American Taliban Calls Kettle Black

taliban

If any group of people in American society deserves to be compared to the Taliban, it would have to be the fundies. After all, both groups are religious extremists who advocate the overthrow of secular law and an imposition of strict Biblical law.

One of the groups vying for the honor of top Taliban is Donald Wildmon’s American Family Association. While Donald Wildmon is slowly dying in the hospital, his son Tim has taken over the family hate duties. He sent me an email yesterday. He is trying to whip his supporters into a frothing fundie frenzy over a Michigan town finally realizing that maybe they were unconstitutionally promoting a specific religion. Let’s have a look:

First Battle of the 2009 Christmas Culture War is here

A non-existent war existing only in the minds of the American Fundie Association for the sole purpose of getting their followers riled enough to whip out their checkbooks.

Ask the Macomb County Road Commission to rescind their order removing a privately maintained Nativity scene set at the crossroads of the city. The Christmas culture wars for 2009 have begun and ground zero is the Detroit suburb of Warren, which for 63 years has hosted a privately maintained Nativity scene set at the crossroads of the city.

It doesn’t matter whether the display is privately maintained or city funded. It’s on city land, which makes it a city endorsement of one specific religion. The only way the city of Warren could keep the nativity scene is to also open up that land for displays by other religious groups. The last time a city tried that, the fundies threw a fit and vandalized the other displays.

The Road Commission informed Satawa of its decision upon receiving a letter in December 2008 from the Freedom from Religion Foundation, which purported to act on behalf of a complainant in the city of 134,000 residents, saying the display violated the Constitution.

“Purported” to act. That’s because in culturally diverse modern America, there couldn’t possibly be a non-Christian living in a city of 134,000.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the [Thomas Moore] Law Center, said that militant atheists attempt to do through the courts what the Taliban by force had done to Afghanistan: remove all the symbols of the country’s national heritage.

You read that right. The American Taliban is accusing someone else of being the Taliban.

13 Responses to “American Taliban Calls Kettle Black”

  1. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Yea that is a stretch, even by low fundie standards. An atheist is more like a religious extremist because they are trying to prevent government religious endorsement; while the religious extremist’s entire raison d’être is to get a theocratic government.

    That is really rich. And by rich, I mean retarded.

  2. thoughtcounts Z Says:

    “Purported” to act. That’s because in culturally diverse modern America, there couldn’t possibly be a non-Christian living in a city of 134,000.

    …or a Christian who values the idea of separation of church and state. No, impossible!

  3. gustavolk-swagen Says:

    My guess will be that Americans United are going to have a field day with this one. If only Colbert or Stewart would pick it up…

  4. Arkonbey Says:

    The over-reaction to the “War on Christmas” is utterly insipid, even ignoring the big part the Christianity still plays in our culture.

    On the other hand, ordering the nativity display taken down actually looks like the ‘War on Christmas’ the conservative loundmouths gripe about.

    We need to pick our battles.

    Ten Commandments on permanent display in a courthouse? That’s incredibly dangerous, get rid of it immediately.

    A privately-funded, very temporary religious display erected at a crossroads? Meh. I might shake my head at the credulity of the whole thing, but I would not be offended by it.

  5. The Runaway Lawyer Says:

    I wish religious folks like this would put their seemingly unending energies into actually bringing some positive change to the world. Just think about what could be accomplished if they would put their enthusiasm into feeding the homeless or teaching people to read instead of fretting over whether retil workers wish them “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas.” WWJD, indeed. Bleh.

  6. CybrgnX Says:

    It would be amazing if Xtians as a hole weren’t so g0d damned ignorant. 25Dec – birth of the sun g0d – evergreen – parties – gifts ALL STOLEN by the Xtians from us pagans. All to sell-a-brate on the WRONG day the birth of a myth! Then they get all pissy about someone not liking the government to support the religious part. They are NO BETTER then the other taliban!!!!

  7. OtherRob Says:

    I think I’m with Arkonbey on this one. I’m not familiar with the crossroads in question or the nature of the nativity scene, but I think I’d let this one go, particularly if it’s been going on for 63 years.

    Yes, if it’s on public land, it’s a violation of the Constitution, but I think it’s probably a pick-your-battles kinda thing to just let it go.

  8. Ron Britton Says:

    OtherRob:

    I agree that we should pick our battles and this one seems low on the list. However, I think that it’s vital that complaints be lodged against it. Last year, the Supreme Court had several wishy-washy separation rulings. In one case, they said that a city endorsement of religion was constitutional, because nobody had complained about it in all these years. So now we have precedent by the Supreme Court that some government establishment of religion is OK. Should we let them narrow the First Amendment some more by allowing more places to go unchallenged? If the standard is that no one complained, then it’s time to complain about them all, so none slide by on that loophole.

  9. OtherRob Says:

    Wow, the Supreme Court actually said that a gov’t endorsement of religion was constitutional because no one had complained? That’s just wrong — the idea, I mean, not your reporting of the fact. Was it part of an actual ruling? Or was it just something one of the justices said during arguments?

    If that is, indeed, the new standard, then I agree that it needs to be challenged.

  10. Ron Britton Says:

    OtherRob:

    Wow, the Supreme Court actually said that a gov’t endorsement of religion was constitutional because no one had complained?

    My recollection was that it was a religious phrase or symbol on government property that had been there for decades and nobody complained until recently. This was an actual Supreme Court decision that came out in 2007 or 2008. It got a lot of coverage in the press. It was one of two or three decisions that the court announced on the same day. Each decision went a different way, which is one reason it got so much coverage.

    I can’t find a reference to it now, because if you search on “separation of church and state” you get a zillion hits. I’m not a lawyer, so I don’t know how to do an efficient search on court decisions.

    Over at Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, I did find a court decision from 1986 that seems relevant to the specific case I mentioned in the article. The AU summary says:

    Bd. of Trs. v. McCreary

    The Court affirmed, without opinion, a lower court decision that held that the village park was a traditional public forum, and therefore, permitting the display of a creche during the Christmas holiday season at virtually no expense to it was not a violation of the Establishment Clause.

  11. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Teh Google told me that this might be what you are looking for:
    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2005/jul2005/tenc-j06.shtml

    (Search terms were “supreme court church and state” and it was like the forth or fifth match.)

    I don’t see anything about complaints or lack thereof (but I just skimmed – short attention span right now), so maybe it’s not what you are mentioning. Interestingly, no opinion spoke for the majority of justices, so apparently that means it doesn’t set precedent. Weird! I did not know that.

  12. Ron Britton Says:

    That might be it, but it’s from 2005. I thought it was more recent than that.

  13. Parrotlover77 Says:

    There may very well be a newer one. The court is definitely in its most “activist” mode it has been in a very long time. Sort of ironic. Both us and fundies are complaining about “activism” in the court, but I suppose I’m using the term more literally, whereas activist to a fundie just means “a decision I don’t like.”