16 year-old Jessica Ahlquist is making headlines around the world after she successfully sued her school district to remove a prayer poster from her high school, this month. The sophomore at Cranston High School in Cranston, RI has received death threats and requires police escorts going to and from campus.
This all follows a ruling by a federal judge this month that the poster, which has hung in the school for 49 years, is unconstitutional, violating “the principle of government neutrality in religion.”
Currently, the poster still hangs in the school, a tarp covering it while an appeal is in the works at the school board to challenge the ruling of the federal judge. It stands eight-feet tall, and says the following:
Our Heavenly Father:
Grant us each day the desire to do our best, to grow mentally and morally as well as physically, to be kind and helpful to our classmates and teachers, to be honest with ourselves as well as with others. Help us to be good sports and smile when we lose as well as when we win. Teach us the value of true friendship. Help us always to conduct ourselves so as to bring credit to Cranston High School West.
So, full disclosure here: I consider myself a devout Christian. I’m a member of a wonderful church. I pray, I fast, I meditate on the word, and I have a deep, personal relationship with Jesus Christ that I share with friends who have the same beliefs. That’s called fellowship.
School or any government institution is not the place for religion. It is not the place for organized prayer. It is not church.
The sheer hypocrisy of those attacking Ms. Ahlquist is staggering. If this were a discussion on posting the tenets of Islam in the same school, could you imagine the outcry against it? But even more than that, the actions of these people are indefensible.
Death threats? Social ostracizing? Even three florists refused in the past week to deliver roses to the young woman bought for her by leading religious freedom organizations.
State Representative Peter G. Palumbo referred to Ms. Ahlquist as “a evil little thing” on a local radio show. Wow, takes a lot of courage to pick on a 16 year-old student, bro. Good job.
Jessica, I tried to find you on Facebook, but not surprisingly, I wasn’t able to send you a message. You probably shut it off because of the death threats, so I sincerely hope you come across this.
Keep doing what you’re doing. As a Christian, I’m humbled by your courage, and as a human being, I wish to emulate it. It would seem you have more integrity in your pinky finger than most of these folks do in their entire body.
I stand with you, and rest assured, I’m not the only Christian who does.