Skip to comments.EstesPark residents vote to recall town trustee (re: David Habecker who sat during pledge)
Posted on 03/22/2005 10:08:55 PM PST by ajolympian2004
ESTES PARK - Estes Park residents voted Tuesday to recall a town trustee who refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance before board meetings.
The final vote was 903 to 605 in favor of recalling David Habecker. The turnout was much higher than for a typical municipal election.
Some voters, like Trudy Hewitt, said they though Habecker was being unpatriotic. "When you sit down during the Pledge of Allegiance, which is to our flag, which is about patriotism, which is about our country, you dishonor everybody that has fought and sacrificed for our country," she said.
"I think his constitutional rights should be supported so I voted (against the recall)," said Linda Medley.
Habecker has been a trustee for 12 years, but the issue didn't arise until last year when the town board began reciting the Pledge before meetings. Habecker chose to sit out these sessions, calling the "under God" clause unconstitutional.
The recall election was original scheduled for Feb. 15, but Habecker went to court and had it blocked. Earlier this month, a federal judge lifted the injunction.
"I don't think it's a sad day for me," said Habecker after the votes were counted. "I stood ...or sat.for what I believed in and I still believe that way and the vote of the town of Estes Park isn't going to change my mind."
Habecker said he still plans to attend board meetings and express his opinions.
"What it means is that the people have a voice in their government and that's what the state statute was set up for," said Richard Clark, the recall organizer.
Estes Park Town Trustee David Habecker remains seated as the board recites the pledge.
See the 9News link above for the video on this story.
He does have the right to free speech, hell, he has the right to praise Hitler, but that doesn't mean the towns people don't have the right to recall him for doing something they think is wrong.
I will almost certainly be flamed for this, but I don't like the pledge at all. It has nothing to do with 'under God'.
The flag is a symbol of the state. It could be a symbol of hope or of tyranny, depending on the government that is in power.
I am not a supporter of 'my country right or wrong' and that is what pledging allegiance to the flag implies to me. Pledging allegiance to the Constitution makes much more sense
By the way, have you ever really taken a minute to look at our flag. There's nothing like it on earth! What can I say... proud to be an American each and every day.
The flag is a symbol of the state. It could be a symbol of hope or of tyranny, depending on the government that is in power.
Let me see, our government goes from hope to tyranny routinely right?
This guy got what he damn well deserved. Millions have died so this jacka$$ could employ his "Constitutional Right". It was also the "Constitutional Right" of the people to remove him...and they did. Hope the SOB learns a bit of patriotism.
I Pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
The Left is truly in shock that their outrageous antics are no longer being tolerated by Red State America. Much credit goes to three leaders for this change in our society.
Reagan (Wave 1) developed a consistent conservative message that altered the world.
Limbaugh (Wave 2) built upon this message by altering domestic politics and the media.
The trifecta (Wave 3) is Jim Robinson's FreeRepublic, converting ideas into action using the Internet.
The days of being spoon-fed leftist bilge by the Big Three MSM talking heads are over. We don't have to take it...and we won't. The Dan Rathers, Ward Churchills, Arlen Specters et al. of the world are afraid...and they should be...they've lost.
While I have no prob w/ pledging allegiance to my flag, & I'm not gonna flame you, either :-).
I kinda understand where you are coming from--after all, is it not true that the Pledge was written by a SOCIALIST? Does anyone know if this is true of not?
I think it's GREAT that "Under God" is still in the Pledge....enjoy saying it while you can, folks. IF I was King & had the authority to snap my fingers & change any part of it, I'd take the word "indivisible" out of it, 'cuz IMO, using that word seems to imply that the nation is greater than the states from which it was born...& it was either Washington of Jefferson (???) who said that THAT type of thinking would be one where the slave would be greater than his master (I wish I could remember the exact phrase).
Don't forget your STATE FLAG, everyone!
(...& to those of us who are proud to be in/from the South, the Stars & Bars, too!).
The Colorado State Flag was designed by Andrew Carlisle Carson and adopted by the Colorado General Assembly on June 5, 1911. The flag specifications seemed clear enough when adopted but modification to the legislation was required in 1929 and in 1964.
The field is comprised of three alternate stripes, the two outer stripes colored blue and the middle stripe white. At one fifth the length of the flag from the staff end is the letter "C". The color of the "C" is red. The diameter of the letter "C" is two thirds the width of the flag, the inner line of the letter being three fourths the width of its body and the outer line double the length of the inner line of the letter. The center of the letter "C" is filled with the color gold. It was also stipulated that the flag should have an attached cord of gold and silver intertwined with gold and silver tassles.
It seems that certain specifications for the flag were not clear and some controversy arose over the precise shades of red and blue to be used in the flag. This issue was resolved by the General Assembly on February 28, 1929 when it stipulated that the red an blue colors in the flag were to be the same as the national flag.
The colors used in the Colorado State Flag represent evnvironmental features of the state. The gold represents the abundant sunshine enjoyed by the state. The blue sybolizes the clear blue skies of Colorado. White represents the snow capped mountains of the state and red represents the color of much of the state's soil.
Quote attributed to Davey Crockett
Arkansas, officially "The Natural State", is a state of mountains, valleys, dense woodland and fertile plains. Its clear lakes and streams and abundant wildlife help to make tourism one of the state's most important industries.
Mr Habecker, it's NOT about you. The point wasn't to change your mind, it was to get your conceited, intolerant, unpatriotic butt out of office. The mission was a complete success.
Move to French Canada you F'in idiot. They would agree with you
LOL, I didn't know the mods were generally removing bad language.
Anyway, I'll repeat the first part of my post:
French Canadians would agree with pledging allegiance to the American constitution?
I now live in Montpelier, VT with my wife, but as a former longtime resident of Estes Park (1982 - 2002), I try to stay in touch with what is happening there. It has been with some interest that I have watched the story of Trustee David Habecker and his refusal to recite the pledge of allegiance unfold.
Mr. Habecker says that the words "under god" in the Pledge are a religious test and as such prohibited by Article VI of the U.S. Constitution. But are they a religious test? Or are they simply a reiteration of the principle that our Founding Fathers rested all their justifications for our nation upon? The principle is that the authority for all our rights-including the right to dissent-is the untouchable, unchangeable and unquestionable "Creator" of all life. There are many names for that concept throughout the world and in the English language 'god' is a very generic one.
The point here is that the Founders laid everything we now know as America on that concept. If the right to break from England, defy its laws, wage war against them, form a new nation and create a Constitution to establish law here does not come from a "Supreme Ruler," as the Founders put it, then the only other possible source for that right is from man himself. A right given to men by man can be changed by man; this means it is not inalienable and therefore not really a right but a privilege. Privileges can be revoked. This is why the Founders invoked the authority of "the Supreme Judge of the World" instead of man.
There are those who argue that the Declaration of Independence is not part of the Constitution and therefore not binding on the law of the land. There are, however, Constitutional scholars who refer to the DoI as the "organic Constitution." There is good cause for that. The DoI was the first document ratified by a Congress of Americans independent of the authority of Great Britain. It outlines in detail the grievances Colonial citizens had with England but more importantly it gives justification for breaking political bands with England and states unequivocally that the right to break from their authority and form a new nation of laws, by men, comes from "our Creator."
I hope that all of you who are interested in this controversy have a copy of the DoI and the Constitution of the United States of America so that you may follow not only what I am about to say but you may decide for yourselves what our Founders meant.
The first paragraph of the DoI says that sometimes men have to break with one another politically; out of respect they will explain why. It specifically cites "the Laws of Nature and Nature's God" as the source of the right to make such a break. The second paragraph of the DoI further delineates the rights of men and states that the oppression of those rights creates the justification for breaking political bands. It claims that a decayed state of affairs existed then between the Colonists and England. The source of man's rights is reiterated again with the phrase "our Creator." The DoI then lists a litany of abuses followed by a paragraph explaining their attempts to appeal to the British government and a paragraph explaining attempts to appeal to the British citizenry. It says that both failed. The final paragraph states their dissolution with Britain and their intention to stand independently. It also states twice who or what they will depend on for their justification. The first says "appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the rectitude of our intentions," and the second, "with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence."
This was the basis for establishing our Constitution. The Preamble to the Constitution does indeed say, "We the People...do ordain and establish this Constitution," but clearly the right to do so rested on the authority of "our Creator," "Nature's God," the "Supreme Judge of the World," not on man's authority.
Mr. Habecker has written a very persuasive bit of sophistry, based on the Constitution, to support his crusade against the Pledge of Allegiance-but sophistry it is. He would like us to believe that Article VI makes his case that the phrase "under God" is a religious test and thus illegal. He quotes, "no religious Test shall be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." But he conveniently left out part of the sentence that precedes what he quoted. After precisely naming who the subject of the sentence is it says "shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, but no religious Test shall be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." Why does it say "but" before Mr. Habecker's favorite part? Because it signifies that what follows is a clarification of the previous statement, which is the main purpose of the clause as a whole. Public servants "shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, but no religious Test shall be required...." In other words it is recognized that the Oath or Affirmation is in essence a promise made to an authority higher than man, for the purpose of declaring allegiance to the country but- no Test- of faith or belief can be administered. It is not a "religious Test" to require an Oath or Affirmation made to a higher authority; no allegiance to any god, gods or religion is asked for. The Oath or Affirmation made is a declaration of a willingness to be subject to the judgment of "our Creator" on this one promise and that promise is a requirement of Office or public Trust. What cannot be required by the government is proof that you believe in anyone or any thing that will hold you accountable for that promise. The promise to support and defend our country, flag and Constitution.
Why would an atheist object to making an Oath to 'nothing'? From the atheist's point of view he has nothing to lose. From a believer's point of view the atheist has made his solemn promise to "the Supreme Judge of the World" and will be held accountable in spite of his disbelief. For our Founders this was eminently practical. No more could be asked of a man, by other men, without imposing a tyranny of opinion on him, and anything less was no promise to defend our nation at all.
So what of this Pledge of Allegiance thing? What is the Pledge of Allegiance? It is not required of any public official, of any member of the military or of any citizen to be recited with any specified frequency or at all for that matter. It is not an official Oath of office or of service. It is not recorded in anyone's record as a "Qualification for Office, public Trust or of citizenship." It is not a crime to refuse to participate in reciting it when others are and I don't think it should be. In structure it is an affirmation of loyalty to our country but in essence it is a symbolic gesture. "Under God" in the Pledge is not a profession of faith or belief or an act of religious piety or ritual it is simply a recognition of the principle stated in the DoI that this country is founded on the belief that our basic human rights come from a higher source than man. I am one Buddhist who is quite thankful for that. I can think of no living man or group of men that I would trust to be the grantor of my rights. I am thankful that our Constitution was written with that thought in mind. The alternative makes me shudder.
There are no laws or regulations or even guidelines for what reasons a citizen may hold for how he or she votes. The Constitution only prohibits the government from making a law requiring a "religious Test." The voter, however, may apply any standards he or she chooses to any or all candidates.
No, "under God" is not a religious test. It is only a symbol of the Declaration of Independence and the right our Founders had to establish the Constitution that Mr. Habecker claims to uphold his Oath to - a right they recognized as pre-existing and exceeding the thoughts of men. If you plan to recall him because he offended your religious beliefs you are no friend of the Constitution. If you plan to recall him because he won't go along with the majority then you are no friend of the Constitution. You should recall him because he doesn't understand the Constitution, in fact, he is antagonistic to its true intention.
You should recall him because he doesn't stand behind the idea that your rights are not granted by any man or any government decree. That is the idea our Founders had for establishing a constitution in order to protect those rights from infringement by our government made up of men, government under God. It has nothing to do with what one man does or does not believe about God. It is about placing the authority of our rights out of the reach of men so that it can not be said that our rights have been rewritten or stricken from some document. In the Pledge the phrase "under God" reflects that idea. David Habecker swore an Oath to defend that Constitution as it is, not as he would like it to be. He says that what he believes about religion is not the issue and is no one's business. He's right about that. But what he believes about the Constitution is our business and it is the issue.
PS: Mr. Habecker took the occasion of his newfound self-made notoriety to make another disturbing statement, quoted in the Trail Gazette. He said, "The way this country's going now - when you're looking at George Bush the crusader, evil versus good - we're going down the path that we don't want to go down." Without being partisan about it at all this statement is very disturbing coming from a public official. In that context the evil he speaks of must be terrorism and the crusade must be the war on terror. Am I to understand that terrorism isn't evil in Mr. Habecker's opinion? Should I take it that Pres. Bush is wrong to pursue terrorists? I see no other way to understand this statement.
You should recall Mr. Habecker because you cannot afford to have a public servant in any office who is unable to judge good from evil in the context of terrorism. What other security risks of a lesser local nature, but nonetheless vital to the citizens of Estes Park, would he have trouble defining? Local issues are sometimes more complex than the ability to call suicide bombings evil.
I know this well exceeds your maximum but this is a difficult and important subject, especially for Estes right now, and this is as concise as I could make this and make it understandable. I hope you will consider it. Thank you,
Mr. Habecker says he is patriotic and doesn't oppose the pledge's meaning but the phrase "under God" violates his religious beliefs and is at odds with the separation of church and state. Not so! The phrase "under God" is not religious in content or in context. Read the Pledge carefully and ask yourself what thought "under God" refers to. The context is simple enough; a pledge of allegiance to Flag and Country. What then is its content? What does it mean in context?
"Under God" signifies the intent expressed in the Declaration of Independence that men are created with inviolable rights such as life and liberty. The DoI invoked those rights as the authority to break with Britain, form a new government and write our Constitution. The Constitution was written on that premise, that those rights were inherent in every individual regardless of religious belief, or any other aspect of human life, apart from life itself. The phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance is nothing more than a tip-of-the-hat to that principle around which every law in this nation is supposed to revolve. We can see without prejudice that "under God" is the basis of our nation in the sense that this nation's reason for being rests on the ground that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are sacrosanct human rights. Rights beyond bestowal or retraction by governmental authorities.
It is certainly spiritual in nature, calling to mind the sanctity of life and liberty, but it is religious only in its phraseology which is in keeping with the spiritual lives of our Founders. It is an authentic colloquial metaphor for inalienable rights perfectly in keeping with their Christian heritage. That's an appropriate affirmation to those men who risked everything to establish the Bill of Rights for the protection of us all. That the majority of our Founders were Christian, as the majority of citizens still are, is a fact. It is a fact of historical and current significance that is worthy of recognition in the passing reference of the poetic phrasing of two words in our pledge of national fidelity. Two words whose meaning sum up the uniquely American concept of individual sovereignty. The individual as governor of his life, in union with others, pledged to defend the same for all. If the quarrel is with any spiritual connotation whatsoever in the Pledge then there is a quarrel with the premise this nation was founded upon. The concepts of sanctity of life and the right to follow one's conscience cannot be separated from every notion of spirituality. Either the government recognizes life and liberty as sacred or it does not. If we can't admit that the premise embodied in the phrase "under God" (the sanctity of life and liberty as recognized by law) isn't specifically religious aren't we being a little arrogant and self-righteous? The premise is not entirely secular but it goes beyond the interpretations of any religion speaking directly to the universal condition of the human desire of every individual to seek freedom in mind and body. The liberty to experience life to its fullest in the way each man or woman's conscience leads them to. It might be a truism to say that all religions speak to that condition, each in its way, but no religion can claim to "own" that condition of human experience. Recognizing sovereign rights by reciting "under God" doesn't bestow ownership of that condition to any religion either. That would be a contradiction of meanings. It is really quite the opposite.
"Under God" reaffirms the intent of the DoI and the DoI affirms the inherent sovereignty of the individual and that is the nut of it all. Thanks to that overarching premise we are all free to choose what God or gods to serve. We are free to say that we serve no god. We are even free to say we reject the principles of life, liberty and freedom for all but if you do then you are declaring your opposition to the Constitution. It is, naturally and literally, un-Constitutional to hold office in this land without swearing an Oath to defend the Constitution.
Is Mr. Habecker oblivious to the context or does he reject the premise? Whether he is ignorant of the basis of our Independence and Constitution or he is coyly hostile to it should be of no importance to the voter. In either case his position threatens the principles of life and liberty for all which renders him unfit to hold any office of trust. A man can't serve a principle he doesn't understand and he won't serve a principle he is hostile to even if he loudly invokes it for his own benefit. Before you vote ask yourself if it benefits you to hire a public servant whose actions undermine that principle. It's not God's life that the Constitution protects it's yours.
real name(TigersEye) - Montpelier, VT - resident of Estes Park - 1982-2002
As with the first letter I sent this to the Mayor and Town Trustees also. Including Habecker. Here is his response to me.
real name , misspelled(TigersEye)
I read your essay, (again?), and found it to be a lousy read and a pompous ignorant bore. Your logic is lacking and you fail to identify or make a point.
Hey, Ive always had trouble making a point. /sarcasm
Thanks for posting that letter and the reply.
"have you ever really taken a minute to look at our flag. There's nothing like it on earth"
It is the most beautiful flag on the face of the earth.
I have to say, whenever I see it, when driving by the embassy or crossing the border, I feel ... something that I can't really describe.
And good for the people of Estes Park, my favorite place in the world. We used to go there every fall when the elks were bugling. :) It is so beautiful.
You are welcome and thank you much for posting this thread.
Is he in a " Burt Reynolds look alike " contest?
Well the Statue of Liberty was built by the French, but I'm still proud of it! It really doesn't matter where it came from, it's what it means to me.
You sound like one of those McCain Eunuchs who call themselves conservatives. Any SOB who has a thing against the Pledge can find somewhere else to live.
The phrasing is "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, ..." The Flag is only a symbol of the Republic and the Republic's foundation is the Constitution. If your support and loyalty to it are conditionally given, only if the government never makes mistakes, you are not really loyal to it. Does a husband have loyalty to his wife only if she never makes a mistake or vice versa? What person or group of people in this world can live up to your condition of perfection?
Just like a marriage you either support your country through thick and thin and try to fix the things that are wrong or you aren't really committed to it at all.
In other words, you hit a home-run to p*ss-off this pointy headed intellectual.
Thanks! I hope he kept a copy of it so he has something to occupy his free time with. ;^)
I give my loyalty unconditionally to the Constitution.
The basis of the Republic is the Constitution but it is possible for the Republic to violate the Constitution. I am unconditionally loyal to the Republic only if it obeys the Constitution.
LOL That's a condition. : )