Wednesday, 14 November 2012
My new teenage heroine (yes, really)
I don't know why the whole story has been off my radar for so long, but I recently read about this court case in the USA, where a teenage girl, Jessica Ahlquist, managed to have a praying banner removed from the school gym. She is now an atheist heroine. I learnt about it reading this article this evening. I am as ever late reading news. And I became fascinated by the story. I admire and envy Ahlquist, for many reasons. At her age, I was still a good little Catholic boy. Or trying to be. She was not. She did something I dreamt to do when I was working in school here, listening to the prayer in assembly. Well, I never seriously thought to get rid of prayer in assembly, but I always wanted to voice my protest against it, as it was not the place of a so called secular school to encourage faith and worship. Especially since the prayers I heard sounded very much like what was written on this banner. Jessica Ahlquist fought against much more vocal Christians, much more vehement ones, she faced death threats, ostracism, the bullying of many of her peers and also adults (she was labelled "an evil little thing" by a State representative, shame on him) yet she stood tall. And she won. And America is a little bit more secular, its religious fanatics shamed, its religious moderates a bit more heard (because they are some who defended her), thanks to her. So she is admirable. We need more evil little things like her.