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After Action Report--Maplewood NJ "Illegal" Christmas Caroling Protest, 12.21.04
12.21.04

Posted on 12/21/2004 8:25:30 PM PST by Coleus

Columbia High School, Parker Avenue, Maplewood, NJ
http://www.somsd.k12.nj.us/admin.htm

Having heard about the event on the Free Republic I decided to go down and check out the action and participate in the “illegal” rally singing those “illegal” religious songs.  I arrived about 5:00 PM the time it was supposed to start and joined in the crowd, about 100 people, which was already singing Christmas Carols.  We were standing in the middle of the road in front of the school where the police had blocked off the street with barricades and police cars and about 5 police were there for crowd control.  It was an easy night for them with no incidents.  We were not Counter protested.   There was a young lady handing out packets of music containing Christmas and Chanukah songs.

I noticed that just about every NJ and NYC news vans were there (Fox-5, UPN-9, News12, NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC) with their cameras and bright lights going. The reporters were out interviewing the crowds.  

There was a nice group of black students singing songs and holding signs.  They were students in the school who belonged to a Gospel Choir in town who were very enthused and sang very well that complemented the others who were singing.  I just noticed the Channel 9 reporter didn’t do them justice, she interviewed them for a few minutes and did NOT show anything on this evening’s news.  What a shame, I guess the reporter didn’t like what they had to say.

We sang such songs as: I have a little Dreidel,  Silent Night, Joy to the World, Hark the Herald Angels Sing and O Come all Ye Faithful.  There were many people of many faiths and political parties in attendance, it wasn’t just republicans who attended.

One person was dressed in a Grinch Costume.  Among those interviewed there was Susan Rosenbluth,  of the Jewish Heritage Magazine and some students as well as the republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan who organized the event.  Not everyone there was a Lonegan supporter or republican for that matter.

The music director came out and introduced himself and spoke to us for a minute inviting us to attend his Concert and handed out the programs.   We chose not too.   I asked him if he were a democrat, which elicited no response from him. 

I was surprised that I did not see any Knights of Columbus members there with their banners. The National Organization pushes and sponsors the “Keep Christ in Christmas” Campaign and no Catholic Priests or other Protestant and Jewish  clergymen were in attendance.  Oh, that’s right, the rally involved a “republican”.   There was an Immaculate Conception Church down the street, maybe it was dinnertime and they couldn’t come.  

The event ended early at 5:30 pm (now I know why, they had to appear on Scarborough Country in Fort Lee) .  Many people came afterwards and were very disappointed that it was already over.   I met people who came from Rahway and NYC.  This poor old guy from NYC came by bus and had to walk a mile or two from the bus stop to the school.  When we were about to leave I offered him a ride to the grocery store and bus stop.

Mayor Steve Lonegan, Ambassador Ray Flynn and atheist Ellen Johnson appeared on MSNBC Scarborough Country with Pat Buchanan  interviewing them.  

Merry Christmas


TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Announcements; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Free Republic; Government; Politics/Elections; US: New Jersey; US: New York
KEYWORDS: aar; christmas; christmascaroling; christmascarols; christmasconcert; diversity; maplewood; merrychristmas; nj; njchristmas; pc; school; stevelonegan; waronchristmas; waronchristmas2004
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On the net:

1 posted on 12/21/2004 8:25:31 PM PST by Coleus
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To: 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; al_c; american colleen; annalex; ...


2 posted on 12/21/2004 8:27:40 PM PST by Coleus (Abortion and Euthanasia, Don't Democrats just kill ya! Kill Humans, Save the Bears!!)
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To: Coleus
Merry Christmas

3 posted on 12/21/2004 8:31:39 PM PST by Incorrigible (immanentizing the eschaton)
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To: Coleus

Great work; great report.


4 posted on 12/21/2004 8:34:20 PM PST by doug from upland (Vietnam Vets: FINALLY -- welcome home, heroes)
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: Coleus

Bravo. As my son was changing channels, I thought I heard ABC or NBC make mention of the protest so perhaps they did a better job covering it than Channel 9.


6 posted on 12/21/2004 8:39:49 PM PST by StarFan
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To: Coleus

Thanks for being there and reporting.


7 posted on 12/21/2004 8:49:29 PM PST by Mike Fieschko
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: Coleus
... about 100 people, which was already singing Christmas Carols. We were standing in the middle of the road in front of the school where the police had blocked ...

Well, it's nice to see our excellent law enforcement officers protecting us from those dangerous Christmas carolers. I suppose we can all sleep easy tonight.

9 posted on 12/21/2004 9:02:00 PM PST by 2ndreconmarine
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To: Coleus

Super effort and great report!

Merry Christmas!


10 posted on 12/21/2004 9:10:22 PM PST by BillF (Fight terrorists in Iraq & elsewhere, instead of waiting for them to come to America!)
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To: 2ndreconmarine
Well, it's nice to see our excellent law enforcement officers protecting us from those dangerous Christmas carolers. I suppose we can all sleep easy tonight.

Parker Avenue in front of Columbia High is a busy street at all hours. For the Maplewood PD to block it off during the evening rush hour is a very nice accommodation to the carolers. (Used to live in West Orange.)
11 posted on 12/21/2004 9:14:06 PM PST by Mike Fieschko
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To: Coleus

Thanks for the report.


12 posted on 12/21/2004 9:18:19 PM PST by rdl6989
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To: Coleus

I wish I could comprehend Jewish Christmas Songs. So far I'm stumped.


13 posted on 12/21/2004 9:47:34 PM PST by festus (The constitution may be flawed but its a whole lot better than what we have now !)
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To: festus

You had to be there.


14 posted on 12/21/2004 9:48:28 PM PST by Coleus (Abortion and Euthanasia, Don't Democrats just kill ya! Kill Humans, Save the Bears!!)
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To: Coleus

BTT


15 posted on 12/21/2004 9:52:48 PM PST by presidio9 (Islam is as Islam does)
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To: Coleus

Coleus--you are the man. Nice work, and thanks for the report.

Merry Christmas to you!


16 posted on 12/21/2004 9:59:56 PM PST by exit82 (Righteousness exalts a nation...... Proverbs 14:34)
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To: doug from upland

DFU--your songs have never offended me.

Merry Christmas to you from a red county in the blue state of NJ!


17 posted on 12/21/2004 10:00:58 PM PST by exit82 (Righteousness exalts a nation...... Proverbs 14:34)
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To: exit82

Merry Christmas from a red county in the very, very blue state of California.


18 posted on 12/21/2004 10:05:56 PM PST by doug from upland (Vietnam Vets: FINALLY -- welcome home, heroes)
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To: Coleus

WABC's Curtis Sliwa played a news report which said only about 30 people turned up. Sliwa mentioned how sarcastic the reporter was about the event.

Sliwa also said that most of the newspapers this morning didn't even cover it, but I'm not surprised.

I'm glad it was as successful as it was. One hundred people on a cold night is a good turnout.


19 posted on 12/22/2004 4:48:55 AM PST by ladylib ("Marc Tucker Letter to Hillary Clinton" says it all.)
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To: Coleus
You made the Washington Times:

Carolers protest religious-music ban
By Ralph Z. Hallow

Susan Rosenbluth and fellow Orthodox Jews yesterday came to Maplewood, N.J., to join a crowd of more than 100 carolers in singing Christmas and Hanukkah songs in front of Columbia High School.

Holiday hymns were sung in response to school policies that Steve Lonegan -- the Republican mayor of nearby Bogota, N.J., who organized the event -- called "intolerance" toward traditional religious beliefs.

The carolers showed up outside the school, which held its annual holiday music program last night, to protest a South Orange/Maplewood School District ban on religious songs at schools in this community across the Hudson River from New York.

"The greatest works of art in Western civilization are inspired by religious -- predominantly Christian -- convictions," said Mrs. Rosenbluth, editor of Jewish Voice and Opinion, an Englewood-based monthly.

"We are religious Jews who believe Western civilization is the heritage of all of our children in the United States," Mrs. Rosenbluth said, explaining why she and other Orthodox Jews joined the protest.

"This started out as a small event I decided last week to do," said Mr. Lonegan, who is Catholic. "I expected a handful of people and attacks against me by newspaper editors. Instead, there's this groundswell of support and the newspapers haven't attacked me -- yet."

He, Mrs. Rosenbluth and about 200 fellow carolers, all in high spirits, sang such traditional tunes as "Silent Night," "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and "Joy to the World" -- as well as "Come Light the Menorah" and "I Have a Little Dreydl."

Mr. Lonegan, a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor, said he asked the other Republican candidates and the Democratic governor of the state to join in the protest caroling, but they hadn't responded. Maplewood Mayor Frank Profeta, a Democrat, came to the event to shake hands and greet the protesters.

"I've been on all three network channels here and have been doing radio shows on stations all over the United States, from Kansas and Texas to Florida and Vermont," Mr. Lonegan said.

Mr. Lonegan called the school district's prohibition of traditional Christmas music "the ultimate demonstration of intolerance by a small minority of people who appear to be offended by the very core values that the vast majority of Americas live by -- Jews, Moslems, Christian, who all believe in one God."

A recent Opinion Dynamics poll "found that more than half of American say they call the upcoming festive time the 'Christmas season,' while under a third call it the 'holiday season' and 12 percent say they use both terms," Fox News reported.

Outcries over anti-Christmas rules have been heeded by some politicians, including California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Republican reversed an edict by former Democratic Gov. Gray Davis that designated an official state "holiday tree," and reverted to the familiar title of "Christmas tree" during the annual lighting ceremony in Sacramento.

A Virginia-based group calling itself "RightMarch.com" has been airing a radio ad across the country urging people to "stand up and defend Christmas from ... blatant attacks."

rest of article: http://www.washingtontimes.com/functions/print.php?StoryID=20041221-103610-9207r

20 posted on 12/22/2004 5:10:51 AM PST by Elkiejg (Support our troops & our President)
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To: Coleus

Merry Christmas and Eagles Up!


21 posted on 12/22/2004 5:13:05 AM PST by bmwcyle (Washington DC RINO Hunting Guide)
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To: Elkiejg; Coleus; Doctor Raoul; kristinn; firebrand
You made the Washington Times

Excellent!

I saw the thread yesterday (or Monday), but it wasn't clear to me which day the protest was going to happen. I would have gone since I live near by. I'm glad there was a large turnout.

22 posted on 12/22/2004 6:32:59 AM PST by ELS
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To: festus

Angel, Angel, Angel, with Angel I will play...


23 posted on 12/22/2004 10:42:53 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Deport 'em all; let Fox sort 'em out!)
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To: Coleus

Merry Christmas to all!


24 posted on 12/22/2004 11:07:40 AM PST by kimmie7 (The ACLU's just ticked 'cause within their ranks, they don't HAVE 3 wise men and a virgin.)
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To: Coleus
Bump!
25 posted on 12/22/2004 11:50:04 AM PST by talleyman (Merry Christmas! ("And God bless us every one!"))
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To: ELS; Coleus
This is the kind of thing we should all be doing. It is our perfect right. Until there are people singing carols all over the place, the way we used to when we were kids, and a Nativity scene on every lawn you look at, we really shouldn't complain about public support of Christmas.

I find that this constant dispute is not only distracting me from what I really want to be focusing on at Christmas, it is actually creating blips of hostility--the exact opposite of the Christmas message.

Rant over. Congratulations are in order for all of you who participated in this. Let's start out early next year, GW, and plan lots of these.

26 posted on 12/22/2004 12:35:10 PM PST by firebrand
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To: Coleus
"There was an Immaculate Conception Church down the street, maybe it was dinnertime and they couldn’t come. There was an Immaculate Conception Church down the street, maybe it was dinnertime and they couldn’t come."

Maybe it was bingo night?

27 posted on 12/22/2004 1:15:33 PM PST by Redbob
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To: Coleus
"no Catholic Priests or other Protestant and Jewish clergymen were in attendance"

As a minister's kid in maplewood, I would like to say that this happened during a session meeting at my church. Ironically the session voted at that meeting to keep a petition up in the lobby against the ban. Also, this was an event that was populated mainly by outsiders not because of a lack of interest here, but because people here simply didn't know about it. I would have been completely unaware of it if not for FR. After seeing it on the news, countless students said "I wish I knew about it before, I would have gone!" In future protests I will try to act as a liaison with the students (since I am one) I know that many many more students would have come if they had only known about it.
28 posted on 12/22/2004 1:45:58 PM PST by Motorcycle Cowboy
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To: Motorcycle Cowboy
this was an event that was populated mainly by outsiders not because of a lack of interest here, but because people here simply didn't know about it.

Many of the people there were from Maplewood. I talked to a lot of people and asked where they were from. Most of the rally information was mentioned on WABC radio on the Curtis and Kuby show and in some conservative newspapers like the Washington times. Here is the fr link and wash. times article.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1304935/posts

You are in the right place to find information regarding activism. You may want to find out from the students who sang with the gospel choir how they found out about it.

Glad to see young people willing to get involved, have you ever thought of starting a bible club or pro-life club in the school? They may give you a song and dance about starting one but they are allowed.

29 posted on 12/22/2004 1:57:12 PM PST by Coleus (Abortion and Euthanasia, Don't Democrats just kill ya! Kill Humans, Save the Bears!!)
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To: 2ndreconmarine

Don't blame the police. Very few cops are liberals.


30 posted on 12/22/2004 2:45:24 PM PST by jjmcgo
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To: Coleus

What I would like to know is how many people actually attended the concert. I can see the parents of those who were taking part going, but If I was part of that school, I would have boycotted it.


31 posted on 12/22/2004 2:49:57 PM PST by Exit148 (Founder of the Loose Change Club. Every nickle and dime counts!!)
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To: Elkiejg
If it weren't for God, there would be no Christianity for the intolerant to hate. If not for Christianity, there would be no Christmas for them to ruin and turn into a Happy Happy Joy Joy Muzak-fest. Interesting how they hate Christianity and the event that changed the world and want to remove all association with God from Christmas...but aren't willing to give up Christmas itself

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah BUMP

32 posted on 12/22/2004 3:53:44 PM PST by cake_crumb (Goal of the Left="One Wing to Rule Them all and to the Dark Side Bind Them")
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To: Exit148

Good question, I bet there wasn't that many people there otherwise the MSM press would have reported it.


33 posted on 12/22/2004 4:22:29 PM PST by Coleus (Abortion and Euthanasia, Don't Democrats just kill ya! Kill Humans, Save the Bears!!)
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To: firebrand; ELS; Tax-chick; Mike Fieschko
Yea, and believe it or not, this thing attracted people from many sides of the spectrum: Democrats, Reformed Jewish, Orthodox Jewish, etc. Including a salt and pepper couple.

The problem with Nativity Scenes is that WE CAN'T FIND THEM ANYMORE. You can't find them in the stores and if you do, they are usually at specialty stores costing a fortune. I would rather see them than the reindeer.

It's the PC police causing the problems, as the Orthodox Jewish lady said, Christmas is just part of our Western Civilization referring to all the music and great works of art during the Renaissance period, mostly inspired by catholics

tacks-chick, is it raindeer or reindeer?
34 posted on 12/22/2004 4:25:47 PM PST by Coleus (Keep Christ in Christmas, Christmas is part of our Western Civilization and is a US Holiday for all)
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To: Coleus

Rein, dear.


35 posted on 12/22/2004 4:29:11 PM PST by Tax-chick (Jesus is the reason for the season which begins at sundown on December 24.)
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To: Motorcycle Cowboy; dbwz
people here simply didn't know about it

This isn't directed only to you, but freeper dbwz posted info about it on the New Jersey board the day before: 12/20/2004 5:36:37 PM EST.

Folks need to set their locale and set their preferences so new posts to their state board show up on when they view the main news and other boards.
36 posted on 12/22/2004 4:53:04 PM PST by Mike Fieschko
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To: Mike Fieschko; Motorcycle Cowboy
True, there are a lot of local announcements made on the state boards, so having yourself dialed in there is probably a good idea if you want to know what kinds of activism opportunities are out there. If you're not sure how to go about doing that, let any of us know and we'll gladly help you out.

I was there for a little while but had to take an important phone call, so I had to leave earlier than I wanted to. It was a nice crowd though, and while I missed seeing the TV coverage at home there sure didn't seem to be any lacking. Looking into all those bright lights made it darn near impossible to pick out any familiar faces, so I'm sorry if I missed anyone!

37 posted on 12/22/2004 5:11:55 PM PST by dbwz (Self-Defense is a Basic Human Right -- 2asisters.org)
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To: Coleus

What I would like to know is how many people actually attended the concert. I can see the parents of those who were taking part going, but if I was part of that school, I would have boycotted it.


38 posted on 12/22/2004 5:24:47 PM PST by Exit148 (Founder of the Loose Change Club. Every nickle and dime counts!!)
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To: Coleus

I am a very lousy singer, so be glad that I wasn't there. LOL!

Thanks to all who attended. It's part our our culture.


39 posted on 12/22/2004 6:10:34 PM PST by Trteamer ( (Eat Meat, Wear Fur, Own Guns, FReep Leftists, Drive an SUV, Drill A.N.W.R., Drill the Gulf, Vote)
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To: Coleus

Good job, thanks for the report. Sorry I missed that.


40 posted on 12/22/2004 6:26:22 PM PST by Doctor Raoul ( ----- HERTZ: We're #1 ----- AVIS: We're #2 We Try Harder ----- CBS: We're #3 We LIE Harder)
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To: dbwz

I was looking for ya, sorry you had to leave.


41 posted on 12/22/2004 6:29:43 PM PST by Coleus (God gave us the right to life and self preservation and a right to defend ourselves and families)
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To: Coleus
You can join the fight against the ACLU and their ilk by becoming involved with and supporting the following organizations:

Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) - http://www.alliancedefensefund.org

Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) - http://www.thomasmore.org

American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) - http://www.aclj.org

The Rutherford Institute - http://www.rutherford.org/

Stop the ACLU Coalition - http://www.stoptheaclu.org


Here are a few examples of how two of those organizations are fighting back:

ADF Contacts Over 3,600 School Districts Over Attempts To Censor Christmas

ADF: 700 lawyers ready to fight ACLU lawsuits

ADF: Pentagons' Warning About Boyscouts Is Absurd

Thomas More Law Center: Town of Palm Beach Pays $50,000 In Attorney Fees Apologizes To Women In Nativity Lawsuit


Additional information:

The ACLU must be destroyed: Joseph Farah supports Boy Scouts, urges Americans to fight back

Citizens mobilized to stop ACLU (seeks to consign group to 'ash heap of history')

ACLU fulfilling communist agenda

Revealing FACTS on the ACLU from its own writings

See how YOUR Senator or Representative ranks with the ACLU


42 posted on 12/22/2004 10:50:04 PM PST by Jay777
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To: Mike Fieschko; Motorcycle Cowboy
freeper dbwz posted info about it on the New Jersey board the day before

I think the point that MC was making was that the event wasn't publicized locally in Maplewood and surrounding communities.

43 posted on 12/23/2004 8:00:44 AM PST by ELS
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To: Coleus

Merry Christmas FRiend and a joyous Hannukah.


44 posted on 12/23/2004 12:31:44 PM PST by BenLurkin (Big government is still a big problem.)
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To: Coleus
Including a salt and pepper couple.

What's a salt and pepper couple?
45 posted on 12/23/2004 12:55:23 PM PST by Freeper 007
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To: Coleus
Actually there was a bible group meeting weekly for a while. It was called "Branches of Faith," but it seems to me that nothing has happened with it for some time. I put my name on the list as a freshman, but was never notified of any meetings, and I believe the adult supervisor left the district. There is also a group of pro-life students. Every now and then we stand in front of the school with a banner with pictures of babies in the last stage that the mother could have a legal abortion. We're treated respectfully, but it is obvious that most students don't agree with us. (Our district - much to our chagrin - has elected NOT to teach an abstinence only health curriculum, but that's a fight for another fr message board) The Gideons also come frequently and pass out the New Testament.

I did not mean to say that maplewood was not represented at the protest. I simply wish that the students would have known. One teacher has strong ties to the republican party, and he notified the members of the gospel choir who he was close to. Also, I am aware that it was advertised in many conservative newspapers and on the radio, but that is not something that would get many members of my generation's attention. It was no one's fault that the students didn't know, this is a blue town and in general conservative interests don't appeal to them. But even in my history class, where I was the only person calling myself a republican there was only one student who supported the ban. This is one issue that seems to reach across party lines.
46 posted on 12/23/2004 1:10:56 PM PST by Motorcycle Cowboy
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To: Motorcycle Cowboy
What was the attendance like at the concert?

You may want to take over the pro life club yourself and then get the people from The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR) to hold some GAP signs in front of your school. That will wake them up.
47 posted on 12/23/2004 5:59:15 PM PST by Coleus (Keep Christ in Christmas, Christmas is part of our Western Civilization and is a US Holiday for all)
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To: Coleus

I was there, too. I brought my editor, Susan Rosenbluth, of the Jewish Voice and Opinion. She appeared on Channel 9 News and on an Ohio radio station last night. Lonegan was on Hannity & Colmes last night, too.


48 posted on 12/24/2004 12:24:35 PM PST by Ziva (Steve Lonegan for NJ Governor (loneganforgovernor.com))
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To: Coleus
Hmmm, somebody should have been better at organizing. That thing should have lasted a couple of hours, and there should have been hot chocolate and cookies.

Ah well, there's always next year. I would have come, but Phoenix AZ is too far away ;o)

49 posted on 12/24/2004 12:29:25 PM PST by McGavin999 (Senate is trying to cover their A$$es with Rumsfeld hide)
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To: 2ndreconmarine

Why the anti-police statement? Do you always bash them for no reason?


50 posted on 12/27/2004 8:35:48 AM PST by BushisTheMan
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