April 10, 2008

Council For Secular Humanism Calls For Rep. Davis' Resignation

The Council for Secular Humanism has issued a press release calling for the resignation of the bigoted Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago). I applaud them in being the first national freethought organization to do so and hope others will join the call. I have provided the full press release below.

Council for Secular Humanism Deplores Intemperate Comments from Rep. Monique Davis; calls for Davis to resign

(Amherst, New York) --Rep. Monique Davis, a Chicago Democrat and member of the Illinois legislature, stepped egregiously over the line when she verbally attacked atheist activist Rob Sherman for his religious unbelief during his testimony April 2nd to the House State Government Administration Committee, says the Council for Secular Humanism.

Sherman had been testifying before the committee that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s plan to donate one million tax dollars to Pilgrim Baptist Church in Chicago was unconstitutional when Davis launched into a diatribe against atheists, asserting that atheists did not have a right to present testimony to the legislature.. Challenging Sherman, Davis wondered aloud, “I don’t know what you have against God….some of us don’t have much against him. We look forward to him and his blessings.” Affirming that the people of Illinois believe that there is a God, Davis went on to suggest that the philosophy Sherman was spreading was “extremely dangerous.” “It’s dangerous to the progression of this state. And it’s dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists,” shouted Davis. After Sherman thanked Davis for sharing her perspective with him, Davis shot back, “Get out of that seat …You have no right to be here! We believe in something. You believe in destroying! You believe in destroying what this state was built upon.”

The Council for Secular Humanism is appalled by Davis’s apparent belief that atheists and other nonreligious individuals are not entitled to the same rights and liberties as other citizens.

Ronald A. Lindsay, director of the Council for Secular Humanism’s First Amendment Task Force, is calling for Davis to resign. “In informing Sherman that he had ‘no right’ to be there merely because he was an atheist, Davis confirmed that she is not willing to be a representative of all her constituents, regardless of their religious beliefs,” said Lindsay.

“She is unfit to serve in her office, just as a representative who told a Jew or a Hindu to ‘get out of that seat’ would be unfit to serve. If she does not resign, the Illinois House has an obligation to expel her,” continued Lindsay.

Sherman, after being told repeatedly by Davis to get out of his seat because he was an atheist commented that he felt like Rosa Parks, “who also was told, get out of that seat and arrested when she didn't give up her seat on the bus to a white person.”

The Council for Secular Humanism is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization promoting rational inquiry, secular values and positive human development through the advancement of secular humanism. The Council, publisher of the bimonthly journal Free Inquiry, has a Web site at www.secularhumanism.org

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