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Quote# 86203

This little atheist bully [Jessica Ahlquist], with the help of the grammatically-challenged Freedom From Religion Foundation (the Constitution guarantees freedom “of” religion, not freedom “from” religion), got a prayer banner pulled off the wall of a Rhode Island high school, a banner that had not been bothering anybody since it was first put up in 1963.

The banner was, in fact, a gift to the school from its first graduating class. So much for history and tradition and honoring the generosity and thoughtfulness of earlier generations of students.

News flash for Jessica and the FFRF: the Constitution hasn’t changed since 1963.

This prayer banner was constitutionally fine then, and it is constitutionally fine now. The only thing that has changed is that hatred of Christianity has now been mainstreamed in the cultural elite, who want to remove all vestiges of the acknowledgement of God from the public arena.

Ms. Ahlquist complained that the presence of the banner showed the school didn’t “respect” her views. She is apparently tyrannically oblivious to the plain fact that her pettiness shows only one thing: she’s the one who does not respect anyone’s view but her own.

This small-minded and vengeful brat has managed to override the Constitution’s guarantee of the free exercise of religion and free speech just by being noisy and mean. She is the newest religious bigot in America.

The school first covered up the banner, as if its contents were pornographic in nature and might damage the delicate sensibilities of constitutionally-impaired students. Then the school meekly capitulated to Ms. Ahlquist’s demands to avoid the possibility of having to pay huge attorney’s fees if it lost on appeal. Apparently, in their judgment, the right to liberty isn’t unalienable after all. The warranty on this right bestowed by the Creator apparently ran out as soon as soon as the money did. So much for pledging sacred fortunes and honor to protect God-given rights.

Hey Jessica: if you don’t like the banner, don’t look at it. Nobody is forcing you to notice it, read it, agree with it, or pay any attention to it at all.

Bryan Fischer, Rightly Concerned 77 Comments [2/25/2012 6:12:01 AM]
Fundie Index: 69
Submitted By: Rabbit of Caerbannog
WTF?! || meh
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kuribo

would you feel the same way if the graduating class ad donated a banner praising Satan?

yeah, I thought not. Shut the fuck up.

2/25/2012 6:34:07 AM

Atheissimo

'Hey Jessica: if you don’t like the banner, don’t look at it. Nobody is forcing you to notice it, read it, agree with it, or pay any attention to it at all'

Is that why you think Homosexual marriage is ok? Or are you just a little hypocrite?

And I'll bet you have no problem with Muslims building Mosques, or having Islamic prayer in schools, or putting Koran verses on the walls?

Right?

2/25/2012 6:45:01 AM

OtakuX

Uh, the content WAS pornographic. Actually, religion is worse than pornography.

2/25/2012 6:55:42 AM

fmitchell

"This prayer banner was constitutionally fine then, and it is constitutionally fine now."

Citation needed. Just because nobody complained until 2011 doesn't mean it was constitutional.

Oh, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation foundation didn't make a grammatical mistake: freedom OF religion implies freedom FROM having someone else's religion shoved in one's face* day after day and feigning indifference or even enthusiasm to avoid becoming a social pariah.

---
* I know "down one's throat" is traditional, but with all the Santorum flying around lately I don't want to open my mouth.

2/25/2012 6:57:08 AM

cdcdrr

If this school is funded by government, it would actually be in violation of the freedom of religion, since it shows favouritism to one (group) of religion. The constitution didn't change, just the composition of society with more people who don't follow the same beliefs as fifty years ago. Had there been people who took issue with the school showing preference for a belief system not their own, they would have taken it to court. And an unbiased judge would still conclude that banner doesn't show equal respect to others.

2/25/2012 6:58:49 AM

John

This prayer banner was constitutionally fine then, and it is constitutionally fine now.

If it were really "constitutionally fine", then you'd have nothing to worry about. The school could leave it up there. If she brought suit, she'd be hit with the legal costs if she lost. The problem is that their lawyers, being smarter than you, are not so sure it's "constitutionally fine". If the community is so sure it's "constitutionally fine", let them put their money where their mouths are.

she’s the one who does not respect anyone’s view but her own.

She hasn't told any person what to believe. She's only told the government not to express a belief. It's not OK for the government to have a view on religious matters, even if the vast majority agree with them. That's forbidden by the Constitution.

2/25/2012 7:12:10 AM

Patches

"Our town store has had a sign on the front door saying 'We Serve Whites Only' for fifty years. Our town is small and all-white and no one has ever complained about it. Then one day this uppity negro comes into town and makes a fuss about our sign. If he doesn't like our sign, he can just not use our store."

2/25/2012 7:19:34 AM

D Laurier

wtf Fischer? What is your problem?

2/25/2012 7:23:57 AM

wombat

This "atheist bully" is really making your life a living hell, isn't she?

2/25/2012 7:26:39 AM

Horsefeathers

"This little atheist bully [Jessica Ahlquist], with the help of the grammatically-challenged Freedom From Religion Foundation (the Constitution guarantees freedom “of” religion, not freedom “from” religion), got a prayer banner pulled off the wall of a Rhode Island high school, a banner that had not been bothering anybody since it was first put up in 1963."

Freedom "of" religion implies freedom "from" religion, jackass. The Supreme Court has stated this numerous times.

As far as the banner, if it's a public school then it shouldn't have been there. It doesn't matter if it had been there for one day or one hundred years.

"News flash for Jessica and the FFRF: the Constitution hasn’t changed since 1963."

Yeah, no shit.

"This prayer banner was constitutionally fine then, and it is constitutionally fine now."

No, it's not. It's just that nobody bothered to point out that it shouldn't be there.

"The only thing that has changed is that hatred of Christianity has now been mainstreamed in the cultural elite, who want to remove all vestiges of the acknowledgement of God from the public arena."

Your persecution complex is showing.

"This small-minded and vengeful brat has managed to override the Constitution’s guarantee of the free exercise of religion and free speech just by being noisy and mean. She is the newest religious bigot in America."

She's attempting to uphold the Constitution you ignorant prig.

"Hey Jessica: if you don’t like the banner, don’t look at it. Nobody is forcing you to notice it, read it, agree with it, or pay any attention to it at all."

It is illegal to have it displayed in a public school. Why is this so fucking hard for people like you to understand?

2/25/2012 7:34:15 AM

Fig Jucking Bilm

Atheist bullies are everywhere!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Forcing their view on others! Unbelievable!

2/25/2012 7:45:09 AM

breakerslion

"News flash for Jessica and the FFRF: the Constitution hasn’t changed since 1963"

AMENDMENT XXIV
Passed by Congress August 27, 1962. Ratified January 23, 1964.

AMENDMENT XXV
Passed by Congress July 6, 1965. Ratified February 10, 1967.

AMENDMENT XXVI
Passed by Congress March 23, 1971. Ratified July 1, 1971.

AMENDMENT XXVII
Originally proposed Sept. 25, 1789. Ratified May 7, 1992.

Wrong again, Bryan!

2/25/2012 7:58:46 AM

Robespierre

Actually, in the right context, I see no reason why a school shouldn't be showing something of historical or emotional value, as long as it's clear that the school is not endorsing the creed, prayer or ideology.
In exactly the same limited way that it should be allowed to show, say, a nazi flag as a historical artifact.

2/25/2012 8:00:50 AM

Mayhem


2/25/2012 8:17:45 AM

Gloria

So I realise my position on this is going to be as baffling to some of you as yours is to me, but...Why do you care? Why do you guys, on both sides, freak out about this every time it comes up?

It's part of the school's history, and the girl could afford to learn that peaceful disagreement, even when officially supported, doesn't really hurt her all that much. Leave it up.

It's upsetting someone, and a Christian should be focused on making a welcoming environment and promoting the good of others, not defending their so-called rights. Take it down.

It's a piece of cloth on a wall. Down, up, backwards, covered, it's still just a piece of fabric. Everyone grow up and get over it.

Seriously? This is a crisis? This is the biggest issue at this school? There's nothing that actually affects people's lives that we could be focusing on? (Education, for example?) Why is it so difficult for both sides to just let things go once in a while? Relax, all of you; take a breather, go for a walk, whatever; it'll be good for you.

2/25/2012 8:44:14 AM

Thinking Allowed

Here's a newsflash for you Bryan. The First Amendment hasn't changed since 1788.

Oh...and one more thing Bryan...


2/25/2012 8:53:27 AM

jesus-face tortilla

So much for pledging sacred fortunes and honor to protect God-given rights.

actually, the pledge was of "lives, fortunes and sacred honor." extending the sacrament to the fortunes is an amusing indicator of where bryan's gospel is really focused.

2/25/2012 8:57:04 AM

Papabear

Hey, Bryan, if you don't like atheists, Muslims, homosexuals, nude beaches or whatever it is that's got your panties in a twist this week, don't look. F*ckin' moron.

2/25/2012 9:07:47 AM

checkmate

This little atheist bully

Ok, she's a "bully". So what are the kids who demand everybody pray together in school? Christian bullies?

"Oh, no, you can't see it like that" I hear you say? Fuck yes I can.

2/25/2012 9:21:25 AM

Fundies Make Me Sick

"The Constitution guarantees freedom “of” religion, not freedom “from” religion."

Establishment Clause, bitch. Now STFU and go back to your cave.

2/25/2012 9:26:13 AM

Brendan Rizzo

Someone tell this man that you cannot have freedom of religion without also having freedom from others forcing their religion on you. Now, sometimes I do think these people go a little too far, but not having seen the banner I cannot make that judgment. Even if Ms. Ahlquist is overreacting, that still wouldn't justify this hate and vitriol. After all, the First Amendment hasn't changed, so if the banner is unconstitutional now, it was unconstitutional when it was first put up.

I'd just like to ask, is there any other Western country in which secularism is so reviled? Because the fact that the US is only one sentence away from theocracy is, quite frankly, shameful.

2/25/2012 9:32:02 AM

Giardano Bruno

@Gloria:

It would be perfectly OK in England where I live, because we have an established Church. Being Catholic, I don't belong to it, but have no problem with it.

It's not OK in the USA because of the first amendment to the constitution. Do you think Bryan Fischer would be supporting a public school that had Muslim calligraphy hanging on the walls?

As part of history or comparative religion, yes. As school policy, no.

2/25/2012 10:01:31 AM

Mister Spak



2/25/2012 10:22:42 AM

Flah

"This prayer banner was constitutionally fine then, and it is constitutionally fine now."

For the most part, right up until the end of that sentence, Bryan was in the process of making a valid point. And then he went into full "Help, I'm being repressed!" mode. One has to wonder at what point things stop being covered by separation of church and state.

Though one might also wonder whether Bryan would be just as indignant if a banner praising Allah were also taken down at the same time.

2/25/2012 10:22:46 AM

Alencon

No Fischer, you're wrong (as usual).

Many people quote “the Constitution guarantees Freedom OF Religion not Freedom FROM Religion.” I have no idea who first said this as it’s been attributed to lots of people but its flat out wrong.

In Lemon v. Kurtzman in 1971 the SCOTUS established a three pronged test to determine whether or not a government action violated the Establishment Clause.

1) The government action must have a secular purpose; 2) its primary purpose must not be to inhibit or to advance religion; 3) there must be no excessive entanglement between government and religion.

Take special notice of number 1. This is what guarantees Freedom FROM Religion at least as far as any government action is concerned.

This is not a matter of opinion. This is a matter of fact. If a government action fails ANY of the three prongs, it’s illegal.

2/25/2012 10:41:07 AM
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