Man Who Wrote Unconstitutional School Prayer: ‘ I Couldn’t Care Less About the… Minority. The Majority Rules’

Peter Sagal, host of NPR’s “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” is hosting a four-part series on PBS called Constitution USA and one of the segments he filmed involves our friend Jessica Ahlquist:

Dammit, Jessica. Yesterday, the Playboy Mansion, now Peter Sagal?! Stop having this much fun!

Sagal also talks to David Bradley, the man who wrote the school prayer than Jessica helped bring down. Around the 7:20 mark, Sagal brings up the fact that, while 95% of the students might agree with his prayer, the Constitution is supposed to protect that 5% who don’t, so what does he think of that?

Bradley emphatically responds with, “I couldn’t care less about the 5%… they’re in the minority. The majority rules.”

So there you have it. In Bradley’s view, whatever the majority wants, the majority gets. Forget about civil rights for black people, sorry gay people, go home Jews. You’re all in the minority and your needs and wants and beliefs have no business in Bradley’s world.

He comes off looking like an asshole while Jessica appears strong and intelligent. A great segment, through and through.

(via WWJTD)

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.

  • Kevin Beach

    What an asshole!

  • deltmachine

    sylvia is a saint compared to you lying vultures….




    • Sven2547

      You have not won the James Randi paranormal challenge. You are the liar here.

      • deltmachine

        whether Randi “thinks” we won or not is completely irrelevant.

        he is not included to the “party”

        • Mario Strada

          Dennis, you old son of a bitch. Did you get computer privileges back?
          How’s Mom’s basement? Still computing from there? Have you popped any good zits we should know about?

          I think I am going to call the Montreal Police and see if you are free and clear to use the internet. I hope so, since you are hilarious. This place would be a lot less fun without the unbalanced.

        • Sven2547

          You can’t just go around claiming you won a contest you never participated in. There is a word for that: “lying”.

          Did I mention I won the world Welterweight boxing title last year? The judge’s opinion on the matter is, of course, irrelevant.

        • Matt D

          I can’t count the number of times an invisible stranger has told others facts are irrelevant.
          Too bad it doesn’t work, eh? If it did, you’d feel better about all those personal problems your trying to avoid by trolling people online.

    • Pepe

      Yeah let’s type in all caps, because that makes it absolutely clear that we know our shit.

    • SCO

      Has Sylvia Brown done something recently? I keep seeing people talking about her, but I thought everyone stopped caring about her when she challenged James Randi on TV to produce the million dollars years ago, and he did, or after she told those parents who lost a kid in 9/11 that he drowned. Has she been on TV recently?

      • viddy_well
      • A3Kr0n

        Silvia Browne once told a mother her daughter was dead on a TV show. Last week her daughter showed up in Cleveland has one of the three kidnap victims.

      • marzipanpieplate

        Yeah, she’s been in the news in the skeptic community because she claimed several years ago that Amanda Berry, one of the women who was found in Cleveland this week, was dead. It was covered on this blog two days ago.

      • Anna

        She also claimed Shawn Hornbeck, another kidnapping victim, was dead, and he was recovered alive. I was happy to see Anderson Cooper give her a smackdown on his show the other day.

  • Emma

    Christians – able to be in the majority and a persecuted minority all at the same time!

    • phantomreader42

      With god, all things are possible! As long as they’re incredibly stupid and useless!

    • Kevin_Of_Bangor

      I’m stealing the above :)

  • Devi Taylor

    Screw the rules, I have privilege! Sometimes I wonder if people actually listen to themselves when they speak.

    • The Fox Fire King


      • phantomreader42

        And green hair!

  • ortcutt

    It’s disappointing that they would interview Richard Garnett, who brings up the perennial strawman of “keeping religion out of the public square”. I don’t know of anyone who has proposed keeping religion out of the public square. If I want to go down to Boston Common and talk about religion 16 hours a day, no one is going to stop me. Anyone is free to discuss anything they like about religion in the public square. It’s a different matter if people want to put up unattended displays on public land or if they want to have the government promote their particular religion. Those are both quite different from religion being in the public square.

    • Reginald Selkirk

      See my comment elsewhere in the thread about Richard Garnett.

  • LesterBallard

    I’ll remember he said that, when folks like him are finally a minority.

    • Baby_Raptor

      I hope to be alive when Christians are a minority.

  • Randomfactor

    Spoken by a guy who never thinks he’ll be in the minority…

  • Mountain Dog

    It appears that Mr. Bradley knows nothing of the “tyranny of the majority” argument that James Madison was so fearful of.

    • Carpinions

      Even if he did, it’s doubtful he’d care.

  • SeekerLancer

    Well Mr. Bradley, I think Jessica already schooled you on the fact that you live in the United States and you’re just going to have to deal with that fact.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Oh, yeah. This asshole completely ignoring my rights and gloating about how I don’t matter sure makes me want the Jesus he worships! Clearly this god of his makes people better!

  • Richard Wade

    Any time a knucklehead like this tries the “the majority rules” argument for how it’s okay for him to wipe his ass with the First Amendment, he should get an F in his Civics class.

    Even if he hasn’t been in his Civics class for 57 years, his old Civics teacher should be gently taken out of her retirement home, flown first class across the country if necessary, and taken in a limo directly to the knucklehead to personally give him a signed and notarized 57-year-retroactive F in his Civics class.

    • tinker

      I think that his civics teacher from Cranston should be given the ‘F’.

  • Kimpatsu

    Bradley’s view is precisely how the racist Japanese government justifies not criminalizing racism in Japan: only the majority matters. Bradley should try spending some time in that minority. When he can’t find housing, is refused entry to bars and restaurants, and denied equal access to health care all because he is in the minority, he might just change his mind.

  • Bob Becker

    The truly sad thing, and more than a little scary, is the evidently poor education in American history and civics these people received growing up. I wish I could say things gave changed, but I fear they have not. If one in four of the freshman college history students I recently retired from teaching knew coming into the class that the intent of the Bill of Rights was to place certain fundamental liberties beyond interference by popular majorities, I’d be surprised.

    • Miss_Beara

      I had terrible history and civics classes in school. By the time I ended high school I felt like I knew very little about American history, even a lot of the basic things. However, there is absolutely no excuse to not know them now with resources at our fingertips. So many people refuse to teach themselves anything. I learned more reading responses here than high school history classes.

  • JKPS

    Right, but this is a nation that care more about the majority. Even when campaigning for civil rights, it doesn’t really matter unless the non-minorities get it on it. It’s an appalling thought process for sure, but it basically sums up our government: the minority doesn’t matter.

  • Bert Russell

    What David Bradley doesn’t understand is that preventing the government from preferring and/or establishing religion is not “taking [his religion] from [him].”

    • phantomreader42

      Well, in his delusions it is, because the voices in his head have told him that his religion requires him to force his delusions on others by hijacking the government and stealing tax money in the name of jeebus.

  • Rain

    Jesus was a minority. A minority who called everyone stupid if they didn’t listen to him. Like it was supposed to be oh so obvious to people that they were supposed to do what he said. I can picture him saying the minority rules. Does not the smallest fig tree bear the greatest fruit in the fig forest? I can picture him doing a dumb non sequitur parable that proves his point.

  • Rain

    I love “public square” because it’s such a vague and weasel-wordy term that you can use it in a sentence and never be wrong. If someone calls you on something, then just say you meant something else. And then do a complete flip-flop when you’re talking to someone else who is in on the gag, and then give them the ol’ “nudge nudge wink wink”. Nobody ever knows what the hell “public square” exactly means. Llike the lawyer guy. “Ummm yeahhhh it’s a fine line between, like, public square, and ummm, like, other stuff too.” (I’m paraphrasing of course.)

  • chicago dyke

    i’ve never liked the ‘majority/minority’ framing. never really made sense to me. i’ve been a privileged minority, and a persecuted minority. i’m part of one majority, and another that thinks of itself as both a minority, and special. aren’t we missing the point by putting it in these terms?

    call me naive, but “right and wrong” work a lot better for me. it’s “right” that everyone enjoys the same equal freedoms and privs as everyone else, regardless of your (fill in blank) knowing the difference about (whatever.) maybe in knowing too much about science, and knowing there is no such thing as “race” or “choice” of sexual orientation. maybe i know too much about history, and know that literally every religion ever has claimed at one point, “our god is better.” maybe i know about economics too much, and the times when rich, priv’d people stepped up to ‘revolutionary’ politics and claimed, “yeah, dood! we’re with you! XX all the way! we support you downtrodden, um, because /hushed/ it’ll make us richer.”

    yeah, i’m a cynic.

  • Bubba Tarandfeathered


    If the consensus of the majority had be true in 1776 we would still be
    under British rule. But a minority saw with great foresight how majority
    opinions and policies do great harm to people. The Moral Majority does
    not serve the greater good of society. The Moral Majority serves only
    itself. America in it’s very nature is a society of rebels and skeptics.
    I’ll reiterate in a different light, that had we just been sheep,
    rolled over and bared our jugulars at the first sign of oppression, we
    would still be under British rule… the Moral Majority does not admit the possibility of being wrong, in their honest opinion they are doing the right thing for “the greater good for their society and everyone else can go to hell”

  • JH

    The bigger the hair, the closer to gawd……..sorry, just couldn’t help myself.

  • Carpinions

    So, I guess black people, latin Americans, native Americans, etc. don’t deserve to have or need their rights protected, then.

  • MD

    I’m always amazed at how these people wrap themselves up in the U.S. Constituiton while simultaneously crapping all over it.

    • keddaw

      Wrap themselves in the flag while using the Constitution as a diaper…

  • DKeane123

    I like his hair

    • baal

      His hair made me think of the Donald.

    • Reginald Selkirk

      It reminded me of Captain Kangaroo, but I looked up images of Captain Kangaroo and the similarity is not all that great. I guess it’s been a log time since I’ve seen that show.

    • Reginald Selkirk

      Rip Taylor.

  • McAtheist

    Majority rules! So, I guess when non believers and other religions make up 51% of the US population he will have no problem if the’ majority’ bands together and bans christianity.

    • baal

      Only we wouldn’t ‘ban’ it. I could see us asking them to pay for public goods they consume like city water, roads, employment insurance etc just like every other non-profit club (plus showing their books).

      • McAtheist

        Of course ‘we’ wouldn’t ban religion, I was trying to demonstrate how silly he is. I’m good with your taxation point however, hey, can the’majority’ tax retroactively?

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Appearing at ~ 4:00, “Richard Garnett, legal scholar.”
    There is a range of opinion about separation of church and state, even among legal scholars. Some tend more towards strict separation, others toward accomodationism. PBS fell short by presenting one “legal scholar” to represent the official position.
    And who is Richard Garnett anyway? He has a position at Notre Dame School of Law. That’s right, he works for the pope. PBS failed to give us that information, which certainly influences what I think of Richard Garnett’s opinion.

    • Gus Snarp

      It was pretty clear that Garnett came to this with a clear bias. His affiliation should have been noted, and another expert consulted to provide a different view. Especially with his categorical statement of what the “wrong” view of separation of Church and State is (a statement that flies in the face of many years of judicial precedent).

  • Gus Snarp

    I had not seen those video clips of the meetings before. The vitriolic anger of all those Christians tells you a lot about them. It also tells you a lot about what a brave young woman Jessica Ahlquist is.

  • Gus Snarp

    I was amused by Bradley saying “Don’t take mine from me”. I fail to understand why removing a Christian prayer banner from a school he probably hasn’t set foot in in decades is somehow taking his beliefs from him.

    No one’s saying anything about his beliefs, they’re saying that in this more modern time we must recognize that our society is made up of Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, and non-believers as well as Christians and a government institution can no longer show an official endorsement of his beliefs over anyone else’s (and probably never should have in the first place).

    Why is this so hard for them to get?

    I also have to wonder how much money was spent, if the banner was painted directly on the plaster as stated, on cutting out that section of wall, storing it, and replacing it with a patch instead of buying a gallon of paint.

  • TiltedHorizon

    David Bradley, the man who wrote:

    “Our Heavenly Father, grant us each day the desire to do our best to grow mentally and morally as well as physically, to be kind and helpful to our classmates and teachers, to be honest with ourselves as well as with others. Help us to be good sports and smile when we lose as well as when we win. Teach us the value of true friendship. Help us always to conduct ourselves so as to bring credit to Cranston High School West. Amen.”

    Now states:

    “I couldn’t care less about the 5%… they’re in the minority. The majority rules.”

    Good thing the prayer banner came down, it would seem the author was full of shit.

  • Lee Miller

    I possess THE TRUTH™. Therefore nothing you say is of any value.

  • abb3w

    When Madison asked “Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects?” he intended it as a rhetorical question, not a census question.

    • butterfly5906

      How have I never seen that Madison quote before? I just looked up the bill it came from, and the whole thing is amazing!

      • abb3w

        The “Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments” was technically not a bill, but a pamphlet published in opposition to a bill; but yes, it’s a very cool piece of American history.

  • Bill Santagata

    He must be confusing the Rules of the Playground with the United States Constitution.

  • watchemoket

    I have news for Mr. Bradley and all the other religious zealots: everyone is part of one minority or another. Skin color, national origin, religion, height, weight, eye color … all can be the basis of anyone being in a minority. I suspect that any person who could claim to be part of ‘the majority’ in all categories would then be in a minority because of that class. If the majority riles with regard to this category, it can rule with regard to any category – so be careful what you claim to be the rules.

  • Piers Haken

    Richard Garnett fails as ‘legal scholar’. If you think the establishment clause is a grey area you need to go to the source, Thomas Jefferson who, in the precursor to the 1st amendment, the ‘Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom’ (a document he was so proud of that he put it on his gravestone), wrote:

    “to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical.”