Judge Talmadge Littlejohn is a moron

Everyone with any knowledge of history and any bit of rationality knows a government entity cannot require individuals to say the Pledge of Allegiance. This might lead one to believe a judge, of all people, would never be genuinely dumb enough to require a courtroom full of people to recite it. But that’s a faulty lead when Talmadge Littlejohn is involved.

The furor began Wednesday when an attorney with a reputation for fighting free speech battles stayed silent as everyone else recited the patriotic oath. The lawyer was jailed.

A day later, Judge Talmadge Littlejohn continued to ask those in his courtroom to say the pledge.

Attorney Danny Lampley spent about five hours behind bars before Littlejohn set him free so that the lawyer could work on another case. Lampley told The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal he respected the judge but wasn’t going to back down.

“I don’t have to say it because I’m an American,” Lampley told the newspaper.

Littlejohn clearly needs to face some disciplinary action for this. It would also help if he apologized to Lampley. It’s hard to believe he doesn’t know he’s in the wrong. I’m sure he thinks what he did was morally right – because the religious often have screwy morals – but how he might think he can do what he did? It’s nuts.

Of course, with others it’s abundantly clear they don’t really know what they’re talking about.

“I thought he was a disgrace to the United States,” Bobby Martin, a 43-year-old self-employed maintenance worker, said of Lampley. “If he can’t say that in front of a judge, he don’t deserve to be here” in this country.

Ayuh, he ain’t not don’t deserve to be no dang lawyerin’ fella in front of no judge! It ain’t right!

Oh, the silliness of nationalism, huh?

Jesus Christ, Jack

In taking his break from getting his cues from FTSOS, Jack Hudson has ventured, once again, into a land he does not understand.

In recent years there has been an increasing antagonism to public displays of religious faith. Whether it concerns the those national symbols which historically refer to our inherited religious beliefs as in the Pledge of Allegiance or the National Anthem, or whether dealing with more explicit religious expressions, as in prayers offered at public events, the opposition to such expressions has grown if not in numbers, certainly in volume.

As every person with any bit of knowledge of history knows, pledge references to God were added in 1954. They have nothing to do with any historical references (not that that would necessarily even matter), but were instead a reflection of a growing paranoia over Communism and a misunderstanding of what atheism actually is. (Pss, it’s about the moral equivalent of not collecting stamps as a hobby – and just as dangerous.) Moving beyond the crackpot claim that one can somehow “inherit” religious beliefs, it’s unclear what sort of antagonism the Star-Spangled Banner has faced in recent times. The last thing I can recall dates a couple of years back when a few people decided to come up with a Spanish rendition, enraging a bunch of Fox Noise employees rednecks.

In the recent past such conflicts usually occurred as the result of what was perceived to be the direct imposition of religious belief on unwilling participants by the state via of the Federal or state government agencies. For this reason the Establishment Clause, that portion of the 1st Amendment which is understood to prevent the government from becoming excessively entangled in religious matters, is understood to be violated when publicly funded educational institutions express in any manner religious sentiments via a state agent like a teacher or curriculum.

Wtf. No. That clause prevents the government from endorsing and/or giving preference to particular religions. Given the fact that the Supreme Court has ruled that atheism is due the same protections (and restrictions) as religion, it is a violation of the First Amendment when any religion is given favor. In other words, not only is the First Amendment not to be construed in the narrow way Jack would prefer, but it has recently been expanded in a definitive direction.

Jack then goes on to cite an instance where a senior citizen center has stopped offering public prayers before meals. The reason has to do with the partial federal funding the center receives for many of the meals it provides. It isn’t at all surprising that a number of people interpret the lack of public prayer as someone telling them to not pray at all. I mean, god damn it. That’s just stupid. No one is saying “SHUT THE FUCK UP! EVERYONE STOP PRAYING!” No. They’re saying, “We aren’t going to lead any prayer as an organization because we may be acting as too much of an extension of the federal government.” It’s unclear just how the legal situation will shake out in this instance, but the position really isn’t unreasonable. But does that stop Jack? Heck no!

…collectively the state acts mindlessly in accordance with the rules and regulations it is given, not in accordance with cultural realities, or traditions, or personal sensitivities. The state is no respecter of individuals, and it’s activities reduce every situation down to the lowest common denominator – in the case of religious liberty, this lowest denominator is always state imposed secularism.

Ah, the ol’ “We’re a Christian nation!” line of thought. It doesn’t matter. The U.S. is set up to be secular and not endorse any religion. It only imposes neutrality (something to which it does not adhere nearly enough). Now, if there was a National Day of Godlessness, it absolutely would be imposing secularism, but the fact that the government says “Pray on your own dime” does not somehow mean “SHUT THE FUCK UP! EVERYONE STOP PRAYING!”

As the state intrudes itself financially into virtually every aspect of our lives – our education, our medical needs, taking care of us in our retirement, etc – it gains the power (or claims to) to dictate to us the manner and degree of expression of our respective faiths. Whether it is limiting personal prayers shared between individuals, or, as in the example above, corporate prayers shared at a meal, the growth of government as our caretaker inevitably entails the imposition of secular restrictions on our lives.

Nope. Dead wrong, you mook. The government will not pay for you to pray. It will not pay to have others encourage you to pray. It is not an extension of your church (I mean, how could it be? It’s actually honest about wanting your money for its own personal use). Oh, and that article Jack cites? It is about a college student and professor who prayed together. Gasp! you proclaim! Why, it must have ended in the limitation of “personal prayers shared between individuals”, you declare! Why else would Jack have cited it?!

In the settlement, announced this week, the four-campus Peralta Community College District recognized the right to “non-disruptively pray on campus.” The district also agreed to remove all records of disciplinary action against the students and pay their attorneys’ fees, said Kevin Snider, a lawyer with the Pacific Justice Institute, which represented the students.

Students still won’t be allowed to lead organized prayers in class, but can pray in other campus locations “to the same extent that they may engage in any other free speech,” Snider said.

“This was a case of voluntary prayer between consenting adults,” the attorney said.

Oh, that’s right. Creationists will always lie for Jesus.