Published On: Mon, Feb 27th, 2012

Freedom from religion

I have been reading with interest, the stories regarding several city and county governments that have reacted to the threat of praying at certain meetings. Most think and also claim publicly that they don’t think anyone would complain locally. The reason this is of interest to me is the fact that I moved from here in August 2010, to a small town in southern Spartanburg County, SC. and the City Council there faced a challenge by someone locally who was fronted by the Freedom From Religion Foundation. This Godless entity resides in Madison, WS, and is nothing more than a mother-daughter team of busy-bodies who appear to hate all things, Christian.

I’m writing this in order that the local government here will be forewarned and prepared to take on these people. Do not succumb to them, because they wage a fairly dim argument, based pretty much on the separation of church and state. As I’ve said before, I’m all for that. Get the state out of it. There is this lady, Annie Laurie Gaynor, who is an avowed atheist and boasts of her household as being happily God-free. I cannot help but feel pity for her and her family. All her free thought jargon proves nothing, except that her life is terribly empty. Why would someone who denies the existence of God, expend so much time, energy, and money, fighting something that she all but swears isn’t there? How’s that for free thought?

Below, I will share a couple of articles that I wrote back in August 2010 when this woman and her cohorts dared to complain in this little town. However, the Mayor and City Council decided that Gaynor and company could forget about it, as they continue to carry on as they always have.

Let’s talk about freedom from religion
August 9, 2010

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has its sights set on Woodruff, SC because some anonymous somebody is offended by prayer at a City Council meeting, and also offended by the City Seal. I’ve yet to find an amendment that gives one the right not to be offended. Also, I’ve never read anything there about this “separation of church and state”, nor “freedom from religion”. It seems to me that God was invoked by our founding fathers, as our currency so states that In God We Trust. It doesn’t say In Man We Trust, or in Allah We Trust, or In Buddha We Trust, or even in Government We Trust. Now, why is that?

Let’s look at that First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

The decision to have a prayer at a City Council Meeting doesn’t mean there is a law to establish a religion, based on prayer. It’s merely the outward manifestation of free speech. No religion has ever been founded upon a single prayer, and neither was Christianity. If you want to stick to this separation of church and state thing, then how do you respond to this:

Hillary Clinton, Presidential Candidate speaking in a Black church

It’s okay to campaign in a church, but you can’t pray in a town meeting? Pot, meet kettle. Freedom From Religion Foundation, I urge you to keep at it, because we here in our little town will stay on your keister like a wet diaper. I would urge you to read what the constitution states, rather than what it does not state. It’s sort of like what former President Bill Clinton tried to do with the “it’s according to what is, is”. Well, just for the fun of it, allow me to close with this:

Regarding the constitution, “it is what it is”. Smoke yourself some of that, and get back to me. And about all that clamoring about separation of church and state…I’m for it…get the state out of it!

Annie Laurie Gaylor: Misguided meandering
August 22, 2010

After having read the article in the Spartanburg Herald regarding the prayer policy of the County Council, I found the rhetoric spewed by Freedom From Religion Foundation co-founder and co-president, Annie Laurie Gaylor to be almost amusing, if it weren’t so pathetic.

Below is a brief look at some of the outlandish comments and proposals tossed out by Gaylor, and in bold italics, is my reply to her comments:

Spartanburg County Council to set prayer policy

Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, said Spartanburg County’s new policy doesn’t address the problem. Gaylor said religion should not be a part of government at all.

Prayer is not religion. And it is not a part of the government. It’s part of everyday life, a way of life, as well as part of one’s upbringing.

You’re not supposed to have voted over a matter of conscience. The majority does not rule in matters of religion. That’s the biggest misconception our group faces,” she said.

Not supposed to have voted over a matter of conscience? Could you please tell me about your conscience regarding this matter? Well, so much for Congress voting on health care, social security, going to war, pay raises, etc., as all are a matter of conscience. No, the biggest misconception here is that you think you should get to decide for us.

“To single out one minister increases the danger of appearing to prefer one minister or denomination over another. The government isn’t supposed to pick and choose who is the best minister. That puts the government’s power and prestige behind a particular minister. I don’t know why they’d want to do that. And if you have a bunch of people clamoring for the position … that’s absurd.”

“Clamoring for the position”… oh please. And you have proof of that, I suppose?

The council’s new policy states it will elect a new chaplain “once a year or from time to time … ”

It also states, “No person who delivers an invocation at the opening of the County Council meetings shall exploit the opportunity so as to proselytize or advance any one faith or disparage any other faith or belief.”

Gaylor said the new policy “compounds the violation, rather than correcting it.” “Say this minister keeps his remarks ‘non-sectarian,’ ” she said. “He’s still introduced. And it looks like he has a role in government. I think it’s a very bad idea.”

It matters not how it looks, as the law is not applied according to how it looks. You are grasping at straws, and your straw man is unable to stand alone. Again, we do not care what you think. Move here, pay taxes, be an asset to the community, and then you may have a legitimate say in these matters. You take care of your back yard and we’ll take care of ours.

Now, having read that Annie Laurie Gaynor is an avowed atheist, and boasts of her household as being happily God-free, I cannot help but feel pity for her and her family. All her free thought jargon proves nothing, except that her life is terribly empty. Why would someone who denies the existence of God, expend so much time, energy, and money, fighting something that she all but swears isn’t there? How’s that for free thought? Wouldn’t that be akin to someone who doesn’t believe in ghosts to enlist the services of ghostbusters to rid their home of those same ghosts that they say do not exist?

Gaylor and her mom have been fighting this battle for years, from Mom’s home in Madison, Ws. How poetic that Madison, named after one of our founding fathers, former President James Madison, who once “defended Baptist preachers arrested for preaching without a license from the established Anglican Church. In addition, he worked with the preacher Elijah Craig on constitutional guarantees for religious liberty in Virginia.[10] Working on such cases helped form his ideas about religious freedom. Madison served in the Virginia state legislature (1776–79) and became known as a protégé of Thomas Jefferson. He attained prominence in Virginia politics, helping to draft the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. It disestablished the Church of England and disclaimed any power of state compulsion in religious matters. He excluded Patrick Henry’s plan to compel citizens to pay for a congregation of their own choice.” [ref: above link from Wikipedia]

You can read here of another pet cause of hers to abolish the National Day of Prayer. It seems to me, she and her ilk tend to assume that little towns such as ours are too dumb and folksy to understand what she’s trying to accomplish. Maybe she even thinks we all get our news via our old black and white TVs hooked up to rabbit ears, and they can run roughshod over us bumpkins. I seriously pray that’s what she thinks. If so, she’s in for a rude awakening.

Welcome to the buckle of the Bible Belt, Ms. Gaylor. Take care, Ya hear!

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