Bullied for Not Believing in God

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Despite secularism and atheism being on the rise, some areligious students feel discriminated against—at times violently. Now teachers across the U.S. are creating Secular Safe Zones to "curtail anti-atheist bullying, discrimination, and social isolation."


Earlier this year, while no one was looking, Gage Pulliam took a photo of a plaque that listed the Ten Commandments, as it hung on the wall of his Oklahoma high school's biology classroom.

Pulliam emailed the photo, anonymously, to the Freedom From Religion Foundation. They then sent a complaint to the school district, which asked Muldrow High School to take down the plaque.

The taste of justice was, for a moment, sweet on Pulliam’s godless tongue. Until students protested . By later in the week, his peers had compiled hundreds of signatures on petitions to save the Commandments plaque. The Muldrow Ministerial Alliance began giving away shirts that bore the Ten Commandments, in support of the protest. Parents got into the fray, too. Denise Armer said taking down the plaque was "going too far … What happened to freedom of religion, and not from religion?"

The protesters began speculating as to who was responsible for the instigating photo. Speculative whispers became cries. When some of Pulliam's friends–who were among the cohort of openly areligious students at Muldrow High–started feeling heat, Pulliam outed himself on an atheist blog. Sacrificing himself to so that he might save others, Pulliam admitted that he was the one who sent the photo.

Written By: James Hamblin
continue to source article at theatlantic.com

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  1. This reminds me of sports mentality. The ref makes a call. The supporters of the team it favours cheer and the other team boo. Who cheers and who boos has nothing to do with the legitimacy of the call. There is no concept of fairness. It is 100% pure partisanship. It is one of the most disgusting features of humanity.

    These Christians are thinking the same way. Anything that favours Christians is good, even if it is unconstitutional, even if it is unfair.

    They want to shove Christianity down others’ throats, and they don’t care they live in a country that says they cannot do that. Ironically they will do this is the name of religious freedom. The only freedom that counts is Christian.

  2. “What happened to freedom of religion”? Well, Denise, I’ll tell you. Whereof individual Americans have freedoms, anything the government funds should be neutral. A public school can no more post the 10 Commandments than it can quote The God Delusion. Pulliam is protecting that fairness.

  3. Well Jesus came “not in peace, but with a sword*”, so what’s a bit of bullying by Jesus freaks ?

    The Ten effing Commandments ! What a joke they are !

    The first one is “Thou shalt not have any gods before me”. So even Jaweh knew there were other gods on the block ! the next 3 say more or less the same. As for the other 6, nothing there that wasn’t already incorporated into the mores of the time.

    As the Australian comedian Jim Jeffries said; “For any Christians here, – you’re wrong” !

  4. ” What happened to freedom of religion “

    Yes, the freedom to exclusively promote your brand of delusion.

    Why were the ten commandments hung on any school’s wall? Would these commandments share space with the tenets espoused by the church of the FSM? Now that would be freedom of religion!

  5. From the article,

    Pulliam outed himself on an atheist blog. Sacrificing himself to so that he might save others, Pulliam admitted that he was the one who sent the photo.

    I salute you Mr Pulliam.

    Irony – “** Sacrificing himself to so that he might save others**” where have we seen that before.

  6. I can understand the desirability of Secular Safe Zones in mad and backward theocratic states, but is it not appalling that they need to create them in the nation that has the Statue of Liberty at the front gate?

    Is this the famously absent American sense of irony at work or something?

    Perhaps France needs to send a bigger statue, as a reminder.

    • In reply to #8 by Stevehill:

      I can understand the desirability of Secular Safe Zones in mad and backward theocratic states, but is it not appalling that they need to create them in the nation that has the Statue of Liberty at the front gate?

      Is this the famously absent American sense of irony at work or something?

      I have heard it said, that the Statue is marooned on an off-shore island, awaiting immigration clearance!

  7. Looking forward to that moment where we reach critical mass, the tipping point just as the one gay folk have reached where being seen opposing gay marriage is:: j u s t… n o t.. c o o l.. anymore.

    • In reply to #12 by godsbuster:

      Looking forward to that moment where we reach critical mass, the tipping point just as the one gay folk have reached where being seen opposing gay marriage is:: j u s t… n o t.. c o o l.. anymore.

      I more look forward to after the tipping point, tipping points tend to lie on a sharp corner and being the topic of the time has its costs.

  8. Pullium is a brave young man. I know that it is difficult for my daughter, also in high school, when she asserts that she is not a believer as well. Just last week I had to intervene with a director of a school program who was going to invite a “religious leader” to give an invocation at a public school event… it’s a constant battle. Bullying for any reason needs to be addressed. It is certainly not just the LGTB students that get bullied. It is time that the discussion be expanded and policies implemented to deal with this…

  9. These Xtians are so annoying that I almost feel a fit of Tourettes coming on.(with apologies to real sufferers)

    That lad has the right of it and it is shameful that he should be treated in such a manner.A damned good reason why theocracies (and would be theocracies) are not to be tolerated.

    About those so called commandments of Dog, they are not the wisest words to be penned by man. As Sam Harris pointed out in one of his books, the tenets of Jainism are a better guide to live by.

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