Skip to comments.Colo. Town Official Sues to Stop Recall Election Over His Refusal to Recite Pledge
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.
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.
Why recall him, Deport him!
Did the people who elected him know he was agnostic before the election?
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.
Whatever. I suppose dog lovers could recall a sheriff who prefers cats as pets.
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.
Main Entry: ag·nos·tic
Pronunciation: ag-'näs-tik, &g-
Etymology: Greek agnOstos unknown, unknowable, from a- + gnOstos known, from gignOskein to know more at KNOW
: 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
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.
This guy is lucky that somebody didn't weld himself into a buldozer and pulverize his place.
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.
An atheist doesn't believe in God, and an agnostic is just a scared atheist. :)
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.