So after Ora’s teacher learned of the backlash she was receiving for being an atheist, she decided to talk to the children about accepting people despite their different beliefs. So far, I have only one side of the story, but it sounds like there was some talk from the teacher that included something like: “All over the world, people have different beliefs and ideas.” After that speech, Ora was placed in front of the class in order to confess that she was an atheist. I think the teacher had the best intentions, but Ora was singled out today as “the atheist.”
Additionally, I was a bit bothered that Ora referred to herself as an atheist. I spent some time with her on Sunday (and in the past) talking about labels and which labels she might choose for herself, including Oral, which is the name of her made-up religion. She has shown no interest in identifying as an atheist in the past, so I’m worried that the label may have been placed upon her.
And because she was showboated, I wonder what tomorrow will be like for her. A couple dozen children are going home today and will likely tell their parents that there is a real live atheist in their class. Some of those parents are fundamentalists. Will the bullying increase? Will these children be directed to avoid her like the plague? I think she’s prepared for some of the fallout, but it’s hard to prepare her when I don’t know if or what kind of fallout will happen. Sigh.