2007-04-22

Mayor Peyton's Insult to Atheists

Today I learned of this quote by the John Peyton, mayor of Jacksonville, regarding the city's “Day of Faith” in August 2006 and the subsequent lawsuit filed by American Atheists which resulted in the city having to pay $5,000 in lawyer's fees to the organization and to issue a new directive to avoid such violations in the future:

I think I’m doing pretty well in politics if the atheists sue me, especially in Jacksonville.
First, he would be doing pretty well if he solved the murder problem. Perhaps he could have spent $101,000 on increasing police presence throughout the city instead of wasting it on an ineffective prayer rally. Second, he would be doing pretty well if he fulfilled his oath to protect the constitution instead of shredding it to win him some more votes from believers by creating the illusion that he was actually doing something to address the issue of crime. Finally, the insensitivity of this quote cannot be fully appreciated, even by me, without substituting the word atheists with another minority:
  • I’m doing pretty well in politics if the blacks sue me.
  • I’m doing pretty well in politics if the Hispanics sue me.
  • I’m doing pretty well in politics if the Jews sue me.
  • I’m doing pretty well in politics if the Muslims sue me.
  • I’m doing pretty well in politics if the Mormons sue me.
  • I’m doing pretty well in politics if the homosexuals sue me.
  • I’m doing pretty well in politics if the senior citizens sue me.
  • I’m doing pretty well in politics if the handicapped sue me.
It's a sad day when you hear your elected officials say it's a good sign that their constituents successfully sue them for violating the constitution.

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2 comments:

vjack said...

Yeah, I certainly hope he hears from some Jacksonville atheists.

Secular Planet said...

I know several people who have sent him letters, but the number is smaller because the quote appeared in a minor newspaper instead of the major one.