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A North Carolina elementary school removed the word “God” from a poem written by one its students because one student’s parents complained.

Goodbye freedom: A North Carolina elementary school removed the word “God” from a poem written by one its students because another student’s parents complained.

After fully examining the issue during the BOE meeting, President and Chief Executive Officer Ken Paulson stated the school did in fact have the right to remove the word “God” from the child’s poem. “Courts have consistently held up the rights for students to express themselves unless their speech is disruptive to the school,” stated Patulson according to McDowell News. “When the little girl wrote the poem and included a reference to God she had every right to do that. The First Amendment protects all Americans. She had every right to mention God, (but) that dynamic changed when they asked her to read it at an assembly.” Paulson said that because the students were a captive audience – they were at a mandatory assembly with no place else to go if they didn’t want to attend – administrators had the right to remove the word “God.”

Hey, I thought being “edgy” and offensive was the way to go for truly creative people? Or does being “edgy” and offensive only apply when offending Christians and Jews?

Seriously, if the logic of this school official was taken to its natural limit, it would mean that you could silence any speech you disagreed with by merely complaining that you didn’t want to hear it. Under that logic, there is no such thing as freedom of speech.

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  • Taken to it’s logical conclusion, this reasoning would prohibit anyone from saying anything, ever. Any utterance might fall upon offended ears, and they would have the ‘right’ to tell the speaker to shut up. This is reducto ad absurdium writ large. One person, ONE, can shut down any speech or action for any reason. This isn’t an isolated incident. I have first-hand experience where the whining of the few (or one) took precedence over the many.

    As is usually the case when the petty and easily offended are involved, this is a complete misreading of the Establishment Clause. The word God wasn’t disseminated in any official capacity; it was to be spoken by a private citizen. The fact that she would have said the word in a public place makes no difference whatsoever. In fact, contrary to what Ken ‘The Weasel’ Paulson says, her First Amendment rights specifically protect private speech in public places. I sincerely hope that the weight of public opinion and not a few lawyers make his life, and the Boards, a living hell.

    This article ( has more information, and generally shows the people involved in the decision to be what can only charitably be described as ‘ignorant’.

    Maybe she should have substituted ‘Allah’.

  • jwing

    Very, very Orwellain isn’t it? I might add that the rational applied by the school to overtly censure an elementary school aged child’s poetic expression is evil. It crushes at her early age the concept of speech without fear of retaliation. Will her thoughts and feelings have to be addresses next?

    Wake up and speak now , or forever we will have to hold our peace.

  • BSJ

    Maybe if this poor child wasn’t taught that there are magical beings in the sky controlling her destiny, she wouldn’t be writing silly poems about them.

    Kudos to the school for standing up to those who belive in this superstitious nonsense!

  • Rene Borbon

    Very very troubling that an individual could object to another’s belief in God and get that person’s speech censored. Clearly a violation of the First Amendment. Secondly, it’s equally disturbing that people either willfully manipulate the law preventing the government establishing an official religion to interpret it as no speech about God in public, or they are ignorant of the law.

    These are dark dark days in our republic. How long we can keep the republic has been increasingly on my mind as incidents like this and other national failures mount.

  • Publius 2

    I’ve been waiting for a long time for the federal government or local school systems to stand up to the “superstitious nonsense” that “There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his prophet.” What’s truly troubling, BSJ, is how intolerant you are of people expressing their beliefs. In case you have forgotten, this nation was founded specifically to allow the free expression of beliefs, and the First Amendment, which protects political and religious speech, wasn’t meant to repress expression because it was offensive. Can your mind grasp such concepts?

  • Garry

    If her poem was silly, why would the school choose to have her read it at an assembly? It seems they liked her poem, just not the reference to God. If we were to outlaw belief in superstition nonsense, where would that lead? Make it mandatory to step on cracks in sidewalks? Fine baseball players who don’t shave when they’re on a hitting streak?

  • BSJ

    Who’s the intolerant one? You say that I must accept your definition free speech based solely on the fact that you “believe” that there are magical beings living in the sky.

    You should learn about what this country was really founded on. By the way, it’s not the fairytale version you espouse.

    So, Allah is superstition but your “God” isn’t? Maybe you haven’t noticed how well the notion that “My God can beat up your God” is working in the Middle East…

  • jwing

    Remember this BSJ…one person’s “superstitious nonsense” is another person’s artistic freedom to create, imagine and dream regardless of what critics think, including you. Whether or not you believe in “magical beans” shold not allow you to be intolerant of other’s beliefs in anything.

    You are expressing the very kernel of hatred and intolerance that has fed the fires of all human atrocitie throughout the ages. Your comment expressed the same aplomb and self-righteousness necessary to allow hatred to grow just as the Nazis allowed their hatred of Jews, homosexuals, disabled, communists, priests and rabbis to be extreminated.

    Please, for your sake, ponder what you have written and obviouly “believe” to be your truth.

  • BSJ

    I’m not trying to force anyone to believe in anything, and that makes me a Nazi? Yeah right.

    And yet, apparently I should I be forced to tolerate that there must be a role for, Judeo-Christian only, religious beliefs affecting Government. That is utter nonsense!

  • Jim

    Usually my opinion is in the minority here, like yours seems to be on this topic. So I’ve walked a mile in your shoes, at least on this blog.
    But I have to ask you, is this the story you would prefer to do battle over government establishment of religion? It was a 6 year old girl, taking part in art, honoring family members in the best way she knew how. For the life of me, why this one parent complained about it is just beyond me. All she/he needed to do was to explain to their child that God is important to the aspiring poet, and does not need to be taken offensively.
    To me, what is truly offensive is censoring a six year old’s try at poetry.
    Once again, adults stepping in and proving the child never left the man. Now that I think about it, the only one who acted honorably IS the child.

  • JGL

    Everyone misses a fine point related to this issue, a belief in a god or creator is not a belief in a religion.

    A religion is an organized and quantified system of belief and is about informing and controlling what people do.

    This point was clearly made by the founders when they forbid the promotion of a specific religion but recognized the possibility of a creator or

    god. Two different things.

    Belief in or the mentioning a god or creator does not indicate the promotion of a specific religion and it should be

    defended that way.

  • Chris Kirkendall

    Regardless of our opinions whether removing “God” from the poem was right or wrong, Jim’s statement “All she/he needed to do was to explain to their child that God is important to the aspiring poet, and does not need to be taken offensively” is correct & gets to the nub of it. This has all gotten way out of hand. Why was it ever such a big deal in the first place? In the U.S., we’re supposed to have Freedom OF Religion, not Freedom FROM Religion. The fact that God is mentioned in our Constitution & Declaration of Independence doesn’t force anyone to worship in that manner. Religious freedom – freedom to worship as you please – or NOT to worship at all – was instrumental in the founding of this nation. It’s supposed to be “Live & let live”. I’m a Christian but I’m not offended if someone talks about Buddha or Allah, even though I don’t share those beliefs. Some people seem to make a living out of finding things to be offended about. Isn’t there any common sense left in this country? Unless there’s some solid evidence someone was deliberately trying to offend another, courts, school boards, whatever, should throw these cases out…

  • wodun

    I don’t think you understand events in the ME if you think Christianity is waging war on anyone or if you think the USA’s presence there is because of Christianity.

    Christians are being exterminated over there, though, and many American leftists seem just fine with that.

  • wodun

    “I’m not trying to force anyone to believe in anything”

    Actually, you are trying to force people to believe what you believe. Are you a Nazi? No but you want to limit what people can say in public based on the litmus test of your beliefs and apparently you carry this over into having a job.

    You are not superior to any other human and I can guarantee that you hold some beliefs that others will find objectionable.

  • wodun

    Indeed, often the philosophic discussions of a god or creator are about a roll that is sometimes played by nature, luck, fate, ect.

  • wodun

    What, you are not offended by other religions? You probably are not offended by Atheists either. What an intolerant close minded knuckle dragger.

  • JGL

    Nature, luck or fate etc. is too subjective, you are trying to define what someone else may or may not believe / should believe, I believe that

    the founders were much more objective and their point was that it is up to the individual to decide and not for the state to decide.

    America is about the individual not the collective, that is why what is going on at this moment in time in our country is so disturbing.

    This moment in time is either part of our process in reconnecting to our Constituion or the destruction of or Constituion, stay tuned.

  • Pzatchok

    When someone mentions ‘GOD’ why do the haters ALWAYS assume they meant the Judeo-Christian God?

    Would they be as pissed off if they meant some other god?

    If they hate Catholics or Christians they should just say so and stop hiding their hate behind some twisted interpretation of the constitution.

    A constitution that has God written all over it.
    if they truely hated the beliefs of Judeo-Christans they should write a new constitution with none of those beliefs in it. No laws similar to anything in the 10 commandments.
    Were do they think society gets its laws? Each society gets its first laws from the religion that bound it together in the first place.
    What binds a people together after it gets larger than the extended family? Religion or an outside group/force based on its own religion.

    Name a society that was not originally based on a religion and its laws.

    Hating religion because you think you have outgrown those superstitious beliefs in effect also shows a hatred to what helped you grow in the first place, what brought you to this point. Your own ancestors.
    I might not have the same beliefs as my ancestors but that doesn’t mean I hate them or their beliefs.

  • Rene Borbon

    Wodun is a TROLL.

  • wodun

    How can you be so sure? Do you even know what a troll is?

    Anything to say about my actual comments or anything else in this post?

  • BSJ

    Keep your gods out of the court houses, schools, and gov’t run public spaces and I’ve got nothing to complain about.

    And yes, the Constitution does indeed protect me from religion. If you think the First amendment means I must pick a religion to be able participate in citizenship, you’re out of your mind.

  • wodun

    No one said you have to be a member of a religion and there is nothing wrong with appreciating where our society’s philosophy of right and wrong came from.

    Something tells me that if there were no statues or phrases that relate to religion, not just Christianity, you would still harbor bigoted views toward people who are religious.

    Having a religion does not prevent people from participating even though militant atheists keep trying to prevent it.

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