By Art Gallagher
I wish it wasn’t necessary to keep bashing the Asbury Park Press. The Neptune Nudniks are just that bad lately. I wish Gannett would put some competent people over there. We need a good newspaper in the region. In the meantime I’ll just take my chances that Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini won’t accuse me of cyberbullying.
I’ll give the nudniks this much. Today’s paper must have been printed on recycled material. Recycled birdcage liner to be more precise. The editorial pages are full of bird bleep.
The nudniks first. Apparently they fancy themselves experts on the Constitution and prayer. In their nudniktorial today the APP editorial board argues that prayer at public meetings violates the U.S and New Jersey Constitutions and that the ACLU should pursue their suit against the Borough of Point Pleasant Beach “vigorously” because the borough’s council has been opening meetings with a prayer with the blessing of the borough attorney.
I know I’m not an expert on the Constitution or on prayer (the APP even has the gall to say what “most religions” consider appropriate prayer). I was taught constitutional law at a Jesuit university. This much I do know. If the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, the NJ Senate and the NJ Assembly all start their sessions with a prayer, which they all do, then prayer at public meetings is either not unconstitutional or the ACLU lawyers are bullies that don’t have the balls to take on the U.S. Justice Department and/or the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office. They would rather take on tiny Point Pleasant Beach and other small governmental agencies who’s leaders are more likely to cave to the ACLU’s litigious bullybleep than to inflict the pain of legal fees on their already overburdened property taxpayers.
The arrogance of the editorial board is appalling. Not only do they presume to be more expert on the First Amendment than Point Pleasant Beach’s attorney, they have the audacity to judge the sincerity of the Point officials’ prayers and to use the name of the Lord to condemn the prayer. I won’t even get into their questioning whether or not the Lord really authored the Lord’s Prayer. This from the nudniks who know so much about Jesus and prayer that they invoked the Sacred Heart to praise Asbury Park’s Upstage Club, Bruce Springsteen and Southside Johnny.
As a service to the nudniks, I publish the text of the 1st amendment to the U.S. Constitution, for what I suspect will be their first reading:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
I hope they can find someone other than ACLU bullies to explain it to them.
Regarding the nudniks’ infuriating habit of writing about religion as if they know what they are talking about, the reprobates on the editorial board should leave such writing, if they must write about it at all, to Pastor Michael Riley who is on their staff. At least Riley has a relationship with the Big Guy. If they can’t do that, they should start using Islamic rather than Christian references in their editorials. That could solve the problem permanently.
Now, about Mary Pat Angelini’s Anti-Bullying Bill; Angelini is not a nudnik nor is she a reprobate. However, her bill, as well intended as it may be, is a bad idea. Its not that bullying is not a problem, it is. It is a problem that all of us have had to deal with as part of growing up and that all children will have to learn to deal with in the future. Legislation will not change human nature and government can not solve all of our problems. Nor should it.
I’m not an expert on child development. However the lessons my father taught me about dealing with bullies, both physical and psychological lessons, prepared me for the rough and tumble of the business world and Monmouth County politics. The lesson I taught to the bully who was picking on my sister endures to this day. His nose was never the same. Growing up in the 70’s that made me a hero and gave my sister a confident sense of security throughout her adolescent years. No one ever picked on her again. Today, it would probably land an older brother a stay in the Middlesex County Youth Detention Center.
Schools administrators and faculty should not tolerate bullying. We need legislation for that? The red tape and additional personnel Angelini’s bill calls will be a waste and a burden on property taxpayers. The kids who have been victimized should be trained to be “anti-bully specialists”, like my father trained me. If parents won’t teach kids how to defend themselves, or brothers how to defend their sisters, the schools can teach the kids the art of a kick in the cogliones and how to break a nose right after the class where they learn to put a condom on a cucumber.
Another problem with the bill…how long will it take for the evil manipulative adolescents to figure out that they can cause a whole lot a grief to both their school administration and to an unfriendly teen rival by falsely claiming they’re being bullied. Ever know or hear of a kid threatening their parents with a call to DYFS?
Legislation is never going to control adolescents’ uncontrollable and natural behavior. Making school personnel responsible for managing that behavior is ludicrous. Outlawing teen suicide would be just as effective. Cheaper to enforce too.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and state that I don’t believe bullying causes teen suicide. I was bullied and I didn’t kill myself.
I don’t mean to minimize the problem of teen suicide. I’m not an expert and I don’t know the answer. I do know that legislation that is a knee jerk reaction to a tragic and highly publicized suicide is not the answer. The answer lies in things that can’t be legislated. In families, churches, with health care professionals and even in schools. I don’t have any statistics to back this up, but I bet there was less teen suicide when there was prayer in schools. But that’s not likely to happen because no one has the cogliones to stand up to the ACLU.