Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bench Slap!

Today while reading the Dallas Morning News, my wife noticed a quote in the Talking Points column that she thought might spark my interest.  I swiped the paper from her hand and read the quote...  Boy was she right.

I swiftly made my way to my laptop to find out more about this guy and what he meant by what he said.  Oh, and you know what?  My wife didn't so much as give me the stink eye for rudely yanking the paper from her, either.  Is my wife perfect for me, or what?

Anyway, here's the quote from US District Judge Fred Biery:
"To those Christians who have venomously and vomitously cursed the court family and threatened bodily harm and assassination: In His name, I forgive you. To those who have prayed for my death: Your prayers will someday be answered, as inevitability trumps probability."
Even if this federal judge spoke in the name of his god, which quite frankly gave me a bit of a bad taste in my mouth, I really like this guy!  Not only does he spit in the face of the religious right in this country, he does it with both cold, vicious honesty as well as snarky, self-righteous politeness.  In just two measly sentences, this Federal Judge has flawlessly placed himself upon the moral high ground; looking down upon the vile, conniving vultures of the religious right.

And rightfully so, pardon the pun.

Here's a brief summary of the complete story behind this quote.  US District Judge Fred Biery ruled that the Medina Valley Independent School District (San Antonio, TX) cannot officially make a Christian prayer part of the graduation ceremonies.  Poor persecuted Christian babies can still pray, they just can't be sponsored by the school,  nor can prayer be required during graduation.  Now I am not a lawyer, but this ruling seems to me to be a no-brainer since Lee v. Weisman 1992.  Then there's Engel v. Vitale 1962.  And the list goes on...

But rulings like these, when made during an election year, tend to make headlines.  And the only reason that blatantly obvious court decisions like these make headlines is simply because the religious right in this country are comfortably predictable when it comes to their outrage.  So, you have the remaining GOP candidates busy trying to win the religious right (after, of course, they convince the corporate moneybags to fork over absurd amounts of money), and a US District Judge making the same ruling that dozens have made before him.  In 2012, these two events mark the ideal definition of a political controversy.

Thus, Judge Biery's ruling didn't go over very well with the GOP or the perpetually persecuted religious right.  Big surprise there.  As a matter of fact, his ruling was so unpopular that Newt Gingrich, one of the current Republican Presidential candidates - well, one of the ones that are still relevant - described Biery as a, "dictatorial religious bigot" for his decision.  If that sorry excuse of a human being said that about Judge Biery, well then that judge is alright by me.

Nice work, Judge Biery.  Nice work indeed.

Oh, and my new word for the week is, "vomitously".

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