As JT points out, the Providence Journal has discovered our Evil Little Shirts, the sale of which is helping to raise money for Jessica Ahlquist’s college fund. And the comments are so full of stupid that it may just burst. A few examples:
This is nothing more than a personal (her uncle) mission. She is being used by her own people. I wouldn’t buy the last glass of water on earth (while in the desert) to support any of this. If these people want to nit pick, stop using US currency that CLEARLY states “In GOD We Trust”. Wolves in sheeps clothing. This is disgraceful and shouldn’t be given one more minute of time by any of the media, print or otherwise.
There are two forms of stupid here. The first is this very popular claim by her critics that Jessica is somehow being manipulated by adults into doing this, a charge made without a shred of evidence by people who don’t know her. Given that Jessica has shown nothing but intelligence and strength of will throughout this situation, even in the face of rape and death threats, that’s clearly nonsense.
The second is this equally popular and utterly moronic argument about currency saying “In God we trust.” Talk about a red herring. Even if that slogan shouldn’t be there — and it shouldn’t — what does that have to do with the legal issues in this case? Nothing at all. In fact, this argument is exactly why that slogan should be done away with. The entire point of the First Amendment’s religion clauses is to eliminate laws that make those citizens who don’t believe in the dominant religion into second-class citizens. So here the good Christian folk who like that sort of thing use that slogan to argue that if you don’t think we should trust in God, you should therefore stop using money — and starve, of course. How rational.
The other claim that comes up again and again in the comments goes like this: “A ha, this must be the real reason for all this. It’s all about making money.”
This is probably the real reason that Ms. Ahlquist and her parents decided to volunteer for this lawsuit – they knew people would be angry and this would generate sympathy for her.
If her motives WERE pure, she would give the money to charity – but I’m not holding my breath.
And by another:
Her motives and the motives of Steve Brown for the entire suit have to be questioned now… Parlaying her 15 minutes of fame into a “pity scholarship” is a very sad and nearly pathetic turn of events.
Again, this is offered with no evidence at all by people who don’t know Jessica at all. In fact, they had no idea that Hemant would set up the fund or that we would use Palumbo’s vile comments as a way to raise money for it. As far as I know, Hemant invented the idea of a scholarship fund in such cases when he set one up for Damon Fowler last year. There was no track record of them ever existing before that, so there is no way they could expected it would happen here.
But none of this is relevant. These are distractions, attempts to impugn her motives rather than engage the legal reality of the case. And then there’s this:
The problem is that the Constitution DOES NOT SAY what she and you are saying that it does. PERIOD.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”
CONGRESS. Not the courts, nor the states nor the local school superintendents.
OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF which is exactly what has happened here.
Sorry, you flunk. Yes, the First Amendment talks about Congress. But the First Amendment was applied to the states by the 14th Amendment after 1868. That’s why this dolt has the right to write a letter full of ignorance to the newspaper without the state or local government throwing them in jail for it. Do you suppose if the state of Rhode Island had a law allowing them to arrest the letter writer and put them in jail for it, they would agree that the First Amendment doesn’t protect their rights because it specifies Congress? Of course not. They’d be screaming bloody murder about it. Because they are both stupid and a hypocrite.
As for free exercise, this case has nothing to do with it. The free exercise of religion does not mean you get to have the government endorse your beliefs. You can say that prayer any time you’d like, of course, and the Free Exercise Clause protects your right to do so. It doesn’t mean the government — and yes, the school is the government — gets to make official endorsements of your religion.
By the way, the shirts are selling like crazy, almost 400 orders in already and still coming. The company, which is a small one-woman operation, is pretty much buried, so be patient in receiving them. The production time is probably going to run a couple weeks, plus shipping time.