NJ Assemblyman wants name change for New Jersey Devils.

You’d think that NJ State Assemblyman Craig Stanley would have more important things to worry about, but apparently he’s already solved all of his state’s other problems so now he’s turning his attention to introducing a resolution to change the New Jersey Devil’s name to something a little less demonic.

State Assemblyman Craig Stanley is taking issue with a satanic symbol representing the state’s National Hockey League team, which has won three Stanley Cup championships.

“This is an age where symbolism is very important,” said Stanley, a Baptist deacon whose resolution to rename the team is to be introduced in the Assembly next month. A new name would be chosen in a statewide competition.

“I’ve always cringed when people say they’re going to see the Devils,” said Stanley. “The merchandise, the paraphernalia is based on the actual demonic devil. Personally, it causes a little bit of an issue with me.”

Atheists are frequently accused of wanting to rid the public square of any religious references that we find offensive and yet you never hear the same accusation made of folks such as Mr. Stanley here who is most certainly trying to rid the public square of a religious reference he finds offensive. Never mind the fact that the devil the team’s name is based on has nothing to do with the Christian symbol—it’s actually a reference to the mythical Jersey Devil—as is too often the case with folks like Mr. Stanley the facts have no bearing on his opinion.

This is one of the problems I have with electing clergy to political office. They often end up wasting taxpayer’s time and money on idiotic legislation based entirely on their religious beliefs rather than anything in reality. You can take the deacon out of the church, but you can’t take the church out of the deacon as is clearly demonstrated here.

57 thoughts on “NJ Assemblyman wants name change for New Jersey Devils.

  1. Goodness me an ignorant christian in a position of authority trying to impose his beliefs on others by abusing his power. Good thing this doesn’t happen often….oh hold on…

  2. In the 80’s, a Louisisana high school changed their team name from the demons to the golden knights.  Our high school used to do a witch/warlock contest for the teachers, but they quit that at the same time.  Knee jerk Baptists and their satanic panic.

  3. Here’s just another indication of how brain-cramped and lunatic monotheistic zealots are. Mr. Stanley, there’s been NO HOCKEY for close to a year now. If you had an ounce of economic and rational sense, you’d be working to get the game going again, instead of indulging in nonsensical and downright stupid antics as these. You ought to stay in your church and do something constructive like..dusting the pews.

  4. This guy clearly hasnt a clue how close the folks from jersey are to thier devil, next thing he’ll say is he understands the people or some shit. Come on, Jersey is the only place Ive seen folks do 70 mile an hour, 5 lanes wide on a 3 lane highway, in rushhour and not bat an eyelash.

  5. As a resident of New Jersey and a fan of our hockey team I whole-heartedly say, “Go Fuck Yourself, Craig Stanley.”  This is what my tax dollars are paying you for?!  The NJ Devils are named after the infamous New Jersey devil.  Thankfully we have a man like Lou Lameriello owning the Devils:

    “I can assure you the Devils name will never change, and I think there are more important things to be thinking about than something that will never happen,” team CEO Lou Lamoriello said. “It’s who we are and what we want to be.”

  6. I have a question, how come i can’t say a simple, silent prayer before i eat without someone becoming ‘offended’? The New Jersey devil is based on a demonic, flying creature that kills and scares animals and humans. If you have the so called ‘right’ to tear down the 10 Commandments from a courthouse, then we have the right to change a replusive hockey team name.

  7. I have a question, how come i can’t say a simple, silent prayer before i eat without someone becoming ‘offended’?

    Good question, Ashley. Of course, it would be a better question if it had any basis in reality. As a Wiccan, I have absolutely no problem with you saying silent prayers to yourself. If it makes you happy, knock yourself out! It would make no difference whether I were an atheist, a Pagan, a Muslim, or an animist—your right to pray to yourself is your own, and last I checked, no one was contesting it.

    What we are contesting is that annoying habit of so-called Christians who try to get the goverment to sponsor their beliefs (a clear violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution) either through repressive legislation or through acts such as the flagrant display of Roy Moore’s beloved “ten commandments” sculpture. Why was the latter example offensive? Because it was displayed at a govermental building. It had little to do with the fact that it was “Christian” (although I personally didn’t like it, as I’m not a Christian, but that’s irrelevant).

    I’m not well-read on this New Jersey “Devils” controversy, so I won’t pretend to be, but I’m thinking that there’s a slight difference between a sports team mascot and a state courthouse.

  8. …but I’m thinking that there’s a slight difference between a sports team mascot and a state courthouse.

    Oh, yeah, smartypants?  And what exactly is the difference?

  9. I’ve never known anyone who was offended by public prayer. As far as “right”s go, Sadie’s got it in the bag. It’s the attempt to force a single religion into everyone’s lives (through government) that made the 10 commandment things controversial (and exploitative). Totally different from trying to rename someone else’s private property.

    There are, however, lots of far more legitimate reasons to be upset with book-pushers. I don’t know about down in the US, but in Canada, door to door solicitation still takes place from people claiming to want to help save your soul by indocrinating you into their flavor of Biblical religion. That pisses people off too, but it’s not the fact they they follow Religion X, it’s that they have the nerve to come to your home to tell you that you’re living the wrong kind of life without ever speaking to you prior. Yes there are intolerant bigots in virtually every branch of society, and they give their denomination of choice all kinds of trouble for the sake of it. And y’know what? That do it on the basis of a moral high ground.

    Prayer in public is the LAST thing a rational person has a problem with concerning Biblical religions. Harassment, and violation of the Establishment, and exploitation of immigrants are far more likely candidates for people’s frustration towards Christianity in particular.

  10. I enter only to note that there were 2 10 commandment cases decided last year, of which one was found constitutional and one was not.  Clarification on which case one is talking about might be helpful, because it otherwise might mislead folks into believing that the simple placement of the 10 commandments on the courthouse steps is unconstitutional.  Such a belief is folly.

  11. Roy Moore’s monument and the decalogue in Tennessee were ruled unconstitutional, while the one in Texas was okey-doked (which I think was the Court wussing out and/or throwing the religionists a bone).

    If Ashley has, in fact, been proscribed from praying SILENTLY, her First Amendment rights have been violated.  Somehow I doubt that has happened.

    As I recall, the Jersey Devil is one of those “creatures” along the lines of a chupacabra, Bigfoot and Nessie… and I don’t see why anyone is offended by a team named after a mythical being.  Should I as a skeptic be bent out of shape because our home team is called “Angels”?  That’s ridiculous!  People really need to get a fuckin’ life!

  12. I have been told by someone that he was ‘offended’ because I closed my eyes and said a silent prayer to myself.

    May I point something out, that you all have over looked? Your acting prejudice towards the Christian religon because you disagree with politians. Christian’s do have a voice, incase you were unaware, and yes, we do have a say in America’s decisions. If you don’t like a politian, that’s your opinion, but don’t insult my religion.

    Why is a hockey name so important? If someone is offended by it’s meaning, then why are you all crying about it? Get over it.The Jersey Devil is based on a 1900th century, flying, violent creature that supposedly killed pets and scared people. It was called the New Jersey ‘Devil’ because the witnesses of the creature’s attacks said that it was supernatural. You’re correct when you say- a hockey team and the New Jersey Devil have nothing in common. You’re mistaken, however, when saying that the name ‘The New Jersey Devil’ has nothing to do with something demonic.You haven’t done research on the Jersey Devil, or you would have known it’s legend. Christian’s didn’t want their states team being named after a dark myth/story about a demon hiding in Jersey’s swamps.

      The statement about the 10 Commandments was true. The government removed 10 laws that inspired our government’s laws. The reasoning behind the removal was -not everyone was a Christian, therefore a Jewish/Christian symbol had to be removed from public eye.- Now, the government also saw that not everyone was ok with a team name that stirred up controversy. If you don’t believe in Christianity, that’s your choice, but it’s hypocritcal if the government doesn’t take care of all it’s people and their beliefs. I’m sure you WILL survive if the word ‘devil’ is taken out of a hockey team’s name.

  13. Also, I forgot to mention something. Arc_Legion pointed out something very important. Christians and Jehovah Witnesses are NOT the same religon. Jehovah Witnesses practice going from door to door. Another, false accusation against Christians.

  14. Christian’s do have a voice

    I don’t think anyone has argued to the contrary. However, you are confusing “having a voice” with attempting to force one’s beliefs on a society as a whole.

    If someone is offended by it’s meaning, then why are you all crying about it? Get over it

    We’re not the ones crying over it. You are. We’re simply noting, admittedly with some annoyance, the fact that you and others are complaining about this team’s mascot.

    If you don’t like a politian, that’s your opinion, but don’t insult my religion.

    You are contradicting yourself with this statement. You (rightly) note that it is our opinion to dislike a politician (I assume you are refering to Craig Stanley here), yet you turn around in the exact same sentence and claim that doing so is “insulting your religion.” Which is it, Terry? Am I insulting your religion because I find fundamentalist Christians who wish to impose their beliefs onto others highly repugnant? Am I insulting your religion because I can’t stand fundamentalist politicians who waste our time with non-issues such as the one at hand? If so, then I’m sorry, but welcome to the real world.

    I’m sure you WILL survive if the word ‘devil’ is taken out of a hockey team’s name.

    And I’m sure you WILL survive the removal of Roy’s Rock from inappropriately adorning the Alabama State Court House. You’ve already done so for over two years now. Congratulations!

  15. Elsewhere on this blog, and very recently, a quote was posted that was made by Dan Savage (link here). You can say whatever it is that you want, and you can hold whatever beliefs you want. I’m not obligated to agree with you, nor you with me. And it can stay that way; that’s just fine. If we possessed the tolerance to leave it that way, that would be great. But instead there’s all this babble about who’s beliefs are more important and so on, and it’s horseshit, on both sides. Next time a guy says he’s offended or whatever, say “you can either forgive me or you can go fuck yourself, but I’m gonna pray anyway and I’m not gonna fight over it.” My point is that assholes aren’t exclusive to any one point of view.

  16. A minor but telling point: Terry, you say

    Christians and Jehovah Witnesses are NOT the same religion.

    Many conservative Christians say the Witnesses are not Christian.  The Witnesses themselves say they are Christian.  Who is right?

    From my atheist armchair, Jehovah’s Witnesses look Christian- they believe in the Bible and the divinity of Jesus.  But there is no right answer to the question, because the Bible is full of contradictions, and lists no criteria for being a “true” Christian.  Disagreements between rival followers of the Bible have, if memory serves, had a couple of minor altercations in the past.

  17. I’ve heard many Christians claim that Jehovah’s Witnesses (along with Mormons) are a cult, and thus are not “true Christians.” But it seems to me that all religions are cults. I’m sort of a Wiccan, and I have no qualms over the fact that this would make me a cult member. It seems to me that the term “cult” is thrown around a lot as an attempt to denigrate other religions that are seen as inferior to one’s own.

  18. Indeed, Sadie.  Here in Austria, all Protestant churches are called “sects”.  Of course, the only “true” church is the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church.

  19. Terry: I would refer back to Les’ point in the original post that this sudden outrage over the Devils name is being pursued by a public official on the public dollar. And we all know it’s not going to go anywhere, which makes it a waste of public time and money. Which makes it worth criticizing as savagely as possibly.

    Christian’s didn’t want their states team being named after a dark myth/story about a demon hiding in Jersey’s swamps.

    So get all those angry Christians together (if you can) and boycott the home games or something and we can all laugh at you standing in the cold. Trust me, you’ll be picketing for a long time and eventually, yes, you will give up in failure as your numbers dwindle.

    Ashley wrote: If you have the so called ‘right’ to tear down the 10 Commandments from a courthouse, then we have the right to change a replusive hockey team name.

    No you don’t. Privately owned hockey team: People pay to go to the games. Goals are scored. Public court house: You are forced to attend. Life sentences are handed out. Do you see the difference? Oh and I’m sorry, there is no ‘controversy’ here Terry … just a lot of bullshit grandstanding. Renaming the New Jersey Devils is not “America’s decision”. A guy named Lou gets to decide that. Man you people must be pretty bored and/or out of touch to defend this assemblyman.

  20. Ashley, Terry, whoever…

    I have been told by someone that he was ‘offended’ because I closed my eyes and said a silent prayer to myself.

    And whether that someone had cause to be offended or at least ‘offended’ depends on situational context. What you appear to imply is that your observance of religious ritual of your chosen faith must be tolerated; what you should try for is a little bit of empathy – can you conceive of a circumstance in which it might give offense? If so, does it conceivably apply to the actual event?

    May I point something out, that you all have over looked? Your acting prejudice towards the Christian religon because you disagree with politians. Christian’s do have a voice, incase you were unaware, and yes, we do have a say in America’s decisions.

    I doubt any of the regulars is oblivious to the disctinction between a politician that plays the Christian card and a politician that happens to be a Christian. Of course Christians have a say in political matters, just as they should. Where it gets problematic when public policy pursues an agenda that is not in the best interest of the nation and/or discriminates against a subsection of citizens.

    If you don’t like a politian, that’s your opinion, but don’t insult my religion.

    Why not? As long as one doesn’t cross into libel and/or slander territory, I’m not aware of any reason why Christianity should be privileged and not be subjected to negative opinion, particularly if such are well-founded concerns.

    Not to forget, Christian dogma and the exclusive claim to The Truth is nothing but an insult against anybody of a different faith, if any. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, eh.

    Why is a hockey name so important? If someone is offended by it’s meaning, then why are you all crying about it? Get over it.

    Nope. You get over it.

    As a previous poster pointed out (I believe), to the best of my knowledge the New Jersey Devils are privately owned and short of running afoul of trademark and perhaps a few other legal issues, the owners are free to name their franchise as they please. If you don’t like the name or are offended by it, tough luck. Christians do not enjoy the privilege of being able to remove everything that offends at least one of their number – well, they would in a theocracy.

    The Jersey Devil is based on a 1900th century, flying, violent creature that supposedly killed pets and scared people. It was called the New Jersey ‘Devil’ because the witnesses of the creature’s attacks said that it was supernatural. You’re correct when you say- a hockey team and the New Jersey Devil have nothing in common. You’re mistaken, however, when saying that the name ‘The New Jersey Devil’ has nothing to do with something demonic.You haven’t done research on the Jersey Devil, or you would have known it’s legend. Christian’s didn’t want their states team being named after a dark myth/story about a demon hiding in Jersey’s swamps.

    So there’s a legendary species that happened to cause some to relapse into mediaval superstition. If this critter of myth was alleged to be a fierce hunter, it is a compelling naming choice for a team of a violent sport. To be offended by a ‘demonic’ reference seems to amount to ingesting an excessive amount of religiously motivated superstition.

    The statement about the 10 Commandments was true. The government removed 10 laws that inspired our government’s laws.

    I’m not going to check what that statement actually was. When you talk about the Ten Commandments, the first question is necessarily which 10CC are we talking about? The Hebrew, Catholic, or Protestant version? Regardless, of those commandments that can be said to more or less vaguely correspond to articles of or amendments to the constitution, nothing is left but the Golden Rule. I haven’t checked, but e.g. and sticking to the Catholic version, I believe the constitution protects the breaking of the first commandment and is silent on the second. I’m not immediately aware that the constitution addresses the third and fourth commandment, either. For that matter, except for perhaps state legislation or local ordinances, numbers six and nine have fallen by the wayside. Also, the law doesn’t seem to care about what you covet – it’s what you take that matters.

    In other words, of the Ten Commandments, the law and the constitution seem to care about killing people, stealing from people, and perjury, libel, and slander. Three out of ten, isn’t it?

    The reasoning behind the removal was -not everyone was a Christian, therefore a Jewish/Christian symbol had to be removed from public eye.-

    That’s on oversimplification and inaccurate. The U.S. government cannot promote any religion and the prominent public display of a uniquely Christian symbol like the Ten Commandments is at odds with this.

    Now, the government also saw that not everyone was ok with a team name that stirred up controversy.

    You are using the term ‘government’ rather broadly, up to the point of equivocation. A state assemblyman is an elected public official and thus part of the state government, but he is not ‘the government’.

    If you don’t believe in Christianity, that’s your choice, but it’s hypocritcal if the government doesn’t take care of all it’s people and their beliefs.

    Others have pointed out to you prior to this comment that there is difference between a part of the government running afoul of the constitution that dictates what it is or isn’t allowed to do and the naming of a privately owned hockey team. As far as I know, this team does not represent the state of New Jersey in any formal way and has relocated to NJ in the first place. Thus, there is no connection other than the name between the state and the team and the NJ state government has no business intruding.

    I would also strenously deny that the NJ state government is obliged to take care of all its people’s beliefs. I don’t see how a hockey team’s name impedes the free exercise of religion, therefore the state should stay out of it.

    I’m sure you WILL survive if the word ‘devil’ is taken out of a hockey team’s name.

    Will we? I don’t care a rat’s ass about hockey, much less about any given team, but if a state government forces a privately owned team to change its name because it offends the tender religious sensibilities of some state citizens, then there is a major problem that you are apparently oblivious to.

  21. I believe that it is quite unbelievable how our nation has changed. It has went from “One nation under God”, to a nation overwhelmingly against God. If you are going to look at this case upon a religious or perhaps the more appropriate term would be “spiritual” view point then there are two basic elements to examine, good and evil. In today’s culture it is unacceptable to have prayer in the public school system, as well as the Ten Commandments. It seems that the “good” that the Christian population has to offer is being removed for its inequality among other religions, so why not the bad as well? Ashley is right. When it comes down to it, anything that has to do with the good view of Christianity is being slowly thrown away, while more and more “evil” is being accepted. It is a well-known fact that whether or not there is a God, living a Christian life betters this world because of their values. If everyone followed the Ten Commandments in this world there would be almost no need for prison systems, or perhaps even law enforcement. I do not believe that the name of this team was intentionally made to hurt Christians or to desensitize people to the idea of the devil, or Satan, but I do believe that if something as harmless as the 10 Commandments can be removed, then so can the name New Jersey Devils.

  22. -We’re not the ones crying over it. You are. We’re simply noting, admittedly with some annoyance, the fact that you and others are complaining about this team’s mascot

    this entire page is based on you crying over a mascot’s name.

    -I don’t think anyone has argued to the contrary. However, you are confusing “having a voice

  23. in order to believe in the devil you must believe in God so all of these people who are satin worshipers say :there is no God, im not gonna believe in something i cant see: okay, so tell me when you ACTUALLY “saw” the devil. thats right, youre believin in something thats not physically there such as i believing in God so when you say :i cant believe in something that i cant see: dont go telling me you worship satin cause its bull.
    I believe that the government was founded on the Bible. in our constitution it says to form our foundation on God so youre telling me that the constitution should be changed because it brings together church in state when its been running our country for 200 years! how about the oath you take “i swear to tell the whole truth and nothing BUT the truth SO HELP ME GOD” ur saying that should be changed? what about our currency on our money it says “in God we trust” so ur gonna change ALL the money too?hmm..& what about our flag salute. the one our military says everyday before they go rish their lives “..one nation UNDER GOD” i strongly disagree in the saying “seperation of church and state” our government and nation was STRONGER when everyone was to say the plege of allegiance without uttering under their breath.
    yes, its a free country but our country was based on the Bible and without a doubt has continued to be the STRONGEST country in the world. so why base it on anything else?

  24. Terry proclaimed:

    If you havent noticed, America isnt a ‘Christian Nation’, if anything it’s a overall Atheist Nation. School systems teach that point of view all over America, so you can stop with the, ‘Christian’s want world domination’ crap. We don’t force veiws on anybody.

    You cannot be serious, Terry. *pisses self with laughter* America is an “Atheist Nation?” Would you care to explain then our president, who believes he has a “mandate from God?” How about the fact that every one of our presidents has been a self-described Christian?

    Terry continues:

    I don’t care if you hate or love Stanely, but almost everyone in here has insulted Christianity because they didn’t like what Stanley did.

    Wow, this is rich. Let me get this straight, Terry: you say that you don’t care whether I love or hate Stanley, but by not liking what he is attempting to do, I am “insulting Christianity?” Hmmm, seems to me that you do care whether we love or hate Stanley. What is more, you clearly equate disliking Stanley’s actions with insulting Christianity, despite the fact that you try to claim the exact opposite. That I can see through your lies speaks volumes about your incoherent statements and your even more incoherent writing style. I wish you would learn how to read, Terry. At least learn how to spell correctly and use basic grammar.

    More Terry:

    this entire page is based on you crying over a mascot’s name.

    Wrong again, Terry. It is you and your ilk (i.e. fundamentalist Christians) who are crying over the mascot. Les and all of us here are not complaining about a mascot. We are merely observing a severely misguided fundie senator by the name of Craig Stanley who is wasting the time and tax money of New Jersey citizens over the name of a stupid hockey team. “Semantics”, Terry. Look up the word.

    Wait! There’s more!

    There’s some of the few. You attacked Christians, not the politian.

    I don’t even know what you’re trying to say here, Terry. I assure you that no one here has attacked Christians, however. What you need to realize (and what I am sure you will refuse to consider, much less realize) is that pointing out the intolerance of others is not the same as attacking them.

    Finally, Terry proves with this quote that he/she knows nothing about the concept of irony:

    The Theme of Christianity is love and kindness.

    Try practicing what you preach, Terry. You hardly come off as a paragon of “love and kindness.”

    Lauren had this to say:

    i strongly disagree in the saying “seperation of church and state

  25. okay well id like to say “sadie” uhmm you have a lot to say but nothing to back it up with..where DO you get ur info. mines from the Bible. Its true our country was founded “one nation under God” NOT “one nation under Sadie or any of her stupid comments that she might make” im sure u have a lot to say but to back it up you need proof. & excuse me i study history and have many history classes & all will tell you the same thing that our country is based on the constitution our constitution is based on Christianity therefore how about YOU take a history class and learn about our founding fathers and that our first president George washington was the one who added “so help me God” in his oath of office

  26. Terry,

    I explicitely stated the use of the Catholic version of the Ten Commandments. Since you either missed the reference or are unaware of the difference between the Protestant and Catholic versions of the Ten Commandments, here’s a reproduction of what the Catechism has to say:

      1. I am the Lord your God: You shall not have strange Gods before me.
      2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
      3. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.
      4. Honor your father and mother.
      5. You shall not kill.
      6. You shall not commit adultery.
      7. You shall not steal.
      8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
      9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
      10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.

    Rather than accuse me of lying, please try to read more carefully and educate yourself about your own faith.

    So, I have backed up my statement

    Sure, and I can do quote mining of my own. It’s very simple, really. I don’t see anything uniquely Christian in the Constitution; if Christianity inspired it, the Christian message has been diluted to homeopathic proportions. If the U.S. were a Christian nation, a stronger claim you did not make, the wording of the constitution would differ and not leave the issue open to debate.

    There are already enough threads on this topic around here and little incentive to add to it.

    Wow…you really don’t know anything about Christianity. The Theme of Christianity is love and kindness. Compassion and forgiveness.

    The Inquisition, the crusades, plenty of religious wars in Europe, all the mayhem the missionaries inflicted on native populations, homophobia, misogyny, a theology of self-loathing, antisemitism – shall I continue?

    I don’t deny that it’s possible to cherry-pick from Christianity and end up with something compassionate, but it’s not the rule. You yourself refer to the “No True Christian” fallacy:

    We don’t hate anyone, or at least true Christians arent supposed too.

    Whatever.

  27. Me: A guy named Lou gets to decide that. Man you people must be pretty bored and/or out of touch to defend this assemblyman

    Terry: Yea buddy, a assemblyman works for the government. Therefore, when his actions are approved, America’s government backs him up.

    [Pushing aside the massive crock of shit that Terry just left on my computer screen.] Oh, I’m sorry. Do you really believe that the government is going to force the Devils to change their name? Mwaha ha ha ha! They’re in for a hell of a fight if they try.

    To Lauren:

    I believe that the government was founded on the Bible.

    And you would be wrong.

    Maybe if you put down that one dollar bill, switched off the military/legal TV dramas and picked up a nice thick history book (other than you-know-which-one) you would learn that America was not always “..one nation UNDER GOD” and that America’s founding fathers were actually quite clear about why limits to the role of religion in government are necessary. Seriously, look it up.

    Lauren asked:

    Why base it (gov’t) on anything else (besides Christianity)? Because there’s this funny thing I’ve noticed about people like this Assemblyman in NJ, as well as Redeemer, Ashley, Terry and Lauren. They *think* they know they have all the answers in one disgusting little old book written more than a millenia ago by 40 different men, translated a couple times and then stuffed into every hotel room in North America … And since they *think* they know they have all the answers in this little book, they also have no need to seriously consider evidence and argumentation (however logical and true it may be), which could save them from pursuing total bullshit solutions for problems which are either a)non-existant or b)complex in the extreme.

    So we get “answers” to the world’s problems like: if everyone followed the 10 Commandments and read the bible every night there would be no need for jails. Which is just total bullshit, as elwedriddsche correctly illustrated. Or, you know, brilliant ideas like, hey, let’s change the name of a private business because we, a small group of whiners, have (and I’m quoting the Assemblyman himself here…) “a little bit of an issue” with the name. And for our rock-solid defence (just in case anyone gets up the nerve to ask why we are wasting tax dollars) we’ll just say that the devil secularists got to take away the 10 commandments from gov’t buildings a few years back, so it’s fairzies, right?

    I’m going to say this again because I don’t think you got it the first couple times, Terry.

    THESE ARE TWO DIFFERENT ISSUES dealing with two different types of institutions – SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT on the one hand (which you are free to boycott if the name of a local myth-creature bugs you, but maybe that’s just too much work for you) and a FIRST AMMENDMENT VIOLATION on the other hand. Hockey and the 10 Commandments. Apples and oranges … that is unless you think the Jersey “Devils” are somehow violating your rights.

  28. Hockey and the 10 Commandments. Apples and oranges

    Of course you and I know that. I suspect that all the logical, rational discourse in the world will fail to please Terry and Lauren, however (who I suspect are actually one and the same person). These two (or one) are clearly happily ignorant, and would clearly rather be uninformed about both issues.

    Lauren, take some time out to learn more about the country that you think is the STRONGEST in the world (a dubious statement in and of itself) because you incorrectly believe it is based on Christianity.

    Terry, learn how to spell, use correct syntax, and form coherent sentence structures. Noun, verb, subject is the ticket!

    Me, I’m tired of wasting my precious time and precious brain cells on these two idiotic trolls. Have a nice day, everyone, and remember: America is NOT a Christian nation!

  29. Well, “massive crock” rgjp and “under me” Sadie are doing a good job here of sticking it to the Man.  But elwed- *sigh*.

    You say

    I don’t see anything uniquely Christian in the Constitution; if Christianity inspired it, the Christian message has been diluted to homeopathic proportions.

    Which homeopathic proportions?  Obviously, it makes a difference if the Christianity is present in the Constitution in, say, D4, or D30 concentrations.  Remember, the more diluted, the stronger.  I bet you didn’t even check.

    Luckily, I did, however.  The words “Jesus” and “Christ” appear a total of zero times in the Constitution.  This is equivalent to a concentration of D∞, the strongest possible homeopathic dosage.  So the Constitution is not merely somewhat Christian, it is infinitely Christian.

    You might say, that by these lights, the Constitution is also Muslim, Wiccan, and SpaghettiMonsterish.  Sorry, I can’t hear you- I have my fingers in my ears.  Lalalala!

  30. Wow, this thread has suddenly become busy. I don’t have time at the moment to respond in my usual verbose manner to all the claims being made here, but I’ll see if I can’t squeeze in some time over the weekend. Looks like it’s more of the same old “America was founded on Biblical principles” crap.

  31. You guys are putting forward well out there – although I’m afraid for the folk here defending the assemblyman you’ll have to put forawrd something other than rhetoric if you want to be taken seriously.

    Four questions: Who the hell are the Gideons anyway? How are they getting into every hotel/motel?
    Has anyone else noticed that when we slam one trollish comment on religion it only takes about a week for the thread to revive? (Red Hannah, then this) Is this the norm?

    Just curious.

  32. Has anyone else noticed that when we slam one trollish comment on religion it only takes about a week for the thread to revive?

    I suspect we’ve shown up on someones religious blog. Possibly folks trickling over from this site though based on the number of comments (and the content itself) it doesn’t seem he’s got a lot of visitors to send.

    But at least we know now that we’re “intellectually arrogant.”

  33. I’ve wondered the same damn thing about the Gideons. The thought always reverts my mind back to these lyrics, though:

    “Rocky Racoon, fell back in his room
    Only to find Gideon’s bible.
    Gideon checked out, and he left it no doubt
    To help with good Rocky’s revival.”

    Anyway, I’ll take being “intellectually arrogant” over being non-intellectually arrogant any time of day.

  34. Gideons don’t just go to hotels. They brought bibles to my public school one time for all of us. It was my first bible, actually. Pretty sure that wouldn’t happen anymore. I think that happened in the same year my school board got rid of the strap as a punishment.

  35. While the TB’s don’t usually have much staying power, let’s do a poptarts anyway and pry all the conflated issues apart. Oh, and make sure the TB’s answer them one by one.

    The topic of this thread is a state assemblyman who supports the change of name of a privately owned hockey team, the New Jersey Devils, because that name is allegedly offensive to some Christians. There are at least two obvious problems with this.

    First, it is debatable whether such a state-sponsored intervention into the private sector would itself run afoul of the Establishment Clause. I haven’t yet formed an opinion on this idea…

    Second, there are significant ramifications to free speech. The assemblyman’s central claim can be reframed like so: It is not permissible to engage in otherwise protected speech if anybody takes offense. If this were a legal or legislative principle, adult public discourse would be reduced to toddler talk. Maybe Consi sees fit to help out, but I recall that Federal Circuits and/or the Surpreme Court have struck down laws with similar ramifications.

    For free speech to be meaningful, it is inevitably more important for an individual to be allowed to give offense than it is for the majority not to be offended.

    The above is the topic’s bone of contention and anything beyond that scope is nothing but red herrings tossed into the fray.

    Red Herring #1: Roy Moore’s rock. My recollection is that the momument was installed under cover of the night. Whenever an action that can conveniently and legally be performed during office hours is instead performed in a clandestine fashion, it’s not unreasonable to conclude that whoever cut the orders was aware of wrongdoing and an upcoming controversy.

    Red Herring #2: The court-ordered removal of a monument that shouldn’t have been installed in the first place compares to a public official pushing to change the name of a privately owned franchise. It doesn’t and if the reasons are not obvious to a reader, it’s probably futile to belabor this point.

    Red Herring 3#: The U.S. is a Christian nation / The U.S. Constitution is inspired by Christian principles.

    If the U.S. were a Christian nation, the framers of the constitution would have explicitely enshrined this intention. I maintain that the very fact that a debate about this is possible renders the claim moot.

    As far as using Christian principles as an inspiration for the constitution, just a few remarks. It doesn’t suffice to mine framer’s quotes that may or may not support such an intent; what has to be shown that such is actually the case. Anybody making that claim has to show specifically what is uniquely Christian about the constitution and federal laws; so far nothing has been presented that passes the laugh test. There’s obviously the subset of the Christian commandments that matches the Golden Rule (a.k.a. the Principle of Reciprocity, as opposed to the Republican version); there’s an acknowledgement that society is comprised of mostly good guys and a few bad apples, but neither of those is uniquely Christian.

    I’ve now wasted enough time on this. Les, your turn wink

  36. By the way, something seems seriously messed up.

    The posts by unregistered users now show up as some-registered-userN. Then there’s something similar between the Smileys link and the tag strip; has this always been here?

    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc and all that, but did the flag thingy have a few odd side effects?

  37. Hopefully, we’ve scared Terry and Lauren away, since they obviously can’t back up their incoherent statements and non-arguments. Same goes for Redeemer, who likewise had nothing factual or original to add to the discussion.

    I too await Les’ input on the subjects, as that will surely drive the trolls away once and for all. It always seems to.

  38. uhhhm what y0u guys think and what is factually true are 2 different things..you are right, there are NO actually words such as Jesus or Christ but they ARE God and Christians find that all the same God, the Son and the Holy Spirit so TECHNICALLY Jesus IS in the the g0vernment. and who you callin a troll? do you even know what a troll is..it has NOTHING to do with being a Christian

  39. The html buttons seem to not be working.  Yeah, I still get the name thing elwed pointed out happening.  I noticed it yesterday, where Ragman(some number) was listed as the poster.  The emails had the correct names, but it still ooked me b/c I don’t want anyone to think that was me spewing ignernt drivel.

    Lauren said: and who you callin a troll? do you even know what a troll is..it has NOTHING to do with being a Christian

    Somehow, I think you’re the one who doesn’t know what a troll is in the context that the word was used.  Would calling you a newbie be more accurate?

  40. Names and email address are okay in the “Stupid Evil Comments” sidebar… Upon closer inspection, both the names and email addresses of unregistered posters are mangled.

  41. Well I just took out the IPtoNation code to see if it was causing the problem and that’s not it. I didn’t think it would be either because it’s only on this page that it’s happening.

    Don’t have much time at the moment as I’m getting ready to go up to my parent’s place for the weekend, but later tonight I’ll dig through the reply chain and see if I can figure out what’s going on.

  42. Looks like Lauren is back to spew out more nonsense. Lauren, I’m calling YOU a troll, because that is clearly what you are.

    As a non-Christian, I’ll take my government just as I live my life—Jesus-free. Looks like I’m in luck, since that is how the Founders envisioned it. Just because you don’t want it to be true does not mean it’s not. All of you trolls here need to learn a whole hell of a lot more about this country and its history.

    Separation of church and state is one of the hallmarks (and I would argue the number one prerequisite) of a free society. If you don’t like it, move to Iran.

    Les, I too am noticing some oddities regarding the comment generator. For one thing, the “quote” option is not working, and for another, the name “Qoayn” is sitting right beneath the Smileys option. It also appears that the “bold,” “italics,” and “underline” options are likewise disabled.

  43. America was not founded as a Christian country. There is no such thing. Countries don’t believe in Christ. People do.

    The writings of the Founding Fathers are replete with pious-sounding statements by the various Deists and agnostics and freethinkers who founded this country extolling precisely the ethical tradition which has its origins in the Ten Commandments, and from which pretty much the whole Western ethical and legal tradition flows. T suggest that this needs to be “proven” is merely to admit a lack of acquaintence with the history of that tradition to global to be remedied by replies written in the comments of a blog.

    Dude, you need to do some reading. A great deal of it. The question is not in dispute among those who have even a clue. The writings of theFounders- who once again, were not Christians, for the most part- are a good place to start.

    But those pious-sounding statements are ethical, not theological. The writings of agnostic Patrick Henry, Deist Thomas Jefferson, Unitarian John Quincey Adams discuss Jesus as a Lawgiver, if at all- and not as a Savior.

    On the other hand, they assume the ethical tradition of the previous seventeen hundred years. Two different subjects.

    As to the subject which this thread supposedly concerns, it’s stupid to try to change this team’s name by legislation. The point here isn’t really religious at all.

    Let’s assume, for the purpose of the discussion, that there is neither a God nor a devil. Let’s assume that Satan is merely a symbol, OK?

    The question remains what that symbol stands for.
    One need see it as nothing other than a symbol to ask that question, and to wonder given that symbolism, it’s an appropriate name- not, mind you, whether people who choose to use it should be forced not to.

    What is Satan a symbol for? For evil. Now, I know that even religious schools- DePaul comes to mind- for some reason sometimes call their teams things like “The Blue Demons.” Never understood it, myself. The symbolism really ought to make pretty   much any decent person- religious or not- uncomfortable.

    Otherwise we ought to have no problem deconstructing that symbol, and calling teams the New Jersey Child Molesters, the Anaheim Anti-Semites, the Houston Hitlers, and the Richmond Rapists. Those things, after all, are what the symbol “Satan” symbolizes. I don’t favor legislating against names like the New Jersey Devils, but I wonder what the hell people are thinking who regard it as in anything but very odd taste- given its symbolism.

    One more thing: “Nature and nature’s God” is, to Deist Tom Jefferson’s way of thinking, the ultimate origin of all human rights. The Declaration of Independence is pretty explicit about it.

    This was a revolutionary idea at the time; the previous consensus, in both Eastern and Western philosophy, is that you get the rights the guys with the big guns decide they want to let you have. If your rights are going to come from a source higher than the government, there has to be a source higher than the government. To simply assert that people should have those rights because it would be ever so nice doesn’t fly. If our rights don’t come from God, they come from the government- and the goverment can take them away at any time. Who’s to say otherwise? Remember, if there’s no God around to give you your rights, you don’t get a vote.

    A god- some god- is absolutely essential to the entire philosophy of the Founders. On the other hand, Jefferson’s “nature and nature’s God” isn’t the Holy Trinity. He’s the god of nature. the god of Plato, the god of the Lowest Common Denominator. He’s the god of Deist Tom Jefferson, who supposedly created the world, set it working like a piece of automatic machinery, and sat back- never interfering- to watch what happened next.

    The god of Jefferson isn’t the Holy Trinity isn’ Allah isn’t the deity of the Jehovah’s Witnesses…well, you get the idea. In our system, you get to have choose your own deity. You are free to make the lame argument that despite all their differences in every respect, every name for god really is about the same being. The god of the Lowest Common Denominator is really just one more option- and he is not the Father of Jesus Christ.

    So choose your own god. Or choose none. But know that if for the purposes of political philosophy you operate under the assumption that there is no
    God, the government logically steps into the breech- and you have a claim only the rights the government or those with power are generous enough to let you have. That’s why even Jefferson felt it necessary to quite pointedly base his political philosophy on the existence of some sort of god.

    And it’s also why pretty much all of the Founders- unorthodox as they were in their own religious beliefs- felt that a vague, generic endorsement of at least the god of the lowest common denominator was utterly essential to the system they founded.

    You want proof? Read the Founders themselves. Start with the Declaration of Independence.

  44. What is Satan a symbol for? For evil. Now, I know that even religious schools- DePaul comes to mind- for some reason sometimes call their teams things like “The Blue Demons.

  45. To equate or even analogize an annoying mythical being (“Satan” or a devil) with real-world evildoers (i.e. Hitler or anti-Semites) is laughable. To do so for something as trivial as a hockey team mascot is all the more ludicrous. Your hypothetical “slippery slope” exists nowhere but in your own mind.

    But those pious-sounding statements are ethical, not theological.

    And yet for many Christians and many conservatives in general, the distinction seems not to exist.

    If you were to do some reading throughout the mess of replies this comment has generated, you’d find some pretty inane posts (by people named Terry, Redeemer, and Lauren) who say that the United States and the Constitution were founded on the bible. That is clearly wrong.

    And I’m willing to bet that you and I define “ethical” in pretty different terms. I’ll trust MY definitions, thank you very much.

  46. Here are my $0.02 worth on Bob’s comment.

    Somebody sensitive enough to be troubled by team name like the New Jersey Devils should probably go the full mile and take issue with the violent and aggressive sport named hockey.

    As far as the symbolism is concerned, it seems fairly obvious to me. The New Jersey Devil of myth makes a great team name – not because of the allusion to evil, but because that critter was alleged to be a ferocious hunter. Same for team names like Something Sharks, Whatever Demons, Growling Lions, Thatplace Saints and so on. All these names are symbols for power and prowess, without a passing thought to evil or good.

    A track and field team might be named after rabbits for their fleetness, but I can’t conceive of a hockey team named after a hare. Sports fans might prove me wrong, but I’m not holding my breath. I won’t repeat the sample names offered by Bob, but it should be obvious where he goes wrong in picking them.

    An interesting comment, however, is this:

    You are free to make the lame argument that despite all their differences in every respect, every name for god really is about the same being. The god of the Lowest Common Denominator is really just one more option- and he is not the Father of Jesus Christ.

    This is the “U.S. is a Christian nation” goalpost shifting argument is a nutshell. I believe the framers of the constitution thought long and hard about it and their failure to make explicit reference to the Christian deity is deliberate and not a mere oversight. The cognitive dissonance of Christian fundamentalists comes into play right here – while they believe unquestioningly in the literal truth of the Bible, they refuse to take the constitution literally. Rather than the framers making vague references to a Deist creator and meaning precisely that, the fundamentalists interpret the framers to have intended to refer to a generic, one god fits all interpretation. Therefore, what the framers enshrined in the consitution can refer to any god at all. Therefore, it can refer to the Christian god. The Christian god is the One True God according to dogma, therefore the framers cannot have referred to another god. Since the U.S. is predominantly Christian (of some denomination or other), it follows that the U.S. is a Christian nation.

    In the other words, the fundamentalist’s argument relies on a non-literal interpretation of the constitution.

    It also appears like Bob overplays the 10CC’s worth, by failing to acknowledge human history more than 2006 years in the past.

    When viewed as an ethical guideline, the 10CC’s are a profound failure. They only tell you what not do, instead of giving constructive advice. It’s not hard to construct hypothetical conundrums to which the 10CC’s are of no help whatsoever. They also convey a mentality that everything that isn’t expressly forbidden must be allowed, a deeply troubling ethical philosophy in my eyes. I also don’t see how traits like e.g. compassion and charity follow from them.

    To make a long story short, Christians still have a long way to go to show the merits of their religion. And it bears to repeat what Martin Willet calls the Big Lie of Religion – that faithful people are better people.

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