The 5 Best Disses of Religious Zealots in the Greatest Prayer-in-Schools Ruling Ever Written

Last week U.S. District Judge Fred Biery agreed to a settlement in a long-running case involving prayer in a Central Texas school district.

His ruling got some ink, but perhaps not all it deserved, for it is a concise masterpiece of sanity that comes from one of the most turbulent, extremist arenas today: the so-called "War on Religion."

You can read the whole thing here, but let us list the five best quotes and why they shine. (Hint: They get better as they go on):

5. "Any American can pray, silently or verbally, seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day, in private as Jesus taught or in large public events as Mohammed instructed." This comes under the heading "What This Case Has Not Been About" (the answer: "The right to pray") and nicely ties Muslim/Islam/Jihad/etc. with the plaintiffs' demands to pray Christian prayers at a high school graduation.

4. About the effort to harmonize competing interests with the First Amendment: "Although this pursuit is far from over, '[l]et us realize the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.'" Hitting them with Obama's favorite Martin Luther King Jr. quote: Way to twist the knife, judge.

3. "To those Christians who have venomously and vomitously who have cursed the Court family and have threatened bodily harm and assassination: In His name, I forgive you." "Vomitously"? Niiice. And of course, the knife that got twisted with MLK just got twisted a little more with "In His name."

2. "To those who have prayed for my death: Your prayers will someday be answered, as inevitability trumps probability." Not quite an "I'll see you in hell" quote, but dry and dignified.

1. "To those in the executive and legislative branches of government who have demagogued this case for their own political goals: You should be ashamed of yourselves." Well, there's only one person in the executive branch of state government with his own political goals. We can't remember who it is, though; he kinda dropped out of sight sometime after the New Hampshire primary.

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