She’s Not Requesting Attention… but It’ll Follow Her Anyway September 20, 2007

She’s Not Requesting Attention… but It’ll Follow Her Anyway

A week ago, Chicago atheist Rob Sherman was in the news. The story wasn’t about him, but about someone who shared his name.

Now, (the atheist) Sherman’s daughter is in the local news. Not because of any actual news story but because the local media is drawn to Sherman and his family’s every move.

His daughter, Dawn, is a high school freshman and student council member. Looks like she inherited some of her dad’s passion:

Recently, she spoke out against having “God Bless America” on the school’s homecoming song list.

The council agreed.

The song was removed from the list, according to District 214 spokeswoman, Venetia Miles. There are 45 members of the Buffalo Grove High School student council. Sherman is one of 10 freshman members.

“I just saw it on the list, and asked them to take it out,” said Dawn, who is 14 years old. “The songs should be secular.”

They should. That makes sense. It was a simple request. The council agreed. Let’s move on, right?

Watch how this becomes a much larger story than it has to be (Though we could just thank reporter Sheila Ahern for that):

Kevin Cuttone, a veteran of the Air Force, is not happy with the decision to eliminate “God Bless America.” The song deserves to be heard, especially when there is a war going on, he said.

“I think the district is intimidated by Mr. Sherman,” said Cuttone, an Arlington Heights resident whose children graduated from Buffalo Grove. “His daughter is only a freshman. We could be in for a long four years.”

Yes, let’s use the war as reasoning for pushing God onto everyone. That’s always smart.

And Dawn did nothing wrong. As a man who served in the Air Force, protecting our freedoms, he should be proud that a young girl is exercising them.

Not surprisingly, daddy’s a happy guy:

“I just couldn’t be more proud,” said Sherman, who lives in Buffalo Grove. “My daughter got God banned from homecoming this year.”

You’re not helping, Rob.

Dawn doesn’t seem to like the “like father, like daughter” references, though:

“I’m not as outgoing as he is,” Dawn said. “Really, the last thing I want to be is just like my father.”

Dawn is also a member of Students Against Destructive Decisions – formerly Students Against Drunk Driving – and the Gay Straight Alliance at Buffalo Grove High School.

Dawn Sherman isn’t sure if there are other District 214 policies she’s objects to.

“I don’t see anything yet, but I’ll keep my eye out,” she said.

She did the right thing. Hopefully, her classmates can learn a lesson from her and speak up even if what they say might be unpopular.

[tags]atheist, atheism, Dawn Sherman, Chicago, Daily Herald[/tags]

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  • I know a few Christians who think that America doesn’t deserve God until we get out of Iraq.

    Seems to me that when Mr. Air Force wants God at homecoming, he’s feeling none too good about his job.

  • “I just couldn’t be more proud,” said Sherman, who lives in Buffalo Grove. “My daughter got God banned from homecoming this year.”

    You’re not helping, Rob.

    Thanks for pointing out that fact Hemant. He could have phrased that in a way that is far less likely to provoke and that is actually accurate. After all, she didn’t get God banned from homecoming. Religious people are still entirely free to bring their beliefs to homecoming if they want. They can pray for a touchdown during the game, or pray that the boy they like will ask them to dance, or hum “God Bless America” to themselves if they feel like it, or whatever… All she did was remove a religious song from the publicly endorsed program, a perfectly legitimate request (though one that shouldn’t really had to have been made in the first place), but not the same as “banning God”. Frankly, if God does exist, then it is clearly impossible to ban him from anything.

  • Richard Wade

    The song deserves to be heard, especially when there is a war going on.” -Kevin Cuttone

    Why the hell is a song about God more appropriate because we’re at war? Does Mr. Cuttone worship Ares rather than Yaweh? There’s a take-it-for-granted quality to his remark that God and war go together that I find chilling.

  • TXatheist

    As a vet I get so tired of the mesh so many want to make between patriotism and religion. Atheist in a helicopter signing out.

  • Diane

    I’m just relieved they finally stopped playing God Bless America at baseball games. Talk about a place where it doesn’t belong.

    Other than the national anthem, are there any patriotic songs that don’t invoke god?

  • John

    Unless that quip was taken out of context, Rob Sherman is a fucking idiot, and is part of the problem as far as I’m concerned. He’s the reason theists get antagonistic around atheists – they think we’re trying to take their god away from them, when most of us want nothing of the sort. That is, unless you’re a hypocrite like Rob.

    I’m pissed because he makes me look like an asshole, and he only helps keep atheists in the closet.

  • Aj

    Can you overreact a bit more please? I’m testing my stupid indignation monitor for when the religionists and agnostics come. We shouldn’t be eating our own for silly statements like this. He’s obviously refering to the song being banned.

    p.s. suck it Jesus!

  • Mriana

    You know what, I shouldn’t have read this tonight. I have had enough of theists for one day. This just reinforces what I had to deal with earlier today. I was a bit irritated earlier yet kept my mouth shut, now… Well, Aj, I’ll do you one better…

    Jesus is a myth! It’s nothing but a freakin’ story! If there ever was a historical J.C. he is so buried in myth we will never find him. I.D. is not science, there is NO scientific support for it, and Evolution is far more scientific. Lastly the Bible was written by HUMANS, it is errant, God is a human concept, and there are a lot of sexist male X-ians out there. There was no God in the pledge before the 50s nor was God on money before then, so why should God be at Homecoming? So people can have a particular God forced on them? After all this is a Secular nation and the government ran facilities, like public schools, should reflect that.

    Um… Yeah. I had a bad day with a hardline theist today. 🙄 I figure this is a safe place to vent. Is that enough indignation for you, Aj?

  • Aj

    I was thinking more like the outrage made of Sam Harris’s comments on torture in his book The End of Faith, or Christians who didn’t like that message on the Starbucks cup. It will have to do, atheists were never good at indignation anyway.

  • laura

    dawn and rob sherman are nothing but freaks.
    hahahaha wait till monday

  • Laura, given the vandalism that just occurred at the Sherman’s home your comment is quite disturbing. Are you making a confession?

  • Karen

    Wow – that sounds like a threat to me, Laura. Not good.

  • HappyNat


    Do you spell Jesus with an extra “s” in the middle?

  • For what it’s worth, I sent Laura’s comment to the Shermans and the police as soon as she made it yesterday. I’m not tolerating that.

  • Good job Hemant. I was hoping you did.

    Do you have a stats tracker for visitors to your blog? If you do, the police might be able to get an IP address for whoever made that comment.

  • Do you have a stats tracker for visitors to your blog? If you do, the police might be able to get an IP address for whoever made that comment.

    Yuppers. I get the IP address/email address for all commenters (at least, if they provide an email), all of which were sent along in this case.

  • Mriana

    Well, if you have all that information and it’s not a library or other public computer, they should find the person.

  • Marlene D.

    I know Rob Sherman cause he’s my brother-in-law – – He’s a Nut that’s all I can say –

    My Niece Dawn is nothing like her dad, but I’m proud that she stands on her 2 feet –

  • otto aiden

    Rob was an interesting character in the past, but it all means nothing now.
    The only 5 opinions that matter are the majority 5 on the US Supreme Court.
    The Court majority, no pun intended, are extreme majoritarians who think it is ok for the government to aggressively promote the majority religion, as long as they do not establish an official state church. So atheists, get ready for alot of preaching, Jesus, the Bible, and hell for the next 40 years, because that is where we are. BTW anywhere from 15-46% of the general public believes in GEOCENTRISM, and I am not kidding. We cannot fight over Darwin if a sizable minority do not even buy into Mr. Copernicus.

  • Richard Wade

    Where did you get that statistic about 15-46% of the general public believing in geocentrism? I educate the public about science in general and astronomy in particular, and I know that many people have misconceptions about basic things such as the movement of the earth and other planets. However there is a big difference between having a misconception about what causes, say, day and night and actually disbelieving in the rotation of the earth and heliocentrism in favor of geocentrism, as did the people of Galileo’s time.

    If your point is that ignorance in basic science is widespread in the U.S, I wholeheartedly agree. One of the worst failings of our educational system is that we teach what science finds out but we don’t teach how science finds out. We fill them with facts but they have no understanding of the scientific method. We also fail to show them how science relates to their lives, so they don’t care enough to pay attention.

  • Mark W

    hey there.
    well i am a Christian and believe in God and happen to love the song God Bless America. However, this is America and people should worship or not worship as they please. So Dawn is right. We should keep public events as secular as humanly possible. I think Rob just blew it out of porportion. It is like he is begging for attention to promote his books or something.

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