Just when it looks like the drama over the Cranston, Rhode Island, prayer mural is simmering, new details pop up and the story continues to take intriguing twists and turns. Now, just two days after The Blaze reported that the controversial prayer mural has been removed from a wall inside the Cranston High School West auditorium, a new effort to save the banner is brewing.
The Boston Globe explains:
Seven people are asking a federal court in Rhode Island to stay a decision ordering the removal of a prayer banner at a public high school and let them present their case to a judge.
The requests filed on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Providence were made by three students at Cranston High School West, three graduates of the school and a North Providence resident. The banner contains the words “heavenly father” and “amen.” They say those words do not violate the constitution.
These actions come after 16-year-old atheist Jessica Ahlquist successfully won a lawsuit in January to have the mural removed. As The Blaze has extensively reported, U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Lagueux sided with Ahlquist, who claimed that its presence was offensive to non-Christians and that it violated her civil rights.
While no actions have been taken yet on the group’s request, a federal judge signed an agreement to end the dispute between Ahlquist and Cranston officials on Wednesday, the Associated Press reports:
The judgment…says the banner that was displayed at Cranston High School West is unconstitutional and orders its removal.
It also awards $150,000 in legal fees to Rhode Island American Civil Liberties Union lawyers who sued on behalf of student Jessica Ahlquist.
Ahlquist is awarded $25 in damages.
There’s no telling where this story will go next, although it seems unlikely — unless an individual or institution is willing to fund another legal battle — that the situation will end favorably for those supporting the prayer banner’s presence. Even then, there’s no guarantee that other courts will take the side of the banner’s supporters.
(H/T: Boston Globe)