Commisioner Jill Johnson is an intolerant religious supremacist. Commissioner Helen Price-Johnson is psychotic. PLUS video: “Our Darkest Secrets: Religious Prejudice in America”

Author:BillB

Geographic distribution of major world religions (Click on map for larger map in new window)

While ruling that NO opening prayers would be allowed in the chambers of the Island County Commissioners, some revelations revealed themselves.

Jill Johnson is adamantly NOT “willing to sit through a prayer to another god or a “watered down god“”. I can hardly think of a better example of someone who is religiously intolerant and who views her own religious belief to be supreme.

Helen Price-Johnson claims that such an opening prayer is simply NOTallowed under state constitution“, despite the fact that such prayers occur in Olympia at the Washington State House of Representatives. People who have “false beliefs about what is taking place” suffer from psychosis.

It’s apparent that NEITHER of these “Johnson” gals actually understand very much about the 1st and 14th Amendments to the US Constitution. From the Cornell University Law School:

“The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference…Furthermore, the Court has interpreted, the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as protecting the rights in the First Amendment from interference by state governments…

Two clauses in the First Amendment guarantee freedom of religion. The establishment clause prohibits the government from passing legislation to establish an official religion or preferring one religion over another. It enforces the “separation of church and state.” Some governmental activity related to religion has been declared constitutional by the Supreme Court. For example, providing bus transportation for parochial school students and the enforcement of “blue laws” is not prohibited. The free exercise clause prohibits the government, in most instances, from interfering with a person’s practice of their religion.

The most basic component of freedom of expression is the right of freedom of speech. The right to freedom of speech allows individuals to express themselves without interference or constraint by the government. The Supreme Court requires the government to provide substantial justification for the interference with the right of free speech where it attempts to regulate the content of the speech.”

Oh, these concepts also escape the grasp of folks such as Thomas D. Smith and Nels Kelstrom.

Our Darkest Secrets: Religious Prejudice in America

(Created by some middle school students).

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  1. avatar

    No matter what Commissioner Emerson proposes Price-Johnson always grasps it as an opportunity to state how great she is and mouth her created rational to prove Emerson is not worthy of being neither a Commissioner nor board chair person

    Here’s HPJ’s performance on the Prayer idea:

    Price Johnson said she believes both church and state are important, …she’s taught Sunday school…for more than 20 years… prayer is personal and not for public theatrics …accused Emerson of bringing the prayer issue forward just to cause controversy…noted that a proposed prayer policy recently caused contention in Oak Harbor…”

    Get over it, Helen. The voters elected Emerson and Homola is history. You no longer control county decisions or as you once said, “…can you count to 2?”
    Yes Helen, WE CAN COUNT TO 2

    Reply

    1. avatar

      Not only did Helen Price-Johnson choose to ignore the REALITY of what ACTUALLY GOES ON in the halls of elected bodies such as our local City Council and state-level governing bodies such as the House of Representatives in justifying her 100% separatist POLITICAL beliefs on this, Helen Price-Johnson actually also QUOTED FROM THE BIBLE when doing so!

      Maybe we should just throw out the entire US Constitution, plus all its Amendments, plus the WA State Constitution, and refer to the version of the Bible Helen used at Sunday school instead, eh?

      Helen Price-Johnson reportedly quoted from Matthew 6:5-7. A version of that Bible passage is:

      5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.

      That’s it, Helen? That one quote FROM THE BIBLE simply trumps everything delineated in the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights, all former and future US Supreme Court rulings, and the WA State Constitution?

      Who do you think we are, Helen, a bunch of little kids in Sunday school?

      Why does it completely ESCAPE you, Helen, that what you are suggesting – using directions as quoted from the Bible in lieu of the rule of law in our Government chambers (in making such decisions as our publicly elected official) – is akin towards establishment of an official Government religion at Island County in the form of the PARTICULAR religion which YOU prefer?

      Helen, can you say “cognitive dissonance“?

      Reply

      1. avatar

        The value of Know-it-all, Bible-thumping HPJ are about equal to those promises she made when she told the Freeland water and Sewer people that she had proof and was 100% correct that the septics were polluting Holmes Harbor and would always do so when it rains a lot.

        Reply

        1. avatar

          It seems that all one has to do is tell Helen Price-Johnson something like “the Bible says so” or “WEAN says so” or “Angie Homola says so” and she will firmly push the “I believe” button and forevermore disregard whatever other facts and/or reality exist.

          Reply

  2. avatar

    The principle is quite simple. When you invite the public to speak at a public event you invite the whole public. And if your going to give an invocation at the start of the meeting this invocation should be open to being given by all interested parties.

    The public should not have to leave their religion at the door of a public event. I would much rather suffer through religious invocations from organizations that I do not care to support than to ban them from speaking because of what they say.

    Reply

    1. avatar

      “The public should not have to leave their religion at the door of a public event.”

      Exactly: no more so than they should be expected to leave their convictions about any other topic or issue at the door.

      It’s seriously disappointing to me that we have publicly elected officials in Island County who are so ill-educated about the principles on which this nation was founded.

      Remind me, again, where “the Johnsons” grew up?

      Oh, yeah, Whidbey Island.

      Reply

  3. avatar

    A stunning statement by Jill Johnson in the WNT:

    “Johnson said previously she was an advocate for prayer at government meetings and believed that it’s important for elected officials to be reminded that their decisions are about something bigger than themselves.

    Then she reconsidered.

    “I had a very strong opinion about doing it,” she said, “and then began to try on what that meant. And what that meant was in government when you say someone can pray you’re saying they can pray to their god and their god could be Allah, their god could be a priestess, their god could be Mother Earth. And I began to realize what that would mean for me sitting up there hearing someone pray to a god that’s not my god and it is something I am unwilling to compromise on.”

    Yes Jill, and that is why our founding fathers wrote the First Amendment to our Constitution. It is to protect US from people like YOU. That is why when they wrote those few simple words in the First Amendment they removed people like yourself from having any power over what the people say in the public arena.

    I suggest Jill actually reads the First Amendment and then asks herself and her god about whether she is willing to follow the oath she took when entering office. Especially the part about defending the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It seems she is unwilling to follow her oath of office because of some religious beliefs favoring one religion (Possibly the Church of England?) over another.

    I don’t think I have ever before heard a statement like this from any local politician, a statement that is based on religious intolerance and divisiveness should never be heard from anyone in a leadership position.

    For anyone who may be of a religion that is not the same as Jill we all apologize…

    Reply

    1. avatar

      “Yes Jill, and that is why our founding fathers wrote the First Amendment to our Constitution. It is to protect US from people like YOU.”

      What’s amazingly shocking about Jill’s very strong position on this issue is that she arrived at it AFTER she actually pondered the issue, and her conclusion runs diametrically OPPOSITE to just about every tenet of the First Amendment!

      Moreover, Jill SERIOUSLY needs to run as an INDEPENDENT candidate if she chooses to run for re-election again for Island County Commissioner!

      Just about EVERYTHING about Jill’s well-thought-out opinion runs CONTRARY to the principles of the Republican Party!

      Here are some excerpts from the GOP 2012 Platform:

      “The Republican Party includes Americans from every faith and tradition, and our policies and positions respect the right of every American to follow his or her beliefs and underscore our reverence for the religious freedom envisioned by the Founding Fathers of our nation and of our party…

      …The first provision of the First Amendment concerns freedom of religion. That guarantee reflected Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which declared that no one should “suffer on account of his religious opinion or belief, but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion…

      …The Founders of the American Republic universally agree that democracy presupposes a moral people and that, in the words of George Washington’s Farewell Address, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports…

      …We pledge to respect the religious beliefs and rights of conscience of all Americans and to safeguard the independence of their institutions from government…

      … We assert every citizen’s right to apply religious values to public policy and the right of faith-based organizations to participate fully in public programs without renouncing their beliefs, removing religious symbols…

      …We…call for a federal investigation into attempts to deny religious believers their civil rights.”

      The Island County Republican Party would do well to RENOUNCE Jill Johnson as a “Republican” based on her statements and positions on this issue.

      Jill Johnson is a publicly elected official who seeks to “deny religious believers their civil rights”!!!

      I always thought Jill to be a “RINO“, and now I am 100% certain that is the case.

      Frankly, I am more than a bit viscerally DISGUSTED with her remarks.

      Reply

  4. avatar

    Here’s 250 words on this topic I am sending to the local mainstream media:

    Commissioner Helen Price-Johnson’s (D) assertion that starting a meeting of the Island County Commissioners with a prayer is “not allowed under the state Constitution” flies in the face of the fact that such prayers routinely occur at places like the Washington State House of Representatives, in Olympia, WA. True to form, Ms. Price-Johnson yet again demonstrates her ability to disregard actual facts and reality when they do not suit her progressive political agenda.

    Moreover, Ms. Price-Johnson’s use of multiple Bible quotations as argument with her fellow County Commissioners during a Commissioner’s work session was a new twist on twisting the Bible to suit one’s politics. What’s next? Copying quotations from a Quran, Torah, Book of Mormon, Book of the Dead, Baha’i Literature, Book of Shadows, or a Course in Miracles directly into Island County Code?

    While Ms. Price-Johnson’s offerings as my publicly elected official are, as usual, disappointing, Commissioner Jill Johnson’s position on this issue is actually much worse.

    Jill Johnson (R) has clearly expressed that, in her capacity as our publicly elected representative, she is extremely intolerant of other people’s religious views that differ from her own and that she prefers to muzzle such folks instead of treating such speech as being protected under the First Amendment.

    In doing so, Jill Johnson belies her oath of office and confirms that she has beliefs which run completely contrary to the official platform of the Republican Party. Do the Democrats want her? As far as I am concerned she is available.

    Reply

    1. avatar

      Intolerance should not be acceptable to ANY political party in the US.

      Helen Johnson’s logic on why prayers are “not allowed under the state Constitution” is flawed. When you invite the public to speak at a public meeting you are inviting the whole of the public and with that whole public religion is invited as well.

      Helen is basing her position on the following in our state Constitution:

      “No public money or property shall be appropriated for or applied to any religious worship, exercise or instruction, or the support of any religious establishment:”

      The the case of prayer or an invocation before a meeting there is nothing appropriated and no money applied or support given. The people are invited to these public meetings and they are the invited in the whole, religion included.

      Helen Price Johnson is just wrong. I can accept people being wrong in their interpretations of our laws even though I may not agree with their interpretation of our laws..

      Jill Johnson on the other hand is showing intolerance, intolerance that goes against the very grain of our Republic. To vocally use her intolerance in public as an excuse for voting one way or another is frankly shocking.

      I wonder how people of differing religions from Jill will now react when forced to interact with her as a Commissioner? Does her intolerance in the Commissioner’s Chair bode well for even treatment other religious groups on the Islands? Or does her intolerance mean that you must be a member of her favored religious group to get fair treatment from her?

      Even myself, someone who does not practice any organized religion, sees the intolerance of her words. She may as well be a member of the Church of England as that Church’s intolerance was one of the primary reasons for fighting for our independence from England some 200 plus years ago. Now we bring that same form of intolerance alive again right here in Island County. What a shame.

      Reply

    2. avatar

      Well said Bill, good luck on getting that published in the local mainstream media. I guess it never hurts to try.

      Reply

  5. avatar

    Keep religious beliefs and statements out of government work.

    I firmly and conservatively believe that, and fully support freedom of religion. Just keep prayer and religion out of government meetings of all kinds.

    Reply

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