Eric Zorn, with the Chicago Tribune, blogs about how Rob Sherman, a well known atheist activist, was testifying (against Gov. Rod Blagojevich's proposed million dollar grant to the Pilgrim Baptist Church) before the Illinois legislature, when he had the following exchange with Rep. Monique Davis:
Davis: 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--
Sherman: What’s dangerous, ma’am?
Davis: 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!
Sherman: Thank you for sharing your perspective with me, and I’m sure that if this matter does go to court---
Davis: 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.
This is outrageous enough that down in the comments pretty much everyone was siding against Rep. Davis, even posters who identified themselves as Christians. One of the very few people on her side, though, chose a truly boggling way of "supporting" her. :P
Monique Davis' African ancestors were not Christians; they had a different religion. They did not know that Jesus was the Lord. Now those ancestors spend each day in Hell, suffering unimaginable torture.
Fortunately for Monique, white people kidnapped some of her ancestors and brought them as slaves to America, where they were forcibly converted to Christianity; and this faith was passed on to her. If slave traders had not stolen her ancestors, Ms. Davis would be living in Africa now, worshipping false Gods, her eventual death resulting in her reunion with her ancestors -- in Hell.
Doesn't she owe the slave traders who kidnapped her ancestors a debt of gratitude for bringing salvation to her family? Shouldn't she express this gratitude publicly?
ZORN REPLY -- Somehow, I suspect that this is NOT satire.
Posted by: Pierre JC | Apr 6, 2008 11:28:25 AM
Now personally, I think Rep. Davis is an idiot and unfit to hold her office. She should resign or be kicked out -- not because I'm personally an atheist (which I am) but because she seems to believe that it's perfectly right and acceptable to try to deny a group of her constituents the right to even speak before the legislature. And given this statement -- "And it’s dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists!" -- I wouldn't be surprised if she were in favor of preventing atheists from speaking anywhere, were it in her power to do so. She seems to believe that everyone in Illinois believes in God, and (since Mr. Sherman's existence proves that this is not true) at the same time believes that citizens of Illinois who don't believe in God are not really citizens, don't deserve to have the rights of other citizens, and should be silenced and banished. The fact that she's Vice-Chairperson of the Elementary & Secondary Education Committee for Illinois just makes her bigoted attitude, which flies in the face of the Constitution, all the more dangerous to the public.
She can believe whatever she wants, but this isn't the sort of person who should be in any US legislature. If she can't at least go through the motions of representing all of her law-abiding constituents, whether or not they're of her religion -- at least pretending to respect both the US and Illinois Constitutions she's sworn to uphold -- then she doesn't belong there, period.
That said, though, Pierre JC is obviously another sort of idiot -- either the sort who thinks that kind of statement [points up] is actually funny, or the sort who honestly believes it. I've heard that sentiment, that the African slaves (and their decendants) should have been grateful to the slavers for bringing them to the salvation of Christianity, expressed before with a straight face, so like Mr. Zorn, I'm not going to just assume it was someone being satirical. No person descended from slaves, no matter how religious they might be, should have to put up with that crap, and the idea that anyone can say something like that and mean it in this day and age is damned depressing.
I don't think I've ever before posted on a subject where my Stupid People icon was more appropriate. There are stupid people on both sides of this situation and I wish they'd all shut up. [sigh]