I thought America was over this whole thing with discrimination against atheists. Well I thought wrong with morning with the news of a high school soon to be graduate. Damon Fowler sent an email to his school to stop with its plan to have prayer at a high school graduation ceremony. He threaten to contact the ACLU to stop the school if they continue their plans. Damon told the school that the prayer violates the establishment clause under our Constitution. He is an atheist and one of possible four atheists in a city of over 12,000. Still he maybe a minority, but he believe he still has rights. Let me post his full story.
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
It is sadden to see his fellow community make Damon an outcast due to he beliefs and rights. According to information from this brother. Damon’s parents are religious as well, so his parents are banning Damon from using any form of communication and trying to get Damon to reverse his decision. Now his brother is planning to pick him up and move him to Texas because Damon’s town is too dangerous to live in.
Also the local paper and news channel is not helping Damon because they clearly supported the Christian students and teachers.
What do students think of Damon? Well lets look at a video of his graduation practice he attended:
Damon is under his rights under Engel v. Vitale which banned official school prayers. Prayer is a religious activity and is a violation of the establishment clause.
You Christians and other religions who maybe in the majority, but you have no right to tell us to sit down, shut up, and deal with it. What if the current majority religion becomes an minority? Do you want to be like us who has to sit down, shut up, and deal with it?
I urge my readers to support Damon and his struggles. Here are some links to support Damon:
The Support Damon Facebook page:
Support the Freedom From Religion Foundation and also it has contacts of all the school officals.:
About a few times a week I go to cagle.com to look at some political cartoons. There was a couple of cartoons that shocked me.
Here are the two:
We have people in America who believe that we need to mentally destroy some people in order to gather information. Is that really ethical? Does waterboarding really gather information. If all that really worked why did it take ten years to capture Osama Bin Laden?
This is the United States of America. For years we have preached that we are not tortures and do not do any evil like our enemies has. Yet, that is hypocrisy. We have been torturing people for years and it was mostly secretly. The United States is not the good guys. We are now the bad guys because we thought in order to fight the bad guys we must become the bad guys.
Here is some video of people who were waterboarded:
Vanity Fair’s Christopher Hitchens:
Conservative Talk Show Host Madcow:
Is this the America we want to support?
While most Americans will be celebrating an Mexican holiday at the local bar. Many Americans celebrated another special day. Thousands or Millions of Americans joined up with the “National Day of Prayer.” This day is bad for America for a good reason. Why you may ask. It’s an official day endorsed by congress and passed by law to endorse the Christian religion.
The current form of the National Day of Prayer started back in the 1950s when Eisenhower was president. Congress passed a bill (36 U.S.C. § 119) forcing the President to set a date for Americans to celebrate the National Day of Prayer. Also during the 1950s, many laws were passed trying to lessen the secular government to counter the Communist who had an atheist government.
During the 1980s, there was some major changes to the National Day of Prayer. A National Prayer Committee was formed to help crate evangelical Christian prayer events with local, state, and federal entities. In the late 80, Congress updated the law to have it on the first Thursday of May.
The supporters clam that the National Day of Prayer is not trying to push Christian views into government and yet they are very open that they are a Christian group.
If you go too there official site. They admit they support Judeo-Christian values. Their leadership is majority all evangelical Christians from Mrs Shirley Dobson (James Dobson’s wife. James was the founder of the Christian group “Focus on the Family”.) and all the way too Dr. Billy Gram. There are no none-Christians on the board, chair, advisory groups. Source
The National Prayer Committee admit they ARE a Christian organization. Their mission statements includes pushing Christ as part of the national day of prayer. Oh of course all the board members are evangelical Christians.
Respect of the Law
There has to be some serious changes too this law. The first thing to do is to kill this law. It clearly violates the 1st amendment by forcing the president to endorse a religious activity. The supporters will say that the law is legal because it doesn’t force the people to do anything. Yet, what if I was President? I don’t believe in god and prayer. Why should I forced to do something that I do not believe in?
Just like the intelligent design idea went through America during the Bush years. This is just another attempt trying to push religion (mainly the Christian religion) into our government. Out Constitution clearly states that the government can not endorse a religion. Prayer IS a religious practice and is a clear violation.
How could we change this for the better and support every American? Instead of a day of prayer. Congress should create a day to celebrate our freedom of religion. Where any American theist, non-theist, atheist, and etc to celebrate this great law that gives the right to believe anything we want and not to believe. Citizens can do anything they want to celebrate it like prayer, having a party, or even doing nothing.
If for some reason we can’t kill this law. The leadership of the national day of prayer should have members of other religions. Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and etc should have more say into our national day of prayer, so everyone can have a saw on how this is run. America is a nation of many faiths and no faiths and not an America of one type of faith.
How to Help?
If you want to help end this law you should support these groups:
I didn’t get the news about his death until late last night. Just finished playing a couple of hours of Borderlands. I got on my computer to check Facebook, email and the news. I normally go to my favorite political forum to see if anything new has posted. I saw the post that Osama Bin Laden is dead. I thought that can not be true, so I went to the Drudge Report and confirmed it.
I was only starting my senior year at high school when 9/11 attacks happen. It was a very shocking and scary day for me. Now going on ten years with the war on terrorism. Osama Bin Laden became a legend during that time. Bush sent troops to two wars. We went through two presidents at the time. The collapse of the American economy and the American dream. We almost forgot about him during those ten years. That all ended last night.
At first I was extremely happy of this news. We got the man who led and financed a mission that killed 3,000 Americans. For once America has gotten justice. I told my wife about the news and she was happy and we both went to the living room to watch the news. We saw that the whole United States is happy. There were joyous crowds outside the White House and at Ground Zero. Those crowds remind me of photos of VE-Day and VJ-Day at the end of WWII.
“Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.”
I saw a clip on MSNBC of a reporting talking to college age girls and the girls acted like this was a New Years Eve party. She was happy, dancing, and it seemed liked she was hoping there was some alcohol around. That scene told me something about these people. They are extremely happy for a death of a human being.
For some of you who many not know me as well. I support the Buddhist philosophy. That philosophy states that killing another sentient being is wrong. This should sad day or a day not to be sad or happy. We killed a man to try to end our hatred of a man who did a bad thing. Supporting the death and being happy hurts my karma and our national karma. There is no such thing as an evil person. We killed a guy who may change for the better. Now it’s too late.
Will the death of this man will end the war? Will this death will make us happy in the long run? The answer for both of these questions will be no. Osama Bin Laden’s death will not end the war. There are many others out there who follow the teachings of Osama Bin Laden who will continue to follow his teachers and kill more people. His death is only a temporary happiness. We Americans have short-term memory. We will be happy for a week or more and forget about the death of Osama Bin Laden. Another attack or another sad and anger full event will happen in our future.
“I know you have come to kill me. Shoot coward, you are only going to kill a man.”
~~ Ernesto “Che” Guevara, d. October 9, 1967
Che supposedly said that too his assassin before this death during his capture by Bolivia security forces. What did Che meant when he said this? He will die, but the message of communism will never end. Osama Bin Laden is dead, but his idea of an pan-Islamic state still lives on with his followers. People will always be replaceable.
With the onset of his death one or more people will replace him and take the lead. The leading contender to be the figure-head of al-Qaeda will be Ayman al-Zawahiri. al-Zawahiri has always been the brains of the terrorist organization. He does not have the charisma as Osama Bin Laden, but he has the brains to conduct extreme missions to cause terror to the west.
One thing about al-Qaeda that it is not a structured organization. al-Qaeda is more like the hacker group anonymous. Each cell of al-Qaeda plans, funds, and conducts the attacks, so by killing the idea that killing Osama will stop al-Qaeda. This is what makes al-Qaeda so dangerous. It’s a hydra that can not be killed.
“A battle lost or won is easily described, understood, and appreciated, but the moral growth of a great nation requires reflection, as well as observation, to appreciate it.”
~~ Frederick Douglas
Now with the death of Osama Bin Laden is in our past. What about our future? Well we have completed our mission with Operation Enduring Freedom. We kick out the Taliban and al-Qaeda out of Afghanistan, we killed or captured more of al-Qaeda’s lesser leadership, and we killed the main prise Osama Bin Laden. The best thing to do now is for us to leave. Mission accomplished and time to go home. Yet, I am being very too optimistic. We will be still in Afghanistan almost forever like East Asia and Europe.
Afghanistan is still mostly ruled by tribal elders and not by central government. Taliban are still there fighting against us. Those are good reasons to stay and finish what we started, but those are only temporary. So why are we going to stay there for very long time? It is because Afghanistan is a key state that borders next too Iran. According to the United States, Iran is one of our biggest enemies. If something does happen for us to go into Iran. The United Stats has two ways to enter Iran through land. Afghanistan is important for a good political power base for the US. Afghanistan is a land locked nation that is surrounded by six states and it includes the big three Iran, China, and Pakistan. Last year Popular Science reported that Afghanistan is a rare Earth mineral gold mine worth over a trillion dollars. That news clear points why the United States is going to stay in Afghanistan for a every long time.
I really hope that we do leave and send our troops home. It started when I was a senior at high school and I really hope that US troops are not there when my kid starts high school. I hope people who the American people will give up there hate and thrust of revenge so we don’t keep on fighting a perpetual war. I want to see compassion in everyone so no one would have to kill anyone. This will help America to stop creating so many wars just to stop a few people who will cause the deaths of thousands more.
Remember 73,530 – 1,173,600 people suffered (injured or killed) just to get or kill one guy and his message.