Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Yikes!


Eric Zorn at the Chicago Tribune brings us this sorry news:
Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago) interrupted atheist activist Rob Sherman during his testimony Wednesday afternoon before the House State Government Administration Committee in Springfield and told him, "What you have to spew and spread is extremely dangerous . . . it's dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists!

"This is the Land of Lincoln where people believe in God," Davis said. "Get out of that seat . . . You have no right to be here! We believe in something. You believe in destroying! You believe in destroying what this state was built upon."

Apparently it's still open season on some views of God.
[Emphasis mine]

Who is this ignorant, fear-driven theofascist and how on earth did she get elected?

Sigh. Don't answer that. America has no shortage of ignorant, fear-driven theofascists.

The Constitution makes it clear that there shall be no religious test for federal office. I quite agree with the wisdom of that, though I doubt State Representative Davis would.

I do fantasize about testing for willful ignorance, however.

I mean, the woman almost makes Bush look good though an average bag of rocks would outstrip them both.

To me it appears that electing people several evolutionary leaps short of a lizard brain is dangerous for our children.

I might have phrased this post more charitably but I was too appalled when I read this to feel like switching into "nice" mode.

The whole thing is stunningly awful. I highlighted a phrase that carries strong memories for me. It was a moment in my life when I had an overwhelming sense of being in a state of mortal sin. It involved an indignant woman telling me I had no right to park my car in a shared driveway while unloading groceries. I could have easily gotten out of her way if she had backed up to allow me egress. She would not budge. This involved my having to do extensive maneuvers that involved more time and effort than the whole thing merited, especially since she had a reserved parking space and I, when all this was done, had to park on the street in a neighborhood where parking was scarce. What had hit me at multiple levels, many of them subconscious, was the repeated "You have no right to be here!"

It was a primal threat to my existence and my validity as part of the universe, as a creature of God, as a human being. That sort of shit cuts very deep.

I very much wanted to shift into reverse, slam my foot down on the accelerator, race backwards, and impale her on her steering column--not mortally but guaranteeing years of agony. That is literally what I fantasized with no exaggeration. Which is to say, I was pissed.

I told you I was in a state of mortal sin.

Second best would have been to say that until she moved, I wasn't going to, a position I held out for during about ten minutes of raised voices (and, in retrospect, I would do that now until her personal hell froze over--compromise does involve both parties giving).

But, ultimately, I complied with her demeaning position, and hated myself and her.

You could see the black cloud of emotion hanging over me from a mile off.

I saw a friend shortly thereafter, a priest who came to join me for an evening of theatre. He came in the door and I made him hear my confession before he could get his gin and tonic.

Perhaps this episode explains why I am disinclined to make nice with Representative Davis. Her comments are an insult to every sentient being and a travesty of American history.

I really want to say that she should not be allowed outdoors without a muzzle but that violates my own belief system. So I will settle with a phrase of my mother's: "How can anyone be so stupid and live?"

[By including her name in the tags for this post I have highly raised the chance that people googling her name will run across what I have to say here. I would like her to ponder what it means to tell someone they have no right to be here. It is an incredibly ugly and hateful thing to say. If an atheist is that terrifying for her, I suggest she switch to a bigger God--maybe even the one Jesus prayed to.]


h/t to John Amato at Crooks and Liars

For our Enemies

O God, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth; deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty, and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Update:
To be marginally more fair to Rep. Davis, Wikipedia provides what seems a fuller transcript. It still pushes my buttons and I am remain appalled, but there is more context for her comments.
The Chicago tribune reported on 3rd April 2008 that Representative Davis interrupted atheist activist Rob Sherman during his testimony Wednesday afternoon before the House State Government Administration Committee in Springfield:
Davis: I don’t know what you have against God, but some of us don’t have much against him. We look forward to him and his blessings. And it’s really a tragedy -- it’s tragic -- when a person who is engaged in anything related to God, they want to fight. They want to fight prayer in school. I don’t see you (Sherman) fighting guns in school. You know? I’m trying to understand the philosophy that you want to spread in the state of Illinois. This is the Land of Lincoln. This is the Land of Lincoln where people believe in God, where people believe in protecting their children.… What you have to spew and spread is extremely dangerous, it’s dangerous--

Sherman: What’s dangerous, ma’am?

Davis: It’s dangerous to the progression of this state. And it’s dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists! Now you will go to court to fight kids to have the opportunity to be quiet for a minute. But damn if you’ll go to [court] to fight for them to keep guns out of their hands. I am fed up! Get out of that seat!

Sherman: Thank you for sharing your perspective with me, and I’m sure that if this matter does go to court---

Davis: You have no right to be here! We believe in something. You believe in destroying! You believe in destroying what this state was built upon.
UPDATE:
A constituent wrote a great letter (read it here).
-the BB

2 comments:

FranIAm said...

Theofascism, I like that. Well I don't - I like what the term covers. It is better than saying unkind things.

Paul, what a story you have told about yourself and what happened to you. Wow.

How often we are told that we have no right to be here. How screwed up is that?

As for the exchange, thy cry between those who believe and those who do not is always defined at the damn extremes.

This has been a real struggle of sorts on my own blog. I often go to the blogs of those in my circle and read the hateful things... if I were to distill it down, it would be that any of us who do believe are delusional and that a result, we are dangerous and that if there were no religion, the world would be a better place.

Deep sigh.

That is about as accurate as us all accepting Jesus Christ as our personal savior and being raptured away in purity and bliss.

Deeper sigh.

Sorry for the extended rant there. I may need to write about this.

Thanks always for your thought provoking posts.

Kirstin said...

Yeesh. For you, and about her. Yikes.