Red State Troublemakers

After reading Frank Rich’s piece on the “God Racket,” which pointed out that many of the Ten Commandment monuments in the U.S. were created as part of a publicity stunt for the 1950s film “The Ten Commandments,” I took a swing through the news stories on the topic and found that yes indeed, this story has been out there for some time. Same on me as a historian for not knowing anything about it.

My favorite google hit in this has to be the Minnesota Public Radio story on the “Red River Freethinkers” an organization that has the temerity to “advocate using logic and facts – not faith or religion – to answer life’s problems.” That’s the kind of thing that can get you into trouble in Fargo (and a lot of other places). One of the more disturbing quotes–and mind you this report is from August 2001–goes like this: “There is a real concern on the part of many young free-thinking people not to be identified because they fear economic retribution or possibly other retribution. It certainly is a realistic fear.”

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