Michael Egnor: Champion of Make Believe

Ever wanted to get a glimpse at full on weapons grade crazy?  It’s like a depressing safari…”to your right is somebody completely detached from reality.”  Michael Egnor is back on that bus and showing us that the beauty of religion is its power to freak out at imaginary threats (in this case, we atheists are preventing the students from praying and preventing them from wearing their prayer shirts).

Remember the time he asked me a bunch of questions (or, as he called it, a “challenge”) and I took him to task?  It’s like that never even happened (even though I left him the links on his “challenge” post).  Nope, it’s just back to the same talking points as though the rebuttals never took place.  I’d ask him to look up the definition of dialogue, but I suspect he knows what it means – he just doesn’t want it.

You guys can go rip up his post if you please.  Maybe you’ll get some of his on-lookers.  Personally, I don’t feel the need to bark back every time a dog barks at me.

My dad, however, loves to play with my toys when I’m not around.

I don’t think you understand “censorship”, although you use it a lot because it has a negative connotation.

The way you use it, not allowing slander or libel is “censorship”. Of course, anyone who actually has the ability to think realizes that to label “stopping something that is illegal” as “censorship” is a pretty warped definition. However, I take into account the type of reader you try to appeal to and understand how you have a good chance of getting away with it.

“Stopping something that is illegal”, such as slander or libel, is the very point here. Again, I understand you have your own interpretation of the Establishment Clause, but as far as legality goes we don’t get to ignore decades of established jurisprudence and legal precedent and individually decide what laws mean. Allowing that to happen as you wish to do would result in chaos and anarchy. What you advocate for the establishment clause, if applied to traffic laws, would allow each individual to determine for himself what is “safe”, instead of the long established legal guidelines.

Well, the courts–the ones with the legal authority to make the call—have made it in favor of separation and neutrality, and that the government–especially in the form of public schools–cannot promote one religion to the exclusion of others. That is exactly the case with the Cranston prayer banner.

Under your usage of “censorship”, not allowing someone to yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater is censorship.

Your claim that enforcing established law is “censorship” is goofy. If someone were taking out ads in the newspaper saying that Egnor is a pedophile thief who cheats on his wife and abuses his children, and the court made him stop running those ads because libel is illegal (assuming the claims aren’t true, of course)…….under your use of “censorship”, you would have to consider this “censorship” in the same way taking down the prayer banner is “censorship”.

Would you want a judge to “censor” that ad? If not, exactly how does that differ from your statement, “When Eberhard sees a prayer he doesn’t like, he wants a judge to censor it”? Isn’t that exactly like, “When Egnor sees an ad he doesn’t like, he wants a judge to censor it”?

You are certainly welcome to use “enforcing the existing law” as a new definition for “censorship”, but it seems kind of weird.

You mock Mr. Eberhard for realizing that the situation has nuances. As he noted “The students sued, the school won.”   He said, “When I was told about the possibility of students all wearing these shirts on the same day I initially said there was nothing wrong with it……I still don’t care if the students wear the shirts individually, but I’ve changed my mind about how the administration should react to a mass event like that. They should stop it.”

In spite of his initial “free speech” reaction, Mr. Eberhard apparently realized there is both a legal and a safety factor involved…..as the court decision pointed out. He obviously isn’t as cavalier about the safety of kids as yourself. Of course, for you, displaying some atheist hate and harassment is leagues more important than a little student safety, especially if the student whose safety is in question doesn’t subscribe to your preferred religion.

In one appeal case, the decision included, “the district judge will be required to strike a careful balance between the limited constitutional right of a high-school student to campaign inside the school….. and the school’s interest in maintaining an atmosphere in which students are not distracted from their studies by wrenching debates over issues of personal identity.”

“…the courts are struggling to define just where the expression of hostile views becomes harassment. And so far, even when they have allowed … speech, the courts have shown some sympathy to the needs of…. students to be protected against harassment.”

In your “burn them at the stake” attitude, there is no recognition of “the needs of atheist students to be protected against harassment.”  As a matter of fact, you clearly do not want them protected at all. Your uncaring and short-sighted statement, “When I was a kid, bullying meant that someone beat you up” illustrates this very well.  Under your definition, stealing your lunch money through intimidation or being pushed around in a circle of kids isn’t bullying, because you weren’t actually beaten up.   The concept is absurd.

The courts have used whether “wearing the shirts would cause “substantial disruption” in ruling about mass wearing of T-shirts.  You are welcome to your opinion on this, but you refuse to recognize that others, such as Mr. Eberhard, are also welcome to their opinion.

To label his position of “for safety, for legal precedent, against disruption” as being against free speech, is a gross misrepresentation, especially when he says in the quote of his that you provided that he considered both and felt one outweighed the other.

I happen to agree that it is acceptable for the students to wear T-shirts bearing the prayer en masse; however, I also recognize the POTENTIAL for disruption and harassment to which you turn a blind eye. When you consider the existing bullying, harassment, ostracism, threats of assault, rape, and death from a number of these very same students who no doubt will be in the vanguard of those wearing these T-shirts, anyone but a fool can see the very real POTENTIAL for disruption, harassment, and violence.

Although I agree it is acceptable to have a mass wearing of the shirts, it is incumbent upon the administration to closely monitor the situation and to send home students if safety and disruption become issues. I do not agree with Mr. Eberhard’s revised opinion, but am fair enough to see it has an important and valid base.  Too bad your ravening lust to go after atheists blinds you to the danger to an innocent 16 year old girl.

Your callous disregard for the safety of kids puts you in a poor light, Sir.

  • Mark

    It seems to me he used “censorship” in the proper way. “Censorship” may very well happen to be “stopping something illegal.”

    Some definitions of Censorship:

    1. the act or practice of censoring.
    2. the office or power of a censor.

    Some definitions of Censor:

    1. an official who examines books, plays, news reports, motion pictures, radio and television programs, letters, cablegrams, etc., for the purpose of suppressing parts deemed objectionable on moral, political, military, or other grounds.
    2. any person who supervises the manners or morality of others.
    3. an adverse critic; faultfinder.

  • Rory

    If your dad is going to keep pounding on lil’ Mikey like that, we might need to get a bell to ring in between rounds.


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