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La. ACLU Head Compares People Who Believe in Higher Power to Terrorists

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On Monday, the school board of Tangipahoa Parish in Louisiana had their meeting and was asked by the ACLU to remind teachers not to allow prayer at school functions. In an astounding aside, the First Amendment has become a restriction on private individuals on where and when they can express their religion. The statement was not school sponsored prayer but prayer at all, including presumably spontaneous prayer by students. How the Louisiana ACLU can reconcile the position that no one be allowed to pray in school with their belief in the right of free expression and freedom of religion is left to the reader.

On this occasion the head of the Louisiana ACLU, Joe Cook, had this to say about people who believe in religion (HT: Lone Star Times:

”They believe that they answer to a higher power, in my opinion. Which is the kind of thinking that you had with the people who flew the airplanes into the buildings in this country, and the people who did the kind of things in London.”

No amount of parsing can take the meaning of this quote away. The head of the ACLU in Louisiana believes that if you believe in God you will eventually be led to fly planes into buildings, become a suicide bomber, or decapitate people on TV. You may believe that religion should be stricken in the public square even when the expresser is a private individual but the statement that people who believe in a higher power are on the road to terrorism should be offensive.

This was spoken by the head of the ACLU in Louisiana and therefore can be taken as an official position by that unit, if not the entire ACLU as a whole. If you are outraged by this, contact the Louisiana ACLU and the National ACLU to get them to repudiate such hateful and bigoted remarks.

ACLU of Louisiana
PO Box 56157
New Orleans, LA 70156-6157
(866) 522-0617

National ACLU Feedback Form here

BNN Link

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About John Bambenek

John Bambenek is a political activist and computer security expert. He has his own company Bambenek Consulting in Champaign, IL that specializes in digital forensics and computer security investigations.
  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    your links have some issues. Of the one that I could get to work (the wafb.com one), all I could find is him saying what you quoted here about the higher power/planes. I can’t find anything to back up your claim that he’s talking about spontaneous private prayer.

  • Eric Olsen

    the links work now: John, please turn off your smart quotes, they make the links not work

  • billy

    thats right the american taliban and the real taliban are no different. the american taliban believe a white bearded hippie is the son of god, the muslim taliban believe in mohammad. both want to impose their “values” on everyone else. and both believe “spontaneous prayer” in school is ok, despite other students not believing in their false religions.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    To be fair, the Islamic kind want to have their public schools basically teach nothing but religion. Ours haven’t been able to get quite that far yet.

    Dave

  • billy

    the christian taliban are trying real hard to get religion pushed on everyone, jut like the terrorists, luckily we have a constitution which the ACLU thankfully upholds against these cretins.

    So why the outrage at the comparison? it is obvious to everyone that these people have a huge amount in common with the muslim society they claim to hate.

    1) belief in scripture as fact in the face of having it proven wrong by science

    2) telling women what to do, how to act, how to dress, and how and whether to carry babies to term

    3) trying to establish morals on society, when society could care less about their morals.

    4) pushing religion in school

    5) justifying torture or beheading because they think it is ok in the bible

    6)defering to imams and priests to tell you how to act

    7) accepting slaughter and murder if the imam says it is ok in the bible/koran

    any more questions?

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Well, the ACLU has been pretty stridently anti-Christian for a long time now. This should not come as much of a surprise.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Don’t go accusing me of being soft on the Christian Taliban as you call them. No one on BC has been a stronger opponent of them – have you not read my article on The National Day of Prayer?

    That said, I can tell the difference between a mouse and an elephant, and the fact is that the level of terror perpetrated by Islamic extremists is several orders of magnitude greater than what’s been done by our home grown equivalent, even if the basic intent is the same.

    Plus, there';s at least one point in your summary which is pretty questionable:

    >>5) justifying torture or beheading because they think it is ok in the bible<<

    I don’t see a significant number of people using the Bible as a justification for execution or torture here in the US. Like no one at all. The arguments for those things are usually much more pragmatic.

    Dave

  • billy

    dave, it is all a matter of extremes, of course the “christisan taliban” arent as bad, but they exhibit many of the same characteristics, and people are people, there is no telling where this radical religious fundamentalism will lead. i realize you have been consistent in your views on this matter. you are a “fiscal conservative”

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Ok, now we can agree. I think that the nature of our society is such that there’s only so far the religious extremists can go. And if they resorted to extensive terrorism here I believe they’d go down in total disgrace pretty fast.

    Dave

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    Stupid Microsoft auto-correct, I keep turning it off but it keeps coming back on.

  • rbp0554

    >>On Monday, the school board of Tangipahoa Parish in Louisiana had their meeting and was asked by the ACLU to remind teachers not to allow prayer at school functions.< <

    >>In an astounding aside, the First Amendment has become a restriction on private individuals on where and when they can express their religion.< <

    >>The statement was not school sponsored prayer but prayer at all, including presumably spontaneous prayer by students.<<

    Bambenek… you write like a 3rd grader.

    – RBP

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    You take that back, RBP! I’m not going to sit idly by while you insult 3rd graders like that!

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    i’d love to see the full text of what this guy said, wouldn’t you?

    but no, one link shows only your quoted text. the other link just links back to the first.

    gotcha ‘journalism’/opinionating at its sludgerific best.

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    Ok, so we have another vote that somehow “context” is relevant when comparing people who believe in God to terrorists…

    How about this for a comparison. Terrorists are brown.

    I know what you’re think… he’s a racist.

    Thanks for proving my point.

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    RBP:

    You troll like a third grader.

  • RKC

    RE: Comment 5

    The non-christian taliban are trying real hard to get their beliefs pushed on everyone, and luckily for them they have the ACLU to support these cretins.

    So why the outrage at the comparison? it is obvious to everyone that these people have a huge amount in common with other hate societies.

    1) they hate facts being questioned by more science.

    2) they hate telling women not to be sluts, not to act like a slut, not to dress like a slut, and how and whether to kill babies before birth.

    3) they hate morals, when society badly needs morals.

    4) they hate religion in school when more religion is needed.

    5) they hate stopping abortions although it is killing a human being.

    6) they hate other than TV and movies to tell you how to act

    7) they hate the disapproval of assisted suicide and euthanasia.

    any more questions?

  • Shark

    “Stupid Microsoft auto-correct, I keep turning it off but it keeps coming back on…”

    Another “raving” from John C. Bambenek, “internet information and security guru”

    heh.

    BTW: As I’ve said many times before, Airplanes hitting the Twin Towers was a faith-based initiative.

    PS: Me and Davey will stand together in Hell on this issue! God bless him!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I’m with Shark on the idea that Allah was the co-pilot on 9/11 but ALSO with Bambenek on anything with the words ‘microsoft’ and ‘auto’ in the title being stupid.

    Dave

  • troll

    goodie – John is back at it

    -The head of the ACLU in Louisiana believes that if you believe in God you will eventually be led to fly planes into buildings, become a suicide bomber, or decapitate people on TV. –

    You are so full of shit

    All that prevents this statement from being actionably libelous is the unlikely event that you believe it

    If you study your god’s commandments, you might understand how immoral and anti-social your writing is – you lie, you fry

    I love it – thanks for breakfast

    troll

  • alethinos59

    Bombastic… I am BEGGING YOU! Get thee to an ESL program!!!

    My frontal lobes ACHE every time I try reading you!

  • http://xraystyle.blogspot.com Bryan McKay

    John – I understand your reaction to the quote. On first look (and probably on second look, too), it really does appear as if he’s saying as if those who believe in God are comparable to terrorists. I think though it was just a poorly worded way of saying that many dangerous people (either physically dangerous or ideologically dangerous) believe that their actions are in accordance with some higher power. There is a difference between believing in God and trying to justify your actions as being His will. I think Cook is aware of this distinction, I just think he didn’t quite make it as clear as he should have.