Vashti McCollum, the 'freethinker' who fought a legal battle from 1945-1948 to keep religion out of the schools, died in Champaign, Illinois on Sunday.
Mrs. McCollum, who called herself an atheist in Illinois court proceedings but later preferred the word "humanist," said her son was ostracized and embarrassed by his schoolmates because she refused to let him attend the religion classes at his public school in Champaign. The classes for Protestants were on school premises; Jews and Roman Catholics went to religious buildings elsewhere.
She also contended that the classes were a misuse and waste of taxpayers' money, discriminated against minority faiths and were an unconstitutional merger of church and state.
After losing in two Illinois courts, Mrs. McCollum won an 8-to-1 decision by the Supreme Court. Justice Hugo L. Black, who wrote the majority opinion, said the practice in Champaign was "beyond all question" using tax-established and tax-supported schools "to aid religious groups to spread their faith," and, he added, "It falls squarely under the ban of the First Amendment."
So, while the rest of the world was celebrating the victory over... er...
And it didn't stop there!
In the three-year legal battle, Mrs. McCollum received physical threats and was fired from her job as a dance instructor at the university. At Halloween, a mob of trick-or-treaters pelted the McCollum family with rotten tomatoes and cabbages. The family cat was lynched.
So, loyal Christians in the area thoughtfully let Mrs. McCollum know she was going wrong, but did she get it? No. She must have been pretty dumb not to take the hint. Or maybe she didn't like cats very much. Either way, good riddance to this meddling fishwife who has created so many problems for good Christians everywhere.
Cross-posted to Little Green Fascists, where Richie McWhite rightly noted that God punished Mrs. McCollum for her anti-Christian actions by only giving her 60 additional years of life and Betty Jo Goering talks about Satan. There's also an exploding bridge.
Oh, and a hat tip goes to The General!