Here Come The Big Guns

Some news show brought on a fraud psychic to give his opinion on the Cranston prayer banner.  Guess what – the psychic doesn’t care for people calling spiritual beliefs baloney.

Oh boy…

Supporters of the banner say it was a school tradition.

Y’know, there are several places in the world where it’s a tradition to take a knife to the genitals of their female offspring. I hope they get rid of that tradition – that one sucks.

Some traditions should be flushed down the proverbial toilet, or at least be given a few rigorous wipes to make them applicable to modern society.

I notice on your American money it says “In God We Trust”

Thank the Cold War, not the ideals upon which this nation was built. It also says Novus Ordo Seclorum (The New Secular Order), a phrase that was on our paper currency well before “In God We Trust.”

And if they would make available money without those words, not only would we use it but so would Christians.  Our use of American currency is a tribute to our desire to not starve, not a tribute to a deity.

I don’t think that woman [Jessica] is true.  The whole religious makeup of America had that religious factor involved.

Which is precisely what she has always said.  This guy should rely less on clairvoyance and actually listen to what Jessica has said to get the nuance (or take five minutes to read about American history on wikipeda before opening his mouth).  Without a separation of church and state it would be possible for one particular religion to become the state-endorsed religion.  Checks were put in place to ward off that possibility as it would destroy religious liberty for anybody who didn’t abide by the state’s religion.  When the Constitution was forged, we had just finished fighting a war so that, among other things, we could not have a state church as they had in England.

So yes, our founders were looking out for religion – by keeping the state’s hands out of it – by keeping the government secular.  This is why you can build a church of any denomination, Christian or otherwise, and attend a church of any denomination, Christian or otherwise, and the government has no say.  This is also why state institutions like a public school don’t get to hang up sectarian prayers.  This has been Jessica’s message from day #1.  This guy is either a bad listener, a bad psychic (as if there were any other kind), or both.

I’m against the government being involved in personal stuff…


…but in this particular case there’s nothing wrong with that banner being up there.

Did he give a reason for the exception?  Of course not.

Secondly, 49 years a little too late…

What?  You want to end slavery?  Um, 6,000 years a little too late.

I wish text allowed me to fully capture the sneer with which the psychic said those words.  Trust me when I say his condescending tone, as though he was voicing an indisputably intelligent argument, was magnificently juxtaposed against the transparent lameness of his reasoning.

The longevity with which somebody has broken the law or committed a moral wrong should have no bearing on whether or not they are allowed to continue in that fashion.

Besides, look at what has happened with Jessica.  One may think there was no amount of social punishment that would appease the religious members of her community.  Is it really such a wonder nobody has ever spoken up until now?

It seems like something where we’re changing the laws to make everybody happy.

Yes, look at how happy the judge made the majority when he cited decades of precedent in ruling in favor of Ahlquist.

Frankly, I think the situation is the exact opposite of the way he describes it.  Then again, I’m only relying on my eyes, ears, and following the situation.  As a psychic, this guy is privy to other insights.

I think America is losing a lot of its core base values that it was founded upon…

You know what’s not a great idea?  Having an ignorant Canadian come on your news show to talk about American history.

I would suggest getting a representative from the state of Rhode Island instead, but it turns out they don’t know much about it either.

Try going to Iraq or Iran and telling them the way they’re running things isn’t working and you want to be looked after because of your simple little beliefs.  It isn’t going to work out.

You mean those places that have a state religion, so you’re not allowed to worship in any way other than in the way the state decrees?  Yeah, that sounds pretty shitty.  Let’s not emulate them, ok?

Then the host gives this closer.

Well you can’t please everybody and everybody has a different opinion…

You can’t please everybody, true.  And yes, everybody has an opinion.  Some of those opinions, such as the opinions of the psychic you invited onto your show, suck.  Immensely.  They do not incorporate the facts and so they serve as a substitution for reason and research, rather than being the result of them.

So if we can’t please everybody, how about we please the people who are abiding by the law and those who have defensible positions?  Seems much better than the alternative.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Blenster

    Do you have a source for your translation of “Novus Ordo Seclorum”? Everything I’ve read about it indicates it merely means “New Order of the Ages.”

    • Drakk

      As I understand it they share a common root word. Wikipedia’s elaboration on it is:

      The word seclorum does not mean “secular”, as one might assume, but is the genitive (possessive) plural form of the word saeculum, meaning (in this context) generation, century, or age. Saeculum did come to mean “age, world” in late, Christian Latin, and “secular” is derived from it, through secularis. However, the adjective “secularis,” meaning “worldly,” is not equivalent to the genitive plural “seclorum,” meaning “of the ages.”[3]

  • Richard

    The stupid of that psychic burns! Ow. Ow. Third degree stupid burns hurt like a bitch.

  • Aquaria

    Secondly, 49 years a little too late

    Wow. That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

    So pedophiles who finally got caught decades after they started raping children should go unpunished now, eh?

  • Joe

    “Novus Ordo Seclorum”: As Blenster says, it means ‘new order of the ages’. The word ‘secular’ *is* derived from the Latin seculum -i, whence seclorum, but in Classical Latin this meant ‘age’ or ‘lifetime’. In medieval Latin, seculum could have meant ‘the temporal world’ (which is why in English secular means what it does), but as seculorum is in the genitive plural, it means ‘of the ages’ (if it did carry the meaning of ‘secular’, ‘novus ordo seculorum’ would be ‘new order of the secular worlds’). To say ‘new secular order’, one would write novus ordo secularis (the adjectival form of seculum).

    Other than that:
    “Try going to Iraq or Iran and telling them the way they’re running things isn’t working and you want to be looked after because of your simple little beliefs. It isn’t going to work out.”
    I thought the American government *didn’t* like the way the Iranians were doing things, no?

    • RevJimbob

      I made a comment about why I have never heard the fact that the US had ‘Novus Ordo Seclorum’ on the dollar bill as an argument against the ‘In God We Trust’ schtick. Your comment helps explain why – should have read it first!

  • peicurmudgeon

    Not all of us Canadians are so ignorant of how valuable the concept of a separation between chruich and state is to personal freedom. North of the border we don’t have that entrenched in a cosntitutional document, and the rules can blur more up here. Despite that, we actually have less conflict than esists south of the border.

    This is another case of the media manufacturing a controversy. Given the laws of the US, there isn’t any. This news show should be severely criticized for not calling out this man on his obvious ignorance or deliberate lies, whichever they are.

  • Jeremy Shaffer

    Secondly, 49 years a little too late…

    Yeah, because in 1956 when they changed the national motto from “E pluribus unum” to “In God We Trust” I’m sure an objector saying, “174 years a little too late” would have changed any minds.

  • rob

    fucking psychics. you would think they would already know the shit they say is dumb.

  • Ray

    The news program wants an opinion on a question involving the US Constitution and the best expert they can come up with is a Canadian medium? WTF?

  • passerby

    Right around 2:10 in

    “It seems to be something where we’re trying to make everyone happy. But you can’t make everyone happy.”

    So just make me and my fundie friends happy, because we have the money and the spirit mediums. Wooooooo.

    This fraud is a joke. He wouldn’t know religious tolerance if it spun him around and booted him on his 4th point of contact.

  • marcdu pille

    Hmm they said that Jessica’s case was “shot down” but she won on appeal.

    Duh, she won first time around, there has as yet been no appeal by the School Committee who are still deciding whether to appeal, although they are rightly concerned by the potential cost and another very likely loss.

  • Caesar Penguinus

    So the US should take a posture similar to theocratic Iran when deciding matters of religious interference in public institutions? It’s almost comical how fast some people will freely expose their authoritarian tendencies when they feel the privileged status of their beliefs being challenged.

  • writerJames

    I wonder if we could avoid a lot of this annoyingly futile level of discussion if it were more widely acknowledged that some people’s opinions do, indeed, suck.

  • RevJimbob

    I am not American, and never knew you had ‘Novus Ordo Seclorum’ on the dollar bill. Why have I never heard this point made to respond to the tiresome “It says “In God We Trust” on a dollar bill” non-argument?