I’m sure most of my readers are aware of the situation in Bastrop, Louisiana by now. That’s where a high school senior named Damon Fowler protested a planned school prayer and the whole town turned on him. Including, I just found out, his own parents. Greta Christina has a thorough review of the whole story, which is nothing short of appalling.
The school initially agreed to cancel the prayer, which was being officially planned as part of the graduation ceremony. But then the whole school went crazy about it and a fellow student decided to give a prayer aimed directly at him instead of what was supposed to be a moment of silence. And as Greta notes, it got much worse than that:
1) Fowler has been hounded, pilloried, and ostracized by his community.
2) One of Fowler’s teachers has publicly demeaned him.
3) Fowler has been physically threatened. Students have threatened to “jump him” at graduation practice, and he has received multiple threats of bodily harm, and even death threats.
4) Fowler’s parents have cut off his financial support, kicked him out of the house, and thrown his belongings onto the front porch.
That last part is the most disgusting part of the whole thing. His own parents, for crying out loud. Unfortunately, this is not at all an unusual situation. In fact it is absolutely the norm for those who dare to speak out against Christian supremacy in similar cases and it has been for more than half a century.
Ellery Schempp went through it in 1956 when he protested against mandatory Bible reading at his high school. His family was threatened and his home vandalized. Tammy Kitzmiller, the lead plaintiff in the Dover trial in 2005, had death threats against her daughter sent in the mail. Joann Bell, who filed suit against school prayer in Oklahoma, received a copy of her own obituary in the mail and had her house firebombed.
The fact that threats, vandalism and violence nearly always are visited upon plaintiffs in church/state cases says something deeply disturbing about this country.