Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fanatics that Fizzle

Sound the alarms! They Have Islamist Fanatics, We Have Secularist Fanatics. That's the warning we get from Dennis Prager today.

It's an old story. A school prayer banner was found hanging on the auditorium wall of Cranston High School West. It had been there since 1963. The date is significant. Recall that the Supreme Court decided Engel v. Vitale in 1962. After that, school prayer should have stopped. But no doesn't mean no to some people. They look for loopholes. So instead of forcing students to recite a live prayer every morning, one was frozen in time. A seventh grader just happened to have a prayer in his pocket. It was put on an eight-foot banner and hung where all could witness that this little Christian school district was not going to let the Supreme Court push it around. Prayer would be a permanent fixture -- a trophy to deception, a thumbing of the nose to the rule of law.

Forty-seven years passed before someone complained. An ACLU lawsuit was filed on behalf of student Jessica Ahlquist.The outcome should have been obvious, even trivial these days, but Prager finds a catastrophe. Secular "fanatics" ruined another school prayer. In the court's eyes, though, "No amount of debate can make the School Prayer anything other than a prayer, and a Christian one at that."

Prager cannot grasp a simple American truth. The state must remain neutral in matters of religion. It cannot sponsor school prayer. But Prager likes Orwellian language. With no hint of irony he claims secularists want to "dominate society and to use state power to do so." Why does he fail to mention the Christians who send out missionaries, erect monuments to their faith, and try to pass laws to enforce it? It was state power that kept that banner hanging there since 1962. Truth is, Prager has plenty of love for state power as long as state power enforces his agenda.

In 2006 Prager was equally outraged that Keith Ellison was going to take his oath of office on the Koran, not the Bible. Such an act would do "more damage to the unity of America and to the value system that has formed this country than the terrorists of 9-11." He boldly asserted, "America is interested in only one book, the Bible." So Ellison "should not be allowed" to swear on the Koran -- "not because of any American hostility to the Koran, but because the act undermines American civilization." What power did Prager suppose was going to prevent this act? State power, of course.

As if Prager's fear wasn't bizarre enough, he glorified conformity: "When all elected officials take their oaths of office with their hands on the very same book, they all affirm that some unifying value system underlies American civilization." Do we need a religious text for that? Has Prager not heard of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Federalist Papers? Does he know basic civics? He should know that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." That's what America decided in 1789. What America is Prager referring to?

If Prager truly believes the Bible underlies America's "unifying value system" then he is either ignorant or a slick political operative bent on destroying the American values expressed in our founding documents.

I don't think he's ignorant.

And I don't think he's interested in unity, liberty, or morality. These are some of the threats 16-year-old Jessica Ahlquist received for removing the school's prayer:

“I want to punch the girl in the face...”
“Fuck Jessica alquist I’ll drop anchor on her face”
“go drown that atheist in holy water”
“”But for real somebody should jump this girl” lmao let’s do it!”
“shes not human shes garbage”
“wen the atheist dies, they believe they will become a tree, so we shld chop her down, turn her into paper then PRINT THE BIBLE ON HER.”
“May that little, evil athiest teenage girl and that judge BURN IN HELL!”
“yeah, well i want the immediate removal of all atheists from the school, how about that?”
“If this banner comes down, hell i hope the school burns down with it!”
“U little brainless idiot, hope u will be punished, you have not win sh..t! Stupid little brainless skunk!”
“How does it feel to be the most hated person in RI right now? Your a puke and a disgrace to the human race.”
“Hmm jess is in my bio class, she’s gonna get some shit thrown at her”
“gods going to fuck your ass with that banner you scumbag”
“I found it, what a little bitch lol I wanna snuff her”
“if I wasn’t 18 and wouldn’t go to jail I’d beat the shit out of her idk how she got away with not getting beat up yet”
“nail her to a cross”
“When I take over the world I’m going to do a holocaust to all the atheists”

Prager fed red meat to his barbarians today. He'll probably sleep well tonight knowing how much better he and his mob can make the world.

-- Don Jindra

1 comment:

  1. Good to see you fighting the good fight with me over at Victor's blog. I don't think I've ever wasted so much time making trivial points, and defending trivial points, against people who don't understand what I am saying, but who confidently reject what I say as incoherent ramblings of the brainwashed. If it wasn't ironic to the point of self-parody, it would be infuriating.

    I'm done over there for a couple of months until I see signs of intelligent life over there. Lately it has been pretty bad, in the combox anyway.