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Quote# 81448

Regarding an atheist BHS student's protest of a prayer at this year's graduation ceremony.

At an impromptu gathering of students Thursday afternoon outside First Baptist Church in Bastrop, many of the more than 40 graduating seniors assembled expressed their disbelief about their classmate’s protest.

“I’m wondering why,” said Kari Payton, class valedictorian. “This is something that’s been done for years - forever - and now that we’re graduating we can’t show reverence and honor to our God?”

Jasmine Davis’ feelings on the issue were shared by many others.

“Why does one person get to decide what more than 200 of us do?” Davis said. “It’s obvious (the student) is in the minority, yet the rest of us are being denied to pray to our God.”

In addition to the students, a similarly sized group of adults gathered at the church.

Rita Stuckey said a fellow member of Bonne Idee Assembly of God informed her about the school’s decision to remove prayer from the program and the gathering at First Baptist. Her children have already graduated from Bastrop High.

“When I was raised here, Christ as the center of our community,” Stuckey said. “I think the children should have the right to pray and shouldn’t be prohibited from sharing their belief in Christ.”

As the group crowded the front steps of the church, they discussed a plan that will still allow prayer to be heard at graduation. During the time of “silent reflection,” adults in the bleachers in the football stadium at Bastrop High will stand, followed by the students, who will turn to face the stadium as the group recites the Lord’s Prayer.

Bastrop High School seniors, The Baystrop Enterprise 73 Comments [5/29/2011 4:41:23 AM]
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Submitted By: emau99
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Anon-e-moose

“Why does one person get to decide what more than 200 of us do?”

I dunno. You'd better ask Scott Roeder that.

PROTIP: Roe vs. Wade in 1973.

Or those opposed to gays in the military.

PROTIP: DADT's repealment late last year.

Or those opposed to Civil Partnerships.

PROTIP: Prop 8's overturning last year.

Teaching Creationism in schools.

PROTIP: Kitzmiller vs. Dover in 2005.

I think you'll find that religion isn't a democracy. And that's the problem. If we Atheists can't have a say in whoever is God, nor have any control over him - or his doctrines - then you fundies have no right whatsoever to interfere in secular socio-political affairs.

You aren't of this world you claim to be in, after all. And isn't politics a very worldly thing?

PROTIP: Matthew 6:6. And why separation of Church and State exists in the US.

If the minority - Atheists - has no say in religion, then religion has no place whasoever in the world.

5/29/2011 10:19:03 AM

JDC1

The teaching of religious practice should be
reserved for the church of chioce.

School is for the teaching of everthing else
where the church of choice is much too wide and various to appease everybody there.

5/29/2011 10:20:00 AM

JDC1

The teaching of religious practice should be
reserved for the church of chioce.

School is for the teaching of everthing else
where the church of choice is much too wide and various to appease everybody there.

5/29/2011 10:20:31 AM

Aspergus

Ugh. And to think that these people will undoubtedly be thought of as "heroes who stood up to the atheistic agenda" to every small town in the country.

5/29/2011 10:32:50 AM

Radaghast

Nobody said they couldn't pray. They just said not at school. Seems reasonable. If you want to pray, have your own party. Have your own ceremony at your cult center.

5/29/2011 10:50:06 AM

Papabear

"“I’m wondering why,” said Kari Payton, class valedictorian. “This is something that’s been done for years - forever - and now that we’re graduating we can’t show reverence and honor to our God?”"

Perpetual stupity is no excuse for perpetuating stupidity.

5/29/2011 10:51:50 AM

Papabear

P.S. In the Bible, Jesus said for you to pray in private. A public school graduation is not in private, dear hearts.

5/29/2011 10:54:07 AM

solomongrundy

“I’m wondering why,” said Kari Payton, class valedictorian...

Good grief, if that's a quote from the valedictorian it does makes you wonder what sort of half-wits the run-of-the-mill graduates of Bastrop High School must be.

5/29/2011 11:26:35 AM

Anon-e-moose

@solomongrundy

'“I’m wondering why,” said Kari Payton, class valedictorian...'

"Good grief, if that's a quote from the valedictorian it does makes you wonder what sort of half-wits the run-of-the-mill graduates of Bastrop High School must be."

And one wonders why China is set to overtake the US in scientific R&D in the next two years?

Considering Texas, then even the University of Georgia a few years ago - along with IBM - creating a .5 THz CPU, one only hopes the latter have advanced their research into the realms of Quantum Computing.

China does have the Tianhe 1A, the most powerful supercomputer on the planet, after all.

5/29/2011 11:37:55 AM



That news article is highly biased against the student.

5/29/2011 11:55:00 AM

aaa

I've seen worse.

5/29/2011 12:02:25 PM

Old Viking

Why not let some reality intrude here? Yes, in principle the prayer should not be part of the occasion. But it is merely a group of misguided people blathering in unison. It does no harm to anyone's beliefs or lack thereof. And it's over quickly. If the practice is offensive to you, don't recite the prayer. Hell, don't even stand. But I'm damned if I'm going to get my shorts in a wad over something this trivial when my time,energy and indignation can be devoted to more important church/state issues.

5/29/2011 1:01:39 PM

Amanda

Uh...you know you can pray to God privately, don't you?

5/29/2011 1:07:01 PM

checkmate

Not only are these brain farts who insist on having their prayer being in the limelight in direct contradiction to the US Constitution, they're also begging their Lord and Master Jesus to send them all to hell, non-stop express.

Matthew 6:6 states very clearly "but when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you."

Shit, wait, the Baptists won't read that, it's not from their beloved, holy, divine, inspired King James Version. Ok, here's the "real" thing: "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."

So, we'll have to erect 200 little closets at the graduation ceremony which they can enter to say their prayer.

Idea: Porta-Potties!!

This is where they can pray in keeping with God's holy law:



What an ironically fitting location for prayer. ;-)

That should be interesting.

5/29/2011 3:21:48 PM

mathius_dragoon

That's what a fucking Commencement is for. That's what the christian students from my high school did and they didn't bitch about it. And this was at a conservative preppy school where the FCA got away with shit that would make some of you guys on here puke. Oh, and it was also a white majority(98%+) school that got investigated by the fucking federal government because the minority students kept moving away.

edit: I'm not certain on the name of the ceremony now. I thought it was "Commencement" but looking up the term it seems to be a synonym for graduation. But I can't for the life of me remember what damned term they did use for their ceremony.

5/29/2011 6:01:34 PM

The Jamo

To be perfectly honest, I don't really have an issue with this. I don't think that anyone should decide what anyone else does. If a group of people wants to pray then they should pray. If one from that group does not, they are welcome to sit in the chair and do nothing for a minute or two. It won't kill you... and the believers certanly did not try to force this person to pray, so this is really a non-issue.

5/29/2011 6:01:37 PM

Professor M

@ The Jamo --

This isn't just "a bunch of people" getting together to pray. This is one group insisting that a larger group publicly gather together to make a statement that the beliefs of the sub-group are carried by the group as a whole. It's about ritually taunting and ostracizing the people who aren't Christian and/or aren't willing to wipe their asses with the Constitution and the book of Matthew in public.

5/29/2011 6:10:00 PM

derpmaster

I mean I don't give a rat's ass personally. As one of maybe four atheists in my senior class, I sat through my high school graduation ceremony as every speech thanked the Lord for blessing them with the talent to stumble through the pathetic North Carolina public education system and the salutatorian sang her Jesus songs. I sat through my graduation ceremony in college as several speakers alluded to their Christian faith. I really didn't care, I just put up with it and moved on with my life.

It's the principle, though. Anyone who has a problem with it has a strong Constitutional case, and that's just how it is. Additionally these people are being smug as fuck about this.

5/29/2011 6:34:31 PM

Conservative Communist

The student has every right NOT to participate in the prayer. dont like it? dont Pray. Same argument gays and liberals use for gay marriage ironically enough..."dont like it"? "Dont get one."

Besides as the ceremony is being held OFF of school grounds, there is no violation of church and state. Just because it was organized by the school doesnt constitute endorsement of religion, as there is no one with a gun to that atheists back saying "pray". Whwre exactly does it say every one is FORCED to pray? Does it say they dont get their diploma if they dont pray? So where is the EXPLICIT coercion? Did the students say they would beat up anyone who did not pray? No. By everyones logic here, you no one would be allowed to pray anywhere in public because an atheist might be within earshot, and be offended.

These kind of action by this type of in your face, atheists who cant stand being in the presence of anything religious and thus decide no one else should be allowed to, is why i dont have a very good perception of atheists.

5/29/2011 7:07:08 PM

derpmaster

The student has every right NOT to participate in the prayer. dont like it? dont Pray. Same argument gays and liberals use for gay marriage ironically enough..."dont like it"? "Dont get one."

Actually gays and liberals mostly argue on the basis of the 14th Amendment and the myriad rights and benefits that married straight couples are afforded but that are not offered to gay couples. But moving on...

Just because it was organized by the school doesnt constitute endorsement of religion, as there is no one with a gun to that atheists back saying "pray"

Well that's an interesting conclusion to come to. A public, taxpayer funded institution plans an event where students are being led in Christian prayer. Call me crazy but that sure sounds like an endorsement of Christianity. I don't know if I'd consider the school's own football stadium "off school grounds" myself either.

By everyones logic here, you no one would be allowed to pray anywhere in public because an atheist might be within earshot, and be offended.

Yeah except state taxes paid for this prayer. That's kind of a different situation than Joe the street preacher. You're conflating an objection to an explicit endorsement of religion by a public school with the endorsement of religion by private citizens/organizations in public. The second one is a Constitutionally protected right; in fact the Supreme Court just upheld the right of certain groups to protest soldiers' funerals on the basis of their religious beliefs.

These kind of action by this type of in your face, atheists who cant stand being in the presence of anything religious and thus decide no one else should be allowed to, is why i dont have a very good perception of atheists.

Well gee, sounds like someone is offended by a free expression of someone else's religious faith, or lack thereof.

By the way, how is someone with a legitimate Constitutional complaint any more "in your face" than a bunch of grown-ass men standing up and shouting the Lord's prayer from the bleachers in a football stadium? There's your aggression and coercion.

The entire school and actual faculty members are actively talking shit about this kid to the media, and you're saying that there's no coercion or bullying involved? Sounds like the message is loud and clear to me: pray with us or we'll fuck you up.

5/29/2011 7:38:19 PM

The_L

“This is something that’s been done for years - forever - and now that we’re graduating we can’t show reverence and honor to our God?”

Oh please. Every graduating kid always has a celebration of some sort with family. You can always pray then.

As for the Lord's Prayer thing? You're not only defying both letter and spirit of the request, you're behaving in the opposite of the way its author would have wanted you to behave.

5/30/2011 3:43:46 AM

WMDKitty

“Why does one person get to decide what more than 200 of us do?”

Because what you're doing is in violation of federal law.

Davis said. “It’s obvious (the student) is in the minority, yet the rest of us are being denied to pray to our God.”

No, you're not being "denied" anything. You can still pray if you want to, but you cannot force your religious beliefs on others. By the way, what was that one verse? The one that tells you to pray in secret, instead of being like the Pharisees and praying in public for show...

5/30/2011 5:42:52 AM

random


5/30/2011 5:44:56 AM

TheJebusFire

“When I was raised here, Christ as the center of our community,”

Would that be the same Christ who told his followers not to pray loudly in public because it made you look like a hypocrite.

5/30/2011 9:08:31 AM

Jray

I agree with RCS. THis sounds like one of those communities where just about everyone is religious anyway. I'm not a very religious person, and I've never had a problem just sitting there quietly while everyone else prays.

5/30/2011 9:26:16 AM
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