Jessica Ahlquist Unprays Prayer Banner: Christians Come Unglued

Jessica Ahlquist is a Cranston, Rhode Island teenager who objected to the display of a large Christian prayer banner on the auditorium wall of Cranston High School West.

The display was illegal, according to the courts and laws of the United States.

The Cranston school authorities refused to remove the banner, and Ahlquist, with the aid of the ACLU, sued. Ahlquist is an atheist.

She won the suit and the banner was ordered removed.

Throughout the process Ahlquist was subjected to the vilest verbal and written abuse imaginable, including death threats, from… wait for it… Christians. Apparently no suffering is too great to inflict on a teenage girl who insisted that her school obey the law of the land. Ahlquist required police protection in and out of school.

The school system, in addition to the costs of defending the suit, is also being asked to pay $173,000 to the ACLU to cover their costs.

The vileness of the Christian reaction beggars belief. Samples of the sort of threats and abuse can be found at various places on the Web, including the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, as well as many other places. Christians are not shy about threatening to kill people who disagree with them, who don’t believe as they do, who laugh at them. They are usually quite shy about identifying themselves when they make their threats. A sampling from the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s newspaper is enough to make decent people puke.

But here’s what started the whole deal. Here’s the prayer.


The prayer was written by a student in 1960, and was hung, as an eight-foot-tall banner, in the auditorium in 1963.

Here’s the text of the prayer in case it’s not clear in the image.

School Prayer
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.


Obviously a prayer. Undoubtedly Christian, given the Christianism of the community. There are no accompanying prayers from Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, animists, et al. Just this one.

The judge, a Reagan appointee, a Christian, and a conservative, found that it violated the law and ordered it removed.

But here’s the thing. The sentiments in the prayer are reasonable, the sorts of things students, and adults, might well aspire to.

But the context, the frame, weakens the sentiments, as well as making the whole thing run afoul of established law. “School Prayer”. “Our Heavenly Father”.  “Amen”.

The whole problem could have been avoided. Something like this perhaps:

Cranston West Students…

Desire to do our best. Seek to grow mentally and morally as well as physically. Work to be kind and helpful to our classmates and teachers. Desire to be honest with ourselves as well as with others. Want to be good in sports and smile when we lose as well as when we win. Seek the value of true friendship. Conduct ourselves so as to bring credit to Cranston High School West.

That’s all they needed. No need to get on their knees and beg the invisible sky god for something that was already within their power as human beings. No need to insult people of non-Christian faiths. No need to cough up a couple of hundred grand in legal fees.

But nope. Gotta dirty up their knees. Gotta act like weak little pussies who can’t handle the simplest things in life without begging the invisible hoo-ha to run their lives for them. Can’t think for themselves or make a decision about morals or values without bowing and scraping and begging the supernatural for help.

Apparently Ahlquist is the only one of the whole crowd who has any balls and a mind of her own.

And the upshot of it all? Vile attacks on the girl who pointed out the obvious and sought to correct a wrong. In fact, so disgusting and widespread were the perverted reactions of Rhode Islanders that a state Representative named Peter Palumbo, on radio station WPRO, called Ahlquist an “evil little thing”, and a pawn “being coerced by evil people…” A State Representative. A legislator. An upholder of the law. But oops, apparently also a Christian, and Christian perversion and bigotry and hatred trumps American law, doesn’t it?

If their Christ ever existed, he’d be spinning in his tomb and puking up his guts over the actions of his followers these days.


7 Responses

  1. Picking on children is an important facet of the Christian community. In particular, for a young female to not know her place is unconscionable. Perhaps after a healthy dose of ostracism and terroristic threats, she will learn to keep her mouth shut. And let that be a lesson to the rest of you…


    • Except that she’s gotten thousands of dollars in scholarship money from people and organizations who support her and cheer her on… Kinda backfired on the goddish morons. 😆


  2. I’m amused by the angst that the USA’s constitutional secularism provokes, both from the religious and the atheists.

    The fact that either side is prepared to go to court over a tacky kitsch fixture of the school that’s been extant since the time that the Beatles were last making music must mean that everything else is fine in the world.

    I suppose that, out of context, the “prayer” could be to any of the patriarchal monotheistic religions’ Gods. It doesn’t scan for an atheist point of view however.

    Here in Australia, God is named on the first line of the constitution, it doesn’t say which God though. Subsequently, nobody really talks about God much in the political world. In the USA you have constitutional secularism and yet it seems like most nutters running for office are talking to the big fellah upstairs in every speech they make.

    We do have a new religion in Australia, though; anthropological climate change and the feasibility of reversing it. We’ve not quite legislated for burning deniers at the stake but it surely isn’t far away.


  3. It’s funny how infidels like yourself are always crying about how persecuted they are… while living in a country where evolution is the ESTABLISHED truth in all things pertaining to education, the media, and in conversation in the coffee shop.

    Yet, we also have a case where a local elementary school, having been infiltrated by supporters of those that practice the damnable heresy of homosexuality, FORCED their students to comply with the gay mandate of proclaiming all schools sympathetic to their unrighteous, filthy, CHOSEN lifestyle. The parents, in OVERWHELMING majority, (not just one individual, like with your story) naturally opposed this wanton and arrogant intrusion by a few politically-correct, socialist dummkopfs and demanded that their kids not be forced to kowtow to a lifestyle their faith opposes.

    Now… do you think THEIR concerns were addressed as promptly as the little anti-theist bitch’s were in your post… even with their overwhelming majority? If you think so, you underestimate the power of the Marxist left! No, their concerns are still “under advisement”. Despite the fact that this is a predominantly religious community, a politically-correct minority of perverts and their enablers can still ride herd over them all to achieve their agenda.

    Of course, it’s common knowledge by now that the agenda of the socialist left is to eradicate ALL traces of faith, ESPECIALLY Christianity. This they are accomplishing quite well with their efficient, well-financed lobby in the US and all over North America, even South America, in Brazil.

    So, pop a cork and kick back, Ric, the cult of Darwin is alive and doing very well… for now, anyway. There is, however, this small matter of accountability when Christ returns…


    I smell bacon burning… do you?


    • As your letter would seem to speak quite accurately of your character, I see no need to comment.


    • Maybe I should invent a “Best troll parody” award. This would certainly be a contender.


      • You could call it a ‘Trollie’, or a ‘Paratrollie’. There could be an awards night. Red carpets. Bright lights. Drunk trolls. Semi-undressed women. Or semi-dressed women.

        Good times!


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