Shawn Williams Stands Above The Others

By Loudoun Insider

Sure I disagree with him on Metro (and I actually give him a little more slack than the others because it is largely in his district), but he was the lone vote to not kill the volunteer illegal sign cleanup program – while being the only lawyer on the board and the most qualified to opine about the bogus liability cover story the others used to kill it for themselves and their main campaign contributors.  That vote took real courage.

And he is doing it again by calling the rest of them out on their ridiculous effort to put up government sponsored religious displays on the courthouse lawn.  Once again the only lawyer on the board sees how this is just begging for costly lawsuits when the county has so many other more important things to worry about.  But don’t worry, the panderers on the board say that great constitutional lawyers like Ken Cuccinelli and Mike Farris say it’s A-OK, ignoring the fact that both would just love to get Loudoun County caught up in another high profile lawsuit that would get their names in the paper.

It will be interesting to see who has the backbone to stand up to the religious right on this issue, and who will vote for real fiscal sanity and just stop this nonsense.  Hopefully a few others will have the backbone to stand with Williams on this, but I don’t see any of them doing so.


  • Williams definitely has the right perspective on this. Clint Good is agreat guy but he is in an impossible position , and the job isn’t made any easier with the idiocy of Ken Reid guiding it from the BOS perspective

    And I WILL sue if I do not get my flying spaghetti monster!

  • BlackOut says:

    Williams is bring game to the job. He also shows little ego by appointing his opponent in the election to the reform committee.

    I was wrong in my opinion on Williams. I thought he was to green to get up to speed on being a BOS, not enough experience and I thought he should cut his teeth on a few committees first.

    I am still leery of him thou because of his admiration of Dick Black. At least that hasn’t raised its ugly head.

  • BlackOut says:

    Lloyd, Clint is a Good guy. I just wonder what is happening with this committee. What the heck is going on behind locked meetings that is spawning these types of decisions. Someone should be a voice of reason on that committee and it is non-existent. Unfortunately, Clint is the Chairman and holds the responsibility.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    The commenter on the story has it right. No displays, no lawsuits, not problems. You want a Nativity scene? You have a church for that.

  • John Shitbeck says:

    Shawn better watch out and fall in line or we’ll treat him like we’re gonna take care of those moderates Randy Minchew and Joe May. Ken runs the show now, and we’re going to be the enforcers.

  • BlackOut says:

    I think you are right ed.

  • Whitbeck Fan says:

    I still think a display of you, BlackOut and other morons who waste their days posting on this sorry web site would be so cool!

  • Shiloh says:

    BO – you asked: What’s happening with this committee? Clint Good is the Chairman. So the question may be: What’s ailing Clint Good? It may be called “client development”. Good was the architect for the first, 45,000 square feet, $6.5 million building at Patrick Henry College according to and . He did not, however, get the architectural contract for the Barbara Hodel Student Center; someone else did. I believe there are as many as five more buildings to be designed and built on the campus. If he wants to have a good shot at getting some of the work, it is in his best interests, no matter how good a guy he may be, to stay on the good side of Mike Farris.

    Good, of course, is only one person on the committee. Still, as Chairman, his view would hold particular weight. And, we don’t necessarily know what connections the other committee members may have with Farris. In any case, this may be a case of what Mike Farris wants, Mike Farris gets.

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    Can I put something up during Ramadan now?

  • Brad says:

    Anyone watch the BOS last night? That Janet Clarke really does come off like a mean angry person. I thought LI and her detractors were exaggerating but she is just really abrasive.

  • Baron Rosedown says:

    Janet “conflict” Clarke is a disgusting excuse for a BoS member, she is a vapid, nasty, toxic waste of space. Good gawd she disgusts me.

    Conversely, Williams has be a complete surprise. Hope he keeps up the good work.

  • David says:

    Good for Williams. I thought his initial comments on this were dead on, glad to see he hasn’t been bullied by the ideologues who can’t wait to spend our money on a grandstanding lawsuit. Know hope.

  • Shiloh says:

    In case anyone sees it and wonders, I’m not the person who posted my 1:02 a.m. comment above in the LTM comments section using the name “Typical Loudoun Conflicts”, and I don’t know who that person is. Just keeping the record straight!

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    I hope Sean Williams can impress us further in getting at least 5 supervisors to vote no on the Openband franchise.

  • BlackOut says:

    Williams came strong to the mike again at last nights BOS meeting:

    “Late in the evening, Supervisor Shawn Williams (R-Broad Run) addressed his colleagues with slight dismay and frustration. Williams, who in the past two months has made passionate speeches for rail, reminded his colleagues that all of them – with the exception of Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) – said they were in favor of Metrorail during their 2011 campaigns for office.

    “We all ran on a pro-business, pro-economic development ticket. I remember eight of nine of us, with the exception of Eugene, sat in front of a panel at the Chamber of Commerce and said, ‘Yes, I’m for rail,’” Williams said. “Maybe I don’t understand the shift that’s taken place.

    “This rail decision is really about adding an additional transportation infrastructure to our county, which we need. And it’s an economic development engine. And I feel like it’s been twisted into a political issue. And it’s frustrating,” said the Broad Run supervisor.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    The obnoxious juvenile commenter who started appearing immediately after the John Whitbeck election is back with another gem:

    “I still think a display of you, BlackOut and other morons who waste their days posting on this sorry web site would be so cool!”

    More class from our Republican leaders.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    As I said in the post, Williams has been a major pleasant surprise, except for his love for Metro.

  • BlackOut says:

    Haha, let em out LI. We always end up exposing them eventually. Just like Black Delgaudio Fan was eventually smoked out to be Ken Reid.

    Hmmm, maybe Ken Reid is back. He’s been missing alot of meetings lately.

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    We shouldn’t smoke out ID’s. Only debate them.

  • BlackOut says:

    Maybe so LA, but that doesn’t seem to be the practice here in Loudoun blog land.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    These have all been going straight to moderation since they’re coming from an anonymizer, and I’m not letting them through since they’re using a bastardization of my name as their screen name. They certainly are asshole-y and obnoxious enough to have come from Ken Reid.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Oh man, it just gets worse -John Saia, best known in the LCRC for being Jack Shockey’s dress up buddy for the RINO hunting – says they just have to have backbone and use the word “Christmas”:

    This looks more and more like a set-up for their leader Saint Cuccinelli to defend the forthcoming lawsuits, then he can get his name in the papers more for fighting against the “War Against Christmas”. Who cares about the legalities or the money it will cost to defend this stupid move, it will help the Cooch get his name out there more. More BS from the 9-0 BOS (although Williams, as stated, is the only sensible voice so far on this issue).

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Can’t wait for The Jew Who Saved Christmas to chime in on this:

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    Are we in a South Park episiode?

  • Ed Myers says:

    I don’t understand the need for holiday displays on the public square but some think it important. Ok

    Create a virtual public square on and let anyone upload pictures of their favorite way to celebrate whatever they are currently celebrating. Ramadan, flag day, etc. Since there are no limits to server space no one will be harmed.

    If there are 10,000 crèche pictures, so be it. At least the government won’t be deciding which crèche is the correct one to use for celebrating Christmas.

    The website is the modern public square, not the courthouse steps.

  • Bill Fox says:

    I would be in favor of posting a single “Christmas” display on the courthouse grounds. It would be a large decorative sign that read “Peace on Earth, and Goodwill toward Men.” Sure it’s a quote from the New Testament, and obviously a phase associated with the Christian holiday. But the message is universal (perhaps even generic) and unoffensive, captures the essence of the season, and has the benefit of already passing Constitutional muster multiple times in multiple jurisdictions.


  • edmundburkenator says:

    Not done.

    It simply provides the opportunity for mischief. Put YOUR sign on YOUR car, YOUR church grounds, YOUR yard, YOUR whatever…

    Not on OUR property… we share this, be respectful of others — even those that don’t share your faith.

    That’s what this has become. A very disrespectful handling of public property.

  • Bill Fox says:

    I’m curious. . .which of the various faiths out there do you feel would be offended by this message? Or do you feel that in order to be “respectful” all language that is in any way associated with a religion must be banished from the public sphere? Are you one of those guys who wants “under God” out of the Pledge and off of our currency? I am aware that there are those who believe that the primary problem with the judicially constructed “wall of separation” between church and state is that the wall is not nearly high or wide enough. I do not share this belief, and I do not feel that such a view is consistent with our common history and traditions.

  • liberal anthropologist says:

    Bill… Islam would have no problem. Or Judaism. Or Buddhism. Our Hinduism.

  • BlackOut says:

    Bill there isn’t a win here. Abandon the public display on public property and let’s move on to expending public debate on things like schools and taxes.

    What is getting offensive is the hijack happening of public resources on a religious element.

  • Bill Fox says:

    BO – What public resources have been spent so far on this “religious element”?

  • AFF says:

    Bill Fox asked- ” Are you one of those guys who wants “under God” out of the Pledge ?”

    Hell no say I.

    “If it was good enough for the Founding Fathers it’s good enough for me”


  • Glen Bayless says:

    ummm…it was added to the pledge in 53-54 as a response to communist hysteria

  • edmundburkenator says:

    I would actually be fine with the God stuff off of our currency and pledge, but I’m realistic. God would probably like it off of there too.

    If you want to conflate religion and government, it demeans both.

    Tradition… well, there are good traditions and bad traditions aren’t there? LA, I doubt if you speak for all of these faiths, but if so, congratulations on your new position.

    You know what? I’ll would accept the sign that said “Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men” (sorry gals), if it was on the courthouse lawn 365 days and every elected official had to pass by it every day.

    Don’t stick it on a sign. Live it.

  • AFF says:

    Sorry Glen. Sarcasm doesn’t translate well on the interwebs. The pledge pre- under god was so well written it should be held up as an example of clear concise writing in every English class in America……” One nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”

    Adding “under god” screwed the sentence and continues to divide our country.

    SP= Sarah Palin

  • Glen Bayless says:

    gotcha…I did not pick up the sarcasm, my fault.
    I agree with you about the pace of the pledge…we had to learn it in 3rd grade, and I have never been comfortable with it since.

  • BlackOut says:

    Well Bill we can start with staff time, attorney time for closed counseling sessions, and supplies. Those would be hard numbers, now add in the general debate time, deterence from other issues, etc. There definitely is a cost, both real and opportunity.

  • Bill Fox says:

    I understand that the “Religious Right” has often pushed this envelope in uncomfortable and untenable directions, but I fear that otherwise reasonable folks, in their zealous fervor to combat extreme elements, are pushing in the other direction to an extent that is not necessary, desirable, or even logical. We can talk about things we don’t agree on in the public sphere. We do it all the time. And, even more, we should certainly be able to talk about things we all DO agree on but that come from different traditions. . .IE posting the message “Peace on Earth” I think is one that we can all generally agree is admirable and worth aspiring to. The fact that the exact wording hails from a specific religious tradition should not disqualify it. Christmas is a recognized federal holiday. It is recognized at every level of gov’t. It seems to me that if we are going to recognize it, why not post a message explaining the universal civic virtues that are associated with the holiday? Is the justification the language for your absolute ban on religious messages or symbolism in the public sphere based on the language of the First Amendment? Because that seems like a stretch to me. Your suggested proscriptions go much further than what the Supreme Court has established. Although I’ve never been a big fan of the “Lemon Test”, my discomfort is certainly not that the rule does not go far enough in banishing religious references from all things gov’t. There are a great deal of very persuasive arguments, dating back to at least Plato, that civic recognition of religion is not only harmless, but essential to the health of a republic. Despite the fact that it was written by a French guy, I’ve always found the arguments in deToqueville’s “Democracy in America” to be very compelling. But in my many years of reading and studying political theory, I’ve yet to come across a truly great argument supporting the notion of an “impenetrable wall” between church and state; that all things religious must be extracted from all things public. You can certainly adopt such a paradigm that is internally logically consistent, but I’ve never seen a compelling reason to adopt the paradigm to begin with.

    Peace on Earth, and Goodwill toward Men. Run it through the Lemon Test yourself. . .it comes out clean.

  • Ed Myers says:

    I’m offended by government defining religion by giving attributes to god.

    The association of “In God We Trust” with money conveys the notion that God is the source of wealth and financial stability. Our faith is in the greenback. The Fed Chairman is God incarnate.

    When government declared that we are “on nation under God” it has set as a goal that the nation be unified under a single diety. Since that can’t be a religious “god” the only other explanation is that the federal government is simply declaring itself the god that unites us.

    The courts have sidestepped the issue by declaring that “god” doesn’t mean anything–Ceremonial deism. That offends me because asking me to use God’s name in a trivial or meaningless fashion is blasphemy and breaks the commandment prohibiting taking God’s name in vain.

    To be truthful we should change the motto to “In the Fed we Trust” and the Pledge to “one nation under federalism” That won’t happen because these idioms have become a popular way to insert prayer into public schools and other government functions by obscuring the religious objective with a secular patriotic cloak.

    This yoking of religious symbolism with patriotism has historically been a sure path to fascism. Fascism is not automatically the counter-balance to communism/socialism but unfortunately that is how this plays out in american politics.

  • Eric the 1/2 troll says:

    “I’m curious. . .which of the various faiths out there do you feel would be offended by this message?”

    Pretty much ANY religion that has a basis in the Golden Rule – including Christianity. Please consider how you might feel if an generally innocuous yet pleasant quote from the Quran was placed in the public square by the government in Loudoun during say Ramadan yet Christians were blocked from placing THIS quote on the square during Christmas (aside: please accept my apology, LA, I know I am demonstrating my lack of knowledge about your religion- it is a larger point I am trying to make here).

    So in the end, you asked the wrong question. This is not about avoiding offense to any certain group of people. It is a matter of fairness in terms of access to the public space. Why should a Christian message at Christmas be given preference over other religions in Loudoun (ie., America)? There really is no good reason for this.

    I am with eb, make it a 365 day message and I am good with it. Make it a “Christmas” message and you are showing a de facto government endorsement of one religion over another and THAT is antithetical to basic American freedom and decency. It might pass SCOTUS muster (I don’t know) but it is still wrong and we can do better. It is FAR better in this regard, however, than what has “traditionally” been the display.

    BTW, classic comment, Ed, always a unique perspective.

  • Eric the 1/2 troll says:

    Also, the fact that much of this is being done behind closed doors shows that the issue is about religion and a select group of religion oriented people wishing find a way to promote their particular religion over others through the use of our government albeit in a way that technically might pass a SCOTUS established test.

    It is still wrong and doesn’t even pass a basic Christianity test.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    Ed is going in the right direction on this Bill.

    Anyone who has real reverence for God, Jesus, Mohammad, etc… should be taken aback by the sloganeering and appropriation of faith for political purpose.

    To BO’s point, the debate and attempt to figure out how many angels (no pun intended) dance on the head of this pin present an opportunity cost for the county government — one that has real challenges in front of it.

    You and I both know that “Peace on Earth…” would work until someone wanted to put a similarly sweet line from the Quran up on the Courthouse lawn (they exist). None of them pass the Lemon test, by the way (look at the first condition).

    I will admit that it has been a long time since I’ve read Tocqueville, but I don’t recall him marveling at how religious our government was, but rather at how religious (and disparate) the people where and how that religiosity (along with other institutions) made democracy’s balancing act work.

    Here is where I think you make your mistake, Bill (and I will have to reread some Democracy in America): He thought (as do I) the balancing act of our institutions made democracy work (he didn’t think democracy could work without them).

    Our institutions all play a role together, but hybridizing them makes them weaker. Blending Christianity and government weakens both.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    Eric, just read your Quran thought after my post…

    I owe you a beer posting it before me!

  • Bill Fox says:

    Personally, if representatives from other religions wanted to post similarly uplifting messages during their respective holidays on the courthouse grounds, I’m all in. This controversy did not arise because people were upset about the diversity of messages that were displayed on the courthouse grounds. The problem was that the messages displayed were designed to shock, offend, mock, belittle and divide. Messages like “Peace on Earth, and Goodwill toward Men” have the capacity to create unity by accentuating a theme that is common to us all despite the fact that the verbiage comes from a specific religious heritage. We would be unwise, unChristian and unconstitutional to reject similarly uplifting and unifying messages from other communities.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    “We would be unwise, unChristian and unconstitutional to reject similarly uplifting and unifying messages from other communities.”

    Would messages from “cults” be included in your definition of communities, Bill?

    Don’t you see the slippery slope yet?

  • liz says:

    Also, many of those holidays occur right around the same time. Passover and Easter, for instance, are right on top of each other (no surprise since the Last Supper was a Passover Seder).

    Ramadan moves around the calendar, but lands in December quite frequently, so Christmas will have to share space (which is what’s freaking people out now).

  • vacliff says:

    All this talk about what religious display should be allowed…….get rid of it all and put up a display to bestow honor and allegiance to the ones that truly deserve it…..the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors!!

  • vacliff says:

    By the way, as Foghorn Leghorn would say…
    “that was a joke, son!”

  • BlackOut says:

    Bill, we’ve been down that road. Opening it up to others is reflected in the flying spaghetti analogy. It’s unworkable.

    Does anyone feel like we have been debating this for years? Put this to rest and get on with other things BOS. No displays! Make the call.

Leave Comment