"The village atheist has the right to be heard;
he has no right to be heeded. While he has a right
not to have his own children indoctrinated in what
he believes are false and foolish teachings,
he has no right to dictate what other children may be taught."
Patrick J. Buchanan
(1938- ) American politician, author, syndicated columnist and broadcaster
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Reader comments about this quote:
How typical of Pat. He consistantly forgets that the reverse of that is just as true.
 -- Anonymous     
    Mr. Buchanan makes sense. We may presume, however, that his view of the term "right" is that of a strict constructionist?
     -- Irving, Miami     
    Please explain, Anonymous.
     -- Frank, Quemado, TX     
    how can the reverse be true when our country is founded on Christian values?
     -- Anonymous     
    A great quote from a great man. America wouldn't be in the mess it is today if there were more people like him.
     -- Rob, Edmonton, Canada     
     -- Anonymous      
    What if the village athiest children want to learn about the the truth and not learn about some feeble fairy tail that 90 percent of the stupid earth population choose to believe. You wanna know the reason how you exist? Science is how you exist. You wanna know why? Go fuck yourself!
     -- fuckyou, fuckyou     
    There is a right to speak, not a right to be heard. The exercise of a right never requires involuntary action on the part of others.
     -- Bryan Morton, Stuart, Florida     
    absolutely right. Freedom allows all to speak so choice may be exercised and those that have ears may hear. The idiot malcontent with no name and no place to call home above is a good example of: the ignorance that comes from allowing only one religious concept (a supposed and otherwise alleged science), and the loss of any depth of truth's understanding.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Doing away with the government run schools would solve the problem.
     -- Cogitator     
    So do the village idiot and the village christians. However, the right to speak pertains only to speech to the government, not to each other. We follow different rules, not the ones that we use to control government, e.g., I control who speaks in my home. No one has the power to stop me there.
     -- Atlas, Holland, PA     
    All I can say about Pat and his quote is Duh!
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
    Atlas touches upon an interesting point. The First Amendment of the Constitution merely states that "Congress shall make no law" with respect to restricting the practice of religion, the press, or speech. Religion should be taught in schools AND the bloody history of persecution and power that accompanied it. If Buchanan is talking about what can be taught at a government school forcibly paid for by the taxes of the community, I believe all who pay for the school have a right to say what will be taught there. Personally I think that if you want to get a good education you have to pay for it -- pick a religious or secular private school that best fits what you want for your children. Free lunch strategies do not turn out productive citizens.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Waffler, sadly this isn't so "duh" as we'd like to believe.... somehow the strange concept that atheism doesn't fall into a decidedly belief-based category - that it is somehow neutral in it's core beliefs and values- has gained traction and is thereby propogated as being a "safe" stance to teach, and no one else has the right to not believe, or keep their children from being indoctrinated with atheistic values and thought. This quote applies to all cases of belief. The very concept of "belief" itself dictates that it is a personal, internal choice which no one has the right to manipulate. Buchanan was right, and the America should listen.
     -- Liberty     
    I'm with you on this one Waffler - a terrible quote, one that has no intellectual base. Archer really, usually you have insightful posts but this one must be an aberration. Public schools don't turn out productive citizens, really...
     -- RBESRQ     
    RBESRQ, I agree that this isn't much of a quote. It provides a somewhat limited illustration of some aspects of the 1st Amendment, and no real insight. Atlas, the right to speak certainly does pertain to our speech to each other, in public at least. You may be pleased to control who speaks in your home, but I am pleased that I do not live there.
     -- A.WOODS, Gloucester     
     -- warren, olathe      
     -- Waiting, NOLA      
     -- Anonymous      
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