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.: