Robert Spencer finds swear words more offensive than attack on Constitution
by Sheila Musaji
Omid Safi wrote an article To NC Republicans seeking to establish an official state religion: Screw You.
Robert Spencer chose to publish an article titled Omid Safi to NC Republicans: “Screw you”.
Spencer says: “Have you ever noticed that Islamic supremacist spokesmen in the U.S., including those who claim to be “moderate,” are generally, well, arrogant, foul-mouthed creeps whose idea of a discussion is to hurl insults? ... And so we come to this from the Islamic supremacist academic propagandist Omid Safi. The point is not what Safi is arguing for or against; the point is just how he argues: in imitation of his master.”
No, Mr. Spencer, the point IS what he is arguing for or against. Omid Safi was absolutely furious that some elected officials in his home state were attempting to undermine the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution that protects us all.
What was it that made Professor Safi, a mild-mannered and normally soft-spoken individual so angry?
North Carolina May Declare Official State Religion Under New Bill by John Celock reports that
Republican North Carolina state legislators have proposed allowing an official state religion in a measure that would declare the state exempt from the Constitution and court rulings.
The bill, filed Monday by two GOP lawmakers from Rowan County and backed by nine other Republicans, says each state “is sovereign” and courts cannot block a state “from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.” The legislation was filed in response to a lawsuit to stop county commissioners in Rowan County from opening meetings with a Christian prayer, wral.com reported.
The religion bill comes as some Republican-led states seek to separate themselves from the federal government, primarily on the issues of guns and Obamacare. This includes a proposal in Mississippi to establish a state board with the power to nullify federal laws. ...
Erin McClam reports First Amendment doesn’t apply here: N.C. lawmakers push bill for state religion: “Republican lawmakers in North Carolina have introduced a bill declaring that the state has the power to establish an official religion — a direct challenge to the First Amendment. One professor of politics called the measure “the verge of being neo-secessionist,” and another said it was reminiscent of how Southern states objected to the Supreme Court’s 1954 integration of public schools.”
It would seem that all Americans who cherish our Constitution would be furious, and that a few swear words might be an appropriate response.
Spencer only saw fit to print a few lines of a poem from the article. Here is Omid Safi’s full article:
A controversy that begin with the NC State Legislature opening 97% of its sessions with explicitly Christian prayers has now expanded to Republican state legislature members denying any federal jurisdiction over matters related to prayer, or for that matter the Establishment of Religion clause.
The NC general assembly has just put forth a resolution, HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 494, that states:
Section 1. The North Carolina General Assembly asserts that the Constitution of the United States of America does not prohibit states or their subsidiaries from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.
SECTION 2. The North Carolina General Assembly does not recognize federal court rulings which prohibit and otherwise regulate the State of North Carolina, its public schools, or any political subdivisions of the State from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.SECTION 3. This resolution is effective upon ratification.
So let me get this straight: NC Republican members of the State Legislature, you think you have the right to establish a state religion for North Carolina? You are actually arguing for “establishment of religion” by a state entity? You are arguing against 200 years of legal precedence, going back to the 1st and 14th amendments?
Any guesses what that state religion would be? Buddhism? Judaism? Islam? Catholicism? Or is it your understanding of Christianity? Have you looked around the world? Have the places where the state declared an official religion worked out so well? What do you think this means for those of us North Carolinians who do not share your understanding of Christianity? What about those Christians who have a different understanding of the relationship of religion and the state?
What type of religion do you have in mind for being the official state religion? A religion that acquiesces? A religion that tacitly sits by and supports your assault on the poor, on education, on women’s rights?
The current resolution overlooks the court ruling of the 4th Circuit, which stated:
“To plant sectarian prayers at the heart of local government is a prescription for religious discord. …where prayer in public fora is concerned, the deep beliefs of the speaker afford only more reason to respect the profound convictions of the listener. Free religious exercise posits broad religious tolerance.”
Then again, what you are proposing is consistent with everything else you have proposed in the last few years.
The Republicans who control the state legislature have slashed the budget of our public university by 414 million dollars in 2011 , and have just announced yet another $140 million dollar cut.
The Republicans who control state legislature wanted immigrant drivers in North Carolina to carry a driver’s license that has a special stripe.
Would you like them to wear special clothing too? How about red letter “I” for immigrant on their clothes? How about a separate section of town, and segregated lunch counters?
The NC Legislature has cut unemployment benefits: The maximum weekly benefits have been slashed from $535 to $350, a 35 percent drop. The maximum number of weeks has been cut from 26 weeks to between 12-20 weeks. Sure, why don’t you cut funding for the poorest of the poor, at their moment of greatest need. It’s consistent with everything you have put forth.
These issues matter to me. This proposed legislature matters to me, because North Carolina matters to me. I am a North Carolinian. I have lived here longer than I have anywhere else in the world. I went to college and graduate school in North Carolina. I got married in the Duke Chapel. Two of my beautiful children have been born in this state, one in New Bern, and one in Durham. I teach at the University of North Carolina. My family and I love this state, love her mountains (ok, rolling hills), love the beach, love the piedmont. We love the people of this beautiful state. We love NC BBQ (ok, we don’t do the pork, but still..), love the small towns and love the folks who have moved here and call her home. I teach students from every town and country in the state, and love being a part of sharing knowledge with them. I go all over this state, from the triangle area filled with transplanted Yankees to the small towns where our family lives, and I tell you that we North Carolinians are better than what you State Legislators are doing. These values of bigotry and prejudice are not our values.
There is an absolute disconnect between the North Carolina that we live in, and the pathetic, misinformed, patronizing, prejudiced legislation coming out of the NC legislature.
To the arrogant, obnoxious state legislatures who apparently have neither read nor understood the Constitution of the United States, I could try to reason with you. I could site for you court cases and evidence from American history. But honestly at this point I don’t feel like reasoning with bigoted morons. If you understood law, or history, or common sense, or logic, I would appeal to those. But I know based on experience that this is not likely to be persuasive.
So all I have to say to you is this: Screw you.
Screw you and your prejudice.
Screw you and your moronic arrogance.
Screw you and your bigotry.
Remember Sesame Street? Another program that your party has been trying to eliminate?
Some of us grew up watching it, and we know our letters and our numbers. In light of that, here is our message to the state legislature sponsoring this resolution. As a proud North Carolinian, one of the joys of belonging to this beautiful state is the right to use colorful language when it is warranted. And believe you me, it is warranted now. Screw you. And to honor Sesame Street:
The above message has been brought to you by the letter F and U.
And the number 2013. As in the year that you should realize you are living in.
These elected representatives who are willing to trample on the Constitution they have sworn to uphold, should expect to see a few swear words come their way. In fact, I would hope that the voters in North Caroline vote them all out of office.
As I was writing this, Huffington Post published North Carolina House Speaker Kills Bill To Create State Religion. They report that: “The Republican speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives killed legislation on Thursday that aimed to establish an official state religion. House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Charlotte) announced Thursday afternoon that the bill would not be receiving a vote in the full House, effectively dropping the measure.”
Thank God! There is at least a temporary reprieve from this particular attempt to undermine the Constitution. However, all Americans need to be vigilant, as such traitorous individuals are not likely to stop at one try.
As I said in the article American Muslims must defend the Constitution of the United States:
... America is a secular and democratic nation with a clearly marked wall between church and state (thank God!). One of the reasons America has been a beacon to the world is the freedom that all Americans have to practice any (or no) religion. As an American Muslim I don’t believe that America can be defined as anything but a secular democracy (secular meaning neutral towards religion, not devoid of religion or hostile to religion) in which all religions are free to worship.
I don’t want to see Shariah, or Biblical law, or any other religious law replace the Constitution, and I don’t want to see any kind of a theocracy in place based on any religion.
... I am grateful to the founding fathers and generations of leaders who followed them for establishing and protecting a system that gives this right to all of us and who set up and maintained a wall between church and state so that no majority can ever be in a position to control or decide who does and doesn’t have the right to practice their religion. I owe no gratitude to those who think that my freedom and rights as an American are something they can give or take away because this is “their country”. My rights (and obligations) are granted to me by my citizenship. This is “our country”, all of us. Unless American Christians are to be held responsible for every country on earth with a Christian majority (for example Rwanda and Bosnia), then it is a little hypocritical to think that American Muslims have any control over what goes on in other countries. Like any other American I may have an opinion about events in other countries and may even work to make that opinion known, but I have no control. I am not responsible for what happens in other countries, and whether or not there are injustices in other countries why should that make it necessary for Americans to commit the same injustices in order to even the score. I am an American citizen and a Muslim - and I have the right under the constitution to practice my religion (as does everyone else of every faith). If some countries do not give the same rights to others, shame on them, but to think that this would justify removing my rights is nonsense.
The Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights (first ten amendments to the Constitution) are the foundation of this country. They represent the ideal of America. America is a multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-ethnic nation. That’s a fact. Members of many religious groups, races, nationalities, etc. are equally Americans, and none of them are going anywhere. We are all in this together, and as Americans are all protected by the Constitution and Bill of Rights of the United States. That is fortunate, and something we must all work together to protect, as it is obvious that some among us just ‘don’t get it’. It is obvious that our religious communities differ from each other, and that each of us feels called to observe their own faith. It should be possible to do this while recognizing that we do hold many values in common, and that we can build on these in order to work together for the common good. We can be good Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, etc. and also be fellow citizens of this great nation.
If some start talking about this being a “Christian nation”, or a nation of any specific majority group, that is a direct attack on the first amendment. The separation of church and state is a critical protection for all of us, without that we would have the rule of whatever religion happened to be in the majority at any particular time in history and that would lead to a tyranny of the majority. Right now there are about 300 million people in the U.S. About 51% of Americans are Protestants (with Southern Baptists the single largest group), 24% are Catholics, and the rest other religions, or no religion at all.
The point is that things don’t remain the same. If we begin the this is a “Christian country” game, is this based on who is in the majority? If so, does this mean that we are a Protestant nation? What will happen if the slender 51% majority margin shifts? Since the Southern Baptists are the majority among the Protestants, does this mean that we are a Southern Baptist nation? What would this mean for the majority and for all the minorities. Those people who ‘don’t get the Constitution’ also must ‘not get history’ because history shows that this would mean the end of America as the land of the free.
Truly, the best protection for everyone is to maintain America as a secular democracy under the Constitution. Anything else will lead inevitably to persecution and tyranny.
Good for Omid Safi for standing up against Christian supremacists and defending the Constitution! Shame on Robert Spencer for being so blinded by his hatred of Muslims that he sees a Muslim using pretty innocuous swear words to express his disgust with those who would shred the Constitution that he sees that defense of the Constitution as “Islamic supremacism”. As a conservative, gray-haired old lady who very few have ever heard swear, I say with Omid Safi, to these elected representatives and to Robert Spencer:
So all I have to say to you is this:
Screw you and your prejudice.
Screw you and your moronic arrogance.
Screw you and your bigotry.
An Open Letter to the North Carolina Legislature, Jamison Doran http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jamison-doran/an-open-letter-to-the_b_3014361.html
House Bill 494: N.C. GOP Ditches Constitution, Plans to Implement Official State Religion http://www.policymic.com/articles/32621/house-bill-494-n-c-gop-ditches-constitution-plans-to-implement-official-state-religion
How a Bill Becomes Not a Law: What happens to unconstitutional state laws? Can they just stay on the books forever?, Brian Palmer http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2013/04/north_carolina_state_religion_bill_does_unconstitutional_legislation_disappear.html
North Carolina Republicans, Christianity and the Twilight Zone?, Victor Lopez http://www.huffingtonpost.com/victor-lopez/north-carolina-republican_b_3004169.html
NC Republicans propose bill to end 1st Amendment to the Constitution, David Phillips http://www.examiner.com/article/nc-republicans-propose-bill-to-end-1st-amendment-to-the-constitution
North Carolina Republicans Want to Create a Christian Establishment, John Fea http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2013/04/04/60634/
North Carolina State Religion Bill: If Only It Was An April Fools’ Hoax, Chad Higgins http://www.policymic.com/articles/32745/north-carolina-state-religion-bill-if-only-it-was-an-april-fools-hoax
North Carolina State Religion: What If We Applied Their “State’s Rights” Extremism to the Second Amendment?, Daniel Waugh http://www.policymic.com/articles/32727/north-carolina-state-religion-what-if-we-applied-their-state-s-rights-extremism-to-the-second-amendment
What part of ‘no law respecting an establishment of religion’ does North Carolina not understand?, Barry W. Lynn http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/what-part-of-no-law-respecting-an-establishment-of-religion-does-north-carolina-not-understand/2013/04/04/90c33440-9d1a-11e2-9a79-eb5280c81c63_story.html