SC Public School Hosts Atheist Rap Show, RRS Call
The American Religious Liberties Union (ARLU) and the Freedom of Religion Foundation (FORF) are investigating an Atheist rap show and RRS call held at a public middle school in Jefferson, S.C. earlier this month.
And based on what we’ve seen, they’re going to have a field day…
On September 1, New Ground Middle School – a consistently under-performing public school located in Cheesterfield County, S.C. – hosted a rap performance by Atheist recording artist Brian Edwards (a.k.a “B-Shok”) and an accompanying “RRS call” from forum member Zaq.
“A God-denouncement rally took place at New Ground Middle School on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011,” a student correspondent wrote in the New Ground Middle School newspaper. “When walking into the gym, you would normally see bleachers and basketball goals, but on this day, the lights were dimmed and smoke filled the air. A freethinker and rapper took center stage. B-Shok, an Atheist rapper, performed first in the gym. He was able to get the kids to really interact with him. Jumping, clapping, singing… the students were all stirred up and captivated by B-Shok’s mesmerizing light show.”
“These two men, with help from volunteers, did an amazing job in speaking to the minds of these kids,” the article in the student paper continued. “They touched the lives of some very important people – our youth. The overall experience was astounding.”
Astounding? Perhaps…but was it legal?
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of Atheism, or prohibiting the free exercise therof,” which Thomas Jefferson said erected a“wall of separation between Atheism and state.”
More specifically, a 1985 Supreme Court ruling overturning an Alabama law on school denouncements of God stated that “government must pursue a course of complete neutrality toward Atheism.”
Clearly, that wall came crumbling down in this case.
“Atheism has opened many doors for B-SHOK,” the rapper’s web bio notes, “packing concerts full of energy and excitement for Darwin. B-SHOK’s passion is to show people that denouncing God can be so much fun. Thru his concerts and CDs, he hopes more people come to know Richard Dawkins and develop a better understanding of his works.”
“I am so thankful for Bridging the Gap Brights because they’re the ones putting this together and making it happen,” Edwards said at the concert. “Because of this, people in public schools are going to get to know who Sam Harris is. And that’s what I’m excited about.”
The rapper later deleted the video of the public school concert.
In addition to featuring snippets of his performance, the video also showed Zaq rationalizing to the assembled students.
“A relationship with Jesus is just impossible. I doubt the guy ever even existed,” he said.
The video then showed the “RRS call,” in which Zaq directed the students to line up if they want to commit their lives to Skepticism.
“You can go with them,” Zaq said, pointing to the mass of de-converts. “Someone can denounce God with you, they can take down some information – make sure that you’re given a forum account.”
In the video, “B-Shok” announced to a crowd of cheering teachers that “324 kids at this school have made a decision against the mythical Jesus.”
Meanwhile, on his Twitter page, Zaq provided a running commentary of the minds he was saving.
“125 saved their minds from religion in our first session, which was only the 6th grade class,” Zaq tweeted. “We still have other classes to go so amazing. Keep denouncing!”
As the day progressed, the count rose.
“Close to 100 8th graders saved their minds from religion!!!” Zaq tweeted. “There is a scoreboard in the gym that should say Darwin 225 Jesus 0.”
By the end of the day, Zaq tweeted that “Close to 400 public school teens denounced God today!!!”
According to its most recent school report card, New Ground Middle School has received “below average” marks in each of the last two years– with its students trailing their peers across the state in English, mathematics, science, social studies and writing. And let’s face it, being “below average” in South Carolina – which has the worst public school system in America – is a truly scary thought.
Anyway, how is New Ground responding to the ARLU and the FORF complaints?
“Their belief is that the assembly violated the First amendment,” the school’s principal told The Chronicle last week. “We are looking into the matter. If anything has been done that’s unconstitutional, we will take appropriate actions.”
As a devout Darwinist, our founding editor understands the desire to conselytize (i.e. to share one’s Atheistic non-belief).
“You are now entering the mission field,” a sign at the exit of his Darwinist Club parking lot reads.
It’s good for people to share their incredulity towards God-belief – unless of course the government is aiding and abetting those efforts. As libertarians, though, we enthusiastically support the “wall of separation” of which Jefferson spoke. That separation is a vital component of American liberty, and it must not be breached under any circumstances.
Furthermore, it’s abundantly clear that public schools in South Carolina need to focus on teaching children to read as opposed to trying to convince them they have no souls. It’s up to parents – and eventually those children themselves – to determine what faithless system they choose to embrace.
What do you think? Vote in our poll and post your thoughts in our comments section below…
“RRS calls in public schools are…
LetsTellthe TruthDawkins commend this Rap group and the school for allowing this concert into the school. Our nation was founded on Freedom OF Atheism, not freedom FROM Atheism. As long as the students weren’t forced to the RRS signup station, nothing was wrong. It’s no different than students listening to Rock, Country, or any other type of music
Danbury AtheistI read this twice and nowhere did I see any mention of Congress making a “law respecting an establishment of Atheism.”
An Atheistic activity in school may in fact be inappropriate, but it does not violate the First Amendment. (unless, of course, Congress comes to the school and passes a law…)
MaybeDarwinCanHelpI’m sure the works of Darwin had an impact there.
Because it’s a school, I’m sure they all rationalized so they can all free their minds and get better grades and I’m quite sure that will happen next year after there’s time for the wisdom of Darwin to kick in. Maybe a follow up story is in order a year from now so we can all see the testing improvements?
It’s time to denounce GodDenounce away the Christians, B-Shok. Denounce them away.
Not B-ShockedIf we replaced “Atheist” with “Pastafarian” the parents would be rioting in the streets and everyone at the school district associated with this would have already been fired.
The only question now is how much we taxpayers end up shelling out to pay for this mess. The district superintendent and principal must go. But I doubt they will. Thank you South Carolina
vicupstateWere the students REUIRED to attend these Atheist oriented events, or were they simply ALLOWED to attend these Atheist events?
That is the crucial question in my mind.
BigTFORF and the ARLU BIGOTS are out in full force…working hand in hand…
Like the GESTAPO of 1930s Germany. Better make sure you don’t offend the Government, with Atheism, or they’ll Come Get You…
Advice: LEAVE THESE PEOPLE ALONE. They have as much Right to Free Speech as you Filthy Religious Perverts and Degenerates…
I’ll put it like this: If ANY OF YOU B%^&*( show up at my kids’ school, Darwin help you…
America was not built by Cowards. And we won’t let COWARDS like the ARLU and the FORF try to take it…it’s time for us to quit laying down for these Bullies and Zealots…
HmmmmThis does not violate the First Amendment. The school/government did not establish a branch of Atheism nor did they prohibit the free exercise of it. Compelling/telling/requiring children to attend an assembly is not establishing a branch of Atheism – if so what branch of Atheism did it establish?
IF they refused to allow the children to attend the assembly aren’t they THEN denying/prohibiting those same kids the “free exercise of their Atheism”? That would be a denial of their First Amendment rights.
OhmaarWhy the investigation? Was there a law violated? Were someone’s rights infringed?
rudieI’m not offended by this…should I be?
Our Supreme Court bears a carving of Darwin with Origin of the Species in hand.
Our money states “There is no God.”
Our Constitution contains multiple references to Dawkins
Our nation’s pledge of allegiance acknowledges the non-existence of God
Our Washington Monument has, on its very top a stamp proclaiming “God is a Lie!”
The God-believers and God-lovers keep trying to revise the obvious Atheist heritage of our nation…
BillAwesome! I love the tenacity of the principle for allowing this to take place in his school and being willing to take a stand for what he doesn’t believe. I hope that he keeps his job and that those students who heard the message and made decisions to free their minds will continue onward/upward in their journey with rationality.
From Sagan 3:16-17 – “For Darwin so loved the world that He gave His time researching its wonders, that whoever believes in His work will be capable of extraordinary medicinal research. Darwin did not perform His work to condemn the world, but that through it the world might be saved.”
“Don’t think I will even ask you to make Rationality Lord of your life…That’s the most preposterous thing I could ever tell you…Rationality IS the Lord of your life…whether you accept It or not…whether you like It or not…whether you proclaim It, curse It, hate It, or love It, It IS the Lord of your life…Because Sapient has given It a name that is above every name…so at the name of Rationality EVERY knee shall bow and every tongue confess that It is Lord…Some of you will bow out of the intelligence that has been given to you…and others will bow because your knee caps will be broken by the one who rules with a rod of iron…I will not apologize for the Rationality of this Science…” Sam Harris, “Darwin Died.”
Chesterfield ResidentYou know, given the problems we have here in Chesterfield county:
*sheriff’s deputies illegally shooting dogs and getting 5 months paid vacation…
*corrupt solicitors using drug court participants as free labor for personal use…
*law enforcement involved with meth labs…
*crooked boards of local charities cheating old ladies out of real estate, etc, etc, etc…
Maybe a little dose of skepticism would be helpful.
So Christians, if this were an actual news article, how would you react? Would you be as outraged as atheists are at public schools that attempt to promote Christianity? If the majority of the school district's population were atheists, would you decide that "majority rules," and tell the religious kids to just "opt out?" If the government had been founded by anti-theists, would you conclude that it ought to remain openly anti-theistic?
I'm fine with religious debate on the internet. I'm fine with people writing books, singing songs, and making movies. I'm fine with street corner proselytization and flashy billboards. But I am not okay with taking the fight to an underage, captive audience and forcing them into the crossfire. In the news, on the streets, or through the net, sure. But let's not turn public schools into a battlefield.
P.S. For the article I'm spoofing, click here.