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Philosophy On the Ground 03 Jessica Ahlquist

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Published on Mar 31, 2011

Philosophy On the Ground is a series of interviews with people at the center of some of the most compelling and difficult issues of the day. We examine how our philosophical beliefs influence our lives, how our thoughts and values drive our actions, and what happens when, philosophically speaking, the rubber meets the road.

At Cranston West High School, in Cranston, Rhode Island, controversy has flared up around a fifty year old banner entitled "School Prayer." After a complaint by the ACLU, the issue has polarized the community over issues of church/state separation and the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Jessica Ahlquist is a student at the center of the controversy, an avowed atheist fighting to have the prayer removed.

Comments • 106

Choupetto
I love you Jessica! You're so great. A day, I will have a handshake.
Da5hy
This just made me laugh out loud,,, as a Black British Female Atheist, i appreciate the humour (and no spellcheck - i do not wish to check my spelling; [we] don't spell humor without a U in English) 
Marie Coulter
I'm a Christian ( I'm Not Catholic ) and I have to honestly say that Jessica Ahlquist inspires me to stand up for what I believe in.
Ben K
I wish I had been so smart and awesome in high school.  My school made us stand every week and listen to the alma-mater song which specifically said "belief in god" and I just stood there and didn't say anything about it for four years. :/
Reticulus
+Karen Armand  "she has a problem there are schools for Atheists she could go there if she has a big problem with it" -Why did you just say "Running from problems are a great way to solve them."?  +Khanh Ly  "Hey your constitution was build based on the Bible,oh wait not sure if she know much about constitution." -Let me know where your source is on this. I'd like to very much know who said or wrote down that The Bible was the basis for our democracy when the constitution was being created. +ItsAMeHProduction  "doing what the certain group had wanted to do for a long time, but did not have the balls. And because of that, only you will feel the backlash, not them." -The church and other religious organizations did a fine job of "silencing" critics of their dogma in the past and even still do in some countries.
Prometheus
+XisoLate LOL. Karen Armand doesn't get it, does she. There are indeed schools for Atheists - they're called public schools - they exist for EVERYONE, not just for theists. If Christians want their school to embrace Christianity, there are Christian schools for them. The Constitution says you can't force belief OR non-belief on kids in a public school - that's why banners stating ANY opinion regarding religious beliefs aren't allowed.
ilkinond
Why should she change schools? Her school obviously was a secular one, so she was fully within her rights to object and have the sign removed.
Toxic Ivy
Love her
Lucifer Arjudta
Intelligent, thoughtful, and insightful beyond her years. 
Kyle Johnston
She's my hero
LUK77ACH
The girl is nothing more, than just a prank. And... is an idol for idiots. Really? She is smart? If that is called smart than what a real smart look like?? The girl is a joke to the insane people. Oh well, but for some..... ))))
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