Pastors in Columbus, Georgia Are Looking for a Lawsuit

Pastors in Georgia have a brilliant idea for fixing the school system in the city of Columbus: Ignore federal law and institute school prayer.

[Paul] Voorhees, a local business owner and chaplain says, “We are not asking them to do anything other than give us their blessing and get it on a state ballot, we would like the people of the state of Georgia to vote if they want bible study and prayer in our schools.”

Voorhees is leading what he and other pastors call a movement. “We are going to bring a proposal to the state of Georgia to put it on the ballot and allow local school districts to vote in favor of school prayer and study the Bible in our schools.”

They’re not even being subtle about this. They want it put to a vote because they live in a majority Christian community and they believe the majority should get whatever it wants — the rights of the minority be damned.

Muslims? Jews? Hindus? Atheists? Those students’ rights don’t matter.

The fact that Christian students can already pray (privately) in schools if they’d like? That’s not LOUD enough!

In the video, Voorhees — the host of “Ranger Joe’s God & Country Show” — also makes the case that, because they have Bible studies and prayer in jail, prisons are safer than schools.

Riiiiiight. I’m sure Christians everywhere can’t wait to enroll their kids behind bars. Anything but a science class.

Oh! And that’s not all! When Voorhees was explaining why this referendum would be *totally* legal, this was his reasoning:

“There’s no law that says we cannot,” Voorhees told councilors. “There’s some rulings that say it’s unconstitutional, but when that was done it was an all-white (Supreme Court). Now that we have some color (on the court), that would never pass.”

What the… I don’t even… huh?!

You make sense of that.

Mayor Teresa Tomlinson was probably just being courteous when she thanked him for his presentation. I hope that, in her head, she was just wondering why these people were wasting her time trying to implement a plan that would invite lawsuits from every civil liberties organization in the country.

Mayor Tomlinson, thinking, 'You're kidding me, right?' (via wsfa.com)

(Thanks to Brian for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Dbaker13

    I…they…wait.

    No. Fucking A, man!

  • Coyotenose

     What…

    “There’s no law that says we cannot,” Voorhees told councilors. “There’s
    some rulings that say it’s unconstitutional, but when that was done it
    was an all-white (Supreme Court). Now that we have some color (on the
    court), that would never pass.”…huh?

  • newavocation

    I guess the collection plate gets a little dry if you just sing a few hymns and give a sermon that puts people to sleep. To prime the pump you need to get your flock pissed off at the atheists or gays.  

  • http://www.zazzle.com/atheist_tees The Godless Monster

    If this trend of idiocy continues, I think it would be in the bet interests of the nation to have a referendum on splitting up the Union. Not all, but a majority of the  anti-science legislation and anti-constitutional shenanigans come from our mentally challenged and dentally deficient friends living south of the Mason-Dixon line.
    I say we should give them what they want and let’s see how long they survive on their own. They’d be a third-world backwater with the passing of one generation.

    • http://www.zazzle.com/atheist_tees The Godless Monster

       oops…”BEST” interests, not “bet”…

    • http://twitter.com/JJtheTVnewsguy James Jackson

      Be careful what you wish for… skeptics and freethinkers are still a minority in this country and only a well-funded Constitutional amendment away from being completely marginalized, incarcerated or deported.  Haha.

      On an unrelated note, I love the fact the banner ad displayed at the top of this story as I read it shows a smiling man with the caption “I believe God inspires me as an artist, & I’m a Mormon.” with the link to mormon.org.  I am delighted the LDS church is helping pay the bills of an atheist online community.

      • guest

        thanks for mentioning that so I can click on the add and make them pay money for their advertising.  and think that they are converting the athiest .  small but fun little measure make all of the difference

      • Fsq

        I wish I knew how to set up a botnet so it would auto click that mormon ad about 10,000x a day!!!!!

      • http://www.zazzle.com/atheist_tees The Godless Monster

         Yeah, I’ve thought about it and it’s personally what I’d like to see happen…if…IF the nation would vote that way in a referendum. You know as well as I that this is unlikely to happen in our lifetime, but I can always dream, can’t I?

    • Ndonnan

      Be careful,wasnt that what the pastor wanted to do with the gays,it would posably  backfire.atheists being a minority and all :)

      • http://thegodlessmonster.com/ The Godless Monster

         No, it wasn’t what the pastor wanted…and you know that. Liar.

      • Coyotenose

         Jesus, what a scummy liar.

    • Onamission5

      But… but…  I can’t afford to move again!

      • http://www.zazzle.com/atheist_tees The Godless Monster

        My wife and I are looking at a 4 bedroom home in Bloomfield Hills. You can move in if you don’t shoot up smack or yell at 3 in the morning.

    • Baby_Raptor

      I’m trying really hard to get out…I’m “dentally deficient,” though. Grandparents didn’t think it was worth bothering to teach me to brush my teeth. Thought god would take care of it, I guess.

      Am I still welcome?

      • http://www.zazzle.com/atheist_tees The Godless Monster

         Sure… :-)

    • Hiding in the Light

       Think of how it feels for the ones trapped here in the buckle of the bible belt where the standard greeting when meeting new people is, “And where do y’all go to church?”. (I haven’t found a safe answer to that one yet!)

      I have to LIVE in Columbus, GA. I have children in the Muscogee County school system where this WTF-ery is taking place. My only solace is knowing that my children have been raised to question everything, so they will only be annoyed rather than indoctrinated. Unfortunately, they have also learned (as have I) to hide their overt skepticism because it invariably ends in ridicule and exclusion.

  • http://cousinavi.wordpress.com cousinavi

    Dunning-Kruger syndrome strikes again.  

  • http://drzach.net Zachary Moore

    The “color on the court” line most likely is a reference to the perceived difference in religiosity among African-Americans and Latinos compared to Caucasians.

  • Renshia

    One day in the not to distant future, when white is no longer the predominant color, there will be a vote to make those pesky white people, slaves.

    Then someone will think that majority rule was not such a great way to get consensus.  

    • The Other Weirdo

       Keep wishing.

  • jdm8

    “There’s no law that says we cannot,” Voorhees told councilors. “There’s some rulings that say it’s unconstitutional”

    I guess the Constitution isn’t law anymore.  I know it went from being the “law of the land” to “law of convenience”, I didn’t realize it was turned to not a law.  The 1st amendment is among the clearest writing in the whole document.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Leithiser/593361421 Chris Leithiser

      They answer to a Higher Law, the one that says “we get what we want and you don’t.”

      Sadly for them, that law ain’t gonna help them much longer.

      As for the suggestions about literacy tests for voting, I appreciate the spirit but depending on who writes the questions those can go BADLY wrong VERY quickly.

  • gski

    They need to spend less time getting god involved with their kids education and spend more time getting parents involved.

  • Fsq

    The south….always the south…..

    What…..The…..Fuck…..

    I say that in order to legally vote, you have to take and pass a basic civics test. If you cannot answer what the three branches if the USA federal government are, or basic understanding of the Constitution, you simply do not get to vote.

    • Onamission5

      You know, I might actually support a version of this. It’s less than what one has to do to become a citizen when born elsewhere, which is probably why I know so many more immigrants who have a better understanding of US history and function than I do people who arrived here via birth.+

      • Fsq

        Exactly. The citizen test is much more in depth than the average birth-canal American’s knowledge of the system.

        On a lark last summer I bought a small book called “The Citizen Test” which includes several exams. It was a very easy test to pass for myself, but many acquintances and neighbors had a very hard time with it.

        How can we trust someone to make an informed vite if they do not even understand the basic priniciples of our givernment and Constitution?

        • Fsq

          Or better, how can I be trusted to tyoe properly when I apparently cannot figure out where the “i” and “o” keys are this insufferable iPad!!!!!

          • Xyz2412

             But Givernment is much more appropriate nowadays!

    • T Partee

      Yes! Bring back the literacy test! And let’s get back to the rule that only property owners can vote, too!

  • CoboWowbo

    I guessing this chaplain never read Mathew 6:5-6.

    (KJV)
    5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret…

  • Nightcrawler

     I would love to go to one of these meetings. I would ask if I could read from the Bible. I wouldn’t likely get any objections, then I would read:

    “Mathew 6: 5 “When
    you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on
    street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell
    you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. 6 But
    when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray
    to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will
    reward you.

    • Kevin_Of_Bangor

      They would come back with something along the lines of “that is not what it really means” or something similar to support their cause.

      No matter what you do or say it is always a win win for Christians.

      • Mark

        No, they would congratulate themselves for bring god back to this great Christian nation and convince themselves that most of the time that’s how they pray, so they could feel all warm and righteous.

    • jdm8

      I’ve been trying to find a Tim Tebow fan to deliver them the good news of this passage.

  • http://profiles.google.com/davydd.norris David Philip Norris

     “Now that we have some *color* [on the court]“? Did this (presumably) privileged, middle-class white man really go there? I would love to see him say that before Sotomayor… the “wise Latina.”

  • Vampielian

    He seems to be implying that “colored” people are more religious and so that it would have a better chance of passing.

  • http://profiles.google.com/statueofmike Michael S

    That’s Tomlinson’s “Whatever you do, don’t laugh” face.

    • Onamission5

      Hah!

      That’s the look I used to give my then-teen son when I knew beyond a doubt he was talking out his ass and was waiting for him to trip himself. It is also the look I give my parents when they start in on Why You Are Going To Hell And I Am Not or Why Christmas Is Under Attack.

  • http://southernhumanist.wordpress.com/ R. Lee Bays

    anyone else think it’s funny that the chaplain openly admits that jails are full of Christians?

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

       Yup. How’s that “morality” working out, pastor?

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    “There’s no law that says we cannot,” Voorhees told councilors. “There’s some rulings that say it’s unconstitutional, but when that was done it was an all-white (Supreme Court). Now that we have some color (on the court), that would never pass.”

    *facepaw-headdesk*

    Someone pass me a Clue-by-Four…

  • https://twitter.com/#!/OffensivAtheist bismarket

    I wonder when she’s up for re-election & what’s the betting that all involved in this are thinking about that too?

  • Ken

    I live in Georgia, and I’m so ashamed.  As for the  “color on the Court” comment, there is still a strong assumption down here that the colored will do as they’re told and not make a fuss.  That whole Civil War thingee didn’t change everyone’s thinking.  I sometimes see behaviors by both whites and blacks that make me nostalgic for some good old New Jersey anger and attitude.

  • Sue Blue

    Once again, some southern christian folks just can’t resist loudly and proudly proclaiming their weapons-grade ignorance.  They wear their obnoxious, in-your-face stupidity like it’s some sort of badge of honor.  They seem to think that if they just shout something out loudly enough, for long enough, it will cease sounding stupid and start making sense…or just grind everyone else down.
    So, let them have kids praying and parsing fables instead of learning.  Currently, states like Georgia, Mississipi, Alabama, the Carolinas, and Texas are already scraping the bottom of the barrel on nearly every demographic measure of success.  Ten years from now, when they’ve devolved so far down the idiocy scale that they can’t see the bottom of that barrel by looking up with a telescope, maybe it’ll be obvious why letting pastors “fix” the public school system was a bad thing…but it’ll be too late.  If they’re not a third-world hellhole already, they will be.

  • The Other Weirdo

    And I still can’t get over the fact that somebody’s walking around with the name Voorhees.

  • john

    I am ashamed to be related to this man for things like this. I told him not to pursue this. I told him the only way this would go through is if he meant to have all bibles taught in a sort of, religious literacy class. I guess all I can do is sit back and hope he sees his folly here.


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