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Christian mob hijacks school board meeting

Christian mob hijacks school board meeting

A school board meeting in Okaloosa County, Florida descended into chaos yesterday when a a mob of Christian halfwits, including members of the clergy, began loudly praying, clapping and shouting as the board prepared to vote on whether to allow Christian prayers in public schools.

Their infantile behaviour appears to have swayed the board. According to this report, it voted 3 to 2 in favour of allowing teachers and administrators to lead students in Christian prayers at school functions.

The Okaloosa-Walton Freethinkers posted a video on Facebook of the mayhem that erupted at the meeting when the hooligans began to loudly pray and sing together.

The group said in a Facebook post:

This was just the beginning of the antics that took place prior to the Okaloosa School Board meeting this evening.

Ft Walton Beach’s Northwest Florida News reported:

More than 125 people packed the Okaloosa County School Board chambers Monday night, with more than 20 members of the public requesting to speak.

Lewis Jennings, one of the speakers, said:

I rise in support of the invocation at this meeting or any other meeting. I’m heartstruck at the thought that we have to fight to be able to pray. How in the world can we start our meetings and not invoke the name of God?

Another imbecile, April Jennings, declared:

I have a 3-year-old. I raise her up on her knees. I don’t want her to be a part of a school system where God is not welcome. I can’t afford to home-school her, but I will go broke taking my time to teach her about Jesus.

A third ass, Robert Brady of Ft Walton, brayed:

Because of the problems we face in running the school board and all of the school system, you need to bring back God into your deliberations. You’re dealing with some tough problems in the schools, and you need God to help you.

Given the vote in favour of prayer, David Suhor pointed out that prayer in schools should now extend to all religious groups and not just Christians. He told the board:

We humanists believe you are making a huge mistake by injecting prayer into this meeting. By introducing prayer, you abandon all sense of neutrality.

And he asked:

How are you going to deal with a Muslim or pagan who wants to lead a prayer? What are you going to do when a Satanist says a prayer?

Commenting on this disgraceful incident, Friendly Atheist Hemant Mehta wrote:

There are kids who educational careers are in the hands of these deluded people. They care more about pushing their faith onto everyone else than making sure children are getting a proper education.

It’s not just the audience, either. The board members, by voting to keep prayers in meetings, are inviting a lawsuit that they will ultimately lose.

These people don’t care about education. They just want to score brownie points with a God who only listens to prayers, apparently, if you scream them out loud.

27 responses to “Christian mob hijacks school board meeting”

  1. L.Long says:

    They do NOT want gawd in their schools!!!! They want THEIR GAWD shoveled up everyone’s ass, whether they like it or not!!!! Its about being a bunch of fascist!!!

  2. 1859 says:

    In this context these ‘prayers’ and these peoples’ antics were nothing short of bullying and intimidation – great way to run a school.

  3. Dave Godfrey says:

    Hitler would have been proud of these wankers.

  4. Trevor Blake says:

    ‘I don’t reason in your church. Please don’t pray in my school.’

    Don’t know who came up with that one but a tip of the hat to them.

  5. Dazed says:

    Have these people got nothing better to do than this? So pathetic. So selfish and mean. So shameless. So arrogant. And no doubt so smug after their coercion.

    All attributes of christian evangelistic lunatics. Horrible people. Horrible.

  6. Laura Roberts says:

    @Dazed: pathetic, selfish, mean, shameless, arrogant and smug sums it up nicely.

  7. Dazed says:

    I have a plan to soon visit the church in which at the age of 11 I set my face against religion. As a child I was made to attend sunday school and church. I loathed it. It was so creepy and sinister. On one occasion I decided not to kneel and pray. Not to stand and sing. I did not put money into the collection. I just sat there all the way through and looked as negative as possible. Even the bony finger jabbed into my back from the pew behind made no difference except to harden my resolve. On the way out everyone had to shake hands and thank the vicar and canon. I withheld my hand from vicar, a total wet, but the canon, a cold calculating hard man type, forced a handshake and crushed my hand and glared nastily saying nothing. I knew the that I was saved from the shackles of religion. Fifty two years later I plan to go back to that church, sit through it without participating, and at the end when askeded who I am and why I am there I will proclaim loudly what I think of religion and my release. I will ask what became of Mr Sedge and Mr Maunders and ask if people really think they are in heaven.

  8. barriejohn says:

    Prayer is such a mighty weapon in the Christian’s arsenal. By quiet, patient prayer, he is able to harness the forces of good in this evil world, and bring to nothing the power of Satan. See how God moved in a miraculous way yet again – without human intervention – in this case, and gave a mighty victory to these faithful warriors of faith. To Him be ALL the glory!

    “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Phil.4:6)

    “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.” (Zech.4:6)

    Hallelujah – praise His Holy Name!!

  9. barriejohn says:

    Dazed: My sincere and hearty congratulations! If only I had shown the prescience that you possessed at eleven years of age!

    Are they in Heaven? I most certainly hope so:

    “The burning at first would be probably worst,
    But habit the anguish might soften;
    While those who are bored by praising the Lord
    Would be more so by praising him often.”

    J K Stephen (1859 – 1892)

    Often recited by an atheist lecturer when I was doing my teacher training in the 1960s, and the source of much amusement since!

  10. Head Teacher says:

    These retards were indoctrinated, brain washed and ruined as kids and they are now bent on ruining the lives of each others children and the lives of the children of parents who are sensible, intelligent, rational and self reliant enough so as not to be fooled into a life of lies, self deceit and arogance.

    And so it goes on … until we break the vicious circle

  11. Angela_K says:

    Rather than allowing people to look at religion and decide for themselves if they want to be part it – intelligent people look, listen and leave – these imbeciles coerce, bully and shout to force their lies. I wish these fools would keep their ignorance to themselves and not infect others; religious belief is a dangerous but curable,communicable mental illness.

  12. Newspaniard says:

    @Dazed. Don’t. The planning and anticipation is great, especially when you can’t sleep at night, but the real event will be such a disappointment that you will walk away dispirited by the experience. When you look around the church you will see a sad bunch of very old people wondering what happened to their previous life and hoping that there is something better after it. Best not to spoil their illusions now.

  13. lucy1 says:

    ‘I have a 3-year-old. I raise her up on her knees.’

    child abuse

  14. barriejohn says:

    Lucy: I heard that sort of thing over and over again. If a child had a serious illness, or a difficult birth had been experienced, this was because “God” had marked out that little individual for some great task in his mighty plan, and they were then “dedicated to the Lord”. Many Christian parents would tell you quite proudly (in front of their offspring): “Sarah is going to be a missionary to the African children. The Lord promised me this when she was born.” I know of many who were harmed by this sort of upbringing, yet people just seem to accept it as harmless eccentricity. I’ve lost count of the three-year-olds who broke down in tears over their “sinfulness”, and “asked Jesus into their lives to cleanse them from sin and make them whole”. Scenes of great rejoicing ensued: “Our prayers have been answered; little Andrew has been gloriously saved”. You couldn’t make it up – and I’m not!

  15. barriejohn says:

    PS We had a lot of “young people” attending our assembly – both children of believers and their friends (they use their multitudinous kids as bait: “A sprat to catch a mackerel” as one parent unashamedly put it to me once), and the leading elder was getting impatient that so few were actually joining the church. One weekend a “big speaker” was booked, and said elder had a word in his lug ‘ole about what was necessary. Lo and behold, “the Holy Spirit laid it upon his heart to minister on the subject of baptism”. Result? Mass baptism of young people followed after a few weeks, to everyone’s delight! God doesn’t really move in such mysterious ways after all, does he? These incidents are all impressed upon my mind as examples of the hypocrisy and deviousness of these wonderful people, which in the end I just could not stomach any more.

  16. Har Davids says:

    Since time immemorial people have been praying to different gods, but I wonder if the results of those prayers ever matched the result of using common sense and some empathy, like our cousins the bonobos do.

  17. chrsbol says:

    @Dazed. Like youself I too rebelled at age 11 or so. I went back to the church 2 years ago for my sisters funeral and sat at the back. That’s about as much as I could manage. The same people were there, much older of course but none the wiser. Don’t go back it’s quite depressing.

    @barriejohn. Do you still see members of the PB? I often wonder that!
    Apologies if you’ve already told us.

    On a lighter note, the guy in the blue shirt looks like his head is about to explode.

  18. barriejohn says:

    Chrsbol: I sometimes get a visit or a phone call, and exchange Christmas cards with a few, and one or two were such close friends and so good to me when I was suffering from depression that I can’t possibly cold-shoulder them now. I have, fortunately, moved away now to care for my elderly mother, so they are not within “striking range” any more, but some were actually family friends, so the situation is not that simple (it was a colleague of my father who actually introduced me to the cult, and my dad – being a dutiful atheist – considered it up to me to make up my own mind about things, even though he wasn’t happy about the situation). The only thing that really narks me is when they scribble their little messages on greetings cards (“We are praying that you will return to the Lord”, or “The Lord still has a work for you to do”), or send me tracts and even books, but I simply ignore all that now and feel sorry for them, as I did the same once!

  19. L.Long says:

    My daughter was taken to catlick church by her friend, and was asked as they were leaving ‘why did you not take communion?’
    And she answered out loud for all to hear ‘Sorry but I don’t do cannibalism!’
    Strangely she was never invited back.
    Dogmatic people never realize how sick and perverted many of their beliefs or actions are, because when they do they quit!

  20. Cali Ron says:

    @barriejohn: My mother keeps sending me religious books like “Taken” and suggesting that I just need to find a good church. I have not returned to my old church in over 30 years, but have had contact with some of the congregants through my mother. They always wish me well and promise to pray for me. Some of them I have known since childhood and have always been kind to me, so I usually make nice and skip what would be a contentious argument about god and religion, even though I think it’s somewhat offensive because they imply that there’s something wrong with me.

    I posted the following on a “dead” thread on Monday, so at the risk of being redundant to anyone who read it I’m reposting it.

    I was driving my 82 year old mother back from visiting my brother at the Federal Prison Camp (3 hrs. each way) and was a captive audience just like my brother. She asked me where I thought my deceased father was now-her way of starting the whole are you “right with god” conversation.

    My mother is a life long, born again evangelical, who to be fair, really loves me and is honestly concerned for my soul. She is a dedicated christian, not one of those “Sunday” christian hypocrites, so she is “sincerely” deluded.

    Normally, I leap into the whole “gods existence” argument with fervor and zeal, but when it’s your mother (who just visited her only other offspring in prison) there is no joy from trying to crush her belief system. I have avoided this conversation for years (my weakness, perhaps I should have gotten this over with sooner) and had hoped she would pass away with hope, however false, in her heart and not despair for my lost soul. With anyone, but my mother I never hesitate to state my atheism (and vigorously defend my position), but nobody wants to let their mother down. She actually really knows where I stand without it being said, but couldn’t let it go without trying to “save” me one last time. She took it pretty well (no tears in front of me), but it was a very quiet ride the rest of the way home, her sad and me feeling guilty. Not for being an atheist, but for making my mother sad.

    Is there a good way to tell your mother you think her god doesn’t exist and why, knowing that no matter what I said all she heard was my son is going to hell? Is there a tutorial on something like this out there?

    “Imagine no religion” and my mother and I don’t have to go through this. Sigh!

  21. barriejohn says:

    Cali Ron: I sympathize with you – I really do – and I also agree that it’s a great shame that when a new thread appears on this blog nowadays everyone seems to immediately abandon any previous posts.

    I wish I had the answer to your dilemma! Elderly Christians have now died, bitterly disappointed that the young man for whom they had such hopes, and upon whom they lavished so much time and attention, “turned his back on the Lord” and “threw in his lot with this world”. They were my extended family, and really cared about me, and really believed that what they wanted for me was for my own good, and we undoubtedly had really good times together, but if you no longer believe then you can’t keep pretending that you do (though I am certain that a great many do!). Those who say: “Just tell them what to do with their Gospel tracts and silly beliefs” simply fail to grasp the situation. It’s not that we just attended the same church – it goes much deeper than that, and, being human, I still care about many of them. They didn’t set out to be devious and manipulative; their faith made them like that. As you say, when you believe that a person is going to suffer in hell “for all eternity” if they don’t accept your beliefs, then pressing your message upon them becomes your absolute priority. It always amused me that the most fanatical believers could still compartmentalize their lives, so that they would be exchanging friendly banter over the garden fence on a Monday with neighbours whom they had been haranguing from the street corner on Sunday at the Open-Air Meeting (“children of your father the devil”, “dead in trespasses and sins”, and so on and so forth). Like those neighbours, I don’t take offence any more; I just shrug it all off and feel sorry for them. They live in a little world of their own, completely divorced from reality, and most of them would find it far too painful to join the rest of us in the real world after ploughing all their energies into their faith over many, many years. They are not going to admit now that they got it all wrong, and that their entire life’s work has been in vain!

  22. Angela_K says:

    There used to be a recent posts thingy on the old FT website about where “Related” is situated. I agree it is a shame some topics are quickly abandoned; I do try to look back on few to see if anything has been added. Perhaps this feature could be reinstated.

  23. dennis says:

    yes, parents “parents don’t understand” to borrow a phrase from a hip- hop song back in the 90’s maybe Fresh Prince, anyway I set at her death bed on a Monday night with her scowl look she could give you. I postulated she was saying “This boy is going to Hell and I have tried my best with him, so lord I give it to you.” I hope the old woman died in peace as I will when its my turn to return my chemicals to the earth.

  24. Cali Ron says:

    Thanks to all who responded to my comments. Sometimes I’m so outspoken in my atheist’s beliefs that I alienate somebody I care about. It’s especially touchy when it’s immediate family. I appreciate the input and support and find it therapeutic. Moving forward now.

  25. barriejohn says:

    Dennis:I was watching a documentary recently (maybe The World at War, or perhaps “The Nazis: A Warning from History), and a German guy was being interviewed who said that he had attended one of Hitler’s rallies in which the maniac ranted and raved about all the usual things (Jews, Communists, International Capitalism, etc, etc), and the people became very emotional and cheered him to the rafters. He said that he looked around and wished that he could have been one of them. He wished that he could have shared their excitement and exuberance – but he couldn’t; Hitler was talking the same old nonsense and HE – seemingly alone amongst the vast crowd – knew it. I sometimes feel like that; as if I would like to share once again the beliefs of those friends of yesteryear, and enjoy their fellowship once more – but I can’t, because the spell is broken. It’s a very strange feeling indeed, and difficult to convey.

  26. barriejohn says:

    Cali Ron: I agree!