Friendly Atheist: Christian Complains About Atheist Students at a High School

By Hemant Mehta

This article originally appeared on

I don’t know why Jameel Naqvi or his editor at the Daily Herald feel this is worthy of a news article at all, but since it’s on their site, let’s talk about it. It’s another example of how crazy the Christian mentality can be when faced with any sort of opposing viewpoint.

A group of atheists at Larkin High School in Elgin, IL took part in last week’s Ask An Atheist Day. They set up a couple tables in the cafeteria with permission from the principal. I’m guessing they had something resembling an Ask An Atheist sign visible on the tables:


And that’s it. They didn’t proselytize. They didn’t go around to students eating their lunch. They didn’t make an announcement over the intercom. If students came up to the tables out of their own curiosity, the atheists answered their questions.

So what’s the news story here?

As is so often the case, there was a pissedoff Christian parent:

“They were here to talk about atheism,” said Shavon Stanback of Elgin. “That’s totally unacceptable to me.”

She continued: “I’m a Christian woman. I believe in God. I believe in heaven and hell.”

That’s nice. Guess what? No one cares.

Shavon Stanback doesn’t understand the law or, apparently, the idea that other people have different beliefs.

This isn’t news. It’s just another case of a Christian pretending to be the victim.

At least the principal was sensible:

“I allow Christian groups to do a similar thing,” [principal Jon] Tuin said. “So I feel like if atheist kids want to engage in dialogue with students at lunch time and they do it in a reasonable way, they’re within their rights.”

Tuin said the discussions he witnessed were lively but civil.

That’s all you can ask for. The principal and the students were doing everything right and they deserve to be commended for it.

By the way, atheist students at Larkin High School, I don’t know who you are and I don’t even know if you have a formal group, but if you ever want a speaker for an event, get in touch with me. I’m not that far away and I’ll come for free.

Hemant Mehta blogs for He is the author of I Sold My Soul on eBay.