Mommy, he called me ‘Ploopy’ (Or freedom of expression in the US)

Caution: The post below is a fairly restrained attempt at anger management. I won’t rub your back if it upsets you.

Sign of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, ...
Sign of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, in Denver, Colorado. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

Once I was a child, and I thought that people should be reasonable. Now that I’m older, I no longer expect them to be. I expect them to read reality in accordance with their wishes and beliefs. One interesting instance of such is in reading – The Torah, The Quran, the United States constitution. Some people have wants so strong that the only comprehension ability they possess is the ability to make whatever they read mean what they want it to.


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. This obviously means:

1. High school cheerleaders should not be able display banners with Bible verses on them at school sporting events. This obviously doesn’t consist of congress making a law respecting a religion, but the little girls’ banners violate the separation of church and state – which if you peer closely at the constitution, is absolutely prohibited. The supreme court also said in 2000 that there shouldn’t be prayer at the start of high

Forbidding the girls from putting up their banners, however does not violate the free exercise clause because bla dida doodoo la la boo. Oh, and the Supreme court said so.

“I’ve never heard of this kind of school problem, this kind of a violation at a public school where students would be expected to run through Bible verses to play football,” said the foundation’s president, Annie Laurie Gaylor. “It’s a new and creative way to work religion into our public schools.”

Gosh. Those cheerleaders, bringing their religion into school grounds when the all knowing Supreme court has forbidden it. Why can’t they just say their prayers at home?

The Newseum's Five (5) freedoms guaranteed by ...
The Newseum’s Five (5) freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment to the US Constitution. 1. Freedom of Religion 2. Freedom of Speech …

2. Teachers shouldn’t be allowed to talk to other teachers about religion while on school grounds. This doesn’t consist of congress making a law respecting a religion, but it might make the kids feel bad if they don’t like the religion being discussed. And we can’t say anything that kids don’t like. They might cry.

And forbidding teachers from talking about their religion at their work place does not violate the free exercise clause. ‘Cause the supreme court said so. And the supreme court is always right, even if our tiny brains say that the constitution says otherwise.

3. High school graduates should not be allowed to lead their fellow graduates in prayer at the ceremony. Although no one is being forced to participate in it, being in the presence of people who are praying is just  complete cruelty. It’s ‘bullying’. What if some of the kids take ill with malaria because of it? What if they die? Yes, this prohibits the free exercise of religion, but it’s for an important cause.

One of the protesting students, Bradley Chester, reportedly told WKYT that his atheist beliefs ought to prevent the rest of the community from praying at the public-school graduation.

“This is a place for school, not a church,” Chester told the local CBS-affiliate. “I feel like I’m graduating from Lincoln County High, not Lincoln County church.”

Translation: “I don’t want to hear it. Please make them not say it. Boo hoo. I have the right to not have people say stuff I don’t like. I want my mommy!”

Freedom From Religion Foundation Logo
The people who have a big problem with your freedom to express your beliefs.

I don’t really care about the US constitution. Shocking, I know, but I also don’t care about the Omani constitution’s prohibition of proselytizing. My philosophy on rules has always been straightforward. They exist to protect us and maintain order. Some of them are stupid, but they are to be obeyed anyway for a long list of reasons. But if I think a rule is full of crap (and I don’t mean pointless like stopping at a traffic light when no one else is there), I mentally tell it and all its supporters to go cry in a towel.

Because in the end, the fact that the government or the courts or the constitution declare that slavery is great and Judaism is evil and having cereal for breakfast is an obligation, doesn’t make it so. It just makes them wrong. In the end, atheists who cry their eyes out because the people around them are praying and the sound upsets them should be given bottles and diapers. People who can’t stand to hear the person beside them talking about their religion because it offends them should go cry in a corner (or maybe jump off a bridge – whatever helps). And people who want the law to tell other people to shut up because they don’t like what they say are intolerant bigots and should wear a sign that says ‘Your freedom upsets me. Punch me’.


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I’m Tracy

5 thoughts on “Mommy, he called me ‘Ploopy’ (Or freedom of expression in the US)”

  1. This is a very difficult concept for religious folk to wrap their heads around; that there is a boundary between the private and public domains when acting as an agent of a secular government in the public domain. Tracy, all these folk can pray their little brains out silently in all these settings even while acting as an agent. The private is kept private. But the religious bullies aren’t satisfied with being so ‘unfairly’ curtailed in their desire to proselytize and spread the ‘good news’; instead, they reliably and consistently try to blame others as unreasonable if they dare to complain about being subjected to this imposition, this crossing of the domain boundary. This is what you’re doing, whinging about being curtailed in the public domain and it’s tedious as it is immature. Your freedom to exercise your religious belief in your private life is not the issue here; the issue is promoting private religious beliefs in a public domain setting while acting as a government agent. This is illegal. Get over it already.

    1. Yes, sir. You don’t want to hear something, so you use the law to force me to say it. Welcome to the logic of the Sultanate of Oman (and pretty much every other Muslim or communist regime). ‘You’re perfectly fine being a Christian, just don’t speak a word about it to anyone else. It’s private. Keep it private.’

      What a fascinating argument.

      “slaves should not be the way they are. It is unethical to own another human being.”
      “Oh, you people. Always complaining about the way slaves are treated. Why don’t you understand? Trying to take a slave from his master is illegal. Get over it already’.

      The problem, genius, is not whether it is illegal. It is whether it is illegal. So, when you gain the rationality to understand that, we can talk. Right now, I’d like to tell you what I tell everyone who has a problem with my freedom. Take your offense and your right to not have me say what you don’t like and shove it up your ass.

    2. I really should stop doing this. I’m going to bow out of this conversation before I give in and tell you what I really think. Auf Wiedersehen.

      1. High school cheerleaders are welcome to take off the uniform, climb up into the stands and hold up a placard with a biblical phrase on it. That’s fine. But once the uniform is on, they represent the school. And when they represent the school, they are not allowed to use that position to promote their religious beliefs.

        Two people are welcome to have a private conversation about their religious beliefs. But when they they enter a school as a teacher, that person is no longer able to use that position to promote their religious beliefs.

        The same is true for anyone who tries to use a public office to promote private religious beliefs.

        It doesn’t matter what the religious beliefs are. It doesn’t matter whether you or I or anyone else agrees or disagrees with the private religious beliefs. What matters is that people are not allowed to use public offices to promote any private religious beliefs.

        That’s it. That’s the sum total of the constraint. And the reason, my dear, is that in order for YOU as well as others to have freedom of religion you must support a public domain free of establishing it, free of misguided morons who think it is an infringement on their secular rights to curtail their actions to use public office to help establish his or her religious belief in the public domain. Why you don’t want to support this value for the freedom of religion for all is your problem and not mine. I am not to blame for your deeply profound confusion in this matter. You, not I, are the one trying to undermine this secular value for all and it is you, not I, who are the one who needs to pull your head from your pious ass and understand that you, not I, am the problem here. You cannot use any public office (or position) as a platform for promoting any religious doctrines. In this way, we support the common value, the common right. By disagreeing, and acting contrary to the value, you intentionally undermine the common value, the common right, and abuse the power of the public office to promote a private religious belief. This is an infringement. You are the one supporting the infringement, supporting the breaking of the principle of the establishment clause. You are the one who has to have enough self control to stop proselytizing when acting as a public agent and save that feeling for when you resume being a private citizen and have the moral courage to explain this to others who similarly want to abuse public office and act intentionally to undermine freedom of religion.

        Smarten up.

      2. Judge William Overton’s decision in McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education explains:

        “The application and content of First Amendment principles are not determined by public opinion polls or by a majority vote. Whether the proponents of Act 590 constitute the majority or the minority is quite irrelevant under a constitutional system of government. No group, no matter how large or small, may use the organs of government, of which the public schools are the most conspicuous and influential, to foist its religious beliefs on others.”

        You are advocating the foisting of religious beliefs on others in the public domain. This is unconstitutional.

        And it’s unconstitutional because it fails the Lemon test.

        By Supreme Court Justice Berger decision in Lemon v. Kurtzman regarding public funding of schools that try to include some aspect of supporting religious activities:

        “The sole question is whether state aid to these schools can be squared with the dictates of the Religion Clauses. Under our system, the choice has been made that government is to be entirely excluded from the area of religious instruction, and churches excluded from the affairs of government. The Constitution decrees that religion must be a private matter for the individual, the family, and the institutions of private choice, and that, while some involvement and entanglement are inevitable, lines must be drawn.”

        So you can try to pretend that people complaining about your support for unconstitutional activities are crying to Mommy, but the truth is that they are trying to support your right to religious freedom. You are just too blinded by your religious sensitivities to see this. You want to overstep necessary legal boundaries that ensure separation of church and state that enables freedom of religion for all, making you the whinger about being caught out supporting the unsupportable, you blaming others for your support of what defies freedom of religion, you blaming others for your willingness to act contrary to the secular principle that separates religion from government. It is you crying wolf and blaming others for being confronted for your misguided support of an anti-secular action – promoting religion by agents of public institutions in those institutions – that acts contrary to the common right needed for religious freedom. And it falls to you to change your current support if you want to support religious freedom. That choice is yours.

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