Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Anyone who pays any attention to lawsuits involving the establishment clause can tell you one thing for certain: the plaintiffs will be the targets of intimidation and even death threats for complaining about government endorsement of religion. It’s not just common, it’s virtually automatic. The young man in Kearney, New Jersey who recorded his history teacher proselytizing instead of teaching has gotten them. The Jewish family in Delaware who were hounded out of their homes has gotten them. And yes, the plaintiffs in Dover got them too. Below the fold, I’ll post the text of a letter received by Tammy Kitzmiller, the lead plaintiff in the case.

If you speak up you can make a change. You didn’t just think of all those schoolchildren that won’t hear how God made the world and everything in it because of a dam (sic) dumb fool like you. God says the sins of the parents are passed down to the children. When God decides to strike you or your children down, look out. The ACLU is working all these years to get God out of American and a dumb fool got them to help her. I sure would not want to be in your shoes of your daughters (sic) shoes. God hates sin, all these young people being killed in auto wrecks, but when your day comes you think you are smart for what you did, but you are just a damn dumb fool so ignorant to know what God can do to you and your children. I will be watching in the years to come how God punishes you or your daughters. Madelyn (sic) Murray (a famous atheist) was found murdered for taking prayer and bible reading out of the schools, so watch out for a bullet.

The police never found out who sent the letter, one of two that they believe were sent by the same person. Here’s the text of the other one:

When you open your eyes in hell you will think about the time you went against God. The ACLU is trying to wreck our country by getting rid of God and to think that some of the heathen parents are helping them. Does God have to send more tornadoes to wake up our country for trying to get rid of God. How can you be so dam (sic) dumb to think that God did not create this world and the people in it. People like you should get out of the country instead of helping to destroy it. I would be ashamed to walk the street after doing such a wicked thing. Who would ever have thought that the time would come that in America tehy would fight to get/keep God out of school all because of heathen dummies like you, you and your group who live here. God will punish you for doing such a (sic) evil thing. I would hate to be in your shoes. I will be praying that God will make you miserable until you accept him as your Lord and Savior. First you must confess your sins and repent.

I dare say the writer of this letter is the one who needs to repent. Kitzmiller was not alone; several of the plaintiffs in the case received threatening letters. But as i said, this is absolutely predictable. There are some seriously unhinged people in this world. One of them, by the way, is DaveScot, Dembski’s faithful boy wonder. Here’s what he said in a comment at Fafarman’s blog (it’s been removed since, but I recorded it at the time on my blog):

I hope someone keeps track of the 11 parents and their children. Everyone in Dover knows damn well that no children were forced to listen to the 60 second announcement regarding evolution and intelligent design. So what you have is 11 parents whose religious hostility extended to such a trivial matter they were willing to make the tiny school district pay a million dollars.

I grew up in a small town and when a few people pull crap like that that hurts everyone there will be payback. I won’t be at all surprised if the children of these parents are so badly ostracized and abused by other students that they’re forced to find another school and the parents will be snubbed and insulted and their cars keyed and their coworkers and supervisors making their lives miserable that they’ll all end up moving away.

I hope that’s all tracked so that the next group of parents that gets their panties in a bunch and volunteers to the be the designated shitheads know what it’s going to cost them.

Nor is he alone. Nedd Kareiva of the Stop the ACLU coalition actually began something called the “Expose the ACLU Plaintiff” project, beginning with the Dobrich family in Delaware. This Jewish family was hounded out of their homes by locals after challenging the school there for endorsing Christianity in a number of ways. Echoing the theme of the Kitzmiller letter writer, one school board member there suggested that the Dobrich family might “disappear” like Madalyn Murray O’Hair did. Callers to a local radio show reminded them that there was still a KKK chapter active in the area, and the family received numerous threats that eventually drove them out of the community. This is the sort of thing that plaintiffs in these cases face all the time.

Comments

  1. #1 Raging Bee
    January 17, 2007

    The police never found out who sent the letter, one of two that they believe were sent by the same person.

    How hard did they try?

    Here’s what [DaveScot] said in a comment at Fafarman’s blog (it’s been removed since, but I recorded it at the time on my blog)…

    Thanks for capturing that shining example of Christian charity. It is, of course, perfectly appropriate and unsurprising that such hatefulness would appear — and then disappear — on a Holocaust-denier’s blog.

    “Christians” like this keep the Pagan community growing.

  2. #2 Paul T.
    January 17, 2007

    Can’t you just feel the love, Jesus would be so proud!

  3. #3 kehrsam
    January 17, 2007

    Sara Robinson had an excellent series recently on Orsinus in which she examined the psychology of fascism. It was titled “Cracks in the Wall.”

    http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/

    Give it a read.

  4. #4 Tony P
    January 17, 2007

    What these so-called Christians forget is the lesson to turn the other cheek. These venomous attacks are nothing but Old Testament crap. If I recall correctly, in the New Testament doesn’t Christ say that the old rules are gone, that the new rules were basically love one another.

    That being said, were I ever to get such vile crap from a Christian I’d be getting out the guns and cleaning them, making them ready for the eventuality that I know will come.

  5. #5 Guitar Eddie
    January 17, 2007

    It is this kind of behaviour that has led me to conclude long ago that religious fundamentalism is a kind of sociopathology. After all, how else could one view death threats, bullying, and intimidation of witnesses in 1st Amendment trials?

    Besides, fundamentalist religion is by its nature quite irrational and only seems to augment the inherent irrationality of its adherents. Especially those whose mental hygene was suspect to begin with.

    GE

  6. #6 kehrsam
    January 17, 2007

    GE, I wear my inherent irrationality with pride. :d

    I know what you’re trying to say, but we’re not all the same. I all but guarrantee you that there is someone at every church one of the yahoos attends who is counseling in favor of peace. Besides Jesus, I mean.

  7. #7 stogoe
    January 17, 2007

    No, Tony, he didn’t. At least the editions I’ve read say “I come not to abolish the Law, but to complete it”.

    Whoever stuffed the Golden Rule in Jesus’ mouth was a genius, because without it people couldn’t claim that Jesus was a peacemaker.

  8. #8 Daniel Morgan
    January 17, 2007

    Yeah, this crap is unbelievable.

    I have talked to someone in Dixie County who wants to move forward with litigation, but will not go it alone out of fear. This person told me about that they and their friends have already been threatened because they belong to a different religion by persons in the county.

  9. #9 Daniel Morgan
    January 17, 2007

    Sorry that last link should be this news review of the Dixie County 10C case.

  10. #10 Juno Walker
    January 17, 2007

    Ed -

    I wrote a letter to the editor of The Observer this morning, and I quoted you in it. Here’s a link to my blog post about it: Controversy in Kearny

    Best,
    Juno

  11. #11 nm
    January 17, 2007

    And since what the “Old Testament crap” actually says about punishment is that it shouldn’t be greater than the crime committed, and that everyone convicted of a crime should face the same penalty no matter the status of the victim or the criminal, maybe Tony P would like to direct his own venom elsewhere. I’m sure remarks like his are making the Dobrich family feel soooo much better.

  12. #12 CPT_Doom
    January 17, 2007

    I will be praying that God will make you miserable until you accept him as your Lord and Savior. First you must confess your sins and repent. It is people like this that have convinced me to reject ALL organized religion – not because all religion is bad, but because there is an inherent tendency in all religion to believe that because I have found what I believe to be “The Way” all others are wrong, and also therefore inferior.

    The sad and pathetic thing is that this comment is about as far away from the teachings of the rabbi Jesus of Nazareth as is possible (and whether you believe the man was divine or not, he had some good ideas). I don’t recall any moment of the New Testament where Jesus cements a relationship with a follower by making that person feel miserable.

  13. #13 ZacharySmith
    January 17, 2007

    I’ve often been tempted to be more vocal in my community, but I’m worried that the good Christians in my neighborhood might throw bricks through my windows or poison my dogs!

  14. #14 kehrsam
    January 17, 2007

    Your dog should be presumed innocent, so I promise not to poison him. But try and keep him away from windows, I’d hate to hit him with a brick.

  15. #15 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 17, 2007

    I sure would not want to be in your shoes of your daughters (sic) shoes. God hates sin, all these young people being killed in auto wrecks, but when your day comes you think you are smart for what you did, but you are just a damn dumb fool so ignorant to know what God can do to you and your children.

    Apparently God hates the English language as well.

  16. #16 Raging Bee
    January 17, 2007

    Whaddaya mean God hates the English language?! He wrote the Bible in it, didn’t he?

  17. #17 Rocky
    January 17, 2007

    Being proudly pig ignorant and irrational seems to be the prerequisite to being a fundie. They make up the world as they see it to cloth themselves in indignant self righteousness and religious bigotry. I presently know, and have known many fundies during my lifetime, most, like rabid ex-smokers, are trying to atone for real or imagined past transgressions now that they are in their middle age and worried about death. (St. Augustine complex?) Try this test sometime, talk rationally with any fundie about the positive aspects of religion, like love or forgiveness that is supposedly the basis of their belief. Then count the seconds until you are bombarded about suffering in hell and your imminent death and damnation. Fundies have turned what should be a gospel of love into a death cult.

  18. #18 Bob O'H
    January 17, 2007

    Here’s what [DaveScot] said in a comment at Fafarman’s blog (it’s been removed since, but I recorded it at the time on my blog)…

    Thanks for capturing that shining example of Christian charity.

    FWIW, DaveScot says that he’s an agnostic.

    Mind you, he also claims to have worked out Pascal’s Wager by himself, whilst being (and remaining) an atheist.

    Bob

  19. #19 Guitar Eddie
    January 17, 2007

    ” I wear my inherent irrationality with pride. :d

    I know what you’re trying to say, but we’re not all the same. I all but guarrantee you that there is someone at every church one of the yahoos attends who is counseling in favor of peace. Besides Jesus, I mean.”

    If that’s so, Kehrsam, then why is it that the voice of peace doesn’t seem to prevail under the aforementioned circumstances? Also, where is the pastor in all this? It seems to me that he religious leaders would have played some part in reigning in the whackos. Instead, there is this ignorance of what some people in the church are doing.

    When will Peter put away his sword?

    GE

  20. #20 Raging Bee
    January 17, 2007

    FWIW, DaveScot says that he’s an agnostic.

    Thanks. I’ll email you a check FWIW. ;-)

  21. #21 FishyFred
    January 17, 2007

    I won’t be at all surprised if the children of these parents are so badly ostracized and abused by other students that they’re forced to find another school and the parents will be snubbed and insulted and their cars keyed and their coworkers and supervisors making their lives miserable that they’ll all end up moving away.

    The difference between you and everybody else, DaveTard, is that you think that’s a GOOD thing.

    Uncommon Descent recently put up an About page to showcase its contributors. DaveScot looks very close to how I imagined him: a senile basement dweller/mental patient.

  22. #22 FishyFred
    January 17, 2007

    FWIW, DaveScot says that he’s an agnostic.

    “Agnostic” is one thing. He says he’s a “convinced agnostic.” Oxymoron anyone? An agnostic, at least in the way that DaveTard means it, is experiencing indecision. That can’t possibly be a philosophical endgame.

  23. #23 Raging Bee
    January 17, 2007

    Actually, it’s quite possible that DaveTard is agnostic, and supports ID, not for religious reasons, but because it gives him the opportunity to be the unbeatable ruler of his own fantasy-kingdom, in which he is always right and strong, and his enemies always wrong and weak (and the chicks are all perfect virgins who think he’s hot). If that’s the case, he won’t be the only frustrated loser looking for an excuse to be the neighborhood bully. The Saudi-Arabian Religious police recruit similar losers to bully women who don’t cover enough skin.

  24. #24 chris
    January 18, 2007

    His work has been cited in numerous newspaper and magazine articles…

    The above is from Dumbski’s profile on the About page. I wonder if that includes citations in which his work is mocked and ridiculed.

  25. #25 mantis
    January 18, 2007

    No Jesus, no peace.

    That’s a threat, by the way.

  26. #26 doctorgoo
    January 18, 2007

    Know Jesus, no peace.

    That’s a snark, by the way.

  27. #27 mark
    January 18, 2007

    I’ve received fundy mail in response to letters to the editor of the York papers. However, what I received was less hate-filled (but no less insistent that I’m a degenerate) and was, in fact rather generous–enclosing copies of Jack Chick’s Big Daddy? and similar materials for my edification and conversion. Articles in the local papers also discussed how the controversy was causing rancor amongst the folks of Dover.

  28. #28 Kristine
    January 18, 2007

    What gets me is that these cowards remain anonymous. Now, why would that be, if God can see all? And if God see and approves of what they do, why remain anonymous?

    Because these cowards don’t believe in God any more than I do. “God” is a word that narcissists like them have for themselves. Religion is a game that people play. Only a few sincere people truly believe it.

  29. #29 Jeb
    January 19, 2007

    Are these people really so “dam dumb” that they think mere mortals can actually take their omni-everything God out of this country?

    Of course, logic and rationality are strangers to them.

  30. #30 dcbob
    January 22, 2007

    Maybe instead it should be “No Jesus, know peace.”