Welcome to the United States

Here a state representative thinks it’s perfectly fine to refer to his 16-year-old constituent as “an evil little thing” who is “being coerced by evil people” because she understands the concept of separation of church and state. Maybe Rhode Island House Representative Peter G. Palumbo (D) needs a few emails (rep-palumbo@rilin.state.ri.us) or phone calls ((401) 785-2882) reminding him about the first amendment of the constitution.

And don’t forget, you can donate to Jessica Ahlquist’s scholarship fund here. Random kindness from strangers has already raised almost $20,000!


  1. says


    I will never get over the bizarre way that Christians become so hostile when someone has the nerve to suggest they obey the law.

    Then they turn around an accuse atheists of asking for special treatment.

  2. Chris says

    Not sure if trolling
    *Fry face*
    or just stupid.

    But really.
    a) not harassing, just pointing out a huge mistake he made and calling him out on his stupidity and lack of integrity and ethics, and
    b) sexist comment much? If you disagree, try criticizing ideas, not the anatomy of those speaking out about them.

  3. Krys says

    I like the atheist/agnostic jackass who misses the whole religious prayer in a PUBLIC school thing.

  4. ichbindaswortistich says

    In the United States of America, methinks, people know even less about history, law, and how to apply even the simplest logic than in Europe. I am, to say the least, very unhappy about the status quo in Germany because there is so much historical revisionism, so many lies and falsehoods, but the U.S.A always win when it comes down to where there is the most irrationality and stupidity about even the simplest facts. I cannot comprehend that so many people actually believe myths such as that the U.S.A. had been founded on Christianity, or that the belief in the Christian god had made the country so ‘great’. (Tell the people in Vietnam, Korea, Irak, Afghanistan … about this.)
    On the other hand, considering that even former presidents such as George Bush senior say things like ‘No, I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God’, it is not really surprising that other representatives, let alone the common people, believe these falsehoods as well.

  5. seadel says

    Sexist yes (bally).

    But pointing out harassment was I imagine not the calling out, but posting phone numbers even if public ones, which will put a seed in the ‘minds’ of the more extreme parts of the movement. If anything drastic was threatened it will come back to haunt Jen.

  6. Pieter B, FCD says

    Your lack of concern for the public posting of Jennifer Ahlquist’s address and phone number is noted, as is your time-of-the-month misogyny.

  7. Sophie Lagacé says

    The treatment Jessica Ahlquist has received is appalling. That said, I was equally appalled a few days ago by the name-calling regarding that girl who posted a video asking for a boycott of Girl Scout cookies because some transgendered children had been accepted by troops. Yes, I profoundly disagreed with her, but I saw fellow freethinkers, activists, skeptics, atheists, etc. call her awful, awful things — just like a number of self-described Christians are calling Jessica Ahlquist names. I’d really like to see a day when I don’t have to be embarrassed to be a human being.

  8. says

    It’s an American tradition to call or write to congresspeople (though after his vile comments, I might retract that Rep. Palumbo is people) and express displeasure with whatever it is they’ve done, said or voted on. It’s an accepted part of their job; publishing their contact info is not unlawful nor does it amount to harassment. I don’t believe that calling a minor constituent an “evil little thing” is part of the oath that Rep. Palumbo took when he was sworn in. He did, however, swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America.

  9. gmc says

    I may have missed something, but I don’t think anyone threatened the Girl Scout video girl and no elected officials came out and called her names.

  10. Eric RoM says

    Concern troll/douche. Yeahhhhh, wouldn’t want to CALL or EMAIL a representative, that’s “harassment”.

    Tell us, what WOULDN’T be harassment? Is being silent still too aggressive?

    What, you get a nickel from the rethuglicans for each blog post you pollute?

  11. otrame says

    Sophie, I saw quite a bit of “bigot” and “small-minded” along with a few “bitch” and “cunt” (highly distasteful, but hardly the same as threats), but if you saw threats of rape and/or other violence, similar to what Jessica has endured, could you link it? I’m not disbelieving you. I want to come down hard on anyone that has done that, just as I have tried to do to Christians who behave that way.

  12. peterh says

    Suggestion to bally: the outpouring of hate and bigotry against a clearly legal act is clear evidence something’s “out of hand,” and it’s not the possibility of reminding the congresscritter from RI that he’s a jerk. Which, of course, he is.

  13. Pinkamena, Panic Pony says

    Sophie, here’s your porcupine. Shove it, and your false equivalence, up your ass sideways.

  14. otrame says

    Since my original email to Mr. Palumbo was bounced due to “banned content”–presumably because of the twitters and Facebook comments I quoted–I sent him a new one. The subject was “With Democrats like you who needs Republicans?”

    A person who sees a law being broken and stands up for the Constitution, no matter how she is treated as a result, is not “evil” nor “little” nor a “thing”. Jessica is a brave young woman. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    I tried to send you some of the emails and twitters that other have sent concerning Jessica Ahlquist, but the email bounced due to “banned content”. I assume the vulgarity was considered inappropriate. But I did not send you those quotes because of their vulgarity. I sent them because they were threats of rape and other violence. You added to the feeding frenzy with your comment. I repeat, sir, you should be ashamed. I hope enough of your constituents agree.

  15. Pinkamena, Panic Pony says

    Your concern is noted and dutifully ignored, Cupcake. Here’s your porcupine.

  16. otrame says

    @ 11

    Yeah, I had my popcorn popped was all set to settle in for a pleasant evening getting my teeth sharpened and my coat sniny, but you were a drive-by, the most cowardly form of troll. I was so disappointed.

    Oh, and bally? You can fuck right off.

  17. Azkyroth says

    That reminds me of the old joke:

    “What’s the difference between a concern troll who’s consciously working for the enemy and a sincerejackboot-licking, fratricidal coward?”

    Give up?

    There isn’t one.

  18. Azkyroth says

    I think you’ll find that if those awful things are of the form of “bitch” or “cunt” the community here would condemn them but deny your attempt at false equivalence. If the awful things are more along the line of “bigot” then you’re a fucking moron.

  19. says

    Yeah, wouldn’t want to put a seed in the minds of Christians. if we did, they might respond by breaking the law, fighting against a lawsuit that correctly tries to get them to stop breaking the law, and harass and threaten those who try to hold them to the law and their oaths of office.

    Oh wait, they’re already doing that. Damn, we atheists are dangerous, really better watch our step. This “seed” thing is even worse than you suggest – apparently we’ve goaded them into being immoral, criminal, violent-minded, sexist repressive assholes before we even acted!

  20. says

    Bally, you lack ethics. You clearly need to be schooled in the fundamentals of representative democracy (clue: it is expected that an elected representative be held accountable for their public statements).

    Your snide ‘time of the month’ remark was beyond The Pale. What a toad you are.

  21. says

    Seadel, surely the posting of public contact details of an elected representative is civics 101. However, your feverish strawatheist witterings have been noted.

    If you come across the atheist commando death squads please let us know.


  22. Bruce Gorton says

    Questions for the religious left of America

    A woman stands for what is right
    She takes it to court, wins the fight
    She stands through threats of death
    Rape with the brutality to steal breath
    These loving Christian comments made
    Burnt into my retinas and will not fade
    We are told not to judge all by this few
    Yet they include your elected too

    A state representative on national TV
    Who, taking exception to her victory
    From the baying crowd’s sheet did sing
    He called her an “evil thing, poor thing”
    And he was indeed by Christians elected
    For their moderate party he was selected
    He then claimed she was manipulated
    By some evil people, so he stipulated

    Excuse me but didn’t she win that case?
    How dare this man show his face?
    And those who voted for him how dare you
    Claim we shouldn’t judge by the few?
    You voted for this scumbag cretin
    You helped him the elections win
    And you who didn’t vote either way
    You too had your national say

    Not voting is to vote for the majority
    To get fully behind any plurality
    That those who show up support
    You had your chance to retort
    If you did not with them agree
    Why didn’t you vote third party?
    You think you are excused
    Just because you recused?

    All across the United States
    Students have to weigh their fates
    As creationists strive to teach a lie
    They legislatures lobby and buy
    And on various school boards
    Come the ignorant hordes
    Because of your support
    Or your failure to report

    We are as bad as the fundamentalist?
    Where are you when we protest
    Against their dark aged theocratic drive?
    You always seem so late to arrive
    You seek this air reasonable to project
    Where are you when its time to reject
    These evils that we bring to light?
    Where are you in this fight?

    “Not perfect, just forgiven” is said
    All too often this is taken as read
    As some sort of license not to try
    It is smugly sung as justice’s lullaby
    You could be so much better than this
    Why do you the opportunity miss?
    You focus on the anger I feel
    Why can’t you face what is real?

    And on that subject where is your anger?
    Do you not feel that burning hunger
    To see a world made ever improved?
    Don’t you feel by anything moved
    To act against the evil and the wrong
    To take stands that are just a bit strong?
    Why do you extol in tones so academic
    The virtues of being emotionally anemic?

  23. jolo5309 says

    Not wise to encourage harassment of a Congressman.

    Why not? He has time for interviews so he can call a 16 year old evil, he sure has time to deal with the reaction to that. Besides, if he is spending all his time responding (or more than likely, deleting) these emails, he has less time to be an idiot.

    That time ofthe month again ?

    Representative Palumbo, is that you?

  24. Azkyroth says

    You wouldn’t want to put a seed in the minds of fundamentalists. Manure helps plants grow, true, but you’re supposed to apply it in moderation.

  25. MonBon says

    His contact information at his OFFICE was posted, unlike Jessica’s HOME address and information. I have a right as an American, as do all of us, to contact our representatives at their office and respectfully voice our opinion. We generally have the common decency not to stop by their house and do so.

  26. Bob of Quantum-Faith says

    I would donate but it wouldn’t be necessary.
    Jessica will end up doing black bred movies.

  27. says

    I am a Christian and I don’t understand why the wants of one seem to outweigh the wants of many. It is clear that the majority of students and residents of this community want the prayer on the wall (which was a gift of the 1963 class)to remain.
    Jennifer is not made to recite the prayer, pray in school or claim a belief in God in order to attend. Why does her non-belief in God over rule the desires of the community at large?

    Thank you for your answers.

  28. says

    1) The US constitution protects the rights of minorities from the tyranny of the majority.

    2) Using your criteria, a simple consensus of the majority could override any part of the US Constitution. There’s another word for that: anarchy.

    3) It’s people like you, that have absolutely no understanding of the principles that this country was founded on, or what the Constitution of the United States of America stands for, that are the reason for the sorry state of the nation. I recommend spending less time riding your high Christian horse and more time at the library studying American History.

  29. says

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