Saturday, April 22, 2006

 

Dana Rohrabacher Whines about Oppressed Christians

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R–Orange County, CA) was on Real Time with Bill Maher back on 2006-03-31. I wrote previously about some of the things he said during the program, but I just discovered the web extra segment on HBO's web site. Congressman Rohrabacher makes some more astonishingly outrageous comments demonstrating his total disconnection from reality.

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I disagree with [Bill Maher in his 2006-03-31 monologue] on Christianity and who's repressing who in our society. The only people I know who are being shut up are the ones who are being told you can't say prayers in public school, you can't mention Creationism in public schools. No one is trying to get anybody else to pray, but you can ban other people who believe in prayer from praying in public school. So I see people wanting to take the Ten Commandments off the wall, and it doesn't seem to me to be the Christians who are trying to oppress other people, but it's the non-Christians and atheists who are telling the Christians to shut up and keep your religion to yourselves.
I realize that millions of Americans agree wholeheartedly with Congressman Rohrabacher, but the fact remains that he is hopelessly delusional.

No one is being told that they cannot pray in a public school. What they are being told is that they cannot have organized prayers in the public schools. That is an enormous difference that we must not allow to be glossed over. I did my share of praying in public schools, every time the teacher said, "Pop quiz!," although I supplemented my prayers with actually doing the homework. Sometimes the Lord moves in not-so-mysterious ways, ya know.

So some Christians want to put the Ten Commandments on the wall in a public-school classroom; what's wrong with that? Well, which Ten Commandments are you talking about? The Catholic version or the Protestant version? They're different, you know. Then there's the Muslim version and the Jewish version, just for starters. How do you pick one particular statement of the Ten Commandments without explicitly favoring one religious sect above others on a governmental level? The answer, of course, is that it is fundamentally impossible. Beyond that, atheists and Buddhists and wiccans and voudoun celebrants and other Americans who are outside the Abrahamic tradition are also deserving of respect. Is anyone suggesting replacing the Ten Commandments with a religious text of some other tradition? Not that I've ever seen or heard of.

When it comes to the public schools, yes, the Christians, whether they are Christian teachers, Christian staff, Christian volunteers, and even Christian students, MUST shut up and keep their religion to themselves — exactly like everyone else. All that we are saying is, No "special rights" for Christians! That's not oppression at all, it is resistance to oppression. Trying to post the Ten Commandments in a public-school classroom, or allow a prayer before the football game, or teach Creationism, is oppression by Christians against everyone else, because it is trying to give special status to one particular set of religious beliefs above all others.


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