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Colo. Town Official Sues to Stop Recall Election Over His Refusal to Recite Pledge
Associated Press ^ | -01-29-05 0013EST | Erin Gartner

Posted on 01/28/2005 9:44:34 PM PST by BenLurkin

DENVER (AP) - An official in a small tourist town sued his colleagues Friday, saying they're unfairly targeting him for recall over his refusal to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at board meetings. Estes Park town trustee David Habecker, who describes himself as agnostic, says the words "under God" in the pledge violate his religious beliefs and are at odds with the separation of church and state, according to his lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Denver.

The lawsuit says Habecker exercises his First Amendment right to religious freedom and sits during Town Board meetings while other members recite the pledge.

Habecker's recall election is scheduled for Feb. 15. Several board members helped organize the recall committee, saying voters have lost confidence in Habecker's ability to represent patriotism and "common decency."

"He has his rights, and so do we," said committee member Dewey Shanks. "We're at war. And I don't think now is the time to be fighting over this. He shouldn't have brought it up at this time."

Habecker sued the recall committee, the town, the board of trustees and several officials in Estes Park, a town of about 5,500 residents about 60 miles northwest of Denver that is the eastern gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park.

The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, asked a federal judge to stop the recall election until after the lawsuit is resolved.

The lawsuit says Habecker, who has served on the town board for 12 years, is patriotic and doesn't oppose the pledge's meaning.

The board began reciting the pledge in May. Habecker, 59, initially recited the pledge except for the words "under God," but he later decided to remain seated.

In 2003, the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the words "under God" made it an unconstitutional blending of church and state for public school students to recite the pledge. The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed the case in June, saying it was invalid because the father who filed it did not have custody of his elementary school-aged daughter.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; US: Colorado
KEYWORDS: 1stamendment; colorado; estespark; habecker; pledge; pledgeofallegiance; undergod

1 posted on 01/28/2005 9:44:34 PM PST by BenLurkin
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To: BenLurkin; ajolympian2004; goldstategop; KevinDavis

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1297571/posts


2 posted on 01/28/2005 9:46:44 PM PST by BenLurkin (Big government is still a big problem.)
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To: BenLurkin
The whazoo aperture is free to not recite the pledge if he does not want to...and, the citizens are free to recall his sorry butt if they have such provisions in the law to initiate a recall.
3 posted on 01/28/2005 9:46:47 PM PST by Keith in Iowa (Common Sense is an Oxymoron)
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To: BenLurkin

bttt


4 posted on 01/28/2005 9:48:23 PM PST by BJungNan (National sale tax - end all this insane tax records paperwork.)
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To: Keith in Iowa

People are free to do just about anything they want...doesn't mean they will do the right thing though. This guy can kiss political ambitions out the front door. He better move somewhere else and start over.


5 posted on 01/28/2005 9:49:53 PM PST by pepsionice
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To: BenLurkin

Why recall him, Deport him!


6 posted on 01/28/2005 9:52:30 PM PST by 26lemoncharlie (Sit nomen Dómini benedíctum,Ex hoc nunc, et usque in sæculum! per ómnia saecula saeculórum)
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To: BenLurkin

Did the people who elected him know he was agnostic before the election?


7 posted on 01/28/2005 9:59:41 PM PST by msnimje
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To: BenLurkin
I guess I'm a little confused by the article and my understanding of the difference between agnostic and atheist. The article didn't say he was an atheist or someone who denies the existence of God. The article says he's an agnostic which I interpret to mean he is ambivalent about God. If he were an atheist I could understand his stupid point of order but as an agnostic I think he's just a fool which is worse than being stupid. Could someone enlighten me regarding agnostic versus atheist?
8 posted on 01/28/2005 9:59:54 PM PST by Cornpone (Aging Warrior -- Aim High -- Hit'em in the Head)
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To: Cornpone
Sorry to bother you folks. I just answered my own question. An agnostic is one who believes that God is unknowable. An atheist is one that believes God does not exist. That means this guy is both stupid and a fool.
9 posted on 01/28/2005 10:04:00 PM PST by Cornpone (Aging Warrior -- Aim High -- Hit'em in the Head)
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To: Cornpone

An agnositic does not know whether God exists, an atheist believes he does not. I characterize myself as a near atheist, in the sense I think the odds are remote that God exists, but I cannot be sure, because in the end it is speculation, and thus I am more near the atheist than the agnostic. But in official office, I would say "under God," because that is the custom, and practice, and short hand for saying that I take the oath seriously. It is a matter of respect. Trying to recall someone with my point of view however is a real waste of taxpayers money. Let folks judge him, and his record, on what matters, to them, in the next election.


10 posted on 01/28/2005 10:08:23 PM PST by Torie
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To: Torie
"Trying to recall someone with my point of view however is a real waste of taxpayers money."

No, a recall merely means that the voters decided they don't want him to represent them anymore. The reason in unimportant.

Kind of like "un-reconcilable differences" in a divorce.
11 posted on 01/28/2005 10:16:20 PM PST by babygene (Viable after 87 trimesters)
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To: babygene

Whatever. I suppose dog lovers could recall a sheriff who prefers cats as pets.


12 posted on 01/28/2005 10:18:06 PM PST by Torie
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To: Torie
"An agnositic does not know whether God exists, an atheist believes he does not. I characterize myself as a near atheist, in the sense I think the odds are remote that God exists, but I cannot be sure, because in the end it is speculation, and thus I am more near the atheist than the agnostic. But in official office, I would say "under God," because that is the custom, and practice, and short hand for saying that I take the oath seriously. It is a matter of respect. Trying to recall someone with my point of view however is a real waste of taxpayers money. Let folks judge him, and his record, on what matters, to them, in the next election."

Thanks for taking the trouble to respond to my question. I fully understand your sentiments. I have been there too. But I have given much, much thought over my years and I have come to the conclusion that for me God does exist. I don't know how to express my definition of what God is and even if I could a lot of people wouldn't necessarily agree but I do believe in a greater power that is the source of all creation. Talking with people here has helped me understand what path to follow. I believe there is only one power of creation so that eliminates a lot of religions out there. That means I'm monotheistic. That basically leaves me with Judaism, Christianity and Islam, though I'm sure there are others. However, out of the three I've studied, Christianity is the only one that teaches a God of love versus one of anger and vengeance or even violence against nonbelievers. For me it is only logical to my simple view of things. Vengeance and violence only destroy, not create. Love creates and through love I have found Christ and Christianity in my own way. Many Christians would not agree with me but I am comfortable I have found my God. I hope you find an answer if you question. Most don't.

13 posted on 01/28/2005 10:28:08 PM PST by Cornpone (Aging Warrior -- Aim High -- Hit'em in the Head)
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To: BenLurkin

Main Entry: [1]ag·nos·tic
Pronunciation: ag-'näs-tik, &g-
Function: noun
Etymology: Greek agnOstos unknown, unknowable, from a- + gnOstos known, from gignOskein to know —more at KNOW
Date: 1869
: a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and prob. unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god
- ag·nos·ti·cism /-t&-"si-z&m/ noun


14 posted on 01/28/2005 10:30:01 PM PST by LaMudBug (Goldwater, Regan, Rush and now Bush...)
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To: Torie
Yes! It's wholly political and should be.

Besides, this guy isn't getting recalled for his beliefs. He's getting recalled because he's a pompous ass who decided to call attention to himself.

15 posted on 01/28/2005 10:33:26 PM PST by AmishDude
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To: Torie
Yes. Recalls don't general specify a reason.
16 posted on 01/28/2005 10:36:50 PM PST by babygene (Viable after 87 trimesters)
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To: BenLurkin

This guy is lucky that somebody didn't weld himself into a buldozer and pulverize his place.


17 posted on 01/28/2005 11:06:17 PM PST by Hell to pay
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To: BenLurkin

So far, no one has mentioned the salient point here.

The proper protocol, IIRC, is to STAND mute, to show respect for the flag and nation; this bozo SITS silent, thus disrespecting flag, nation, colleagues, and constituents.


18 posted on 01/29/2005 1:26:27 AM PST by ApplegateRanch (The world needs more horses, and fewer Jackasses!)
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To: Cornpone
my understanding of the difference between agnostic and atheist.

An atheist doesn't believe in God, and an agnostic is just a scared atheist. :)

19 posted on 01/29/2005 7:00:23 AM PST by MamaTexan ( The foundation of a Republic --- Man owes obedience to his Creator, NOT his creation)
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To: Hell to pay

Heh-heh


20 posted on 01/29/2005 7:59:06 AM PST by BenLurkin (Big government is still a big problem.)
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To: BenLurkin

Crybaby alert!


21 posted on 01/29/2005 8:00:10 AM PST by dennisw (Pryce-Jones: Arab culture is steeped in conspiracy theories, half truths, and nursery rhyme politics)
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To: BenLurkin

The latest on this story is that Habecker has won an injunction on the recall election from a Federal Judge in Denver. He has made this a national issue, much to the chagrin of the people of Estes Park, my hometown for 20 years. He gave a speech in Ft. Collins where he revealed his agenda by telling them he wanted the Pledge removed from all public schools.


22 posted on 02/19/2005 8:17:55 AM PST by TigersEye (Intellectuals only exist if you think they do.)
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