Sunday, March 18, 2007

I'm Sorry, Did You Say, Bong Hits 4 Jesus???

The Supreme Court is going to hear an unusual free speech case tomorrow. Five years ago, as the Olympic torch was passing through Juneau, Alaska, on its way to Salt Lake City, a local high school principal allowed her students out of class to watch. One enterprising young man, hoping to get on TV, unfurled a banner just as the torch went by -- a fourteen-foot long banner -- that read, "Bong Hits 4 Jesus."

After refusing to take down the sign, the student was suspended for 10 days. He sued, claiming violation of his free speech rights...and has won every step of the way to the high court.

The case basically rests on the question of whether school officials have the right to restrict students' speech when it promotes illegal activity. The principal is being represented by Ken Starr -- remember him? The student is represented by the ACLU -- no surprise there.

Now, if you were a Christian conservative wingnut, which side would you be on? Surprise! According to The New York Times, groups like Pat Robertson's American Center for Law and Justice and the Alliance Defense Fund, taking time out of its usual habits, such as suing an Ohio university that offered domestic partnership benefits to same-sex couples, claiming it violated the state ban on recognition of same-sex relationships, have entered briefs in support of the ACLU's case.

They worry that a ruling in favor of the school board would be a threat to students' religious freedom.

I won't offer an opinion on who's right, here. I'm still laughing too hard. All I can say is, I hope this boy goes on to study marketing. He's got a gift.


Jess said...

The kid must be loving this. He did it for attention, and now look at the attention he's getting.

kr said...

The ACLJ actually does throw money and time at free speech cases pretty often. You know, up until pornography and that sort of thing. But they are very hyped about free speech in schools and the military right now--those places where it is easiest for the government to impose secular authority.

(Full disclosure: I am on the ACLJ email list--and sometimes I donate, too, when anti-abortion cases come up. Everyone is welcome to return to hating me now : P.)

I've been ranting about public cumplusory schooling (and it's various anti-American ramifications) at Gino's, but I won't sidetrack your post. This time ;).

The Law Fairy said...

This vaguely reminds me of when I worked at Fundamentalist Camp and one of my fellow staffers (and close friend) was known to attach the suffix "For Jesus!" to every action she undertook. Thus, cooking the meals every day was "Cookin' for Jesus!" Scrubbing the toilets every day was "Scrubbin' for Jesus!" Laughing at a funny joke was "Laughin' for Jesus!"

It caught on with a lot of us staffers, but I can virtually guarantee you none of us would have ever thought to smoke pot for Jesus. Well, actually. One guy might've. But the rest of us were way naive.

sattvicwarrior said...

GREAT post. thanks for sharing:)