Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Oh, Those Kooky Evangelicals!

From the Chicago Trib comes a not-too surprising story of an Illinois State Rep castigating an atheist for trying to bring about the collapse of civilization. Or something like that.

Seems that the Illinois Governor, Rod Blagojevich, attempted to direct $1 million of state funds to a private school under rather shifty circumstances. A local secular activist, Rob Sherman, protested that such funding is unconstitutional. As Sherman testified before the Illinois House State Government Administration Committee, Monique Davis (D-Chicago), said the following:

I don’t know what you have against God, but some of us don’t have much against him. We look forward to him and his blessings. And it’s really a tragedy -- it’s tragic -- when a person who is engaged in anything related to God, they want to fight. They want to fight prayer in school.

I don’t see you (Sherman) fighting guns in school. You know?

I’m trying to understand the philosophy that you want to spread in the state of Illinois. This is the Land of Lincoln. This is the Land of Lincoln where people believe in God, where people believe in protecting their children.… What you have to spew and spread is extremely dangerous, it’s dangerous--

When Sherman asked her exactly what was dangerous, she screamed

It’s dangerous to the progression of this state. And it’s dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists! Now you will go to court to fight kids to have the opportunity to be quiet for a minute. But damn if you’ll go to [court] to fight for them to keep guns out of their hands. I am fed up! Get out of that seat!

You have no right to be here! We believe in something. You believe in destroying! You believe in destroying what this state was built upon.

To a chorus of approving 'Amen's from other law makers present. Audio of the festivities can be found here.

I find attitudes like Davis' embarrassing, and more than a little exasperating. I may not agree with the stated philosophy and activism of some in the atheist and anti-theist communities, but the notion that, because they don't profess religious beliefs, they are a) a threat to society and b) not possessed of rights to fundamental participation in our society and the functions by which it is governed, is anathema to me. It demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of our rights, and invariably of the tenants of whatever religion is the basis of the rant du jour.

Mz. Davis is currently being pilloried in the blog sphere, as she should be, so I won't waste any more time on her obviously fisk-able rant. I just wish people in this country would elect representatives who understand what rights are and how they apply to government policy.

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