Sweet St. Helena Handcart, this is ridiculous. Damon Fowler of Bastrop, LA requested the removal of an invocation, specifically a Christian prayer, from his graduation, on the grounds that he’s atheist. This is what happened at the rehearsal:
via Blag Hag
Real mature, huh?
I debated this issue in my high school civics class. You will be surprised to hear I was assigned to speak in favor of prayer. Yeah, the out bi pagan girl. The rest of my group was Christian. How did I get through the assignment without feeling like I’d betrayed myself? By advocating for a moment of silence. That was the approach we took: a compromise that would respect the rights of all students, including nonbelievers, while providing space for believers to be believers in the context of their public school education.
It never crossed our minds to take a hard-line stance that involved the potential shaming and othering of people in our community. So why do the people of Bastrop feel so differently? Is it a regional quirk? I’ve spent the last eighteen years of my life in Western New York and not run across this problem. Are we that enlightened? This is an area in which the election of a Democrat to the House of Representatives is a big f-ing deal.
But it’s not enough that Mr. Fowler’s school district has refused to stand by him. He’s also been disowned. Luckily, his brother has been able to help him out, and he has received $1000 in scholarship money for his activism.
My thoughts are, however belatedly, with Damon Fowler, who did not deserve this. We are free, in the United States, to believe–or not believe–as we see fit. Our (mostly Deist/agnostic) founding fathers enshrined this in our Constitution for a reason. 224 years later and the only movement we seem to have made is in reverse.