Bible Man is no match for Lawyer Man

It’s a damn shame that Jessica Ahlquist can’t be in two places at once.  In Jackson County, Alabama, “Bible Man” has been making appearances at elementary schools for decades.  If you listen to the Cranston crowd, what we have here is a secular historical tradition that has been in the school for years and years.

Of course, if you listen to the Constitution and the laws based upon it, what we have is government entanglement with religion so obvious that not even blind justice could miss it.

Well a parent complained to the FFRF who sent the school board a letter asking them to stop breaking the law.  Just like Cranston the mob of true, true believers was out in force providing great quotes for the judge.

Pastor Brad Bridges [said], “We’re here today to make a show, say ‘hey Christianity is in and we love it. And our nation was founded on it.’”

Pastor Brad could benefit from attending a few civics classes at the elementary school.

There was even a state senator in the crowd who was eager to demonstrate that not only Rhode Island politicians are ignorant of the law.

While the complaint before the board cited violations of the constitution, State Senator Shadrack McGill says he doesn’t believe in separation of church and state.

“I don’t believe you keep God out of state. Church represents the body of Christ, Christ being the head of that body. No, I don’t believe in that separation,” said Sen. McGill.

Well, the board made their choice.

Once the board returned from executive session and announced that “Bible Man” would not be taken out of the schools, crowd members stood up and cheered.

Let me tell you what’s about to happen here.

The lawsuit will come.  The plaintiff will be harassed and intimidated not by a few bad apples, but by the entire mob.  Even though it is the school board and the gaggle of believers who place a higher priority on defending something illegal than on educating their children, the plaintiff will be accused of stealing education dollars in a radical lawsuit where the judge will still somehow rule in the plaintiff’s favor (probably because the law is clearly in the plaintiff’s favor).

The mob will then not learn its lesson.  They will demand to throw away more of their children’s educational dollars losing on an appeal (and will accuse the plaintiff of having no regard for their kid’s education).  They will turn their rage to liberals, atheists, the ACLU, the school board (if they don’t appeal), anywhere except to themselves and their ignorance of the law/willingness to break it.  We’ve seen this script unfold in Bastrop, in Cranston, and in plenty of other places, and we will see it here.

At best, religion empowers this kind of foolishness.  At worst it causes people to behave this way.  In neither case is it anything but the enemy of humanity.

  • Brownian

    I don’t believe you keep God out of state. Church represents the body of Christ, Christ being the head of that body duh, duh, and double duh. No, I don’t believe in that separation

    With bullshit non sequiturs like that, this brainless vat should be more concerned about where his head is at.

  • Phillip IV

    They will demand to throw away more of their children’s educational dollars losing on an appeal (and will accuse the plaintiff of having no regard for their kid’s education).

    Well, if you march under the banner of ignorance, collateral damage to education is a welcome side-effect at most.

    • N. Nescio

      It’s quite deliberate.

      There’s numerous examples in the Bible about how one must “be converted, and become as little children” and how “the cross is to them that perish foolishness” — the point is that they don’t WANT people to become educated. The more education one receives, the greater likelyhood they realize that most of the Bible doesn’t jibe with demonstrable reality.

      ‘Keep ‘em dumb and keep ‘em praying’ seems to be the name of the game.

  • Turumbar

    *sigh* Weapons-grade stupidity at work again.

  • Gwynnyd

    I don’t believe you keep God out of state. Church represents the body of Christ, Christ being the head of that body. No, I don’t believe in that separation,” said Sen. McGill.

    Unless they are outright lying for nefarious reasons I can only imagine, people who sincerely think that way must think about the Constitution the way I think about the bible. The Constitution for them must be a collection of some old stuff that can be talked about in deepity ways by those with an interest in sophistimacated lawer-ly jargon but not *true* for them in any fundamental manner that would interfere in the obvious right, godly way of running of the world.

    I can only think of that as fractally wrong, but then that means that they think I’m fractally wrong for thinking about the bible that way.

  • http://www.atheist-faq.com JT (Generic)

    Christianity is in and we love it. And our nation was founded on it.

    Every single time I hear this statement, I boggles my mind. It’s like the person just said:

    Fairies power my microwave!

    All I can say is “How do you figure?”. There’s little to no establishment of Christian values in our constitution – and the little overlap that exists is common to all humanity.

    The Bible does not endorse democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of conscious, freedom for everyone (abolition), due process, etc. In fact, a lot of Biblical doctrine is the antithesis of these principles.

    So when you say that the apple pie was created from buffalo turds, I have to wonder if you’re quite right in the head.

    • Aliasalpha

      No matter how delicious that pie looks, I’d suggest not eating it just to be on the safe side…

  • The Lorax

    So we’re allowed to break the laws we disagree with? Fuckin’ A.

    • http://jubydoo.wordpress.com/ Juby!

      Judging by your name, I know what laws you plan on breaking. ;-)

  • Anteprepro

    “I don’t believe you keep God out of state. Church represents the body of Christ, Christ being the head of that body. No, I don’t believe in that separation,”

    This would be lulzy if there were no chance of it being taken seriously. It’s almost like this is a deliberate attempt to completely misunderstand what religion is, and what the separation of church and state is supposed to be.

    Pro-tip: The fact that your religion is about a powerful phantasm that lives everywhere doesn’t mean that you can’t possibly avoid plastering information about religion everywhere. This concept is not difficult.

  • Jeremy Shaffer

    They will demand to throw away more of their children’s educational dollars losing on an appeal (and will accuse the plaintiff of having no regard for their kid’s education).

    To make that worse it’s not like educational funds are either abundant or secure in the state. In Alabama funds that should go towards education are often looked at as mad money by many within the state’s government. There is a significant premium placed on ignorance in Alabama and that often takes on a malific mien that creates a perpetual cycle that is as damaging to the very people maintaining it as it is exploitable by small- minded agents.

  • Rory

    Gwynnyd, my guess (acknowledging that not all religiots are the same) is that many of these folks would parrot the argument that ‘separation of church and state’ doesn’t appear in the Constitution, or that freedom OF religion does not mean freedom FROM religion, and that the founding fathers always intended this to be a christian nation. Paying no mind, of course, to two centuries of Supreme Court jurisprudence to the contrary, since of course those were all activist judges. I swear, if these folks spent a fraction of the time they use to indoctrinate their kids into teaching them some basic civics, we’d be a lot better off for it.

  • unbound

    #4 – “Unless they are outright lying for nefarious reasons I can only imagine, people who sincerely think that way must think about the Constitution the way I think about the bible.”

    Well, the leaders are definitely lying for nefarious reasons, but the bulk of the people are just mindlessly repeating what they are told. Just like the Bible, they haven’t actually read the constitution or actually looked at the history behind the founding of the nation outside of what they are being fed by their leaders (read Liars for Jesus for how that information looks).

    The political leaders are going with the wind (as usual)…hence the stupid comments. It’s really the religious leaders and the political operatives (who work in the background) that are the problem here…and they are perfectly happy with the influence / power they get by keeping the masses this way.

  • fastlane

    I think ACLU (wo)man is going to kick their asses.

  • mercurianferret

    JT, why oh why are you trying your hand at divination? ;-)

  • http://peicurmudgeon.wordpress.com/ peicurmudgeon

    The berst solution would be for the judge just to refuse to hear the case because the outcome is clear cut. The legal costs would be minimum, leaving more money for the schools.

  • Sastra

    “I don’t believe you keep God out of state. Church represents the body of Christ, Christ being the head of that body. No, I don’t believe in that separation,” said Sen. McGill.

    As Brownian points out at #1, this makes no sense. The middle sentence is a non sequitur — unless the Senator literally means that church and state ARE the same thing, and the terms can be swapped for each other. In which case, either the first sentence becomes “I don’t believe you keep God out of church” (um, okay) or the second sentence turns into “The State represents the body of Christ, Christ being the head of that body” (very screwed up indeed.)

    I guess that second one would turn our taxes into tithes.

  • H.H.

    Yeah, these religious folks don’t believe in the separation of Church and State, but how many of them think churches should start paying taxes?

    That’s what I thought.

  • Jeremy Shaffer

    Just to provide more context of what we are dealing with here, this article illustrates some of Sen. McGill’s “Bible- based” insanity.

    http://times-journal.com/news/article_16355b2a-4c64-11e1-a0b1-001871e3ce6c.html

    Here’s a taste:

    “It’s a Biblical principle. If you double a teacher’s pay scale, you’ll attract people who aren’t called to teach.

    “To go in and raise someone’s child for eight hours a day, or many people’s children for eight hours a day, requires a calling. It better be a calling in your life. I know I wouldn’t want to do it, OK?

    “And these teachers that are called to teach, regardless of the pay scale, they would teach. It’s just in them to do. It’s the ability that God give ‘em. And there are also some teachers, it wouldn’t matter how much you would pay them, they would still perform to the same capacity.

    “If you don’t keep that in balance, you’re going to attract people who are not called, who don’t need to be teaching our children. So, everything has a balance.”

    Last year, McGill introduced a bill that would tie legislators’ pay to the average teacher’s pay, including benefits. He later claimed teachers in Alabama rank fourth in the nation in average pay and benefits of about $65,000.

    Basically, according to McGill, you can’t rasie a teacher’s pay because it would attract bad teachers, but you have to raise the legislators’ pay so that they are not susceptible to corruption. Despite the basis for his dispute in rasing teacher salary being the bible, I notice that McGill doesn’t credit any god- belief as a preventative for corruption. Apparently, God can’t help you avoid being a sleazy fraud but mo’ money sure as hell can.


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