Home » Newpages Blog » Emerson + Free Speech = Suspension

Emerson + Free Speech = Suspension

Ripping into the Bible
by Maggie Ardiente
Published in The Humanist, March/April 2008

On the morning of December 7, 2007, Christopher Campbell walked into his English Honors class at Parker High School, prepared to tear out pages of the Bible.

Earlier that week his teacher had taped aphorisms by Ralph Waldo Emerson on the blackboard. Students were to select an aphorism of their choice, explain what they thought Emerson’s words meant, and relate it to a personal experience, accompanied with a visual aid.

Campbell picked, “So far as a man thinks, he is free,” and spent the next few nights composing a rough draft in preparation for his speech…

[. . . ]

Reactions from fellow students have been mixed. “At the end of the class two students approached me,” Campbell explains. “One said, ‘You’re my hero,’ and another said, ‘Wow, you have a lot of [expletive] to do something like that.’ No negative comments at all. But a friend told me later that someone in his class said, ‘He should be beat up for his atheist [expletive].’”

Read the full story on The Humanist.

Spread the word!