Dangerous Defiance: Md. Official Ignores Court Ruling On Sectarian Prayer
Rob Boston printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 11:05:59 AM EST

I'm not a lawyer, but let me give you a little free legal advice anyway: It's never a good idea to defy a federal judge's ruling.

A member of the Carroll County Board of Commissioners in Maryland may be about to learn that the hard way. Robin Frazier opened a meeting last week with a prayer that included a reference to Jesus Christ - even though the county is under court order to stop using sectarian prayers.

The board's prayer practice was challenged in court by local residents represented by the American Humanist Association.  U.S. District Court Judge William D. Quarles Jr. recently ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and issued an injunction ordering the county to stop using prayers that reference Christ or other specific deities while the lawsuit continues.

In many ways, the lawsuit is the result of changes in the county. Formerly a rural enclave, Carroll County has been growing lately, becoming more suburban and something of a bedroom community for Baltimore. That growth has brought more religious diversity. Some commissioners don't want to acknowledge that.

"I am willing to go to jail," Frazier said. "If we cease to believe our rights came from God, we cease to be America. And we've been told to `be careful,' but we're going to be careful all the way to communism, and I say no to this ruling."

Frazier opened the meeting with a prayer she said came from George Washington's prayer journal. A local newspaper reported that the prayer included "references to Jesus Christ, Lord, our Father, merciful father and the Holy Spirit."

It turns out Frazier couldn't even get that right. While the prayer journal was found among the papers of a descendent of Washington, historians have concluded that it's not in his handwriting.

"It is also far too pious for Washington," John Fea, chair of the History Department at Messiah College, told the Carroll County Times. "In fact, ... George Washington only referenced Jesus Christ twice in all his extant writings and neither of them were in a prayer. This commissioner was not praying the words of George Washington."

So what happens now? Not surprisingly, the American Humanist Association is none too happy with Frazier's stunt. On March 27, the group's attorneys sent a sharply worded letter to the lawyers representing the county warning them that if this happens again, they will seek a contempt of court order.

Frazier probably enjoys thinking of herself as a martyr. She very likely raised the specter of going to jail because it raises an image that resonates well with her supporters - Christians are being imprisoned because they dared to pray in public!

But jail is not the only option open to the court. A financial penalty would be more likely. If that happens, it should give Frazier's backers pause. They may want to think twice about her course of action once they are stuck paying the bill for her recalcitrance.

Frazier may see herself as a martyr. She's not. She's merely someone who is defying the rule of the law. That's nothing to be proud of.




Display:
In 2012, the five-member, all-Republican Carroll County board of commissioners paid Pastor David Whitney, the lead instructor at the theocratic Institute on the Constitution, to teach 50 county employees about his Christian Reconstructionist views on the U.S. Constitution. More here: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/carroll/bs-md-ca-consti tution-seminar-20120224,0,2120181.story

For the latest on Pastor David Whitney, see Talk to Action's series on Neo-Confederates and nullification, including this latest post, "Don't Be April Fooled by Far-Right Activists Dressed Up as Democratic Candidates". URL: http://www.talk2action.org/story/2014/3/31/155538/880/Front_Page/ Don_t_Be_April_Fooled_by_Far_Right_Activists_Dressed_Up_as_Democr atic_Candidates

by jhutson on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 04:29:30 PM EST



WWW Talk To Action


Cognitive Dissonance & Dominionism Denial
There is new research on why people are averse to hearing or learning about the views of ideological opponents. Based on evaluation of five......
By Frederick Clarkson (326 comments)
Will the Air Force Do Anything To Rein In Its Dynamic Duo of Gay-Bashing, Misogynistic Bloggers?
"I always get nervous when I see female pastors/chaplains. Here is why everyone should as well: "First, women are not called to be pastors,......
By Chris Rodda (171 comments)
The Legacy of Big Oil
The media is ablaze with the upcoming publication of David Grann's book, Killers of the Flower Moon. The shocking non fiction account of the......
By wilkyjr (97 comments)
Gimme That Old Time Dominionism Denial
Over the years, I have written a great deal here and in other venues about the explicitly theocratic movement called dominionism -- which has......
By Frederick Clarkson (92 comments)
History Advisor to Members of Congress Completely Twists Jefferson's Words to Support Muslim Ban
Pseudo-historian David Barton, best known for his misquoting of our country's founders to promote the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation,......
By Chris Rodda (102 comments)
"Christian Fighter Pilot" Calls First Lesbian Air Force Academy Commandant a Liar
In a new post on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog titled "BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan......
By Chris Rodda (123 comments)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors' -- UPDATED
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (101 comments)
Controlling Information
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and......
By wilkyjr (74 comments)
Is Bannon Fifth-Columning the Pope?
In December 2016 I wrote about how White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who likes to flash his Catholic credentials when it comes to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (223 comments)
Ross Douthat's Hackery on the Seemingly Incongruous Alliance of Bannon & Burke
Conservative Catholic writer Ross Douthat has dissembled again. This time, in a February 15, 2017 New York Times op-ed titled The Trump Era's Catholic......
By Frank Cocozzelli (54 comments)
`So-Called Patriots' Attack The Rule Of Law
Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to......
By Rob Boston (150 comments)
Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek......
By Frederick Clarkson (173 comments)
The Legacy of George Wallace
"One need not accept any of those views to agree that they had appealed to real concerns of real people, not to mindless, unreasoning......
By wilkyjr (50 comments)
Betsy DeVos's Mudsill View of Public Education
My Talk to Action colleague Rachel Tabachnick has been doing yeoman's work in explaining Betsy DeVos's long-term strategy for decimating universal public education. If......
By Frank Cocozzelli (52 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (209 comments)

Respect for Others? or Political Correctness?
The term "political correctness" as used by Conservatives and Republicans has often puzzled me: what exactly do they mean by it? After reading Chip Berlin's piece here-- http://www.talk2action.org/story/2016/7/21/04356/9417 I thought about what he explained......
MTOLincoln (231 comments)
Fear
What I'm feeling now is fear.  I swear that it seems my nightmares are coming true with this new "president".  I'm also frustrated because so many people are not connecting all the dots! I've......
ArchaeoBob (84 comments)
"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (168 comments)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (142 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (139 comments)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (130 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (141 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (122 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (183 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (137 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (79 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (186 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (76 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (105 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (102 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.