Friends- Under ordinary circumstances nobody would ever notice Chino Valley, Arizona. Recently, Mayor Chris Marley and his lockstep city council and townspeople gave us all cause to notice this Bastion of Religious stupidity and intolerance.
The mayor delivered an invocation at the beginning of the council meeting. During the invocation he prayed in his savior, Jesus Christ’s name. Everyone in the council stood, as did everyone in the audience. At the conclusion of the invocation, a tiny Jewish woman rose in protest. The mayor warned her to be quiet and when she wouldn’t he had a uniformed police officer remove her from the meeting. Then, in unison the mayor, council and those in attendance recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
One cannot help but be sickened by the timing and drone-like behavior of these people. Not one person spoke in defense of the woman protesting the mayor’s prayer. Not one spoke up as the cop forced the tiny woman out of the public meeting. Just seconds after she is ejected they all robotically recite the Pledge. Notably, ” liberty, and justice for all” are empty words in Chino Valley.
The mayor began the city meeting by injecting his religious beliefs. He ignored the First Amendment doctrine of separation of church and state. He also ignored the protesting woman’s Constitutional right to freedom of speech.
Finally, He ignored the words of our Founding Fathers who made it clear from the start that we are not to mix religion and politics and this is not a Christian nation. Our Founders were in agreement on these fundamental tenets. For those who need a refresher course, like the mayor and his townspeople, here are the words of our Founders.
“In no instance have… the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people.” -James Madison
“History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes. [Letter to von Humboldt, 1813].” -Thomas Jefferson
“Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.” -Thomas Jefferson
“The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion.” -George Washington
“But a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer of the Jewish religion, before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandizing their oppressors in Church and State.” -Thomas Jefferson
“And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.” -James Madison
“Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak; and that it is doing God’s service when it is violating all His laws.” -John Adams
“Strongly guarded as is the separation between religion and government in the Constitution of the United States the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history.” -James Madison
What happened in Chino Valley is yet another example of the religious rights grotesque ham-handed, attempted imposition of their religious beliefs on the rest of us.
If you find yourself in Arizona, I urge you to bypass Chino Valley. Do not spend a cent there. Do not support a town that says the pledge while people’s rights are trampled. I urge a boycott of this town. America is far greater than Chino Valley.
Robb Fickman, Houston