Below is the entirety of the text of the decision by Judge Ronald R. Lagueux in the case of Jessica Ahlquist v. City of Cranston, in regards to the unconstitutional school prayer banner that was up at Cranston High School West. While others have selected the best parts of the text of the decision, I present it here untouched, except for formatting purposes. For the purpose of absolutely transparency, the original can be found at the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island website.
Archive for the ‘Education’ Category
This list was inspired in part by a sort-of FAQ I wrote (Facebook login required) for new members just joining the “Support the Removal of the Cranston High School West Prayer Banner” Facebook group of which I am a member. It had come to my attention that many new members of the page were arguing against straw-men or were just plain wrong about certain things. A lot of people who form opinions on this case or on Jessica Ahlquist herself seem to not have read the judge’s decision in this matter (PDF file) and, as a result, are largely ignorant of the facts involved. Here is my grand experiment: a list of the common arguments for the prayer banner, or against Jessica Ahlquist and her position, as well as my responses.
This time, he’s got an interesting article proposing a “rational” argument for the existence of God. Of course, he fails to mention whether it’s his Jewish God, the Christian God, Muslim God, or maybe some amalgamation of the three, often referred to as the “Abrahamic” God.
However, as usual, Rabbi Jacobs’ writing is filled with arguments from ignorance, straw-men arguments, fallacious arguments from authority, and many other logical fallacies. Let’s begin, shall we?
I absolutely hate it when people tell me that I should be respectful of other people’s beliefs.
Let me get one thing straight: I respect people, on a case-by-case basis, after getting to know them — and there’s no guarantee that I’ll respect everybody. I refuse to respect beliefs because of the harm they have been known to cause.
I shouldn’t have bothered. I really shouldn’t have.
You know the quote that goes, “Debating creationists on the topic of evolution is rather like trying to play chess with a pigeon — it knocks the pieces over, craps on the board, and flies back to its flock to claim victory”? Well, the same goes for the more dogmatic of global warming deniers. There’s a huge difference between being a skeptic, and being an outright ignorant moron.
So it finally happened.
I finally got a direct response regarding my atheism from my parents. It was my mother, who mentioned that there were still copies of Biblical stories for kids in the basement that needed to be cleaned out. It was then that she mentioned that it was “sad” that my kids (her grandchildren) wouldn’t know about God, or about “anything”.
I was still eating, so I just calmly said, “No. I don’t think so.” And seriously, what’s so sad about it?