Pharyngula

Standard small town saga

File this under “religion unites people”. Sure it does. It unites them to harrass unbelievers. Damon Fowler of Bastrop, Louisiana asked his school to obey the law and not impose sectarian prayer on his high school graduation, and for that he’s being ostracized.

My graduation from high school is this Friday. I live in the Bible Belt of the United States. The school was going to perform a prayer at graduation, but due to me sending the superintendent an email stating it was against Louisiana state law and that I would be forced to contact the ACLU if they ignored me, they ceased it. The school backed down, but that’s when the shitstorm rolled in. Everyone is trying to get it back in the ceremony now. I’m not worried about it, but everyone hates me… kind of worried about attending graduation now. It’s attracted more hostility than I thought.

My reasoning behind it is that it’s emotionally stressing on anyone who isn’t Christian. No one else wanted to stand up for their constitutional right of having freedom of and FROM religion. I was also hoping to encourage other atheists to come out and be heard. I’m one of maybe three atheists in this town that I currently know of. One of the others is afraid to come out of the (atheist) closet.

Though I’ve caused my classmates to hate me, I feel like I’ve done the right thing. Regardless of their thoughts on it, basically saying I am ruining their fun and their lives, I feel like I’ve helped someone out there. I didn’t do this for me or just atheists, but anyone who doesn’t believe in their god that prayer to Yahweh may affect.

Moral of the story: though the opposition may be great, majority doesn’t necessarily mean right. Thank you for reading. Wish me luck at graduation.

EDIT: Well, it hit the fan a couple hours ago. They’ve already assembled a group of supporters at a local church and called in the newspaper. I’ve had to deactivate my Facebook account and I can’t reason with any of them. They refuse to listen. The whole town hates me, aside from a few closet atheists that are silently supporting, which I don’t blame them looking at what I’ve incited here. Thanks for the support though.

If anyone would like to offer support, the superintendent is who I emailed and the school’s website is mpsb.us

Thanks for the support. It’s really helping. This has just gotten sickening.

Edit: I’ve had requests for my Facebook info… I don’t mind giving that out at all. Damon Fowler – Bastrop, LA. I could use all of the support I can get. Not sure if this link will work: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001146281052

If you want to give Damon some support, here are the administrator emails and school board emails. They need to have the law patiently explained to them. They also need to learn that this is not a restriction on their right to pray — they can sit in the auditorium and pray up a storm (non-disruptively, of course) throughout the entire ceremony. The point is that they don’t get to tell other people to pray to their weird and cultish little god.