Quote# 39915

There is a controversy brewing at the Mount Abraham Union High School in Bristol, as students there had the temerity to display a statuette of Jesus.

Even though the justification was promoted that this statue was not an exclusively religious display, but was well within school policy because its presence served as commentary on an academic issue, the students were instructed to remove it.

In the world of academia, only displays of Christianity are taboo; all other religions are acceptable, and this asks a fundamental question, "Since atheism, which meets the standard definition of a religion, is the faith and belief that there is no God, would the absence of any and all religious artifacts within a school be a testimonial that the school supports atheism as a state religion?"

JOE BRADLEY, Rutland Herald 33 Comments [5/25/2008 7:40:51 PM]
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Wet Walnuts

No, that's not how it works. The state is not supposed to promote any religion. Atheism is not a religion, and the absence of religious icons is not the same as atheism.

5/25/2008 7:47:17 PM


No, it makes it secular and open to everyone. I'd like to hear why the statue was up, since it apparently was involved in something academic as well. (That also may be why the school wanted it down, and used the argument of religious parity to remove it.)

5/25/2008 7:47:28 PM


No, it wouldn't. Atheism is not a religion. It is not a "faith [or] belief" in anything which cannot be clearly demonstrated.

5/25/2008 7:54:50 PM


Wah, somebody call this man the wah-mbulance.

Cry me a river, asshole. Considering 1 in 3 people in the world are Christian, you know you're a bigot and you're full of shit. Christians are renown for bellyaching endlessly about how they're oppressed, how all the faiths get to do whatever they want but Christians can't. It's the biggest stinking load of bullshit I've ever heard.

My pagan friends have been expelled from school and worse for wearing a pentacle around their necks, and have been openly discriminated against for demonstrating even subtly what their faith was. Even though my group of friends is all in their mid twenties, they continue to be unable to even mention what their faith is in schools. Atheists are much the same as well, the stigma of being thought of as an atheist hangs over your head the moment the word comes out of your mouth. Perhaps the reason Christians have such a growing number of people turning away is because of the very rigid and intolerant nature of followers?

I see Christian symbolism, quotes and markers of faith everywhere I go. Unless you plan on putting a symbol representing every faith that ever existed in a school so as to cover all grounds, shut your motherfucking mouth, Joe Bradley, and grow a pair.

Having no religious symbols at a school is freeing and tolerant because it shows that all religions are welcome and that there is no competition, there is no need to nail a cross in a room or put a Star of David in the hallway to symbolize that that religion is welcome in the school. An absence of religious symbolism removes all conflicts, it presents an aspect of equality to all - ALL faiths are welcome, but the purpose of the building is not one of faith but of education.

Education is provided by the state, and the state represents freedom of religion for all, so by the very fundamental laws of our society, we cannot put any religion before any other one in public buildings. As I said, either have a crowd of every religious symbol you can think of and try to brow beat or please to everyone that attends the school, or have no symbols at all and let the school serve the purpose it was built for. It's not a church or a place of worship, it's a freaking school.

5/25/2008 7:55:53 PM

Old Viking

Do I understand Joe correctly? He's protesting nothing?

5/25/2008 8:00:49 PM

Princess Rot

"Help! Non-existant oppressors are oppressing us!"

5/25/2008 8:06:34 PM


atheism, which meets the standard definition of a religion


Everything else in the post: fail, too.

5/25/2008 8:09:40 PM

Septic Sceptic

"There is no religious icon in this classroom! Through it's absence, this school supports atheism!"

"Alright, alright, i'll hang a cross up. Happy now?"

"No! The wall around the cross is utterly blank and therefore plastered with atheist iconography. Cover that too. And the floor. And the gap between those desks. I've ordered a fleet of lorries bearing thousands of crucifixes. I don't want a square milimetre of air in this school to be atheist."

5/25/2008 8:14:04 PM


@OhHolyHell: Indeed.

5/25/2008 8:16:58 PM


"Since atheism, which meets the standard definition of a religion..."

Fundie thinking: everything can be extrapolated from my narrow experience of life. That group of people is just like my group of people, therefore Atheism is a religion.


5/25/2008 8:33:44 PM


"atheism, which meets the standard definition of a religion"

I call the 'Bald is a Hair Colour' Award, lol.

5/25/2008 8:53:21 PM


Um... no. Atheism does not stand on belief or faith. It is the lack thereof, and therefore, not a religion. Please, if you cannot write the truth, then please stop writing altogether.

5/25/2008 9:02:57 PM


No, that's being secular.

If school had an atheist display, it would probably be an invisible pink unicorn - Which as far as you know, we've already set up!


p.s.: ALL religious displays are taboo. My public school never had any religious symbols, and the only religious group I ever heard of was Bible group and youth-whatever-deceptive-name.

It's always the Christians trying to disturb secularism and promote their religion...

5/25/2008 9:30:02 PM


In the world of academia, only displays of Christianity are taboo; all other religions are acceptable

No they aren't. All religious displays on public school property are illegal unless they have a non-religious purpose. It's just that Christians, being a majority, are the only ones who keep trying to put them up.

would the absence of any and all religious artifacts within a school be a testimonial that the school supports atheism as a state religion?

No. The absence of a display is not an atheist religious symbol. Atheists would be forbidden to put up religious displays, too, if they had them.

5/25/2008 9:33:24 PM

Lefty Link

religion- noun
Belief in and reverence for supernatural power(s) or supreme being(s) regarded as creator and governor of the universe

atheism- noun
disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings

Atheism is NOT a religion.

5/25/2008 10:05:10 PM


"Absence of any and all religious artifacts..."

Way to prove atheism isn't a religion there, Joe.


5/25/2008 10:05:11 PM


Secularism != atheism

secularism says that we remove the symbols so that everyone of every faith can feel comfortable in our public places.

5/25/2008 10:43:40 PM


Hey, OhHolyHell, THANK YOU. But I don't think a mere thank you quite encompasses it- widescreen TV okay?

5/25/2008 11:53:21 PM




Hope to hear from you again

And Joe, I feel so sorry for you (Well, those that have to associate with you)

5/26/2008 12:28:30 AM

Atheism does not meet the standard definition of religion, it is basically an absence of religion(and I am not an atheist). Some idiot over there claims that "liberalism" is a religion, they seem pretty desperate to make everything a religion that they disagree with.

5/26/2008 2:03:56 AM

Allegory for Jesus

Atheism is not a religion. Atheism is lack of religion. Arguing that not endorsing a single religion is equal to endorsing non-religion is inane.

5/26/2008 2:15:43 AM


nah, it'd be secular humanism and such.

5/26/2008 4:05:03 AM


It deserves to be said again:

"Since atheism, which meets the standard definition of a religion"


5/26/2008 4:12:20 AM

Generic Human Fleshbot

Awwww! Its so cute when they try to use logic!

5/26/2008 6:06:25 AM


Atheism is not a religion in the same way that bald is not a hair color, and healthy is not a disease.

5/26/2008 8:29:04 AM

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