Posts Tagged “community organizer”

Ned Coll, right, of Barkhamsted, speaks about his calling as he stands on Route 1 in Greenwich near the New York state line with volunteer Eduardo Rivera on Wednesday, July 6, 2011. Photo: Helen Neafsey / Greenwich TimeMy home state of Connecticut, known as “the Land of Steady Habits,” has a reputation for being a state full of people who don’t like rocking the boat. And it is. But oddly enough, in spite of that, the Nutmeg State has more than its share of annoying gadlfies and cranks who love nothing more than to make pests of themselves and make demands of everyone else. Perhaps the most famous of these is Ralph Nader, a native of Winsted, CT, but there are plenty of other such folks — and thankfully most of them are not anywhere near as well known.

Among these is community organizer-turned-hyperreligious wingnut Ned Coll. The Greenwich Time reports Coll is now waging a crusade to get prayer back into public schools (WebCite cached article):

The divorced father of two from the tiny Litchfield County hamlet of Barkhamsted is adopting the cause of reinstating prayer in public schools.

In the beating July sun and wearing wooden prayer beads from the religious shrine of Fatima in Portugal, Coll waved a sign calling for a spiritual renewal to passing motorists on West Putnam Avenue at the state line.

“Our children are not getting guidance in this nation,” Coll said. “We better start trying to get vocal prayer in all public schools and private homes.”

Coll is consciously repeating his own past activism:

It’s a reprisal of sorts of Coll’s famous hike along the Connecticut coast, where he championed open beach access during the 1970s and 1980s.

I have no idea how he plans to get prayer into public schools, especially since the U.S. Supreme Court has forbidden it — in Engel v. Vitale (1962), which was subsequently backed up by later decisions Wallace v. Jaffree (1985) and Lee v. Weisman (1992). Does Coll really think he’s somehow bigger than the Supreme Court? (My guess is, he does!)

For all his righteousness and professed love of God, Coll curiously has trouble obeying the law. He’s been arrested more than once over the last couple of years, on various minor charges (cached). Also note that this paragon and champion of piety is “twice divorced,” according to the G.T. article. I really love it when brazen fucking hypocrites speak up for Jesus! Don’t you?

One last item of note about Ned Coll: As I said, he was once a community organizer. A professional community organizer. The founder of a Hartford group called the Revitalization Corps. Here’s a short Time magazine profile of him from the early ’70s. That’s right, folks. This militant Christian and staunch advocate for the Religious Right, started out as an urban community organizer … just like someone else whom the R.R. despises for having once been an urban community organizer. Can you guess who that is?

If Coll wants all Americans to pray to his God, then I suggest he starts with me. Come here, Mr Coll, and make me pray. Go ahead. Give it a shot.

Photo credit: Helen Neafsey / Greenwich Time.

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