Atheists Give High Schooler $1,000 Scholarship for Dressing as Jesus on ‘Fictional Character Day’
Jeff Shott, a 17-year-old sophomore at Summit High School in Spring Hill, Tennessee, is $1,000 richer thanks to the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), an atheist group that frequently attacks faith and religion in the U.S. Shott won the scholarship money after dressing up as Jesus Christ for his school’s “fictional character day” in January.
The teenager wasn’t disciplined for wearing the costume, the Tennessean reports, but Summit Hill Principal Charles Farmer did tell him that he would need to change if his outfit became a distraction. The student did, inevitably, remove his robes and sash (he even had a hammer and nail to go along with the costume) to purportedly avoid problems with school administrators.
The mere action of wearing what many Christians would dub an offensive costume brought Shott financial support from Annie Laurie Gaylor and her FFRF organization. As a result of his costume, the student became the first to receive the Paul Gaylor Memorial Student Activist scholarship (named after Gaylor’s father).
“We wanted to encourage him, and we know the cost of higher education. This is just a small stipend toward that,” Gaylor explained, going on to praise the sophomore for ”spunk and a light touch with his actions.”
Of course, the FFRF also had a bone to pick with the school for allegedly having a conversation for Shott about the Jesus costume. According to the organization, the student was approached by the principal, an assistant principal and a school resource officer who said that they wish he had dressed like Zeus and not Jesus.
Gaylor claims that the student contacted the FFRF and, as it typically does, the group sent a subsequent complaint letter to the district’s Director of Schools Mike Looney. The note, which claimed that the discussion and incident was a violation of Shott’s First Amendment rights, also went on to rail against an alleged classroom discussion in which a teacher said she believed in the Biblical story of Adam and Eve.
The head principal, Dr. Farmer…came up and asked me to come to his office. The assistant principal, Ms. Lamb, and Officer Pewit, school resource officer, were waiting outside the cafeteria. Dr. Farmer asked me whom I was portraying. I told him that I was Jesus Christ. He said he had been hoping my answer would have been Zeus (or some other variation of a mythological deity).
Even though I’m typically very openly atheistic and have no problem discussing my views, I was a little distraught that all three school authority figures were addressing me at once. Dr. Farmer claimed I couldn’t have things both ways — I couldn’t complain about teachers talking about Jesus and also dress up as Jesus on Fictional Character Day.
I’d had a long talk with him earlier after my science teacher, in reply to a question about evolution, had publicly said things such as “Evolution is just a theory,” “I don’t believe it at all,” and, “We actually come from Adam and Eve.” It’s fairly clear that she openly advocates not only Intelligent Design, but straight-up biblical creationism.
While the FFRF claims that his free speech was trampled, the U.S. Supreme Court has granted schools the right to limit both commentary and expression if it impedes the learning process.
Regardless of the legalities in this scenario, the FFRF continues to enjoy rewarding potentially-offensive displays among non-believing adults and youths. This is merely another example of their anti-faith values being put into practice.
(H/T: The Tennessean via USA Today)
- Shock Video Surfaces: Meat Cleaver-Wielding Man Shouts ‘You People Will Never Be Safe!’ Moments After Gruesome London Attack 524 Comments
- Why Were DHS Agents Seemingly Monitoring Multiple Tea Party IRS Protests Across the Country on Tuesday? 464 Comments
- Confusion Erupts in IRS Hearing After Lois Lerner Tries to Plead the 5th — Watch It All Unfold 453 Comments
- The Tense Exchange Between Rep. Trey Gowdy and the Former IRS Head You’ve Been Waiting for…and It Doesn’t Disappoint 333 Comments
- CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Has Awkward Moment With Okla. Tornado Survivor After Asking If She ‘Thanked the Lord’ 324 Comments
- Ariz. Lawmaker Surprises Colleagues, Comes Out as an Atheist While Delivering Daily Prayer Read More
- This Is How Texas Politicians Are Fighting Against the Atheist-Led ‘War on Christmas’ Read More
- ‘Unbelievable’: Apparent Thief Leaves $140 & Apology Note on Family’s Doorstep — Find Out Why Read More
- Anti-Gay Bias or Fair Punishment? New Details Emerge About High School Student’s Lesbian Relationship With a Minor 268 Comments
- Comedian’s New Anti-Muhammad Video Excoriates Islamic Prophet, Juxtaposes Him with Jesus: ‘Very Wrong and Twisted’ 147 Comments
- Weekly Unemployment Benefits Tumble Read More
- Why Is This German Company Recruiting Tech Staff With Autism? Read More
- House Votes to Speed up Keystone Pipeline: Here’s Everyone Who Voted for and Against It Read More
- Here are the 7 Most Explosive & Informative Moments from Today’s IRS Hearing Read More
- Foreign Banks Operating on U.S. Soil Have Just Set a Record Read More
- The Incredible Role Facebook Played in the Aftermath of Devastating Okla. Tornado Read More
- Tech Company Demonstrates Remote Disabling of a ‘Smart Gun’ 116 Comments
- Meet the Blind Man Nicknamed ‘Midnight Gunslinger’ Who Has 80% Shot Accuracy Read More
- How a $4.5 Million Network of 181 Sirens Helped Save Lives in Oklahoma Twister Read More
- See the Record-Setting Python a Man Caught With His Bare Hands (and Guess How Much It Weighed) Read More
- Father of man shot in Boston probe shares regrets
- 20 killed in 2 simultaneous car bombs in Niger
- West Bank and romance prominent in 'Omar'
- German opposition party marks bittersweet 150th
- Oil down to near $93 on Chinese recovery concerns
- UK official: Suspects part of previous probes
- $2B in Okla. tornado damage means hard recovery
- For Philadelphia bicyclist, a cat is his co-pilot