Lancaster, California Mayor R. Rex Parris: “We’re growing a Christian community, and don’t let anybody shy away from that!”

R. Rex Parris, the mayor of Lancaster, California (where I live) to a recent gathering of 160 people (local clergy and their spouses): 

We’re growing a Christian community, and don’t let anybody shy away from that…I need (Lancaster community) standing up and saying we’re a Christian community, and we’re proud of that.

My wife and I are not a clergy couple, and we live in Lancaster too. We’re both agnostics, so I guess we’re out of the loop. Though we’ve lived here for a long time (in my case, probably longer than the mayor) neither my wife nor I were consulted before the mayor announced his sectarian vision for our city. I guess this makes us the village agnostics.

Jesus—at least the existentialist and doubting Jesus portrayed in the Gospel of Mark—has always been alright with me. The tightly wound Mayor Parris—certain he’s got the God question figured out not just for himself, but for the rest of us living in the Antelope Valley as well—not so much.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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68 Responses to Lancaster, California Mayor R. Rex Parris: “We’re growing a Christian community, and don’t let anybody shy away from that!”

  1. shirley kelsoe says:

    Rex parris your an idiot.Lancaster can’t get rid of you fast enought.Im glad i don’t live there.

    • Teresa says:

      No your the idiot, tell me why is is ok for muslims to preach their so called religion, build their religious bulidings and spew their hatred for non muslims and this country and it’s ok. But a person who is christian and happens to be mayor cant talk about christianity. Something is really wroing with this picture. This country was founded on Christian principles like it or not. And I say if you dont’ like it then get the hell out of America..

      • Public Enemy Number One says:

        That’s a bunch of bullshit. This country was NOT fonded on “Christian” principles. Please stop tell that grandiose and historical LIE! TRUE CHRISTIANS do NOT come across a part of the world BY ACCIDENT and kill the indigenous people (WHO WERE ALREADY HER) who taught them how to survive and had the favor returned them by almost being wiped off the face of the planet. When was God and Jesus when this this act of ungodliness and inhumanity taking place? They surely were not in the hearts of those claiming to represent them. By the way, Teresa, what the fuck do Muslims and non Muslims even have to do with this discussion. You redefine the term “idiot” to a higher level.

      • So Cal Jim says:

        Public Enemy Number One,

        Before writing your reply to Teresa you obviously had too much coffee and too little education. You simply cannot read the history of America and avoid learning about the very CHRISTIAN roots of our American society. You may not like it. You may hate it. But what you feel is completely irrelevant. We were founded by Christians and our laws have their roots in Christian morality….until relatively recently.

      • santitafarella says:

        Southern Cal Jim:

        Jefferson, Paine, and Franklin were not Christians. They were deists.

        And the biblical model of political governance is monarchy and the divine right of kings by bloodline. (Think of King David to “King Jesus.” The Gospel of Matthew begins with a geneology, not an election.) By contrast, the models on which America was founded were Greek democracy and the “Old Republic” (senatorial Rome).

        We are the “New Republic” (following Rome) and a democracy (following Greece).

        America is not a Christian country, and never has been. It is a multicultural and nonsectarian favoring democratic Republic. It’s governing model is derived from pagan sources via the Englightenment and in reaction to the kingly Judeo-Christian model present in England.

        The Founders rebelled against King George III and the divine right of kings model, and in violation of St Paul’s admonishment to obey all authorities placed over us by God. We ignored the biblical command, and resisted the divinely placed sovereign of the nation to which we belonged.



      • USMC says:

        You two don’t know the difference between “Your” and “you’re”. You’re really showing your ignorance!

      • dont tell people where to go. no politics in religion, no religion in politics-you get out with the mayor-take your religion with you.

    • artisha says:

      I agree 100% R. Rex Parris is an idiot, this guy is worse than Arnold! Its a civil violation to attempt to force a city into religion, its not only a civil violation, but a religious violation, no one can decide what religion you should practice and for an attorney (R. Rex Parris) to not know that! hes a total idiot so SO CAL JIM can shut the F- up!

      • concerned christian says:

        Radical Muslims are coming to get you. When they are the majority they will treat all non-Muslims the way they treat Christians in Egypt, Iraq, Gaza and Pakistan today. So the real idiot is the one who is worried too much about sincere words from an honest human being while ignoring the real threat of Islam when it take over the world.

  2. Barry & Sue says:

    We are behind you 100%. Do not back down, this yours and our country. Go to David Gibbs Law or the Christian Law Org. Give our prayers to Mrs. Parris, also.

  3. Barry & Sue says:

    Reading some of the people on here, I can see why California is going downhill.

  4. Barry & Sue says:

    God bless Mayor Parris, and Councilwoman Marquez, God is still in control, it’s Him you answer to, not government.

  5. Teresa says:

    Mayor Parris there are a lot of people behind you from all over the country. Don’t back down from these muslims idiots and the other idiots. You have ever right to express your opinions. Muslims come here preaching their so called religion, spews their hatred for the non muslims, and for this country. Build their religious buildings and no one says a damn word. But let some one talk about christianity and people complain. Whats wrong with this picture.

    This country was founded on christian principles, and for years christianity was the only relgion practiced here. And now muslims come here and we cant even talk about christianity in our own country??? But yet muslims preach about theirs? It’s no doubt Christians are being targetted more and more each day. It’s time we all take a stand against this nonsense. One of the reasons we came to this country in the first place was…. you guessed it… FREEDOM OF RELIGION!!! I contacted some people who deal with these sorts of matters. And defend people like Mayor and other christians..he should be hearing from them soon.

    • REX PARRIS HATER says:

      R Rex Parris is a racist civil rights violator. He should be imprisoned for the civil rights violations he direct his Pit Bull Sheriff dept to administer! He has LANCAP violating homeowners and renters civil rights by entering their homes without search warrants probable cause or appropriate investigations. I tell you what, he wont be violating my rights im one African American citizen that know my civil rights, so i suggest my African American Community to wake the F-UP and stop these racist ass sheriffs from violating your civil rights. I aint on parole or probation, wont sell drugs, and i volunteer in my community, and its a shame to see my community “asleep” regarding their rights!

  6. G.I. Joe says:

    Well I guess T Rex Parris doesn’t believe in freedom and the American way. Religious freedom is a founding right of being an American, and the constitution is in place to keep religious belief based governments in places like the middle east. Please don’t push your beliefs on your neighbors, how about you like them as they are.

  7. santitafarella says:

    G.I. Joe:

    Thank you for your sane reply.


  8. santitafarella says:

    Teresa, Barry, and Sue:

    Am I a potted plant? I’m an agnostic, not a Muslim. I write a post saying I’ve lived in the Antelope Valley for a very long time, and I pay my taxes, and so it belongs to me as certainly as it belongs to any Christian who lives out here, and all you can do is focus on the Muslims that live in our community. How about the Sikh and Hindu doctors in our community who treat so many of us? And the Jews who live here? And the unchurched (like me)?

    I recognize that the the Antelope Valley, circa 1980, may have been a suburban location for white religious conservative flight from multicultural, multiethnic, and multireligious Los Angeles. But this is 2010, not 1980. The Antelope Valley, in the 2008 elections, went for Barack Obama for goodness sakes! It’s a much more diverse place than Mayor Parris pretends, and it won’t be that many more years before the far right grip on Lancaster’s city politics is broken.

    What we’re witnessing in your responses is the politics of nostalgia. Respect other adults, and recognize that all adults have religious freedom to choose their religious commitments, and we don’t all choose the same way. And if Mayor Parris wants to speak for himself, as a private citizen and not in the capacity of mayor, he can say anything he wants. But when he takes coin from my pocket via taxation, I insist that he not treat me, as an agnostic, as a second class citizen in my own community (else he can give me my tax money back).

    And just as most Christians are not violent people, so it is that most Muslims are not violent people. Make distinctions, please.


  9. G.I. Joe says:

    It’s funny how intolerant and uncompassionate Christians can be towards their fellow Americans. We should be tolerant and compassionate towards all people regardless of race, nationality, wealth, religion, sexuality. I am pretty sure Jesus would agree.

    • Nancy says:

      I find your comment interesting, G.I. Joe…have you considered the thousands of Christians who responded to help people in New Orleans after Katrina? Or are helping people in Haiti right now? I certainly haven’t heard of any other faith that has so many compassionate, giving people go to where the hurt and needs are to provide medical aid, construction help, food, clothes, etc. no matter the race, nationality, etc. of the people. Believing that Jesus is God’s Son and that faith in Him is the only way to salvation can come across as intolerant, I give you that. But have you ever held a belief so strongly that you want to share it with others because you have such strong convictions? That’s what Christians do when they share their faith, because they believe it and don’t want anyone to be separate from God. That seems compassionate and loving to me – reaching out to share the opportunity with others. You’ll find plenty of Christians working in soup kitchens, clothing and food pantries, under bridges, in third-world countries and many other places to help people of all races, religions, etc. I agree with you that Jesus calls us to be loving, in fact to love others as ourselves. But we’re not perfect people and can’t always live up to that standard. At least we try. Jesus said that no one comes to God except through Him, but the good news is that He opens His arms to EVERYONE!

      • G.I. Joe says:

        Nancy, I applaud the effort of all those that help humans in need without the expectation of reward. But I am focusing on the American belief that religion and government are to remain exclusive. We are Amercans first and foremost, at least I am because to truely be American means that you accept the beliefs of your neighbor even if they differ from yours, that’s called freedom
        of religion. If a city such as Lancaster were to be labeled a christian community, were does that leave non christian citizens? This city still is American last time I checked and I expect to be treated the same, regardless of my beliefs, race, nationality, etc… no matter what city in the USA I am in. Unfortunately Lancaster mayor T Rex Parris has a different view of America, and he makes more money than I do do he will have his way without educated proud American individuals in this community from uniting and saying no. I have no problems with Christians, i was raised Catholic, but I was also raised with the most important of traits, Freedom, the freedom to change my mind and opinion. The freedom to speak freely and without fear because I am an American.

  10. Nancy says:

    I don’t live in CA but read about this in the paper. I’m afraid I don’t understand why some people are so threatened by Christianity. Have you read about this mayor and all the good, giving things (and money) he and his wife have done to help others? What other faith is led by someone who was willing to give HIS life for us – as opposed to asking US to murder others and kill ourselves for him? Sure, there are some “bad eggs” who call themselves Christians, but there are many more who try to live by loving others. Nothing about Christianity claims that Christians are supposed to be perfect, and in fact, central to the faith is the fact that we’re not. Only God is. This country was founded on Christian principles, and if you read the writings of many of our early leaders, including politicians and judges, you’ll find them full of reference to God. What’s so bad about allowing people who believe in Him to say His name? Some people have a double standard – you don’t find the same objections when people mention Allah or Buddha. Could it be that down deep inside they know that God is real? Come on folks, let’s be fair! This guy wasn’t trying to legislate his faith on others, he only made a comment about what he saw happening in his community. Christians should be able to make a stand for their faith just as people of other faiths do – without all the criticism.

  11. Valarie says:

    Has anyone heard of freedom of speech? The Mayor was speaking to a group of clergy and their families. As stated by Nancy: “This guy wasn’t trying to legislate his faith on others, he only made a comment about what he saw happening in his community.” The United States happened to be founded on Christian principles. Mayor Parris had no ill will in anything he said. It is sad that if one professes to be a Christian so many feel they have the right to make critical comments. However, if an atheist, agnostic or other religious sect is spoken about little or no comment by the press or anyone else even mentions the statement.

  12. concerned christian says:

    I posted this in another discussion but I am posting here because the two discussions are related.
    Muslims have problems with their religion, it is a mixture of Jewish/Christian/Gnostic/Pagan teachings. Enlightened Muslims try to go with the good teachings, while radical Muslims try to go back to the most evil words that came from the Qur’an. Unfortunately today there is a large radical Muslim group who wants to rule the World and convert it to Islam. What makes this a serious threat is that the West is either not aware of the danger, or even worse, they know its existence but they are in denial because it does not fit their liberal agenda. America and the West wake up before it is too late.

  13. Steve says:

    Hi Mayor Parris,

    It sounds like you’re taking some heat from Muslim groups, and others, over your comment about Lancaster being a growing Christian community. All I can say is, I hope you’re right. I’m certainly glad it’s not a growing Islamic community because, in my opinion, that wouldn’t be good for Lancaster or America. Don’t buckle under Islamic supremacists because that’s exactly what they are and they are trying to intimidate you. If you had said you wanted Lancaster to be a growing Muslim community they would have applauded you. Remember, in their own words, Islam is not trying to be equal to other religions but to dominate other religions. Islam is not a religion. Make no mistake about it; Islam is a socio-political movement that seeks to dominate every aspect of a believer and non-believer’s life, and to enslave everyone to its belief system. The sooner Americans wake up to this fact, the better, before it’s too late. Christians have to stop turning the other cheek when it comes to Islamic extremism and intimidation, and start standing up for their own religion and beliefs because without Christianity, this would be a very scary, dangerous, unkind world (far more than it already is)… especially if Islam takes its place.

    A Supporter

  14. santitafarella says:


    Isn’t that a bit of an oxymoron to call yourself a Christian and then advise people to ignore Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount in which he commands his followers to nonviolence and to turn the other cheek?

    And why don’t you make distinctions between moderate Muslims and their fundamentalist factions?

    As an agnostic and a supporter of the U.S. Constitution, I would oppose any attempts by government to move toward the establishment of religion, Muslim or Christian. You reject the establishment clause of the 1st Amendment to our constitution? It explicitly forbids the official favoring of one religious sect—Christian, Muslim, or otherwise—over any other.


    • concerned christian says:

      The problem is that people usually adopt specific beliefs to live by. All the way from religious beliefs to humanistic code of conduct. Most of the time religion is the strongest impulse. If you remove Christianity from a nation, you will not have a happy irreligious community, because another religion will rush to fill the void. Right now Islam is that religion, just look at the tragedy happening in secular Europe. And believe me if you let Islam in here in your community you will be up for a rude awakening.

    • Steve says:

      Believe me my friend, you’re not going to have a choice about the constitution, the 1st Amendment, being an agnostic, or any other concept you think applies to a free society if Islam continues to grow in this country. What you don’t realize is that Islam uses our constitution, our freedom, and our open society, against us. Look at any, ANY, Muslim dominated country in the world, with the possible exception of Turkey (and they’re falling fast too) and you’ll find oppression, persecution, and the routing murder of non- Muslims using the sledgehammer of Sharia law. So you keep walking with your head in the clouds and keep fooling yourself. As for so-called moderate Muslims, not every Japanese or German during WWII was a combat soldier either but they rooted for their team and did everything they could to help them defeat freedom. Why don’t you visit Dearbornistan Michigan sometime and see what Islam has done for that poor town.

    • Steve says:

      I almost forgot. The 1st Amendment says: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. It says nothing about the official favoring of anything. “Congress shall make no law”. First of all, Mayor Parris is not a lawmaker… mayors aren’t lawmakers. And even if he was, please tell me what law Mayor Parris was making when he said “We’re a growing Christian community…”. Nor was he prohibiting the free expression of any religion. If you’re going to use the Constitution to prove a point, at least use it logically. What the mayor meant, I’m sure, is that he wanted a Christ-like community of respect, truthfulness, and caring for ones neighbor – of any religion or no religion…keeping in mind that Islam is not a religion. Unfortunately, the mayor buckled under militant Islamic intimidation and apologized for saying what he did. We’d better all hope that we and our leaders develop more of a spine when it comes to this type of intimidation or our communities may someday be ruled by the evil law of sharia which says that any crime committed against non-muslims is A-OK as long as it furthers the dominance of Islam.

    • Anonymous says:

      This very true right now. After reading the book “The Illuminati” I came to believe that Muslims and their religion is not righteous in our country. In God We Trust, we must believe in principles and devote in righteous living to overcome the words of mere man,strike the babbles out of Christianity. People believe in God knows who to listen to. These same people needs the loopholes of laws to remove Muslims and their followers to where the religion is practiced and that not in America,period. Christianity has been sowed and reaped here and It stays here! If Muslims are raising Cain, I say Christians crusade to protect Americans…{.not foreigners, not immigrants,} only American born both parents, grandparents of American stock. All the rest of the rabbles ought to be “eliminated” in a nice way to tell the others to get out and stay out of America. We must restore our Americans to believe in God and with every faith they can influence and instill great things of things for ourselves. Fellowship of Christians among God believing religions can remove the bad elements never minding the infrigements rights and cash of the non believers of God given them by government. Politically correct is never the right one to lead the believers!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Our country, Built on a Christian Foundation/Principles??

    I cannot tell you how many times I have heard this sentiment expressed by “christians.” In my opinion this is one of the most conspicuously racist catch phrases ever dreamt up. A frequent follow-up phrase to the last is the observation that our country has moved away from this purported “christian foundation.” I am convinced that this union between political conservatism and this pseudo religiosity has caused more damage to our faith than any other thing in this country. Let us examine these assertions & see if they live up to their billing.

    A. Who are these sentiments true for?

    Are they true for Native Americans? I dare any “Christian” to walk into a congregation on the Navajo reservation, walk up to the front and say that our country was founded as a “Christian nation” – and that historically speaking, we have moved away from our “Godly heritage.” Looking at the experiences of Native Americans post-Columbus, is this true for them? Has this been their experience? Is it true that it gets better for them the farther they look back? That is do we measure the reality of a “godly heritage” by looking at the experiences of Native Americans – or just European Americans? How does this “Christianity” and “godly heritage” we talk about in our pews apply to them? I would like somebody to help me understand how THEY have experienced Christianity. How about Chinese Americans? Is this statement true for them? There are many large and growing Chinese American congregations especially in California where I live. Many of these churches have sent missionaries and teachers to immensely hostile places like North Korea, China and throughout Southeast Asia. These are people that are committed to the gospel and committed to their faith. They are people that don’t just go to church on Sundays, but have literally lost members to imprisonment, torture and even death for the sake of Christ in the mission field. But considering such niceties as the Chinese Exclusion Act, the wholesale brutalization of these people as they built a railroad across our country, how they were mistreated and abused merely because they were not European, are these sentiments true for them? How about African-Americans? Has that been their experience in our country? Some would even argue that on paper our nation has only been a democracy for less than 50 years – & if you believe our country to have been a democracy before then, why is that? Is it because the experiences of African-Americans are irrelevant when one objectively assesses the socio-political status of a country? That is, if Blacks couldn’t vote and were legally second class citizens in their own country were we still a free country? One of my closest friends’ grandmothers (~90yrs old) still gets nervous and short of breath when she sees white men with dogs to this day. Please don’t misunderstand me; I don’t believe any ethnicity to be inherently evil. I just want to shift our attention for a moment, away from the narrative many of us have assumed infallible since childhood. (Or at the very least be careful not to ascribe unto a Holy God, my racialized views..) I myself admit that it is the narrative that I believed and assumed to be the infallible truth for years! Yet when I began to come to grasp the godless depravity, mercilessness and ruthlessness necessary to maintain Chattel slavery for centuries, I had to re-evaluate my casual intermixing of my Faith with the love I had for my country. I found that I had compromised my Faith, to glorify my country, and ascribed to a Holy God, the depravity of men. Confusing God’s Perfect Will with his Allowable Will is a very dangerous thing. For those of my Faith, God’s Perfect Will for example, is that all men should be saved – 2 Peter 3:9 for instance. But we are also made to understand that that’s not going to happen. What I am saying is that just because God allows something, in the case of sin – choice, doesn’t mean it is His Perfect Will. Manifest Destiny was NOT an edict from God! A country that was actively and willfully engaged in the enslavement and oppression of people is NOT in the eyes of God, a “Christian Nation.” It is much easier to delude ourselves. It may make me feel all warm and fuzzy as an American, but it is in many ways merely an attempt to rationalize genocide and brutal oppression. And time and time again, as people of faith, we do this. It is one thing for us to suffer because of our Faith, but another thing else entirely to pay the price of our hypocrisy. A hypocrisy born out of a constant desire to weld our ethno-religious beliefs and assumptions, with a Holy and JUST God. We must make a decision to be Christians first, and submit our ethnicity, heritage and tradition to the Cross. In 1967 the Supreme Court overturned “anti-miscegenation” laws that were then still in force in 19 states. My mother was 14 years old. Yes, that’s also part of our history. But we contend that we were a more “christian” country back then??

    So if these sentiments are not true for those people, who are they true for? And whatever group they are true for, is it because this group is superior? Perhaps in the eyes of God that particular group is of more worth. Are these statements only true for white Americans? And if they are true only for individuals of European origin, why is that? Is it because the experiences of these other groups is irrelevant? Perhaps this “god” some “Christians” speak of also speaks from a position of assumed white superiority?

    • Steve says:

      Well it certainly wasn’t founded on Islamic principles. My goodness, you do spew the party line, don’t you. You have been well indoctrinated in the hatred of the west philosophy. But you’re good at it, you hate it in a “mild” way. Not that you should look at what western ideals have ultimately led to, freedom from slavery, human rights for all people, the continued march toward equality for all people, representation in our government for all Americans regardless of the color of their skin or shape of their eyes, economic well being for hundreds of millions of people all over the world. I mean, what is it with you people. Did you wake up one morning and realize that America wasn’t perfect so it was time to hate it and its history? It seems logical to me that if you feel this way about this country, a country that, hands-down, has done more good in the world by accident than any other country or people in the history of the world have done intentionally, you must hate all other countries, especially middle-eastern countries, who are so far behind us in these respects that it’s like we’re all alone in the world. You talk about the plight of Indians, do you mean the billionnaire indians who run the casinos? You talk about blacks, hinting of our history of slavery but say nothing about how slavery ended in this country; with the horrible deaths in the Civil War of over 500,000 white men but still this doesn’t satisy you. You say nothing of the fact that slavery continues in middle-eastern and African countries to this day. You make excuses for every other primitive demented culture and movement because, after all, we shouldn’t expect too much from them, you know, they’re struggling to be better,and last but not least, they have a grudge against America too. But when it comes to America and Christianity, in your mind, because we weren’t born perfect, we must be evil and this, of course, is the reason we so mistreated all other people. Then you demonize Christianity and America for brutalizing the Chinese but tell me that you know these great American/Chinese Christians who send missionaries all over the world to proselytize in the name of Christ! Apparently, they don’t feel the same way you do about Christianity and what it’s done for them in their lives. Santi, you sound very confused, or you’re just trying to confuse your readers. Which is it?

      • G.I. Joe says:

        You have some very twisted points of view. First off, why are you so threatened by Muslims, the fact is you are much more likely to be killed by one of you fellow Christian Americans than you are by a Islamic extremists. Second, “billionaire Indians” really? Thirdly, middle eastern countries, pick and choose which ones are good and evil because your political leaders have many friends in some of those countries. Lastly, The Chinese who are taking over America due to the failure and greed of capitalism, unless you’re last name is Walton, you need to wake up to the fact that America is becoming a third world country due to lack of education, the two party political system, the inability to unite with your fellow Americans, the corporate owned media, and the demonization of people of color and finally the destruction of art in all forms of mainstream music and television. Only you can educate yourself, but religion will only serve as a hinderance and divisive obstacle in your path to enlightenment.

      • So Cal Jim says:

        G.I. Joe,

        You are living proof that a little knowledge is dangerous. You know your talking points down pat but you don’t understand what you’re talking about. You rely so heavily on stock and trade Leftist slogans and bromides that you don’t even need to think about what you’re writing.

        You don’t feel threatened by Muslims? Well, G.I. Joe, that’s because you DON’T live in a Muslim country. Try being an open Christian in a Muslim country…or an open agnostic or atheist, for that matter. I think you might find plenty to feel threatened about in those circumstances. Now here’s the rub – Muslims don’t want to remain a minority influence in America. They want Sharia here and they want it for everybody. Even you. So you would be well served by a healthy fear of Islam.

        Despite the pitiful history of our dealings with Native Americans, it is a fact that many Indians have become very serious economic and political players because of their casinos. Are there still poor Native Americans? Of course. Just like there are poor Blacks, Hispanics, Orientals, and yes…poor Whites too.

        America’s failure is because of capitalism? Are you crazy? What do you think it was that allowed us to become the most economically dominate, most affluent nation that has ever existed? We are experiencing our current economic troubles because progressive idealists who believe that home ownership is a right used tremendous political pressure and Jerry-rigged lending procedures to get banks to make obviously bad loans. It’s too complex to go into here so please do the research. You’ll discover to your utmost astonishment that it wasn’t the markets that failed but politicians and too many Ivy League educated economists who failed to understand the consequences of ignoring sound market principles.

        Incidentally, has it totally escaped your notice that China has become such a powerful world economic force BECAUSE they have adopted and are using capitalist ideals? They haven’t gone all the way yet but if the ever do then they will become even richer and more powerful.

        I agree with you that American schools are becoming dismal failures. They teach our children to “feel good” rather than to think. They teach politically correct nonsense rather than facts. So yes, our children are NOT as educated as they should be. I guess we agree on this one.

        The “two-party” system is a failure? As opposed to what? European styled parliamentary systems? You think we should be more like England, France, or Italy, for goodness sake?? Or maybe your preference is for a Soviet style politburo? No? What about a dictatorship or monarchy? No again? So when you really think about it, all of a sudden our “two-party” system doesn’t look so bad, right?

        Corporate owned media? Uh….excuse me but if corporations shouldn’t own the media, then who should, the government? Yeah, THAT’S a brilliant idea. Hey, let’s let the government control what we hear, read and see. ARE YOU NUTS??

    • G.I. Joe says:

      So Cal Jim,

      No, I wouldn’t want the media run by the government since the government(or should I say politicians) are already run by corporations-see recent financial bailout that you refer to. And yes I would feel threatened living in a Muslim country, that is why I live in America. But through education and tolerance we Americans can overcome.

  16. concerned christian says:

    Like it or not G.I. Joe, radical Islam is a real threat for the world. They are following in the foot steps of their prophet Mohammad who developed the most winning strategy for spreading his faith: Breed as mush as you can (compare an average Muslim family with at least four kids to an average non-Muslim family with one or two kids). As you grow numerically switch from benign compassionate attitude to hard line oppressive rule to ultimately an all out eradication of non Muslims. Study the way Islam spread in the Middle East, look to how Lebanon hes been transformed in the short time frame, from 1970 to 2010, from a beautiful country ruled by Christians and Muslims to a Muslim dominated lawless regime. Wait few years and the same thing will happen in Europe. Given all these facts how can you underestimate the Islamic threat?

  17. concerned christian says:

    Just see what radical Muslims can get away with

  18. concerned christian says:

    and here’s another one,

  19. santitafarella says:

    Concerned Christian:

    Thanks for the links, but generally I don’t like people directly embedding videos into threads.

    The one that you embedded, however, is informative and I appreciate you sharing it. I would, however, insist that a fanatic making grotesque statements should not be confused with a whole class of a billion people who call themselves Muslims.

    There is this tendency to treat Islam as a monolith in which its most fundamentalist and insane representatives stand in for the whole. It’s no more fair to do this to Muslims than it is to do a similar thing to Christians. I would ask people reading this thread to please make distinctions.


    • concerned christian says:

      Sorry to embed this video, but the title said it clearly. Yes I agree with you that those radicals do not represent all Muslims. In fact there are Muslims who gave their lives to oppose this madness. But unfortunately well known Muslim organizations in America such as CAIR are more interested in pushing their agendas and attacking anyone who criticizes Islam, than opposing those radical Muslims who show a dark side of Islam. If they really care about propagating a moderate form of Islam they should add to their well organized webpage a section exposing and condemning any one who preach hatred in the name of Islam as in the examples I just gave.

  20. Richard Coplin says:

    I believe the real issue here is the fact that the “Hate Crimes” bill that was added to the “Defense Appropriations” bill by Harry Reid to appease the far left, now is being used by the Muslim chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)to attack the Mayor.

    We knew it would happen sooner or later, but Christians are now under attack and simply opening our mouth like Mayor Parris did can get you arrested for the Federal Crime of Hate Speech.

    Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders all say in their churches, synagogues and mosques that “their community is growing”. Now, the Mayor was addressing a group of clergy and commented on the growing number of christians in the community. Get real people.

    I agree with Nancy: “This guy wasn’t trying to legislate his faith on others, he only made a comment about what he saw happening in his community.”

    Public Enemy Number One said, “When was God and Jesus when this this act of ungodliness and inhumanity taking place? They surely were not in the hearts of those claiming to represent them.”

    G. I. Joe said, “First off, why are you so threatened by Muslims, the fact is you are much more likely to be killed by one of you fellow Christian Americans than you are by a Islamic extremists.”

    What G.I Joe,and Public Enemy Number One fail to recognize is that under the new Hate Crimes Law, THEY have committed the same Federal Crime as the CAIR claims the Mayor did.

    The Hate Crimes Law has nothing to do with the 1st Ammendment and the separation of Church and State. The law has to do with every word that comes out of our mouth that is negative or derogatory to a protected group. Muslims and Jews and Christians cannot be targets of that type of speech.

    Friends, the CAIR is using our own law to claim they are victims of a hate crime. They could care less about the separation of church and state.

    Keep your eyes open, citizens, they are taking away our freedom of speech. I believe that G.I Joe and PENO, have the, should I say, had the right to say what they did, but that is no longer the case. All of us have our freedom of speech at stake.

    • G.I. Joe says:

      Funny you point out what myself an PENO said but nothing of what Steve said against Muslims in this conversation, have biases do we? I love you all 😉 Plus not just our freedom of speech is at stake, thanks to religious extremists in public office our freedom of religion is at stake as well. America deserves better.

      • Richard Coplin says:

        You are right, Steve did say stuff also. Not trying to be biased. I did notice that Steve was on the Mayor’s side, but that did not influence what I was trying to say. I just wanted to get the point in that with the new HCL, we have all had some of our freedom taken.

        Were you saying that because of what you call religous extremests in office, our freedom of RELIGION is at stake? Or did you mean our freedom of SPEECH is at stake. If it was the latter, remember that it was our Democratic leadership that passed the law, not a religous extremest, unless you want Harry Reid in that category.

        I was not trying to put you down, I believe in your right to say what you feel. The “man” has taken that from us, piece by piece.

        I think in this case, we are missing the bigger point and the CAIR has gotten our number. They want to establish themselves as a protected group and they are using this situation to do it.

  21. Pingback: Why Abdul Nacer Benbrika Does Not Make R. Rex Parris and Sherry Marquez Right « Prometheus Unbound

  22. One fed-up person says:

    This is so “Unbelievable”….

    In Houston …

    Harwin Central Mall: The very first store that you come to when you walk from the lobby of the building into the shopping area had this sign posted on their door.
    “We will be closed on Friday, September 11, 2009 to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Ali (A.S.)
    The shop is run by Muslims. Feel free to share this with others.
    Imam Ali flew one of the planes into the twin towers.
    Try telling me we need to turn a blind eye to this kind of blatant religious stupidity and hatred!

    YOU TO GO MAYOR and screw all the political correctness that is bringing this country down.
    Any country in the world, you cross the borders illegally, you go to jail, hard labor, even as far as being shot. NOOOO, here we give them benefits, food stamps, medical, government help and the power to destroy us. On top of that, we are concerned with “not hurting their feelings”. And when someone has the guts to stand up and say something, we crucify that person.
    People, if you do not like what the Mayor said and you d=feel he did you injustice, just high-tail out of Lancaster. The desert is huge, find yourself another hole and hide until times will catch up with you and then you will regret your words. At least you will be happy that you were POLITICALLY CORRECT and will proudly say I did nothing to stop the shooting at Fort Brag, did nothing to convict the terrorists that attacked us on Sept 11 and actually supported the demise of Unites States.

  23. concerned christian says:

    You know the game that CAIR and ACLU play all the time, threaten legal actions and most intelligent people will backtrack. But what CAIR and ACLU forget is that you will be better off if you openly discuss these issues in a democratic way and convince the people with your point of view than to always pull the law suit trick, because most Americans fully understand this racket.

  24. santitafarella says:


    That’s not what the mayor says changed his mind. Is he lying?

    Also, the only way that the ACLU could win such a lawsuit is if, in fact, the mayor had improperly used public monies for sectarian purposes. And he almost did. The city nearly paid for the event (until it was disclosed).


  25. concerned christian says:

    I don’t know if the Mayor is lying, but in this case I was referring to this reported news
    Meanwhile, the Los Angeles branch of the CAIR said it will complain to the Justice Department over comments made by Mayor R. Rex Parris of Lancaster, Calif., who reportedly said he was “growing a Christian community.”
    I would not count on the integrity of Eric Holder who has a long list of infractions while serving under Clinton, and who has a lot of questionable decisions under the current administration.

  26. Pingback: Mayor R. Rex Parris of Lancaster, California: “A true Christian community is one that will welcome anyone of faith.” « Prometheus Unbound

  27. lanc says:

    Craigslist → LA → ANT → Community → Politics

  28. santitafarella says:


    You’ve made numerous unsubstantiated allegations toward Smith, Parris, and Crist, and so I removed your post. I don’t do this very often because I believe deeply in free speech, and I tend to just let people have their say at my site.

    But you crossed the line between opinion and evidentially unsupported personal attacks.

    I don’t like fundamentalist-based religious politics, and I oppose these three people at that level, but I will not allow someone to come to my site and engage in indulgent and uncivil ad hominem.

    I will ask you a simple question: can you provide any links that substantiate your characterizations of these three men? If you cannot, then that tells me that what you posted was rumor mongering against people who do not share your politics. These three men can be sufficiently resisted on their political records. Character attacks are stupid, obnoxious, and unproductive. If you post here in the future, please stick to the issues, speak with civility, and support your claims with these three things: good reasons, logic, and evidence.


  29. Pingback: The City of Lancaster, in California, is sued for offering sectarian prayers to Jesus before council meetings « Prometheus Unbound

  30. Anonymous says:

    A Message To The World
    God is All Matter and in All Matter throughout space, time, and eternity that is seen and not seen. The Holy Spirit is; All Good, Righteous, Holy thoughts, Holy actions, and Holy words that glorify God. The Holy Spirit resides where God is. We are The Children of God and we live with Him now. Anything that glorifies this Truth is for God’s benefit. Anything contrary to this truth will perish as well as people that want to keep the contradictions alive through their faith, actions and words. They will not have spiritual rest until Jesus returns. Souls of those that called out to Jesus will sleep after passing until Jesus’ return.
    Jesus received The Glory of God by knowing and teaching these Truths after physical baptism. He gave Himself as a sacrifice for All in Hopes that mankind would eventually repent from all contradiction towards God. Have faith towards purity and immortality with these Truths of realizing we All are of one with God. We will receive the Garden of Eden for Eternal Life as He promised, if we know these things to be true, and persevere with this faith. He sacrificed Himself because the old law said that they had to shed blood out of one of God’s Creations in order for their sins to be covered. He had to follow mankind’s law, yet He changed that law for Eternity by teaching these Truths of Who God Is and to be the final sacrifice for us, knowing that we all will eventually realize we are to be like Him.
    Every 14 generations of mankind’s contradictions and transgressions build to a level of destruction in their world and God anoints a Holy One to teach mankind how they transgress against God. Mankind’s ways of contradicting God will perish. Mankind’s sin against God In the time of Noah caused sinners to perish with a flood. In the time of Moses, the sinners received their plagues. In the time of Jesus, mankind was forgiven and told to repent because the Earth would still heal itself against transgression with revelations of; heat from the sun, earthquakes, hail, floods, meteors, tornadoes, tsunamis, oil gushing into the sea, etc. each one in its own part of the land. Forgiveness, salvation and redemption were given because they didn’t know what they were doing, and Jesus asked God to forgive them, so He did. Mankind’s transgression now brings Global Warming and still only 10 percent use of his mind. Mankind’s Righteousness brings the Garden of Eden and full use of their minds, for following Jesus way in Righteousness. Jesus taught mankind the Way of Eternal Life and immortality through Him.
    The last 14th generation has already passed awhile ago yet, mankind keeps finding ways to overcome their transgressions with science, so they can keep defiling God without accepting Christ. We all gave power to the beast by defiling our conscience. I hope you see the pattern of the signs of the times, for this is the end of mankind’s contradictions towards God and indeed, All Things Are Pure.
    Whoever contradicts these Truths will receive those contradictions in their own bodies but not to spiritual death. Physical death and revelations are a result of contradicting God. Mankind keeps contradictions alive with free will. But by The Grace of God, those that follow this knowing of Jesus’ ways will receive the ability for the Christ to flow through them and will no longer be afflicted by mankind’s contradictions.
    God will protect His Children, remove physical death and give immortality. Our faith in God is that All things are pure and living Eternally. Transgressors will live in this time without spiritual death, with no rest for their souls until He returns. The world will give them all revelations until they repent of doing, saying, and knowing those contradictions. Please use your free will to Glorify Creation only, in order to stop revelations. The defiled creations only existed in our conscience knowing.
    The Children of God will be gathered together in one place, and their Light will shine. They will receive the Garden of Eden and the Illumination of His Glory. Jesus will see the Light and return to protect the Holy mountain of God with thousands of His Holy Angels, from those who contradict these Truths. They will be removed from the Holy mountain of God until they repent of the knowing that contrary things against God still exist. Whoever trusts in the Lord becomes pure in heart, mind and soul. They will also inherit His Holy Mountain (Zion) and sin no more.
    Everywhere else will receive revelations until other Holy cities emerge called the Daughters of Zion and all of mankind comes to know the Truth that we are all of One with God. The whole Earth will then receive The Garden of Eden. Sin, contradiction, and death will try to come back into the world through the resurrection of those tormented souls. But Man will not allow it and teach Righteousness to Sheol without backsliding. We will deny their faith of sin, death, and contradiction. It will not be found in us or in our Creation anymore for Eternity. Then All will understand The Alpha and Omega. The Beginning ways of life will be the same as the ending way (Life with Christ). We will then be just like Adam and Eve in The Garden of Eden of the whole Earth for Eternity. Then we will be able to travel through the existence of All that God Is throughout Space and Eternity with no more time. All waters have the blood of Jesus in it as well as the Holy Spirit and that water is in us. I pray for these things to be self evident and true, IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, AMEN!!!
    Beware, because God rested on the 7th day and we are now in the 8th day (8,000th + year) of our Creation and He has awakened.

    My Salvation

    All sin, defilement and contradiction existed in our conscience to the point of harming our bodies and souls. Our Creation gives us what we know to be true, with our likeminded knowing. All contradictions of God have been purged from my conscience, the Creation I know, see, and don’t see. All things are pure and only has the Holy Spirit added into it for Eternity. I will purge all contradictions of God out of my mind, body and soul. I will tell others how too also. By persevering in this way of life I will understand that Christ is in me and flows through me by our faith in His word. I am now of one with the Father, Son, and Holy spirit only for Eternity. This is the knowledge from God that I give, so do I receive it from Him.

    Heavenly Father,
    I come to You in prayer asking for the forgiveness of
    My sins. I confess with my mouth and believe with my
    heart that Jesus is Your Son. He died on the cross
    at Calvary so that I will be forgiven and have
    Eternal Life in the Kingdom of Heaven. Father I believe
    That Jesus rose again from the dead and I ask you right
    Now to come into my Life, and be my personal Lord and
    Savior. I repent of my sins of contradiction and will worship
    You for the rest of Eternity. Because Your word is Truth, I
    Confess with my mouth that I am born again and cleansed
    By the Blood of Jesus, in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

    My Father that is in Heaven
    Hallowed be Thy name
    Thy Kingdom comes
    Thy will be done
    On Earth
    As it is in Heaven
    Thank You for our daily
    Knowledge of Righteousness,
    And thank you for Forgiveness,
    Salvation and Deliverance
    For Yours is the Kingdom, Power, and
    Glory forever and ever, Amen

    We thank You Heavenly Father for accomplishing all of Your word and these Truths in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ!

  31. Christine says:

    Reading all of this makes me sick. All of you supporters of Parris are the reason why this great country is going to hell in a hand basket. I would be willing to bet that I am one of the youngest people in this discussion and it’s sad that my elders need to be be educated in “proper American etiquette.”

    First and formost, I would like to say I am a devote Catholic so there will be no question whether or not I believe in, and love, God, but this isn’t the issue at hand. I am only stating this to prove a point to you so-called Christians.

    Whether or not Parris said this to a private clergy or standing on a building yelling into a microphone, he still said it. This statement was HIGHLY unconstitutional and, in my opinion, very unprofessional. As a person in a position of power, and a representative of what this country stands for, he of all people should see that steering this town into one religious belief goes against all this country means.

    America is a melting pot. It is one of the amazing things about this country and sadly also one of the most forgotten. People of all races, beliefs, class, etc. come to this country for freedom, freedom to be themselves and to live and be happy. The fact that Parris is trying to lead this town to a certain belief is fascism and his statement that he made wishing he were king for a day only enforces it. Yes, he did say this, look it up. So in other words, Parris doesn’t value his fellow citizens. He is narrow-minded and only sees one path. Screw everyone who thinks otherwise. So after all of this we can safely conclude that Parris is a fascist. A fascit bastard, in my eyes.

    If the Muslim community is making threats to him, it’s something he is just going to have to deal with. People in politics receive threats every day. He isn’t the first so he needs to grow a set a quit crying. Turning Lancaster into a Christian community isn’t going to make other religions go away, if anything it will make them retaliate more and I will be right with them. Whether they are Muslim, Buddhist, Islam, etc., they should feel welcome in the place they call home.

    The only reason all of you are focusing on the Muslim community is because of the war and 9/11. Had it been a group of Hindus, you would be focusing on them and the word Muslim would never even leave your mouth. This shows your ignorance to the utmost. There are extremists and terrorists of all religions. There are people in prison that have killed, raped, stole and done other horrendous things and claim they are a Christian. Do you classify all Christians as murderers and rapists? Most definitely not. I am sure I got the blood boiling for a few of you just by asking such a rediculous question. Hopefully I opened your eyes a bit more.

    Maybe you should learn about a religion before bashing it. As I said before, there are bad people in every religion, that doesn’t make every person bad. And for all you “Christians,” you are going against the word of God. How conveniently we forget what the Bible states: “Love thy neighbor.” You are definitely not loving, along with Parris. As a follower of Jesus, you should be caring and compassionate to all others. No religion is above any other just like no person is above any other. Sorry to say, just because you are Christian, it doesn’t mean you are automatically placed on a pedestal. If anything, it means you are a servant, a servant of God. So start acting like it.

    Christianity is NOT what everyone should believe. Religion is a choice and shouldn’t be forced. Any true Christian would understand this. The only person who has the right to judge is God himself. So open your eyes and minds and be a true neighbor. Parris, you are an embarrassment to the Antelope Valley and the Christian religion.

    Tonight when I go to bed I will pray that Parris and all of you supporters of his grow a brain to gain some knowledege and see that Everyone is equal.

    • concerned christian says:

      Have you ever heard about what Muslims are doing in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Nigeria, Egypt. Have you seen what they are doing in Europe. Have you heard about the terrorist actions in London, Madrid, Russia, Indonesia, and the Philippine. If you heard about all of that and you insists that we only don’t like Muslims because of what happened on 9/11, there is nothing else to say. Dream on.

      • santitafarella says:


        You paint with too broad a brush, and do not make distinctions. You wouldn’t like it if people made no distinctions between Jerry Falwell and Reinhold Niebuhr, but just labelled all Christians as maniacs, right?

        So why do you insist on doing it with Muslims? And how about taking into account historical pressures that lend themselves to the growth of fundamentalism in Muslim parts of the world? Context matters. Even Glenn Beck says that.


      • Anonymous says:

        All I can say is that you are pathetic. For being a Christian, you are very prejudice. That isn’t doing God’s work, is it? There are terrorists of every religion. Even in yours. It’s time you realize this.

    • santitafarella says:


      Adding to your observations, isn’t it ironic that Parris calls himself a Christian, but he’s also an aggressive personal injury lawyer, encouraging people to call his law firm and file suit against others?

      Paul, in one of his letters, very clearly says that Christians ought not take other Christians to court. And Jesus, of course, said “turn the other cheek.” But all around the Antelope Valley are ads for Parris begging people to sue others and assert themselves against all perceived wrongs done to them.

      The Christian attorney, if you take the NT seriously, is an oxymoron (just as, in the Middle Ages, people who took the Bible seriously taught that a Christian banker lending at interest was an oxymoron).

      Of course, this just shows how open to interpretation religious texts can be, and why it is inane to say that Muslims must read their texts consistently and always literally (even as contemporary “Christians” themselves do no such thing).

      There are Muslims, in other words, who read the Quran in the same way that R. Rex Parris reads the Bible (that is, according to his liking, picking and choosing).


  32. concerned christian says:

    While we can spend a lot of time trying to figure out why radical Muslims behave the way they behave, no one who witnessed the events of the last fifty years can ignore or downplay the danger of radical Islam. Coming from the Middle East, I have a first hand experience with the atrocities committed by Muslims against my brothers and sisters back home. For the sake of all these victims I speak out. You don’t have to agree with me but the future will show all you who are so understanding and open minded your tragic misjudgments.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly. Open your mind, Christian. You are the most close-minded person here. Do you agree with Hitler trying to eliminate the Jews? He was a Christian. Does that make him a good person even though he caused pain, suffering and death? Because that is what you are making it sound like. You are an embarrassment to the Christian community. God help you to not be such a prejudice.

      • concerned christian says:

        What can I say, if you believe that Hitler was Christian give me your references. Meanwhile let me remind you of the thousands of Christians who were executed in the concentration camps for their opposition to Hitler. Read about the Christian minister Bonhoeffer who was executed for his involvement in an assassination attempt on Hitler. Better yet read his writings you may learn something. here’s a sample

  33. concerned christian says:

    To avoid going in circles here is Wikipedia summary of Hitler religion. Note the difference between his public and private views and please tell me what you make of the last two paragraphs in that section.

    Main article: Adolf Hitler’s religious views
    Hitler was raised by Roman Catholic parents, but after he left home, he never attended Mass or received the sacraments.[310] Hitler favoured aspects of Protestantism if they were more suitable to his own objectives. At the same time, he adopted some elements of the Catholic Church’s hierarchical organization, liturgy and phraseology in his politics.[311][312] After he had moved to Germany, where the Catholic and the Protestant church are largely financed through a church tax collected by the state, Hitler never “actually left his church or refused to pay church taxes. In a nominal sense therefore,” the historian Steigmann-Gall (whose views on Christianity and Nazism are admittedly outside the consensus) states, Hitler “can be classified as Catholic.”[313] Yet, as Steigmann-Gall has also pointed out in the debate about religion in Nazi Germany: “Nominal church membership is a very unreliable gauge of actual piety in this context.”[314]
    In public, Hitler often praised Christian heritage, German Christian culture, and professed a belief in an Aryan Jesus Christ, a Jesus who fought against the Jews.[315] In his speeches and publications Hitler spoke of his interpretation of Christianity as a central motivation for his antisemitism, stating that “As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.”[316][317] His private statements, as reported by his intimates, show Hitler as critical of traditional Christianity, considering it a religion fit only for slaves; he admired the power of Rome but had severe hostility towards its teaching.[318] Here Hitler’s attack on Catholicism “resonated Streicher’s contention that the Catholic establishment was allying itself with the Jews.”[319] In light of these private statements, for John S. Conway and many other historians it is beyond doubt that Hitler held a “fundamental antagonism” towards the Christian churches.[320] The various accounts of Hitler’s private statements vary strongly in their reliability; most importantly, Hermann Rauschning’s Hitler speaks is considered by most historians to be an invention.[321][322]
    In the political relations with the churches in Germany however, Hitler readily adopted a strategy “that suited his immediate political purposes”.[320] Hitler had a general plan, even before the rise of the Nazis to power, to destroy Christianity within the Reich.[323][324][325] The leader of the Hitler Youth stated “the destruction of Christianity was explicitly recognized as a purpose of the National Socialist movement” from the start, but “considerations of expedience made it impossible” publicly to express this extreme position.[323] His intention was to wait until the war was over to destroy the influence of Christianity.[318]
    Hitler for a time advocated for Germans a form of the Christian faith he called “Positive Christianity”,[326][327] a belief system purged of what he objected to in orthodox Christianity, and featuring added racist elements. By 1940 however, it was public knowledge that Hitler had abandoned advocating for Germans even the syncretist idea of a positive Christianty.[328] Hitler maintained that the “terrorism in religion is, to put it briefly, of a Jewish dogma, which Christianity has universalized and whose effect is to sow trouble and confusion in men’s minds.”[329]
    Hitler once stated, “We do not want any other god than Germany itself. It is essential to have fanatical faith and hope and love in and for Germany.”[330]

  34. Longtooth says:


    It is notable that the present blog quickly diverted from a commentary on the implications of Mayor Paris’s “state of the city” speech to a slew of diatribes against Islam verses a countering bunch of apologetics in Islam’s defense and vice versa for Christendom. All these passions unleashed because a local Muslim faction was presumptuous enough to raise issue with the Mayor’s comments. Don’t get me wrong, the exchanges have been interesting to read, but the Mayor’s rhetoric and city agenda were objectionable regardless of whether some local Muslims took issue or not. As an observable reality, sectarian entanglement in Lancaster government has gotten a diverse representation of people on edge, religious and irreligious alike. What if some Mayor had stood up and declared his township was growing an Islamic community, or Wiccan community, or maybe an Atheist community? The resultant upwelling of public sentiment would likely have rhetoric about “un-Constitutional”, “un-American”, and “unacceptable” written all over it, and justifiably so. Why then should the establishment of a Christian community” be considered any less dangerous? What, because it’s the popular religion?

    To indulge a little digression myself, I’m not a fan of either Islam or Christendom. To borrow a phrase from Thomas Jefferson, they are both “engines of enslavement” in their plans for the world. Claiming common roots with the god(s) of Adam and Abraham, both are monotheistic, patriarchal, sexist, anti plural, and anti democratic in their respective arcane doctrines. Notably also, over the span of the last fourteen centuries they have frequently been advisories. These observations notwithstanding, the implicit notion that Christendom is the more civilized religion, possesses shortcomings. In broad view, a notable cultural/historical difference between the two is that Christendom, primarily embedded in the Western World, has for several centuries been constrained and domesticated by a dominant trend to secular law and government. In contrast, Islam in the Middle East has yet to be subdued by a comparable cultural transformation. At least in part, the domestication of Christendom was mitigated by the evolution of a healthy license to apostasy and infidelity in the Western sense of free speech and artistic expression. If it were not so, then the likes of Bill Maher would definitely be out of business. It is the one sacred license that the hard core Muslim world would most dearly like to have us divested of.

    Theocracy rules the roost of law in the Middle East. Muslim clerics monopolize the judiciary if not also the high posts in other key domains of government. In that world, one is only free to believe in the infallibility of the Qur’an or else, or so it would seem. It is difficult to envision the evolution of a more enlightened body of law when the prevailing hegemony insists on the immutability of existing law due to its alleged origin in the “word of God”. Western government has largely struggled out of that sort of gridlock by abandoning theocracy and its henchman governance by bloodline. Islam is the younger religion by some six hundred years. Therefore maybe eventually and maybe inevitably the requisite cultural transformation will come about. For the time being we face a severe culture clash aggravated by oil dependence and the sudden explosion of communications technology. The latter giving people on both sides of the cultural and geographical divide some visions of things that are difficult to digest. For Westerners, however, the view into the workings of the Middle East might afford a modicum of insight about the state of religion and life in medieval Europe under the boot of the church(s) and biblical law. Maybe also, it might serve as a reminder as to why the founders of the US made “no religious test” (Sixth Article) and “no law respecting an establishment of religion” (First Amendment) integral to the sovereign law of the land, thus erecting a wall of separation between government and religion. It is that law bounded wall that hard-core Christian factions have sought to topple ever since.

    I’m certainly as intimidated as anyone by what the post-911 media has presented about Middle Eastern culture and not very mollified by apologetics about most Muslims being peaceful, even as true as might be. Being an American and self proclaimed citizen of the “free world”, I reserve to myself the right to a few streaks of cultural centrism. To this, there are things about hardcore Islam that I find very onerous. Among those things is its severe intolerance of criticism, holding itself and its arcane doctrinal cannon to be above challenge, reproach, or accountability to the world. I am talking about Islam’s manifest intolerance of freedom of speech and artistic expression. Death orders being levied against people who say or write things that some Iatola finds offensive. Muslim mobs going berserk over some politically scathing cartoons depicting Mohammad. Any religion or sectarian persuasion within that is so sanctimonious that it cannot tolerate criticism or being the target of humor nor possess a sense of humor about itself; that religion does not deserve to stand. Yet, even with these and a host of other very real issues with the dark side of Islam, it is fundamentalist Christianity that poses the greatest domestic threat to our constitutionally guaranteed religious and irreligious liberties, that including freedom from government being in the business of prescribing or peddling religion of any kind.

    Currently under the guise of social conservatism and counter to the Constitution, the Christian fundamentalists conspire nationwide to seize control of local government and establish their deity and religion as the official religion of state. The political dust-up in Lancaster is simply a manifestation of that broader based fundamentalist crusade. This is the United States of America, not the United States of Jesus. It is a secular nation with a deliberately godless constitution, made so to protect against religion controlled government every bit as much as government controlled religion. The notion of “growing a Christian community” is therefore provocative regardless of whether Paris apologized for the indulgence or not. The Christian fundamentalist leanings down at Lancaster City Hall are impossible to overlook. The imposition of sectarian prayer in City Council meetings and subsequent lawsuit by the Jewish Defense League is just the top of the pile. Other Constitutionally questionable dealings include the establishment of “community impact homes” in each neighborhood, evidently to help overworked parents raise their children. Evidently also, the houses are to be run by the local evangelical Christian churches. Are these to be neighborhood proselytization stations, another sectarian initiative supported on the backs of the taxpayer?

  35. Colin Hutton says:


    Great comment. Says most everything that should be said and can be said.

    Colin Hutton

  36. Indy says:

    Mayor R. Rex Parris, you have changed, what ever it is look inside yourself straiten it out.

    All the angles are in heaven, we must allow for everyone the old, the sick, the poor, the handicap even Section 8, through time taking education and love of all man kind, repetition.

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