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Rep. Harris' Comments on Religion Draw Ire
AOL.com ^ | 08/27/06

Posted on 08/27/2006 2:06:25 PM PDT by MikeA

MIAMI (Aug. 26) - U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris told a religious journal that separation of church and state is "a lie" and God and the nation's founding fathers did not intend the country be "a nation of secular laws."

The Republican candidate for U.S. Senate also said that if Christians are not elected, politicians will "legislate sin," including abortion and gay marriage.

Harris made the comments - which she clarified Saturday - in the Florida Baptist Witness, the weekly journal of the Florida Baptist State Convention, which interviewed political candidates and asked them about religion and their positions on issues.

Separation of church and state is "a lie we have been told," Harris said in the interview, published Thursday, saying separating religion and politics is "wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers."

"If you're not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin," Harris said.

Her comments drew criticism, including some from fellow Republicans who called them offensive and not representative of the party.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., who is Jewish, told the Orlando Sentinel that she was "disgusted" by the comments.

Harris' campaign released a statement Saturday saying she had been "speaking to a Christian audience, addressing a common misperception that people of faith should not be actively involved in government."

The comments reflected "her deep grounding in Judeo-Christian values," the statement said, adding that Harris had previously supported pro-Israel legislation and legislation recognizing the Holocaust.

Harris' opponents in the GOP primary also gave interviews to the Florida Baptist Witness but made more general statements on their faith.

Harris, 49, faced widespread criticism for her role overseeing the 2000 presidential recount as Florida's secretary of state.

State GOP leaders - including Gov. Jeb Bush - don't think she can win against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in November. Fundraising has lagged, frustrated campaign workers have defected in droves and the issues have been overshadowed by news of her dealings with a corrupt defense contractor who gave her $32,000 in illegal campaign contributions.


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: florida; katherineharris; ussenaterace
While I don't necessarily disagree with the idea that the Establishment Clause has been badly misinterpreted to mean the muzzling of all free religious expression in a government setting and it was never intended in the least to mean God and prayer and expressions of faith are to be banned from government venues, Harris could have been a little more circumspect and nuanced in her expression of this idea instead of shooting from the hip. There's an intelligent way to have handled this like saying "I don't believe the Founders ever meant the Establishment Clause to be a muzzle on religious free speech" or by even pointing out it was merely a construct to prevent the establishment of a state religion. But Harris is showing herself more and more incapable of being an effective politician who thinks before she speaks.

For all the Freepers who screamed about Rove and the White House wanting to keep Harris out of this race, we see now they weren't far wrong. This seat could have been an easy pick up with the do-nothing empty suit Bill Nelson as the Democratic candidate. Instead because Harris keeps making one gaffe after another, Nelson can spend the fall vacationing in the Bahamas and still win this race. Harris is doing his job for him. What a shame and what a waste of a prime pick up opportunity the GOP really needed this cycle.

1 posted on 08/27/2006 2:06:26 PM PDT by MikeA
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To: MikeA
She says what she believes is true. Perhaps that makes her a political liability. I can see why we wouldn't want people of principle in public life. You stand up for absolute right and wrong, you offend too many people. Better just pander and be all things to all people.

(No more Olmert! No more Kadima! No more Oslo! )

2 posted on 08/27/2006 2:12:34 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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It's not about pandering. It's about the Constitution. She's an idiot.


3 posted on 08/27/2006 2:16:20 PM PDT by oolatec
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To: goldstategop

It's not about pandering, it's about knowing how to put things a little more delicately than "God picks our leaders." Crimeny, I'm an active Christian but that sounds just more than a little nutty to mean. Am I suppose to believe God picked Bill Clinton to be president?

One can be passionate and give expression to their beliefs without being bombastic or foolish. There's an intelligent way to express one's self and there's a bull in the china shop approach. And when you're running for public office and needing to appeal to the broadest range of voters possible, then you need to learn how to tone down your rhetoric a bit. That doesn't rob you of your beliefs. It just means you're a person who realizes that diahhrea of the mouth isn't going to get you anywhere in politics. If she wants to talk like this then go be a TV preacher. But a politician running for office needs to show a little more wisdom and good judgment than this.


4 posted on 08/27/2006 2:17:36 PM PDT by MikeA (Not voting out of anger in November is a vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House)
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To: MikeA

Isn't this like the 7th thread on this subject?


5 posted on 08/27/2006 2:18:02 PM PDT by MikefromOhio (aka MikeinIraq - Go Bucks!!!)
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To: goldstategop

And by the way, part of being a good leader in my mind means knowing how to express one's beliefs without coming off as a bufoon. Apparently Harris is incapable of that. You do yourself no good expressing your passions in such a way as to subject them to mockery and scourn.


6 posted on 08/27/2006 2:19:28 PM PDT by MikeA (Not voting out of anger in November is a vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House)
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To: MikefromOhio

I did a search with the article title before posting and nothing came up. I guess Free Republic needs to develop a better search algorythm.


7 posted on 08/27/2006 2:20:28 PM PDT by MikeA (Not voting out of anger in November is a vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House)
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To: oolatec

"It's not about pandering. It's about the Constitution. She's an idiot."

No she isn't. She's right about everything she says and The Constitution says nothing about separating church and state.


8 posted on 08/27/2006 2:21:54 PM PDT by RoadTest (- - - for without victory there is no survival. -Winston Churchill)
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To: MikeA
There was a minor difference in title, but it's the same story...


[Katherine]Harris' religion comments draw fire
9 posted on 08/27/2006 2:23:52 PM PDT by MikefromOhio (aka MikeinIraq - Go Bucks!!!)
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To: RoadTest

Whether she's right or wrong, she's certainly sank her chances.


10 posted on 08/27/2006 2:24:27 PM PDT by gcruse (http://gcruse.typepad.com)
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To: gcruse

I think her chances were sunk before this. Now they're buried beneath the floor of the ocean.


11 posted on 08/27/2006 2:25:11 PM PDT by MikeA (Not voting out of anger in November is a vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House)
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To: MikefromOhio

Go figure. Nothing came up. Maybe I left a space at the beginning of the title, who knows?


12 posted on 08/27/2006 2:25:49 PM PDT by MikeA (Not voting out of anger in November is a vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House)
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To: MikeA

Duplicate post: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1690876/posts


13 posted on 08/27/2006 2:26:30 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (I LIKE you! When I am Ruler of Earth, yours will be a quick and painless death)
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To: MikeA

Could've been the brackets I guess.....


14 posted on 08/27/2006 2:26:40 PM PDT by MikefromOhio (aka MikeinIraq - Go Bucks!!!)
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To: MikeA

Ping!

That's it. She overstated something a lot of (most?) freepers probably agree upon. Religion is far to relegated to the back porch in politics. But that doesn't mean that theocracy is the proper response. We need people of faith who aren't afraid to articulate their faith and passion for God. In Florida all the more so. But she went over the top and I only hope she loses her primary. Maybe this seat is salvagable.


15 posted on 08/27/2006 2:26:44 PM PDT by Rawlings (Tipton Time!)
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To: oolatec
Rather than calling her an idiot, why not give us a learned dissertation on why you disagree with her opinion....
susie
16 posted on 08/27/2006 2:27:18 PM PDT by brytlea (amnesty--an act of clemency by an authority by which pardon is granted esp. to a group of individual)
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To: MikeA

While I would probably not have said that either, the Bible does say that God puts governments in place, so yeah, I guess for some reason I don't understand He put Bill Clinton in place too.
susie


17 posted on 08/27/2006 2:28:30 PM PDT by brytlea (amnesty--an act of clemency by an authority by which pardon is granted esp. to a group of individual)
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To: MikeA
Harris could have been a little more circumspect and nuanced in her expression of this idea instead of shooting from the hip.

I disagree. I find her candor refreshing and I don't think she should back pedal one step.

18 posted on 08/27/2006 2:29:48 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (Dawn of light...lying between a silence and sold sources...)
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To: brytlea
Rather than calling her an idiot, why not give us a learned dissertation on why you disagree with her opinion....

When she says "...if Christians are not elected, politicians will "legislate sin," including abortion and gay marriage" means that she has dumped all over Jews and anyone else that doesn't fit her narrow view of Christianity. Deliberately insulting large segments of the population is only one of the uncountable reasons why Harris will be out of politics come January.

19 posted on 08/27/2006 2:30:20 PM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: Rawlings
There's nothing wrong with expressing one's faith, I agree. And were that we had more people of faith in governance like Bush, Lieberman, etc. rather than so many of these secular slobs on the left.

I think President Bush has struck a good balance with showing himself to be a man of faith but without being over-the-top with it, although to listen to the MSM's hysterical caricaturing of his religious devotion you'd think the man was the Christian version of an Iranian mullah. But in fact the president is quite muted about his faith, only bringing it up during appropriate moments and most often when being baited by some media punk to try to make him appear to be some sort of religious fanatic. And when he does so it's done in a very appropriate and respectful way. But clearly the president has good judgment about when and how to express his religious faith. I could never imagine him expressing it as sloppily and recklessly as Harris did.
20 posted on 08/27/2006 2:32:45 PM PDT by MikeA (Not voting out of anger in November is a vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House)
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To: Non-Sequitur; oolatec

OK, so now I have your opinion (and much more informative than just someone calling someone else an idiot or something) and thank you for that. Now, what about the poster I actually addressed? Anyone can call names. It takes a bit more to explain why we think what we do.
susie


21 posted on 08/27/2006 2:34:50 PM PDT by brytlea (amnesty--an act of clemency by an authority by which pardon is granted esp. to a group of individual)
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To: MikeA

Next time just search on a single pertinent word, such as "Harris." Very rarely are thread titles, even if based on exactly the same source article, completely identical.


22 posted on 08/27/2006 2:35:16 PM PDT by Spyder
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts
"I don't think she should back pedal one step."

Fine, then in her unemployed state come January she'll have all the time in the world to become a TV minister where she can be as in your face with her religious beliefs as she wants. But in a political setting, she went about it entirely improperly. We need more people of faith in government, but we are not a theocracy and what she expressed sure makes it sound like that's what she wants. Unfortunately her reckless remarks open all of us conservative Christians up for ridicule now.

See my post #20 to see the contrast between how Bush expresses his faith and the sloppy way she went about it.

23 posted on 08/27/2006 2:36:21 PM PDT by MikeA (Not voting out of anger in November is a vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House)
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To: Spyder

Will do, thanks. I've usually had good luck just using the title though. Usually it will show something similar. Today it showed not a thing, not even similar titles. Who knows what I did wrong?


24 posted on 08/27/2006 2:37:18 PM PDT by MikeA (Not voting out of anger in November is a vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House)
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To: MikeA

This sends up huge red flags to those Christians who worship on Saturday. Her comments are about as close as it comes to reverting to the days of Blue Laws. The comments by freepers on these threads has me even more scared than the fact that Katherine Harris actually uttered them. It is obvious that there are a lot of politically active folk who would prefer a theocracy with only their own religious beliefs being legislated, banning other religions.


25 posted on 08/27/2006 2:39:42 PM PDT by Spyder
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To: brytlea

I believe God had a hand in setting up our system of governance including the drafting of our Constitution. But I don't believe for a minute he put a Bill Clinton in there. If God allows free will, then he allows the free will of the people to decide who their leaders will be, and that comes of their own righteousness or wickedness in chosing either good or bad leaders. That being said, I do however believe God had a hand in ensuring Bush won the Florida recount Supreme Court decision because he would have wanted a strong leader in there to handle 9-11.


26 posted on 08/27/2006 2:40:59 PM PDT by MikeA (Not voting out of anger in November is a vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House)
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To: Spyder

Unfortunately I think you're right. And it is something that should give us all pause.


27 posted on 08/27/2006 2:41:45 PM PDT by MikeA (Not voting out of anger in November is a vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House)
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To: MikeA

Maybe her presentation is not politically astute, but she says what she believes. She is a loyal partisan, and would never betray the administration as has Arlen Specter and others that the White House has supported. Further, it was idiotic of the GOP to just give up that Senate seat to Bill Nelson.

If we want "nuance", we could have supported John Kerry (barf).


28 posted on 08/27/2006 2:49:55 PM PDT by Joann37
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To: MikeA
I'm sure this is open to interpretation (or perhaps you do not believe in a literal translation--I'm not arguing about it here, just giving you the reference). Romans 13:1 says:

1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

Your mileage may vary, just wanted to let you know where my comment came from.

susie

29 posted on 08/27/2006 2:52:58 PM PDT by brytlea (amnesty--an act of clemency by an authority by which pardon is granted esp. to a group of individual)
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To: MikeA
"I think President Bush has struck a good balance with showing himself to be a man of faith but without being over-the-top with it"

What did Christ say about being "lukewarm?"

"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot."

"So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth."

Would you criticize her for practicing her politics in the same manner? Try not to be too conservative so as not to offend liberals? Don't be too Republican so as not to offend Democrats?

We expect our soldiers to be the best as do we our engineers, scientists and most all other professions and areas of endeavors, yet expect our Christians to be some kind of 'Touched by an Angel', 'plastic Jesus', wisheywashey type of Christian. We need to get away from that mindset.
30 posted on 08/27/2006 3:55:22 PM PDT by loboinok (Gun control is hitting what you aim at!)
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To: MikeA

"but we are not a theocracy and what she expressed sure makes it sound like that's what she wants."

I don't see how. She knows we are not a theocracy and she advocated for candidates who are Christian. If she were Jewish or Catholic, would merely supporting more candidates of her same background mean she wants a theocracy? Secular Humanists (liberals) advocate electing others like them all the time. But, people of faith should not be elected because there is a danger of establishing a theocracy?!?

The argument is specious. It's the "straw man" argument, i.e., accuse her of wanting to do something she never said, then rail against that.

I know liberals would love us not to elect people of faith, but most POF respect the constitution and want to follow it more closely and the constitution clearly does not want an establishment religion. But it does not prevent people of faith from running for office.


31 posted on 08/27/2006 4:21:19 PM PDT by JohnEBoy (AT)
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To: JohnEBoy

I don't see how. She knows we are not a theocracy and she advocated for candidates who are Christian. If she were Jewish or Catholic, would merely supporting more candidates of her same background mean she wants a theocracy?

There is a big difference between saying "I support electing more Christian candidates" and saying that ONLY Christians are worthy to be elected, because otherwise the non-Christians will legislate sin. If you can't tell the difference, it's why you probably aren't a politician (and the care needed in phrasing is why I never want to be a politician, either.)

32 posted on 08/27/2006 4:47:09 PM PDT by retMD
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To: MikeA
"Her comments drew criticism, including some from fellow Republicans who called them offensive and not representative of the party."

Who exactly? Doesn't say. So the "ire" drawn was that of unnamed Repubs and a Jewish Dim.
33 posted on 08/27/2006 4:56:44 PM PDT by Texas_Jarhead (Doing the jobs Americans won't do? Guess you haven't seen "Dirty Jobs")
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To: retMD

Does Hillary support Lamont in place of Lieberman? She's a politician, so I've heard. I assume he is pro-abortion, else she would not support him. I tell you, the pro-death crowd considers it a "sin" to support a pro-life candidate (see Bob Casey, Sr.), but they are not chastised in the media for wanting to establish a secular Humanist theocracy, which I do believe they would go for.

See Ann Coulter's latest book to see if liberals consider what they are doing a religious rite.

No, I'm not a politician and apparently neither is Harris, because she seems to be saying what is on her mind without PCing it, first.


34 posted on 08/27/2006 5:24:58 PM PDT by JohnEBoy (AT)
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To: brytlea

My religion takes that to mean that God expects obedience to earthly governments, not that he chooses our leaders for us. Just my take.


35 posted on 08/27/2006 5:26:44 PM PDT by MikeA (Not voting out of anger in November is a vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House)
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To: loboinok

What did Christ say about being "lukewarm?"

"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot."

"So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth."




Clearly Christ was talking about one's provide devotions and faith. Or do you walk around your workplace throwing Bibles at people and calling them sinners if they don't believe as you do? Or do you recognize there's a time and a place for everything and that constantly sizing up every opportunity as one to preach the Word is not a wise approach?

One can be a very devoted Christian but also recognize, as Christ said, there is a time not to cast your pearls before swine. In other words, there are times to forebear. And when not forebearing, there is a wise way to go about speaking of one's religion. Being in your face about it is not at all what I believe Christ had in mind. I think Christ spoke precisely of using discretion when he said this:

Matt. 10: 16
16 ¶ Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.


36 posted on 08/27/2006 5:31:22 PM PDT by MikeA (Not voting out of anger in November is a vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House)
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To: JohnEBoy

But, people of faith should not be elected because there is a danger of establishing a theocracy?!?




Oh please, I never said any such thing. But making comments like that people who aren't necessarily religious will establish evil laws and that God picks our leaders makes her sound like a toned-down version of that rat faced president in Iran. The fact is, many good people who are necessarily religiously devoted have served and are serving in govt. Try to justify all you want, but I'm an active Christian who thinks it's a good thing to have people of faith in government and her remarks to me sounded extreme. And if she sounds extreme to a committed Christian like me, imagine how she's sounding to others. Look, she badly tarnished herself with these remarks. Put lipstick, eye shadow and blush on a pig all you want, but it's still a pig.


37 posted on 08/27/2006 5:35:19 PM PDT by MikeA (Not voting out of anger in November is a vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House)
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To: loboinok
Clearly Christ was talking about one's provide devotions and faith.

About one's PRIVATE devotions I meant to say.

38 posted on 08/27/2006 5:36:42 PM PDT by MikeA (Not voting out of anger in November is a vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House)
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To: MikeA

Yeah, I'm sure there are several possible interpretations...I'm Presbyterian, so you know what that means.... ;)
susie


39 posted on 08/27/2006 5:45:13 PM PDT by brytlea (amnesty--an act of clemency by an authority by which pardon is granted esp. to a group of individual)
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To: MikeA

Katherine Harris in 2000 was brave enough to do her job, and was bashed by the media and democrats and made to look like some lunatic. So now most Florida Republicans have bought into these media lies and have painted her as unelectable. Has she been charged with a crime or is she just a victim of a massive smear machine? Its too bad she is unable to shake hands and lie about what she stands for, then we would have a sure winner.

So your an active Christian but your able to call her a pig in good conscious.


40 posted on 08/27/2006 5:54:14 PM PDT by Keflavik76
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To: MikeA

I think this shows with the constraints of being PC she may well make moves that cause her to close the gap if not win this race.


41 posted on 08/27/2006 6:06:25 PM PDT by JLS
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To: MikeA
"there is a wise way to go about speaking of one's religion."

Agreed... but you are talking about the "practice" of a religion and I refer to what some Christians consider a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Assuming you are a husband and father... is there any area of your life where you cease to be either in order to further yourself? Is there any time you are ashamed of being either?

If Christ is first in your life, He is above all things. Preeminent in all things at all times, everywhere.

There is a serious push to eliminate God from the schools, government and the public square. Christians need to be fighting and resisting it, rather than aiding and hastening it.

Thats my opinion anyway.
42 posted on 08/27/2006 9:35:45 PM PDT by loboinok (Gun control is hitting what you aim at!)
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To: MikeA
Her comments drew criticism, including some from fellow Republicans who called them offensive and not representative of the party.

Her comments drew criticism, including some from fellow Republicans who lack testicles called them offensive and not representative of the party.

There that's better.

43 posted on 08/27/2006 10:04:09 PM PDT by itsahoot (The home of the Free, Because of the Brave (Shamelessly stolen from a Marine))
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To: retMD
There is a big difference between saying "I support electing more Christian candidates" and saying that ONLY Christians are worthy to be elected

Surre is, and many of the founding fathers held that view.

44 posted on 08/27/2006 10:16:39 PM PDT by itsahoot (The home of the Free, Because of the Brave (Shamelessly stolen from a Marine))
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To: MikeA
not that he chooses our leaders for us. Just my take.

He plainly tells us to pray for our leaders; "For I have put them over you"

45 posted on 08/27/2006 10:18:46 PM PDT by itsahoot (The home of the Free, Because of the Brave (Shamelessly stolen from a Marine))
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To: MikeA
Fine, then in her unemployed state come January

She hasn't had a chance to win this election for some time. She's probably decided to go down swinging. I still say 'good for her'.

46 posted on 08/28/2006 5:34:42 AM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (Dawn of light...lying between a silence and sold sources...)
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To: RoadTest
She's right about everything she says

Really?

"If you're not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin," Harris said.
47 posted on 08/28/2006 10:41:55 AM PDT by Stone Mountain
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