Thursday, February 27, 2014

Black Bears Maul Atheists in Western NC

Update (March 3): Hemant Mehta has an update and a challenge for local reporters and other students at Pisgah High.

Update (March 1): An "oversized, scruffy, Presbyterian minister and...a petite, brilliant, youthful atheist" from North Carolina show their support for Kalei.

Update (February 28): ABC News 13 in Asheville is now reporting that the school district's attorney released a report (56 pages) saying this whole story is a "fabricated lie" and a "manufactured controversy" that was "caused by a parent's influence on his children and a desire for publicity and potential financial gain" (The Mountaineer)...Meanwhile, Religion News Service reports the following responses by FFRF, ACLU-NC, and SSA: 

FFRF: “It is unfortunate that Haywood County School officials and Attorney Smathers seem to have retaliated against students for bringing forth valid complaints about their ability to form a secular club at their school. We are troubled by the report, which contains many factual errors and focuses on matters that are irrelevant to forming a student club. Persons or organizations who may have been defamed and/or retaliated against by the school system might need to consider legal recourse.”
ACLU-NC: “We will continue to support the right of all students to form extracurricular clubs at their schools. We further call on county officials to respond to such student requests equitably, promptly, and without resorting to tactics that serve to dissuade student free expression.”
SSA: “We are still thrilled to have Kalei as a member of the SSA, as an exemplary student activist, and as an example to other students on how to deal with a difficult situation.” 
Original post:

Well, it looks like that Secular Student Alliance at Pisgah High School in Canton, North Carolina might not "fit in" after all. The student trying to start the group says she will not be continuing it due to "numerous threats," "verbal attacks," and a "witch-hunt...[against] affiliated local [secular/humanist/atheist] groups and our own family."

Makes the latest NC battle in the long War on Christianity look even more like an ice cream social...

It takes courage to stand up to bullies, and I applaud both Kalei and the anonymous Mooresville Blue Devil for their courageous efforts to defend religious liberty in my native state. But I am ashamed to be a "tarheel" today.

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