Tuesday, May 31, 2011

High School Kid Kicked Out of House, Threatened for Opposing Graduation Prayer at Public School

This story's been going around the atheist blogosphere and reddit for a while:

High School Student Stands Up Against Prayer at Public School and Is Ostracized, Demeaned and Threatened

Damon Fowler, an atheist student at Bastrop High School in Louisiana, was about to graduate. His public school was planning to have a prayer as part of the graduation ceremony: as they traditionally did, as so many public schools around the country do every year. But Fowler -- knowing that government-sponsored prayer in the public schools is unconstitutional and legally forbidden -- contacted the school superintendent to let him know that he opposed the prayer, and would be contacting the ACLU if it happened. The school -- at first, anyway -- agreed, and canceled the prayer.

Then Fowler's name, and his role in this incident, was leaked. As a direct result:

1) Fowler has been hounded, pilloried, and ostracized by his community.

2) One of Fowler's teachers has publicly demeaned him.

3) Fowler has been physically threatened. Students have threatened to "jump him" at graduation practice, and he has received multiple threats of bodily harm, and even death threats.

4) Fowler's parents have cut off his financial support, kicked him out of the house, and thrown his belongings onto the front porch.

Oh, and by the way? They went ahead and had the graduation prayer anyway.

Bunch of small-minded bullies.

In good news, Damon has become something of a hero in the atheist world, he has a supportive older brother, and atheists around the country have so far donated almost $30,000 to give him a scholarship for college.


ksil said...

but religion is moral and good!

how is this possible?

Ichabod Chrain said...

JA, this is slightly OT, but if you want to read something even more shocking go to Butterflies and Wheels" Notes and Comments blog. She has a post up about the laundry facilities the Catholic Church had in Ireland up until 1996. The comments are also good. And if that post doesn't get you po'd, hit her link to the report on the Goldebridge Orphanage.

(BTW if this is too off topic I won't mind if you delete it. Just thought you might be interested.)

Jewish Atheist said...

Thanks, Ichabod. I think I actually saw a movie about those laundry facilities.

Anonymous said...

You got read this

HamptonBill said...

As a devout catholic, I can only express my sadness that many "Christians" do not really understand what they believe and do not live it in their hearts.

It is our right as human beings to find our own relationship with God, it is the RESPONSIBILITY of true Christians to LIVE their Faith, not impose it on another person.

As with the issue of 'Gay Marriage', the Religious Individuals that 'BELIEVE in Marriage' Have so abused the sacrament that it has become nearly meaningless, and should be open to every one whether they are in love with opposite sex, same sex, dogs or mules. Vast numbers of confused Christians have lost all respect for it and it's purpose.

As in biblical times, the events and politics of our times are the just fruits of how we live our lives in truth or deception.

Kirk said...

I don't see any evidence that the atheist kid was harassed. Even after clicking on the link, I still didn't find anything. (In fact, it appears you just cut-and-pasted the original site's unsupported assertions.)

As for the supplied video, all it shows is a rehearsal, where someone prayed. I don't see what the problem is.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Well not the Jewish tribal god.