Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Rep. Monique Davis to atheist Rob Sherman: `It’s dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists!'
As a native from the Land of Lincoln, I can't do anything but wonder about the quality of our political representatives. The Chicago Tribune recently reported on the face off between Ill. Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago) and Rob Sherman - green party candidate.
In response to Sherman's objection to the state of Illinois giving $1 million to the Pilgrim Baptist Church, Davis attacked him for not believing in God and for having the temerity to say that the Church and State should be separate. She told him that she believed it was dangerous for children to know that atheism exists. She ordered him to stop testifying and insisted that in the Land of Lincoln, "people believe in God!" That is certainly news to this Illinois boy.
Here is a brief snippet of the debate (for fun, see if you can pick out the logical fallacies):
Davis: I don’t know what you have against God, but some of us don’t have much against him. We look forward to him and his blessings. And it’s really a tragedy -- it’s tragic -- when a person who is engaged in anything related to God, they want to fight. They want to fight prayer in school. I don’t see you (Sherman) fighting guns in school. You know?
I’m trying to understand the philosophy that you want to spread in the state of Illinois. This is the Land of Lincoln. This is the Land of Lincoln where people believe in God, where people believe in protecting their children.… What you have to spew and spread is extremely dangerous, it’s dangerous--
Sherman: What’s dangerous, ma’am?
Davis: It’s dangerous to the progression of this state. And it’s dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists! Now you will go to court to fight kids to have the opportunity to be quiet for a minute. But damn if you’ll go to [court] to fight for them to keep guns out of their hands. I am fed up! Get out of that seat!
Sherman: Thank you for sharing your perspective with me, and I’m sure that if this matter does go to court---
Davis: You have no right to be here! We believe in something. You believe in destroying! You believe in destroying what this state was built upon.
I am not quite sure which state she is referring to: our nation-state or the state of Illinois. Having grown up in Illinois, I am pretty sure it was built upon lots and lots of corn fields, not God's divine will.
* Outside of the logical fallacies, Davis may be on rocky historical ground as well. As this incident has caught fire the last few days, East Carolina University History Dept. chair Gerald Prokopowicz has found a new audience for his book, "Did Lincoln Own Slaves? And other frequently asked questions about Abraham Lincoln." According to Prokopowicz: "His religious beliefs were dynamic, complex, and powerful, but not conventional." Read his brief interview here