Scrutinizing the Value of Charlie Butts

Charlie Butts

Dilbert (left) and Charlie Butts

There is none. Next question!

Actually, the above title came to me while reading his latest column at OneNeuronNow, “Scrutinizing the Value of Public Prayer”. Apparently Mr. Butts just sits as his desk waiting for press releases by fundie groups and then refashions them into “articles”. Pretty sweet gig. Most people can’t get away with doing no actual work while at work. Charlie Butts is the Wally of OneNeuronNow. He must spend seven and a half hours a day roaming the halls of ONN, carrying his coffee cup. He probably doesn’t even try to look busy. Then at 4:45, he goes back to his desk, checks his email, and then refashions one of them into an article.

In an ironic twist, I will now expend more work shredding his article, than he expended to write it.

A Virginia school board is deciding whether mentioning Jesus is okay in prayers at the beginning of meetings.

No, it’s not.

I could quit now and still be ahead of Charlie in productivity for the day. But I want to outperform Charlie’s entire week’s output, so I’ll keep going.

Because of objections from one citizen, the Stafford County School Board is now conducting a moment of silence.

Oh, the tyranny of the minority! What is an evil non-Christian doing in God-loving Stafford County?

Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel understands the situation, but believes something can be done.

Mat Staver also believes that the First Amendment actually says “Congress shall make a law respecting an establishment of religion…”

“The situation at the Stafford County School Board illustrates how things happen even without a court battle — where essentially sometimes these government officials give in because of one person objecting, or perhaps the ACLU sending a bogus letter…”

No, I’m pretty sure the ACLU sends out actual letters. I’ve seen them. They’re printed on real paper and everything!

“…with smoke and mirrors rather than based on the actual law,” he notes.

This one has me stumped. There is so little actual information in Charlie Butts’ article that I can’t discern what Mat is truly arguing here. Apparently, he’s saying that you only have to look at the legal code to find out what’s permissible. He’s completely ignoring the effects of case law. Mat’s a lawyer, so I doubt he’s that ignorant. I know fundies hate the so-called “activist judges” (you know, the ones who have actually read the Constitution), but just because they hate a decision doesn’t mean they can ignore it. Is Mat truly that reckless that he’s recommending this? There’s a saying that free advice is worth what you pay for it. In this case, it’s worth less than that. Any school board following Mat’s advice is likely to end up with some steep legal fees and fines.

Liberty Counsel provides education in situations like this…

Sounds more like miseducation to me.

…and when necessary, free legal assistance.

Do they also pay all of the fines when you lose?

“Obviously we want to make sure that they understand what the law is…”

That way there will be somebody in the room who does.

“…and the law is very clear that you can have these prayers either before school board meetings or before other council meetings or before legislative gatherings,” Staver adds.

Really, Mat? Please tell me where it says that! And I mean a law that has been tested in court, not one of your legal landmines that’s just waiting for some school board (operating under bad legal advice) to step on.

“That has been the long history and tradition of our country from the very beginning.”

Along with our long history and traditions of slavery and prohibiting women from voting.

Liberty Counsel is contacting Stafford officials to offer assistance.

Run! Run away! Save yourselves and your taxpayers!

14 Responses to “Scrutinizing the Value of Charlie Butts”

  1. Sarah Trachtenberg Says:

    My mom is Jewish and she remembers when she was in public school in the 1950’s and had to say the Lord’s Prayer in class. Wow!
    Not My God

  2. Brian Says:

    I just love Christian hypocrisy. If they’re not gnashing their teeth or sending out e-mail alerts to the sheep whenever someone dares to do anything that runs counter to their fantasy of a “Christian nation”, they’re screaming about being a poor, persecuted minority that never get its way about anything. Well, boo-fucking-hoo! I can’t wait until Christianity is an actual minority in America, and I fervently hope I live long enough to see that day.

    OK, I feel better now.

  3. FSM_Ed Says:

    Another good article, thanks BOF! I agree with Brian, I’m tired of having their idiotic unfounded beliefs shoved in my face all the time. Venting occasionally helps.

  4. dvsrat Says:

    And where would we be without Liberty Counsel? The hinge-pin of our culture. The great pioneers who are dedicated to preserving the land of our forefathers.

    The great Liberty Counsel!!

    Hip, hip hooray!!!

  5. Michael Nietzsche Says:

    Geebus can kiss my big black ass!!!!! Let that be the very first thing he does when their IMAGINARY ‘ghourd’ NEVER comes back!

  6. Lindsay Says:

    I’ve never understood the function of prayer before or after meetings. Is it a call for guidance? It just comes across as an empty action more for show than for anything else.

  7. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Lindsay – that is exactly what it is. It’s a ritual used to find the like-minded individuals in the room and to assert that their god has a much, much bigger dick than everybody else’s god.

  8. Brian Says:

    I know someone who, at the first sign of any misfortune, contacts her church’s “prayer circle” to activate it, kind of like a celestial SWAT team on high alert. It conjures up images of prudish church women sliding down fireman poles, alarms blaring, going “Hut! Hut! Hut! Hut!” Its both really sad and highly amusing at the same time.

    What I find most fascinating about her, and her fellow believers, is that they invest so heavily, emotionally and psychologically, in the idea of prayer without having any idea how fundamentally flawed the entire concept is. Do they really think that the God they believe in is not only all-knowing (which obviates the need to pray, one would think) and furthermore has a plan for everyone and everything (again, what’s the point of praying?) but might be willing to bend his own rules just so some wanker in the Bible Belt can get rid of his headache?

    They pray for healing, especially when someone is gravely ill, which I can fully understand as a human emotional response. That’s fine, but its completely at odds with Christian theology. Either the patient will recover or he won’t. If he doesn’t, the “its God’s plan” excuse is trotted out. If he does it ceases to be part of God’s plan, as if these clowns would have any idea what that is, and instead is hailed as a miracle only obtainable through praying hard enough. God can’t lose with these people.

    Of course, they’re only one rational thought away from having it all crash down around them, which makes the whole silly notion of prayer even more ridiculous. I wonder if they realize that?

  9. Parrotlover77 Says:

    I have relatives that not only activate the prayer circle (or prayer list, as they call it) as you just mentioned, but also track “praises” (basically, the person got better, so praise god). I would absolutely love to compare those two lists…

    Also, these prayer lists have some sort of international network. In some special cases (not sure how the factor is determined), your name could end up being prayed for world-wide due to some sort of prayer list network. I have never inquired how that works — I honestly am afraid to ask about the details. lol.

  10. Brian Says:

    I’ve never heard of tracking praises. I guess I’m not surprised that they engage in this type of delusional reinforcement. Leave it to Christians to take something stupid and make it even worse.

  11. Parrotlover77 Says:

    It’s an interesting experience. In the Sunday School circle, they sit around and say “any updates?” and then people will say so-and-so is out of intensive care and you’ll hear somebody else then say “that’s a praise!” and the secretary of the meeting will scurry and write down the great miracle of god! Late on, of course, even if that person dies, the praise is not erased. Because, you know, it was god’s plan and all.

  12. Brian Says:

    These people must have extraordinarily low self-esteem issues if they’re so damned eager to bow subserviently in worship like this. I guess this is why they list pride as one of the deadly sins.

    I find it hard to imagine another activity at which reason is so effectively ass-raped by the participants. I have a pretty good mental image in my head of what you describe. It does remind me of audience members who are listening to their scam arti….I mean, Pastor give the sermon complete with scriptural references, and they are taking notes, like its Anatomy 101 or something. What, is it going to be on the final?!

  13. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Yea… Southern Baptists. What can I say?

    I’ve seen prayer circles/lists in even more liberal churches, but the “praises” part seems to be, so far, unique to Southern Baptists.

    That should really come as no surprise.

    As for the note taking… I’ve seen that too. I still clearly remember being told with authority by my fundie relatives that their pastor clearly told them that the scripture says only 5000 Jews will be allowed into heaven. And only that many because they are god’s chosen people. Well, shit. If that’s how he treats his friends…

  14. Jeff Eyges Says:

    Yeah, seriously. With friends like that…