Thursday, July 6

American Facism Reborn

There used to be time where some Americans had to be afraid of who they were. If you were Black, or Gay or heaven for fend - a Communist - you lived in permenent fear. Your rights, your livelyhood, your very life could be ripped away from you at a moments notice - and not only would the authorities not help, they would sometimes be the ones doing it.

Many of us thought those days were long gone, erased by the Civil Rights Movement and a generation and a half of history. A distant dark memory. Buried forever and best forgotten.

Well, those days are back with a vengence. From Hunter on Dkos.
A Jewish family in Delaware that objected to extensive Christian proselytizing by their public school district...was attacked, subjected to threats, and has now been explicitly singled out by an organization called Stop The ACLU. [Who have] published the families home phone number and home address on their website.

This jewish family - and a second one of undetermined religion as they are listed annonymously in the suit - had previously been forced to relocate due to harrisment and threats against them by the areas "Christians" and even members of the School Board.

A large Delaware school district promoted Christianity so aggressively that a Jewish family felt it necessary to move to Wilmington, two hours away, because they feared retaliation for filing a lawsuit. The religion (if any) of a second family in the lawsuit is not known, because they're suing as Jane and John Doe; they also fear retaliation. Both families are asking relief from "state-sponsored religion." [...]

On the evening in August 2004 when the board was to announce its new policy, hundreds of people turned out for the meeitng. The Dobrich family and Jane Doe felt intimidated and asked a state trooper to escort them.

The complaint recounts a raucous crowd that applauded the board's opening prayer and then, when sixth-grader Alexander Dobrich stood up to read a statement, yelled at him "take your yarmulke off!" His statement, read by Samantha, confided "I feel bad when kids in my class call me Jew boy." [...]

A former board member suggested that Mona Dobrich might "disappear" like Madalyn Murray O'Hair, the atheist whose Supreme Court case resulted in ending organized school prayer. She disappeared in 1995 and her dismembered body was found six years later.

The crowd booed an ACLU speaker and told her to "go back up north."

In the days after the meeting the community poured venom on the Dobriches. Callers to the local radio station said the family they should convert or leave the area. Someone called them and said the Ku Klux Klan was nearby.

Hunter continues and calls it like it is as we realize we've entered Newt Gingrich World.
It is noteworthy that the Stop The ACLU project is supported, by their claims, by a "team" of over two hundred right-wing bloggers. They've gotten positive attention from World Net Daily and Free Republic, been invited to low-class radio outfits, and been the benefactors of links from a passel of blogs that ranges from Debbie Schlussel and Michelle Malkin to even more batshit insane elements of the far-far-right.

This is the face of the hard core of the Republican base: the base represented by Front Page Magazine, NewsMax, and a host of vicious and frequently racist sites. This is the base David Horowitz and his band of venomous "reporters" attempt to reach, when "exposing" supposed traitors in academia or the press. This is what Malkin and others attempt to mainstream through VDare and similar groups. This is the face of the assault on so-called "liberalism" -- an assault against Jewish Americans, against those of all other faiths and heritages, presuming they don't keep their mouths shut, and, when necessary, against sixth graders.
Just two days after Independance Day, a moment that eventually sparked the Revolutionary War which was fought at least in part, to guarantee the freedom of individuals to the worship of their choice without the interference of a State Sponsored religion, we seem to have completely forgetten who we are as a Nation. The children in this case have been subjected to the following:
Among numerous specific examples in the complaint was what happened at plaintiff Samantha Dobrich's graduation in 2004 from the district's high school. She was the only Jewish student in her graduating class. The complaint relates that local pastor, Jerry Fike, in his invocation, followed requests for "our heavenly Father's" guidance for the graduates with:
I also pray for one specific student, that You be with her and guide her in the path that You have for her. And we ask all these things in Jesus' name.

In addition to the ruined graduation experience, the Dobrich-Doe lawsuit alleges that:

  • The district's "custom and practice of school-sponsored prayer" frequently imposed ... on impressionable non-Christian students," violating their constitutional rights.
  • The district ignored the Supreme Court's 1992 Lee decision limiting prayer at graduation ceremonies -- even after a district employee complained about the prayer at her child's 2003 graduation..
  • District teachers and staff led Bible clubs at several schools. Club members got to go to the head of the lunch line.
  • While Bible clubs were widely available, student book clubs were rare and often canceled by the district.
  • When Jane Doe complained that her non-Christian son "Jordan Doe" was left alone when his classmates when to Bible club meetings, district staff insisted that Jordan should attend the club regardless of his religion.
  • The district schools attended by Jordan and his sister "Jamie Doe" distributed Bibles to students in 2003, giving them time off from class to pick up the books.
  • Prayer --often sectarian -- is a routine part of district sports programs and social events
  • One of the district's middle schools gave students the choice of attending a special Bible Club if they did not want to attend the lesson on evolution.
  • A middle school teacher told students there was only "one true religion" and gave them pamphlets for his surfing ministry.
  • Samantha Dobrich's honors English teacher frequently discussed Christianity, but no other religion.
  • Students frequently made mandatory appearances at district board meetings -- where they were a captive audience for board members' prayers to Jesus.

The Dobriches said the prayers to Jesus' ruined the graduation experience for Samantha. Mona Dobrich, Samantha's mother, repeatedly called district officials to complain. A board member told her she would have to get the matter put on a meeting agenda -- then refused to put it on the agenda. The school superintendent slipped the topic onto the agenda and then told Mona Dobrich she would need to raise it during the public comment period.

And now that they've filed a complaint they've had their lives threatened? Is this America - or is this the f-ing Taliban? We're fighting - over there - to bring freedom to the middle east, when it seems we have more than a few battles to wage over here when it comes to tolerance, and resisting religious zealotry.

People - regardless of whether they are Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Agnostic or frankly worship Beelzebub - shouldn't have to go this crap like this. It's part of our very first Constitutional Amendment in the Bill of Rights. How is this possible in the 21st Century?

I fully understand that the people doing this absolutely do not think they are the bad guys. I'm sure they see themselves as saviors, doing God's Will in his name. But they are not. Jesus did not demand prostelyzation by his disciples as they went forward to spread his word.

Matthew 10:14 (Whole Chapter)
If a village doesn't welcome you or listen to you, shake off the dust of that place from your feet as you leave.

Mark 6:11 (Whole Chapter)
"And if a village won't welcome you or listen to you, shake off its dust from your feet as you leave. It is a sign that you have abandoned that village to its fate."

Luke 9:5 (Whole Chapter)
If the people of the village won't receive your message when you enter it, shake off its dust from your feet as you leave. It is a sign that you have abandoned that village to its fate."
There is no disagrement on this point, from the book these people insist on having everyone study in a public school. It's not like being able to study the Bible in their own home is enough. It's not like having Sunday School at your own church is enough - they have to force their beliefs on everyone in the community. The fact that someone, anyone disagrees is a threat - and that threat has to be eliminated. In truth this isn't about Christianity or Judism, it's about power, control and conformity.

It's Facism, plain and simple. American Facism Reborn.

And may the Lord (of your choice) have mercy on us all, for clearly - we know not what we do.


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