'Bong hits for ....'

Posted: Friday, March 08, 2002

Since the Olympic torch relay in Juneau, there has been a great deal of controversy about the JDHS students who waved the now infamous "Bong Hits for Jesus" banner I am a JDHS student and I have my own opinions about their actions.

While I do understand and value the rights guaranteed to all of us under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and those same rights reflected in Article 1 of our state constitution, it is not the constitutional basis for my criticisms and concerns. Moreso, it is the sentiment of the banner and the support from those in our community that I find offensive.

Although the message might seem humorous on its face, it actually reflects a growing bias against evangelical Christians. In the last 50 years the U.S. has made extraordinary advances in civil and human rights, increasing in tolerance for the diverse tapestry that is our

American population and I agree that this is necessary and good. But, it seems to me that Christians are now receiving more than their fair share of ridicule and scorn.

As high school students we face many challenges and we all endure some degree of ridicule and even good-natured ribbing, but adolescent years are difficult enough without enduring taunts that question our most basic beliefs.

My question is, how would a banner that said "Bong Hits for Allah" or "Bong Hits for Buddha" be received by these ardent defenders of free speech?

Lily Schmitz

Juneau



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