private school like Hendricken, where Catholicism is the norm, and the teachers are monks and nuns, this prayer would go over without issue as it should. A public school is a very different story, and it must adhere to the constitution. Simply put, as a state-run building, it is unconstitutional for Cranston West to allow such a religiously charged thing to remain on its grounds. This is not about, as I have read in a few other comments, favoritism towards the Atheist faith over other faiths. This is about the existing favoritism towards Christianity that is demonstrated by the banner. We can be fair and put up a banner for every major faith at Cranston West, or we can follow the constitution and remove the banner that is already there.

First of all. To those calling "Atheism" a religion. It is not.

Atheism = Disbelief in the existence of God or gods

examples: muhammad, poseidon, zeus.

Don't believe in those? Well, you're an atheist to an extent!

Second of all, this is a secular country! In a tax payer supported school there is no excuse for any religious dogma to be present. The whole point of this debate is to not favor ANY religion. I would LOVE to see the reactions from those who are upset...if there were quotes from the quran on the wall.

Would the christians be marching to defend the quran in this same situation? I doubt it.

To simply make everyone happy, public schools simply can not favor any religion over the other. End of story. Our founding fathers knew if establishment of any religion was allowed there would be CONFLICT! So to avoid conflict...there must not be any in favor! How hard is that to understand?

In the mean time go read a textbook! Learn about geology, evolution, BASIC SCIENCE! Science requires tests and evidence before it can make a claim. Do your homework people! Stop drinking the cool aid!

Cranston should appeal this decision if it wants to completely waste taxpayer money and be further embarrassed. This case is open and shut. There is no possible way an appeal would succeed. Religious bigots who want to pretend that the inability to impose their beliefs on others is a form of persecution will just need to get used to it. We live under a great secular Constitution, probably one of the greatest achievements in social history. If they don't like it, then other less secular countries do exist. They might try Iran, Pakistan or Saudi Arabia, all of which represent excellent examples of life where civil government is controlled by religion.

Religion is in my opinion what cause nearly every conceivable issue in human

existence,without the influence of religion todays landscape would be a vastly different

and better place.The churches repression of free,as they realized was necessary for the

propagation of theology, effects not only impacted the middle and dark ages but rather

had a long lasting effect on scientific progress as demonstrated in this graph.

Think of where humanity could have progressed to with out the influence of the

church, It i very well possible that without this terrible influence we would be living in a

largely different place, you may see flying cars space travel a near end to illnesses but

this is not the world we are living in we are living in a world create by still present effects

of the church.

The next logical question is how was this allowed to happen.It is rather simple,

the church took advantage of our own inherent weakness and exploited them. Take this

idea as an example, a child whom under circumstance without intervention would grow

up as a believer in the Christian faith is taken at birth before indoctrination could occur

and isolated from society would rather take the path he would have normally grow up

either as an atheist or form his own belief differing from the faiths we know of

commonly . This i believe is why atheist on average score higher on theology

exams,because religion has the need to indoctrinate in order to thrive,those who

succumb to I personally am of the opinion that the child would create his own belief

system would more likely occur as mythology and religion, which really are one in the

same, develop solely because of a lack of knowledge. This can been seen in the

correlation between education and atheism and lower average iq scores amongst

religious people.

. As a nation the

U.S is not as many believe the smartest nation,this is not true while the united states

has a relatively high iq compared to all of these nations the us has one of the lowest iqs

of the industrialized nations of the world. This one can assume is why the united states

has the highest religious importance score of any industrialized nation. The failings in

schools in this country cause people to look towards

religion to fill in the shortcomings of our current

educational system. This can be seen again with a

movement to teach the “theroy” of intelligent design

One may dismiss currently accepted scientific theory

however in order to do so adequate evidence must be provided. This evidence for

intelligent design has not been presented. This is why the idea must be

dismissed ,because if we do not teach our children that these ideas are fact then we

can lead them away from the indoctrination of religion and towards progress.

Religion not only stifles human progress through the repression of ideas but also

through the death and destruction that it leaves in it’s path. an estimated 809 million

people have died in religious wars, that is more than double the amount of people killed

Genesis 7:4-10

New International Version (NIV)

4 Seven days from now I will

send rain on the earth for forty

days and forty nights, and I will

wipe from the face of the earth

every living creature I have

made.”

“That which can be asserted

without evidence, can be

dismissed without evidence.”

― Christopher Hitchens

in the name of hitler or communism combined. Why

would anyone willingly follow a group that has caused so

many needless killings. Religion has an innate need to kill,

without killing it cannot reach it’s just the same as the

previously mentioned movements of hitler and communism religion needs to kill in

order to thrive. Not only is this idea present in the churches and followers around the

world it is also present in the corresponding mythology in the bible god himself killed

2,476,633 people. If you include How many God drowned in the flood or burn to death

in Sodom and Gomorrah or how many first-born Egyptians he killed. The number comes

to the staggering estimated total of 25 million. Tis is why i not only do not believe that

religion is true but rather sincerely hope that it isn't. Not because of me but rather

because of the heinous crimes committed by god in the text of the bible.

A common argument is that religion provides morality and with out it there are no

!

grounds for objective morality within humanity. This is not true morality does not come

from religion but rather from biology and society. religion’s morality it self is not divinely

ordained but rather a reflection on the authors own morality which stemmed from

societal influences, thus man does not receive his morality from religion, rather religion

receives its morality from man. This then begs the question is better to do good for god

or as a selfless act, a Christian man may donate his time at a homeless shelter and

work along side an atheist.The christain man is there because it is what he belives will

bring him eternal life however the atheist man is there because he belives not in

mythology but rather in helping others. while both lead to the same end result of helping

people on one man is truly there for a morally good reason. only one man is there to

help people and not himself this man is the atheist. I then fail to see how the notion of a

deity brings worth through morality, and if it dosen’t then truly what is the purpose.

Religion as it seems has caused nearly all of human suffering,without it then

wouldn’t everyone be much happier? No religion in it’s core is a method for the

uneducated to cope with the idea of death, this however is in essence the foundation

upon which religion has been allowed to intrude society. Religion preys upon the most

basic scientific fault in man, mans fear of death, a fear driven by biology. This is not to

say that he world would not benefit from a lack of religion as i believe without it these

uneducated people would be able to receive a much better education unhindered by the

churches influence,this would lead to overarching effects on the basic well-being of

humanity.

God is if in existence not good . There are over 8 million deaths of children

under 5 years of age every year,Most of these children are religious but more

importantly most of these children’s parents are religious as well. And when these

children die these parents hope and pray for salvation for their children, but most of

these parents are praying to the wrong god, most of these children are dying in deloping

countries like india. india population is mostly hindu and just because these people were

born into the wrong culture Christians believe that the god that created and put them in

this situation will for this reason condemn these children and their parents to hell. Wat

makes this especially interesting is the notion that a man on death row, who has spent

his whole life raping and killing children only has to accept jesus and repent right before

his death in order to receive an eternal place in heaven. How than can this god be

good? When someone who kills children could very well be saved for eternity whilst

children suffer eternally in hell just because they were born in the wrong place. The

place they were born has a culture which Christians believe was created by god is the

very reason these children will be required to suffer eternally. This is the double

standard that allows for go to be perceived as good when something good happens to a

Christian they say that it must be because of god, however when anything bad happens

like the deaths of millions of children “god works in

mysterious ways”. How can human understanding be

applied only to the positive yet have it fail solely in the

negative how can a god stand idly by and whatch the

deaths of children and let their killers roam free? To answer

the latter question you must ask if god is good why does he not prevent these

things,and if he is not able to then what can he do. If god is unable to save lives from

needless deaths how could god have created everything, how could god have this

power but not use it. if god can do all that is said in genesis and he is good why not

enact his power more often.

Is God willing to prevent evil,

but not able? Then he is not

omnipotent. Is he able, but not

willing? Then he is malevolent.

Is he both able and willing?

Then whence cometh evil? Is he

neither able nor willing? Then

why call him God?~Epicurus

How can any of these ignorant prats take any of the crap they are spewing as fact? Atheists killed Jews and Christians? Please find a reliable source that states such, it never happened you self enlightened prick. Christians will suppress gays, Muslims, and atheists as they damn will please, but GOD FORBID someone suppresses Christians, it's time to get a taste of your own medicine you ignorant, uneducated bigots.

Don't worry, edokun - approximately 1/3 of the comments on this page are from the same mentally unstable, fundamentalist Catholic, failed sham of a politician named Chris Young. He's a total nutjob.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you ChrisYoung2012!

Coffee with the Candidates: Chris Young - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KK34q5zDZG8

Candidate Carrying Virgin Mary Statue Is Ejected From Mayoral Debate - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-2ZIX4XskA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KB80Yw56PBI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SKFzrxZ-mc#t=4m54s

@ "Mike" The, Infidel.

You said, "It's not just this one, Hodor. I've seen you post the same thing on *every* link to a poll that r/atheism posts."

Well you know what Mike? I have to say...

[citations needed.]

[oh, that means back up what you just claimed.] [[With sources]] [[[as usual]]]

Guess what people. You wont be hearing from Mike the infidel anymore because he can't in fact back up what he just claimed.

LOL see ya mike.

**and remember mike, that means more than one citation. Thank you. **

3 atheists show up for the school committee meetings and there are 30 thousand votes here, what a joke. Did anyone notice the one "like" for Facebook. Rigged poll, laughable. Now it's zero likes, lol, so funny. You guys let this poll be rigged this paper is just a little more credible than the Providence Journals polls. lol The tweets were 5 now they are zero, lol, what a joke. APPEAL OR VOTE THEM OUT!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6D52AqtJhDc This is an accurate account of people who have voted to support the banner!

Winning! APPEAL OR VOTE THEM OUT!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6D52AqtJhDc This is an accurate account of people who have voted to support the banner!

Winning! APPEAL OR VOTE THEM OUT!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6D52AqtJhDc This is an accurate account of people who have voted to support the banner!

Winning! APPEAL OR VOTE THEM OUT!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6D52AqtJhDc This is an accurate account of people who have voted to support the banner!

Winning! APPEAL OR VOTE THEM OUT!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6D52AqtJhDc This is an accurate account of people who have voted to support the banner!

Winning! APPEAL OR VOTE THEM OUT!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6D52AqtJhDc This is an accurate account of people who have voted to support the banner!

Winning! APPEAL OR VOTE THEM OUT!

The ACLU today filed a request in court to order the city of Cranston to pay $173,000 in attorneys' fees to the ACLU. It has never been clearer that Cranston HAS TO APPEAL! If they do NOT appeal, then they will be responsible for the ACLU attorneys fees, AND they will have given the ACLU a legal foothold from which to sue AGAIN - to remove The Pledge of Allegiance, the Star Spangled Banner, or anything else they can find! And don't think the ACLU won't do it!

Excellent recent letter to the editor. http://news.providencejournal.com/letters-to-the-editor/2012/01/john-d-gentile-the-establishment-of-atheism-in-schools.html?fb_ref=.TyRPqlBlxdA.like&fb_source=profile_oneline

From John DePetro-Radio's wall: "Exclusive: following pages are court documents obtained in Cranston prayer case. See what child atheist calls Catholics. Admits she does not like the Catholic church. She wants to change US currency and the pledge of Allegiance." http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=283677615027852&set=a.207450502650564.52613.206427136086234&type=1&theater

From John DePetro-Radio's wall: "Exclusive: following pages are court documents obtained in Cranston prayer case. See what child atheist calls Catholics. Admits she does not like the Catholic church. She wants to change US currency and the pledge of Allegiance." http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=283677615027852&set=a.207450502650564.52613.206427136086234&type=1&theater

From the 9th circuit hearing on the Newdow case 2004, it supports keeping the prayer and that such prayer does not violate the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution:

* It was decided in the 1954 insertion of "under God" was made "to recognize a Supreme Being" and advance religion at a time "when the government was publicly inveighing against atheistic communism"—a fact which (according to the court) the federal government did not dispute. The court also noted that when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the act which added the phrase "under God," he also announced "From this day forward, the millions of our school children will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural schoolhouse, the dedication of our Nation and our people to the Almighty."

The Supreme Court has upheld this decision on June 14, 2004, in an opinion written by Justice John Paul Stevens, five of the remaining eight justices - Stevens, Anthony Kennedy, Stephen Breyer, David Souter, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg - found in examining the constitutional question, and found the 9th circuit correct, it did not offend the Constitution.

Rehnquist's opinion asserts the term "under God" does not endorse or establish religion but it actually asserts that the term merely acknowledges the nation's religious heritage, in particular the role of religion for the Founding Fathers of the United States. Thus, according to the opinion, the Pledge is a secular act rather than an act of indoctrination in religion or expression of religious devotion.

O'Connor stated in Newdow, "I believe that government can acknowledge or refer to the divine without offending the Constitution. This category of “ceremonial deism” most clearly encompasses such things as the national motto (“In God We Trust”), religious references in traditional patriotic songs such as the Star-Spangled Banner, and the words with which the Marshal of this Court opens each of its sessions (“God save the United States and this honorable Court”). See Allegheny, 492 U.S., at 630 (opinion of O’Connor, J.). These references are not minor trespasses upon the Establishment Clause to which I turn a blind eye. Instead, their history, character, and context prevent them from being constitutional violations at all.

Please join us to stop socialist fascism and save God , the family and this great nation. http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_170359706318664

The truth comes out. It appears that atheists will sue the city of Cranston next for the removal of the Pledge of Allegiance and any other references to God. To think that this is the last lawsuit against the city of Cranston is naive. The only solution is to APPEAL the judge's erroneous decision forcing down the banner. If we don't appeal, the city will have to pay over and over again on future lawsuits. Also, please pray for the conversion of all those who seek to remove God from our society. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=283675438361403&set=a.207450502650564.52613.206427136086234&type=1&theater

The truth comes out. It appears that atheists will sue the city of Cranston next for the removal of the Pledge of Allegiance and any other references to God. To think that this is the last lawsuit against the city of Cranston is naive. The only solution is to APPEAL the judge's erroneous decision forcing down the banner. If we don't appeal, the city will have to pay over and over again on future lawsuits. Also, please pray for the conversion of all those who seek to remove God from our society. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=283675438361403&set=a.207450502650564.52613.206427136086234&type=1&theater

The truth comes out. It appears that atheists will sue the city of Cranston next for the removal of the Pledge of Allegiance and any other references to God. To think that this is the last lawsuit against the city of Cranston is naive. The only solution is to APPEAL the judge's erroneous decision forcing down the banner. If we don't appeal, the city will have to pay over and over again on future lawsuits. Also, please pray for the conversion of all those who seek to remove God from our society. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=283675438361403&set=a.207450502650564.52613.206427136086234&type=1&theater

Here is a great photo of the kids at Wednesday night's meeting with their BEAUTIFUL SIGNS supporting the Cranston West prayer banner! From what I saw on the news that night, all three local TV news stations refused to put this in their broadcasts. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=310324132353545&set=o.170359706318664&type=1&theater

Here is a great photo of the kids at Wednesday night's meeting with their BEAUTIFUL SIGNS supporting the Cranston West prayer banner! From what I saw on the news that night, all three local TV news stations refused to put this in their broadcasts. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=310324132353545&set=o.170359706318664&type=1&theater

It is no business of the courts to say that what is a religious practice or activity for one group is not a religion under the protection of the First Amendment.

“the Establishment Clause does prohibit state establishments, it is necessary then to know what would constitute such an establishment. Justice Thomas supposes that the clause means no coercion of religious belief or practice "by force of law and threat of penalty." The state may not force the removal of the banner at Cranston West on the behalf preferring atheists. The blank wall that remains supports "non religion" or atheism. This is unconstitutional.

It is no business of the courts to say that what is a religious practice or activity for one group is not a religion under the protection of the First Amendment.

“the Establishment Clause does prohibit state establishments, it is necessary then to know what would constitute such an establishment. Justice Thomas supposes that the clause means no coercion of religious belief or practice "by force of law and threat of penalty." The state may not force the removal of the banner at Cranston West on the behalf preferring atheists. The blank wall that remains supports "non religion" or atheism. This is unconstitutional.

It is no business of the courts to say that what is a religious practice or activity for one group is not a religion under the protection of the First Amendment.

“the Establishment Clause does prohibit state establishments, it is necessary then to know what would constitute such an establishment. Justice Thomas supposes that the clause means no coercion of religious belief or practice "by force of law and threat of penalty." The state may not force the removal of the banner at Cranston West on the behalf preferring atheists. The blank wall that remains supports "non religion" or atheism. This is unconstitutional.

Justice O'Connor who gave explicit approval to ceremonial deism in Newdow, which stated:

"most clearly encompasses such things as the national motto ("In God We Trust"), religious references in traditional patriotic songs such as the Star-Spangled Banner, and the words with which the Marshal of [the Supreme] Court opens each of its sessions ("God save the United States and this honorable Court"). These references are not minor trespasses upon the Establishment Clause to which [Justice O'Connor] turn[s] a blind eye. Instead, their history, character, and context prevent [these references] from being constitutional violations at all."

Justice O'Connor who gave explicit approval to ceremonial deism in Newdow, which stated:

"most clearly encompasses such things as the national motto ("In God We Trust"), religious references in traditional patriotic songs such as the Star-Spangled Banner, and the words with which the Marshal of [the Supreme] Court opens each of its sessions ("God save the United States and this honorable Court"). These references are not minor trespasses upon the Establishment Clause to which [Justice O'Connor] turn[s] a blind eye. Instead, their history, character, and context prevent [these references] from being constitutional violations at all."

Justice O'Connor who gave explicit approval to ceremonial deism in Newdow, which stated:

"most clearly encompasses such things as the national motto ("In God We Trust"), religious references in traditional patriotic songs such as the Star-Spangled Banner, and the words with which the Marshal of [the Supreme] Court opens each of its sessions ("God save the United States and this honorable Court"). These references are not minor trespasses upon the Establishment Clause to which [Justice O'Connor] turn[s] a blind eye. Instead, their history, character, and context prevent [these references] from being constitutional violations at all."

If "non religion" or atheism is allowed in public schools, then so should other religions. Every blank wall is atheism or "non religion."

If "non religion" or atheism is allowed in public schools, then so should other religions. Every blank wall is atheism or "non religion."

http://youtu.be/Ox3Ith8tSQc

http://youtu.be/Ox3Ith8tSQc

Maafa is a great film that addresses atheistic nazi's and their real agenda. http://youtu.be/o4xtGbLAzIQ

Maafa is a great film that addresses atheistic nazi's and their real agenda. http://youtu.be/o4xtGbLAzIQ

The students could say the state is forcing "non religion" or atheism in this case. Quoted from a US Supreme Court decision: "To be sure, such an affirmation is not a prayer, and I admit that this might be a significant distinction. But the Court has squarely held that the government cannot require a person to "declare his belief in God." Torcaso v. Watkins, 367 U.S. 488, 489, 6 L. Ed. 2d 982, 81 S. Ct. 1680 (1961); id., at 495, 6 L. Ed. 2d 982, 81 S. Ct. 1680 ("We repeat and again reaffirm that neither a State nor the Federal Government can constitutionally force a person 'to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion'")

The students could say the state is forcing "non religion" or atheism in this case. Quoted from a US Supreme Court decision: "To be sure, such an affirmation is not a prayer, and I admit that this might be a significant distinction. But the Court has squarely held that the government cannot require a person to "declare his belief in God." Torcaso v. Watkins, 367 U.S. 488, 489, 6 L. Ed. 2d 982, 81 S. Ct. 1680 (1961); id., at 495, 6 L. Ed. 2d 982, 81 S. Ct. 1680 ("We repeat and again reaffirm that neither a State nor the Federal Government can constitutionally force a person 'to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion'")

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6D52AqtJhDc The real poll and we are winning! APPEAL OR VOTE THEM OUT!

If the atheistic religion or "non religion" is present in the public schools due to this new federal law then all other religions should be allowed as well. The court violated the establishment clause with this decision by establishing "non religion" or atheism as the school's religion.

This is a quote on Jessica Ahlquist's twitter page - this seems to be full of hate... it is strange the police refuse to investigate this and the news will not say one thing Ms. Ahlquist has allegedly posted to incite people. This quote allegedly came from Jessica Ahlquist:

"Pep rally has everything I love. Ass-kissing Mayor Fung, crappy administration, obnoxious classmates, and bad music.

9 Nov"

Samantha Wheeler posted this on the Facebook group Keep the Cranston West School Prayer!

"This is a conversation of those wanting to take down our school parayer recorded on the picture of the prayer. If these are the people who find "offense" to such a thing, does this not prove their hypocracy? I don't think there is one christian who wouldn't find offense to their comments. How about that for offense."

Please click this link and see what atheists and allegedly Ms. Ahlquist posted, it's not the nice innocent girl the media is trying to portray. They say they want to pee on Jesus! Call talk radio and speak about this 1-800-321-9776.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1739845702492&set=o.164831083553536&type=1&theater

If the atheistic religion or "non religion" is present in the public schools due to this new federal law then all other religions should be allowed as well. The court violated the establishment clause with this decision by establishing "non religion" or atheism as the school's religion.

This is a quote on Jessica Ahlquist's twitter page - this seems to be full of hate... it is strange the police refuse to investigate this and the news will not say one thing Ms. Ahlquist has allegedly posted to incite people. This quote allegedly came from Jessica Ahlquist:

"Pep rally has everything I love. Ass-kissing Mayor Fung, crappy administration, obnoxious classmates, and bad music.

9 Nov"

Samantha Wheeler posted this on the Facebook group Keep the Cranston West School Prayer!

"This is a conversation of those wanting to take down our school parayer recorded on the picture of the prayer. If these are the people who find "offense" to such a thing, does this not prove their hypocracy? I don't think there is one christian who wouldn't find offense to their comments. How about that for offense."

Please click this link and see what atheists and allegedly Ms. Ahlquist posted, it's not the nice innocent girl the media is trying to portray. They say they want to pee on Jesus! Call talk radio and speak about this 1-800-321-9776.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1739845702492&set=o.164831083553536&type=1&theater

Martin Luther King said in his last speech: "I'm not worried, I'm not fearing man, Mine eyes has seen the glory of the coming of the Lord." Do not be afraid to stand up for God and your right to not be forced to believe in "non religion" or atheism. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0FiCxZKuv8&feature=fvsr Stand up against the state's endorsement of atheism as the state's religion!!! It is now Federal law, through a Federal Court decision last week, that Christian beliefs must be removed from public schools because of the removal of a banner in Rhode Island from a public school, but "non religion" or atheism is allowed to stay.

Martin Luther King said in his last speech: "I'm not worried, I'm not fearing man, Mine eyes has seen the glory of the coming of the Lord." Do not be afraid to stand up for God and your right to not be forced to believe in "non religion" or atheism. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0FiCxZKuv8&feature=fvsr Stand up against the state's endorsement of atheism as the state's religion!!! It is now Federal law, through a Federal Court decision last week, that Christian beliefs must be removed from public schools because of the removal of a banner in Rhode Island from a public school, but "non religion" or atheism is allowed to stay.

I would think the atrocities perpetrated by atheistic communists in the concentration camps that I have posted above would disappoint you in the atheistic human race. Maybe todays China might change your mind. It's atheistic government kills children and forces people to work for 35 cents per hour. You have a clear bias toward atheism and seem to be able to ignore the greatest crimes against humanity in exchange for your self righteousness and ignorance to facts and the truth. APPEAL or Vote Them Out!

I would think the atrocities perpetrated by atheistic communists in the concentration camps that I have posted above would disappoint you in the atheistic human race. Maybe todays China might change your mind. It's atheistic government kills children and forces people to work for 35 cents per hour. You have a clear bias toward atheism and seem to be able to ignore the greatest crimes against humanity in exchange for your self righteousness and ignorance to facts and the truth. APPEAL or Vote Them Out!

Justice O'Connor who gave explicit approval to ceremonial deism in Newdow, which stated:

"most clearly encompasses such things as the national motto ("In God We Trust"), religious references in traditional patriotic songs such as the Star-Spangled Banner, and the words with which the Marshal of [the Supreme] Court opens each of its sessions ("God save the United States and this honorable Court"). These references are not minor trespasses upon the Establishment Clause to which [Justice O'Connor] turn[s] a blind eye. Instead, their history, character, and context prevent [these references] from being constitutional violations at all."

Justice O'Connor who gave explicit approval to ceremonial deism in Newdow, which stated:

"most clearly encompasses such things as the national motto ("In God We Trust"), religious references in traditional patriotic songs such as the Star-Spangled Banner, and the words with which the Marshal of [the Supreme] Court opens each of its sessions ("God save the United States and this honorable Court"). These references are not minor trespasses upon the Establishment Clause to which [Justice O'Connor] turn[s] a blind eye. Instead, their history, character, and context prevent [these references] from being constitutional violations at all."

The state is forcing "non religion" or atheism in this case. "To be sure, such an affirmation is not a prayer, and I admit that this might be a significant distinction. But the Court has squarely held that the government cannot require a person to "declare his belief in God." Torcaso v. Watkins, 367 U.S. 488, 489, 6 L. Ed. 2d 982, 81 S. Ct. 1680 (1961); id., at 495, 6 L. Ed. 2d 982, 81 S. Ct. 1680 ("We repeat and again reaffirm that neither a State nor the Federal Government can constitutionally force a person 'to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion'")

The state is forcing "non religion" or atheism in this case. "To be sure, such an affirmation is not a prayer, and I admit that this might be a significant distinction. But the Court has squarely held that the government cannot require a person to "declare his belief in God." Torcaso v. Watkins, 367 U.S. 488, 489, 6 L. Ed. 2d 982, 81 S. Ct. 1680 (1961); id., at 495, 6 L. Ed. 2d 982, 81 S. Ct. 1680 ("We repeat and again reaffirm that neither a State nor the Federal Government can constitutionally force a person 'to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion'")

The state is forcing "non religion" or atheism in this case. "To be sure, such an affirmation is not a prayer, and I admit that this might be a significant distinction. But the Court has squarely held that the government cannot require a person to "declare his belief in God." Torcaso v. Watkins, 367 U.S. 488, 489, 6 L. Ed. 2d 982, 81 S. Ct. 1680 (1961); id., at 495, 6 L. Ed. 2d 982, 81 S. Ct. 1680 ("We repeat and again reaffirm that neither a State nor the Federal Government can constitutionally force a person 'to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion'")

The state is forcing "non religion" or atheism in this case. "It is also conceivable that a government could "establish" a religion by imbuing it with governmental authority, see, e.g., Larkin v. Grendel's Den, Inc., 459 U.S. 116, 74 L. Ed. 2d 297, 103 S. Ct. 505 (1982)

The state is forcing "non religion" or atheism in this case. "It is also conceivable that a government could "establish" a religion by imbuing it with governmental authority, see, e.g., Larkin v. Grendel's Den, Inc., 459 U.S. 116, 74 L. Ed. 2d 297, 103 S. Ct. 505 (1982)

The state is forcing "non religion" or atheism in this case. "Lee v. Weisman, 505 U.S. 577, 120 L. Ed. 2d 467, 112 S. Ct. 2649 (1992), could be thought of this way to the extent that anyone might have been "coerced" into a religious exercise."

The state is forcing "non religion" or atheism in this case. "Lee v. Weisman, 505 U.S. 577, 120 L. Ed. 2d 467, 112 S. Ct. 2649 (1992), could be thought of this way to the extent that anyone might have been "coerced" into a religious exercise."

The blank wall that remains after the removal of the banner supports "non religion" or atheism. You are so closed minded and not neutral to other beliefs other than blank walls.

The blank wall that remains after the removal of the banner supports "non religion" or atheism. You are so closed minded and not neutral to other beliefs other than blank walls.

The blank wall that remains after the removal of the banner supports "non religion" or atheism. "A religion need not be based on a belief in the existence of a supreme being (or beings, for polytheistic faiths), see Torcaso v. Watkins, 367 U.S. 488, 495 & n. 11, 81 S.Ct. 1680, 6 L.Ed.2d 982 (1961); Malnak v. Yogi, 592 F.2d 197, 200-15 (3d Cir.1979) (Adams, J., concurring); Theriault v. Silber, 547 F.2d 1279, 1281 (5th Cir.1977) (per curiam), nor must it be a mainstream faith, see Thomas v. Review Bd., 450 U.S. 707, 714, 101 S.Ct. 1425, 67 L.Ed.2d 624 (1981); Lindell v. McCallum, 352 F.3d 1107, 1110 (7th Cir.2003)."

The blank wall that remains after the removal of the banner supports "non religion" or atheism. "A religion need not be based on a belief in the existence of a supreme being (or beings, for polytheistic faiths), see Torcaso v. Watkins, 367 U.S. 488, 495 & n. 11, 81 S.Ct. 1680, 6 L.Ed.2d 982 (1961); Malnak v. Yogi, 592 F.2d 197, 200-15 (3d Cir.1979) (Adams, J., concurring); Theriault v. Silber, 547 F.2d 1279, 1281 (5th Cir.1977) (per curiam), nor must it be a mainstream faith, see Thomas v. Review Bd., 450 U.S. 707, 714, 101 S.Ct. 1425, 67 L.Ed.2d 624 (1981); Lindell v. McCallum, 352 F.3d 1107, 1110 (7th Cir.2003)."

Roger Baldwin, the first director of the ACLU, was also a communist. He explains in his book, Liberty Under the Soviets, "I joined. I don’t regret being a part of the Communist tactic, which increased the effectiveness of a good cause. I knew what I was doing. I was not an innocent liberal. I wanted what the Communists wanted…” Roger Baldwin - Founded the ACLU in 1920. Several crucial leaders of the ACLU were members of the Communist Party. Earl Browder, then General Secretary of the Communist Party, said the ACLU functioned as "a transmission belt" for the party. Baldwin also stated “We are for SOCIALISM, disarmament, and ultimately for abolishing the state itself... We seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class, and the SOLE CONTROL of those who produce wealth. COMMUNISM is the goal.” (source: http://dianedew.com/aclu.htm)

Roger Baldwin, the first director of the ACLU, was also a communist. He explains in his book, Liberty Under the Soviets, "I joined. I don’t regret being a part of the Communist tactic, which increased the effectiveness of a good cause. I knew what I was doing. I was not an innocent liberal. I wanted what the Communists wanted…” Roger Baldwin - Founded the ACLU in 1920. Several crucial leaders of the ACLU were members of the Communist Party. Earl Browder, then General Secretary of the Communist Party, said the ACLU functioned as "a transmission belt" for the party. Baldwin also stated “We are for SOCIALISM, disarmament, and ultimately for abolishing the state itself... We seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class, and the SOLE CONTROL of those who produce wealth. COMMUNISM is the goal.” (source: http://dianedew.com/aclu.htm)

William Z. Foster, then National Chairman of the Communist Party USA and an ACLU co-founder, is famous for this 1932 quote: "The establishment of an American Soviet government will involve the confiscation of large landed estates in town and country, and also, the whole body to forests, mineral deposits, lakes, rivers and so on." He was the author of Toward Soviet America.

William Z. Foster, then National Chairman of the Communist Party USA and an ACLU co-founder, is famous for this 1932 quote: "The establishment of an American Soviet government will involve the confiscation of large landed estates in town and country, and also, the whole body to forests, mineral deposits, lakes, rivers and so on." He was the author of Toward Soviet America.

A. J. Muste held a degree from Union Theological Seminary. When war broke out in Europe, he became a pacifist, inspired by the Christian mysticism of the Quakers, and started working with the fledging American Civil Liberties Union in Boston. In 1929 Muste helped form the Conference for Progressive Labor Action (CPLA), seeking to reform the AF of L from within. When the Depression broke like a storm over America, the CPLA became openly revolutionary and was instrumental in forming the American Workers Party in 1933--a "democratically organized revolutionary party" in which A.J. played the leading role.

A. J. Muste held a degree from Union Theological Seminary. When war broke out in Europe, he became a pacifist, inspired by the Christian mysticism of the Quakers, and started working with the fledging American Civil Liberties Union in Boston. In 1929 Muste helped form the Conference for Progressive Labor Action (CPLA), seeking to reform the AF of L from within. When the Depression broke like a storm over America, the CPLA became openly revolutionary and was instrumental in forming the American Workers Party in 1933--a "democratically organized revolutionary party" in which A.J. played the leading role.

Hitler reserved special scorn for the Christian values of equality and compassion, which he identified with weakness. Hitler's leading advisers like Goebbels, Himmler, Heydrich and Bormann were atheists who hated religion and sought to eradicate its influence in Germany. “Those who refuse to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.”

Hitler reserved special scorn for the Christian values of equality and compassion, which he identified with weakness. Hitler's leading advisers like Goebbels, Himmler, Heydrich and Bormann were atheists who hated religion and sought to eradicate its influence in Germany. “Those who refuse to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.”

Recognizing the absurdity of equating Nazism with Christianity, Christopher Hitchens seeks to push Hitler into the religious camp by portraying his ideology as a "quasi-pagan phenomenon." Hitler may have been a polytheist who worshiped the pagan gods, Hitchens suggests, but polytheism is still theism. This argument fails to distinguish between ancient paganism and modern paganism. It's true that Hitler and the Nazis drew heavily on ancient archetypes -- mainly Nordic and Teutonic legends -- to give their vision a mystical aura. But this was secular mysticism, not religious mysticism.

Recognizing the absurdity of equating Nazism with Christianity, Christopher Hitchens seeks to push Hitler into the religious camp by portraying his ideology as a "quasi-pagan phenomenon." Hitler may have been a polytheist who worshiped the pagan gods, Hitchens suggests, but polytheism is still theism. This argument fails to distinguish between ancient paganism and modern paganism. It's true that Hitler and the Nazis drew heavily on ancient archetypes -- mainly Nordic and Teutonic legends -- to give their vision a mystical aura. But this was secular mysticism, not religious mysticism.

In his multi-volume history of the Third Reich, historian Richard Evans writes that "the Nazis regarded the churches as the strongest and toughest reservoirs of ideological opposition to the principles they believed in." Once Hitler and the Nazis came to power, they launched a ruthless drive to subdue and weaken the Christian churches in Germany. Evans points out that after 1937 the policies of Hitler's government became increasingly anti-religious.

In his multi-volume history of the Third Reich, historian Richard Evans writes that "the Nazis regarded the churches as the strongest and toughest reservoirs of ideological opposition to the principles they believed in." Once Hitler and the Nazis came to power, they launched a ruthless drive to subdue and weaken the Christian churches in Germany. Evans points out that after 1937 the policies of Hitler's government became increasingly anti-religious.

Please consider the fact that Atheistic Nazi's stopped celebrating Christmas, and the Hitler Youth recited a prayer thanking the Fuhrer rather than God for their blessings. Clergy regarded as "troublemakers" were ordered not to preach, hundreds of them were imprisoned, and many were simply murdered. Churches were under constant Gestapo surveillance. The Nazis closed religious schools, forced Christian organizations to disband, dismissed civil servants who were practicing Christians, confiscated church property, and censored religious newspapers. Poor Sam Harris cannot explain how an ideology that Hitler and his associates perceived as a repudiation of Christianity can be portrayed as a "culmination" of Christianity.

Please consider the fact that Atheistic Nazi's stopped celebrating Christmas, and the Hitler Youth recited a prayer thanking the Fuhrer rather than God for their blessings. Clergy regarded as "troublemakers" were ordered not to preach, hundreds of them were imprisoned, and many were simply murdered. Churches were under constant Gestapo surveillance. The Nazis closed religious schools, forced Christian organizations to disband, dismissed civil servants who were practicing Christians, confiscated church property, and censored religious newspapers. Poor Sam Harris cannot explain how an ideology that Hitler and his associates perceived as a repudiation of Christianity can be portrayed as a "culmination" of Christianity.

If Nazism represented the culmination of anything, it was that of the nineteenth-century and early-twentieth century ideology of social Darwinism. Read historian Richard Weikart's revealing study, From Darwin to Hitler. As Weikart documents, both Hitler and Himmler were admirers of Darwin and often spoke of their role as enacting a "law of nature" that guaranteed the "elimination of the unfit." Weikart argues that Hitler himself "drew upon a bountiful fund of social Darwinist thought to construct his own racist philosophy" and concludes that while Darwinism is not a "sufficient" intellectual explanation for Nazism, it is a "necessary" one. Without Darwinism, quite possibly there would not have been Nazism.

If Nazism represented the culmination of anything, it was that of the nineteenth-century and early-twentieth century ideology of social Darwinism. Read historian Richard Weikart's revealing study, From Darwin to Hitler. As Weikart documents, both Hitler and Himmler were admirers of Darwin and often spoke of their role as enacting a "law of nature" that guaranteed the "elimination of the unfit." Weikart argues that Hitler himself "drew upon a bountiful fund of social Darwinist thought to construct his own racist philosophy" and concludes that while Darwinism is not a "sufficient" intellectual explanation for Nazism, it is a "necessary" one. Without Darwinism, quite possibly there would not have been Nazism.

This will never get into the propaganda news papers or tv news. Whoever controls the information can push their own agenda. Look at this example, Darwin's book was original titled "The Origin of Species and the Elimination of Undesired Races" or "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life." Darwin was a racist. People do not even know this basic fact. whoever controls the scientific information provided to children can alter it's facts to serve another purpose. Richard, you are a useful puppet to a globalist agenda to spread atheism and your eventual destruction.

This will never get into the propaganda news papers or tv news. Whoever controls the information can push their own agenda. Look at this example, Darwin's book was original titled "The Origin of Species and the Elimination of Undesired Races" or "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life." Darwin was a racist. People do not even know this basic fact. whoever controls the scientific information provided to children can alter it's facts to serve another purpose. Richard, you are a useful puppet to a globalist agenda to spread atheism and your eventual destruction.

Those who argue at school board meetings that Darwin should be taught in public schools seldom have taken the time to read him. If they knew the full title of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, they might have gained some inkling of the racism propagated by this controversial theorist. Had they actually read Origin, they likely would be shocked to learn that among Darwin's scientifically based proposals was the elimination of "the negro and Australian peoples," which he considered savage races whose continued survival was hindering the progress of civilization.

In his next book, The Descent of Man (1871), Darwin ranked races in terms of what he believed was their nearness and likeness to gorillas. Then he went on to propose the extermination of races he "scientifically" defined as inferior. If this were not done, he claimed, those races, with much higher birthrates than "superior" races, would exhaust the resources needed for the survival of better people, eventually dragging down all civilization.

Darwin even argued that advanced societies should not waste time and money on caring for the mentally ill, or those with birth defects. To him, these unfit members of our species ought not to survive. Atheists are clueless who they follow.

Those who argue at school board meetings that Darwin should be taught in public schools seldom have taken the time to read him. If they knew the full title of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, they might have gained some inkling of the racism propagated by this controversial theorist. Had they actually read Origin, they likely would be shocked to learn that among Darwin's scientifically based proposals was the elimination of "the negro and Australian peoples," which he considered savage races whose continued survival was hindering the progress of civilization.

In his next book, The Descent of Man (1871), Darwin ranked races in terms of what he believed was their nearness and likeness to gorillas. Then he went on to propose the extermination of races he "scientifically" defined as inferior. If this were not done, he claimed, those races, with much higher birthrates than "superior" races, would exhaust the resources needed for the survival of better people, eventually dragging down all civilization.

Darwin even argued that advanced societies should not waste time and money on caring for the mentally ill, or those with birth defects. To him, these unfit members of our species ought not to survive. Atheists are clueless who they follow.

http://www.makefive.com/categories/debate/other/worst-places-to-quantum-leap-to/nazi-concentration-camp

http://www.makefive.com/categories/debate/other/worst-places-to-quantum-leap-to/nazi-concentration-camp

http://www.ushmm.org/lcmedia/photo/lc/image/85/85117.jpg

http://www.ushmm.org/lcmedia/photo/lc/image/85/85117.jpg

http://theholocaustpictures.com/images/Concentration-Camp.jpg

http://theholocaustpictures.com/images/Concentration-Camp.jpg

http://kejda.net/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/concentration-camps5.jpg

http://kejda.net/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/concentration-camps5.jpg

The state is forcing "non religion" or atheism in this case. "Lee v. Weisman, 505 U.S. 577, 120 L. Ed. 2d 467, 112 S. Ct. 2649 (1992), could be thought of this way to the extent that anyone might have been "coerced" into a religious exercise."

The state is forcing "non religion" or atheism in this case. "Lee v. Weisman, 505 U.S. 577, 120 L. Ed. 2d 467, 112 S. Ct. 2649 (1992), could be thought of this way to the extent that anyone might have been "coerced" into a religious exercise."

Hitler's leading advisers like Goebbels, Himmler, Heydrich and Bormann were atheists who hated religion and sought to eradicate its influence in Germany. “Those who refuse to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.”

Hitler's leading advisers like Goebbels, Himmler, Heydrich and Bormann were atheists who hated religion and sought to eradicate its influence in Germany. “Those who refuse to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.”

The state is forcing "non religion" or atheism in this case. "It is also conceivable that a government could "establish" a religion by imbuing it with governmental authority, see, e.g., Larkin v. Grendel's Den, Inc., 459 U.S. 116, 74 L. Ed. 2d 297, 103 S. Ct. 505 (1982)"

The state is forcing "non religion" or atheism in this case. "It is also conceivable that a government could "establish" a religion by imbuing it with governmental authority, see, e.g., Larkin v. Grendel's Den, Inc., 459 U.S. 116, 74 L. Ed. 2d 297, 103 S. Ct. 505 (1982)"

The state is forcing "non religion" or atheism in this case. "To be sure, such an affirmation is not a prayer, and I admit that this might be a significant distinction. But the Court has squarely held that the government cannot require a person to "declare his belief in God." Torcaso v. Watkins, 367 U.S. 488, 489, 6 L. Ed. 2d 982, 81 S. Ct. 1680 (1961); id., at 495, 6 L. Ed. 2d 982, 81 S. Ct. 1680 ("We repeat and again reaffirm that neither a State nor the Federal Government can constitutionally force a person 'to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion'")

The state is forcing "non religion" or atheism in this case. "To be sure, such an affirmation is not a prayer, and I admit that this might be a significant distinction. But the Court has squarely held that the government cannot require a person to "declare his belief in God." Torcaso v. Watkins, 367 U.S. 488, 489, 6 L. Ed. 2d 982, 81 S. Ct. 1680 (1961); id., at 495, 6 L. Ed. 2d 982, 81 S. Ct. 1680 ("We repeat and again reaffirm that neither a State nor the Federal Government can constitutionally force a person 'to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion'")

A religion need not be based on a belief in the existence of a supreme being (or beings, for polytheistic faiths), see Torcaso v. Watkins, 367 U.S. 488, 495 & n. 11, 81 S.Ct. 1680, 6 L.Ed.2d 982 (1961); Malnak v. Yogi, 592 F.2d 197, 200-15 (3d Cir.1979) (Adams, J., concurring); Theriault v. Silber, 547 F.2d 1279, 1281 (5th Cir.1977) (per curiam), nor must it be a mainstream faith, see Thomas v. Review Bd., 450 U.S. 707, 714, 101 S.Ct. 1425, 67 L.Ed.2d 624 (1981); Lindell v. McCallum, 352 F.3d 1107, 1110 (7th Cir.2003).

A religion need not be based on a belief in the existence of a supreme being (or beings, for polytheistic faiths), see Torcaso v. Watkins, 367 U.S. 488, 495 & n. 11, 81 S.Ct. 1680, 6 L.Ed.2d 982 (1961); Malnak v. Yogi, 592 F.2d 197, 200-15 (3d Cir.1979) (Adams, J., concurring); Theriault v. Silber, 547 F.2d 1279, 1281 (5th Cir.1977) (per curiam), nor must it be a mainstream faith, see Thomas v. Review Bd., 450 U.S. 707, 714, 101 S.Ct. 1425, 67 L.Ed.2d 624 (1981); Lindell v. McCallum, 352 F.3d 1107, 1110 (7th Cir.2003).

The Supreme Court has recognized atheism as equivalent to a "religion" for purposes of the First Amendment on numerous occasions, most recently in McCreary County, Ky. v. American Civil Liberties Union of Ky., ___ U.S. ___, 125 S.Ct. 2722, ___ L.Ed.2d ___ (2005). The Establishment Clause itself says only that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion," but the Court understands the reference to religion to include what it often calls "nonreligion." In McCreary County, it described the touchstone of Establishment Clause analysis as "the principle that the First Amendment mandates government neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion." Id. at *10 (internal quotations omitted). As the Court put it in Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38, 105 S.Ct. 2479, 86 L.Ed.2d 29 (1985).

The Supreme Court has recognized atheism as equivalent to a "religion" for purposes of the First Amendment on numerous occasions, most recently in McCreary County, Ky. v. American Civil Liberties Union of Ky., ___ U.S. ___, 125 S.Ct. 2722, ___ L.Ed.2d ___ (2005). The Establishment Clause itself says only that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion," but the Court understands the reference to religion to include what it often calls "nonreligion." In McCreary County, it described the touchstone of Establishment Clause analysis as "the principle that the First Amendment mandates government neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion." Id. at *10 (internal quotations omitted). As the Court put it in Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38, 105 S.Ct. 2479, 86 L.Ed.2d 29 (1985).

The public schools and government can not make "non religion" or atheism the established religion by force in this district. It violates neutrality under the establishment clause. APPEAL or Vote Them Out!

The public schools and government can not make "non religion" or atheism the established religion by force in this district. It violates neutrality under the establishment clause. APPEAL or Vote Them Out!

The media may not cover the truth but the rooms have been packed by taxpayers of Cranston to Keep the Original Banner and to do the APPEAL. http://youtu.be/6D52AqtJhDc APPEAL OR VOTE THEM OUT!

ZERO TWEETS, ZERO FACEBOOK LIKES, RIGGED POLL! LOL

37,000 vote and 5 TWEETS, lol 17 FACEBOOK LIKES, LOL, LOL, LOL, RIGGED POLL!!!!! APPEAL OR VOTE THEM OUT!!!!

Atheists sure can try to lie but they always get caught in the end!!!!!!! LOL RIGGED POLL!!!! APPEAL OR VOTE THEM OUT!!!!!!!!

If 37,000 people voted on this poll then I'm sure some will vote on this one http://youtu.be/6D52AqtJhDc Why not? Because 37,000 votes are fake in this poll! Watch this link and see if it reflects the same number of people who supposedly voted in the above poll. It won't. They can't rig youtube's counters as easy as this one. We know this poll and the Providence Journals polls are rigged. LOL! right in your face

If 37,000 people voted on this poll then I'm sure some will vote on this one http://youtu.be/6D52AqtJhDc Why not? Because 37,000 votes are fake in this poll! Watch this link and see if it reflects the same number of people who supposedly voted in the above poll. It won't. They can't rig youtube's counters as easy as this one. We know this poll and the Providence Journals polls are rigged. LOL! right in your face

Atheists have lost all credibility.

Nobody wants to see your batshit insane videos, Chris. Get over yourself.

Dear me, Chris Young. We are impassioned, aren't we?

Let me offer you a free tip: Even if you were to make the most well-reasoned, persuasive argument possible*, by the time you reach your 50th or 60th consecutive comment, nobody is going to notice because your posting habits have already revealed you to be a barking lunatic. Try thinking really hard and compressing your ideas into a compelling comment once every, say, ten minutes or so. I know it's hard to hold back all of the wisdom pouring out of you like that, but believe me, you'll make a much greater impact if you exercise a touch of restraint.

* (Don't worry; you're actually not anywhere close to a well-reasoned, persuasive argument, unless you're trying to convince someone to commit you to a mental institution.)

There is no debate here. The poster was unconsitutional. It really doesn't matter how loudly the small-minded ignoramuses of Cranston bleat. And for you historical revisionists, the founding fathers, overwhelmingly, subscribed more to the tenets of freemasonry and deism than to Christianity. In fact, skepticism as to both Christ's divinity and priestly power was a common theme. Believe what you want, but leave it at home.

@ MIKETHEINFIDEL

Still waiting on your citations of where I have busted each poll r/atheism highjacks.

Waiting.... But we both know you wont answer, (it's because you made that up.)

You are pathetic

***WARNING***

This poll has been hijacked by atheists at reddit.com/r/atheism

Here is the link to the post telling over 400,000 members to vote no. This poll should be negated as it's not a true sample any longer.

http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comments/p6kzc/support_jessica_ahlquist_vote_no_for_the_appeal/

Title: Support Jessica Ahlquist! Vote No for the appeal!

**************************************************************************WARNING*********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************RIGGED******POLL****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************RHOHYBEAT.COM****************SOUGHT OUT ATHEISTS TO VOTE TO RIG THE RESULTS*******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************THEY POSTED ON AN ATHEISTS WEBSITE TO VOTE FOR AHLQUIST*********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************ATHEIST SUPPORTERS CHEAT*****************************************************************************RIGGED POLL***************************************STOP SUPPORTING ADVERTISERS FOR THIS PAPER******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

******RIGGED POLL************SOMEONE UNDER THE NAME OF THIS PAPER POSTED Support Jessica Ahlquist! Vote No for the appeal! (rhodybeat.com)**********THIS PAPER IS PROPAGANDA PUSHERS*********CALL ADVERTISERS AND TELL THEM YOU NO LONGER WILL BUY THEIR PRODUCTS BECAUSE THEY ADVERTISE WITH RHODYBEAT**********************************************

50 out of state atheists voting over and over again from a posting this paper did on an atheist website**********http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comments/p6kzc/support_jessica_ahlquist_vote_no_for_the_appeal/********* RIGGED POLL***********I BET THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL DID THE SAME THING***********

***WARNING***

This poll has been hijacked by atheists at reddit.com/r/atheism

Here is the link to the post telling over 400,000 members to vote no. This poll should be negated as it's not a true sample any longer.

http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comments/p6kzc/support_jessica_ahlquist_vote_no_for_the_appeal/

Title: Support Jessica Ahlquist! Vote No for the appeal!

***WARNING***

This poll has been hijacked by Rhodybeat.com at reddit.com/r/atheism

Here is the link to the post telling over 400,000 members to vote no. This poll should be negated as it's not a true sample any longer.

http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comments/p6kzc/support_jessica_ahlquist_vote_no_for_the_appeal/

Title: Support Jessica Ahlquist! Vote No for the appeal!

*** WARNING ***

Posting warnings on an internet poll does not change the fact that the banner was unconstitutional.

[–]indigent3 5 points 16 hours ago

We have been found.

On 2/1/12 at 06:20 PM, jonsnowthewall wrote:

WARNING

This poll has been hijacked by atheists at reddit.com/r/atheism

Here is the link to the post telling over 400,000 members to vote no. This poll should be negated as it's not a true sample any longer.

http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comments/p6kzc/support_jessica_ahlquist_vote_no_for_the_appeal/

Title: Support Jessica Ahlquist! Vote No for the appeal!

@mikey mud

I think the banner should have fallen under protections given such as the 10 commandments display in Austin Tx at the Capitol. It has historical value and heritage for this school.

Atheists do themselves a huge disservice for their 'cause' here, and this should be appealed and this decision reversed.

Just two points of clarification: first, RhodyBeat.com is a user-generated site moderated by the staff of Beacon Communications (Warwick Beacon, Cranston Herald and Johnston Sun Rise). No one from this organization promoted the poll on outside websites, with the exception of our own Facebook page, on which we directed readers to the Cranston Herald homepage to vote. We cannot, however, forbid other people from promoting the poll. I'm sure people on both sides of the issue encouraged their friends and like-minded people to participate.

Second, polls remain on the site indefinitely so people can refer back to comments, but when the results of this poll were published, there were just under 2,000 votes cast - clearly, a very different picture than what has accumulated since then. How that works, is each week's Herald is uploaded at 1 p.m. on Wednesdays. That week's poll is featured on the homepage until a new edition is uploaded, but results are captured at 1 p.m. on Tuesdays to allow us to reverse publish a snapshot of the poll at that moment in time, and still make deadline. This poll continues to appear as a "hot story" on RhodyBeat because our site uses a formula that factors page views, comments, shares, etc. together and keeps the most popular items in prominent places on the homepage.

Meg Fraser

Cranston Herald Editor

Meg, please look at this link you will see that the poster has linked Rhodybeat.com to the post. Meaning it appears someone is saying they are you and asking people to vote no. It appears they set up a domain titled rhodybeat, I would think they would have your authority to do that. http://www.reddit.com/domain/rhodybeat.com/ http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comments/p6kzc/support_jessica_ahlquist_vote_no_for_the_appeal/

@Meg

That's cool. I just wanted your readers to know the poll was hijacked and to not give any real weight to it because a coordinated effort was made that slanted the results in favor of the other side.

"I'm sure people on both sides of the issue encouraged their friends and like-minded people to participate. "

We are talking about a membership of 400,000 people being directed to slant a poll in their favor. Just bringing that to everyones attention.

Meg, did Allikat685 have the authority from your paper to setup a page to endorse removing the banner? Cranston taxpayers would be interested to know. Please look at this link you will see that the poster has linked Rhodybeat.com to the post. Meaning it appears someone is saying they are you and asking people to vote no. It appears they set up a domain titled rhodybeat, I would think they would have your authority to do that. http://www.reddit.com/domain/rhodybeat.com/

I will call your boss and find out.

I have saved the information and will send it to John.

Meg, did Allikat685 have the authority from your paper to setup a page to endorse removing the banner? Cranston taxpayers would be interested to know. Please look at this link you will see that the poster has linked Rhodybeat.com to the post. Meaning it appears someone is saying they are you and asking people to vote no. It appears they set up a domain titled rhodybeat, I would think they would have your authority to do that. http://www.reddit.com/domain/rhodybeat.com/

@Chris - I encourage you to do so if you feel that the Herald is being biased in its coverage of this prayer case.

Reddit is an open source news sharing website. Basically, how it works, is users find something interesting online (photos, videos, news stories, polls, etc.) and post about it to other reddit users. They source back to where it came from, though, so those users stumbling upon the content can see it in its original context or, in this case, to encourage them to contribute to the initial dialogue. They're not actually posting as RhodyBeat, but under the name AlliKat685, and then the (rhodybeat.com) you see is a reference to where the shared item comes from. You see the same notation made for YouTube, imgur, and many other websites, both official newspaper sites and blogs, social networking, etc.

@Jon - I understand where you're coming from, and clearly the reddit post did have a significant impact on the poll, although those figures were not reflected in the hard copy of our paper. I just wanted to make it clear that the Herald did not have any part in skewing poll results. We put up the question and let users have at it.

I see 5,000 Cranston residents voting and out of state atheists from an atheist website trying to scare the people using this poll. This seems to have also been done on the Providence Journal's polls. When clearly hundreds have shown up to support the banner to remain and less than 5 atheists show up to remove it. I know you have fairly covered this story but I think you should do a story on how they posted this on their website to alter the results. This AlliKat685 is not your employee? This is a quote from that site:

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[–]mrMirage 7 points 21 hours ago

63% to 37% at 4:45 EST --- It can be done

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[–]indigent3 9 points 21 hours ago*

59% to 41% only 5 minutes later. Nice.

Edit: Timestamp - 4:50 EST

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[–]mrMirage 6 points 21 hours ago

lol 56% to 44% 10 mins after that

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[–]indigent3 6 points 21 hours ago

52% to 48% 3 minutes later...

Edit: Timestamp - 5:08 EST

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[–]Wormythunder 6 points 20 hours ago

45% to 55% Well done

Edit: at 5:23 EST

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[–]kamikaze_tsunami 4 points 20 hours ago

66 to 34 at 6:00 EST.

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load more comments (2 replies)

[–]indigent3 4 points 20 hours ago

5:19 EST - "No" is now leading 53% to 47%.

More from the atheist website:

[–]samw3d 3 points 21 hours ago

2:04pst, gap has closed to 44-56 no-yes. Keep it up.

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[–]drewuke 3 points 20 hours ago

52-48, come on, some more work needed.

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[–]colonial_cylon 1 point 8 hours ago

Wow. Good work Reddit.

[–]jheregpip 1 point 11 hours ago

I just checked up on this, 3 hours after the link was posted it was

Yes: 72%

No: 28%

12 hours in

yes: 11%

No: 89%

Good job guys

It appears this poll was rigged by out of state atheists.

@Chris, to answer your question a while back, no, AlliKat685 is not an employee of Beacon Communications.

@ChrisYoung - You really should learn how the internet works. AlliKat did not create anything. Nor are they trying to act like anyone else. Reddit is a news aggregation (o no, big word!) site that links you to content all over the internet. It is not an atheist site. It is like a forum in that there are different sections. There is even a Christian and Catholic section! www.reddit.com/r/Christianity/

By the way, Chris. You should google your name and the word Cranston and see how the internet already has you pegged as a nutjob.

Mr Young posted... "ChrisYoung2012 wrote: The party to the action was not a state resident." you are not a city of Cranston resident so according to your logic, you should you then not partake in discussions within Cranston..... the city does not have the money to support this, they tried and lost and now to pay for it my children will lose what? they are the true losers here... it seems everyone forgets about them.. My children no longer have music in school, no longer have middle school sports, no longer have EPIC....enough is enough!! DO NOT APPEAL...my children do not deserve to lose anything else so an outsider can continue to push his agenda...for those of you who forget, Mr Young threatened his own law suit against the city in August 2010 if the school committee did not peruse this in court.

******WARNING ******** AN INDIVIDUAL NAMED CHRIS YOUNG IS ATTEMPTING TO SPAM THIS COMMENTS SECTION IN AN ATTEMPT TO IMPROPERLY BIAS THE FAIR RESULTS OF THIS POLL!!! He is a well known religious zealot in the grand tradition of the Taliban, he should not be allowed to repeatedly attempt to filibuster this poll with his highly biased language and statements in this comments section.

This person has been widely discredited by the mainstream populace, evidenced through his ejection from a mayoral debate due to not following simple rules. This has resulted in a widely publicized, well formed judgement about his lack of coherent mental capacity and behavior.

Evidence:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-2ZIX4XskA

@Maxray

You can discredit chris all you want. Still doesn't change the fact that over 400,000 people were directed to slant this poll. I am pleased, and I am happy that I have shown the residence of this city that this poll was highjacked.

Cry all you want, the truth is out.

I grew up in Cranston and lived on rutland Street. My family still lives in Cranston and pay way more taxes than you do I bet.

Several students plan on suing the city if the banner is removed.

Atheist want to sue again to remove the Pledge of Allegiance. It is better to stand up to a bully or an atheist then let them sue you over and over again. Even the plaintiff in this action has stated she wants to remove religious references such as the Pledge of Allegiance. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=283675438361403&set=a.207450502650564.52613.206427136086234&type=1&theater

i pay my fair share of taxes and as usual you try to switch gears..... the bottom line is the children of this city have suffered long enough. The school department just introduced a budget that for the first time in years had a positive spin, maybe if you were concerned about the children you would have hung around at the last school committee meeting to see that. I am so tired of people pushing an agenda and yet have no idea of its results. I think the Herald should run another poll....how many people before Aug 2010 knew this banner existed? From people i talk to more than half did not and many of those attended Cranston West and yet never knew it was there. I personally would like to see it stay for its historical significance but it was ordered to come down. Now the ACLU is trying to collect some obscene amount of money that the city cannot afford. ENOUGH! my kids do not deserve to lose anymore and yet no one, NO ONE, cares about them! Well that has to change. Get back to educating and offering my children ALL opportunities everyone else was offered. but I guess that is not important to most of you who attended the school committee meetings recently, you just have your own agenda and the hell with everyone else. that is sad.

Mr. Young, who apparently thinks that more money equals more rights, is similarly misinformed regarding the Pledge of Allegiance. No one wants to "remove the pledge". Some would like to see it returned to its original wording, as penned by its Christian clergyman author in 1892. After several failed attempts by religious groups (notably the Knights of Columbus) to have God added to the Pledge, they finally succeeded in 1954, when, in the middle of the "Red Scare", President Eisenhower and Congress agreed to the change (ostensibly to differentiate the US from the USSR). Like the phrase "In God We Trust", which was added to US banknotes during the same era, it's another curious example of the dominant religion encroaching on what was unarguably intended to be a secular state, according to the Constitution.

this girls family should be paying for all of the legal fees not the city of cranston

I'd like to remind atheists and theists alike that this ruling and the separation of church and state have nothing at all to do with atheism or theism. Zero, zilch, nada.

A lot of my fellow atheists -- of the more loudmouthed, "empowered," New Atheist ilk -- have made the same mistake their supposed opponents, the fundamentalists on the other side, have made in trying to turn the separation of church and state into one more facet of the endless culture war.

It's a simple matter of the establishment clause. Period. The judge was spot on. End of story.

Also, the ACLU almost certainly went *easy* on Cranston. The quote will be challenged, of course, and I presume the RI ACLU lawyers aren't dumb enough to be shown to have high-balled the quote. Which might kill the branch in the state forever, frankly. I presume they really did lowball the quote.

So, if you don't like the bill, blame the people on the school committee who, in the full knowledge that they'd have to pay the bill since the case had no chance, decided to go ahead and do this anyway. Many, if not most, of them will vote for an appeal -- hey, why not double down? I hope none of them do, frankly, and I think one person has changed her vote. Great.

I hope the past weeks since the ruling have been spent trying to build the best case possible for not pursuing the appeal. Though that won't satisfy some in the pitchfork crowd who have launched a jihad in favor of appealing the ruling. Oh, well. Funny that they are more concerned with keeping an illegal, unconstitutional school prayer (titled, "School Prayer") up than, say, trying to feed the poor or tend to the sick.

Let's hope this idiocy comes to an end on 16 February. If a politician in Cranston had had the guts to stand up and try to educate the public on this issue, s/he might have saved the town $200k. If any politician did do that, and I missed it (entirely possible), I'd like to learn of it.

To Mr. Tarnopol, apparently you did miiss it. Of the 7 school committee members, 3 of us voted to not go to court. This was not about the constitutionality of the banner, or about church vs. state. The actual wording of the resolution was not whether or not to take the banner down or leave it up, it was about whether or not we should spend money on a lawsuit. It was and continues to be an issue that for me, is about education. Contraty to Mr. Young's unfortunate comments, the Cranston School Committee does not have 133 million dollars of disposable income. All 133 million of those dollars are earmarked for the EDUCATION of our students, all 11,000 of them.. There is not one dime of that budget that can be or should ever be spent on anything other than education (which includes salaries and benefits for the people who educate our students). For any who would like to challenge this fact, I invite you to visit the Cranston Public Schools web site and read the entire budget. if you can find $173,000 extra dollars, I'd like to know about it!

As a member of the school committee, I am charged with the care and control of the education of our students. I have an obligation to them, their parents and the TAXPAYERS (of which Mr. Young is not) of the city of Cranston. I do not care to pontificate on my faith or religion. That is between me, my family, my Church and most importantly, my God. If you want to vote me out becuase I am doing my job as an elected official, then you are free to do so. I do not know how the committee will vote on Feb 16. But I do wish that people would stop saying, "you can't make it about the money", or "you can fundraise the money". Where were all of you when I had to cast my vote to cut music from my children's education. Where was Mr. Young when I had to tell my daughter that I had to cut funding for her gifted program. And if we appeal, where will all of you be when we could face the potential of having to close schools, or lay off teachers because we spent money, meant for education, on a lawsuit? Will you all come to tell the 11,000 children whose education will be ruined that it was "all for the best"? Maybe for all of you, it's not about the money, and for you, it doesn't have to be. But I was elected to make educational and financial decisions for the students and taxpayers of this city. I do not have that luxury.

For the record, I am Stephanie Culhane, Ward 2, Cranston School Committe, my tagline does not relfect that.

To Ms.Stephanie Culhane, What will it teach our children(My Daughter just spent 12 years in the Cranston school system) when you don't stand up for what is right? What will it teach them when you lie down every time a Bully Organization like the ACLU threatens you with financial ruin if you don't do what they want? What will it teach our children when you try and use past mistakes in budgeting as a reason not to stand for what you feel is right? What will it teach them when excuses are made in order to make a problem go away? You were elected to do what is right for our children, without money being the only factor in decisions you make. I never heard about you cutting the Music program, or any other programs for that matter and I was involved in EVERY aspect of my Child's education. I understand the hard decisions the School Committee has to make and I for one do not want my children learning to either do anything "half-way" or to quit after the first hurdle gets put in the way (we strongly feel this way but because the ACLU is making more noise, we should give up). In the overall scope of a child's education, teaching them not to stand up for what they believe is inexcusable. I know you don't want to hear it but the whole money issue can be overcome. We should only teach our children to "Roll over and play dead" when they are being attacked by a Bear. Please don't take my comments as any kind of disrespect for the Members of the Committee, my hat is off to all of you, I just differ in what I feel should be fought for.

Hello, Stephanie:

I saw your response on FB (via the Support the Banner Decision page) to my question/comment on the Cranston Herald site.

The "this" in "this issue" referred to the separation of church and state, not to costs per se. Because the town stubbornly refused to follow the law, it's now on the hook for $173k. There's a fair chance that if you guys vote to appeal, it'll climb into the millions.

It's not about money, per se. It would have cost something to alter the banner in situ, contextualize it so it would be constitutional, or whatever. My understanding is that Ahlquist/the ACLU suggested this, waited, and never got anything but either silence or "no." However, following the law would indeed have cost money. By your argument, that was reason *not* to remove/alter it. Or perhaps you'd argue (rightly) that spending a little up front is better than being on the hook for a ton down the line...? Still misses the point of my point: this is about separation of church and state (SOCAS)

Now we've had a jihad in this ol' town against a 16-year-old. It's embarrassing and a permanent stain on the town.

Religious or not, a school prayer, titled "School Prayer," in that central location breaks the Establishment Clause. Moreover, the banner reaction has less to do with religion per se than with the hysteria of a formerly dominant ethno-religious group (loosely defined: white, European Catholics) having an illegal privilege taken away from it.

I do respect your privacy about religion, etc. There are a lot of out-of-town New Atheist dogmatists (I'm a lifelong atheist, btw; hate the New Atheist fundamentalists -- an orgy of instantly self-refuting self-congratulation and ignorance) trying to make this into secular/atheism vs religion. It isn't.

Educating people about SOCAS might have helped a lot; that is what I didn't ever see happen. Nor am I aware of any seriously public plea to leave this kid alone, if not to praise her, before national and international embarrassment forced the hand, so to speak. Again, I could have missed it, but the town's government should have spoken with one voice on the constitutional and personal-safety issues.

Furthermore, there is a basic moral point here, beyond its enshrinement in the Constitution: you don't put up markers of "people like you" backed by the full force of the State in public places. It's just a ridiculously arrogant and egotistical move, all else aside, and the viciousness with which this removal of privilege has been met -- up to and including elected officials demonizing this kid -- has been quite telling, not about Cranston, necessarily, per se, but about how vicious, ignorant, narcissistic, and stupid people can be.

It's this kind of tribal garbage that's rapidly running this species off a cliff. One would have thought that that point would have been obvious, and would have been talked about publicly. As far as I can tell, none of the points I've made really came up. That was *my* point: that's *why* SOCAS exists; that's *why* religious people invented it -- after centuries of slaughter, and especially decades of Protestant-vs-Catholic bloodshed in 16th-C England, the founders -- deist or devout Christian -- figured enough was enough. Rightly.

I presume you'll vote against an appeal. I really hope your compadres do, because they will get utterly hammered in the courts -- every lawyer I know thinks this is a sealed case. You guys will only raise the tab. Massively. And I'd bet a lot the ACLU did lowball it. It seemed low. Don't blame them for it. It's your (collective) fault for letting this get to where it's gotten.

Funny how people were far more motivated about saving some fetishized banner than about following any of the supposedly much-loved precepts actually stated *on* the banner. To say nothing of the obvious fact that if people cared as much about, say, feeding the poor of this town as they do about, ultimately, their own egos, we'd all be a lot closer to the Sermon on the Mount. Another irony.

All the best, Dug

Oops -- I meant, "No matter whether you're religious or not, a school prayer..." etc.

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