A Fundraiser for Jessica Ahlquist January 13, 2012

A Fundraiser for Jessica Ahlquist

At the request of several readers, this is a separate thread just for the Jessica Ahlquist college scholarship fundraiser.

If you want to help her, please contribute. Let the media know that there are a lot of us who support what she’s done and who want to make her future better than her present by giving her the opportunity to go to college without worrying about things like tuition and books.

As I stated before, when this fundraiser is over, the money will be given to the American Humanist Association, where they will hold on to the money in a trust fund (as part of the Humanist Foundation of the AHA). Of course, I will provide all necessary evidence of this transaction on this site. Jessica will have access to the money when she’s ready for college.

Any help in spreading this message would be appreciated.

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  • Justin

    Fantastic! Thank goodness we have such wonderful people in the world.

  • Achess

    Great initiative Hemant! Jessica deserves it!

  • Alan Williamson

    Brilliant!!!  Thanks, Hemant!

  • Reikobleu

    I will chip in once my paypal updates! GO JESSICA

  • Chipped in. Jessica is about 1/4 my age, yet she is an inspiration to me. Go Jessica!

  • Bonged


  • Great idea, I will repost on my blog as well to hopefully help the cause.

  • Peter Waalkes

    It’s my pleasure and an honor to be able to contribute in some small way to this courageous and inspirational young woman.  My best to you Jessica.

  • Yossarian

    Google is your friend…


  • Tia

    Okay it’s possible that this isn’t displaying properly on my screen so forgive me if this is a stupid question, but how do I donate? I seem to be going round and round in circles on the interweb and I can’t find a link.

  • Ben English

    I’m a Christian who is appalled by the behavior of the students at this school. I don’t have much money, but I’m definitely sending some her way.

  • anonymous

    Hi Tia 🙂 This is the link to that PayPal page: http://www.chipin.com/contribute/id/8d0a74d899b36f56

  • Chipped in in the name of my late wife.  Thank you,  Jessica, for standing up for all of us who value the Constitution.

  • truther

    No it’s not.

  • It sure takes me to the right PayPal page (after a redirect)

  • Mohammets

    I’m a Christian.  The bible does not support mixing secular things with spiritual things.  Jesus said, “Give to Caeser that which is Caeser’s.  Give to God what is God’s.”

    Furthermore, I believe that when the founding fathers of this country created ideals like the separation of church and state, it was more to help the church out than anything!  Don’t forget that the most of them had just come from England, where the government was heavily involved with the churches.  It was a mess on both ends and it always is.

    People were fleeing places like London and Rome by the masses just so they could get a little religious freedom.  And they were mostly various Christian denominations!  So people who put prayers up on banners in schools need to recognize that type of thing when they claim to know what Thomas Jefferson had in mind.  And they also need to check their bible when they start thinking they know what it says.  Jesus said to preach the gospel to everyone on Earth.  Not force them to live under Christian law.

    I’ve been arguing for years that it’s not even a Christian’s right to vote, as far as what the bible teaches.  We are to obey the laws of the land but to mostly not have a say in those laws when it comes down to it.  Jesus taught that we were to be in the world, but not really consider ourselves a part of it.  It’s not our business.  In fact, I could point out several warnings against being involved in world issues.

    WWJD?  Apparently, he wouldn’t run for political office.  He wouldn’t feel a need to have his voice heard by senate or the president.  Even though he had much influence in Roman-occupied Israel, he wasn’t talking any politics as far as what the bible says about it.  He wasn’t leading any protests, though he had many, many people willing to do whatever he said.  He wasn’t sparking any revolutions.  At least not political ones.  He also didn’t tell his disciples to “go into all the world and VOTE and MAKE EVERY COUNTRY ON EARTH LOOK LIKE SUNDAY SCHOOL”.  Instead, he commanded his followers to PREACH THE GOSPEL.  Modern-day Christians don’t do that.  All they do is vote.  Isn’t that funny?

  • Andrew

    When I went to bed last night, the total was over $9,500… this morning it says a little over $3,300… what gives?

  • Clear cookies/cache and it should refresh!

  • Molly Meldrum

    how embarassing… isnt being an atheist about not beleiving anything? and not going out of your way to be a complete scumbag about anything to do with god? is god exists, your gonna cop it

  • Andrew

    That was it, thanks!

  • Pauggles

    No… being an atheist is about not believing in a god or gods. If you don’t believe in anything, you’re a nihilist.

  • Chipped in.

  • Anonymous

    College is ridiculously expensive these days, and I should know…my fiance and I are having the hardest time finding a house to buy with the limited amount we’re allowed to borrow. Our student loans are holding us back. But, I still feel passionately enough about this cause to chip in a small amount to support Jessica…and this way maybe someday she won’t be stuck in the position we’re in.

  • 1000 Needles

    I’m proud to have contributed. Thanks Jessica, for all your courage and hard work. Stay strong.

    Thanks for putting this together, Hemant.

  • Anonymous

    I hope this gets reported as well – I’m sure a lot of folks will be amazed at the amount of money raised for this brave girl.  “How much was raised?  Really?  By whom?  Are there that many people supporting her?  Are there that many atheists?”

    Yes there are.  Our ‘silent’ minority is finding it’s voice in increasing amounts every day.  By contributing, you not only help Jessica, you support her and show our cause support as well.

  • I just made a donation so I get to tell a story.
    On the local news, a distraught mother was asking for a little  money
    to bury her child. She received $300,000 and bought the 
    funeral home.

  • Chad

    You can’t read this story and not throw at least a few dollars her way,  Good job Jess!

  • Chipped in! Every little bit helps.

  • Derrik Pates

    Contributed. I wish it could be more, but every bit helps, I suppose. Great idea, and thank you Jessica for your hard work!

  • I like Jessica for what she did & she deserves recognition however she is not a “hero” & this worship by atheists is getting out of hand.

    The money you are raising to send one girl to school could be used for much worthier causes like the Freedom From Religion Foundation that fight for everyone’s 1st Amendment rights & could make it possible that these things are a thing of the past. Or a scholarship fund for all the freethinking kids in America to have a chance at higher education. Supporting 100s of freethinkers instead of just one.

    Before everyone jumps down my throat – again I like Jessica & I am not saying anything bad about her or what she did. I disagree with the atheist hero worship I am seeing.

  • Erik Cameron

    Iunno, I like the idea that a student like Jessica will be able to attend university without needing to hold a job at the same time, or without extra debt holding her down.

    If she did this at 16 imagine what she can accomplish at 26.

    And yes, she is a hero.

  • You know nothing about Jessica except for this one incident. For all we know she is a horrible student & no college will take her, or she has plans to be a hair dresser (nothing against the profession but has nothing to do with 1st Amendment rights), or will suddenly become a born again xtain, or whatever.

    Everyone is jumping on a bandwagon without questioning anything. It is all reactionary with no thought put into who or what we are actually supporting. That is that same mentality of the theists – sheep following whatever someone says they should.

    Again – nothing against Jessica. This is about atheists acting like sheep & that is really disappointing to me to see.

  • Anon

    Do you have your browser set to accept cookies?

  • Jacob Hargrave

    You are a fine example of a human being. 

  • College Grad

    enough information on the web—on news sites and other longstanding
    organizations’ sites—to know that Ms Ahlquist intends to go to college
    and seems capable of holding her own once there. Given that she uses
    reason well and is willing to think for herself, my guess is that she
    will do well in college.


  • mdponce

    I chipped in, a little, and am honored to support this young woman. 

  • Randyheath

    I’m in.  Jessica’s an inspiration, or ought to be, to kids everywhere.

  • Anonymous

    Shouldn’t people do what’s right because it’s right?  Considering all of the youth in our country who can’t afford a college education, why should she be given special treatment? I support here standing up for separation od church and state, but sending her to college for free when so many others are much poorer seems a bit over the top.

  • Todd Libasci

    If you’re believing in the WRONG god, YOU’RE gonna cop it.

  • Targettee

    Congrats Jessica, I donated a small amount, I’m grateful for what you have done, it is helping many of us, who have not been able to do what you do.   


  • Pragmatic Atheist

    Thank you for being a good person that Jesus would not be ashamed of.

  • Sent!  I don’t think she’s a ‘hero’.  That word is WAY overused in my opinion.  But how is what she did not brave?  She knew what the response from Christians would be, and they didn’t disappoint.  
    The thing to me is: she stood up for herself.  How many teenagers feel the same way as she did and do nothing?  TONS.  I don’t blame them.  I’d be afraid too if I were in high school.  But she did something about it and that should be encouraged IMO.  

  • Tbriggs7777

    I’m proud to contribute a bit of money to help this student succeed.

  • Proud to help out with this!

  • Nobody likes your joke, you stupid a–!

  • trak


  • I don’t believe that Jessica asked for any money, either from the lawsuit or from the community. If you don’t want to give to this cause, then simply don’t. There’s no need to chastise those who find it worthy.

  • Karontal

    Okay, so I have thought about this for a while.  I was raised to treat everyone with love and kindness, not to judge and not to be racist.  I was raised a catholic but DO NOT practice my religion.  I believe in the God I believe in just like you all believe in the God you believe in.  It doesn’t have to be the same God for all of us.  If you chose, as Jessica AND her family have, to not believe at all, that is your choice but, do not use it as a tool to change was has been for many years ie: the CHSW School “Prayer” Banner  as you  call it.  We should be fighting for the future, not the past.  As it has been said, “If you don’t like what it says then don’t look at it.  For that matter, you should not be handling the dollar bills with which you buy all the things you want.  I believe on the bills it says “In God We Trust”.  So you CAN’T look at it but you CAN touch it?   How any of you praise her and consider her a hero is beyond me.  She has nothing to gain, only to lose by insisting this be taken down.  That plaque is nothing but a  positive inspiration to ALL teenagers.  It does not say it is intended for and perticular religion.  I don’t know, maybe it’s me!!  There will never be peace and harmony in this world as long as there are people like the Ahlquist’s!!!  Just let it go and move on to something more important.  She is wasting her best years losing friends and making enemies. 

  • Leah

    When I read about how much hatred is being spewed towards this bright, lovely young girl, I felt sick about it.  I’m going to ‘chip in’ so Jessica realizes she’s not alone; and so those who think they can bully her into thinking like they do, know she’s not alone.

  • Leah

    Actually, there will never be peace and harmony in the world as long as religion and religions (how many thousand different ones are there anyway?) exist. Remember, Native Americans lived and prospered; raised children and respected their elders, had loving communities and enjoyed the bounty and beauty of this land we call America long before Christianity rolled in with the tide and declared that everyone should be a Christian. How laughable.

  • Sylene

    One, you sound very… concerned. Two, it’s textbook unconstitutional. The school takes public funds, therefore it must NOT encourage any religion over any other (or a lack of one). The neutral stance is to display no religious material whatsoever, which almost every other school and public institution manages to do. Three, if you recall (which you don’t), In God We Trust was put on American money as a hysterical outgrowth of McCarthyism and the Red Scare. It’s not a statement of faith or history, it’s a fevered anti-communist sentiment. Four, you claim to know what “all teenagers” feel, including the one who took this all the way to court, which definitely implies a strong feeling that you claim must not exist. Five, she gave the school the option to alter the banner and they categorically refused, stating repeatedly their STRONG Christian convictions and thus clearly contravening the separation of Church and State (see two). Six, you say you don’t judge, and then you say “there will never be peace and harmony in the world as long as there are people like the Ahlquists” (no apostrophe on plurals, really. Yes really). So, I guess seven is: You’re a troll.

  • Sylene

    One, you sound very… concerned. Two, it’s textbook unconstitutional.
    The school takes public funds, therefore it must NOT encourage any
    religion over any other (or a lack of one). The neutral stance is to
    display no religious material whatsoever, which almost every other
    school and public institution manages to do. Three, if you recall (which
    you don’t), In God We Trust was put on American money as a hysterical
    outgrowth of McCarthyism and the Red Scare. It’s not a statement of
    faith or history, it’s a fevered anti-communist sentiment. Four, you
    claim to know what “all teenagers” feel, including the one who took this
    all the way to court, which definitely implies a strong feeling that
    you claim must not exist. Five, she gave the school the option to alter
    the banner and they categorically refused, stating repeatedly their
    STRONG Christian convictions and thus clearly contravening the
    separation of Church and State (see two). Six, you say you don’t judge,
    and then you say “there will never be peace and harmony in the world as
    long as there are people like the Ahlquists” (no apostrophe on plurals,
    really. Yes really). So, I guess seven is: You’re a troll.

  • We know. We know. The banner is “traditional”.
    (Making enemies is not always a bad thing.)

  • Derrik Pates

    She’s doing what’s right, whether you like it or not. You seem to have the wrong audience, based on your statement about what god we believe in; that’s the point of atheism. We don’t believe there are any gods. Besides, separation of church and state is as good for you, a theist, as it is for us.

  • There are many freethinking teens who have done what Jessica did & got the same hate thrown at them. Why aren’t they getting free college, why aren’t they “heros”, why aren’t atheists throwing love & support at them?

    How about Harrison Hopkins of South Carolina who got his school to stop graduation prayers? What the 15 other college bound freethinking students that the FFRF awarded money to just this year?

    There are other teens out there fighting for their Constitutional rights & have plans to continue to fight but they just haven’t gotten the press Jessica has.

  • StevenCarter

    I just see a large blank area above this comments section. I don’t see any instructions on how to make a donation. Perhaps this page is not constructed to display properly on iOS devices? If so, you might want to fix that! Either way, how do I make a contribution?

  • Here is a link to more about Harrison Hopkins who fought his school http://www2.wspa.com/news/2011/may/18/9/no-graduation-upstate-school-ar-1837419/.

    Here is a link for Damon Fowler who fought his school too http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2011/05/damon_fowler_and_the_abuse_of.php.

    These are just two of the students this year that also fought for Seperation of Church & State but have not gotten the same response from atheists as Jessica has.

    I am sure I could fill this with even more students that are just as brave & deserving of recognition.

  • You can donate directly by going here

  • They are heroes.  We do support them.  They have gotten love from the community.  You can’t raise money for everyone (not effectively, anyway), but you’re more than welcome to try.  

  • If you are comfortable only helping one person that is your choice – it is your site. I think the good of the many is more important.

    If I had your resources I would set up a fund to help all freethinkers get an education not just one at a time, but sadly I do not have the following or the power you do.

  • guest

    Jessica, I saw your Secular Student talk and I am incredibly impressed. I hope this scholarship will help you to go to a great College, I have no doubts you will thrive in College/University! 

  • RexCraigo

    Consider suicide erik. You know nothing of me either.

  • JaymeH

    Damon Fowler did get the same response and over $30,000 was
    raised for him


    Raising (and using) money seems to be more effective when it’s
    focused on specific people or efforts instead of having a general charity to
    cover a broad range of people and things. Dividing $20,000 among hundreds of freethinking
    kids will give less than $100 to each, which could be argued that no real
    difference would be made and isn’t a worthier cause. Taken to the extreme, 2 Million could be helped by giving each a penny.

    Jessica is a voice in this community because she has fought
    for our rights and, with our support, we hope she can continue to make a big
    difference for everyone. She has said that she wants to continue in this activism
    and inspire others.  This fundraising is
    not done to diminish the efforts of others. Just like the point of celebrating Martin
    Luther King Jr. Day is not to diminish the efforts of others that fought for
    civil rights. But, I guess your response would be why MLK Day instead of Rosa
    Parks Day. There are always details about a person’s efforts and their story
    that draws in more people than others. To a lot of people Damon’s and Jessica’s
    stories are the most inspiring and those are the ones they want to give the
    most recognition. 

    To think about it in another way, why are you a fan of one band more than
    another when they both make music? Are there things outside of the music
    that influence your support of them?

  • Donated. Good luck, Jessica.

    Emil, Poland.

  • Christoph Burschka

    High school is not quite a decade ago for me, and I remember for certain I couldn’t have done this while facing as much crap this brave young woman has had thrown at her.
    Following this story has made me realise that, in a small way, things are occasionally going right in the world.
    As a college student myself, I don’t have a lot of money, but I have contributed. If we want the future to be better, we can start by making sure people like Jessica have the best opportunity possible to affect it.

  • Christoph Burschka

    > do not use it as a tool to change was has been for many years ie:
    >  the CHSW School “Prayer” Banner  as you  call it. 
    > We should be fighting for the future, not the past.

    I agree we should. That means to place people’s rights above outdated traditions.

    > “If you don’t like what it says then don’t look at it.  For that matter,
    >  you should not be handling the dollar bills with which you buy all
    > the things you want.  I believe on the bills it says “In God We Trust”.

    Or maybe she should fight to end that particular error as well, as she said she hopes to do one day. Seriously, religious mottos on money? Shouldn’t Christians be even more offended by that than atheists?

  • Mary Blackhurch

    Yeah Jessica!  I hope you use all the college money to go to the best college, become the President of the US – (of the matriarchal variety) – and do away with ALL religious BS in the United States!  You GO GIRL!  :))))  SO happy!!

  • Durro

    20 Dolleroos from Australia now added to the fund.

  • Mydruidd

    As soon as my PayPal updates I will contribute. I would like to say that I am very proud of what Jessica has accomplished .  I am one of those dreaded “Theists” in fact I am a Polytheist.  I also believe in everyone’s right to choose to whether they believe in Deity or not.  I also believe that as theists we have an obligation to our Deity to act in a manner that brings Honor to ourselves and those we worship, regardless of what name we call our God/Goddess.  Polytheist or Monotheist we have an obligation to conduct ourselves according to the precepts of our religion and that does not include verbally attacking someone.

  • Yes that is what I meant just give $100 dollars to freethinking kids or just 1 penny. Come on you know what I am actually saying. 

    $30,000 was raised for Damon & that is great! But you could have given $10,000 to three freethinking students looking for higher education & it would be based on merit i.e. kids would have to apply for the money.

    Are Jessica, Damon, Harrison, really braver & thusly more deserving than other freethinking teens in the country or do they just happen to go to a school that violated the 1st Amendment?  

    Not all schools violate the constitution-doesn’t mean there aren’t brave, freethinking students going to them. That is what I want people to think about & recognize.

  • Sjones

    Chipped in! Thanks. I think the response is horrid, so called ‘Christians’ and youngsters to boot. So sad.

  • If I tried to set up a national scholarship fund for freethinking teens would I have your support? I mean would you help get donations using your fame & connections? I couldn’t do it alone – I would need help.

    I am 100% serious about this. I think it would be a wonderful thing to do & I would be willing to try but again I couldn’t do it alone.

  • Mark

    I can assure you, as someone who has become acquainted with Jessica and her extended family, that she is someone you would be glad to support. And with just a bit of Googling, you could find enough evidence, including interviews of Jessica, to gain that impression yourself.  Beyond subsidizing the education of a young, courageous activist who promises to contribute disproportionately to the good of our society, our contributions represent tangible expressions of support that cannot but impress those who oppose her and her cause.

    I am wondering, by the way, if you consider all people who contribute to worthy causes as acting like sleep. How could one contribute to this fund in a way that would not trigger your reflexive disdain? Do you include in the “everything” that you claim to question your own construction of this situation?

  • Mark

    I can assure you, as someone who has become acquainted with Jessica and
    her extended family, that she is someone you would be glad to support.
    And with just a bit of Googling, you could find enough evidence,
    including interviews of Jessica, to gain that impression yourself. 
    Beyond subsidizing the education of a young, courageous activist who
    promises to contribute disproportionately to the good of our society,
    our contributions represent tangible expressions of support that cannot
    but impress those who oppose her and her cause.

    I am wondering,
    by the way, if you consider all people who contribute to worthy causes
    as acting like sheep. How could one contribute to this fund in a way
    that would not trigger your reflexive disdain? Do you include in the
    “everything” that you claim to question your own construction of this

  • Absolutely I think anyone who donates to a charity without looking into the cause & the organization itself is acting like a sheep .

    I am bringing critical thinking to an emotional issue & while you may not appreciate that fact do not confuse it for “disdain”. I believe the atheist community is capable of greater things outside of just reactionary causes.

    I am not personally attacking Jessica or you.

  • Ian

    Why would I cop it?  God is love.

  • I’d need to know more details about how it would be run before I respond. How many students? Who’s holding the money? Etc.

  • It will take me some time to set up a non profit & have that information available. I want to gauge the interest of the atheist community before taking on a project of this size & I am starting with you & this comments section.

    Assuming my future plans met with your approval would you help with enthusiasm? In your opinion do you think the atheist community would support the fund now & in the future?

    If you are uncomforatable answering my questions in public since for all you know I am a complete nut case I totally understand. I have other resources & will be moving forward regardlesss. I do respect your opinion tho so your thoughts would be appreciated.

  • I think you’re facing a challenge because other groups already give general scholarships and I’m not sure how this would be different. In theory, you have my support. But I’d want to know who’s getting the scholarships, why, how much, etc. That depends on how you market the organization and how much in contributions you can get. A lot of questions need to be answered, you know?

  • Bjorn Hellqvist

    Contributed a few bucks. Best regards from Sweden!

  • Oh I realize there is a lot to do & a lot of things will have to come together & maybe nothing will come of it due to many factors but I believe that supporting the next generation of freethinkers is very important & there is a country full of kids who don’t have rich parents, or national press that deserve the chance for a higher education & I am willing to work towards that goal.

  • Michel Trottier-McDonald

    Jessica’s the future! Go! We’re behind you.

  • Anonymous

    Well if you believe freedom of speech as you do separation of church and state I have every right to comment on it.

  • Poinac

    I hope a few $ from Australia helps out the cause 🙂

  • Cory Vingi

    Jessica is a horrible person and she deserves to suffer, not a make a dime. She feels no remorse for what she did and her actions make so many people upset and hurt and she forced a community to pay money it can’t afford for legal costs. She deserves none of this money, it should go back to the tax payers of Cranston and I hope nothing but the worst for her!

  • Cory Vingi

    And  Hemant, stop getting involved in stuff that you have no idea what’s going on. She’s ruining a school and community and for no reason. Clearly you haven’t even read what she took down but it has zero controversy, she just wanted to cause i scene, and she has! Mind your business, rather than just doing stupid stuff because you can, do something useful with that money, like paying a poor town back the money it spent on legal fee’s because of this piece of trash. Educate yourself man, stop being ignorant! 

  • You mad bro?

  • Chuck Glenn

    Proud to help.

  • Cory Vingi

    Does anyone who’s giving realize that she now wants outta the school that she’s causing all this trouble in! She can talk the talk but she’s afraid and running before she walks the walk! And you wanna support this! PLEASE THINK MAN! THIS IS WRONG!

  • David Sestero

    Cory Vingi is a lying sack of shit. Here’s a post on his Facebook wall:
    couldn’t be more upset up the crap going on at Cranston West. And i
    hope nothing but the worst for Jessica Ahlquist who started that.”This dumb fuck doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Because of your post, Cory, I’m actually going to donate more to Jessica’s college fund. Fucker.

  • Cvingi

    Nice way to waste money. And believe me, i said much more! And I’m yet to hear one person say a reasonable argument against my points. Hoping that she learns from her mistakes, there’s nothing wrong with that. What the hell did she think was gonna happen? And everyone who’s picking one her has that right, just like she had a right for making a pointless thing happen over a sign that basically said “I hope you have a great day”. Your move, see if any of you can actually make a valid argument other than saying things like FUCKER.

  • David Sestero

    Dumbass, you have no reasonable argument. Your entire argument is, “Wah Wah Wah! She took down a prayer mural and I hope bad things happen to her!!” There are no valid points there, douche.

    People have a right to criticize her, but they don’t have a right to make threats against her and her family. Your ignorance spewed on this board suggest that you support threats and violence against her. For that reason, you have no credibility.

  • Mark

    I admire Jessica for taking a stand to support the separation of church and state, and made a contribution to her college fund.

  • Jason Desjardins

    So true!  I mean, who WOULDN’T want to go to a place where your fellow classmates threaten you with bodily harm.

    Say, Cory, do you know what “curb stomping” is?

  • Charliemorgan

    Three Cranston florists refused to deliver roses to Jessica Ahlquist, the 16-year-old Cranston West atheist who instead of cheerleading and going to parties decided she’d rather force the courts to remove a prayer banner from her school. 

  • Jessica, I don’t have any money to give you (I’m a grad student living on loans from the government), but I am so proud of you. I’m a Christian and I truly, honestly, deeply believe that religion of all kinds should be kept entirely out of the public sphere. The hatred your classmates have showed you will not go away; it’s going to get worse. Christians are scared; they see happy, functional people controlling their lives. They see their influence slipping away. Most terrifying, they’re seeing a “browning” of their neighborhoods.

    Things will get better, but not for a long time. Not for us. Not for our children. Perhaps for our grandchildren. In one-hundred years time, you will have been on the right side of history. Please, please don’t give up your fight for what’s right. It can and will be scary. As an avid pro-choice activist and feminist, I’m often threatened. It keeps being scary. But every night, when I lie in bed, I know that people like you are out there, keeping America what she was meant to be.

    Good luck to you. I hope you find your dream college and live out your dream life. Keep being strong. Keep being right. I don’t know if you’ll read this or not, but I’m going to be keeping you in my thoughts.

    All the absolute best,

  • Ken

    I am a Protestant, I totally don’t believe one word of the Bible, but was raised by good church going folks who help their neighbors, educate their kids and generally go out of their way to do good. Many non-religious people do good too.. Religion is now politically incorrect.  In modern times now, religion is viewed with disdain, and sometimes rightfully so.. but lets not forget the millions of regular folks who see that there is more good in “religion” than bad. The people running charities and helping old ladies across the street and volunteering at nursing homes, and helping troubled youth get back on track etc are often also involved in Religion.  For every annoying Jesus freak, there are 1000 normal folks who see that Religion is good, and never talk about god in public.  Lets not beat up those people in this whole process ok?

  • You have the right to comment, but you should take the time to educate yourself so’s not to look like an ass. Fortunately for us, we also have the right to call you out on being wrong.

  • Randomfactor

    How do you get an updated total?

  • Clear your cache!

  • Russell Pisciotta

    Thanks for doing this. I chipped in via paypal. Will share the link. 

  • Ruthsjunk

    She stood up for a cause that was important to her, and supported by the law. And while it IS the right of every individual to exercise their free speech and voice their dislike of her position or the ruling that was handed down, no one has the right to threaten her. That is what is known as assault. We have laws against that too. And so if she does decide to transfer to a new school so what? That is her right. And hopefully by getting the banner (which was inappropriate) removed from the school, hopefully she has made that school a bit more comfortable for any current or future student (or staff for that matter) that would feel uncomfortable with the banner. 

    She has a right to go to school, go to classes and not worry about being threatened, hurt, raped, having things thrown at her or worse. Kids have killed kids before. She has a right to not be in that position. She HAS walked the walk. She asked for it to be taken down, she offered compromise in simply changing the wording to be more inclusive and then she took it to a legal battle when the ‘adults’ refused to remove or reword the banner. 

    Is she a hero? No. Thats not what being a hero is about. Is she a wonderful human that understands that all of us have rights and that the minority need protection form the majority? Yes.

    And for every one of the people who have called her names, threatened her and so on, are THOSE the christian values you wish to display?

  • I tried to put the donation box on my own site (obviously i would link back to your wonderful site), but the html didn’t work. Sad day. Is there another way, another set of HTML that I can throw directly into the post?  Or should I just link it?
    Also, would you mind if I put you on my blogroll?

  • By all means, I appreciate the blogroll link!

    Also, does this HTML work?

  • Anonymous

    If there is a god he will surely judge you for your hateful actions. Enjoy hell!

  • Anonymous

    You’re the uneducated and ignorant one, Cory. 

    For every message you post we will increase our donations! For every message you post here I will give an extra $20 to Jessica… Your move!

  • If that prayer banner had contained Catholic-exclusive invocations (such as calling on Mary or the saints to intercede), or Jewish-exclusive ones (prayers for Israel, Hebrew terms that hadn’t spread to Christianity)…you can bet your bottom dollar that the hardline Protestants at Cranston West would have been just as offended as Jessica Ahlquist was.  They would have complained just as loudly about Constitutional rights being more important than tradition, and they probably would have won a lawsuit similar to Jessica’s.  The only major difference?  The threats against those Protestants would be far fewer and less intense.  Jessica Ahlquist does not deserve to suffer physically, mentally, OR spiritually for defending her basic human right to believe as she chooses.

  • Maddy

    I wouldn’t exactly call following through on a law suit an ‘incident’, much as I wouldn’t call applauding her actions ‘worship’. Consider this a scholarship that she exclusively has met the criteria for.

  • Maddy

    “What the 15 other college bound freethinking students that the FFRF awarded money to just this year? ”

    They got money! So what about them?

  • Maddy

    I think it’s braver when you pursue your cause in an environment as hostile as the one she was clearly in.

    I’ve driven along the road leading to the abbey at Monte Cassino, but it wasn’t while under constant gunfire in WWII like some of my compatriots did, ergo, not a hero.

  • Maddy

    No remorse for her actions? Why are you expecting remorse? That’s for people who actually do bad or wrong things, not for people who uphold the law.

    The community was in no way forced to pay anything for legal fees – it was their choice to fight a battle they could not win.

    Now, if people have hurt feelings because they wanted to keep slaves and
    they’re not allowed to any more, well, they can just go cry into their

  • I’m almost at 300 signatures, but that isn’t nearly enough. If 1100 people can donate to her college fund, 11 more can sign the petition to get rid of Representative Peter “evil little thing” Palumbo. Send it to your friends and make it known throughout the atheist community.


  • Nickelthrower

    Jessica Ahlquist is my hero for the day.  Atheists need to look out for one another.  With that in mind, I’ve donated to her college scholarship.   I would encourage everyone to do the same.

    Oh yeah, I also wrote to the State Rep who went on the radio and insulted Jessica.

  • Darke Mayer Goulart

    Man, I should had being more assertive about atheism at high school. My student’s wages are killing me, you know. It would be nice to have it paid by strangers while becoming a celebrity.

    Except this kind of crap only happens in United States of Freedom And Prosperity, not in the Banana Republic of Brazil. Here, who’d know, you can’t say something anti-religious and expect people to a) get angry about it sou you can b) ask for people to pay for your education. You actually have to put up with indiference and WORK to pay for it.

    How can I get a Green Card so I can be bullied and have my scholarship paid by you guys?

  • Christoph Burschka

    If you seriously wanted to face adversity for cash, you could surely find an issue that gets people angry at you. The difference is that you’d be doing for profit what she does out of personal conviction.
    You admit that your opinions are not controversial where you live; neither are mine where I live. Neither of us therefore has any sense of what it actually means to be loathed by the entire community we grew up in – our childhood friends, their parents, our teachers and florists and politicians – for what we believe in.

  • Jigglypuff

    You rock! Thanks for being awesome.

  • Chris W.

    Pointing out that you’ve said something stupid is a far cry from saying you didn’t have a right to say it.

  • the First Church of Atheism congratulates you Jess! I hope our small donation helps you get the education you will clearly use well.

  • Derrik Pates

    Yes, she should totally be remorseful for upholding the Constitution. What kind of asshole would ever do something like that? What a horrible thing to do.

    In case you couldn’t tell – that was sarcasm.

  • Dan

    The town was clearly violating the law. Why should it be anyone’s job to repay their debt? They were acting illegally, refused to comply with the law when it was pointed out to them, and paid for it. Jessica didn’t ruin the community, much of the community is acting like a bunch of immature theocrats, and Jessica is extremely brave for standing up for the Constitution. She caused a ‘scene’ because something illegal and unfair was going on. We need more young people like Jessica around to stand up for the freedoms we are supposed to enjoy as Americans, one of which is no Government endorsement of religion. (And Cory, I bet you’d be singing a different tune if there was a official Muslim school prayer.)

  • Guest

    I’m a Christian and I’m more than happy she won her case.  What she did allows me to raise my child in the religion I see fit, instead of what others would want of my kid.  By doing this I can still keep her education in the classroom and teach her our religious education at home and at the church-where it belongs.  

    What I believe as a mainline Christian is different than what a Catholic believes, different than what a fundamentalist believes, different than what a evangelical believes, and different than what a Mormon believes. When she sued her school over a religious banner it actually supports people of faith, allowing them to raise their children in their belief at home instead of allowing an authority figure at school (teacher, principal, etc) the opportunity to teach our children what we personally do not want our children to be taught.  (Example: an evangelical might teach my child that gays and lesbians are sinners, a fundamentalist might teach my child that only a man can be the head of the household, a Mormon might teach my child that abortion is a sin.  These are all things that are NOT taught at my church and I don’t want these views shoved down her throat.)

    Anyway, I’m more than happy to support this brave y0ung woman and there will be money coming her way within a week or so.  It’s not much but every bit helps!

  • Guest

    I read what she had removed from the school and as a Christian I’m offended that it was even posted in a public building.

    A prayer shouldn’t be in a public building.  You know that and I know that it shouldn’t have happened.  If  any other faith had wanted to hang a banner that was religious in nature would you personally allow it?  

  • My friend, THANK YOU for your enlightened viewpoint and your gracious gift to Jessica.  As someone recently said to me, I wish I could “like” your comment 100 times. I hope that you are once in a while able to persuade one or two of those misguided and naive people around you who don’t realize that keeping religion and government separate protects their freedom.  My very best wishes for you and your family.

  • analog2000

    I have no idea how poor or not the girl is.  What does that have to do with scholarship funds?  We award students with superior grades or athletic ability, regardless of their financial situation.  Why not reward a child with superior courage and moral conviction?

  • Thatguywhojuggles

    Wow… you do exist!

  • Anonymous

    No, this is being based on your own religious bias. You all hate all Christians prejudging all who are because you are no better than RW extremists who wish to divide people. And if you truly want to”reward” people with “superior” moral conviction you better get busy with that fund drive. There are plenty more where she came from of all races and creeds. The bias here is truly hypocritical.

  • Anonymous

    Well, if it makes you feel morally superior go for it.

  • Denny

    You’d have my support.

  • Guest

    Thank you.  And I do make my point known in public-I’m just not all that loud about it.  I don’t have the lungs to scream like the religious right.

  • Guest

    There are more than you think-we just don’t hold up hateful signs and scream until we’re red in the face. And most of us are cool with a person believing whatever they feel is right for them.  A few of us are even open to civil discussions about it.  🙂

  • analog2000

    I really don’t understand your point of view.  Why is it hypocritical to support this girl’s scholarship fund? Obviously there are other deserving students in the world, but you can’t help them all.  Does that mean you should help none?  Where is the hypocrisy?

    In your op you “support her standing up for separation of church and state.”  And you say that it was the “right” thing to do.  Yes, people should just do the right thing, but they don’t.  There are lots of other kids at Jessica’s school, and that banner had been there for awhile.  No one else stood up against it.  Only her.  You really don’t see how that makes her unique, special, and worthy of admiration?  She was willing to take on this burden when no one else was.  

    How does supporting a girl who (in your words) did the right thing show a hatred of all Christians? Much less a desire to divide people?

  • Carl Gorney

    Yeah, well….they don’t have the right to threaten her LIFE.

    And I hope EVERY LAST ONE of those D-bags gets charged with cyberbullying(you DO know it’s a crime, right, Cory?)and crowds the state’s jails.

    Nice way to NOT think, pal.

  • Guest

    To Jessica. . .   Thank you for standing up for the rights of ALL Americans, whether they realize it or not.  And, to Question Everything, you did make a valid point and I sure did do a little bit of research on Jessica to see if she seemed like a studious person.  After reading some of her blog, I feel good about having contributed to her scholarship fund. 

  • Jason Desjardins

    I was wondering how large the fund was getting, last I checked it was ~$32,000, but now I just get “Could not load data for event ID 8d0a74d899b36f56.”

    Did the deluge response just kill the donation applet or something?  

    God I hope so.

    Anyone know where the counter is and what the donation amount is currently?

  • Christoph Burschka

    What’s up with ChipIn? The website  appears to be non-responsive, and the widget is gone.

    Edit: Never mind, the ChipIn website and the widget are both working again.

  • Tim Reid

    I’ve made a small but heartfelt contribution – bravo Jessica.

  • Should be working now… Try clearing your cache/cookies!

  • Thank you so much for your support.  One way that Christians who don’t have money can support this young woman is to spread these ideas to fellow Christians.  I am the only atheist in a religious family that I love very much.  I have no desire to trash their religious beliefs.  I do, however, believe that we all should have the freedom to guide our children in the best way we, as parents, know possible.  Not allowing a school institution to guide our children in spiritual matters is something we ALL can agree on.  

  • Devon Beold

    I am broke sophomore in college, but I am handing over a small sum. It’s not much, but it’s to show my appreciate and support for her. I wish I could have been bothered to do the same during my high school years. But some of us aren’t willing to deal with the backlash at a young age. Much love and supper and appreciate from a fellow atheist!

  • Tracey Lipford

    I have seen many people voicing opposition to a scholarship fund for Ms. Ahlquist on a few blogs and even some here, and I think that they are missing the point. Here we have a young lady who has stood up for her rights, for the Constitution and law of the land, and for the rights of those who are attacking her. She has persevered through a court case, ostracization, threats of death and torture, and ridicule and insults by her peers, community, and elected officials. She has done so with poise, intelligence, dignity, grace, and even a sense of humor, that is all too rarely seen in today’s society. This is not a matter of reward, but of necessity. Ms. Alhquist represents the better qualities of mankind, and we have a need, almost to the point of duty, to see individuals such as her continue to succeed, so that we all, as a society, can be ameliorated.

  • Christoph Burschka

    That’s it exactly. As much as I feel she has “earned” it, this scholarship is obviously not merely a reward for ridding one high school of an unconstitutional banner, nor compensation for the adversity she’s had to cope with.
    It’s an investment in a secular society. People like Jessica are our greatest hope.  (No pressure! 😛 )

  • I’d like to see a timeline of support on this ChipIn thing—particularly to see what happened after the NYTimes article. Possible?

  • Bughouser

    Just chipped in! Bravo, Jessica

  • John Michael Strubhart

    WWCSD:  The scholarship is a good idea.  Why not keep one candle in the dark brightly lit?  It’s what Carl would do.

  • Michael Espanoza

    This teen only caused a bigger problem between atheists and those who believe in a higher power. This prayer was not new it had been on the wall for 49 years and was placed their by a child. Its sentiment was not offensive but sweet. I don’t see the problem in just leaving it up. It was hurting no one, and taking it down hurt many. Some times a little tolerance in this world is necessary to coexist with other human beings on this planet. 

     Being a person who has fought my whole life for fair and equal treatment on all sides find it incredibly difficult to understand the massive amount of monetary donations being risen for this girls future. When someone like me has worked hard for others my whole life and has nothing to show for it but hurt and heartache.  I don’t think her recent behavior and other negative comments she has made about those who believe in a god should be rewarded this way.  All she has done is create more hate in  the world.  

  • Andrea

    Just because the Catholic church and other Christian church goers quite often know nothing about what they preach and some quite often do more harm than good; does not make a sweet prayer written by a child many years ago offensive. This request for removal was ignorant and childish. This prayer had nothing offensive in it, to remove it hurt many people who believe in a god; just because you don’t believe does not give you the right to take it away from others, it was not asking for anyone to believe, or was it saying anything bad about non believers. 
    There are many ignorant religious people throughout the world and many ignorant non religious people also. It is not fair to punish all of them because some are ignorant fools. This was ignorant to remove this sweet sentiment written by a child that was not in any way offensive to enlightened non ignorant atheists. The only reason this could have been a violation of her constitutional rights was if she was forced to read it every day. She had a choice to look the other way she did not have to read it  nor did anyone else. It would only have been a violation of her rights if any of the children were forced to read it or it was read allowed or copies distributed. Please stop rewarding this girl for what she did, all she did was prove her intolerance for her fellow human beings as well as her ignorance. The school offered to remove the only part of the prayer that had anything to do with religion and it was still refused; they tried to make her and others more comfortable even though it went against what they believed. This girl has no tolerance at all and no respect for others. The only wrong doing was how people treated her after she shared her beliefs, but this is HIgh School it  should have been expected. Perhaps if she had been more tolerant  of their beliefs they would have been more tolerant of hers.

  • Donor to Jessica

    Those “who believe in a higher power” showed the effects of
    their beliefs when they decided to harass and threaten Ms. Alquist.  It seems that there was a big enough problem –
    in their minds – before she did anything. 
    She just brought their big problem to the surface.


    There is more to a writing than “sentiment”.  The first problem is that the “sentiment” was
    directed to God, which contravenes long-standing law.  The banner was placed a year AFTER the
    Supreme Court ruled such displays illegal. 
    It was ratified recently by the school board, which showed its disdain
    for the law and for the views of people who did not think like them.  Long-standing displays of contempt for both
    the law and for minority religious views, it seems to me, need to be dealt


    Do you suppose that “little tolerance” might best have been
    shown towards people with minority religious views, and towards obeying the
    law?  What is it about flaunting the
    clear, settled law of the land and heaping abuse and threats on someone who
    feels oppressed by it that convinces you that continuing that behavior is the
    right course?


    If you don’t understand the contributions, perhaps it is
    because you don’t understand “fair and equal treatment” and how it was NOT
    given to this girl.  That people want to support
    her in some way for having to put up with the stupid, aggressive threats of
    those around her seems to me to be eminently understandable.


    Again, no, she did not create more hate in the
    world.  She just turned over the rock in
    which all that hatred – by Christians – was exposed. 

  • rainkitten

    “The school offered to remove the only part of the prayer that had anything to do with religion and it was still refused” 
    You have that backwards. Jessica offered to settle for changing the language. The school refused. Saying this is “high school” is no excuse when a 16 year old girl is facing death threats and bullying to the point she needs a police escort. 
    How tolerant would you be with a Wiccan Prayer on those same walls ?  The establishment clause protects everyone. It is in the interest of everyone that it exists, and should be rigorously enforced.

  • Tlbouv

    Perhaps next to this obviously christianist prayer banner, we should hang another banner with an inverted pentagram with some quote from A. Crowley? I think a nice banner with the prayer “Allah is great” and a nice one with the similar Jewish prayer would be wonderful. But then what about the Hindus and Buddhists and Sikhs and Mormons and jehovah witnesses and christian scientists, etc. etc.?

  • Six

    I’m donating $10 to Jessica’s scholarship fund, not because I’m rewarding her for her actions (which I think were not only right, but brave – and you don’t often get a reward for just doing what’s right), but because it’s the best response I can think of to make to the utterly loathsome and disgusting excuses for human beings who think it’s ok to threaten to beat or rape a 16 year old girl.

    For every “Christian” posting their hatred and bile here and elsewhere, you are foul. You are evil. You are representing your religion and faith in Jesus in the worst way possible, and I despise you from the depths of my soul.

  • Rational ific

    Would you agree to an Islamic prayer being put up (placed “there” (learn to spell) by a child)?  What if when graduating, the speaker invoked only Allah’s name, and referred to Muhammad (including the PBUH) as his messenger.  How would you feel at that event.  Tell the truth.  Try not to lie or be too much of a hypocrite.

  • Rational ific

    Hello.  I can’t use PayPal.  Is there any way I can donate anyway?  I can’t even use the credit card option because PayPal won’t let me.

  • You can always send a check to the American Humanist Association — just make sure it says “for Jessica Ahlquist” 🙂

  • Jason G

    “you will agree that I have every right to comment on it.”
    Can you understand the difference between someone preventing you from speaking and someone speaking in opposition to your opinion?  Freedom of speech works both ways.

  • Jasong

    How many scholarships are set up for Christians?  Get off your high horse and quit being a hypocrite.  Point out one comment where someone says they hate all Christians.  This is the internet for Christ’s sake and the only hateful people here are Christians.  What is wrong with a scholarship for a young girl who fights for the first amendment?  She has taken on the burden of defending the constitution and her community has ostracized her for it.  I beg of you, at least say you think it is wrong that no florist in town would deliver flowers to her and show that you aren’t a monster.

  • Jasong

    She is a freethinker, and eloquent speaker and a fighter for the rights of us all.  She has suffered because of her battle.  I can spend my money on whatever I choose, and I choose to spend it on this.

  • Ricky Sims

    I chipped in, and not for a reward of eternal life after death. Who would’ve guessed I could be moral without a 2000 year old book to tell me what to do.

  • Hans Andre

    It is the backlash that she is exposed to – the hate, the verbal violence, the exclusion from her community – that makes me want to show her my support.. 

    I wouldn’t really have cared for this story otherwise..


    Why are SOME religious ppl so violent, hateful, angry!?!?  Don’t they realize she is still a kid?? Don’t they realize that this is what they call evil?


  • Makoto

    She brought a lawsuit based on the Constitution and established court cases.  The law is on her side.  Morals include following the law.

    I don’t hate Christians – much of my family and many of my friends are Christians.

    I disagree with those who are calling for violence against a person who rightfully called into question the breaking of the law.  I support those who fight for the law to be followed.

    And I support Jessica in particular because she fought for the law in a well publicized case and is getting threats from “they will know us by our love” Christians for the most part.  No one deserves threats for following or fighting for the law.  No one.  She has earned my respect and support, and those who are so vocally against her (often in violent terms) cemented my desire to help her any way I could, including this fund.

  • Angie

    I am really impressed by this fundraiser, Hemant!  So far there are 1403 contributors (including the small donation I just made) and the average donation so far actually works out to just $26 per contributor.  These kinds of donations are actually the type I am most likely to give to, for a few reasons:
    1. I have very little extra money to spend, and it’s easy to do the math and see that most other donators also don’t have much extra to spend, so I still feel like I’m really contributing even if I only have a few dollars.2. I would rather spend money on a targeted focus of one person because I know that my money really is making an impact for that one person.  Donating to FFRF etc. is great but I love that I can point and think “I helped this (ultra-deserving personal role model) person go to college and my donation paid for half a textbook” or something like that.  That means something directly to that person.3. In a drive like this, the numbers (of contributors) count.  Seriously, donating $1 as a token of support to show that you care, does in fact show that you care about the cause and that you support it.  It’s not just the sum of money raised that is impressive, but I find the number of contributors equally if not more impressive- and if I only have $1 or $5 I can spend right now, then that solidarity will mean something to the person benefitting, too.  4. Lots of causes catch my attention and make me want to donate, but the truth is that every time I tell myself I’ll donate $50 next pay check to this cause, something comes up that I need it for or I just forget about it.  So I donate what I can spare, when I can spare it, and don’t hold myself accountable for donating to something later.  So it all comes down to money for me- I feel a personal connection to the beneficiary, which makes me feel good, and I know that both the small amount and the number I represent in the mix of donors will make an impact to everyone who reads those numbers.  My tiny donation makes an impact that I can see.  So that’s how I choose to spend my money.  And for what it’s worth, all the people crying “what about the other atheist students who need college money?” sound an awful lot like “What about all the non-gay kids who are bullied and kill themselves? Don’t they need their own It Gets Better project?” and all the other arguments like that that don’t make sense.  Jessica getting money to go to college doesn’t preclude anyone else getting money to go to college, and I would not have donated anything to anybody today if I had not read about this fund on here and from Greta Christina again today reminding me I want to do that.  Jessica- thank you for inspiring me and making the world I live in a better place.Hement- Ditto, and please keep doing these types of drives, because they really work for people like me, and hopefully my reasoning makes sense.  🙂

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t that your schtick?

  • Sam Cardea

    Where has the link to Jessica’s scholarship fund gone?

  • Just wrote you back. All fixed!

  • Hannah Southerland

    I have to say, the amount of money getting thrown at this girl is ridiculous. Yes, we should have funding for atheist students to go to college. However, there are so many kids out there that are atheists, that get bullied and punished and are struggling to pay for school that don’t get their education paid for. To single out one girl ostracizes the entire young atheist community. Christian organizations help out all their young, fellow Christians, but it seems like the adults in the atheist community don’t care about high school and college aged atheists unless we’re bringing huge amounts of press to the issue. Don’t the rest of them deserve help? I’d like to say I’m not bitter, but I am. Right now I’m going to community college because I can’t afford anything else, and looking at stories like this reminds me of all the times I got cussed out and beat up on the bus and at school because I was an atheist. In Bellevue, Nebraska and Tampa, Florida, these communities do not look kindly on non-believers. And I got no reward other than an intellectual one, and if it was good enough for me, why isn’t it good enough for her? We all get threatened, and a lot of us get more than threats. This is just an outrage, it really is.

  • guest

    you mean “normal folks who believe that religion is good”. (as oposed to see) As the ad says, you can be good without god. The point is you don’t need to be religious to be charitable/moral/a good person. and no, religion is not politically incorrect, religious people are still the majority, you are NOT the victim here. sorry.

  • guest

    that’s pretty naive.  1) without religion, people find another reason to start wars and creeds. 2)Native Americans weren’t all peaceful, they waged wars as well-just like any other group. assuming otherwise is condescending.

  • im right

    this girl doesn’t deserve one penny i dont beleave in a higher power but this girl didnt do nothing but cause problems and still if you think she didnt why give here money she didnt do anything great and isnt it the little boys freedom to hang up what he beleaves in  its not like the church hung it there every one has there beleifs i dnt get why this girl cares so much shes a loser who doesnt kno shit about religon

  • J. Harvey

    I heard about Jessica’s scholarship fund on the way to work and decided to donate.  I had previously heard through several sources about her struggle and ultimate court victory and decided I needed to donate to let her know that she is NOT alone, that what she did was right, and to encourage her to continue to show the courage that I wish I had, not only at her age, but even now.  Way to go, Jessica!

    When I got to the ChipIn box, I noticed that the current total was $39,705 with 1499 people having donated.  Now, 40,000 sounded like a nice round number to me, so I donated $295 to bring the running total to $40,000 (and also to raise the number of donors to 1500).

    Now, I challenge and encourage all of you.  Let’s make the $40,000 mark just the start on our way to… what?  $60,000?  How about $80,000?  Or even $100,000?  Let’s do something nice for Jessica to counterbalance all of the hate and vitriol she’s had to endure.


  • Every tie I try to donate I get an UNTRUSTED CONNECTION thing that pops up saying it could be something impersonating the site.  I don’t want to type in my bank information on something that could be trying to steal it. 

  • Anonymous


    Here is a VERY BIASED article about this scholarship fund.  For one thing the word scholarship is in quotes, implying that the author of the article doesn’t really believe that the money will be used for Jessica’s eduacation.  Second of all, the article states that Jessica intends to transfer to another school.  Is this a new development, or an outright falsehood ?  Everything I have read says that Jessica intends to graduate at Cranston West.  If this is a falsehood, perhaps someone should post a comment to this article admonishing them to not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

  • Concerned

    Just now, it looks like there is a “trusted connection” problem with the fund; has it been tampered with?

  • Concerned

    Just now, it looks like there is a “trusted connection” problem with the fund; has it been tampered with?

  • Comerb

    you’re a whiny one aren’t you

  • Comerb

    you’re a whiny one aren’t you

  • Comerb

    you’re a whiny one aren’t you

  • It hasn’t been tampered with on my end. It may just be an issue with the Chipin website. However, when I tested it just now, it looked to be working just fine.

  • It hasn’t been tampered with on my end. It may just be an issue with the Chipin website. However, when I tested it just now, it looked to be working just fine.

  • It hasn’t been tampered with. It may just be an issue with the Chipin website. However, when I tested it just now, it looked to be working just fine.

  • It hasn’t been tampered with. It may just be an issue with the Chipin website. However, when I tested it just now, it looked to be working just fine.

  • ****Sigh** It’s “atheists” like her and many here that make me almost ashamed to be an atheist. This little brat is no hero. She acts vindictive and most comments I’ve heard from her are snide and conniving. Money grubber. And you all bought it. Way to go ACLU…always supporting the losers.

  • Tim

    ACLU are not supporting losers, they are supporting the US Constitution. 

  • Peter_j_s

    I’m pretty disappointed by the tone of the comments on this site. The pretense of the friendly athiest doesn’t come through at all. It seems the community is more interested in giving the thumbs up to spiteful jabs at christianity than they are in meaningful dialogue. It’s rather small minded.

    As for Jessica for you she may be a hero, to me she is selfish. I don’t know how she has been treated, and I don’t condone any over reaction to this situation but how is a prayer banner that has been there for 50 years hurting anyone? Now she gets 40,000 dollars for being intolerant?

  • Keith Collyer

     You really haven’t read that much if you don’t understand. She has had death threats for standing up for the US constitution’s separation of church and state. I personally don’t think the banner is hurting anyone (I am an atheist and it doesn’t bother me – but then I am a Brit and we are more used to ignoring the place religion has in government), but the fact is that it is unconstitutional. So, she is not getting $40,000 for being intolerant, she is getting it for standing up to the intolerance displayed towards her. The irony is that if the school district hadn’t chosen to waste its energy on fighting an unwinnable case, she would only have been a small story.
    Also ironically, as some people have pointed out, separation was probably intended as much to give churches freedom as the state.

  • I also got dire ‘untrusted connection’ warnings from Firefox, but breezily ignored it anyway…
    hope my contribution does indeed end up in Jessica’s college account!

  • Please Tim, the ACLU could care less about the constitution. MONEY.

  • Indeed, the ACLU could care a *lot* less than they do. But if they cared less, they wouldn’t fight these violations.

  • MisterPrecedent

    A fundraiser for one atheist student does NOT ostracize anyone else.  Jessica is being supported for her ACTIONS, NOT her BELIEFS.  I, for one, would contribute to her scholarship fund REGARDLESS of what her religious beliefs were because SHE PUT HER OWN LIFE AT RISK to fight for EVERYONE’S RIGHTS.  SHE is doing something that will ultimately help PREVENT other kids from getting cussed out and beaten up.

    Jessica Ahlquist did something SPECIAL and she’s being treated specially for it.  She is (or should be) an inspiration to people of ALL faiths who care about equal rights.

  • MisterPrecedent

    HOW has Jessica Ahlquist acted vindictive, snide or conniving?  In WHAT way has she been a money-grubber?  Please be specific.

    The ACLU supports people of all beliefs.  They are paid for their work, just like anyone else.

  • MisterPrecedent

     The banner is government endorsement of religion, which is a VIOLATION of the Constitution.  Jessica Ahlquist fought for the rights of EVERY AMERICAN.  That is anything BUT selfish.

  • Tim

    Anyone know what jessica plans to study at college?

  • walkamungus

    Yay! Just chipped in $77 to make it a cool $45,000!

  • Patrick King

    Apparently you don’t get it, Michael. What Jessica did takes great courage. That sign and signs like it have no business in public. Suppose I put a sign up in public saying “God Is Dead” –Nietzsche. Would you accept that, just walk by it and ignore it? I feel the same way about Christian banners. They insult my intelligence. Too often I’m too busy to bother to find out who to talk to to get them taken down. Ms. Ahlquist did my job for me and I appreciate it and donate to her future.

    If you have nothing but hurt and heartache to show for your whole life, perhaps Ms. Ahlquist is on the right track and you have been mistaken all this time. It is not too late to reject ignorance and superstition.

  • Patrick King

    In the 19th century, Robert Ingersoll said: “To hate men and worship God seems to be the sum of all creeds.”

  • Stuart M.

    When I donated $20, the average donation here to Ms. Ahlquist was $26. I think this is a great way to reward courageous teenagers. Pocket change to us, but real bucks to her. She deserves it! She is my hero! 

  • John in Japan

    Jessica is a true American patriot. She is defending one of the fundamental principles on which the United States was founded, and those who have victimized her can only be described as traitors to that great nation. Make no mistake, if the Founding Fathers were alive, they would be standing proudly by her side. They would also be shocked to see so many of their fellow citizens betraying the ideals for which they fought so hard.

    I have made a small donation, because I think she deserves to be rewarded for showing courage, poise, and a sense of humor in the face of such despicable treatment. As she is approaching college age, and with tuition fees in the US so high, I think a college scholarship is a splendid way for people to show their support and give her a helping hand.

  • Tom

    LOL, that’s something I would say! Man, I hate being a johnny-come-lately sometimes.

  • Tom

    Forget the whole part about America being secular, how would you like to go to a event day after day and get preached to about a faith other than your own? You wouldn’t. It would get to you, and what’s worse, you’d either have to go along with it or should you refuse probably get punished for it. You know what, let’s get back to that secular part… which you should be grateful for, because it means that in public you don’t have to deal with this religious stuff from other groups (and they won’t have to deal with you). It’s the whole point of secularism, to allow all religions to do their thing and not be encroached upon by other religions, or gov’t, or anyone, provided you don’t do it in public. Or we can just have a religious war, you can all fight it out, and the winner gets to be the only game in town.

    Jessica’s got more intelligence and guts at 16 than most people show their entire lives… try showing a little respect.

  • Tom

    Exactly! This is a future leader, spokesman, or at the very least another member of society that thinks instead of prays. 🙂

  • Tom

    Nothing wrong with a hero, especially one that’s earned the title. And Jessica has earned our respect and help by doing what those 100 other freethinking kids hasn’t done… made a direct difference.

    WWJD is now being co-opted to “What Would Jessica Do?” ;}

  • Tom

    Gotta put this out again…

    WWJD is now “What Would Jessica Do”

    Keep on keepin’ on, J. 😉

  • EvilLittleThing

    Thank you for doing this! I was listening to an old interview with Ms. Ahlquist and she mentioned that a lot of people don’t like her. Well, hopefully this scholarship fund gives some perspective on how many people like her A LOT.
    I made a small contribution last night, and today I ordered an “Evil Little Thing” shirt.  

  • Omainca

    I am not worried, as when Jesus reappears, this will be an eye opener for the “ATHEIST’S”, who will be destroyed, along with all who have not ———————-, read the bible!

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    these are so lame

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  • Sfugley

    That a boy Ben send some money to that pathetic pawn for her parents and the ACLU. I have family that goes to that school and it’s only the communist left media sensationalizing things once again!! Two idiots who were expelled because of that threat caused the media to print unfounded stories.

  • Sfugley

    Hans, this just kid was recruited by the ACLU and she wasn’t the first to be asked. she didn’t know what secular ,divisive or ostricised meant until the ACLU told her. She is just an average student whom without this help wouldn’t be able to get to a higher level of education. she is barely a  b average student. She was so ostricised by the banner yet she shoves Atheism down everyones throat at that school. what a hyprocrite!

  • Sfugley

    Read the above.

  • Why has this Chip-in ended?  I want to send Jessica some money as a token of my support and honor.  She is a brave girl, and a very smart one, too.

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