Now they've called wider attention to themselves. They've raised a red flag (pun intended).
With that one defining move, they put themselves on the radar of innumerable other special interest groups. Made our city a target for the showcasing of modern-day American polarization and we, the taxpayers, remain on the hook for both the financial and the existential consequences of that.
They've arguably established a reputation as a pack of power-hungry social antagonists, such that, even as they ponder how they might rein in the city's mushrooming legal bills, they are intentionally inviting more of the same style of litigation.
So it's no surprise that a group called Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFR) has now petitioned League City to delete the praying that is done before each City Council meeting. It's a separation-of-church-and-state issue which is of authentic concern to some local citizens.
And in true League City form, how did the Mayor and certain members of the City Council react? According to accounts published in Galveston County Daily News, they reacted unprofessionally and with arrogance.
“I’m offended you don’t believe in God, but you don’t have to answer to me. You’ll have to answer to him when your time comes.” Council Member Todd Kinsey was reported as saying.
Holy sh*t!!! Wrap your head around that one. He apparently said that speaking in official capacity as a Councilman, openly condemning those who don't believe in his personal interpretation of God and how God might dole out judgment. Council, if you didn't have a legitimate separation issue to start with, YOU HAVE ONE NOW!!
I attempted to access League City records this morning in order to independently verify exactly what was said by whom, where, when and in which capacity, but it seems that the city's entire records management system is down this morning.
|"Not available", just like common sense around here. |
Screengrabbed from this site.
It boggles the mind. This isn't just an issue of concern to folks who wish to see a more authentic church-state separation. This is an issue for every taxpayer whose individual religious views do not conform to the culture-warring, in-your-face, my-way-or-the-highway arrogance displayed by these elected extremists. It was with those more moderate folks in mind, both believers and non-believers alike, and especially with a respectful nod to local people of diverse faiths whose spiritual and religious views are not reflected in those Council diatribes, that I offered my viewpoints on this morning's GCDN account. That content is behind the paywall, so I'm reproducing my comments below with hyperlinks for your consideration. Remember this stuff the next time you go vote, because it's important.
The arrogance and unprofessionalism shown by the Mayor and City Council continues to astound. It's literally jaw-dropping. An established and authentic special interest group raises a valid church-state separation question, and here's a summary of the response:
(1) Thiess resorts to name-calling
(2) Kinsey personally channels God's wrath as he feels uniquely authorized to do
(3) Bentley issues a defiant religious gesture which, in this context, is leveraged at non-Christian believers as the equivalent of the middle finger
(4) Paulissen (via KTRH) references the fact that League City has been engaging in prayer in this official capacity fashion for the last 52 years and has no intention of changing.
Well, here's some news for Paulissen and the rest of you (drumroll, please):
Things have changed in the past fifty two years. Society has evolved. Just as a tip-of-the-iceberg example, right around the corner of West Walker Street from City Hall, there's a little residential subdivision chock full of municipal taxpayers (remember them?! taxpayers?!) who show incredible diversity in both ethnicity and religious traditions. We have all four of the world's major religions represented JUST ON MY ONE CUL-DE-SAC!!!!
Is there a single one of you elected representatives who could EVEN NAME the world's top four religions (as measured by number of adherents) without having to first look it up on Wikipedia?? I would put my money on NO.
Congratulations, guys. Rather than meeting this latest social positioning challenge objectively with a professional and coordinated smooth response along the lines of "We take the FFR request on advisement even as we value our traditions", you've once again proven your own overriding arrogance and sheer ignorance. You are a collective embarrassment to the unfortunate citizens you represent.
And I reckon that special interest groups like FFR will continue to bait you into showing exactly those true colors. That's what's actually happening here, eh? Apparently you're not in possession of the requisite level of political sophistication required to realize that. This is less about the stated issue (church-state separation) and more about stimulating Council into displaying its name-calling, brimstone-flinging, bird-flipping, yesteryear-clinging ignorance, so that the voters can know what they're up against in the way of a seated Council. And in this latest case, the tactic has succeeded, in spades.