Your morning jolt: No hot-cross buns for them — atheists target Cobb prayer breakfast

Somewhere in the early ‘90s, Cobb became known as the litmus-test county. We do not know why. But here’s another example, courtesy of the Marietta Daily Journal:

The list of speakers is being finalized and the time is drawing near for the 27th annual Cobb County Prayer Breakfast.

But a small group of protesters from the Smyrna-based Atlanta Freethought Society and American Atheists say they will protest the event on the sidewalk outside of the Cobb Galleria Centre, where the event will be held, as they take issue with the fact that the phone number listed to call for more information is a Cobb County line.

Virgil Moon, Cobb County Support Services Agency director and president of the Cobb County Prayer Breakfast Committee, Inc., which puts on the breakfast every year, confirmed that the voicemail-only landline … is run out of his office, and that his administrative staff is in charge of answering messages requesting information.

***
In the hubbub of the end of the legislative session last week, this news from New Jersey escaped our attention:

In a presidential cycle without a clear-cut Republican frontrunner, Christie … said New Jersey could play a deciding role in a down-to-the-wire primary.

“New Jersey might be in a powerful position in June to help determine the Republican nominee for president,” he said.

Asked at a Statehouse press conference if he was trying to boost his role in the presidential race, the governor responded: “Well, sure. Why not? If New Jersey can be partially responsible for nominating the next president of the United States, I have a feeling that might increase our clout in Washington, D.C.”

Pay attention to this. We’ll have more on other scenarios later, but here in Georgia, Secretary of State Brian Kemp is giving some thought about aligning the state with New Jersey as a final hurdle for GOP presidential candidates.

***
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has vetoed a “birther” bill passed last week by that state’s legislature. From the Arizona Republic:

The bill would have given the secretary of state the authority to determine whether the documents were appropriate and whether that person’s name should appear on the ballot.

Some legal experts questioned the constitutionality of such an effort. Brewer did not address those concerns in her veto letter. But she did suggest the measure was not in good taste.

“I never imagined being presented with a bill that could require candidates for president of the greatest and most powerful nation on Earth to submit their ‘early baptismal or circumcision certificates,’ among other records, to the Arizona Secretary of State,” Brewer said in her letter. “This is a bridge too far.”

On the other hand, a spokesman for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said he would sign a bill requiring presidential candidates to provide a copy of their birth certificate — if it reaches his desk.

***
Houston County Solicitor Rob Tawse, 67, said Monday he will resign from his position effective June 30. He’s facing heart and knee surgeries, but these lines in the Macon Telegraph mark him as a man of true ambition:

Once his health issues are resolved, Tawse said he expects he’ll volunteer for Christian ministries and spend more time playing the bagpipes.

***
Today’s AJC Politifact Georgia takes a look at the claim by U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Athens, that President Franklin Roosevelt sent emissaries to the Soviet Union, who received lessons in socialism from “Uncle Joe” Stalin.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

132 comments Add your comment

Ric

April 19th, 2011
10:40 am

I’m shocked – Jan Brewer, habitual liar and enemy of grammar, finally did something sensible.

David A. Staples

April 19th, 2011
10:43 am

Zero county money and resources should be spent on any sort of a prayer breakfast. Don’t come to me for more tax dollars when you could be using my money more efficiently.

deegee

April 19th, 2011
10:44 am

I’m happy to know that Virgil Moon is in favor of prayer, but isn’t that something that we do in a house of worship? I can and sometimes do pray when I’m at work but nobody has to know about it.

Poke 'Em With A Stick

April 19th, 2011
10:55 am

I only pray in traffic. While texting in my love tweets to Arizona State reps and calling Marietta city 800 numbers, 25% of which are now owned by porn companies. But I really just came here to voice my opinion on deporting christian rednecks to Mexico.

freidenker

April 19th, 2011
10:58 am

Simple, religion wants to AND is allowed to use government workers and offices…TAX them. Do what you want in your own home or special little Sunday building with your family but don’t let it cross my path. Let churches pay their own way like i do. Past time to tax them. Yeah, i know, never going to happen. Too much fear of the unknown. Actually, it’s intellectual apathy. What a pity.

Last Man Standing

April 19th, 2011
11:02 am

“On the other hand, a spokesman for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said he would sign a bill requiring presidential candidates to provide a copy of their birth certificate — if it reaches his desk.”

. . . as well he should!

GaBlue

April 19th, 2011
11:04 am

Playing the bagpipes is a worthy endeavor! (No sarcasm here; LOVE ‘em!)

As for using public resources to organize a “prayer breakfast,” the citizens have a right to complain, not that it will do any good. Anyone moving to Cobb could have easily determined that rubes rule there before they signed their mortgage contract.

Poke 'Em With A Stick

April 19th, 2011
11:07 am

Yeah, is it still illegal to be gay in Cobb County? Cause you know how god hates them gay people!

ProgressivePeach

April 19th, 2011
11:13 am

Can we just default that everything Paul Broun says is a lie and just save some ink and reporting resources?

Centrist

April 19th, 2011
11:17 am

Although I agree it is wrong to mix religion with government which is done so often – hard to get worked up enough to join such a protest.

I am NOT a birther – but had the following link sent to me. Since it is unattributed (implies Donald Trump agrees), probably fabricated:

http://americansunited2012.blogspot.com/2011/03/trump-uncovers-truth-about-obammaaka.html?zx=b4dbe81ae7a08c03

DJ Sniper

April 19th, 2011
11:20 am

I see LMS is still drinking the Kool-Aid by endorsing anything related to the birther bill. These nutjobs just will not give it up.

deegee

April 19th, 2011
11:21 am

Centrist, why do you open random links like that? Do you have a PC tech on speed dial?

double

April 19th, 2011
11:22 am

Yeah LMS the gov.LA. need you telling what he should do.You think that CA don’t know what he should do?

DJ Sniper

April 19th, 2011
11:24 am

LOL@ “enemy of grammar!”

DannyX

April 19th, 2011
12:39 pm

Jesus said not to pray in public, God only listens to private prayer. Its in the Bible.

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Why do these “Christians” openly defy God? Divorce and public prayer are two huge waivers modern American Christians have given themselves.

Thomas Jefferson did not delete Matthew 6:5 from his cut and paste Bible, one of the few things he kept in, which means our forefathers were against public prayer.

We need a Constitutional amendment banning public prayer.

GaBlue

April 19th, 2011
12:49 pm

DannyX, “Why do these “Christians” openly defy God? Divorce and public prayer are two huge waivers modern American Christians have given themselves.”

You forgot the self-righteous pride with which many of them state “EFF the poor!” I also have often wondered why the people who call themselves Christians behave this way.

Douglas

April 19th, 2011
12:49 pm

Broun’s lie isn’t just “false.” He should have been give a “Pants on Fire” rating. It’s too bad that Members of Congress are immune from anything they say on the floor of the House. He could even tell a whopper such as “I like and respect President Obama” and no one could do a thing about it.

Amazing

April 19th, 2011
12:59 pm

Kudos for Gov. Brewer! For the birthers, here is another fact.

As a congressional act stated in 1790:

Congress: “And the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens.”

Another congressional act in 1795 issued a similar assurance, though it changed the language from “natural born citizen” to “citizen.”

President Obama’s mother was a U.S. citizen and therefore he is a legally a citzen of the U.S. under the rule of law. Just saying it is so will not make it right.

DannyX

April 19th, 2011
1:08 pm

“You forgot the self-righteous pride with which many of them state “EFF the poor!”

Oh yes, another Republican re-write, “All poor people should sell all their belongings and give the money to a rich man.” For the “good” of the economy of course.

Good Grief

April 19th, 2011
1:38 pm

DannyX – If Christians are to only pray in private, then how are we to pray without ceasing, as the Bible says to do? Jesus didn’t mean that God only hears private prayer. He was warning about praying in public as a means of self-exaltation. A person shouldn’t pray in public just to be seen of others. You can pray in public all you want. If you are close to God, He’ll hear those prayers as much as He will a prayer sad in private. But when you pray in private, it’s a little easier to get the things of the world out of the way and actually talk to God one-on-one.

And yes, the action of one of our founders means that every single one of them was for private prayer, even when they would have prayer before meetings, and before dinners. And isn’t a Constitutional amendment banning prayer interfering with the free exercise of religion? I know, that can open a can of worms. I just think you need to exercise caution when calling for the federal government to ban religious practices.

friedenker – Does it make you feel like more of a man/woman to refer to religion as intellectual apathy?

deegee

April 19th, 2011
1:40 pm

“It’s too bad that Members of Congress are immune from anything they say on the floor of the House.”

It’s also too bad that the most vigilant voting block in America have their dials tuned to Fox News and hear these whoppers disguised as factual information day in and day out.

Good Grief

April 19th, 2011
1:40 pm

*said in private, not “sad in private”. Oops.

John K

April 19th, 2011
1:41 pm

They just need to pray for show. Anyone can pray anytime they wish, but the ones who need to make an event out of it are the ones who are looking for the reward of adoration from others.

Local

April 19th, 2011
1:44 pm

Good for atheists (non-mythologists), good for Brewer (shame about letting cops decide who looks like an illegal immigrant though, that is borderline-fascism, police shouldn’t have that much authority and it functions to keep low-income Latin people away from voting, Dem)… also, Brewer is personally responsible for a few deaths of people in her state by diverting money away from patients in need of transplants…

DannyX

April 19th, 2011
1:54 pm

Good Grief, it is obvious what is meant by no no public prayer, NO PUBLIC PRAYER! Read the whole verse and there is only one logical conclusion, no public prayer, it’s hard to twist that one around to suit your needs. What don’t you understand “..that they be seen by man?”

Besides, a prayer breakfast is ALL for show just as John K noted.

“Don’t be as the hypocrites!”

Good Grief

April 19th, 2011
2:01 pm

Again, DannyX, I’m not disagreeing that this prayer breakfast isn’t just to be seen of men. But you didn’t answer my question. You say the Bible says to NEVER pray in public. The Bible also says to pray without ceasing. And even beyond that, Jesus prayed in public on several occasions. In John, chapter 11, Jesus prays in public before resurrecting Lazarus. Or are you saying that Jesus broke his own rules?

  

April 19th, 2011
2:03 pm

Sure are a lot of bitter atheists up in here.

How sad.

Red

April 19th, 2011
2:07 pm

Mit Friedeker zustimme ich.

Die Religion ist der Seufzer der bedrängten Kreatur, das Gemüt einer herzlosen Welt, wie sie der Geist geistloser Zustände ist. Sie ist das Opium des Volks. Die Aufhebung der Religion als des illusorischen Glücks des Volks ist die Forderung seines wirklichen Glücks. – K Marx

John K

April 19th, 2011
2:09 pm

Why is it sad?

DannyX

April 19th, 2011
2:09 pm

“Or are you saying that Jesus broke his own rules?

The only commandment Jesus gave was no public prayer. PERIOD. You are making things up.

He was very specific. You have given yourselves a huge waiver. The Bible says God already knows what you want before you pray.

Your waivers, just like your public prayers are man made.

Mark Hale

April 19th, 2011
2:09 pm

I wish all you fools who want to keep prayer out of our Government would go back and read the thoughts of the founding fathers. They said that prayer and belief in God was important and the Country would flounder without them. All they were trying to prevent by seperating Church and State was having a State Religion. If you don’t like public prayer STAY HOME!!!

John K

April 19th, 2011
2:12 pm

Mark, did school let out early?

If it was so important, why was it not put in place in The Constitution?

Red

April 19th, 2011
2:20 pm

Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

M

April 19th, 2011
2:22 pm

It’s always the same.

[direct quote from the Bible]

Apologist: “Well, I know it looks like it means that, but what it REALLY means (according to my own unique and nuanced philosophy that nobody else shares exactly) is THIS.”

DannyX

April 19th, 2011
2:24 pm

You know Mark Hale, Thomas Jefferson is the Father of this nation’s war on Christmas. He started the war.

He took out the miracle virgin birth all together. In fact he is the Father of the war on Easter too, he excluded the whole resurrection thing. In fact he pretty much took out all of the miracles in his very own cut and paste Bible.

“Happy Easter” Thomas Jefferson?

M

April 19th, 2011
2:25 pm

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.

-Thomas Jefferson

RGB

April 19th, 2011
2:26 pm

Dear Fun-Loving Atheists:

What has Christ done to you that has caused you such consternation? It must be really, really bad, otherwise what could explain the venom and constant mocking of God’s Son from your lips?

P.S. I’m glad you people are Bible scholars, but I can’t help but think that it’s not the part you don’t understand that gets on your nerves.

Sincerely I remain.

M

April 19th, 2011
2:26 pm

And the day will come, when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His Father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva, in the brain of Jupiter.

- Thomas Jefferson

td

April 19th, 2011
2:27 pm

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Matthew 29:19

Sounds like a commandment to me. This is the reason we need to be teaching religion in school.

RGB

April 19th, 2011
2:28 pm

What’s the fascination with Thomas Jefferson?

You folks don’t seem to like the document he fashioned.

Good Grief

April 19th, 2011
2:29 pm

DannyX – “The only commandment Jesus gave was no public prayer.” Well, that’s just wrong. In Matthew 22 Jese was asked which was the greatest commandment, and he responded with an answer that wasn’t exactly codified under Mosaic law.

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. -Matthew 22:37-40

That looks like two commandments. He also commanded his disciples to go to certain places. But yeah, if you want to believe that the ONLY commandment Jesus ever spoke was not to be seen when you pray, go right ahead.

td

April 19th, 2011
2:30 pm

While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.”

George Washington

John K

April 19th, 2011
2:30 pm

RGB, right there’s your problem. You can’t see out of your Christian mindset. I’m not an atheist, but I know that our public institutions must represent *all* citizens equally, and that means not pandering to any religion. Let religion stay where it belongs, at home, in church/temple/synagogue/what have you, and in the personal belief of the adherents. Why does there need to be a prayer breakfast? Or prayer opening a session? Are the people attending incapable of praying on their own if they wish?

John K

April 19th, 2011
2:31 pm

td, good thing the Bible is not the ultimate law of the land.

td

April 19th, 2011
2:31 pm

“Suppose a nation in some distant Region should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God … What a Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be.”

John Adams

td

April 19th, 2011
2:32 pm

“The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”

John Adams

John K

April 19th, 2011
2:34 pm

Post all the quotes you want, then post the quotes from The Constitution establishing this as a Christian nation.

Red

April 19th, 2011
2:35 pm

td, Do you eat shrimp? Better read Leviticus.

td

April 19th, 2011
2:35 pm

“I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.”

Thomas Jefferson