I started off writing a very snarky post about Casey Kozlowski, the 23 year old kid who was just sworn in as State Rep for the 99th District, focused only on his age and his inexperience (e.g. This kid makes Josh Mandel look like Bill Batchelder!). And make no mistake this kid is certainly too young and seriously underqualified by almost every stardard. But I ended up focusing on something much more serious.

Sure he did graduate Pymatuning Valley High School (go Lakers!) in 2005 and is already the President of the local school board. But the Pymatuning Valley school board is one of those positions where you are rarely opposed and where your duties require you to meet for 30 minutes once a month with 4 other board members, all of whom whine that it’s not their turn to take the minutes.

It would be easy to argue that a kid with a high school education who works at a car dealership is not really qualified to be a state legislator but I do have to say that Casey is amazingly motivated and getting elected to the state legislature at 23 is a big deal. And if that was the only information I had then I wouldn’t be writing this post.

However I found myself reading an an article today about his swearing in ceremony and I was floored by his choice of bibles.

Most people choose their family bible or sometimes a historical bible but…

Kozlowski chose his personal Bible — the American Patriot’s version — upon which to take the oath.

If you aren’t a radical American right wing evangelical Christian you might not have heard of the the American Patriot’s Bible.

Quick summary: The American Patriot’s Bible claims to “connect the teaching of the Bible with the history of the United States” and it does this through full-color images of the statue of liberty and American flags and lots of bible quotes that are completely taken out of context and then reinterpreted to show how God/Jesus wanted America to succeed and how all of our wars were holy.

Killing of native Americans? God wanted us to do it. Winning of World War II? Thanks for the help, Jesus. Manifest destiny. God’s chosen people. America. It’s in the bible. Amen.

Biblical scholars have dismissed this book as “idolatrous, dangerous and profoundly damaging”. And Amazon’s reviewers are even more harsh:

This is the most revolting exhibit of nationalist evangelical idolatry I have seen in quite some time.

To conflate American Patriotism and militaristic American Nationalism with Christianity is to turn America’s Wars into Holy Wars. To literally weave together the Scriptures and the Flag, presenting them as one united and holy blend, is unholy. The effect is to create an “American Jesus” who is really a War God. With all my heart, I believe that to print The American Patriot’s Bible is to desecrate the Word of God.

Im so glad Jesus was an American citizen. Showed us with rights what all you can change in the world. By voting for the right guy and protesting with signs about gay marriage. Thank you Jesus for showing us how to be a true American Christian!

Full of idolatrous images of flags, the statue of liberty and quotes from people like Dick Cheney. This Bible mixes American mythology with biblical faith to help continue the civil religion of America that brought us Vietnam and Iraq.

Absolutely disgusting.

I know Casey hasn’t taken office yet, and the level to which he lets his radical views influence his decisions in the House has yet to be seen. But it’s coming. Oh man, is it coming.

I will end by giving Casey this one piece of advice: enjoy it while it lasts.

State House elections, unlike tiny district school boards, don’t typically see races with unopposed candidates. And your chances of holding on to your seat in two years are pretty damn dismal given the fact that you were elected this year – after a recount – by only 42 votes in the middle of the largest Republican state-wide landslide anyone can remember.

  • Anonymous

    State Representative-elect Kozlowski was elected with only a 43 vote margin and with less than 41% of the vote.

    Expect him to be on the target list come 2012.

  • vel

    When the Non-Kenyan Muslims attacked America on 9/11, it was Real Americans like Casey Kozlowski’s family that prayed enough to keep America safe. Jesus answered his prayer with wars on muslims. The family then went to Hometown Buffet, but the parking lot was full, being the busy hour of 5 pm and all.

  • Thethe

    Yes Casey is unqualified. Sure! What they don’t tell you in this article is that he beat four other Republican candidates in the primary, he won in the general election with incumbent Democrat opponent, and a Conservative third party candidate in a district that has been held by a Democrat for forty years straight. He pulled off something that was almost impossible! The voters obviously believed in him enough to elect him to this position! That is the great thing about elections, the people are actually the voice on whom is elected! If you are going to slam a person like this that is actually trying to move us forward provide all the FACTS please!

  • Dennis Spisak

    Funny, Ted Strickland has often said that being a school board member was one of the toughest jobs an elected official could have in the state of Ohio….

    yet Joe poos-poos the job…..

    Could Ted Strickland be WRONG????? Say it ain’t so, Joe!

  • Anonymous

    Facts like he won with only 41% of the vote in one of the higher pro-GOP turnout elections and only won by 43 votes? Let’s not oversell it, either.

  • The election is over, Dennis. What do you say we try to find some common ground instead of attacking each other?

    I know you think Strickland didn’t do enough to push the far left agenda, and you may be right. But the fact that Kasich is going to reverse all of the good Ted did do and spend the next four years moving us backward should be enough reason for us to work together.

    That said, I’d argue he was highly unqualified for the school board job as well. But that was really just me being snarky.

    It isn’t his inexperience that worries me. It’s his crazy and dangerous ideology.

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s telling that in your fueled hatred of Strickland, you’d engage on a topic about a school board member, but you’d gloss over Kasich appointing an oil exec to run ODNR and announce support for drilling in our State parks.

    Glad to see where the Green Party’s former candidate for Governor has his priorities straight.

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention 23 Year Old Kid Casey Kozlowski Sworn is as State Rep Using “American Patriot’s Bible” -- Topsy.com()

  • Dennis Spisak

    Modern, again in your defense of Ted-Head, you miss the point. As Ted has said on numerous occassions, being a school board member is a tough job…and for Joe to poo-poo it is a dis-service.

    As far a glossing over Kasich’s plan to drill for shale in Ohio, I just got the news this morning, Dec. 31st at 8am. I do nor support Kasich’s plans to
    promote fracking in my corner of the buckeye state. Fracking is a danger to the environment and must not be allowed to run amok, and the fact that the sitting governor will promote it upsets me very much.

    My priorities have always been straight. That’s why 58,475 people supported our campaign this year.

    Modern, too bad it’s your fueled harted of myself that blinds your vision.

  • Dennis Spisak

    Joe, Let’s indeed find some common ground in the new year. However, attacking the tough job school board members have should not be dismissed. We are the ones who will be on the front lines trying to figure out how to run school districts with cuts of 10-20% of state-aid in the new year to our budgets.

    True, He probably isn’t qualified to be a board member….but board members have tough jobs…. remember, just ask Ted.

  • Anonymous

    I think your overstating what Joseph said. He’s right that you generally run unopposed. I believe you were elected being one of the top seven vote getters in an at-large type system.

    The meeting requirements for a board of education is substantially less than that as a State legislator. And its a far more congenial, less partisan process among the membership than a school board.

    That’s not to say that school board members don’t have difficult jobs and tough choices, too.

    Your priority seemed to be nothing more than to attack Ted Strickland 24/7, paint him as no better than John Kasich.

    And our point is that before even taking office, John Kasich has shown just how wrong you were. I know you’d rather stick to this non-debate about school board members than take responsibility for your false and reckless rhetoric.

  • mvirenicus

    you don’t have any clue what a “far left” agenda looks like. neither does dennis.

  • buckeyekelly

    Mr. Spisak:

    With all due respect possible since it’s becoming evident the more I hear from you the more I am learning you are short on ideas and long on venom, may I suggest one possible alternative to your approach. It’s an alternative I wish Nadar in 2000 would have taken up. A true movement for a third party alternative to the “establishment” of the two party rule will not begin as a successful DESCENT from the top post (e.g., POTUS, Governor). Start at the grassroots level where you claim to have so much support. Get some third party candidates elected to the Statehouse, township trustees, school boards. Grow as a movement not as a clog in the drain.

  • Xx

    A school board member being a tough job doesn’t necessarily mean that the person has enough experience to represent a larger pool of people. It also means Joe is not wrong in what he is saying.

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