The following exchange between atheist activist Rob Sherman of Buffalo Grove and Ill. Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago) took place Wednesday afternoon in the General Assembly as Sherman testified before the House State Government Administration Committee.
[...C]onsider what the outcry would have been if a lawmaker had launched a similar attack on the beliefs of a religious person.
Davis: I don’t know what you have against God, but some of us don’t have much against him. We look forward to him and his blessings. And it’s really a tragedy -- it’s tragic -- when a person who is engaged in anything related to God, they want to fight. They want to fight prayer in school. I don’t see you (Sherman) fighting guns in school. You know? I’m trying to understand the philosophy that you want to spread in the state of Illinois. This is the Land of Lincoln. This is the Land of Lincoln where people believe in God, where people believe in protecting their children.… What you have to spew and spread is extremely dangerous, it’s dangerous--
Sherman: What’s dangerous, ma’am?
Davis: It’s dangerous to the progression of this state. And it’s dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists! Now you will go to court to fight kids to have the opportunity to be quiet for a minute. But damn if you’ll go to [court] to fight for them to keep guns out of their hands. I am fed up! Get out of that seat!
Sherman: Thank you for sharing your perspective with me, and I’m sure that if this matter does go to court---
Davis: You have no right to be here! We believe in something. You believe in destroying! You believe in destroying what this state was built upon.
Sherman didn't budge, continued his testimony related to Gov. Rod Blagojevich's oddly misdirected $1 million grant intended for Pilgrim Baptist Church, (story) and later told me he "felt like Rosa Parks."
Funny thing, most places that mentioned this story didn't mention about those eeeeevil g-u-n-s. 'Cos religion, hey, that's fair game; but guns? Ew.
I have always figured freedom of religion included those folks who have none at all. The issue can be pushed too far on either side and it frequently is; but lawmakers telling citizens their views ought to be quashed is plain wrong.
Story found here via some gunblogger links. I was only going to comment on the high-handedness of lawmakers, until I got to the transcript and found Authorized Journalists enabling hoplophobia (or at least sweeping it under the rug) yet again.