NC Rep. Sager confuses a street for a person, hates Porky Pig

NC Rep. Sager confuses a street for a person, hates Porky Pig March 16, 2011

The petition on on our behalf has been yielding some unexpected and interesting results. Some of the politicians at the other end of this petition are actually replying. [See yesterday’s example]

This one came from NC State Representative Efton M. Sager. He served the Air Force honorably for 21 years, and is also on the Homeland Security, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee. It’s unfortunate that he doesn’t care about the equality promised to all Soldiers, regardless of their faith (or lack of).

He actually refers to her by her street’s name, instead of her actual name. He also makes several grammatical mistakes, in the span of four sentences. I’m not a ‘grammar Nazi’, especially when it comes to the internet. However, correspondence from an elected official of North Carolina should be of a higher caliber.

The E-mail in full:

Ms. Andrews our pledge does say one nation under God, are you also opposed to that. Also I could not find you listed as a registered voter. Do you exercise that privledge? You have your right to disagree, but the constitution keeps us from the state requiring us to belong to a particular faith.

Rep. Efton M. Sager

He doesn’t seem to know that the Pledge of Allegiance was changed relatively recently, to include ‘god’. It was a cold war tactic, disparaging the ‘evil atheists of the Soviet Union’.

Maybe Porky Pig was a an evil commie bastard? *DUN DUN DUN…*


Her reply to his flippant hand-waiving was worth reading.

Rep. Efton M. Sager,

First, I do oppose the wording, “under God” in our Pledge of Allegiance. The
original Pledge was written by a Baptist minister, Francis Bellamy, and did not
include the phrase, “under God”. It was not until the Red Scare of 1954 when
Congress added the phrase. It was more about emphasizing our religiousness
versus the secular communism of the USSR. Secondly I am a registered voter in my
home state of New Mexico. You see, I am in North Carolina because my husband is a
member of the US Air Force stationed at Seymour Johnson AFB in Goldsboro. The
email to you was generated when I signed a petition regarding the discriminatory
actions against atheists at Fort Bragg. Rest assured that I will forward it to
my Congressional representatives in my home state.

All this being said I would just like to point out that I resent your tone;
I resent the unprofessional nature of your response. I hope for your
constituents’ sake this was written by a staff member. Do you often respond in
such a blasé tone, without proper punctuation, grammar and spelling? Not to mention the
fact that I resent that you completely miss the issue. The military
provides a “home away from home” atmosphere for its members as they are moved
across the country and around the world. All we atheists are asking for is the
same consideration other people are given. Our beliefs are just as important to
us as every other group and I expect the military to respect and support us. I
do this as my husband is sent year after year to fight for and preserve freedom
around the globe. Can the US not provide the same freedom here at home that he
fights for in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan?
You are right, we can disagree, but the Constitution grants me
freedom and you must respect that!

Proud Air Force Wife and Atheist,
[Name withheld, but it’s not Ms. Andrews]

The above image was on a billboard on Billy Graham Parkway last year in Charlotte, North Carolina. Charlotte is also the home of the Billy Graham Evangelical Association, the private organization that received special privilege and treatment last year at Fort Bragg with their Rock the Fort membership drive / festival.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • beerslayer

    Amazing. How does someone who writes and thinks like that graduate high school, let alone get elected to public office?

    I like that billboard. Any chance we can get one put up here (SF bay area, California)?

  • Kevin C Jenkins

    Recently, there was backlash against President Obama for using the original motto “E Pluribus Unum” rather than the McCarthy-era rebranding of “In god We Trust”. Others have gotten much the same for their efforts to get the pledge restored. How ironically appropriate that the insertion of “under god” actually divided our “one nation, indivisible”.

    I’ve talked to some other non-theists that say these two things are small and harmless, but I think the fact that they’re small points to them being the small end of a wedge. They’re a wedge similar to the way “ban evolution”… “teach creationism too”… “rename it to intelligent design”… “teach the controversy” angle is a wedge to break religion into public classrooms and distort our student’s perception of how something qualifies to be considered as science.

    Changing the motto and pledge began with the perception that “atheist = communist = treasonous”, and branding the country as a “christian nation” was thought to underline the USA’s opposition to the USSR. Obviously, the bigger point of opposition between us was based in differences of economic policy, but theism/atheism is an easier dichotomy to understand and, for many, has a deeper emotional pull.

    Now that the USSR is gone, we’re left with these artefacts of that opposition, and they’ve been turned on us. Those little phrases have been in our public conciousness long enough to become an assumed part of our national identity, when they’re actually the opposite. Indeed, they run counter to the intent of the very Constitution that defines us as a nation.

    A perfect example of how the changed or corrupted versions of these two national symbols have distorted our national identity is this Bush Sr. quote:
    “No, I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor
    should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God.”

    Those symbols of state-sponsored religion may have started as a misguided attempt to unify us, but they’ve become divisive. They’re now an all-too-convenient wedge for the religious right to drive between christian and non-christian citizens. Though they may think it strengthens their voting base, driving us apart can only serve to weaken the nation we all love. The fact that these are ‘small’ things makes them all the more dangerous.

    Thanks for reading,
    — Kevin C Jenkins

  • YaboIksar

    I work in Charlotte and we (the husband and I) were happy to see the sign.

    Unfortunately it only too a few days before someone painted “under God” on it.

    • Justin Griffith

      the vandalism was a good metaphor for the real situation. Art imitates life.

  • Gus Snarp

    There seems to be something weird going on with the petition. While these responses are absurd, they’re coming from state legislators, who have no power in this issue, so I’m not sure why they’re getting it. The petition says it goes to U.S. Senate, U.S. House, President, NC Governor, and Colonel Sicinski. So it’s no wonder the state reps are a bit confused. Why they’re so confused about freedom of religion, however, I don’t begin to know.

    • Justin Griffith

      the petition’s first incarnation needed to be ‘tweaked’ (;