Jesus VS Constitution In Jackson (now with video!)

Though they gathered by the hundreds, they were unified in voice—
The majority has spoken, and the people know their choice
They are standing up for Jesus; it’s the only thing they know
So the US constitution has to go!…

They’ve been pointed to the precedents, and proudly do not care
Cos it’s Jesus Christ, the savior, in the portrait hanging there
With the Christians in majority, our Christian faith is strong
So the US constitution must be wrong!

They’re ignoring the dissenters; they’re ignoring, too, the courts
They’re a tightly knit community—just look at the reports!
The majority’s authority is how they make the rules;
So let’s get the constitution out of schools!

For the people here in Jackson, there’s a lesson to be learned:
If you do not learn from history, you’re likely to get burned
Look at Cranston; look at Dover; here’s a message for you all:
Time to take the silly portrait off the wall.

Now, to get a feel for the situation, some video from the local Telegram News and The Right Scoop:

It really does feel like Cranston all over again (and if there are any folks from Jackson who make their way here, I highly recommend following that link and looking through the Cranston story. It might save you a lot of time and money). There is the helpful advice to anyone offended to just turn their head and not look (Oh, no! A crime is being committed–quick, look away!); there are the two or three brave people standing up to the hundreds who literally try to shout them down; there is the superintendent who claims never to have heard any complaints about the picture (having slept through those who spoke at the meeting, apparently); there are the complaints about an outside agency (FFRF) from Minnesota sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong (but no complaints about the Liberty Institute from Texas coming to their defense, and not much mention of the ACLU of Ohio, who are local and opposed to the portrait); there are claims of “freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion” (while in the comments, a Christian wants the picture down because it violates the commandment forbidding graven images).

Commenters point out that the establishment claus prohibits CONGRESS from favoring a religion, not the schools or local communities–thus showing their greater grasp of constitutional issues than decades of supreme court justices from across political and ideological spectra. The atheist agenda is decried–having no picture of Jesus on the school wall is exactly the same as having a big sign saying “there is no God”. Details of the case get massaged–the portrait is there among the Hall of Honor, honoring teachers (no, it is clearly separate from that display, considerably larger, in a different style, and hung in a prominent place of its own), and represents a great historical figure, not a religious one (which is why all the testimony at the meeting was religious). Children are tearfully claiming that the big mean atheists want to deny them the right to pray at school (a right the ACLU would fight for, and which is in no danger whatsoever).

This should be a slam dunk. Jackson’s lawyers should be advising them strongly and in no uncertain terms that they will lose this case. The town needs a lesson in history and in constitutional law; it’s kind of up to them whether they choose the more expensive version of the lesson.


  1. machintelligence says

    It is apparent that they are spoiling for a fight and are going to need the expensive version. Experience is a harsh teacher and all of that.

  2. mouse says

    I’m always flummoxed by the argument that “those outsiders aren’t from here, they have no right to tell us what’s constitutional.” I wonder whether the same argument gets pulled out to the same degree everywhere, or is it especially particular to the U.S.A.?

  3. fastlane says

    mouse, like most arguments that rightwingers in the US use, it is used when it’s convenient, and ignored when it’s not, as Cuttlefish notes.

  4. Cuttlefish says

    Hicks? Please; I was born roughly 50 miles from there. These are my people, and those were my beliefs until my teenaged years.

  5. jonmoles says

    I was born about 40 miles away and spent the majority of my life in SE Ohio, not sure what else to call them but hicks, but then I can’t stand the place. That being said, I’m currently staying with my dad for the next couple of weeks while I wait to move into a new apartment and start a new job, so I could swing by and take a picture or something if you wanted me to.

  6. Cuttlefish says

    Back when I was there, we called ourselves “hilljacks”. Might have been a very local and very time-limited term, though.

  7. carpenterman says

    Hicks, hilljacks, hillbillies, rednecks, gomers, goobers, it doesn’t matter what you’re called, you all share a fatal flaw; you’re not from New Jersey.

  8. Stevils says

    It saddens me that people from my hometown would throw away the money on an ignorant court case that they will lose instead of spending it on children’s education. Can’t say it surprises me though.

  9. says

    I say leave the painting up, but to comply with the first amendment the school must allow other religious paintings as well. How about an uplifting portrait of Our Noodely Lord, the Flying Spaghetti Monster? Or perhaps since so many people are convinced atheism is a religion why not embrace it and get the fringe benefits, we could put up a picture of Prof. Dawkins or even Darwin or Thomas Paine for all I care.

  10. Die Anyway says

    re: had3

    They could, in fact, put up two copies of the same picture and label one as Jesus and the other as Mohammed. No one knows what they looked like so any portrayal is as good as another. And I couldn’t help but laugh at the thought that it would anger the Christians AND the Muslims.


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