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You're A Mean One, Mr. Green-ch

Mark Green, the former New York City public advocate who came scarily close to being our mayor, recently appeared on the O'Reilly Factor to defend the placement of religious symbols in public schools. Fair enough. One can in good conscience disagree with the ACLU and believe that a Christmas - or Hanukkah - play does not violate the First Amendment prohibition on the establishment of religion.

Yet Green is not defending *all* religious symbols. Just non-Christian religious symbols. Apparently, in the New York City public schools, menorahs and Islamic star-and-crescents are allowed, while Nativity scenes are a no-no. Green, supporting this rule, reasons thusly:

I was a city official, and I got a hundred thousand complaints over 10 years about all kinds of city services. Not one person said, you know, one of the biggest problems in New York is those Jews like Mayor Bloomberg and Joe Klein trying to trick 95 percent majority Christians into converting to Judaism. Bill, get a life.

So according to Green, the rule is okay because Christians don't complain enough. And when they do, he dismisses the complainer as someone who needs to "get a life". Clayton Cramer comments well on the obvious double standard. But he doesn't comment on Green's closing statement:

The ayatollahs of the Republican Party support your point of view, and I support the Bill of Rights.

Clayton doesn't comment probably because such stupidity practially defies comment. Never mind that nowhere in the Bill of Rights does it state that Jews and Muslims are entitled to their religious symbols, but Christians aren't. But come on, "ayatollahs"? As in the Republicans are going to repeal the Constitution and impose an Iranian-style theocracy?

That's patently absurd. Republicans aren't ayatollahs. Everyone knows that Republicans are Nazis.

Happy Thanksgiving.


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Comments (1)


What is the matter with you Peter? Don't you know the difference between Christian and non-Christian religious observance in the public schools? When it relates to non-Christians it is the free exercise of religion. When it relates to Christians it is the separation of Church and State. And in case you think I am making this up, I have no less an authority on this matter than the Maryland chapter of the ACLU.

A few years ago, I read in the local papers that the Howard County schools were setting aside class rooms during the school day to allow Muslims to pray during Ramadan. Now one would assume that this practice clearly violated the separation of church and state provision of the First Amendment. I therefore contacted the local chapter of the ACLU and informed them about what was going on in the public schools.

They were all excited about this violation of the constitution until they realized it was not a Christian group that was involved. They informed me that I was obviously mistaken in my interpretation of the First Amendment. The setting aside of a room for prayer during the school day was guaranteed by the free exercise clause of the First Amendment. I responded to them by listing all of the cases that they had litigated that contradicted this point of view. Seeing that I was being so unreasonable by using them as an authority on the subject, they hung up on me and refused to either speak to me or answer my email again.


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