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173 posts into this new board and the anti-religionist arch-bigot, who calls himself Gooh, has arrived. We know him from other locations where he has set forth such scurrility as a claim that Bill Clinton saved America from the Christians. This time, the surrogate he links in expands the negative, anti-religionist smear to all organized religion.

From my point of view, the linked essay would normally be something to be observed, disagreed with, and let pass, with wonderment at who in the world is running the Snohomish, WA school system (or whatever authority purportedly awarded that piece the essay prize). The basis for the wonderment would be, what would that board of judges have done with an equally well-written piece that criticized with equal effectiveness such concepts as affirmative action or abortion-on-demand or gay rights? I suspect that such essays would never have seen the light of day and that their authors may, indeed, have found themselves suspended from school. But here we have powerful evidence that one target of politically-correct bigotry is still fair game in modern America--"organized religion".

Aside from the previous point about the "wonderment," something else is quite disturbing about post no. 173. That is that it brings that piece expressly to the attention of someone who claims to be a 17 year-old. I find it just about as offensive for someone to hustle a 17 year-old with anti-religionist propaganda as it would be to furnish them pornography or drugs. If anyone reading this disagrees, I'm sure you will speak up and defend the practice.

Having said that, I will also say for the record that I have serious doubts that Ace1/*/*/Ace2 is actually what he/she claims to be. I have read all his/her posts here and on the GTW board--and have received (but not answered) some private e-mails from that writer. And while I did participate in a bit of (harmless, I think) fun when the bizarre posts started coming in from this writer, my sense is that something is, indeed, not what it is represented to be. There are numerous examples, but post no. 174 here strikes me as just not the work of a 17 year-old, especially not one so green as to have been running around just the other day soliciting ideas for the subject of his two-star post, or to undergo four name transplants in a month.

/s/ S.T.
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I find it just about as offensive for someone to hustle a 17 year-old with anti-religionist propaganda as it would be to furnish them pornography or drugs. --Springtex

Why Springtex, I'm surprised at you! Do you not think that one 17 year old can read what another 17 year old thought about something without losing his/her grip on beliefs. Don't you think that right-wing religious organizations sponsor essay contests for high school students? Do you find that acceptable? Can you tolerate discussion of nothing that is not chapter and verse per your interpretation?

You know even in my time various religious beliefs were discussed openly among youth, sometimes with adults present, sometimes not. At what secret place did we meet for those discussions? Why, church camp, for one. Ecumenical Conferences, for another. Guess what, we were even urged to consider the possible validity of other points of view. Wow, how radical is that? But then I was a member of that radical fringe church called Presbyterian.

Check out this link, S.T. and let me know what you think. gooh:)>

http://www.religioustolerance.org/

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During the flooding in Houston this past weekend, much of the relief work was performed by various church organizations. I don't think there was any objection to it--certainly not from the folks with wet feet whose houses were inundated. Here's an update, though, on how the Democrats are trying to sabotage W's faith-based initiatives:

http://www.rollcall.com/pages/columns/kondracke/

/s/ S.T.

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