Wednesday, April 09, 2008

"Get out of that seat. You have no right to be here."

Who does not have the right to testify before government representatives? I thought every American had that right, but noooo. I was very wrong.

Last week Robert Sherman, a candidate for a seat in the Illinois state legislature, was testifying before the State Government Administrative Committee to oppose the governor's decision to grant a Chicago church $1 million to rebuild after a fire. Sherman argues that the allocation to Pilgrim Baptist Church is unconstitutional. Not only is the grant in all likelihood unconstitutional, but the money that was supposed to help rebuild instead went to fund a school housed in the church. Governor Blagojevich claims it was all a "bureacratic mistake." Well, the mistake is considerable because the school is more than a little shady.

The grant came as state and federal authorities were trying to collect thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes from the school, the Tribune reported Wednesday. Other potential roadblocks also were cleared to make the grant possible: The governor gave a rare and swift pardon to the school's director, a convicted felon; the school registered as a charitable organization for the first time in its 25-year history; and the school filed three years' worth of required state tax documents in one day.

But I digress. Representative Monique Davis could not contain her rage when an atheist dared to show up and ask questions about the use of the public's money. "And it’s dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists!" She told Sherman he had no right to testify and tried to show him the door.

Where does one begin? The ignorance spewed by Davis is just astounding. The transcript is bad enough, the audio which clearly indicates that she was getting exhortations of "amen" are even worse.

So it comes to this. Christians can't bear to even know that atheists exist? Shameful.