Hice Blames Church/State Separation for Everything Bad

Jody Hice, the right-wing preacher who is almost certain to be in Congress next year as a representative from Georgia, has a radio show. On that radio show, he says a lot of dumb things. Like blaming every bad thing that has happened since 1962 on separation of church and state (including things that didn’t happen).

So we had in 1952 a clear understanding of the role of religion in our public life, even in our schools. Then shortly thereafter we had the beginning of a reinterpretation of the First Amendment, a reinterpretation of separation of church and state as it applies to the public school system.

And wow, have we been on a downward slide ever since. Removing prayer, then removing the Bible, then removing religious documents such as the Ten Commandments, which of course has led to the removal of other symbols and so forth, and then removal of benedictions and invocations at any kind of school event or activity.

And I just want to ask you, what kind of behavior, as we have removed prayer and Bible and our Christian heritage from our public school, what has been the counter consequence? Has behavior increased or decreased? Has education gotten better or worse? Have our overall citizenship, our citizenry, have we become a better place to live or a worse place to live? Is there more drugs or less? More gang violence or less? More teenage pregnancy or less? More promiscuity or less? What has happened in our society as we have removed our religious heritage from being taught, from even being allowed in our public schools?

Folks, across the board we have suffered. Education scores have gone down, violence and crime has gone up and we are witnessing more and more of the consequence of those decisions.

This is wrong on every level. First of all, violent crime has been going down for decades, as has teen pregnancy. Second, even if it hadn’t, it’s a post hoc argument with not a shred of evidence or logic to support it (one could just as easily, and more plausibly, put the blame on television). But more importantly, remember what those court rulings he’s referring to actually did. They said that the government cannot force students to recite government-mandated and even government-composed prayers or force them to read the Bible.

Hice, of course, considers himself a “small-government conservative” who is fighting for liberty, yet here is is demanding that the government force children to recite prayers written by the government. This isn’t liberty, it’s theocracy, the exact opposite of liberty.

"You didn't say it, but after you couldn't support your claims about the uranium, you ..."

Gorka Lies About Clinton and Uranium ..."
"But he was a private citizen at the tiiiiime!!!!!1!!11!!!!Like Bill Clinton in 2010, but don't ..."

Gorka Lies About Clinton and Uranium ..."
"We get it. Anything that isn’t full-throated singing of Ayn Rand’s genius is collectivism to ..."

Christian Right Still Oblivious to Their ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Dave Maier

    Has behavior increased or decreased?

    Hmm, that’s a tough one.

  • Anri

    This guy is from Georgia and he thinks that social ills (poor education, teen pregnancy, etc) are correlated with low levels of religion?

    I wonder what the blast radius on his brain will be when he finally gets around to checking where his state ranks in all of those things…?

  • eric

    Has education gotten better or worse? Have our overall citizenship, our citizenry, have we become a better place to live or a worse place to live? Is there more drugs or less? More gang violence or less? More teenage pregnancy or less? More promiscuity or less? What has happened in our society as we have removed our religious heritage from being taught, from even being allowed in our public schools?

    Better, better, probably more, less, less, don’t know, and what’s happened is, for example, that we no longer die of smallpox or polio. So overall, yeah, I’d rather be living now than in the ’50s.

  • dhall

    “Has behavior increased or decreased?”

    #1 beat me to it. Seems like kind of a “what is the sound of one hand clapping” question. Very deep. Existential. Or something.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    I’m stunned that they managed to find a Southern white guy who thinks the past was better than the present. Stunned! If they manage to find a few more like this, they could form a party built around this mix of nostalgia for an imagined past, ignorance and resentment. Add some spite in there, and they could be quite effective politically, if not morally.

  • dhall

    Sure, 1952 was better than today. Everyone–well, women and minorities–knew his or her place, no one ever got uppity, and everyone was Christian too. With only 3 TV channels, we all watched the same things. Wally and the Beav and some other heart-warming sitcoms about content, clueless, white middle class families, and a few westerns with white cowboys and cavalrymen chasing off rustlers and killing the natives. So, everything was just fine, I tell you. Well, other than the constant terror of nuclear annihilation. But it’s just been downhill ever since then, and it’s all the fault of the sloppy language in the Bill of Rights. That whole freedom of religion thing just doesn’t mean what it sounds like, not at all, and we knew that in 1952.

  • Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    Has behavior increased or decreased? 

    Overall, the total quantity of behavior has probably increased through population growth alone. But I’m guessing that per capita behavior is pretty stable.

  • caseloweraz

    Dave Maier:

    “Has behavior increased or decreased?”

    Hmm, that’s a tough one.

    Behave yourself, Dave. You keep this up, you’re going to force the poor fellow to start thinking. Then where would he be?

    OT: This reminds me of a TV commercial from the sixties. I remember it clearly, but I’ve been unable to find it on YouTube. It has quarterbacks Paul Hornung and Bart Starr (of the Packers and Colts, respectively, IIRC) in a kind of debate:

    * “I’m Bart Starr and I believe in a basic, conservative game.”

    * “I’m Paul Hornung, and I believe you need to throw in a little razzle-dazzle.”

    It ends up with them pretend-angry at each other, Starr shouting “Behave!” and Hornung responding, “Enjoy…”

  • caseloweraz

    Hercules Grytpype-Thynne: Overall, the total quantity of behavior has probably increased through population growth alone. But I’m guessing that per capita behavior is pretty stable.

    On the other hand, people are living longer. Therefore it’s not unreasonable to suppose per-capita behavior has increased somewhat.

  • howardhershey

    Since 1952, eh. I imagine your position on whether things are better with respect to education and citizenship (aka, the ability to participate in running society) or not might depend a little bit on your pigmentation. As for gangs, I do remember that there was something called the Mafia. Clearly the rate of teen pregnancy has gone down since 1952, but not because of school prayer. Far as I know (and I have several degrees in biology and studied reproduction) prayer has not prevented a single pregnancy by itself.

  • Michael Heath

    Modusoperandi writes:

    I’m stunned that they managed to find a Southern white guy who thinks the past was better than the present. Stunned! If they manage to find a few more like this, they could form a party built around this mix of nostalgia for an imagined past, ignorance and resentment. Add some spite in there, and they could be quite effective politically, if not morally.

    They should use the word ‘restore’ a lot, like “Restore our future!”. 😉

  • Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    @#10:

    On the other hand, people are living longer. Therefore it’s not unreasonable to suppose per-capita behavior has increased somewhat.

    So your position is that improvements in longevity don’t increase the population?