23 Feb 2015

Atheists Demand Trashing Of This Beloved Teacher’s Memorial For The Most Ridiculous Reason

The Wisconsin-based atheist advocacy group the Freedom From Religion Foundation has struck again! This time they are dishonoring the memorial of a beloved teacher in one West Virginia community.  Christian News Network reports:
The family of a late school teacher has removed several crosses from a memorial erected in her honor at a local middle school after a prominent atheist activist organization asserted that their presence was unconstitutional.

Joanne Christy worked as a teacher at Ravenswood Middle School for two decades until she died in a car accident in 2004. Following her passing, family and friends of Christy created a memorial garden as a tribute near one of the entrances to the school.
As a valued member of the community, Joanne Christy touched lives via her teaching for around a quarter century.Christian News Network explains:
“There’s so many kids that came through this school that were affected by her death—that were affected by her teachings—and now we’re just trying to keep her memory alive here,” family friend Tracie Sadecky told WSAZ-TV.
What was erected in Christy’s memory was a source of consolation and joy for many in the community.  Since she was an integral part of the life of the school, it seemed fitting to place the memorial garden where she was most remembered – outside of an entrance to the school building.  But now, that source of comfort and healing has been viciously attacked by an out-of-state radical atheist organization whose aim it is to remove all references to Christianity anywhere they exist in America.
An anonymous complaint was sent to FFRF from a parent of a student.  This resulted in a letter generated by one of FFRF’s lawyers to the school board.  Christian News Network reveals the contents of the letter:
 “The religious significance of the Latin cross in unambiguous and indisputable. … Bible verses also obviously have religious significance, and it is improper for a public school to display passages from a religion’s holy book as part of a garden display,” the letter, written by staff attorney Patrick Elliott, asserted. “A reasonable student would view the school’s display of Latin crosses and New Testament passages as a clear endorsement of Christianity by the school.”
“Whatever the purpose of the school’s garden display, that purpose can be achieved without the use of sectarian religious symbols and biblical passages,” he continued.
So, now it turns out that a private atheist group from Wisconsin believes it has the legal right to demand what a school in West Virginia may and may not place in a memorial to one of its favorite teachers.
This is the typical strategy of these radical atheist groups – send a letter misquoting the 1st Amendment and threaten a lawsuit if the demands aren’t met.  But, most school boards and their solicitors are pragmatic.  Their budgets simply cannot handle massive legal bills fighting this injustice.  Most simply cave in and give the radicals what they want.

The community voiced its opinion against this intrusion by this out-of-state advocacy group.  Christian News Networkcontinues:

A number of community members attended (the school board meeting) to speak out in support of leaving the Christian symbols in the display despite atheist demands.
“The matter is certainly upsetting to a community which holds strong convictions in matters of faith,” Superintendent Blaine Hess said in a statement prior to the meeting.
One final irony in this case is the fact that the school mascot for Ravenswood Middle School is the “red devil.”  However, asChristian News Network concludes:
. . . FFRF did not take issue with the school’s mascot being the devil.
That alone speaks volumes as to FFRF’s motives and practices.  It is not all religion they oppose.  It is specifically the Christian religion.

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