Offended? Get Over It!
By: Patti Bankson
Jennifer Ahlquist is offended. I’m offended. Anyone else offended? Have you filed your lawsuit yet? Me, neither. But, Jennifer Ahlquist has.
Don’t know Jennifer? She’s a student at Cranston High School West, in RI, who sued the city of Cranston, and its school committee, in April, 2011. Her suit “asks” to have a mural/banner removed from the school that’s been hanging there since it was donated by the class of 1963. School officials argued it was a historical memento of the school’s founding days, and didn’t serve any religious purpose. U.S. District Judge Ronald Lagueux rejected their claims that the mural’s message, starting with “Our Heavenly Father” and ending with “Amen” was purely secular. I’m not a legal expert, but even I know that the school should’ve come up with a better argument, because that one’s a loser.
Here’s the deal: Ms Ahlquist professes to be an atheist, thus, she said, the mural made her feel “excluded and ostracized”… geez, times have changed… I thought that’s what high school was all about… teen angst, acne, feeling excluded and ostracized. Guess not. Anyway, she, and her ACLU attorney, accused the school of violating the Establishment Clause of the Constitution’s First Amendment, which (they say) prevents the government from promoting one religion over another. Huh?? This is what it says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF…”
This judge relied on a 2005 Supreme Court decision in which the justices ruled that “particular care is called for in the separation of church and state in public schools.” They said that displaying the Ten Commandments on the Texas State Capitol grounds was acceptable… but wouldn’t be on public school grounds… Why? Because of “the impressionability of the young.”
Are we supposed to wait until their belief systems are etched in stone, and then try to teach them how to be decent, law-abiding human beings? Oh, yeah… How’s that working for us?? Let’s see… we’ve got babies having babies, kids clueless about who their “Daddy” is, losers blatantly selling dope on the streets, other losers protesting because someone has more than they do, a president (a definite product of the times) “preaching” enmity between “the classes”, corrupt politicians, crooked business people, and… Tim Tebow… a young athlete who should be seen as a great role-model, but is, instead, ridiculed for not sleeping around, not swearing, not partying, and for living his faith, to the best of his ability. He doesn’t seek the limelight, he shrugs it off. Yet, there’s such an antagonism out there toward God and religion that someone like him, with his values, his clean life-style, is unacceptable?
Ironically, dog-killer, Michael Vicks, or serial-adulterer, Tiger Woods, or out-of-my-mind-crazy-from-substance-abuse, Charlie Sheen, or Miss Call-me-beautiful-but-not-too-late-for-the-partay, Paris Hilton, all seem to be more acceptable to expose our “impressionable” youth to than Tebow. What, are we afraid he might make a (good) impression on them? God forbid. Ooops… can I still say “God” out loud, and in public? Yep, but the clock is ticking.
“Loving free speech is easy, until we hate what somebody said.” Gene Policinski, www.thefirstamendmentcenter.org
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