My new hero: Chaz Stevens

When Gov. Ron DeSantis was running for president, he leaned heavily on culture war issues such as his “Don't Say Gay,” The law bans classroom lessons on gender identity and sexual orientation. This included banning any and all books in schools that were deemed pornographic.

Coincidentally, PEN America, a group that fights book bans, issued a report Tuesday saying Florida is responsible for 72% of the books that have been pulled from the nation's schools in the first half of the current school year.

The organization said liberal activists are not the ones who should be blamed for abusing the law.

“The majority of books that we see being removed are books that talk about LBTQ+ identities, that include characters of color, that talk about race and racism, that include depictions of sexual experiences in the most broadest interpretation of that understanding,” said Kasey Meehan, Pen America's Freedom to Read program director.

What we needed was a true American hero to stand up for freedom. In walks Chaz.

“When they need to make stupid stupider, they send me up. I'm part comedian, I'm part activist, I'm part artist. I just want a better society," Stevens said. “I'm an idiot, but a smart guy at the same time.”
The Associated Press asked DeSantis' office for examples of liberal activists abusing the law and it provided one: Chaz Stevens, a South Florida resident who has often lampooned government. Stevens raised challenges in dozens of school districts over the Bible, dictionaries and thesauruses.
Stevens, who 11 years ago made national news when he installed a Festivus pole made out of beer cans across from a nativity scene displayed in the Capitol, was delighted DeSantis' office singled him out.

I'm a fan of fetivus too. In 2015, he petitioned 11 South Florida municipalities to either drop the prayer that opens their city commission meetings, or let him lead a prayer in the name of Satan. In this case Chaz's point was completely and totally logical. He merely took the idea to its logical conclusion.

In petitions sent to public school superintendents across the state, Chaz Stevens asked the districts to "immediately remove the Bible from the classroom, library, and any instructional material," Stevens wrote in the documents, which were shared with NPR. "Additionally, I also seek the banishment of any book that references the Bible."
Stevens proceeded to question whether the Bible is age-appropriate, pointing to its "casual" references to murder, adultery, sexual immorality, and fornication. "Do we really want to teach our youth about drunken orgies?"

He also took issue with the many Biblical references to rape, bestiality, cannibalism and infanticide. "In the end, if Jimmy and Susie are curious about any of the above, they can do what everyone else does – get a room at the Motel Six and grab the Gideons," he wrote.

"Get a room at the Motel Six and grab the Gideons". That is just poetry.

The 57-year-old Deerfield Beach man says his ire was stoked after Florida lawmakers decided this month to ban 54 math books that were claimed to have incorporated topics such as critical race theory. "I love the algebras," says Stevens, who studied applied mathematics in college. "And those Tally [Tallahassee] loons just banned a bunch of arithmetic books?"

Stevens sent the petitions as a way to point out the hypocrisy, he said. "If you want to teach morality and ethics, do you really want to turn to a book that wants you to dash babies against rocks?" he told NPR, pointing to Psalm 137:9.

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I think there should be mandatory drag queen story hours in all of the public elementary schools, as well as special nursing staff employees that can arrange transition surgeries and drugs for elementary students who want to change their genders without informing their parents.

Actually, I am agnostic and not a proponent or adherent of any organized religion. Nevertheless, I do recognize that many of the basic tenets of organized religions (The Ten Commandments, for example, though similar precepts are enumerated in many organized religions) form the moral foundation of almost all of human civilization. While church and state should be separated, I see no virtue in indoctrinating children to practices and philosophies that reject the foundation of civilization's thousands years old moral compass. How does that help?

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@Bring Back Civics This is especially true now when all of the "bannings" of which you complain are readily available to any child who has access to the internet. What is so horrible about excluding some of this information from public elementary school? We have more important and more urgent concerns in our civilzation right now.

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@Bring Back Civics
for a 'moral' society

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@QMS there's an old saying that goes "Where they first burn books, they will eventually burn people."

There is no real difference between banning books and burning them.

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@Bring Back Civics I didn't realize that there were people here that had swallowed the right-wing culture war propaganda.

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@Bring Back Civics Most of the 10C are religion-specific admonishments, and not basic moral foundations/ethical concepts that anyone could derive on their own. Then there's the problem of which version of the 10C is going to be controlling, since there are several of them.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@Bring Back Civics @Bring Back Civics

2) the foundation of our moral codes, is a crock. It is 2 books. The OT was written of, by and for one sect. The 10 commandments starts with an exhortation to worship and be obedient to their jealous, blood thirsty, vengeful and murderous god. The rest apply only within that group "thou shalt not kill (other members of the in group)", "thou shalt not steal (from other members of the in group)", etc. Otherwise kill, rob, enslave and rape away, especially the Canaanites, Perizzites, Jebusites and others that god specifically commanded them to exterminate.

The second book tells of a rebel who they eventually nailed to a tree for his heresies, even though he alleged that he was there not to alter gods laws but to enforce them. His whole schtick was to suffer the wrongs done to the chosen in the here and now because, any day now, the wrongdoers will get their ass whipped from above and suffer eternal torments while the chosen feast at god's side and watch.

The actual history of the assorted sects following the second book is a macabre horror story of murder, theft, rape, genocide, torture and more. Reading said second book pretty much unavoidably leads one into the path of reading up on the actual behavior of those followers and seeing that the moral code was immoral and again covered ingroup, whilst the outgroups were be be robbed, tortured, exiled, murdered and more.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Cassiodorus's picture

of forbidding lay people from reading the Bible:

Why Christians Were Denied Access to Their Bible for 1,000 Years

The Bible really mattered, you see, when there were no printing presses to crank out Bibles and when there was no Roman Empire with access to Egypt, where papyrus could be used to make new Bibles. Thus, pretty much, from the year 641 onward, it was possible for the Church to control who had access to the Bible and who didn't, so they could impose a doctrine upon the people which had at best a cherry-picked relation to the Bible.

Writing, it is estimated, around the year 395, the historian Ammianus Marcellinus said: "no wild beasts are such enemies to mankind as are most of the Christians in their deadly hatred of one another." Those Christians, you see, lived at a time when the Bible was still being formed, and were involved in doctrinal disputes over which books were and which ones weren't to be included in the "Good Book," and over competing interpretations of said Book. They, in short, had access to Bibles, and thus ideological uniformity was not to be had in Ammianus' time.

My favorite verse of the Bible is Acts 4: 32-35:

And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

The Apostles, you see, were a bunch of communists.

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'French theory is a product of US cultural imperialism." -- Gabriel Rockhill

usefewersyllables's picture


the Bible as a Mesopotamian Tom Clancy novel, but written by committee.

Not much upon which to base centuries of killings, in my opinion, but what do I know? As an atheist, I'm not really into killing people- so something must have been omitted from my atheistic upbringing. Gawd only knows that out of all those killings done in her name, very few were actually committed for anything other than mere theft: stealing more Liebensraum and/or money. They were not done as an expression of some actual concept of the divine; not that it made any difference to the grunts, or the victims. As always, only Management actually won anything.

Gen. Butler was right.

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.