… OR YOU WILL ROT IN JAIL.
Can a judge order you to agree with the President? Are you kidding ? Can a judge order you to buy health insurance? May we introduce you to John Roberts? Oh, you are familiar with him? Well then, may we introduce you to Judge Joseph Sheeran?
In Judge Joseph Sheeran’s courtroom, religious literacy is seen as an antidote to intolerance and hate.
Last week, the Michigan judge gave Delane Bell two years’ probation for attacking two men Bell thought were Muslims. But the judge conditioned the sentence on Bell’s completing a 10-page paper on Hinduism, the actual faith of the assault victims.
This was Judge Sheeran’s second attempt to educate Bell about religions. At his plea hearing, Bell was ordered to write a paper on the cultural contributions of Islam, presumably to help him stop viewing all Muslims as terrorists.
Judge Sheeran wants defendant Bell to ……get his mind right. Judge Sheeran wants defendant Bell to demonstrate, to the judge’s satisfaction, that Bell has got his mind right. And the author of the linked article, Charles C. Haynes of the First Amendment Center, is more than just all right with that:
But on the larger question of what Americans need to know in order to be good citizens, Sheeran may be onto something.
Study about religions in school, it turns out, can indeed increase tolerance and understanding among people of different faiths and beliefs.
What Americans need to know in order to be good citizens. Right. In order for defendant Bell to be a good citizen, he must demonstrate that he understands the “cultural contributions of Islam”. Mr. Bell’s original crime, assault or whatever it was, is totally irrelevant to our discussion today. It is his state of mind we are concerned with. And where does “agree with the President” fit in? You know very well where it fits in or you wouldn’t be reading this, but here is the obligatory link to the President’s Cairo speech of June, 2009.
As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam. It was Islam – at places like Al-Azhar University – that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s Renaissance and Enlightenment.
That of course was part of Barack Obama’s infamous apology tour, and those sentiments he repeated many times in countless speeches and public appearances. It is a hallmark of his presidency. You probably also recall that he stated at one point that, if anyone were counting, America would be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world. But enough of that. We are not here today to beat up on Barack Obama. As we speak he and his underlings are dutifully savaging their own reputations.
Nor are we here to fume over what some rogue judge in Michigan thinks is demonstrative of good citizenship. After having seen the output of the aforementioned rogue Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, we are pretty much resigned to the fact that any judge, anywhere, can order anything.
Charles C. Haynes is a senior Scholar at the First Amendment Center on the campus of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. The First Amendment Center is affiliated also with the Newseum, a shrine to journalism, in Washington DC. Both outlets are affiliated with the USA Today/Gannett family of media groups, including newspapers in small, medium and large cities across America and extending to ownership and management of various military-oriented newspapers, such as Military Times, Army Times, et cetera. And of course Mr. Haynes has….outside interests beyond the First Amendment.
We have followed the offerings of Charles C. Haynes and his colleagues for some time now. Trust us when we say that the First Amendment Center has been there every step of the way with the ACLU, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and all the rest of the left-wing outlets in guarding the schoolhouse and the courthouse and the statehouse from religious….intrusion. The example we present today is a nuanced but not wholly inconsistent understanding these people have of our beloved First Amendment, and other Amendments and , let’s just say….freedom and the perks and prerequisites of citizenship in general. It is one of our institutions and public society being devoid of religious influence or limitations on expression unless and until some sop to some religion ( or race, or ethnicity, or ideology, or psychological condition, or crackpot psuedo-scientific theory, or sexual per…..suasion) somewhere, anywhere, can be used to put ordinary Americans in their place, which now apparently is in jail.
Our aim today is not to debate the wonderfulness or lack thereof in the matter of what Muslims practice as a religion. Our purpose is not even to bemoan the fact that Mr. Haynes’ idea of creating model citizens is to make them study religions other than their own. We don’t even feel the need to highlight that Haynes spends an inordinate amount of time himself praising the Islamic faith and protesting that Shariah, while a wholesome good for goody-good Muslims everywhere, is no threat to Western Democracy.
No, we only want to drive home the point that Haynes, and by association all of the entities we mentioned above, are of a mind that if you do not express agreement with The President, it is appropriate that you be left to rot in jail. We can reach no other conclusion upon seeing the cavalier way they present “The Re-education of Delane Bell As a Model for America.” We think this is a recent development in political/academic/media circles in the United States of America. That’s all we wanted to say. Have a nice day. Oh, and, uh, salaam, of course.
*****First, they came for the religious illiterates.******