Godless Heathens Go to the Fair

24 Jul

I serve on the committee that oversees the local fairgrounds, and we had a meeting this evening. After the Pledge and the opening prayer, which I’ve never understood how government entities get away with, we settled into our usual business. We approved a new sign at the entrance and discussed putting a new roof on a building.

After that, the guy who runs the fair gave his presentation. Now, you need to understand that our county fair is the largest fair in the state. It’s bigger than the state fair, and my community takes pride in it. It’s great size also brings great publicity, and that’s a fact that some people have a difficult time grasping. It should also be noted that the fair is operated by a non-profit and not the government. I believe that is a good thing because the government could screw up a wet dream.

At the beginning of his report, the fair leader mentioned that they had received a letter from a group protecting religious freedom. Several years ago, the fair, attempting to draw a bigger Sunday crowd, began offering a $2 discount if people presented a church bulletin at the ticket office. I’m sure they never thought someone would take offense with this, but someone did. The letter stated that a local citizen had contacted them to complain of discrimination against non-church goers, and they would sue if the situation was not rectified.

A lawyer advised the fair that it should stop the discount or offer the discount to everyone. The fair chose to discount all Sunday tickets by $2, which I thought was the right approach. However, the situation brought the following comments from our elected officials.

“That’s what we have to deal with in today’s America.”

“Who are we discriminating against?” The derogatory reply, “Atheists.”

“Don’t they know this is a Christian nation?”

“About six of us need to go to that religious freedom place and show them what right is.”

“I know what we should do, but that would get us sued, too.”

“It’s a shame that we have to deal with those people.”

There were more, but you get the gist. I was get madder and madder the entire time. Did they know how ignorant they sounded? Our nation was based on religious freedom. That’s not the freedom to be a Baptist or a Church of Christ. That’s the freedom to be a Christian, Hindu, Muslim or, horrors of horrors, nothing at all. At no point did they realize that the policy was discriminatory. The overall theme was that if someone was stupid enough to be an atheist, then they didn’t deserve the discount. For that matter, they should just stay away from the fair.

Finally, one person asked, “What would the Founding Fathers think of this?” I can’t read the minds of the Founding Fathers, but I would bet they would think, “We thought we had designed the government to be kept in good hands. What happened?”


8 Responses to “Godless Heathens Go to the Fair”

  1. chandlerswainreviews July 24, 2012 at 01:57 #

    In my experience, having served for a time under both appointed and elected positions, I sense that you have answered your own question about why opening prayer is allowed. It’s not that it’s necessarily allowed but perhaps that it’s vitally necessary to instill a glimmer of hope that some form of Divine (or cosmic) intervention will save the rest of us from the foolishness of governmental entities. (Where is Gort when you need Him?)

    • surroundedbyimbeciles July 24, 2012 at 03:43 #

      Klaatu Barbara nikto. That’s what I would like to tell them.

  2. Madame Weebles July 24, 2012 at 02:16 #

    That’s depressing. I can practically hear the capitalized letters in “Those People.” Unfortunately, though, it seems that the First Amendment doesn’t mean freedom of speech, religion, etc. It means, “You’re free to speak and worship freely, as long as you do it like we do.”

    • surroundedbyimbeciles July 24, 2012 at 03:46 #

      It does seem that way. I suppose they are blinded by the light.

  3. legionwriter July 27, 2012 at 06:32 #

    The end bit made me chuckle.

    • surroundedbyimbeciles July 27, 2012 at 14:53 #

      I’m glad you liked it. Thanks for reading and thanks for the comment.

  4. Carl D'Agostino December 5, 2012 at 11:29 #


    • Rick December 5, 2012 at 15:10 #

      Thanks for commenting. I have wondered if any local people read this post. Probably not. I would have heard from them if they had.

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