By Farla

"Did you hear about her?"

"The new student?"

"She's an orphan! I heard her parents" hushed pause "where Believers!"

The person in question walked into the classroom. The loud talking stopped instantly, as the children stared at the new girl.

Mary had long blond hair and blue eyes. She wore a simple white dress.

"Mary" The Teacher paused at the unfamiliar name. "Will be starting school here today. I hope you treat her nicely."

The classroom buzzed. Whenever a new student came, the Teacher told them to be nice to the child. The sentence wasn't that different, but the Teacher had never varied what it said. What did this mean? Did the Teacher think that, for some reason, they couldn't be nice to her?

Then again, from the way she looked…

"Mary, please sit down at the empty desk in the back." The Teacher said.

More buzzing. New students were always told to sit in front! What was going on?

Mary sat down in the back, and the Teacher started the day's lesson.

"…and so, in 2057, after half of Jerusalem was blown up by a terrorist group, the UW passed the bill to end religious persecution. Although many religious people opposed it, it still stands today. Few people can see what is best for them unless forced. This belief was to be the basis of our new system."

In the back , Mary glared at the Teacher for an instant, but it was gone before the Teacher noticed it. The other children did notice though.

Soon recess came, and the many children went out to play. Mary stood back, trying not to be noticed, but it failed.

"Hey, you, Marith!" called one child.

"My name is Mary," Mary said quietly.

"That's a strange name. Are you named after someone from long ago?" asked another child.

"My mother told me she named me after the Virgin Mary." Mary said, still quietly.

"Who was that?"

"The mother of Jesus Christ."

"Who was he?"

"God's son."

All the children surrounding her froze.

"It's true! Your parents were Believers!" yelled one boy.

"Get her!" yelled another, picking up a rock and throwing it at her face. The others joined in quickly.

Just as quickly, a Peacemaker came over. The Peacemakers were specially made to have better reaction times then most.

"Stop fighting immediately," it ordered, and the children stopped. Mary was bloody but she would live. "Why did you attack…" it paused, struggling over the unfamiliar name. "Mary?"

"We came over to check her out-" started one.

"We had heard her parents were Believers, you see-" jumped in another.

"And we wanted to find out if it was true," finished still another child.

"And why did you attack her?"

"She said that she was named after Vegan Martha, who gave birth to some guy named Jezbus Christ, and he was god's son!"

"I see," rumbled the Peacemaker. "…Mary" it said, stuggling over her name again "come with me." It turned, wheels rolling across the pavement, and Mary stumbled after it. Her leg had been hurt by one of the sharper stones.

The Peacemaker arrived at the Principal's office. It opened the door quickly with it's clawed hand, then rolled inside. Mary followed nervously.

"What is the matter?" the Principal asked.

"…Mary talked to some of our students. They asked her who she was named after, no doubt noticing her odd name, and she apparently told them-" it paused, reconstructing what the students had said and fixing their mistakes, "that she was named after the virgin named Mary who supposedly gave birth to a child without sexual intercourse. She said that this child was Jesus Christ, god's son, and they attacked her with stones."

"I see. So,…Mary provoked the attack by swearing and making judgmental references."

"Excuse me, Principal, but I don't understand. What did I do?"

"Please repeat what you said to the students."

"I said that I was named after the Virgin Mary, who gave birth to Jesus Christ, who was god's son."

"And you do not understand what was wrong with that?"

"No, I'm afraid I don't."

"Are you aware that saying Jesus Christ is a swear?"

"Yes, I know it is used that way."

"Are you aware that saying that someone is a virgin is a judgmental thing, because it implies that it matters whether or not someone has engaged in sexual intercourse?"

"Yes, I've been told that."

"And are you aware that you are not allowed to mention god to other people who do not share your beliefs, because it implies that you are correct and they are wrong?"

"Yes, people have told me that."

" Then why did you say all that?"

"Because I was named after the Virgin Mary, and it was important that she was a virgin, because otherwise it wouldn't have been a miracle when she gave birth to a child. Because Jesus Christ is His name, and it's only people who don't believe in Him who use His name in vain. And because I believe that He was God's son, who came to Earth to help us get rid of the original sin."

"I can assume then,…Mary, that you do not believe in the truth of Atheism?"

Mary paused. She understood what this question really meant, but still…"No, I believe in Jesus Christ our Lord."

The Principal looked at the Peacemaker. "Peacemaker, since…Mary has decided she wishes to provoke the other children, you may ignore anything they do to her. Perhaps that will teach her that Atheism is true, and that it is only when we set aside our many differences that peace can become possible."

The children hurtled rocks at her for the rest of recess. One of them, who had somehow learned something about the religion of the Believers, yelled

"Where is your great god now? Why doesn't he come down to save you?"

"He already did," Mary murmured. "And I know it, and will not lie about the Truth. I'd be more worried about your own soul's salvation. What will you say to Him when you stand at the pearly gates?"

Furiously, they attacked her, and she fell. Soon the bell rang, and the children went inside. The Cleaners came by, their metal tentacles picking up what did not belong there, and putting it in the trash. Mary's dead body was added to the rest.

The Teacher noticed that Mary was gone, but did not care. It only cared about keeping it's class in harmony. When Mary had been there that morning, the children has whispered and not listened. Now they were quiet.

As for the children, inside the classroom, they felt peaceful and happy. There would be no disturbances now that the Believer was gone.

Well, wasn't that a happy little story. In case you didn't get it, here's a hint- the people in this story are Atheists, people who don't believe in god. Atheism is not technically a religion(I don't think) but in this story it has become that, and people of different beliefs are persecuted as violently as the many religions before.

No, I don't hate atheists. I am one. But I just got a freaky thought and wrote this fic. I also don't hate Christianity or any of the other religions. Try to figure out who was right and who was wrong in the story.