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« Catching Up: On Katrina, William, John, John and Jon The RantsBait and Switch: The Elusive Common Ground »

Newdow Marches On
2005.09.15 (Thu) 21:42

As reported yesterday by ABC News:

A federal judge declared the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools unconstitutional Wednesday, a decision that could put the divisive issue on track for another round of Supreme Court arguments.

The case was brought by the same atheist whose previous battle against the words "under God" was rejected last year by the Supreme Court on procedural grounds.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton ruled that the pledge's reference to one nation "under God" violates school children's right to be "free from a coercive requirement to affirm God."

We've said it before, and we'll say it again — it doesn't get much more straightforward than this. Public schools lead children of all ages in a pledge that includes a reference to "God" as part of an otherwise non-religious exercise. If that isn't a "coercive requirement to affirm God" then we don't know what is.

A little while back when Judge Karlton chose to narrow Newdow's case to just encompass whether it was unconstitutional to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in a public school (instead of whether the Pledge itself was unconstitutional), it was pretty clear that this decision was forthcoming. Most likely the decision will be appealed to the 9th circuit court, upheld there, and — in light of a direct conflict with a 4th circuit verdict earlier this year in Virginia — we'll end up right back at the Supreme Court.

In honor of this step forward for Newdow and non-religiosos everywhere, the Jesus Freaks have been crawling out of the woodwork on one of our older Newdow posts to let us know exactly how narrow-minded and ignorant they really are. If you'd like to see the originals, feel free to read them on our Rant. We'll present a few here to illustrate the obstacles that rational folks are up against — the ignorance, the false sense of persecution, and the feeling of special entitlement that these people exude. Oh, the rampant typos, spelling errors, and grammatical slips will be kept in their original form to heighten the overall atmosphere of dumbness.

First up, the inimitable Mrs Gong:

I thought we were a democracty. Rule by the majority. Majority believe in a higher power and the minority do not. Is everyone an atheist now? If there is a god then it is good to praise him, if there isn't what harm is there in the few words. As long as there are tests in school, there will be prayer.

We agree that the United States is a democracy (in many respects), we're just not sure why you, Mrs Gong, think that means that only the rights of the majority are worth protecting. One of the basic functions of our representative democratic republic is to protect the minority from the tyranny of the powerful, which often means the majority. Despite what you might think, we all have equal rights here, not just the majority. Here's an example: in the south, many years ago, the powerful white landowners preferred to have their work done by free labor known as "slaves." These slaves didn't always like their lot in life, but according to your logic, Mrs Gong, they should have just shut up and slaved away. Hey, rule by the majority, right? They even had a nifty way of making sure that the white folks stayed in the majority — they made black folk equal to only 3/5 of a person. What a great deal! Even you, Mrs Gong, should be able to see that the rule of the majority isn't always right, and isn't always the side the government takes (fortunately).

To your next point, are we all atheists now? No, and we never pretended to believe that. However, we're also not all Christians, which is something many Christians seem to forget. Our personal desire to remove the reference to "God" in the Pledge is based on our honest understanding that we all have different beliefs. Omitting such references is the only way to be inclusive of all Americans. You see, removing mention of "God" does not make it an "atheist" pledge, but rather a pledge that doesn't address religion at all. If, on the other hand, we replaced the mention of "God" with an acknowledgement that there is no "God," that would be an atheist pledge. Needless to say, we have never been and are not now in support of any such move; by his own statements, neither is Newdow.

You then move on to the old "if there is no god, then what harm is there in praising him" gambit. Well, Mrs Gong, we'll let a quote from Newdow illustrate how we feel about this. Remember above when we talked about an atheist pledge and what it would look like? Well, this is from the same article as above:

"Imagine every morning if the teachers had the children stand up, place their hands over their hearts, and say, 'We are one nation that denies God exists,'" Newdow said.

"I think that everybody would not be sitting here saying, 'Oh, what harm is that.' They'd be furious. And that's exactly what goes on against atheists. And it shouldn't."

Indeed. Would you, Mrs Gong, be sitting idly by while children — perhaps even your own children — were being asked to utter such an oath every day? We somehow doubt it. But atheists don't count, right? So what about if the pledge in question swore allegiance to Allah? We'll use your own words here. "If there is an Allah then it is good to praise him, if there isn't what harm is there in the few words?" Of course, Muslims aren't currently the majority in our country, but humor us — if, hypothetically, they were the majority, would that shut you the fuck up? We believe that, if you're honest, you'll admit that you would still protest the insertion of Allah into our Pledge of Allegiance. Please, enlighten us, Mrs Gong. We're dying to hear your words of wisdom.

Next we'll move on to Charles, who presents the old "one day you'll turn to god" argument (which you can kind of make out amidst the plethora of typos and gibberish):

Who will you be looking to when the next personal distory strikes? Who do you look to on your death bead? Mybe we should just stop teaching our children and moral codes. Let them have no respect for authority. Just sit back and see what happens! If we can not say the pledge then why can you not just stand still while we do?

First of all, what the fuck do you know about the personal tragedies we've experienced in our lives? We've had our share of heartbreak and pain, and when we have, we've leaned on people who can actually help us — our family and friends, as well as our own inner strength. In point of fact, we would say that you, Charles, have done the same thing when you've run into difficult times in your life. However, instead of giving credit to the people in your life who helped you, you probably just thanked your pretty little god and moved along. Well, buster, you're shortchanging your family, your friends, and yourself by pretending to lean on your imaginary friend for support. Bully for you.

You then move on to the argument that without the Pledge, anarchy would reign supreme. Spare us. We certainly don't want to stop teaching our children proper morals. What we want to stop is teaching our children your morals and beliefs. Sure, we share certain moral codes between us — killing is wrong (is it? The Christian view seems a bit fuzzy), stealing is wrong — but we don't really feel the need to teach our kids to "keep holy the Sabbath" or not to "take the Lord's name in vain." Get it? It isn't authority that we don't want our children to respect, it's your brand of misguided religious authority.

Oh, and why can't we just have our kids stand still why all the good little Christian children recite the Pledge? Please see our reply to Mrs Gong above for a counter example. We wait with baited breath for your reply as well, Charles. Would you stand by while your children were asked to spout out the atheist pledge or the Muslim pledge shown above? Do tell.

Next up: Keith, who mixes some of Mrs Gong and Charles with his own incredible stupidity:

My only salvation in this, is that one day all of the atheists will be seeking god with their dying breath, and it will be far too late. I know there is a God as the majority of the American Citizens do. Couldn't the minority just accept what this great country basis was built on? Freedom of Religon? Some how that has now been brushed under the carpet.?

No, Keith, we won't one day be seeking your god on our death beds. We would be just as likely to turn to the Tooth Fairy as your silly god; that is, not at all. To us, they are both the same — imaginary beings conceived of by humans to placate gullible people. Of course, the fact that the Tooth Fairy is for kids excuses their gullibility. What's your excuse? For our part, we only wish that, after you die, we could see the look on your face when you learn that there is no god and there is no afterlife. However, since there is no afterlife, we, uh, can't. But boy would you look funny, standing there ready to meet "God" only to find out that it was all a sham.

As to the notion that the minority should just shut up and take the religious indoctrination of their children stoically, we'll refer you to our reply to Mrs Gong for our view on that selfish and narrow-minded point of view. As above, please enlighten us as to your response to the atheist pledge and the Muslim pledge outlined above. We'll wait.

Now on to our favorite part of your comment: your invocation of the phrase "Freedom of Religion" to back up your argument that the minority should just shut up while the majority practices their religion in a public school. This one simply floors us. How the hell do you manage to say something like that without your brain exploding from the blatant contradiction? We have no desire to remove religion from America. People should be free to hold whatever beliefs they want, no matter how silly those beliefs may be. What we don't like is when the government funds and promotes a particular set of beliefs; for example, by having government-funded public schools lead children in a daily recital of a pledge that includes an acknowledgement of God. By including this pledge in the public schools, its advocates (and the government) are pissing on the "Freedom of Religion" that you are feebly pretending to defend. If you can't grasp this simple concept, then we really can't hope to hold an intelligent discussion with you, Keith.

Just when we thought the comments couldn't stoop any lower, Donald Mulligan informs us that we are unpatriotic, while simultaneously paraphrasing Whitney Houston:

The pledge of alligegence should absoultly be allowed and mandatory in all our school systems. Our children are our future. Our children need good, wholsome standards to live by. Anything less is just plain unpatriotic. Sincerly, Donald Mulligan

So, Donald, you'd like to go even farther than current laws provide for — by making the Pledge of Allegiance (or, as they say in your neck of the woods, "alligegence") mandatory for all students. In a way, we're glad that you started your comment with this tidbit of information, since we were able to ascertain what a miserable nutbar you are right off the bat.

As we said in response to Charles' comment above, we agree that children need good standards to live by, we just don't agree with the Christian teachings about morals. Boy, it seems so simple when we say it, yet none of these commenters seem to be able to grasp the concept.

Right at the end, you insinuate that we are unpatriotic for being atheists and for not wanting to embrace Jee-sus. The good news, Donald, is that you are in, er, "good" company — the Bush family seems to feel this way as well, as do many members of the Supreme Court. The bad news is that this impromptu poll simply means that a lot of people in this country are misguided, hateful loons. Just like you. Thanks for sharing, Donald.

Speaking of misguided, hateful loons, next up is Tony, who uses an email address containing the phrase "leftistdestroyer." Wooooooo!

Apparently the Declaration of Independance is irrelevant to Michael Neudow and his families. As well as this "Judge" If Jefferson acknokleged God, as the giver of our rights, and that he did not specifically name a specific God, it is only "offensive" to athiests. Gays sucking eachothers dicks in public during Mardi Gras, I find offensive, but there is absolutely nothing that I can do about it what-so-ever!! That is their supposed right. But my kids have a right to acknolwge God in schools and in the Pledge. They say, "If you don't like gay sex in public, then don't watch it". I say," If you dont like an acknowlegement of God in public, then don't watch it!!" This precident is extremely one sided and completely unfair, but so are LIberals. To say that The Declaration of Independance is offensive, then the absoulte entire foundation we have, is under attack. Under attack by domestic enemies. Tis rebellion my lord. We must fight.

Wow — not a fucking clue, here, y'know? Simply amazing.

So, the pledge is only "offensive" to atheists. Okay, so you're in the Donald camp, in which only atheists are human scum, unworthy of any rights. Glad we've got that cleared up. As long as you believe in some deity, you're cool, right? Wait, how about agnostics? They're kinda on the fence. Can they wade into your private club's pool up to their knees?

Regarding gay sex in public, um, actually, that is illegal in this country. Any sex in public is illegal, be it gay or otherwise. It's public lewdness, public nudity, exposing oneself — whatever you charge them with, it's a violation of some law. As a result, you can do something about it other than not watching — in fact, you can call a cop if you see so much as a wayward tit in public. So you see, Tony, you and your children are protected from having to see lewd acts in public.

Now let's flip this around a bit, shall we? Since you picked the topic of gay sex, we'll stick with it. Homosexual sex is still legal in most places (for now), as long as it's done in private. Let's say that these private Gay Sex Parties take place every weekday, and that your children are required to attend. They don't have to watch the gay sex — they can close their eyes and think of Jesus — but they do have to be in the room while it's taking place. How would you feel about that, big guy?

See, unlike school, there is no mandatory Gay Sex Party attendance law in this country; in addition, the government isn't funding (and certainly isn't endorsing) gay sex — unless you count that Jeff Gannon/Guckert guy. Since you know there will be gay sex at the Gay Sex Parties — as that is the definitive purpose of Gay Sex Parties — and since neither you nor your children are required to attend...well, you can simply make sure that your kids don't go to the Gay Sex Parties, and you don't have to go, either. Nor do you have to sponsor, endorse, or in any other way support Gay Sex Parties, if you don't like hot, sweaty, rough and hairy man-sex.

On the other hand, our children are required to attend school, and our tax dollars fund those schools. In those schools, it is not merely an "acknowledgement [which you managed to spell incorrectly every time it came up] of god in public," but rather a state-endorsed invocation of religion, since all public school teachers are acting as agents of the state in their capacity as public school teachers. Feel free to go on and on about god in public as much as you want; but just as you don't want your children exposed to gay sex, we don't want ours exposed to religious indoctrination, especially in an environment in which the definitive purpose is to educate our children. The difference is: while you can have your children avoid the private gay sex (and call a cop if it's in public), we can't have our children avoid your invocation to god, because they're required to attend their classes (which we pay for). Got it? No, probably not.

All in all, the charming e-mail address, the inability to grasp simple concepts, a complete disregard of the rights of those you classify as "undesirable," the poor comprehension of history coupled with the utter lack of the wisdom to interpret it, the rampant misspellings, and then that chilling warning at the end — which was either meant to sound biblical, or like you were in a really bad Shakespeare production — paint a pretty clear picture of you, Tony. What an intellectual dynamo you must be. And a bundle o' fun at those Gay Sex Parties, too, we bet!

There is already at least one more comment from these self-righteous pricks on our old Rant, but frankly, they're starting to repeat themselves. Mostly, we could answer all of them by instructing them to educate themselves before they post, but we somehow doubt that will have any effect.

In short, this is the mentality that needs to be overcome in order for our country to move forward. It ain't a particularly easy path, and we wish Newdow lots of luck. If he fails, then it will be one more building block for the twisted, narrow-minded Christian nation that these people envision. And the scary part is that many of them don't even realize that they're doing it. They go on their merry way, truly believing that they are being persecuted and repressed (a phenomenon that Grendel mentioned not too long ago). Fucked up, isn't it?

We'll close with a quote attributed to Mark Twain which often seems so fitting when dealing with these folks:

It is better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you are a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

— • —
[  Filed under: % Civil Liberties  % Government & Politics  % Greatest Hits  % Religion  ]

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Comments (32)

Fan-man, 2005.09.15 (Thu) 22:26 [Link] »

Ah, the pledge. My most favorite memory associated with the pledge came on the last day of kindergarten. In order to graduate to 1st grade, each of us were called to the teacher's desk to prove that we knew how to recite our alphabet and count to 100 without help (Cincinnati public schools). After easily doing so, I asked Ms. Patrick who Richard Stands was. She didn't know and was curious why I asked. I told her that I pledged to him every day: "to the republic of Richard Stands...." She laughed her ass off and even called my Mom to tell her what a delight I was to have in class.

Anyway, "under God" was only added to the pledge in 1954 when Catholic president Eisenhour was urged to do so by the Catholic charity group, The Knights of Columbus. There might be some hope in getting the pledge back in our schools. Using the same rationale, maybe people from Texas can influence native Texan president George Bush to remove "under God" and add "Yeee-haw!" to the end. President Clinton missed his chance to edit "under God" to "under my desk in the oval office."
The pledge is just a silly patriotic rap anyway. America is different than it was in 1954. We've moved on for the better. Back then, the pledge was recited in segregated schools------we don't have those anymore either.

Tanooki Joe, 2005.09.16 (Fri) 01:28 [Link] »

Eisenhower wasn't Catholic. But yeah, other than that, correct.

Fan-man, 2005.09.16 (Fri) 09:31 [Link] »

I know that he was not Catholic. I was trying to imply how "post heart attack" Dwight pimped himself to various religious affiliations to position himself for re-election when he didn't have the energy for a straight campaign.
I don't care much for organized religion and its corporate personality. By calling Eisenhower "Catholic president" Eisenhower, I was trying to levy an insult.

S.T.R., 2005.09.16 (Fri) 11:02 [Link] »

One of my fondest memories from my childhood was learning about the seperation of church and state, which seemed jolly good to me. Then I looked at a quarter, and it said "In God We Trust" and I got really confused, thinking, "How the hell is that possible?"

As far as the whole "if there isn't [a god] what harm is there in the few words [or prayer, or going to church etc]."

Well, the harm is an ungodly (Yes I think there is an intended pun in there somewhere) waste of time. Life is too short.

As far as the whole moral thing, I am frightened by people who's only moral standing comes from a fear of eternal damnation, and not out of a sense of being respectful and nice, and not hurty to other people.

AND its those people who are controlled by their religion that can inturn do truely evil things in the name of there religion with no guilt, and a feeling of righteousness.

MBains, 2005.09.16 (Fri) 13:58 [Link] »

Excellent and well-reasoned rant me buckos!

But I still can't tell if you're on my bandwagon for replacing "under God" with "touched by His Noodly Appendage"...

Let me know cuz these "activist" judges are bound to try and stymie us when we get to be a majority.

Rockstar, 2005.09.16 (Fri) 19:16 [Link] »

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands. One nation, touched by his noodly appendange, indivisible with liberty and justice for all."

I like it. Lemme know when it comes up for a vote!

Grendel, 2005.09.16 (Fri) 21:04 [Link] »

Excellent rebuttal, Tom... though I'm embarrassed for my country that it is even necessary, so clearcut this issue is.

Some contextual filler for the historical perspective, re: Eisenhower's request that "under God" be added to the Pledge.... Eisenhower was indeed asked by a few religious groups to make the addition, but it had more to do with the cold war agin them thar nasty Russkies. During the Cold War of the 50s & 60s communism was closely identified with atheism. An Eisenhower quote as he made the insertion of 'under God':

"In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America's heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country's most powerful resource in peace and war."

I entered kindergarten in 1960 and remember well the nuke attack drills where they'd scare the fuck out of us with those old style clanging alarms and we'd all duck and cover under our desks. I'd love to have one of those desks today. I guess I don't know what they were made of -I thought they were just wood and steel -but if they can stop a nuclear blast, hey.......

I also remember feeling decidedly uncomfortable reciting the Pledge. I was not raised specifically to be an atheist, but my father was an atheist, as was his, and his... My mother was raised an Old World Catholic (she immigrated from Ireland, my father from Scotland), but neither my parents nor my sibs and I never went to church, excepting funerals and weddings. I guess my mother lost that argument. It was only as an adult that I figured out why this guy's mom or that guy's dad didn't want their kid hanging out with me. No major harm done.

I wish I had more time -I'd go through the God Squad quotes and identify all the logical fallacies they need to make what may loosely be called an 'argument', for lack of a better term. I think they missed one, but all in all a good effort.

I remember when Bush was running for his second term, and though I knew he was a fundy I'd suspected he'd do what most politicians do -move to a more centrist public position and stay there, keeping deep personal biases undercover. Nope. Bush came right out with it -atheists can't be patriots and aren't real citizens. *sigh*

I got a very weird vibe from one portion of Tony's offering, specifically:

"Gays sucking each others dicks in public during Mardi Gras, I find offensive, but there is absolutely nothing that I can do about it what-so-ever!!"

I dunno, I just got the sense that with his exclamation Tony came very very close to surfacing some definite latency issues. I got the sense he spends more than a few evenings in the basement, long after mom or wifey have gone to bed, sliding that box of gay porno out from behind the furnace, double-checking that mom or wifey are still asleep before pulling a few Kleenex's from the box on the work bench, and then, and then...... [[[shudder]]]. Man, talk about 'altogether ooky'.

Underlying all this mishegoss from the poor, persecuted fundies is a pervasive, all-encompassing, to the absolute bone, egocentric SELFISHNESS -a sense that all people ought to believe as they do, that if they do not they are simply wrong, that there is no need to even consider a nonbeliever's position or arguments because, by definition, the nonbeliever is inherently wrong.

Hell, even the term "atheist" emits from the religious nuts and frames the atheist's philosophy in negative terms relative to the believer's philosophy: 'a' - 'the' - 'ist' = 'against' or 'without' - 'God' - 'adherent'.

I inadvertantly coined a term during my years on the woo-woo message board circuit - "bleever" (as opposed to "believer"). I gotta go right now, but I'll come back with that soon. It really applies to the sorts of folks quoted and rebutted above.

I'd like to step forward and offer a compromise in the Pledge Of Allegiance controversy. I think I can resolve it with just the change of ONE little word:

"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation, under Canada, indivisible,
with Liberty and Justice for all."

Who could argue with that? It's factually accurate and couldn't possibly offend anyone.

S.T.R, 2005.09.17 (Sat) 00:03 [Link] »

"Who could argue with that? It's factually accurate and couldn't possibly offend anyone."

I can argue with that:

North being considered "up" and the top of the world is a purely cultural definition. There are those in the southern hemisphere that like to think of it the other way. I have seen maps of australia, that according to our oriention bias shows it as upside down... And of course in space there really isn't any up or down, it's all arbitrary. So, adding canada, though not promoting religion, does promote erroneous science....

Personally, I vote for the noodly appendage.

Grendel, 2005.09.17 (Sat) 01:39 [Link] »

If the IDiots successfully recruit S.T.R. we're in deep shit, lol.....

Shawn, 2005.09.19 (Mon) 14:23 [Link] »

Oh great, replace one nonexistent god reference with another. Noodly appendage my foot.

The only acceptable replacement is...

"...one nation, awaiting presents, indivisible,..."

Greater Clausian
Have you been Nice today?

MBains, 2005.09.19 (Mon) 15:36 [Link] »

"...one nation, awaiting presents, indivisible,..."

Oh man! LMAO!!! Now THAT'S American!

Hhhmmm... actually I think that it's Capitalism. Another religion.

I'm stickin' (heh heh heh) to His noodly appendage... ;-}

S.T.R., 2005.09.19 (Mon) 15:56 [Link] »

"I'm stickin' (heh heh heh) to His noodly appendage... ;-}"

And if his Noodly Appendage sticks to the wall, it is ready for eatin'

Grendel, 2005.09.19 (Mon) 16:29 [Link] »

I'm willling to go with "noodly appendage" but the mere sound of it gives me a gooshy feeling inside I don't recognize and can't identify.

The Retropolitan, 2005.09.20 (Tue) 14:35 [Link] »

How about we change it to "one nation, ACLU, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all?"

Grendel, 2005.09.20 (Tue) 15:46 [Link] »


"One nation, inderisible, with puberty and mustard for all."

Jeff from the Two Percent Company, 2005.09.20 (Tue) 15:56 [Link] »

"Inderisible"? With Bush in the White House?

Though I'm all for the mustard. Puberty has its ups and downs. No punsters, please.

Grendel, 2005.09.20 (Tue) 16:14 [Link] »

Name the president in history -just one -who wasn't worthy of derision. Fish in a barrel, that. Besides, it says 'one NATION, inderisable..', not 'one White House..' or 'one presidency...'.


S.T.R., 2005.09.20 (Tue) 16:37 [Link] »

man, i love mustard. sign me up for that country.

Jeff from the Two Percent Company, 2005.09.20 (Tue) 21:12 [Link] »

Hmm...a president who wasn't worthy of derision. That is a tough one, but I'd go with David Rice Atchison. He didn't start or lose any wars; unemployment, poverty, taxes and the national debt didn't budge an inch during his term; he didn't cause any foreign relations disasters; he wasn't involved in any scandals; and he didn't make any presidential promises that he later broke. Mostly, he just signed some papers and took a nap.

Of course, his term of office was only 24 hours (or less, depending on how you look at it). So he didn't have too much time to screw it up. But I'm sure someone derides President Dave for some reason — perhaps because of his extremely short stint in office. Hey, it's not the length of your term, it's how you use it that counts!

Grendel, 2005.09.21 (Wed) 17:39 [Link] »

David Rice Atchison??? Hah! I deride his silly middle name. Stupid president... rice is a grain!

I nominate Alexander ("I'm in charge here!") Haig.

Tom from the Two Percent Company, 2005.09.21 (Wed) 23:17 [Link] »
"to the republic of Richard Stands...."

Outstanding! It makes me feel a little better about thinking that the first stanza of the song "America" (a.k.a. "My Country 'Tis of Thee") ended with "Of the I.C." I always wondered what the heck the "I.C." stood for.

S.T.R., 2005.09.22 (Thu) 10:53 [Link] »

wait, what the heck does I.C. stand for?????

Nevermind, I clicked the link

I always though it was "I see" i.e. "Oh, I see"

Not nearly as good as Hi-C, I liked ecto cooler the best.

Grendel, 2005.09.22 (Thu) 12:28 [Link] »

Boston Cooler with a couple fingers of rum is good.

Grendel, 2005.09.23 (Fri) 16:27 [Link] »

But not with a couple fingers off a rummy.

D'oh! It won't post:

"In an effort to curb malicious comment posting by abusive users, I've enabled a feature that requires a weblog commenter to wait a short amount of time before being able to post again. Please try to post your comment again in a short while. Thanks for your patience."

"Come see the violence inherent in the system! Help! Help! I'm being repressed!"

Patty Deeds, 2005.11.14 (Mon) 23:28 [Link] »

I am sooo sick and tired of the MINORITY choosing to "Speak" for me by declaring how they have been discriminated against. THE MAJORITY of the Americans in the US choose GOD and have no problems what so ever with "In God We Trust" being on our nations money or in our Pledge. However as with every other bit of crap, politically incorrect, whiny, "I'm speaking up for the rights of everyone" crybabies in the world -- STOP speaking for me. I don't want God removed from money or the pledge or anything else. If you don't like it maybe you should leave and go to another one of the GOD forsaken contries in this world who hates the US. Yes you have a "GOD given" right to say what you think because you live in America BUT you do NOT have a right to tell me what I think or what the MAJORITY of American's think and believe and STOP trying to ruin my world by telling me what I can do and/or believe.

The Two Percent Company, 2005.11.15 (Tue) 00:51 [Link] »

Patty, you really haven't got a fucking clue, have you?

Clearly, we're not speaking for you, because you are a narrow-minded, intolerant moron intent on forcing your own beliefs down other people's throats.

We, on the other hand, are quite happy to let you believe whatever fucking inane bullshit you believe — we just don't want your bullshit shoved down our throats, or anyone else's.

So, it seems you've got your asinine "stop telling me what I can believe" diatribe aimed at the wrong people here, since it's you who seems to be interested in shoving your beliefs down everyone else's throats. If you removed your head from your own ass long enough to educate yourself, you'd know our true position on such issues, and you'd see the difference between your knee-jerk accusations and our actual views. On the off chance that you're too stupid to grasp this simple concept, we'll try another approach as well.

Here are some questions, Patty: is it your money? Is it meant to represent you, and the Christian majority to which you belong? Or is it legal tender available to all citizens, and representative of our capitalist and secular government? Is it your school system reciting the God-burdened pledge? Or is it a school system where every American parent should be free to send his or her child, free from any religious indoctrination? You see, as with most raving pedagogues, you seem to be laboring under the delusion that a democratic republic means "majority rules." But it doesn't work that way. The whole point of our system of government is to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority — to grant all people the same rights and protections under the law.

Excuse the extreme analogy, but the majority of Germans in the mid-Twentieth Century didn't seem to mind watching the Jews (and other "undesirables") herded off to death camps. Or let's hit a bit closer to where you live: the majority of Romans nearly two millennia ago were enthusiastic about throwing any and all Christians (and other "undesirables") into gladiatorial rings to face large and ferocious predators. Is that "majority rules" system sounding so brilliant to you now, or would you prefer it if everybody remains safe and sound under a benign, protective, egalitarian form of government? Formulate your answer carefully, Patty — just because you're in the majority now, it doesn't necessarily follow that you will be in twenty years.

For our part, we've made our choice — "majority rules" is not an acceptable form of government, whether we're in the majority or not. Does that make us better people than you? Well, along with so many other factors...yes, it does.

People like you are the real problem in this country. You're so convinced of the superiority of your own superhero fantasy belief system that you feel the need to shove it down everyone else's throats. Then when they complain, you tell them to move to another country. Guess what, bitch? We aren't going anywhere. We'll be right here fighting against you and your contingent of radical religious half-wits until one or all of us is dead. This is every bit as much our country as it is yours, and we're sick of people like you and your idiotic sense of fucking entitlement.

Now take your pea-brained, misguided, persecution-complex bitching and fuck off.

Anton Sherwood, 2005.12.19 (Mon) 22:02 [Link] »
They even had a nifty way of making sure that the white folks stayed in the majority � they made black folk equal to only 3/5 of a person.
I'm surprised to see this misconception propagated by such enlightened people. Slaves didn't have 3/5 of a vote, they had no vote at all.

The 3/5 rule applied only in the apportionment of Representatives (and "direct" taxes, which have never been levied). If the slavers had their way at the Convention of 1787, slaves would have been counted fully, not 3/5. It was the Northerners who wanted slaves counted for zero.

(Free blacks were counted fully, but I don't suppose they were encouraged to vote either.)

Anton Sherwood, 2005.12.19 (Mon) 23:06 [Link] »

When I was a wee lad, my problem with the Pledge wasn't the God bit (though I never was convinced of His noodly existence) but the allegiance part, and the implied self-delusion that whatever conditions prevail in this republic are in effect the definition of "liberty and justice".

The Two Percent Company, 2005.12.19 (Mon) 23:24 [Link] »

We, Anton, are not all that surprised that you managed to misrepresent a quote from us that you reprinted in your own comment. As you noted, what we said was:

They even had a nifty way of making sure that the white folks stayed in the majority — they made black folk equal to only 3/5 of a person.
[Our emphasis]

See the part that we bolded where we talked about how slaves were counted as 3/5 of a person? Good. See the part where we talked about how slaves had 3/5 of a vote? What, no? Hey, neither do we. You know why? Because we didn't say that. Of course slaves didn't get a vote. We're not even aware of any misconception, common or otherwise, that says that they did.

In brief, the South wanted to count their slaves as people in order to swell their population and gain more representation. They did this by counting them as 3/5 of a person while still not letting them vote. It stands to reason that the southern states would want to count their slaves at as high a number as possible, as long as it didn't entail giving them any actual power or influence. In the end, it was the aptly-named Three Fifths Compromise that set the number at — you guessed it — 3/5 of a person.

So, you can stop being surprised to see us propagating this misconception since, you know, we aren't.

Oh and regarding the pledge, we aren't huge fans of the secular bits either, but the "under God" part is clearly an endorsement of religion.

Anton Sherwood, 2005.12.19 (Mon) 23:48 [Link] »

Well I hope posterity will excuse the hell out of me for assuming that, in a paragraph about majority rule, an alleged trick to ensure that one faction remains in the minority would have something to do with voting. Fact remains, you did say, wrongly, that it was Southern Whites who reduced the representation of slaves to 3/5 -- really I don't hold that too much against you, it's such a common error -- and that this was in order to "make sure that the white folks stayed in the majority." And since it wasn't about voting (locally), what did you mean by that?

The Two Percent Company, 2005.12.20 (Tue) 15:37 [Link] »

Holy shit, Anton, seriously: you need to bone up on your reading comprehension! We are sick of explaining things to you over and over again, only to have you completely fail to understand what we're saying. This exchange is a perfect example of what we're talking about.

In our original post, we said of the southern slave owners:

They even had a nifty way of making sure that the white folks stayed in the majority — they made black folk equal to only 3/5 of a person.

You said:

I'm surprised to see this misconception propagated by such enlightened people. Slaves didn't have 3/5 of a vote, they had no vote at all.

We corrected your misrepresentation of our words by saying:

See the part that we bolded where we talked about how slaves were counted as 3/5 of a person? Good. See the part where we talked about how slaves had 3/5 of a vote? What, no? Hey, neither do we. You know why? Because we didn't say that. Of course slaves didn't get a vote. We're not even aware of any misconception, common or otherwise, that says that they did.

In brief, the South wanted to count their slaves as people in order to swell their population and gain more representation. They did this by counting them as 3/5 of a person while still not letting them vote. It stands to reason that the southern states would want to count their slaves at as high a number as possible, as long as it didn't entail giving them any actual power or influence. In the end, it was the aptly-named Three Fifths Compromise that set the number at — you guessed it — 3/5 of a person.

Now you've come back with more statements that show that you are either unwilling or unable to grasp what we've said several times. Your response:

Fact remains, you did say, wrongly, that it was Southern Whites who reduced the representation of slaves to 3/5 — really I don't hold that too much against you, it's such a common error — and that this was in order to "make sure that the white folks stayed in the majority."

No, Anton, we did not say that wrongly. How many fucking times do we have to go through this same conversation with you? Who the fuck do you think was the impetus behind the push by the southern states to count the slaves as part of a person? The slaves? It was the white slave owners, Anton.

Incredibly (since we've covered this point pretty thoroughly already) you go on to ask:

And since it wasn't about voting (locally), what did you mean by that?

Seriously, if you're this dense, you need to leave. We just said above that "the South wanted to count their slaves as people in order to swell their population and gain more representation." What is unclear about that? By representing a higher population without giving the slaves the right to vote, they were able to secure more representation in the House of Representatives and the Electoral College. Are you really this stupid, or are you just acting like a moron?

We aren't going to answer this question again. So, if you ask it, we'll remove your comment to our Urinal where you can shout into the void for as long as you want. That goes for any of your questions that we've already answered on other posts as well. Wake up, or fuck off — we have no more time to waste continually answering questions from you that we've answered already.

Anton Sherwood, 2005.12.20 (Tue) 23:20 [Link] »

[Editor's Note: Anton's comments now live in the Urinal since he kept asking the same questions and making the same errors over and over, even after we asked him to please stop. If you want to keep up with his zany antics, you may do so there.]

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