Video: O’Reilly and Megyn Kelly yell at each other over atheism; Update: Atheist sign stolen from Capitol; Update: Sign found

posted at 1:17 pm on December 5, 2008 by Allahpundit

Surprise fireworks as FNC’s most combative anchor tries to explain the First Amendment to its most combative commentator. Good luck, Megyn!

My knowledge of FA jurisprudence is rusty, but isn’t the crucial distinction between the atheism case and O’Reilly’s MLK/KKK hypothetical the fact that one of them touches on religion and the other doesn’t? The Establishment Clause prevents the state from endorsing religion over no religion, but there’s nothing in the Free Speech Clause preventing it from endorsing one non-religious viewpoint over another. The fact that MLK Day is a federal holiday doesn’t mean we have to have Klan Day, for example. (Although good luck applying that reasoning to Christmas.) In other words, whereas the religion clauses set a certain baseline which the state in theory can’t diminish or exceed for any group, the baseline set by the FSC operates only as a floor, not a ceiling. Everyone has a right to protest on public grounds, no one has a right to have an exhibit devoted to their own little pet cause installed in the rotunda of the state Capitol. Or so I understand it. Exit question: If Kelly’s so worried about the state dictating which viewpoints are and aren’t appropriate, why does she seem okay-ish with the “fighting words” doctrine, which lets it criminalize certain types of speech that make people really, really angry? If atheists hold a rally and Christians show up to chant that they’re going to burn in hell, are those “fighting words”? They are in my neighborhood, bro! (But wouldn’t be in court.)

Link: Or kelly

Update: Tolerance.

The sign, which celebrated the winter solstice, had some residents and Christian organizations calling atheists Scrooges because they said it was attacking the celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth…

The incident will not stifle the group’s message, Gaylor said, adding that a temporary sign with the same message would be placed in the building’s Rotunda. Gaylor said a note would be attached saying, “Thou shalt not steal.”

“I guess they don’t follow their own commandments,” Gaylor said. “There’s nothing out there with the atheist point of view, and now there is such a firestorm that we have the audacity to exist. And then [whoever took the sign] stifles our speech.”

Update: The sign’s resurfaced at a radio station in Seattle after someone showed up and dropped it off. Smells like an inside job:

State Patrol Sgt. Ted DeHart said the billboard was still on display Thursday evening when the Capitol rotunda building was shut down.

“We have troopers responding to the scene to actually take a look around,” he said.

DeHart said there would be no way someone not authorized to be inside could get in the building after it’s closed at 6 p.m.


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Are you being deliberately obtuse or do you really fail to see a difference between a positive display of faith and a plaque full of insults? I would look just as poorly on a display reading something along the lines of:

wdomburg on December 5, 2008 at 5:39 PM

I’m not being obtuse, I’m being objective. Personally, I like the tree and always will. However, it’s an expression of faith that often holds the exact same view you presented at the end of your post. One may make people feel good, but to some, it’s just as in-your-face about the faith as the sign you imagined. Remember the outrage when they were talking about lighting up the Empire State Building green for the Islamic holiday of Eid? Same deal.

MadisonConservative on December 5, 2008 at 5:43 PM

Gotta eat. Happy Festivus.

JiangxiDad on December 5, 2008 at 5:45 PM

From what I can tell, my ancestors have been burned (literally) several times by people professing to be Christians. I don’t get provoked by a Christmas tree. Why do you?

You’re making the mistake of pegging me as an atheist or offended by a Christmas tree. I’m neither. I’m simply saying I see where those who are might be coming from.

Nah, the total opposition part is a big mistake. A little opposition, voiced discreetly, would be so much better. After all, you don’t want all of us to have to break up into little ethnic and religious enclaves do you? I thought the US was past tribalism.

JiangxiDad on December 5, 2008 at 5:43 PM

That’s your opinion that it’s a mistake. I don’t particularly like it either. They still have the right to do so as religious expression.

MadisonConservative on December 5, 2008 at 5:46 PM

Does that include the right to express their beliefs?

Yes, but it depends on the time and place of the expression.

For example, if they’re an officially-recognized religion, the government must be careful not to officially endorse those views or else they’d be violating the Establishment Clause.

Just as with the Catholic Church, Protestants, et cetera.

If they’re not a religion, the government may be more lenient in allowing those views to be expressed in the public square.

Again, I don’t see this as a debate over religion or religious expression. I see this as a question of whether the government may regulate speech that may be viewed as inappropriate or offensive. Certainly, the state may do that in certaing circumstances (e.g., workers using racist or harsh language (“The boss is a jerk!”) that disrupts the working environment, et cetera).

For me, the answer to that on this issue is “No, the state of Washington must allow these expressions.”

SteveMG on December 5, 2008 at 5:49 PM

Hitchens, early in his book, reveals a challenge given to him by Dennis Prager, one of America’s best known religious broadcasters, that goes something like this: If you were in a strange city one evening and saw a few men coming toward you, would you feel more or less safe knowing they just came from a prayer meeting? The answer an evangelist expects is an unqualified “yes,” but Hitchens answers this as if it was not hypothetical and turns the tables on Prager’s challenge: “Just to stay within the letter ‘B,’ I have actually had that experience in Belfast, Beirut, Bombay, Belgrade, Bethlehem, and Baghdad. In each case I can say absolutely, and can give my reasons, why I would feel immediately threatened if I thought that the group of men approaching me in the dusk were coming from a religious observance.” Hitchens has witnessed numerous religious atrocities and, where violence has not ruled the day, stupidity has. In Belfast whole streets were burned by sectarian warfare between different sects of Christianity and in northern Nigeria, Islamic figures issued a fatwa (ruling) declaring the polio vaccine to be a conspiracy by the United States (and also the United Nations) against Muslims.

The answer is neither, because the question is invalid context, the good behavior influence of a religious service to some means nothing while to others means everything and someone who believes in individual choice, responsibility and expression (Prager) this challenge is even more stage-managed and if Prager had used one individual’s actions versus another the answer would still be neither and the challenge would still be just as invalid.

Speakup on December 5, 2008 at 5:51 PM

I would look just as poorly on a display reading something along the lines of:

At this season of CHRISTMAS may God prevail.

There is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.

Those that disbelieve will drink of the wine of God’s anger that has been mixed undiluted in the cup of his wrath, and will be tortured with fire and sulfur in front of the holy angels and in front of the Lamb.

wdomburg on December 5, 2008 at 5:39 PM

I think the guy who sued to put the nativity scene in the capitol grounds had exactly that sentiment in mind. He literally put Jesus in the most prominent local symbol of government power. He could’ve put it in his front yard (more people would’ve seen it, if he had). That would’ve sent a very different message. “I’m celebrating my Christianity” vs. “I’m celebrating my Christianity, and you’d better celebrate it, too.”

RightOFLeft on December 5, 2008 at 5:52 PM

For example, if they’re an officially-recognized religion, the government must be careful not to officially endorse those views or else they’d be violating the Establishment Clause.

Just as with the Catholic Church, Protestants, et cetera.

If they’re not a religion, the government may be more lenient in allowing those views to be expressed in the public square.

Again, I don’t see this as a debate over religion or religious expression. I see this as a question of whether the government may regulate speech that may be viewed as inappropriate or offensive. Certainly, the state may do that in certaing circumstances (e.g., workers using racist or harsh language (”The boss is a jerk!”) that disrupts the working environment, et cetera).

For me, the answer to that on this issue is “No, the state of Washington must allow these expressions.”

SteveMG on December 5, 2008 at 5:49 PM

How would the government allowing this sign be any more of a violation of the Establishment Clause than allowing a Christmas tree to be displayed?

MadisonConservative on December 5, 2008 at 5:52 PM

I agree, Steve. I also don’t see any way for the content of the sign to be expressed without bothering some Christians.

jim m on December 5, 2008 at 5:53 PM

How would the government allowing this sign be any more of a violation of the Establishment Clause than allowing a Christmas tree to be displayed?

Because the tree, as the Court has ruled, is a secular object.

What religion does it represent?

It represents the birth of Jesus Christ who was an historic actual person. Even if one doesn’t believe that he was the son of God (and personally, I’m sceptical), he is acknowledged as a great moral teacher of enormous historical significance.

Some Jews – well some that I know – have Christmas trees in their homes.

SteveMG on December 5, 2008 at 5:58 PM

Of absolutely no significance – but I know that radio guy pictured with the sign, and he’s very cool.

capitalist piglet on December 5, 2008 at 5:59 PM

Fox should have a “Kelly and Powers Show.”

The thought makes me smile.

pugwriter on December 5, 2008 at 6:02 PM

Because the tree, as the Court has ruled, is a secular object.

What religion does it represent?

It represents the birth of Jesus Christ who was an historic actual person. Even if one doesn’t believe that he was the son of God (and personally, I’m sceptical), he is acknowledged as a great moral teacher of enormous historical significance.

Some Jews – well some that I know – have Christmas trees in their homes.

SteveMG on December 5, 2008 at 5:58 PM

…and it just so happens that the guy that tree refers to is central to the religious beliefs of the largest religion on this planet. What if someone wanted to put up a Buddha tree, or maybe a Joseph Smith tree? They were just people, but there’s no denying they are religious symbols.

I am not arguing in favor of taking the tree down. I like the tree. I was brought up loving Christmas and will always love it, and I’m a hell of a lot more annoyed by “unrecognized” religious organizations like the Freedom From Religion Foundation than I am by Christmas trees.

At the same time, I will apply the same standard to a tree which is an unarguable expression of religious belief (sorry, I neither like nor buy the “Holiday Tree” crap) that I would a apply to a sign with the exact same kind of expression.

MadisonConservative on December 5, 2008 at 6:03 PM

MadisonConservative on December 5, 2008 at 6:03 PM

I think the tree is a little different. It’s hard to make the case that it’s religious expression when so many non-religious people include it in their secular holiday celebrations.

RightOFLeft on December 5, 2008 at 6:17 PM

I’m not being obtuse, I’m being objective. Personally, I like the tree and always will. However, it’s an expression of faith that often holds the exact same view you presented at the end of your post. One may make people feel good, but to some, it’s just as in-your-face about the faith as the sign you imagined. Remember the outrage when they were talking about lighting up the Empire State Building green for the Islamic holiday of Eid? Same deal.

You’re still missing ignoring the distinction between an affirmative and a negative. Just because some individual may infer offense from something doesn’t make it offensive. The atheist display, on the other hand, is unambiguously and unnecessarily provocative.

I actually wasn’t aware of any kerfuffle over the Empire State building being lit for Eid. Searching the Google archives I don’t really see much commentary about it beyond a couple of blog posts and a mention of “a number of letters and calls objecting” so it doesn’t seem like there was much outrage to miss.

wdomburg on December 5, 2008 at 6:19 PM

In Singapore, the government recognizes 4 religious holidays for Christians (Christmas), Muslims (Ramadan – final day I believe), Hindus (special New Year?), and Buddhist (a holiday recognizing ancesttors, where altars with candles are placed all over the city). Each holiday has a public expression, and to my knowledge, no one is offended by someone else’s holiday or practice. Why the concern about stopping another person’s holiday/practice/belief when you are free to express your own? (Attacking someone else is NOT a valid represnetation of your own belief.)

jerseyman on December 5, 2008 at 6:22 PM

An awful lot of folks here sound like they would be right at home on one of the Canadian Human Rights commissions……

Jim708 on December 5, 2008 at 6:25 PM

“I thought it would be safe,” Freedom From Religion Foundation co-founder Annie Laurie Gaylor told CNN earlier Friday. “It’s always a shock when your sign is censored or stolen or mutilated. It’s not something you get used to.”

Even at this age, and despite years of overwhelming evidence, I’m continually astonished at the tone-deafness displayed in public comments like this one. Is it possible that anyone who heard it (and yes, I include The Forces of Denial) didn’t immediately hear the hypocrisy?

warbaby on December 5, 2008 at 6:44 PM

Since the sign wasn’t espousing any particular belief, I think the city would have been within its rights to deny it being posted.

If they would have simply said “Have a happy solstice” then I think it would have deserved do be put there along with the others.

Religious_Zealot on December 5, 2008 at 6:59 PM

(Attacking someone else is NOT a valid represnetation of your own belief.)

jerseyman on December 5, 2008 at 6:22 PM

THIS.

Honestly, this is precisely the problem many people of faith, (and without a faith) have with some Atheists. It’s not that they simply choose NOT to believe what various religious people believe, it’s that they go OUT OF THEIR WAY to attack, provoke, and antagonize people of faith. There is a certain subset of Atheists who seem to take a perverse pleasure in, well, being total assholes. (please forgive my language, but there isn’t a more appropriately descriptive word.)

If the Atheists would just cut out the assholery, I think they would actually stand a better chance to win people over.

As I said a few pages back, if the Atheists had put up a sign that said something like:

“Wishing you a Happy Winter Solstice, and a New Year filled with Reason and Love – the Atheists”

NOBODY would have had a problem with it, and we would NOT be having this discussion. But instead, they chose an overwhelmingly NEGATIVE message, and then they are SURPRISED when someone is so offended that the sign is stolen. Morons.

Of course, I still suspect it’s a stupid Atheist PR stunt, and that they “stole” their own sign. These guys seem like just the type of jerks to do that.

wearyman on December 5, 2008 at 7:10 PM

Ramrock, I think we use the word “discrimination” too loosely. Kwaanza is not a religion but an idea cooked up by some kook that has taken on a life of it’s own in public schools because diversity is the official religion of acadmia. But that’s a topic for another forum.

Christmas is the only religious holiday which is a Federal holiday. And for good reason. Whatever anyone wants to say about the founding fathers being free masons or whatever, the fact remains that this country was settled, pioneered, defended and built up by Americans who were guided and given strength by their Christian faith. This should be recognized and honored in our traditions. It goes without saying (but I’ll say it because this is a touchy subject) that everyone has the right to religious freedom but it sure as hell doesn’t mean that Eid will ever be recognized as a Federal holiday by the government. That is not discrimination. That is preserving our cultural heritage.

Church bells chiming – even the secularists and atheists should agree that this is part of the American landscape. How about Islamic calls to prayer? Same thing? I would hope that we aren’t so far gone that there isn’t a clear distinction in everyones mind as to the difference.

CarolynM on December 5, 2008 at 7:47 PM

(Attacking someone else is NOT a valid represnetation of your own belief.)

jerseyman on December 5, 2008 at 6:22 PM

If someone tells me I am unenlightened, blinded, and ignorant of the truth, is that an insult? That’s exactly what the atheist sign said. That’s always exactly what nearly every religion believes about non-believers.

MadisonConservative on December 5, 2008 at 8:12 PM

The Second Amendment says that

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

If putting up a Nativity in the town square amounts to Congress establishing a religion, then why isn’t putting up an anti-religious display in the same town square considered “prohibiting the free exercise thereof?”

If putting up statues of a manger and a couple of sheep somehow amounts to the state forcing a religion on people then why doesn’t putting up a plaque hostile to religion amount to the government attempting to prohibit the free exercise of religion?

The Atheists are being completely hypocritical here anyway, one of their favorite strategies is to complain that even if their tax dollars weren’t used to purchase the Nativity in the park they were used to maintain the park that the Nativity was in. Now, here in Washington State, my tax dollars are being used to create and maintain a platform for a display that is hostile to my religion. Why aren’t the Atheists upset about this?

29Victor on December 5, 2008 at 8:25 PM

If someone tells me I am unenlightened, blinded, and ignorant of the truth, is that an insult? That’s exactly what the atheist sign said. That’s always exactly what nearly every religion believes about non-believers.

MadisonConservative on December 5, 2008 at 8:12 PM

Asserting a belief is not the same as directly insulting those who don’t hold that belief. You can talk all you want about what the underlying message of the other displays was, but it doesn’t change the fact that the religious displays didn’t directly address the negative qualities of people who don’t subscribe to their beliefs, and the atheist one did. Why have an atheist display at all if the only thing they have to say is that religious people are hard-hearted mind-slaves?

CherokeeJack on December 5, 2008 at 8:41 PM

Asserting a belief is not the same as directly insulting those who don’t hold that belief.

CherokeeJack on December 5, 2008 at 8:41 PM

Atheists believe there is no god and that those who believe there is are wrong and misled. Christians believe there is a god and that those who believe there isn’t are wrong and misled.

The atheist sign said the former. The CHRISTmas tree represents the latter.

Religious beliefs routinely include the belief that those who disagree are being led around by sin, by the devil, by selfishness, by refusing to open your heart, by being concerned with materialism, etc.

Have you seen some of the posts made by Christian fundamentalists like SaintOlaf around here? They are just as up front and in-your-face about their assertion that you are wrong and they are right as that sign. They’re merely being blunt and frank about what they believe. Since when is it insulting to say “You’re wrong, I’m right?”

MadisonConservative on December 5, 2008 at 8:49 PM

Megyn is so hot when she’s mad.
Ooo, spank ME Megyn.
:)

SuperManGreenLantern on December 5, 2008 at 9:02 PM

Have you seen some of the posts made by Christian fundamentalists like SaintOlaf around here? They are just as up front and in-your-face about their assertion that you are wrong and they are right as that sign. They’re merely being blunt and frank about what they believe. Since when is it insulting to say “You’re wrong, I’m right?”

MadisonConservative on December 5, 2008 at 8:49 PM

Their statements weren’t the ones made by the religious displays. Merely endorsing a belief system (and ‘endorse’ is quite a strong word from what I’ve gathered about the other displays) does not entail an endorsement of beliefs held by some within that system. The atheist sign, on the other hand, directly stated that religion “hardens hearts and enslaves minds”. Does that statement speak for all atheists, or just those that made the sign?

CherokeeJack on December 5, 2008 at 9:02 PM

Since when is it insulting to say “You’re wrong, I’m right?”

MadisonConservative on December 5, 2008 at 8:49 PM

There’s nothing wrong with that. But why make your point with a derogatory sign during a National Holiday Season that is celebrated by 75 – 85 per cent of the country?

Isn’t that kinda like holding a steak in a tiger’s cage and expecting the tiger to leave your arm intact?

kingsjester on December 5, 2008 at 9:09 PM

There’s nothing wrong with that. But why make your point with a derogatory sign during a National Holiday Season that is celebrated by 75 – 85 per cent of the country?

kingsjester on December 5, 2008 at 9:09 PM

The point isn’t the time and place, it’s the message. It wasn’t “I’m right, you’re wrong”, which the religious displays unavoidably implied simply by endorsing a belief that not everyone holds. the atheist sign’s message was “I’m right, you’re an idiotic bastard”.

CherokeeJack on December 5, 2008 at 9:13 PM

But why make your point with a derogatory sign during a National Holiday Season that is celebrated by 75 – 85 per cent of the country?

Isn’t that kinda like holding a steak in a tiger’s cage and expecting the tiger to leave your arm intact?

kingsjester on December 5, 2008 at 9:09 PM

So atheists should keep their beliefs to themselves on the off chance that Christians will maul them?

Huh.

You know, people were making that exact same argument about Christians in California “bringing it on themselves” when they went to Castro or to Prop 8 demonstrations.

It was BS then, and it’s BS now. We have the right to express our religious beliefs without persecution, atheist, theist, or anything in between.

MadisonConservative on December 5, 2008 at 9:13 PM

“I’m right, you’re an idiotic bastard”.

CherokeeJack on December 5, 2008 at 9:13 PM

Nice spin. That’s not what it said. What it actually said could easily be said by a Christian about a non-believer. It’s not an insult, it’s what anyone who is firm in their religious belief believes about those who believe otherwise. Saying you need to “open your heart and listen to god” implies that you are hard-hearted and refusing to accept the truth until you accept what they say is true.

It happens to be the minority, so the outrage is high. It doesn’t help that a lot of organizations like the Freedom From Religion Foundation are filled with a lot of fundamentalist atheists who are very combative, but the sign still says basic core beliefs of most any religion.

MadisonConservative on December 5, 2008 at 9:16 PM

Madison, I was just saying that perhaps the celebration of Christ’s birthday is not the best time for a protest proclaiming the non-existance of the Creator. I was not saying anything about violence happening to the atheists.
Dirty looks, yes. Praying for their souls, yes.

I will defend to the death your right to believe as you wish. I just don’t believe that this was a very bright move on the part of the atheists. It will not win over people at this time of year. It will cause animosity and be viewed as a PR stunt.

kingsjester on December 5, 2008 at 9:27 PM

Madison, I was just saying that perhaps the celebration of Christ’s birthday is not the best time for a protest proclaiming the non-existance of the Creator. I was not saying anything about violence happening to the atheists.
Dirty looks, yes. Praying for their souls, yes.

I will defend to the death your right to believe as you wish. I just don’t believe that this was a very bright move on the part of the atheists. It will not win over people at this time of year. It will cause animosity and be viewed as a PR stunt.

kingsjester on December 5, 2008 at 9:27 PM

It may not be a bright move from your perspective of safety, but what other time of the year is more appropriate? How many other times during the year is there a widely recognized symbol of a religious belief in most state buildings?

Like I said, it’s the same argument about Prop 8 supporters going to anti-Prop 8 demonstrations at city hall. Is there a risk? Perhaps, but there’s not supposed to be. We’re supposed to be free to make our beliefs known on public property.

MadisonConservative on December 5, 2008 at 9:30 PM

Saying you need to “open your heart and listen to god” implies that you are hard-hearted and refusing to accept the truth until you accept what they say is true.

I haven’t read up on this extensively, but I don’t remember any of the religious displays saying anything like “open your heart and listen to god”. Did I miss something?

CherokeeJack on December 5, 2008 at 9:31 PM

I haven’t read up on this extensively, but I don’t remember any of the religious displays saying anything like “open your heart and listen to god”. Did I miss something?

CherokeeJack on December 5, 2008 at 9:31 PM

The tree is a symbol of Christianity. Most Christians I know have made that statement, or some variation of it.

MadisonConservative on December 5, 2008 at 9:34 PM

The tree is a symbol of Christianity. Most Christians I know have made that statement, or some variation of it.

MadisonConservative on December 5, 2008 at 9:34 PM

And how does that mean that the tree is making that same statement?

CherokeeJack on December 5, 2008 at 9:37 PM

Megyn – 100

Bill the Bloviator – 0

What the governor did or didn’t do is none of O’Reilly’s business quite frankly. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

If someone tells me I am unenlightened, blinded, and ignorant of the truth, is that an insult? That’s exactly what the atheist sign said. That’s always exactly what nearly every religion believes about non-believers.

MadisonConservative on December 5, 2008 at 8:12 PM

Exactly.

On another note Mark Levin must be estatic that Bill O’Reilly is throwing in the towel on that radio show he was attempting…LOL.

AprilOrit on December 5, 2008 at 9:38 PM

Here are the facts:

Christmas is a Federal Holiday.

Winter solstice is NOT a Federal Holiday.

Plain as day and simple as can be.

AlreadyKnownAs on December 5, 2008 at 9:42 PM

And how does that mean that the tree is making that same statement?

CherokeeJack on December 5, 2008 at 9:37 PM

When that’s the normal sentiment of Christianity, and a Christmas tree is a Christian symbol of Christian belief which believes nonbelievers need to open their hearts and listen to god, how does it not make that statement?

If you’re just being willful and feigning the belief that one of the most recognizable symbols of Christianity in the world…isnt, well, have fun in your own little world.

MadisonConservative on December 5, 2008 at 9:43 PM

Winter solstice is NOT a Federal Holiday.

Plain as day and simple as can be.

AlreadyKnownAs on December 5, 2008 at 9:42 PM

Um…aren’t the Daylight Savings Time dates based on the dates of the solstices?

MadisonConservative on December 5, 2008 at 9:53 PM

When that’s the normal sentiment of Christianity, and a Christmas tree is a Christian symbol of Christian belief which believes nonbelievers need to open their hearts and listen to god, how does it not make that statement?

It was making a statement, but the statement wasn’t one that was intentionally crafted to offend people who didn’t believe similarly. I get your point that the Christian display might have been construed to be in support of the “open your heart” sentiment, but what I don’t get is why the atheist sign had to be the only display that didn’t keep the subtext a subtext in the interest of harmony between beliefs.

If you’re just being willful and feigning the belief that one of the most recognizable symbols of Christianity in the world…isnt, well, have fun in your own little world.

Nice. Way to bring civility to the discussion.

CherokeeJack on December 5, 2008 at 9:59 PM

Um…aren’t the Daylight Savings Time dates based on the dates of the solstices?

MadisonConservative on December 5, 2008 at 9:53 PM

No. they are not. That has to do with farmers.

And daylight savings time is still not a Federal Holiday.

AlreadyKnownAs on December 5, 2008 at 9:59 PM

Some even say this is the reason for DST.

AlreadyKnownAs on December 5, 2008 at 10:09 PM

It was making a statement, but the statement wasn’t one that was intentionally crafted to offend people who didn’t believe similarly. I get your point that the Christian display might have been construed to be in support of the “open your heart” sentiment, but what I don’t get is why the atheist sign had to be the only display that didn’t keep the subtext a subtext in the interest of harmony between beliefs.

Until you can prove that the sign and sentiment was meant to offend people any more than an atheist can prove that the sentiment of “open your heart and listen to what god is trying to tell you” is meant to offend, then your argument doesn’t hold water. Both sentiments assert ignorance, blindness, and other deficiencies.

Nice. Way to bring civility to the discussion.

CherokeeJack on December 5, 2008 at 9:59 PM

Well, let’s see. You’re extrapolating words from a sign that aren’t there, yet you’re acting as if a Christmas tree has nothing to do with the Christian religion.

Excuse me if I’m not interested in discussing the issue with people who apply double standards to their arguments.

MadisonConservative on December 5, 2008 at 10:10 PM

No. they are not. That has to do with farmers.

And daylight savings time is still not a Federal Holiday.

AlreadyKnownAs on December 5, 2008 at 9:59 PM

I was mistaken, then.

MadisonConservative on December 5, 2008 at 10:13 PM

This sign is a publicity stunt; the controversial, attention getting kind. It’s also crass, cynical, and slanderous. But not necessarily illegal.

Let hem alone. No one could possibly demonstrate how curdled their feelings or narrow their minds are more effectively than they are doing themselves. Especially when their sign is contrasted with Luke 2:10-14.

Confutus on December 5, 2008 at 10:17 PM

You’re extrapolating words from a sign that aren’t there, yet you’re acting as if a Christmas tree has nothing to do with the Christian religion

Was I? I seem to remember saying that the Christmas tree didn’t necessarily have to do with your stereotypical “open your heart” statement. It was ambiguous. The atheist sign wasn’t.

CherokeeJack on December 5, 2008 at 10:20 PM

Was I? I seem to remember saying that the Christmas tree didn’t necessarily have to do with your stereotypical “open your heart” statement. It was ambiguous. The atheist sign wasn’t.

CherokeeJack on December 5, 2008 at 10:20 PM

It certainly was. Somehow you read the sign, and saw words that weren’t on it. Either it was ambiguous, or you’re just pissed that atheists were allowed to present their beliefs, which are symmetrical to most religious beliefs.

MadisonConservative on December 5, 2008 at 10:26 PM

It certainly was. Somehow you read the sign, and saw words that weren’t on it.

Which words weren’t on it? The ones that said “Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds”? That’s pretty well documented, I think.

Between a sign containing that statement and a pine tree, I think it’s obvious which one is ambiguous and which one isn’t.

Either it was ambiguous, or you’re just pissed that atheists were allowed to present their beliefs, which are symmetrical to most religious beliefs.

What exact beliefs do atheists hold, besides that there is no such thing as a deity? Who appointed this organization to speak for all atheists?

CherokeeJack on December 5, 2008 at 10:48 PM

Reproductive rights?

Do you support Hitler’s lttle experiment in “reproductive rights” and evolutionary Eugenics also or do you just support the current American geniocide?

SaintOlaf on December 5, 2008 at 5:09 PM

What does a woman’s right to have an abortion and control over her OWN body have to do with Nazi experiments?

It also appears you’re confusing the concept of eugenics (refinement of a race through selective breeding) with euthanasia-the right to end one’s life painlessly and peacefully at a time of one’s own choosing.

Your Nazi reference has no bearing on either issues. No doubt you believe in the meaningless notion “life begins at conception”-which boils down to ascribing the same rights to a zygote (a tiny handful of cells) as one would accord a fully formed human being.

One really doesn’t need a deep understanding of science to see they are completely different things. Only religion can make one believe a cluster of cells is a person, as they make people believe an invisible unprovable entity exists, talks to us and has a master plan for everything. All nonsense.

thinkagain on December 5, 2008 at 11:04 PM

It also appears you’re confusing the concept of eugenics (refinement of a race through selective breeding) with euthanasia-the right to end one’s life painlessly and peacefully at a time of one’s own choosing.

Saying St. Olaf is confused is an understatement.

AprilOrit on December 5, 2008 at 11:16 PM

Saying St. Olaf is confused is an understatement.

AprilOrit on December 5, 2008 at 11:16 PM

Lol, I see he has a reputation here. :)

thinkagain on December 5, 2008 at 11:36 PM

Personally, I like the tree and always will. However, it’s an expression of faith that often holds the exact same view you presented at the end of your post.

MadisonConservative on December 5, 2008 at 5:43 PM

Of course you do. That’s because it’s not a religious symbol, but a secular symbol of the secular holiday of Christmas, just like Snowmen and candy canes.

There were no Scotch Pines, snowmen, garland, or candy canes in Bethlehem, according to my Bible.

Jaibones on December 5, 2008 at 11:48 PM

Of course you do. That’s because it’s not a religious symbol, but a secular symbol of the secular holiday of Christmas, just like Snowmen and candy canes.

There were no Scotch Pines, snowmen, garland, or candy canes in Bethlehem, according to my Bible.

Jaibones on December 5, 2008 at 11:48 PM

No, it’s because I was raised in Christian and Catholic schools and it reminds me of childhood.

MadisonConservative on December 5, 2008 at 11:51 PM

No, it’s because I was raised in Christian and Catholic schools and it reminds me of childhood.

MadisonConservative on December 5, 2008 at 11:51 PM

Sounds like an excuse to hate something in an otherwise bright time of year.

Relax, Christmas and Easter are the only two holidays that Christians have to escape the rest of the year of the world shoving hatred for Christians down our throats.

A month and 3 days isn’t much to ask.

leetpriest on December 6, 2008 at 12:44 AM

Sounds like an excuse to hate something in an otherwise bright time of year.

leetpriest on December 6, 2008 at 12:44 AM

Don’t accuse me of exactly the opposite of what I say I think. I like Christmas. Don’t peg me as one of these prototypical religion-hating atheist fundamentalists. I am defending what they say not due to holding their belief, which I don’t, but because if atheists were doing this to Muslims, we’d be fine with it.

MadisonConservative on December 6, 2008 at 12:47 AM

Sounds like an excuse to hate something in an otherwise bright time of year.

Relax, Christmas and Easter are the only two holidays that Christians have to escape the rest of the year of the world shoving hatred for Christians down our throats.

A month and 3 days isn’t much to ask.

leetpriest on December 6, 2008 at 12:44 AM

Try being a Jew, you’ll have a real understanding of genuine hate.

AprilOrit on December 6, 2008 at 1:10 AM

What does a woman’s right to have an abortion murder her child and control over her OWN body mutilate her child’s body have to do with Nazi experiments?

The fact that you even asked that question not only proves you are an ignorant troll…but that you also support sadistic and evil forms of genocide and are therefore responsible for it when it happens.

No doubt you believe in the meaningless notion “life begins at conception”

Meaningless notion?

It’s a biological fact.

Life begins at conception.

When you kill a child in the womb you are taking it’s life.

It doesn’t get any more obvious than that.

SaintOlaf on December 6, 2008 at 1:18 AM

SaintOlaf on December 6, 2008 at 1:18

AM

And like you are not the Troll Extraoridnaire here??

Please spare us with your name calling, you have been trolling this website since before the wheel and fire.

AprilOrit on December 6, 2008 at 1:21 AM

SaintOlaf on December 6, 2008 at 1:18

How about last year when we all had to contend with your insanity and hate filled rant about the Mormons in texas?

We were all subjected to your hate about Mormons. You are not exactly a very pristine example of a Christian….

Should I start posting some of your imfamous lines from prior posts?

AprilOrit on December 6, 2008 at 1:25 AM

you are an ignorant troll

SaintOlaf on December 6, 2008 at 1:18 AM

BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

That’s the pot calling the cardinal black.

MadisonConservative on December 6, 2008 at 1:40 AM

Once again

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.

Lets look at the first line shall we?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…

Ok that is obvious. Back in the day many people left England and came to America because a state controlled religion was being forced on them.

That is spelled out in the preamble…

The Preamble to the Bill of Rights:

The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

The intent was to limit the government so it would not be able to dictates a persons religion, control the press, or interfere in a persons freedom of speech.

As I see it…

The Jews can have their Torah, Christians can have their tree, and Muslims can be shown the way to Mecca.

The Bill of Rights was intended to limit/restrict governments power not increase it by saying “that is not allowed”

I find it ironic that the liberal media always throws down the 1st amendment card when it suits them however ignores it when it comes to religion.

Same thing with the 2nd amendment.

F15Mech on December 6, 2008 at 2:23 AM

and the 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th and 10th amendments.

All of them put restrictions and limit the power of the government not enhance it.

F15Mech on December 6, 2008 at 2:35 AM

VIRGINIA STATUTE FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

[Sec. 1] Whereas Almighty God hath created the mind free; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as it was in his Almighty power to do; that the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavouring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world, and through all time; that to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical; that even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion, is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor, whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuasive to righteousness, and is withdrawing from the ministry those temporary rewards, which proceeding from an approbation of their personal conduct, are an additional incitement to earnest and unremitting labours for the instruction of mankind; that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry; that therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which in common with his fellow-citizens he has a natural right; that it tends only to corrupt the principles of that religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments, those who will externally profess and conform to it; that though indeed these are criminal who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those innocent who lay the bait in their way; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion, and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency, is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty, because he being of course judge of that tendency will make his opinions the rule of judgment, and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own; that it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order; and finally, that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them:

[Sec. 2] Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.

[Sec. 3] And though we well know that this assembly elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of legislation only, have no power to restrain the acts of succeeding assemblies, constituted with powers equal to our own, and that therefore to declare this act to be irrevocable would be of no effect in law; yet we are free to declare, and do declare, that the rights hereby asserted are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present, or to narrow its operation, such act shall be an infringement of natural right.

Thomas Jefferson 1786

F15Mech on December 6, 2008 at 2:42 AM

It pains me to say it, but I agree with O’Reilly on this one. The government makes decisions every day in many thousands of situations about what is appropriate and what is not. Zoning ordinances, public decency statutes, indeed many forms of law are all about what our society considers to be acceptable and what is not.

In this case the state legslature passed a law that gave discretionary powers to the governor to decide what is appropriate and what is not in holiday display at the state capitol. Until the a decision is made by the courts whether the law is constitutional or not, the law stands and should be enforced as it is written.

Megan Kelly can argue whatever she wants, but she cannot escape one major factor. The courts are part of the government. They arbitrate appropriate behavior every single day. That is what laws do. So if Megan Kelly wishes to keep the government from deciding on what behavior is appropriate she has thrown in her hand with the anarchists.

Hawthorne on December 6, 2008 at 3:14 AM

If atheists hold a rally and Christians show up to chant that they’re going to burn in hell, are those “fighting words”?

No, it’s the truth IF the atheist continues on his current path. But where there’s life there’s hope.

abcurtis on December 6, 2008 at 7:40 AM

I am an evangelical Christian – Southern Baptist to be exact. I have no problem whatsoever with the atheists placing their sign where they did. Far as I’m concerned, it’s free speech, although calling it political speech may be stretching it a little bit.
In this country we have the right to believe or not according to the dictates of our conscience.
I have faith and believe. Allahpundit does not – that’s his business. But I’ll be glad to share the Gospel with him any time he’d like. I’m not confrontational, I’m like Fox news – I report, you decide.

abcurtis on December 6, 2008 at 7:44 AM

From what I can tell, my ancestors have been burned (literally) several times by people professing to be Christians.

Mine were too. But it wasn’t Christians who did the burning – just those who called themselves Christian. There was nothing Christ-like about them. Jesus said take the Gospel to all nations, not forced-conversions. Those “christians” who burned “heretics” at the stake and forceably converted Jews to Christianity were no better than the Jihadis today who say submit to Allah or die. Our God never told us to do such a thing. Scripture out of context is deadly to all concerned.

abcurtis on December 6, 2008 at 7:52 AM

Those that disbelieve will drink of the wine of God’s anger that has been mixed undiluted in the cup of his wrath, and will be tortured with fire and sulfur in front of the holy angels and in front of the Lamb.

wdomburg on December 5, 2008 at 5:39 PM

And that’s not because our God is a mean and vengeful God. He is merciful but also just and he requires accountability, just like the laws of our land require accountability when we break one of them. Should the SCOTUS release every prisoner in the US regardless of the crime because SCOTUS is good and loving and don’t want to see anybody rot in prison? I think not.
God is holy and perfect and cannot allow sin to come into His presence. He therefore made a way for sinners to come into His presence – somebody paid our sin debt. That somebody was Jesus.
Please understand – your sin debt will be paid, it’s up to you whether you pay it by being eternally separated from God or if you allow Jesus to pay it. The choice is yours.
As I said, I’m like Fox News – I report – you decide.

abcurtis on December 6, 2008 at 8:05 AM

From what I can tell, my ancestors have been burned (literally) several times by people professing to be Christians.

Mine were too. But it wasn’t Christians who did the burning – just those who called themselves Christian. There was nothing Christ-like about them.

Well, well, well, They’re not Christians, huh? They call themselves Christains, they are inspired by the Bible, and thay act on that inspiration. What are they? Taoists?

That’a a neat trick to distance onee’s self from the true believers, but it fails the giggle test.

Pelayo on December 6, 2008 at 8:32 AM

Bill O’Reilly thinks he has a law degree, but really has no real understanding of the law. He definitely has a valid viewpoint, it’s just that he hates the rule of law.

indythinker on December 6, 2008 at 10:23 AM

Bill is a mental midget in Megan’s presents.

TheSitRep on December 6, 2008 at 10:44 AM

Megyn is the steady drip of water that over time will cause the rock head of O’Reilly to crack open. Maybe then he will understand the Law.

I luvs me some Megyn Kelly. Smart and Lovely, will smile at you as see chews you to pieces. What a woman see is.

la.rt.wngr on December 6, 2008 at 11:04 AM

If putting up a Nativity in the town square amounts to Congress establishing a religion, then why isn’t putting up an anti-religious display in the same town square considered “prohibiting the free exercise thereof?”

If putting up statues of a manger and a couple of sheep somehow amounts to the state forcing a religion on people then why doesn’t putting up a plaque hostile to religion amount to the government attempting to prohibit the free exercise of religion?

–Because the government is not stopping you from being Christian or exercising your Christian beliefs.

jim m on December 6, 2008 at 12:15 PM

If atheists hold a rally…

Um, no offense intended, but they can’t get a crowd together for an atheist’s meeting. Run an ad in the newspaper. ‘Atheist Meeting next week.’ five people will show up. That’s why we see them ruining it for Christians all the time. They’re upset their crowds are so small.

apacalyps on December 6, 2008 at 12:19 PM

None of these wacko atheists kids better ever have a birthday party in a park or public place. I will protest it. It’s not MY birthday! I don’t celebrate OTHER birthdays! How dare they offend me by celebrating a birthday other than MY own. Do you see how crazy this is? Why can’t these freaks just live and let live?

marklmail on December 6, 2008 at 1:24 PM

I am a Catholic that puts up a Christmas tree.

My husband’s ex also puts up a Christmas tree, but calls herself a recovering Catholic and bashes her ex faith regularly.

Many Protestant faiths, whose adherents also put up trees, believe that followers of my faith are damned to hell.

I don’t see how anyone can find an implied message, shared by all Christians, in the display of a Christmas tree. I don’t see a tree and think it means, “Die Papist scum!”, or “I’m taking out all of my childhood resentments on the Catholics because my parents are dead and I can’t take it out on them!”, so why would atheists see a message directed specifically at them?

And please, if your answer is that all Christians harbor hate, fear, or disdain for atheists, especially including the assumption that that reaction is somehow more virulent towards themselves than those of any other religious faith, then I retract this comment using the Pearls Before Swine clause. Haters hate, those who constantly see themselves as the most hated hate more, and the rest of us just try to get up and get the kids off to school.

ral514 on December 6, 2008 at 1:45 PM

I’m not sure if it’s Oreilly’s ego or Kelly’s hotness that prevents him from realizing she pwned his ass.

aikidoka on December 6, 2008 at 1:51 PM

All I can say is that Megyn Kelly is hot.. hot..hot ! And she can actually make a persuasive argument too..

Hot blonde lawyers – i thought that was only in the movies.

nagee76 on December 6, 2008 at 1:55 PM

ral514 on December 6, 2008 at 1:45 PM

You argument might be more persuasive if you didn’t call us swine.

RightOFLeft on December 6, 2008 at 3:09 PM

Megyn Kelly’s searing righteous hotness makes a great facial peel.

ronsfi on December 6, 2008 at 4:22 PM

I would look just as poorly on a display reading something along the lines of:

At this season of CHRISTMAS may God prevail.

There is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.

Those that disbelieve will drink of the wine of God’s anger that has been mixed undiluted in the cup of his wrath, and will be tortured with fire and sulfur in front of the holy angels and in front of the Lamb.

wdomburg on December 5, 2008 at 5:39 PM

Blah blah blah blah blah.

A Axe on December 6, 2008 at 4:57 PM

Christmas is a cultural norm in the U.S. Leave it alone. When I lived in Thailand, I guess I could have acted offended by all of the Buddhist decorum displayed at/on government facilities. But that would have made me a moron.

jediwebdude on December 6, 2008 at 5:51 PM

Isn’t an atheist sign a contradiction in terms?

A blank placard would have been more sublime.

profitsbeard on December 6, 2008 at 7:00 PM

TheSitRep on December 6, 2008 at 10:44 AM

You said presents. Snicker.

Socmodfiscon on December 6, 2008 at 7:32 PM

I love the fact that Megyn is tellying Bill how the legal world works and he keeps screaming at her almost in denial.

DaveC on December 6, 2008 at 11:23 PM

Telling.. not tellying.. dammit.

DaveC on December 6, 2008 at 11:23 PM

You have some very angry people here. This is not worth getting so upset over. Chill……It will all be alright, so what if there are atheists out there, they won’t hurt you, or eat your young. They are people too you know. By the way, do you all realize how ‘un-christian’ your words are in this thread? Tch-tch….Now you all go to church tomorrow and ask for forgiveness, then you will feel better. Right?

clinker46 on December 7, 2008 at 12:08 AM

Sheesh. They sure are getting desperate these days. Christmas is a holiday to celebrate the good Lord Jesus’ birth… get over it already atheist. If you want your own holiday so you can celebrate your own religion of atheism, well, lobby for it. The atheists great faith that there is no Creator shows through clearly as their religion, not science. You would have to believe there is no God. That’s something you believe, you take that on faith. While I disagree with their tactics, I certainly admire the great faith of the atheist.

apacalyps on December 7, 2008 at 2:19 AM

My knowledge of FA jurisprudence is rusty, but isn’t the crucial distinction between the atheism case and O’Reilly’s MLK/KKK hypothetical the fact that one of them touches on religion and the other doesn’t?

I agree that on the surface, they seem unrelated, but upon further scrutiny they are both founded on a belief that God exists. MLK was a champion for civil rights of Black people.
He was also a champion of God’s law that says all men are equal in the eyes of the Lord as opposed to the secular laws of that time that said they were not. If different races of people are proclaimed equal by nothing more than a governmental foundation, they can also be enslaved by the same as in the past. Without a government foundation built upon Christian priciples, laws are fleeting and have no higher authority than the men that crafted them.

I would caution minorities to beware of these athiests, for you are their equals as long as they deem you necesary to their cause, eerily similar to Marxist ideology.

raybojabo on December 7, 2008 at 12:22 PM

RightOFLeft, that was a charming misreading.

Since I applied the expression, “pearls before swine”, which means to waste words on someone that cannot possibly appreciate the value in them, to those who believe that all Christians harbor hate, fear, or disdain for atheists, I must assume that this is the argument that you would make. Otherwise you wouldn’t see that expression as being directed at you. Expressions are not intended to be taken literally. If I intended to call someone “swine”, I would do it directly, so your literal interpretation is either dishonest or ignorant.

If you believe that all Christians harbor hate, fear, or disdain for atheists, then I am included in that assessment, therefore, you are actually the one doing the insulting here, and you leaped over that part of it in order to accuse me of schoolyard name calling, without having to acknowledge your part in it. Very cute. Didn’t work. I noticed.

Or did you skip the whole lead in instead, just so you could have yourself a moment of self righteous indignation that you’re too cheap to pay for?

Nyah, nyah. I called you cheap. I’ll alert my mother to expect a call from your mother.

ral514 on December 7, 2008 at 3:32 PM

As a creationist, I totally disagree with them, but I love atheists. Don’t believe me? Watch. C’mere, you. Come ooooon. C’mere ‘n give me a HuG. AAAAAAAAAGGGGHHHHHH!!!! It’s soooo cuuuute!

apacalyps on December 7, 2008 at 7:09 PM

Megyn don’t give no ground!
She even leaned in during the heat of the battle – unlike an O’Reilly battle with Paul Krugman, who looked like he was about to slide off his chair and dive under the table.

eeyore on December 7, 2008 at 7:30 PM

What a disgusting display of pragmatism on the part of Bill O’Reilly. This unprincipled dross is representative of the ugliest trend in modern-day conservatism. Mr. O’Reilley: You do not support the freedom of speech unless you support it for your worst enemy. What would the United States be if the government were responsible for deciding what qualifies as acceptable speech? I’ll tell you what: it would be Canada.

Fortitudine on December 8, 2008 at 3:22 AM

Ms Kelly is completely right (thank God) here and Bill is just wrong. I usually agree with Bill but I don’t think he would have made it through law school. This is pretty elementary: the government cannot decide what is appropriate speech, even if its about Christmas or MLK. And this is not “sad” this is brillirant.

Chessplayer on December 8, 2008 at 8:13 AM

Megyn kicked O’Reilly’s ass. He’s never been more wrong. His position on this issue is frighteningly similar to the cartoon jihadis, except for the violence.

Baphomet on December 8, 2008 at 10:40 AM

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