Yes, I do realize this is a snarky post.

Dedicated to the defense of civil liberties and human rights

In light of recent comments here and here about the threat of “sharia law,” here’s a corrective from Barton Hinkle. Those who prey on the perpetually outraged are like “the woman in Kansas who recited a special chant to keep the Bengal tigers away. Informed that there were no Bengal tigers, she replied that the chant must be working.”

In fact, this is who is embarrassing Virginia and threatening everyone’s individual liberties. The story, as reported earlier this month: Laura George, formerly a Leesburg attorney, planned to build an interfaith retreat center near her home in the southwest Virginia town of Independence. The Grayson County Planning Commission unanimously approved her project, which included a public library, interfaith education center, and ten cabins. There was a public hearing.


After pastors and others spoke at the hearing, many warning that it was anti-Christian, a cult and a threat to the community, the board killed the project.

The Rutherford Institute has taken the case. Their findings of fact (pdf) are remarkable, especially 29 – 34. It may sound familiar.

At one point a supervisor reminded speakers that they could not vote based on religious reasons.

And, it’s not hard to see why.

Eddie Roland, pastor of Brush Creek Baptist Church, stood up at the meeting with his Bible in hand and said the proposed center “stands against the word of God. I believe it’s contradictory to it. I believe it’s diametrically opposed to what this book right here stands for.”

“I’m glad it didn’t come,” Rhonda James of Mouth of Wilson said. She added that everyone she knows opposed the Oracle Institute because, they believe, it seems to question the word of God in the Bible. “I’m a Christian, fundamentalist Christian, and so are most people in the area.”

Why is this so hard for people to understand? No special rights. You and I don’t get to decide that only some people get to have freedom of religion and of expression in the public square. Being part of a majority doesn’t confer that right.

In addition to the five counts on constitutional grounds, this was also a vindictive land grab.

Will we see another spectacle like this at holiday display time? Probably. Also, someone will claim that pointing out this behavior is an attack on Christians. It’s not. It’s just my refusal to allow this behavior to speak for me. Sorry!