Bullied for Not Believing in God

And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and with all their soul, but that whoever would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman.  2 Chronicles 15:12-13 ESV

Image: Lord of the Flies
And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and with all their soul, but that whoever would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman.
2 Chronicles 15:12-13 ESV

How one young man kicked an ancient socially engineered hornets nest. Secular safe zones to force a turning of the cheek  in some U.S. schools. Have we truly come to this?

via The Atlantic

Earlier this year, while no one was looking, Gage Pulliam took a photo of a plaque that listed the Ten Commandments, as it hung on the wall of his Oklahoma high school’s biology classroom.

Pulliam emailed the photo, anonymously, to the Freedom From Religion Foundation. They then sent a complaint to the school district, which asked Muldrow High School to take down the plaque.

The taste of justice was, for a moment, sweet on Pulliam’s godless tongue. Until students protested . By later in the week, his peers had compiled hundreds of signatures on petitions to save the Commandments plaque. The Muldrow Ministerial Alliance began giving away shirts that bore the Ten Commandments, in support of the protest. Parents got into the fray, too. Denise Armer said taking down the plaque was “going too far … What happened to freedom of religion, and not from religion?”

The protesters began speculating as to who was responsible for the instigating photo. Speculative whispers became cries. When some of Pulliam’s friends–who were among the cohort of openly areligious students at Muldrow High–started feeling heat, Pulliam outed himself on an atheist blog. Sacrificing himself to so that he might save others, Pulliam admitted that he was the one who sent the photo.

Pulliam later said that in the wake of his confession, his mother worried for his safety. She also worried that his teachers might grade him differently. His sister, an eighth-grader, said other students wouldn’t look at her, and “in one instance she couldn’t even get a class project done because her group members refused to talk to her.” Other students “told Gage’s girlfriend that he should stay from them or else they’ll punch him.”

Pulliam’s justification for taking the photo in the first place: “I want people to know this isn’t me trying to attack religion. This is me trying to create an environment for kids where they can feel equal.”

You’ll See the Sign, and You’ll Know

The Secular Student Alliance (SSA) is an educational nonprofit advocacy group. They have 393 affiliated student groups on U.S. high school and college campuses. That number has doubled in the last four years. Their stated purpose is to “organize and empower nonreligious students” and “foster successful grassroots campus groups which provide a welcoming community for secular students to discuss their views and promote their secular values.” This month they launched a program, primarily in high schools, intended to counter situations like Pulliam’s, which they say are commonplace.

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13 Responses to Bullied for Not Believing in God

  1. Chugs Rodiguez September 15, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    so he trolled his school and is upset there is blow back?

    Are we meant to empathise? Surely he could have found an actual example of religious overreach in his school to publish rather then make one up?

    • Groundskeeper Silly September 15, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

      ANY religious propaganda in a public shcool is too much.

    • GraveOf FreeSpeech September 15, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

      religious propaganda does not belong in a BIOLOGY classroom of all places.

    • echar September 15, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

      I am amazed at how some people filter information at times. In this instance, I am at a loss as to how you were able to react as such.

      Where you see trolling, I see someone standing up for what they believe in.

      Where you see some petty discrepancy, I see a disservice to education and free thought brought to light and rightfully challenged.

      Here is a quote from the article that you may have missed.

      “Sometimes the bullying is active and intentional,” Galef says, ” but a lot of times it’s passive assumptions that atheists are bad or immoral. And those assumptions filter into their language in hurtful ways.”

      Do you feel the religious are justified in their reactions, specifically the bullying?

    • bobbiethejean September 15, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

      Having religious bullshit in a public school is not acceptable, the end. He wasn’t trolling, he was pointing out the illegality of it and he was right to. Don’t like it? Go live in a theocracy.

      • Dingbert September 15, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

        The only Christian theocracy is Vatican City. And even they don’t display the Ten Commandments.
        I think this is all some kind of weird modern belief in the infallibility of numbered lists.

      • Anthony Kwit September 16, 2013 at 12:48 am #

        good post

    • Calypso_1 September 15, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

      It was an actual example of religious overreach. So is the blow back. It is hate crime.

    • atlanticus September 15, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

      Are you just trolling?

      “Surely he could have found an actual example of religious overreach in his school to publish rather then make one up?” What precisely was “made up”, to your interpretation?

  2. Dingbert September 15, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

    What is it with displaying the Ten Commandments in public? They don’t even show them in church. The Ethiopians have the actual Ark of the Covenant itself and they keep it hidden. Heck, they even hide the replicas and decoys.

  3. mauriziojuvefc September 15, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

    this definitely goes both ways

  4. JohnFrancisBittrich September 16, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    What happened to freedom of religion, and not from religion?””

    What happened to it? How about it’s something I’m pretty sure you literally just made up. I have never heard someone say that before, ever. Freedom of religion has to include freedom from religion for those who want it, otherwise it is not freedom of religion.

  5. InfvoCuernos September 16, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

    Jeez, these people all act like they really believe this god stuff.

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