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Civil war looms for Republicans
The Chicago Sun Times ^ | ROBERT NOVAK

Posted on 06/28/2004 9:24:17 AM PDT by SlickWillard

Before Congress left town Friday for its Fourth of July recess, Rep. Bill Thomas of California pulled off one of his patented legislative assassinations. Washington's most cunning parliamentarian, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Thomas eradicated the Freedom of Speech in Churches Act without openly opposing it. In the process, he fired an early shot in a destructive civil war looming for Republicans.

The bill would stop the Internal Revenue Service from using existing statutes to muzzle clergymen who talk politics in their churches. That stoppage is pressed by Christian conservatives, who say they have been discriminated against by federal enforcers. While the free speech initiative is supported by Republican leaders, Thomas made short work of it. He transformed the proposal into a hybrid that neither friend nor foe could support.

Thomas has brought into the open internecine warfare posing grave dangers for the Republican Party. A 13-term congressman who is the party boss of Bakersfield, Calif., he represents old-line Republicans who resent Christian conservatives entering their party in 1980 (and giving the GOP parity with Democrats). Efforts to expel these intruders will reach fever pitch next year if George W. Bush is defeated for re-election.

This specific fight's origins date back to 1954 when Senate Democratic leader Lyndon B. Johnson, unduly concerned about the threat to his re-election from right-wing political groups, passed a bill barring political activity by tax-exempt organizations. In time, this was broadened to keep churches out of politics.

That aspiration sounds comical to me after years of following Democratic candidates into inner-city churches on Sunday mornings to hear them endorsed by black clergymen. This activity never incurs the wrath of Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Instead, Lynn pesters the IRS about conservatives in church as he did in a May 27 letter to the IRS. It claimed Bishop Michael J. Sheridan's pastoral letter of May 1 ''jeopardized the tax-exempt status'' of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs, Colo., by praising politicians opposed to abortion.

Such censorship alarmed Walter Jones, a Republican businessman and devout Catholic from Farmville, N.C., when he was elected to Congress in 1994. Correcting unintended consequences of LBJ's 1954 legislation became Jones' top priority. He introduced his bill in 2001.

Thomas as chairman blocked an easy path to the floor for Jones' bill. It reached the floor Oct. 1, 2002, under the procedure requiring two-thirds approval. Despite support for it from their party's leadership, 46 Republicans -- Thomas included -- voted no and prevented even a simple majority. They represent a bloc of Republicans, from the corporate boardroom to the country club, who despise the religious right.

This year, the indefatigable Jones managed to get his religious free speech proposal imbedded in tax legislation that has to be passed to stop trade retaliation by the European Union. Everybody was on board: Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Majority Whip Roy Blunt, Republican National Chairman Ed Gillespie -- everybody, that is, except Thomas.

Thomas practiced his sorcery. The straightforward Jones language was transmuted into a maze of words that lawyers for conservative organizations say would keep the muzzle on preachers. Jones, with the backing of Hastert, added 28 words to the Thomas language to restore his original meaning. Thomas pulled the 28 words out of the final version. That killed the whole issue. Thomas did not seem unhappy about it, but the speaker was furious.

Thomas is a secularist who in the past jousted with senior Republican Rep. Henry Hyde of Illinois, a prominent Catholic layman, over federal aid to Catholic hospitals. A former college professor, Thomas is entitled to his own views, but today's GOP relies on support not from secular Americans but from churchgoers. Jones, not intimidated by Thomas, told me: ''Discretionary enforcement, primarily against conservative churches, of an unenforceable law is wrong and should not stand.'' That is a battle cry for the coming Republican civil war.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Front Page News; Government; Politics/Elections; US: California; US: North Carolina
KEYWORDS: billthomas; churchandstate; culturewar; freespeech; irs; northcarolina; novak; oldnorthstate; rino; robertnovak; unhelpful; walterjones
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1 posted on 06/28/2004 9:24:17 AM PDT by SlickWillard
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To: SlickWillard

frickin Novak. Who asked him?


2 posted on 06/28/2004 9:29:55 AM PDT by babble-on
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To: SlickWillard; Miss Marple; PhiKapMom

Gosh, a negative article about the GOP by Bob Novak. Who'd a thunk it?!?


3 posted on 06/28/2004 9:31:33 AM PDT by Coop (Freedom isn't free)
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To: SlickWillard

This just gets uglier and uglier.


4 posted on 06/28/2004 9:32:14 AM PDT by redgolum
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To: babble-on

I've learned to just skip any editorials by Novak for the sake of my blood pressure. He's gone over to the dark side, been hanging around Maxie Shields too long.


5 posted on 06/28/2004 9:33:52 AM PDT by Spyder (generic tag)
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To: Coop

Actually, this one doesn't seem to be negative to the GOP to me.

If just the idea that Republicans are starting to get in the mood to fight back (finally), well, I no longer see that as a negative.

Qwinn


6 posted on 06/28/2004 9:36:20 AM PDT by Qwinn
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To: *Old_North_State; **North_Carolina; Constitution Day; mykdsmom; 100%FEDUP; ...
Yes, I know it's Novak, but this is regarding Walter Jones' Freedom of Speech in Churches Act.


NC *Ping*

Please FRmail me, mykdsmom or TaxRelief if you want to be added to or removed from this North Carolina ping list.
7 posted on 06/28/2004 9:41:39 AM PDT by Constitution Day (Member, Burger-Eating War Monkeys, Rapid Response Digital Brown Shirts, NLC™)
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To: Qwinn
If just the idea that Republicans are starting to get in the mood to fight back
I agree..
8 posted on 06/28/2004 9:41:55 AM PDT by GrandEagle
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To: Spyder
He's gone over to the dark side

No...he's on OUR side with this one, time to throw Bill Thomas out on his ass.

9 posted on 06/28/2004 9:42:28 AM PDT by montag813 ("A nation can survive fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within.")
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To: Coop
It's not negative about the GOP? Did you read it? He's just stating facts: there is a division within the party on certain subjects.

I fail to see how speaking out about politics turns a church into a for-profit organization. Same goes for other non-profits. It's absurd that they are muzzled.

10 posted on 06/28/2004 9:50:50 AM PDT by The Ghost of FReepers Past (Legislatures are so outdated. If you want real political victory, take your issue to court.)
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To: The Ghost of FReepers Past; Qwinn

I read the first few paras talking about dissension. That, combined with Novak's name and his GOP-bashing history, was enough for me. :-)


11 posted on 06/28/2004 9:52:18 AM PDT by Coop (Freedom isn't free)
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To: montag813
No...he's on OUR side with this one, time to throw Bill Thomas out on his ass.

Who has the authority to do this? Can Hastert do it? Can Thomas's fellow committee members do it? Can the entire House GOP delegation [caucus] do it?

Or does Thomas hold the position purely on the basis of seniority and seniority alone?

12 posted on 06/28/2004 9:53:08 AM PDT by SlickWillard
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To: Coop

I meant to say it is NOT negative about the GOP!!!!! rather than "?". LOL! Punctuation makes a difference.


13 posted on 06/28/2004 9:53:17 AM PDT by The Ghost of FReepers Past (Legislatures are so outdated. If you want real political victory, take your issue to court.)
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To: montag813

Bill Thomas has become Kennedy of the West.


14 posted on 06/28/2004 9:54:17 AM PDT by bannie (Liberal Media: The Most Dangerous Enemies to America and Freedom)
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To: montag813

Nah,they'll will keep the RINO in office long enough to get Amnesty for the Criminal invaders...Priorities don't cha know!


15 posted on 06/28/2004 9:55:48 AM PDT by Area51 (RINO Hunter, Big Time.)
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To: SlickWillard

Its odd Bill Thomas is so anti-Christian conservative. The district he represents, Bakersfield, is the Bible belt of California. That what happens when someone gets so entrenched in power with no real possibility of being voted out of office. Reminds me of Orin Hatch from Utah.


16 posted on 06/28/2004 9:58:28 AM PDT by mkj6080
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To: SlickWillard
[ Civil war looms for Republicans ]

That would require a backbone, preferably with a tongue..
Republican tongues can't say, socialist, communist, left wing re-education camp(colleges), or even that the civil war is well advanced with democrats and the republicans are losing due to moles(neocons) aiding the insurrection making america a democracy and not so slowly..

Is the war in the mid-east a diversion from the civil war here.?. Hopefully not on purpose, but the result is the same. Much too complicated for liberals maybe even too complicated for conservatives..

17 posted on 06/28/2004 10:00:38 AM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: SlickWillard
Muzzled churches are not likely to do anything to "shake up" the party. They have added the party to their pantheon of gods.

They easily abandon God for whatever local false gods have set themselves as captors over them because they are walking in deception; blinded followers of blind leaders.

If they knew and walked in obedience to their God they would long ago have moved to assert their God given and their Constitutional rights.

18 posted on 06/28/2004 10:05:47 AM PDT by Spirited
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To: SlickWillard

Novak hasn't had a valid insight about Republican Party politics since about 1991.

This article just confirms the above conclusion.


19 posted on 06/28/2004 10:07:42 AM PDT by Badeye ("The day you stop learning, is the day you begin dying")
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To: Coop

Why can't we muzzle the "reverend" jackson?


20 posted on 06/28/2004 10:08:16 AM PDT by ampat
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To: SlickWillard

We need to get rid of Bill Thomas whether Dubya is reelected or not.

Thanks for posting the article here.


21 posted on 06/28/2004 10:15:45 AM PDT by MagnusMaximus1 (Molon Labe!)
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To: The Ghost of FReepers Past

I am proud to be a Republican, and a religious skeptic by the way, who strongly opposes secularists. Even just from the point of view of party stewardship, Novak seems to be right on to condemn Thomas' machinations.


22 posted on 06/28/2004 10:34:45 AM PDT by NutCrackerBoy
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To: NutCrackerBoy

Thanks. I appreciate that comment, and I agree about Novak.


23 posted on 06/28/2004 10:43:42 AM PDT by The Ghost of FReepers Past (Legislatures are so outdated. If you want real political victory, take your issue to court.)
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To: SlickWillard

Actually, it's not based on seniority at all. It used to be before the GOP came to power, but they wanted to keep RINOs out of power so they changed the rules so anyone can become a chair (based on either the leadership or the Republicans on the committee). One woman congresswoman from NJ (can't recall her name right now) retired in 2002 because of this. She was "in line" to be the chair, but was passed over.


24 posted on 06/28/2004 10:48:09 AM PDT by GraniteStateConservative (...He had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here...-- Worst.President.Ever.)
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To: GraniteStateConservative
It used to be before the GOP came to power, but they wanted to keep RINOs out of power so they changed the rules so anyone can become a chair (based on either the leadership or the Republicans on the committee).

So what are the new rules, and what procedures do they set for the ouster of a committee chair?

25 posted on 06/28/2004 10:56:42 AM PDT by SlickWillard
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To: SlickWillard
Bill Thomas - Country Club Republican has again proven that his kind will do or say anything to make sure that they get an invite to the next left-wing golf foursome.
It is time that the Republican leadership put people like Bill Thomas out of any chairmanships.
26 posted on 06/28/2004 10:57:49 AM PDT by YOUGOTIT
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To: SlickWillard

Probably the same-- either the House leadership or a vote of the GOP on the committee.


27 posted on 06/28/2004 10:58:47 AM PDT by GraniteStateConservative (...He had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here...-- Worst.President.Ever.)
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To: SlickWillard

An interesting mix of comments here. The GOP cheerleaders can't stand the thought of Novak criticizing their beloved club...er...party. I would say that the comments posted to this thread alone prove Novak's point.

The country-clubbers thought they had pushed all those pesky conservatives out back in 1964 following the Goldwater mess. Then along comes Reagan and not only does he bring back the conservatives, but he puts the GOP back in power after the clubbers handed us the twin debacles of Nixon and Ford. Once again, the country-clubbers thought they had a leash on Reagan when they saddled him with George Bush, the ultimate clubber. Unfortunately for them, their boy couldn't hold on to the White House and they never did quite rid themselves of the conservatives.

Novak is absolutely right. There is a civil war brewing of the same proportions as the original GOP split from the Whigs. One can only wonder who will come out on top.


28 posted on 06/28/2004 11:00:31 AM PDT by NCSteve
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To: SlickWillard

Wow...almost 30 posts and no one's added "FRUITCAKE" to the keywords. :-)


29 posted on 06/28/2004 11:02:51 AM PDT by B Knotts
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To: hosepipe

Now raising its ugly head is Socialistic Darwinism----survival of the fittest----where the strongest survive at the expense of the weak (the practice thrives in the Mideast cesspool). Survival measures are the most primitive and basic: The most cunning and depraved individuals---obsessed with their own interests---survive by back-stabbing and co-opting the weak and law-abiding.

Sounds familiar, eh? Socialistic Darwinism's survival methodologies reek with the tactics of the obsessed Clinton admin's scorched earth policies to save itself---by any means necessary---from political disgrace and the rule of law.


30 posted on 06/28/2004 11:07:44 AM PDT by Liz
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To: SlickWillard

It's time for Christian Republican's and their Churches and Clergy to demand equal rights with liberal Democrats-this double standard has gone on way too long.


31 posted on 06/28/2004 11:13:00 AM PDT by F.J. Mitchell (Kerry is a real uniter-remember how he united the VC and our loonie left, against the USA?)
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To: B Knotts
Wow...almost 30 posts and no one's added "FRUITCAKE" to the keywords. :-)

"Fruitcake" as in Sandy Hume or Bill "Mr. Susan Molinari" Paxon?

32 posted on 06/28/2004 11:14:35 AM PDT by SlickWillard
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To: SlickWillard

Have we all forgotten Rep. Thomas' blubbering apology to the meanest man in Congress, Fourtney Stark?


33 posted on 06/28/2004 11:16:33 AM PDT by B Knotts
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To: SlickWillard

To be fair, it was apparently Rep. Scott McInnis that Fourtney called a "fruitcake," but it was related to Rep. Thomas' move to have Capitol police throw the Democrats out of a congressional library.


34 posted on 06/28/2004 11:25:41 AM PDT by B Knotts
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To: Liz
[ Now raising its ugly head is Socialistic Darwinism----survival of the fittest ]

I could appreciate survival of the fittest.. In Congress and D.C. in general it is the opposite. Survival of the weakest. Who can say that Kerry or Bush even are Americas best and brightest. Consider Dole and Dubyas daddy, Gore, Dukakis, Clinton both of them.. weak. A Newt Gingrich who is strong, basically "mooned" us all as he left the game. The fittest don't want the jobs because it takes a fortune to run for a job that don't pay well, only to receive abuse for makeing any move, forward or back..

Americas best and brightest are too bright to run. SOooo, Survival of the fittest is the opposite paradigm of the current political spectrum. At least it looks that way to me. Actually to run for a political position seems to speak of brain damage, or some other mental dysfunction.. not survival of the fittest but survival of those in political denial. Except for the democrats. They know exactely were they are going most of them, except for Zell Miller.. who is a really confused individual.. If not he would have left the democrats many years ago.. he did'nt, still has'nt.

Poor Zell. Sure the choir loves him, but the boy is very confused. So are the pubbies, hes a keynote speaker at the republican confab soon.. instead of NON-confused individuals... Survival of the mentally weakest is the current republican taste. ALL democrats are very weak or they would'nt be democrats at all. Most republicans are weak and a pox on you if you have any stones, a backbone, or even a tongue.

35 posted on 06/28/2004 11:42:27 AM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: SlickWillard
I read some of the comments that have been posted, in response to your posting of the reasonably apt comments of Robert Novak, with some sadness. Robert Novak is an intelligent moderate Conservative. What possible reason does any one, who claims to be a Conservative, have for rejecting his comments on any basis other than specific disagreement?

Do some of those who automatically reject a writer's views, based solely on whether he agrees or disagrees with Republican policies of the moment, realize how their comments read to other people, just surfing by? Do they consider how such knee jerk reactions communicate the very worst possible image of Republicans in general, and supporters of the in group of the party in particular? Does anyone think that a totally closed-mind, whose views of personalities and issues at least appear to be driven by the interests of a particular faction of a particular party, resonates well with anyone not equally emeshed in the interests of that faction?

George Washington specifically warned against this factionalized party mindset. I would suggest that before anyone claims to be a spokesman or spokeswoman for Conservative values, they read Washington's comments, and reflect accordingly. (See Farewell Address.)

William Flax

36 posted on 06/28/2004 1:25:11 PM PDT by Ohioan
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To: everyone

Novak is a gloomy sort, and most of his columns are no fun to read because of this. But his knowledge of what's going on is formidable. We ignore him at our peril.

This particular column seems quite fact-oriented, and if true, it is dismaying. We cannot stick our heads in the sand about betrayals by our party's "leadership." When we do, it only invites more betrayal.


37 posted on 06/28/2004 1:39:48 PM PDT by California Patriot (California Patriot)
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To: Coop

I am just shocked at Novak -- just shocked! (sarcasm) What I would be shocked at is if he wrote a positive article! :)


38 posted on 06/28/2004 3:06:33 PM PDT by PhiKapMom (AOII Mom -- Oklahoma is Reagan Country and now Bush Country -- Win Another One for the Gipper!)
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To: SlickWillard

Reading Novak is like reading Buchanan ... it's pretty serpentine stuff. I've learned to avoid them for very much.


39 posted on 06/28/2004 3:07:45 PM PDT by No Dems 2004
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To: GatorGirl; maryz; afraidfortherepublic; Antoninus; Aquinasfan; Askel5; livius; goldenstategirl; ...

Another assault FROM the GOP on religion and free speech.


40 posted on 06/28/2004 3:11:42 PM PDT by narses (If you want ON or OFF my Catholic Ping List email me. +)
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To: The Ghost of FReepers Past
I fail to see how speaking out about politics turns a church into a for-profit organization.

Here's what's going down. Clinton, Gore and Kerry go to black churches the weekend before the election, get endorsed and get a lot of media. IRS does nothing. But when some conservative churches tell their flocks to vote pro-life, they get threats from liberals that their tax-exempt status will be pulled. Are you fine with that? Bill Thomas seems to be -- and Novak did a service by calling him on it.

41 posted on 06/28/2004 3:16:36 PM PDT by churchillbuff
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To: PhiKapMom

Novak is dumping on Bill Thomas for a good reason. Conservative churches shouldn't be punished by the IRS for urging people to vote pro-life. After all, the IRS doesn't punish liberal black churches when they host Democratic candidates at their services. The bill that Thomas neutered would have protected conservative churches from retaliation. GOOD FOR NOVAK FOR POINTING OUT HOW THOMAS IS UNDERMINING CONSERVATISM AND HELPING CLINTON AND KERRY.


42 posted on 06/28/2004 3:18:49 PM PDT by churchillbuff
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To: babble-on

Novak has been trying to provoke a civil war among Republicans for years. He's a registered Democrat who gets to play the conservative on CNN.


43 posted on 06/28/2004 3:21:27 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Badeye
Novak hasn't had a valid insight about Republican Party politics since about 1991. This article just confirms the above conclusion.

Are you saying you favor the IRS should punishing conservative churches that urge their parishioners to vote for conservative candidates? Apparently Bill Thomas killed a bill that would have protected conservative church against such IRS abuse. (The IRS never punished liberal black churches for hosting Democratic candidates) GOOD FOR NOVAK FOR BRINGING THIS PROBLEM TO PEOPLE'S ATTENTION.

44 posted on 06/28/2004 3:22:26 PM PDT by churchillbuff
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To: Dog Gone
Novak has been trying to provoke a civil war among Republicans for years.

If Thomas neutered a bill that would have protected conservative churches from IRS abuse, then GOOD FOR NOVAK FOR LETTING US KNOW!!!

45 posted on 06/28/2004 3:23:09 PM PDT by churchillbuff
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To: churchillbuff

I don't disagree with that, but Novak's motive in doing so should be discussed as well. He wants Republicans to lose, which would end the slightest hope of stopping IRS abuse.


46 posted on 06/28/2004 3:29:23 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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Comment #47 Removed by Moderator

To: Dog Gone
He wants Republicans to lose

I didn't know that. He doesn't stick to reporting happy-happy news, that much is true.

48 posted on 06/28/2004 3:39:09 PM PDT by churchillbuff
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To: ampat

Democrats use churches on a regular basis to get out the vote. It was nothing to see Hillary Clinton visit 3 churches per Sunday to gather support. Gore made himself available at many churches ( especially minority) and so did Slick Willy. The one Baltimore church he visited heard him tell the congregation that the GOP was going to try to block them at the polls and not allow them to vote. The
GOP candidate, Ellen Sauerbury (sp) was accused of racism a few days before the election. She did not have a racist bone in her body but the Democrats pulled it off and elected the Democrat gov. to another term. It was a dirty, nasty election full of inner city church race baiting. Watch for it this time around. I wish the GOP would take the
Democrats to the wall over the race baiting.


49 posted on 06/28/2004 3:41:27 PM PDT by oldironsides
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To: SlickWillard

Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act (Introduced in House)

HR 235 IH


108th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 235
To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to protect the religious free exercise and free speech rights of churches and other houses of worship.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 8, 2003
Mr. JONES of North Carolina (for himself, Mr. DELAY, Mr. BLUNT, Mr. HAYES, Mr. SMITH of New Jersey, Mr. SOUDER, Mr. HALL, Mr. DEMINT, Mr. GUTKNECHT, Mr. KENNEDY of Minnesota, Mr. WELDON of Florida, Mr. PENCE, Ms. HART, and Mr. PITTS) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means







A BILL
To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to protect the religious free exercise and free speech rights of churches and other houses of worship.


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act' .

SEC. 2. HOUSES OF WORSHIP PERMITTED TO ENGAGE IN RELIGIOUS FREE EXERCISE AND FREE SPEECH ACTIVITIES, ETC.

Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by redesignating subsection (p) as subsection (q) and by inserting after subsection (o) the following new subsection:

`(p) An organization described in section 508(c)(1)(A) (relating to churches ) shall not fail to be treated as organized and operated exclusively for a religious purpose, or to have participated in, or intervened in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office, for purposes of subsection (c)(3), or section 170(c)(2) (relating to charitable contributions), because of the content, preparation, or presentation of any homily, sermon, teaching, dialectic, or other presentation made during religious services or gatherings.'.

SEC. 3. CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAWS UNAFFECTED.

Nothing in section 2 permits any disbursements for electioneering communications, or political expenditures, prohibited in the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971.

SEC. 4. EFFECTIVE DATE.

The amendments made herein shall be effective as of the date of enactment of this Act .


Religious Freedom Restoration Act (Introduced in House)

HR 1547 IH


108th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1547

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

Congress finds the following:

(1) The freedom to practice religion and to express religious thought is acknowledged to be one of the fundamental and unalienable rights belonging to all individuals.

(2) The Framers of the Constitution deliberately withheld, in the main body of that document, any authority for the Federal Government to meddle with the religious affairs or with the free speech of the people. Then, as further and more specific protection for the people, they added the first amendment, which includes the `establishment clause' and the `freedom of speech clause' which are as follows: `Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech . . .'. It is of utmost importance to note that the first amendment is not a grant of authority to the Federal Government. To the contrary, it is a specific restriction upon the exercise of power by the Federal Government.

(3) For over 150 years, the Court held to this historically correct position in interpreting the first amendment. During this period, scant mention was made to `The Separation of Church and State'.

(4) Then, beginning in 1947, and accelerating through the 60's, the Court abruptly reversed its position. This was done with no change in the law, either by statute or by amendment to the Constitution. The Court invented the distorted meaning of the first amendment utilizing the separation of `church and state' in 1947 in Everson v. Board of Education when it announced: The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach. (Everson v. Board of Education; 330 U.S. 1, 18 [1947]). Over the past five decades, rulings of the United States Supreme Court have served to infringe upon the rights of Americans to enjoy freedom of speech relating to religious matters. Such infringements include the outlawing of prayer in schools and of the display of the Ten Commandments in public places. These rulings have not reflected a neutrality toward religious denominations but a hostility toward religious thought. They have served to undermine the foundation of not only our moral code but our system of law and justice.

(5) In making this abrupt change, the Court ignored all historical precedent established previously by the Court, the wording of the First Amendment, and the intent of its framers. The rulings are legally irrational and without foundation. Although the Court presumed to rely upon the First Amendment for its authority for these rulings, a review of that Amendment reveals that said rulings could not possibly have been based upon its original intent. Consequently, it is incumbent upon this Congress to review not only the rulings of the Court which are in question but the wording and history of the First Amendment to determine the intent of its framers. This abrupt change is found in the following court cases:

(A) `A verbal prayer offered in a school is unconstitutional, even if that prayer is both voluntary and denominationally neutral.' (Engel v. Vitale, 1962, Abington v. Schempp, 1963, Commissioner of Education v. School Committee of Leyden, 1971.)

(B) `Freedoms of speech and press are guaranteed to students and teachers unless the topic is religious, at which time such speech becomes unconstitutional.' (Stein v. Oshinsky, 1965, Collins v. Chandler Unified School District, 1981, Bishop v. Aronov, 1991, Duran v. Nitsche, 1991.)

(C) `It is unconstitutional for students to see the Ten Commandments since they might read, meditate upon, respect, or obey them.' (Stone v. Graham, 1980, Ring v. Grand Forks Public School District, 1980, Lanner v. Wimmer, 1981.)

(D) `If a student prays over his lunch, it is unconstitutional for him to pray aloud.' (Reed v. Van Hoven, 1965.)

(E) `The Ten Commandments, despite the fact that they are the basis of civil law and are depicted in engraved stone in the United States Supreme Court, may not be displayed at a public courthouse.' (Harvey v. Cobb County, 1993.)

(F) `When a student addresses an assembly of his peers, he effectively becomes a government representative; it is therefore unconstitutional for that student to engage in prayer.' (Harris v. Joint School District, 1994.)

(G) By interpreting the establishment clause to preclude prayer and other religious speech in any public place, the Supreme Court


50 posted on 06/28/2004 3:57:32 PM PDT by ATOMIC_PUNK ("In America, our origins matter less than our destinations, and that is what democracy is all about")
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