Hero West Virginia Kids Show Public School What They Think Of Manipulative, Unconstitutional Jesus Assemblies
Brief personal story time:
At one point growing up, we went to a big public high school in the suburbs in the South, and there was an assembly at school one day. Some godawful religious woman had come to tell us the story of how God had revealed to her that her abortion had a first name, and it was O-S-C-A-R, and we can't remember the rest, but the point was she was there to tell us God hates people who murder their babies, but if you repent and abortion no more, blah blah blah blah blah. It was an overtly religious situation. We don't know if some on-campus Christian group made that garbage happen or if the anti-abortion idiot organized the assembly under false pretenses or if the school just thought it was OK.
You didn't come here for a personal story about our own personal life, you came here for the news, but meh, deal with it.
Our point in bringing it up is when we heard about the "you're going to go to hell when you die" assembly at the high school in Huntington, West Virginia, our reaction wasn't shock, but rather more like "those piece of shit motherfuckers are still willing to do anything to prey on children, aren't they." And we were excited to read that the kids fuckin' fought back, unlike us freshmen in the Memphis suburbs in 1994, who just kind of dealt with it and filed it into our "that was fucked up" memory bank.
Here's the story:
Between calculus and European history classes at a West Virginia public high school, 16-year-old Cameron Mays and his classmates were told by their teacher to go to an evangelical Christian revival assembly.
When students arrived at the event in the school's auditorium, they were instructed to close their eyes and raise their arms in prayer, Mays said. The teens were asked to give their lives over to Jesus to find purpose and salvation. Those who did not follow the Bible would go to hell when they died, they were told.
The Huntington High School junior sent a text to his father.
“Is this legal?” he asked.
The answer, according to the U.S. Constitution, is no. In fact, the separation of church and state is one of the country’s founding basic tenets, noted Huntington High School senior Max Nibert.
“Just to see that defamed and ignored in such a blatant way, it’s disheartening,” he said.
And so the kids walked out this week, during their homeroom.
More than 100 students left their classrooms chanting, “Separate the church and state" and, “My faith, my choice.” [...]
“I don’t think any kind of religious official should be hosted in a taxpayer-funded building with the express purpose of trying to convince minors to become baptized after school hours,” Nibert said. During the walkout, he held a sign reading, “My rights are non-negotiable.”
According to a spokesperson from the county schools, the offensive assembly was set up by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (of course) and was supposed to be voluntary. But oops, two teachers "accidentally" brought their whole classes and wouldn't let them leave! Including Jewish kids, who were extremely uncomfortable:
Bethany Felinton said her Jewish son was one of the students forced to attend the assembly at Huntington High. She said that when he asked to leave, the teacher told him their classroom door was locked and he couldn't go. He sat back down in his seat, uncomfortable. Felinton said he felt he couldn’t disobey his teacher.
And this is who the kids were locked inside a room with:
Last week's assembly at Huntington High featured a sermon from 25-year-old evangelical preacher Nik Walker of Nik Walker Ministries, who has been leading revivals in the Huntington area for more than two weeks.
During the assemblies, students and their families are encouraged to join evening services at the nearby Christ Temple Church. More than 450 people, including 200 students, have been baptized at the church, according to Walker, who said he was scheduled to go to another public school and nearby Marshall University soon.
ABC News notes that "more than 1,000 students" go to Huntington High, so it sounds like "more than 100" doing a walkout would have been more than disruptive. Of course that means somewhere around "more than 900" didn't participate, and ABC News quotes one student, clearly a little fascist-in-training, who thinks it's just awesome that this Walker snake oil salesman is coming to proselytize to the kids at this taxpayer-funded public school.
Meanwhile, the county school district's spokesperson says it's "unfortunate that it happened" and "We don’t believe it will ever happen again.”
We sure hope not.
Congrats to the awesome kids who stood up for themselves. Y'all will go far in life.
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