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Jan 15 2012

Unleash the Kraken on Peter G. Palumbo!

Palumbo is a Rhode Island representative; he just called one of his constituents, Jessica Ahlquist, an “evil little thing” who was “being coerced by evil people”. I think he needs to apologize. No, scratch that; he needs to lose his next election. Contact him! Palumbo’s email address is [email protected]. His office phone number is (401) 785-2882.

71 comments

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  1. 1
    anuran

    Thanks. Already emailed. Will start calling tomorrow

  2. 2
    'Tis Himself

    As I announced on JT Eberhard’s blog, I have just sent the following email to Palumbo:

    Dear Representative Palumbo,

    When I joined the U.S. Navy I took an oath to “support, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” When you became a member of the Rhode Island legislature you took a similar oath. So why are you trying to pretend the First Amendment doesn’t apply to the School Prayer banner which was properly and legally removed from the Cranston West High School? I think you need to reread the First Amendment and think about it really, really hard. Because if you cannot support the First Amendment, then you will be breaking your oath to support and protect the Constitution. In that case, you need to rethink whether you are fit to be a legislator.

    Also how can you have the unmitigated gall to call Jessica Ahlquist evil? She was stopping some people from doing something illegal. How is that evil?

    Sincerely,
    Real Name

  3. 3
    petejohn

    Mr. Palumbo

    I find it very disappointing that you would refer to Ms. Ahlquist, a citizen of your district, your state, your country, and a fellow member of the human race, as “an evil little thing.” I also find it disappointing that you would also argue that she was incapable of objecting to that obviously religious banner in her school due to her own knowledge of the U.S. Constitution or her own beliefs, but because she was being coerced by others. The banner in question was obviously and explicitly a prayer dedicated to a particular deity of a particular religious sect, and is illegal based on the Constitution of the United States and subsequent legal decisions. Ms. Ahlquist was right to object to it, and it is disappointing that an elected official would resort to name calling and insults in the wake of her side’s victory in court. An apology is most certainly in order.

    Sincerely
    ME

  4. 4
    boskerbonzer

    Done. Man I hate having to remain civil and rational when I email government officials.

    Dear Rep Palumbo

    I just finished listening to your podcast interview on the John DePetro show and would like to express my dismay that you would heap more abuse on a young woman who is currently being threatened on every social media on the Internet. Jessica most definitely is NOT a silly, impressionable girl who is being duped or used as a pawn by some evil group. She is intelligent, brave, well-spoken, and familiar with the constitutional law that states that the government shall not favor one religion over another.

    You said it yourself: if you remove “Our Heavenly Father” (and the Amen at the end) from the prayer mural the message is a good one. Why don’t you question the decision of the school board to NOT just remove those few words and leave the rest of the message? They decided against doing just that. They truly are the ones acting as if they are being controlled by others, and honestly, acting like spiteful brats – if they can’t leave the whole banner up with the illegal few words included, then they’ll get rid of the whole message.

    I would suggest that you might reconsider who in this whole issue is acting like the rational adult. It’s Jessica Ahlquist, and she deserves better than your condescending and insulting rhetoric. You might also seriously consider how much you are encouraging the vengeful hatred she’s experiencing at school, online and in her day to day life. She actually is more afraid for the safety of her younger siblings from the hateful threats coming from disgruntled Christians than she is for herself.

    Sincerely

  5. 5
    beezlebubby

    How about unleashing a bit of Pharyngula-style krakenishnesh on the CBS FB page for airing a commercial by Focus on the Family during the Patriots-Broncos game last night? Currently the comments are about 10 pro-hate group comments and kudos for every comment taking CBS to task for giving a platform to a hate group.

  6. 6
    Aquaria

    #5:

    The Pharyngulation can’t happen without a link.

  7. 7
    PZ Myers

    Also, Focus on the Patriarchy has every right to blow their wad on commercials in football games. A representative who is supposed to uphold the constitution is something altogether different.

  8. 8
    johnmarley

    Wait, that’s a violation of his oath of office. Shouldn’t he be impeached (or whatever Rhode Island calls canning an elected official)?

  9. 9
    RFW

    ISTM that “evil little thing” is outright slander.

  10. 10
    Ingdigo Jump

    ISTM that “evil little thing” is outright slander.

    Probably not under US laws

  11. 11
    unclefrogy

    has it always been a requirement that politicians be brain dead or is it a more recent development historically I ask to anyone with more knowledge than I?
    mr. representative stumbled when he started his explanation of the prayer as christian then just higher power……….

    words fail me It is such an open example of pandering to the perceived majority voters.
    then some “citizen” suggests that they start a fund to get a lawyer to take the case pro Bono?
    uncle frogy

  12. 12
    humanape

    Email sent:

    Mr. Peter G. Palumbo,

    Your harassment of a 16 year old girl, Jessica Ahlquist, was disgusting.

    Unlike you the young lady respects and defends our constitution.

    You should be ashamed of yourself. I demand that you apologize for
    your cowardly behavior.

  13. 13
    markmckee

    Dear Rep Palumbo,

    I am a Rhode Islander who understands the special relationship that Rhode Island has towards religious tolerance. In other words I know who Roger Williams is and what he did.

    I am also fully aware of the special relationship the USA formed when it was founded. And that special relationship was to respect ALL religions and to never put one religion above another in any official capacity. In the true spirit of Roger Williams, and in keeping with the founding fathers, Jessica Ahlquist saw to it that her high school observed the law.

    So as a Rhode Islander, I am especially proud of the bravery and intelligence of Jessica, who you recently denigrated. You should be ashamed of yourself as an American, and especially as a Rhode Islander.

    Although I vote Democratic nearly exclusively, I at this time feel I must do what I can to see to it that you are not re-elected.

    Just shameful

    real name

  14. 14
    otrame

    I couldn’t remain entirely “pleasant:”

    How dare you call Ms. Ahlquist evil? The only thing she did was insist that her school OBEY THE LAW.

    For that “crime” she has had people say things like this:

    “If this banner comes down, hell i hope the school burns down with it!”

    “U little brainless idiot, hope u will be punished, you have not win sh..t! Stupid little brainless skunk!”

    “Fuck Jessica alquist I’ll drop anchor on her face”

    “definetly laying it down on this athiest tommorow anyone else?”

    “Nothing bad better happen tomorrow #justsaying #fridaythe13th”

    “Let’s all jump that girl who did the banner #fuckthatho”

    “literally that bitch is insane. and the best part is she already transferred schools because shes knows someone will jump her #ahaha”

    “”But for real somebody should jump this girl” lmao let’s do it!”

    “Hmm jess is in my bio class, she’s gonna get some shit thrown at her”

    “I want to punch the girl in the face that made west take down the school prayer… #Honestly”

    “hail Mary full of grace @jessicaahlquist is gonna get punched in the face”

    “When I take over the world I’m going to do a holocaust to all the atheists”

    “gods going to fuck your ass with that banner you scumbag”

    “I found it, what a little bitch lol I wanna snuff her”

    “if I wasn’t 18 and wouldn’t go to jail I’d beat the shit out of her idk how she got away with not getting beat up yet”

    “lol I wanna stick that bitch lol”

    “nail her to a cross”

    “We can make so many jokes about this dumb bitch, but who cares #thatbitchisgointohell and Satan is gonna rape her.”

    And now she has to have her own representative call her evil. Once again, because she insisted that the law be respected.

    You should be ashamed of yourself.

    Real Name

  15. 15
    Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    ISTM that “evil little thing” is outright slander.

    Based on the transcript posted over at WWJTD, it seems at least possible that the phrase “evil little thing” wasn’t meant as a description of Ms. Ahlquist herself. You can read it as words he puts in her mouth to describe either the prayer display itself or the ordeal she’s been through on account of it. He later makes it quite clear that he doesn’t mean to say that she herself is evil (you can read that as just walking back something he realizes he shouldn’t have said, but it does provide a bit of plausible deniability.)

  16. 16
    jesuslovesbags

    Sir

    Your comments referring to Jessica Ahlquist as an “evil little thing” are incredibly repugnant. A courageous young woman as Jessica should be celebrated for her Constitutional awareness and knowledge. Yet you seem to be more interested in demagoguery of those who aim to remove government from religion and vice versa. 

    While I don’t live in your district I will do everything in my power to bring attention to your pandering remarks.  I hope you lose your next election to someone with a greater respect for those of other faiths or lack thereof than you. 

    Sincerely

    JLB
    JesusLovesBags.com

  17. 17
    gragra, something clever after the comma

    Under what other circumstances could an elected politician think it was okay to call a 16 year old school girl an “evil little thing”, unless she’d actually murdered someone? Religion is the only thing that makes such language possible.

  18. 18
    marey

    I kept it simple and maybe not so sweet.

    You owe her an apology! She insisted the school follow the constitution. And you think she’s evil? What’s wrong with you!?!

    APOLOGIZE !!

    Marey Cohen

  19. 19
    Trebuchet

    Palumbo has also introduced a “papers please” bill, like the infamous (and bigoted) Arizona legislation. And apparently he’s proud of that. As a (D), he makes a pretty good (R).

    http://www.peterpalumbo.com/

  20. 20
    mattforeman

    Email sent. Quoted his oath of office at him. Doubt he will understand.

  21. 21
    dianne

    A quick look at his web site reveals Palumbo is a rather repugnant little thing himself. His opponent may have just come in for some campaign funds, much as I hate to support a Republican. Perhaps he has a primary challenge? Must google.

  22. 22
    bodhipaksa

    I sent this message. It was rejected on the grounds of “banned content.”

    Representative Palumbo.

    I cannot understand how an elected representative can think it appropriate to call a schoolgirl “an evil little thing.” Jessica Ahlquist is not a “thing” — she is a citizen of the United States of America.

    She is moreover, not evil, but a brave citizen, having put herself in danger by standing up for the US constitution, which you, sir, have taken a pledge to uphold. Her actions merit your support, not your condemnation. Miss Alhquist has received numerous threats, and it is against that intolerance and hatred that you should take a stand. Instead, you choose to take a stand against the Constitution and against a schoolchild.

    You have acted in a cowardly way, and in violation of your oath of office. I think you need to give some serious thought as to whether you are suited to for political office. Unless you apologize unreservedly to Miss Ahlquist, and affirm that her actions were in defense of the constitution, I think it’s clear you are not.

  23. 23
    chigau (違う)

    An elected politician is name-calling a child.
    (yeah, she’s smart, aware, brave and etc. but still a minor)
    His keepers must be just shitting.

  24. 24
    lemuridae

    I fully agree that there should be a backlash against Palumbo for this, but the more I hear things like “he needs to lose his next election” the more I start to think Pharyngula readers are being treated like a kind of hit squad to be called into action upon being commanded.. I don’t think this incident alone is reason enough to force somebody out of office. Palumbo may be doing an otherwise decent job, albeit he is apparently a delusional theist who either doesn’t understand the constitution or doesn’t want to because it would damage his voter base.

  25. 25
    hotshoe, now with more boltcutters
    ISTM that “evil little thing” is outright slander.

    Based on the transcript posted over at WWJTD, it seems at least possible that the phrase “evil little thing” wasn’t meant as a description of Ms. Ahlquist herself. You can read it as words he puts in her mouth to describe either the prayer display itself or the ordeal she’s been through on account of it. He later makes it quite clear that he doesn’t mean to say that she herself is evil (you can read that as just walking back something he realizes he shouldn’t have said, but it does provide a bit of plausible deniability.)

    Thanks, but no thanks, to what you’re shilling for.

    If you listen to the podcast, Palumbo doubled down on the christian crazy point of view. Palumbo is a total jerk; he thinks Alquist is a “pawn of evil”; he’s planning to raise funds to appeal the decision.

    Polumbo states that

    “this country was founded on Christian-Judeo beliefs and this prayer is a Christian, it’s a, actually it’s a prayer for everyone, Muslims included; it’s a non-denominational prayer, to any person who believes in a higher being, Our Father, Our God, so you can’t discriminate and say well it’s just a christian prayer or whatever”

    (transcription mine, any errors mine)

    Fuck him. Fuck anyone who defends him. Fuck anyone who votes for this shitbag after this.

  26. 26
    hotshoe, now with more boltcutters

    Palumbo may be doing an otherwise decent job

    Citation required.

  27. 27
    dianne

    Palumbo may be doing an otherwise decent job,

    He’s not, as a quick look at the legislation he’s sponsored shows. Furthermore, I’m not sure one can be a good enough legislator* to make up for calling a 16 year old girl evil for exercising her constitutional rights.

    *American legislator, that is. I don’t, of course, expect legislators in other countries to give a santorum about the US’s constitution. But an American legislator swears to uphold the constitution, not to harass teenagers for attempting to uphold it.

  28. 28
    alexandra14c

    Maybe that banner needs to stay up.

    People seem to not be taking it to heart. At least not the line:

    “Help us be good sports and smile when we lose”

    E-mail sent.

  29. 29
    lemuridae

    Palumbo may be doing an otherwise decent job

    “Citation required.”

    I said “may be”, nullifying the requirement on my part to provide evidence. I accept that it was a dick move. Basically, I pulled a Glen Beck on you.

    (Is Obama a terrorist muslim who devours puppies and regurgitates their digested corpses so his demon offspring can feed?! I don’t know, that’s for you to decide, America! I’m just spitballin’!)

  30. 30
    feralboy12

    I don’t think this incident alone is reason enough to force somebody out of office. Palumbo may be doing an otherwise decent job, albeit he is apparently a delusional theist who either doesn’t understand the constitution or doesn’t want to because it would damage his voter base.

    An elected Representative who failed or refused to heed Constitutional law, violated his oath of office, and encouraged the ongoing cyberbullying of a 16-year old girl. Other than that, he’s doing a decent job.

    Other than that, how did you enjoy the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

  31. 31
    dianne

    Is Obama a terrorist muslim who devours puppies and regurgitates their digested corpses so his demon offspring can feed?!

    And if so why hasn’t he been more effective at enacting his evil agenda?

  32. 32
    samsalerno

    I already gave that overgrown bully a piece of my mind.

  33. 33
    cyberCMDR

    Done.

    Dear Representative Palumbo,
    One of the things I learned over my Air Force career was that the more I increased in rank the more I had to monitor what I said. With greater authority my words, even if said in jest, carried greater weight. As a representative of your state, you hold a far greater rank than I ever did as an officer. Therefore, your words hold even greater weight. For you to have called Jessica Ahlquist, a 16 year old girl, an “evil little thing” is the epitome of speaking with authority without thinking about the consequences. You have publicly attacked a minor, for insisting that her school obey our nation’s laws.

    As an Air Force officer I did not swear an oath to a religion, or to the President, but to the Constitution. I held that oath as my highest duty. I understand you too have sworn a similar oath. Jessica Ahlquist’s primary sin is that she placed adherence to the Constitution above the sense of entitlement held by the locally dominant religion. In doing so, she apparently has shown more loyalty to the Constitution than you. If you are not ashamed, then you are unfit for your office.

  34. 34
    thepinkphoenix

    You are ignorant of the constitution if this is your belief. Regardless of her faith, or lack thereof, she is simply defending what is currently the law of this land and I support her actions fully… As should you.

    Regards,
    Jennifer Frederick
    Voter

  35. 35
    kc9oq

    Message Sent

    Rep Palumbo:

    I am not one of your constituents; however I do have strong and fond ties to Rhode Island. My forebear, Thomas Arnold, was one of those who accompanied Roger Williams from Massachussets in order to establish a new colony. Their impetus was religious freedom, which they could not find under the strict, puritanical establishment in their home colony.

    It is with dismay that I read of you referring to a courageous, young woman who in the spirit of both my ancestor and Williams, has stood against unconstitutional establishment of religion in her school, as an “evil little thing.”

    I have read Justice Lageux’s decision in the matter and I agree wholeheartedly. He quotes the United States Supreme Court in his decision:

    That, “the insistence upon neutrality, vital as it surely is for
    untrammeled religious liberty, may appear to border upon
    religious hostility. But in the long view the independence of
    both church and state in their respective spheres will be better
    served by close adherence to the neutrality principle.”

    I believe you owe this young woman, and your constituents, an apology.

  36. 36
    Rey Fox

    Dear Rep. Palumbo,

    Anyone politician uses the word “evil” unironically is not fit to hold public office.

    Sincerely,
    An Adult Citizen

  37. 37
    georgewiman

    Dear Mister Palumbo,

    I had never heard of you until I found out you called a 16-year-old girl “evil” for standing up for the Constitution. This led me to look at your website and your voting record, which speaking as a Democrat isn’t so hot. Would you kindly consider the following points:

    Religious expression is allowed in schools, but not by schools. We teach ethics, citizenship, even manners but religion is not a job for a government institution. And yes, it was a religious message and the school as an institution clearly approved – or the banner wouldn’t have been there so long.

    It was not even an inclusive religious expression. Jews and Muslims do not say “Our Heavenly Father” to give two examples. As such it excludes people of many faiths as well as people of no religion.

    Yet it contains a basically positive message that could be completely inclusive with just a bit of editing. This the school board, in violation of US law, declined to do.

    Jessica Ahlquist asked the school board to comply with the law. For this she has received numerous threats. Did you really intend to pile on with that crowd?

    There are good people in all religions and there are good people of no religion. Sadly religion often makes it difficult to recognize that goodness. I watched a long interview with Jessica and she is a fine, intelligent young person who stood up for what is right. Please walk this back and remember our national motto was once E Pluribus Unum. It would better serve the Democratic party, and the country.

  38. 38
    Cipher

    I hope you realize that you’re an embarrassment to Rhode Island right now. You, a grown man sworn to defend the Constitution, have gone after a teenager – a teenager who is even now receiving violent threats from your brothers and sisters in the faith – for defending her Constitutional rights. Maybe you’re jealous that a high school student knows the law of the land better than you do, or maybe you’re just so arrogant and bigoted that you think we should just ignore the Constitution in favor of your religious beliefs. Either way, your behavior toward this young woman is vile. What were you thinking? You ought to be ashamed of yourself, and you owe Jessica Ahlquist a sincere apology.

    Sincerely,
    Real Name

  39. 39
    craigore

    “No, scratch that; he needs to lose his next election.”
    If I were in a fouler mood, I’d say he needs to be taken out and whipped, but I suppose kicking his ass out of that and other offices will suffice.

  40. 40
    thewoodguy

    done.

    Rep. Palumbo,

    News of your recent outburst regarding Jessica Ahlquist, the young woman who successfully brought action to defend the constitutional separation of church and state, has reached far and wide. You derided her as “an evil little thing,” and expressed your opinion that she was “being coerced by evil people,” an opinion that is uninformed, unjust and unfair.

    I feel strongly that you owe her, and your constituents, an apology for not protecting their rights to be free from the intrusion of religion in publicly funded facilities. Diversity of belief is a foundation of our country and our culture, and you should be ashamed to have sided with bigotry and intolerance.

    While you do not represent me, you have served those who elected you quite poorly. Please make amends, and re-read the Constitution of the United States of America.

    Sincerely,

    James L. Williams

  41. 41
    danielmchugh

    “Shame on you for insulting Jessica Ahlquist, who stood up for the United States Constitution when you did not have the courage to. Shame on you for violating your oath to your state and to the American people, shame on you for supporting religious discrimination and the un-American establishment of religion in public schools, and shame on you for not having the intestinal fortitude to stand up for what is right at the risk of losing your job. This young woman has risked her reputation, her future, and her very life- for she has received such threats- to speak out and call out for the restoration of the ideals on which this great nation was founded. There can be no rational excuse for your behavior, and your only possible redemption lies in issuing Miss Ahlquist and the American people an immediate and sincere apology.

    Sincerely yours,
    An American Citizen.”

    May the pile of angry email bury the bastard.

  42. 42
    TerranRich, Yet Another Atheist

    “Shouldn’t he be impeached (or whatever Rhode Island calls canning an elected official)?”

    You’re thinking of “praised and showered with adulation”. That’s what happens when RI officials violate their oath of office, especially with religious matters (Doreen Costa, I’m lookin’ at you!).

  43. 43
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Interesting – in a horrible sort of way – to reflect on the quite literal dehumanisation of a teenage girl there in Rep. Palumbo’s language. She doesn’t even get the dignity of being called by name or referred to by a gender pronoun or a ‘person’ type term but instead becomes labelled by Rhode isladn red rep. Palumbo as a mere “evil thing.” An evil thing? Like say, a white phosphorous hand grenade or land mine or a horror-movie severed-but-alive-evil-hand would be? WTF!

    The level of hatred and cruelty and failure to recognise Jessica Ahlquist’s humanity – let alone – her correctness and intelligence and courage there is just staggering.

  44. 44
    montanto

    As a former Rhode Islander this is getting embarrassing! Yes Cranston is the punchline to half the jokes we make about ourselves but still.

  45. 45
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Isn’t it telling that breaking a mere traffic regulation in a moment of neglect comes with consequences, but breaking the constitution, the basis of the whole society, willingly and knowingly comes with no consequences at all?
    No matter that one is taken more serious than the other.

  46. 46
    Steven Brown: Man of Mediocrity

    The guy has a facebook page with 6 likes. Maybe a good way to spread this around a bit… http://www.facebook.com/pages/Peter-Palumbo-for-State-Representative/149776108382750

  47. 47
    ambulocetacean

    I went with the rape-and-murder angle, as in “Were you elected to represent all of your contituents? Or just the ones who threaten teenage girls with rape and murder?”

  48. 48
    Cipher

    Aww, what a sad facebook page. I almost feel bad for the guy now. I mean, he’s still a bigoted asshole and doesn’t deserve to be in office, but… Okay never mind. I don’t feel bad.

  49. 49
    raven

    Oddly enough, Rhode Island was founded on freedom and religion and a strict separation of church and state. As well as a haven for refugees from the Purtin witch hunting theocracy up north a few miles, Massachusetts.

    Roger Willians was a Puritan who advocated strict separation of church and state. While he was a wild eyed religious fanatic, he believed that the state had no business interfering with anyone’s religion.

    He was driven out of Massachusetts and almost killed by the Puritans for that. He eventually went to England and petitioned to found Rhode Island on the basis of freedom of religion.

    They’ve forgotten everything here, their original history as well as the US constitution.

  50. 50
    raymondlynch

    I’m not a US citizen so I feel no need to be too civil to this travesty of a human being:

    Mr Palumbo,

    You are a vicious man and obviously hold no regard for the constitutional rights of minors in your own state nor the judicial process of the Federal United States. You dare to call yourself a Christian, yet you treat a child in such an offensive manner.
    You will surely be judged and found wanting. It is you and your ilk who are deserving of eternal torment for your hideous un-christian behavior. Imagine if this was one of your own children in this position?
    As an elected representative you should have been calling for calm and taken advantage of this situation to teach these children of your constituents some valuable civics lessons regarding seperation of church and state and tolerance towaeds others. But like a rabid dog you join in this mob mentality and fan the flames as these Christian high school students make threats of actual physical violence against this brave and intelligent girl.
    When US marines are looking for people to urinate on they need look no further than Rhode Island’s halls of governance.
    You should be ashamed and should publicly apologise to the poor girl whom you have treated so wickedly.
    If there was any justice in this world you would be flogged through the streets of Providence and placed in stocks for public ridicule.
    Of one thing I am sure; If this banner had referred to any other God than our heavenlyh father you would have been first in line to have it removed from a public school. You are the very definition of a hypocrite.

    Praying for your Deliverence from Eternal Damnation
    You Most Wicked and Evil Man.

    Ray Lynch
    New Zealand

  51. 51
    IncredulousMark

    Palumbo’s facebook page allows anyone to comment. Not saying you have to or anything:
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Peter-Palumbo-for-State-Representative/149776108382750

  52. 52
    Nancy New, Queen of your Regulatory Nightmare

    Here’s what I sent…

    SHAME on you!

    Jessica Alquist, who, incidentally, is clearly intelligent, well-spoken, and perfectly capable of determining the blatant unconstitutionality of that “school prayer,” has been burdened with an enormous load of malice, hatred, and actionable threats of violence from the supposed “christians” who’ve weighed in on this publically through news and social media.

    As a state representative, by calling her an “evil little thing” “coerced by evil people,” not only did you fail in your duty as part of the government of the state by breaking your own oath to “support, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” you offered support to the vile and malicious pack threatening her with attack. Again, SHAME ON YOU.

    Have you not read the comments posted about her? Here’s a little sample. YOU SUPPORTED this by your public comments.

    “Let’s all jump that girl who did the banner #fuckthatho”
    “literally that bitch is insane. and the best part is she already transferred schools because shes knows someone will jump her #ahaha”
    “”But for real somebody should jump this girl” lmao let’s do it!”
    “Hmm jess is in my bio class, she’s gonna get some shit thrown at her”
    “I want to punch the girl in the face that made west take down the school prayer… #Honestly”
    “hail Mary full of grace @jessicaahlquist is gonna get punched in the face”
    “When I take over the world I’m going to do a holocaust to all the atheists”
    “gods going to fuck your ass with that banner you scumbag”
    “I found it, what a little bitch lol I wanna snuff her”
    “if I wasn’t 18 and wouldn’t go to jail I’d beat the shit out of her idk how she got away with not getting beat up yet”
    “lol I wanna stick that bitch lol”
    “nail her to a cross”
    “We can make so many jokes about this dumb bitch, but who cares #thatbitchisgointohell and Satan is gonna rape her.”

    And in your judgement, SHE’s evil? Seems to me that you’ve miss-identified the target here.

    The people who made those comments? Those are evil. ALL Ms Alquist did was to stand up for her own–and everyone’s elses’ contitutionally protected rights. And now her own representative calls her evil? Because she insisted that the law be upheld?

    Again–SHAME ON YOU.

  53. 53
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Done:

    Representative Palumbo:

    When I entered the United States Army in 1989, I swore to defend the Constitution of the United States of America agains all enemies, foreign and domestic. You, when you took office as a state representative in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, took a similar oath. Now you are attacking a young woman who only asked that her public school follow the Constitution of the United States of America, calling her an ‘evil thing.’ All she has done is help to uphold the Constitution. Which is what you should be doing. And are conspicuously failing to do.

    Real Name

  54. 54
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Just added this comment :

    ***

    Have you apologised to Jessica Ahlquist – the teenage atheist girl you publicly called an “evil little thing” because she correctly interpreted constititutional law where you failed to do so yet? If not, please correct that error of yours ASAP.

    *****

    to Palumbo’s wall.

  55. 55
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Cheers for that link MarkNS.

  56. 56
    shouldbeworking

    I’m a Canadian teacher and I commented tht I seem to know more about his Constituition than he does. Then I mentioned that a RI teacher who called a student evil would probably be fired, good thing for him that teachers are held to a much higher standard of conduct than politicians.

  57. 57
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Oh & under his new profile picture :

    So this is the face of a powerful bully or so it would seem based on Palumbo’s disgusting literally dehumanising abuse of Jessica Ahlquist, a brave, intelligent and remarkable young woman who is now facing death threats and endless putrid hatred because she dared to stand up – correctly – for her belief in the separation of Church and State and her correct understanding of the Constitution of the United States of America.

  58. 58
    chriskg

    The “Contact Peter” section of his webpage has a different email address.

    Contact Peter by mail:

    Representative Peter Palumbo
    67 Kearney Street
    Cranston, RI 02920

    Contact Peter by e-mail: [email protected]

    I think any emails should be duplicated on the second email address.

  59. 59
    dwestbrook

    With due pleasure…

    Rep. Palumbo,

    Sir, your public characterization of Jessica Ahlquist as an “evil little thing” was inappropriate.

    The United States is a great nation because even the majority (i.e. christians) are not above the Constitution.

    According to Thomas Jefferson, “All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.”

    It will behoove you and your staff to review the First Amendment to the Constitution and the Treaty of Tripoli before seeking reelection to a position of trust and responsibility.

    V/r

    Dave Westbrook

    “Religion and Government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.” – President James Madison

  60. 60
    weeperof

    An “evil little thing, coerced by evil people”?

    Really, Mr. Palumbo?

    Apparently Jessica Ahlquist knows considerably more about the Constitution than you do, especially the First Amendment.

    Show us you’re at least her equal by reversing your absurd position on this issue, apologizing to Ms. Ahlquist, and enrolling in a 10th grade Civics (not the car) class.

    Skip Winfield
    Cranston, RI

  61. 61
    sometimeszero

    Representative Palumbo,

    I am writing to you today with a heavy heart. Nearly every morning I wake up and work with students in an elementary school. In recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King, we have been teaching them about the importance of civil liberty and respect for fellow human beings. In class, a young 8 year old African American student was watching a video about why we celebrate the holiday and quickly began to weep at the way humanity treated its own just a short time ago. I explained to him that Dr. Martin Luther King Junior was one of many iconic leaders to publicly denounce the hate and fear some people have of those individuals who are different from themselves. As he slowly wiped his tears away, he asked me if people still behave badly like that. I responded that we made a lot of progress since then, but that we still have lots of work to do.

    …lots of work. As here we are, in 2012, making the same mistakes we made at least 100 years ago. Indeed, your recent public statement that Jessica Ahlquist is an “evil little thing” being “coerced by evil people” razes the ideals that Dr. King sought to erect for future generations. Her atheism is no excuse for an elected official to speak of her as if she is any less of a human being than anyone else.

    Our Country’s leaders never fail to remind us that our public education system needs marked improvements. Yet when that rare student, articulate and intelligent, believed there was a problem, analyzed it rationally and took the appropriate steps to solve it, one of those leaders—you, Representative Palumbo—did nothing but contribute to Jessica’s mountainous collection of hate speech. For doing nothing more than respecting the separation of church and state, Jessica has received backlash from friends, peers, members in the community—and most appalling of all—elected officials who, more than anyone, should understand the importance of civil discourse and Constitutional rights.

    I sincerely hope that you follow her example by doing what’s right. Please apologize for that hateful, xenophobic remark. Diversity and respect for our Constitutional rights are what helps to define America. Dr. King knew that, I know that, Jessica knows that, and I hope that the responses you’ve received have demonstrated that many of the American people know that, too. But do you?

    Brian

  62. 62
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    To: [email protected]
    cc: [email protected], [email protected]
    Subject: Peter Palumbo’s smear of Jessica Ahlquist

    To whom it may concern,

    I find it appalling that an elected official has called a teenage girl “an evil little thing” for insisting that the Constitution be followed. I also am angered at his implication that she cannot know her own mind but must be under the control of bad people.

    Meanwhile, Mr. Palumbo seems entirely unconcerned with the threats of violence Ms. Ahlquist has been receiving from self-identified Christians. Many of these threats can be seen here:
    http://jesusfetusfajitafishsticks.blogspot.com/2012/01/ahlquist-screenshots-if-by-christian.html

    I also find it appalling that the Rhode Island Democratic Party does not seem motivated to rebuke Mr. Palumbo for his un-Constitutional, indeed un-American, opinion and his tacit encouragement of religious extremists to persecute a teenage girl.

    Rhode Island was founded on the basis of religious liberty. That includes freedom FROM as well as freedom OF religion. It is embarrassing that an adolescent honors this better than the state’s elected officials do.

    [real name]

  63. 63
    'Tis Himself

    markmckee #13

    I am a Rhode Islander who understands the special relationship that Rhode Island has towards religious tolerance. In other words I know who Roger Williams is and what he did.

    You, sir, win one internets.

  64. 64
    kevinjackson

    Emailed yesterday and called several times today but you can’t get through so hopefully some of you are.

  65. 65
    Therrin

    Incoming notpology in 5…4…3…

  66. 66
    OpenMindedNotCredulous

    Well, what a surprise. Mr. Palumbo is a pearl-clutching prude. My first email said (in part):

    I sincerely hope you’re not representative of the state legislative body in
    Rhode Island. Because if you are your state if well and truly fucked.

    Which resulted in the following SMTP reply:

    554 rejecting banned content (state 18)

  67. 67
    jamesnewton

    I am a deeply spiritual person and Mr. Palumbo do you know why the founding fathers kept the union of church and state apart. It was the fact that a state or national ran theocracy is not for freedoms. If you are allowed to put up your banners on school property then other religions have the same rights as you. This is the problem with all the right wing crazies. They are making the USA look like a bunch of psychotic Jesus zombies. The USA is not a Christian’s only social club. Why don’t you come down out of your ivory tower and become more of a true sales person for Jesus and try to save a soul, and not condemn others. This is what Jesus would really do. Not your crazy, villainous, attitude to a nice well behaved student as this person is. Try to practice what you preach, if that is possible for you!

  68. 68
  69. 69
    effemchug

    Forget sending emails, this guy needs a super PAC dedicated to seeing that he never holds office again. Anybody know how to set one up I’d contribute.

  70. 70
    Rich Wilson

    Someone started a petition. Probably direct contact is more effective, but http://www.change.org/petitions/rep-peter-g-palumbo-vote-peter-palumbo-out-of-office-or-have-him-resign can’t hurt.

    Amazing how people are attacking Jessica, as if she used Vulcan Mind Control to force the Judge into his decision. Or maybe they forgot about the 3rd part of the 1st amendment. The right to petition government for redress of grievance. Jessica isn’t the one how ordered the mural removed.

  71. 71
    davidlerner

    My email to Palumbo:

    How very brave of you, sir. It takes courage for an elected official to call a sixteen year old an “evil little thing”. I applaud you, sir! It takes a brave man to side with angry small-mindedness over our country’s constitution. Bravo!

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