Review: 2010 GOP Primary --- Propositions


 
Oppressive GOP Tactics

Review: 2010 GOP Primary --- Propositions
 


3 February 2010 at 10:15:44 PM
pstern


 
Texas GOP Wants More Control Over Our Lives
 
Pushes Invasive Constitutional Propositions (Again!)
 
by Peter Stern
 
 
 
So, what else is new?
 
The whole point of a Democracy is to permit people to control and determine their own lives, to limit and prevent government from becoming a Dictatorship, in which the people would have no rights and freedom to live as they choose.
 
A mainstay of the Republican Party from its inception to this present day is to ensure less government in our daily lives.  It is one of the main reasons why I became a member of the GOP back in the 1950's during the Eisenhower administration.  President Eisenhower managed our nation with intelligence and promote actions for the well-being of the entire community.  Back then, when businesses prospered, so did the majority of Americans.  These days, greed overshadows the actions and inactions of our leaders and a significant number of hard-working citizens have become hardly-working Americans, suffering in this leader-imposed economic depression.
 
So, whatever happened to the GOP platform of less government interference into our lives?  Instead, every few years the Republican party tries to invade our lives with more government control in the form of what often appears to be oppressive and/or racist ballot proposals to change the Constitution.
 

As with previous Republican Primary propositions or ballot initiatives, the five propositions below are non-binding; they are designed to determine how the electorate feels on certain issues.  Overwhelming support for a proposition may lead to legislation being introduced in the future.  This year the GOP is trying to push 5 propositions that further dissolve or impede our inalienable rights.  In brief, they are:   

 
Proposition 1.    Each registered voter must present a photo ID to vote
 
Proposition 2.    GOP says we need to control government growth via additional budget restrictions
 
Proposition 3.    Stop government stimulus and instead cut Federal Income Taxes
 
Proposition 4.    The GOP wants to force all of us to acknowledge God at public events
 
Proposition 5.    The party wants to demand sonograms be shown to every woman who elects to have an abortion.
 
 
 
The propositions are NOT on the ballot of the Democrat Primary.
 
To read the propositions in entirety you may review them on the site of any county election office.  The link below is to the Hays County Election Office.  The propositions are cited at the end of the sample ballot.
 
 
The problem with all 5 propositions is that once again the GOP is looking to control the public in ways that currently are illegal according the Constitution of the United States of America and the Texas Constitution.

If they were not illegal, there would be no need for the GOP to push for these propositions.

In the U.S. each citizen has the right to determine his/her own lifestyle, religious worship (or not) and medical determinations.

Whether or not members of the GOP believe it or not, the government has no right to demand people to follow directives that do NOT concern government and which actually would impede the rights of all American citizens. 

Consequently, even though the propositions are not binding, voters should mark a big "No" on the GOP primary ballot for each one of the five propositions.  We need less government intervention, NOT more.

 ###


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Comments!  
1 - melissa   5 Feb 2010 @ 9:57:57 AM 

Prop 4 states that it would be "allowed" not "forced"   get it right!

 

 

Ballot Proposition 4: Public Acknowledgement of God
The use of the word "God", prayers, and the Ten Commandments should be allowed at public gatherings and public educational institutions, as well as be permitted on government buildings and property.


2 - pstern   5 Feb 2010 @ 11:00:04 AM 

Do I detect some hostility there, Melissa?


At a public event or public gathering "should be allowed" would force it upon those who do not want it.

I provided the link so people like you could determine the propositions for themselves. 

The Constitution already acknowledges that Government should NOT determine that religon or "overtures" to religion "should be allowed" at public events or gatherings.  Otherwise, the GOP would not have it as one of its propositions.


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3 - Walker   6 Feb 2010 @ 1:18:23 PM 

I had a Jehovah Witness lady that worked for me for several years and I have a dear friend that is a Mormon while I was raised in a Pentecostal church. Almost all of my bosses were Catholic. Without exception we respected the other person's religion. The religion of atheism, however, tolerates no other religion other than theirs. I don't think Melissa is the hostile one Mr. Stern, I think you are. Christians are taught from birth to play by the established rules of their religion and their government. Atheists are just the opposite. The only rules they want to play by are the ones they make up. No one, certainly not a Christian, is going to "force" you to do anything Mr. Stern. If a Christian in a predominately Christian crowd wants to bow their head during a prayer at a High School football game, you sure are not under any obligation to respect their religion by bowing your head. How this is anathema to you is beyond my humble intellect's ability to comprehend. If I were in a Muslim country I would respect their religion and bow my head but that doesn't mean you would have to. Of course they might remove your head but that's up to them. I disagree with President Obama, I think this is still a Christian nation. I think the response of the American Christian churches to the disaster in Haiti is a good example of our nation's Christian character of love and service. Of course you disagree as is your right but that doesn't mean you "are" right.



4 - Ladytex   6 Feb 2010 @ 10:06:01 PM 

The Constitution simply says the government will not mandate any religion.  It says nothing about separation of church and state nor does it say we cannot acknowledge God in public.  The majority of Americans believe in God and we should nor be silenced because a few choose not to believe in the Almighty.   



5 - Anonymous   7 Feb 2010 @ 9:51:08 AM 

Not only does it not say these will be put forward as legislation, the way you have written your spin on these propositions, which are intended to find out how the party member feel on these issues, shows your hostility toward people who differ from you.

I have just as much right to pray and acknoweldge God in public as you do to dislike it.  You don't have to agree with me, but the party has a right to know what its member hold important.  If you don't think there should be just as much right to elect to pray or recognize God in public as there should be to not do so (a choice may be the person who is leading the public activity), then perhaps you really don't believe in freedom as you try to persuade us that you do.



6 - pstern   7 Feb 2010 @ 12:04:38 PM 

It is great that so many of you have responded on this issue.  Please continue to do so.

Walker, I agree with you.  Never said otherwise.  I respect all religions including mine.  However, being able to bow your head at a baseball game already is your given right under the Constitution of the United States, so...

...why on God's good Earth do we need to add  such a law???

Perhaps you could enlighten me further?

 

Ladytex, I agree with you as well.  Believing in God and acknowledging in public is different from being led by public officials to do so at public events.  Perhaps you could respond to my question?

Lastly, Anonymous, you also provide honest responses that I agree with, but if the party, your party --- MY PARTY, also --- wants to know this information, why not send out a questionaire flyer or an online survey to its members instead of proposing it as part of a ballot, to be considered at a future date to become a law?

All of you seem to take a shot at me as though I have a problem with YOU praying in public, which I do not.  That's your right and my right as well.


I do however have a problem with someone asking people such questions on a ballot and also in lieu of becoming a specific law in our State Constitution. 

Heck, I've offered prayers in public myself but that's my own business and I don't need a specific law, political party or a public official at an event to "lead me" in prayer to do so.  It is NOT a public official's place or role to lead us in prayer or in a public display of religion, nor should it be.  It should be left up to each individual, as the Constitution already allows.

We have churches, mosques, synagogues, etc. so we may be LED into prayer, as we may want it.

 

I suggest you all think about what I am offering here.  I am not against religion or if an individual wants to pray in public.  That is NOT what I am saying.  NOT at all.  Those rights are already established.

Again, what I am saying about Prop. 4 is that we do NOT require such a law and I continue to question why it is so important for a poltical party to know your religious business as part of the party's business.

It is NONE of the Republican Party's business about our religious preferences nor that we should place religious overtures into the Constitution.  It is none of its business as it is none of its business who we will vote for.  Actually, it is a further intrusion of government into our lives.

Again, such a law is NOT required so why do it?

During the past decade the Republican Party platform has wavered in its sincerity and direction.  We as a party have drifted from the Party of Eisenhower, through the Party of Ronald Reagan and into the 21st Century as the Party of George W. Bush.  It is a direction that we should reconsider and question the actual goals and objectives of what I believe is a confused and misguided GOP.

I was proud to be a proud member of the GOP during the Eisenhower administration and today I am not so proud of my party.

Instead of focusing on silly and unnecessary questions, as these "propositions", the GOP should be asking some truly HARD questions to its members, e.g.,

  • Are you happy with the GOP and its platfom?
  • Are we promoting less or more government over our lives?  And why?  What do we hope to achieve?
  • What are the priorities of the GOP?  And do we need to change them?
  • What changes, if any, are needed re: campaign financing?
  • Do we believe in a Democracy and in Capitalism?  Or do we believe in Socialism and Tax-Payer Bail-Outs?
  • Should we consider specific term limitations of those in political offices?
  • ...and other questions like these.

These more worthwhile questions and others could be asked to make the GOP a stronger and more committed party, a party we could be more proud of and one with more realistic goals and objectives.

You don't have to agree.  If you do not agree, please respond futher to explain why the Propositions are needed and/or why you disagree with my comments on important changes for the GOP.

Thank you.


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7 - Walker   7 Feb 2010 @ 3:43:44 PM 

Mr. Stern: I applaud your lucid arguments. Why we need a law in Texas to be able to legally publicly acknowledge God is a disgrace that is shameful beyond words; but the fact is in 2010 our courts need to be told to leave the Christian people alone.  The Christian people didn't choose this fight. An athiest by the name of Madalyn Murray O'Hair from Austin, Texas started this fight in the courts and it resulted in the 1963 decree to ban organized prayer in the public schools. If you think that was a good decision based on the First Amendment to the Constitution, then I can see why you think no other laws should be passed regarding the exercise of religion. I think the court's decision based on the Constitution would be comical if I didn't know the results of their decision 47 years later. Viet Nam and the related drug culture of the 60's gets the majority of the blame for the decline of, shall we say, behavior of our citizens for the last 50 years. In my opinion, and it's not worth much, the Supreme Court decision in 1963 to basicly tell the Christians in America to shutup and join the real world where the mention of God is fine in profanity but otherwise no one really wants to hear it, has led us to where we are. If you think we are, as a nation, better spiritually now than we were in 1963 I disagree. This Ballot Proposition is one small step in acknowledging the importance of God in our lives and I apprecitate the effort.



8 - Chery Greenberg   7 Feb 2010 @ 5:19:08 PM 

I am a religious person, but I am not Christian.  When you speak of the right of Christian people to place the name of G-d everywhere, you are referring to the Christian G-d.  This nation is a melting pot.  We have the right of freedom of religion.  To me, placing G-d's name on billboards and praying to Him about something as trivial as a football game is blasphemy.  One of the Ten Commandments is that we not take His Name in vain.  Furthermore, when you promote one religion over another, you either cause those who are of another religion to turn away from religion altogether or make them more determined in their beliefs and more determined to repress other religions as theirs is being repressed.  Worship is an individual thing, not a public thing.  Are you not teaching your children about the religion of your choice?  Mine is so ingrained in my soul that I don't need public reminders to tell me to believe.



9 - Walker   7 Feb 2010 @ 7:43:06 PM 

Chery: I agree we are a "melting pot" of religions and colors and ideas and that is one of our strengths. "But" we need something tolerant  and moral coming out of that pot after it's been stirred up.  Hedonism has been given a good long shot and I don't really think the majority of Americans want to evolve into France. I think Christianity has been proven to be the best soup for all concerned.

What we have coming out of that melting pot  now is a confused, disgusting  mess. If you don't believe me watch some prime time television, check out the quality of our politicians, look at the statistics on broken families and abused children. We have to bring back some sanity and the best way to do that is to get back to the basics. Our Founding Fathers knew the importance of Christianity and its time to get back to what made America great in my opinion.

You refer to the Ten Commandments therefore I'm assuming you agree that our laws originated with God. To be honest I don't understand why Christians are so offensive to you. We shouldn't be if we believe and practice what Jesus taught. No Christian is going to deny you your freedom of religion.

Forgive me but just based on the one paragraph you wrote I would guess you aren't a very tolerant person. You want me to be tolerant of you but are you tolerant of me? To answer your question, I raised my children in the church my wife and I grew up in and now none of us attends that particular denomination. As adults they have every right to go to any church they want to. I don't have any more control over them, nor should I, than I have on you.

If you really believe Texas High School football is "trivial' there is not much hope for our reaching common ground. (Just kidding.)



10 - Darrall Wilson   7 Feb 2010 @ 11:10:13 PM 

You say you have a problem with the questions about religion showing up on the ballots. I would bet you do not have a problem with the question of two queers getting married showing up on the ballot.



11 - humanbeing   7 Feb 2010 @ 11:28:58 PM 

I agree completely with pstern about the problem with making new laws regarding religious expression and the political agenda that wants to use religion in some way to promote itself. I also think that C. Greenberg offers some good insight into this discussion. Personally, I think religion has become obsolete. I say this because I believe that when religion is practiced in ways that creates enmity instead of unity, it fails. I also believe that this need for people to believe that they are the only chosen ones comes from their own fear of others who are different. We are all God's people, aren''t we? Some of us excel at being in touch with our higher selves and some of us falter.

I believe in all religions and in no one religion. I believe it's all about the same thing.. Religion can lift one up to a higher level or it can be used for subversive purposes. History, both ancient and current, is riveted with examples. I also believe that an atheist, one who does not believe in a God, can live an ethical and sensitive life that creates good. I think the challenge before us now is the lesson of non-judgement. Buddha taught this and so did Christ. Do you think they might be on to something?


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12 - Tony H.   8 Feb 2010 @ 9:02:55 AM 
All of you have been discussing PROP 4 -- but I'm here wondering regarding the following:
 
Proposition 1.    Each registered voter must present a photo ID to vote
WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS ONE. WOULDN'T THAT CURB SOME PROBLEMS?
 
Proposition 2.    GOP says we need to control government growth via additional budget restrictions
WE NEED A LOT OF BUDGET RESTRICTIONS!
 
Proposition 3.    Stop government stimulus and instead cut Federal Income Taxes
STIMULUS IS LIBERAL; CUTTING TAXES IS CONSERVATIVE...
 
Proposition 4.    The GOP wants to force all of us to acknowledge God at public events
 
Proposition 5.    The party wants to demand sonograms be shown to every woman who elects to have an abortion.
WHETHER ONE THINKS PREGNANCY IS A BLESSING OR CURSE -- WHY SHOULDN'T YOU SEE THE "little baby" OR "the bad fetus" BEFORE a decision is made???
 
Additional to ponder:
 

"You cannot legislate the poor

into prosperity

by legislating the wealthy

out of prosperity.


“What one person receives

without working for,

another person must work for

without receiving.


“The government cannot

give to anybody anything

that the government does not first

take from somebody else.


“When half of the people

get the idea

that they do not have to work

because the other half

is going to take care of them,

and when the other half gets the idea

that it does no good to work

because somebody else

is going to get what they work for,

that my dear friend,

is the beginning of the end of any nation.

You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”


Adrian Rogers, 1931

 



13 - F.O. Bingo   8 Feb 2010 @ 9:23:15 AM 

This is a danger that many of us cannot see, that of the tyranny of the majority.  "A law to publicly acknowledge God in public"?

That privilage has never been abrogated.  What these Christians seem to want is the perform this acknowledgement ANYWHERE they darn well please, no matter what.  And they fail to appreciate the problem of GOVERNMENT support of their religion or belief.  Which sect or denomination do they wish the government to support with the tax dollars and which denomination or sect gets cut off?   Should the school district provide equipment to broadcast prayers at a football game? And which prayer to broadcast?

Nondenominational prayers?  Can we include Wiccan prayers?  Muslim, Sanctified Bretheran?  I'm not being silly.  Acknowledgement?  This is a can of worms best left unopened.

How do you feel knowing that your taxes support a belief you do not support?  If churches wish to drain my taxes to build  a 10 Commandments monument then the churches should be subject to regular property taxes and pay their fair share of the cost of belonging to the body politic.  I doubt if this will be met with applause. 

Acknowledgement is speech.  The Supreme Court has just reminded us again that  money is speech.  How much is this 'acknowledgement going to cost?  This is just another proposal for intrusion by the government by the 'small government' crowd.

They want small government, except when it comes to bedrooms, wiretaps and people or beliefs they don't like.  The reason for the Bill of Rights to protect those of us who have a different opinion against the tyranny of majority.  



14 - Joe Lovell   8 Feb 2010 @ 9:23:27 AM 

Your article is slanted at best.  The proposition would not, as you stated "Proposition 4.    The GOP wants to force all of us to acknowledge God at public events"

The purpose is to "ALLOW" God into public activities.  Please get the facts straight.



15 - pstern   8 Feb 2010 @ 10:16:55 AM 

With all due respect to Mr. Darrall Wilson, that comment is not worth responding to.  In addition, one issue has little to do with the other except it is more government interference into our lives.


I think it is almost humorous that historically God gave Moses (a Hebrew, or Jew) the 10 Commandments at a time when the Christian religion was non-existent and yet many Christians give the Jewish people "a tough time" and/or put down the Jewish religion.

We seem to forget that before Jesus had his Christian followers he was Jewish.  Like it or not, that is historically true.  He determined to break away from being Jewish to gain followers and originate Christianity.  In other words, Christianity emerged from the Jewish religion.

Mr. Walker's comment:

"I think Christianity has been proven to be the best soup for all concerned."

is disturbing because this is a religion that brought us (among other things) "Church imperialism" as with the Holy Roman Crusades that tried to spread Christianity throughout the world via hostile means and also the Spanish Inquisition that tortured thousands for obscure religious reasons.  Both of these facts show that Christianity was not always the gentle, kind and preaching tolerance type of religion that many Christians today assume.

That topic of Christianity is the best religion is an old time issue.  Mr. Walker and other Christians certainly have their opinion regarding Christianity being the best choice and it is their right to feel that way, but NOT to push the rest of us to believe that or to follow their lead in worship.  Not yet in this nation!

And yet, Texas Christians still are trying to do just that with their pushing for these propositions every few years.

I do agree with Mr. Walker when he conveys the current animalistic and self-indulgent menatality among Americans today.  I also agree that we have lost our way, so to speak.  It also has spilled over into our political arena.

Henry David Thoreau once stated, "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.", well, the quiet certainly has been removed in this day and age.  However, many people still appear to be desperate.

Today, we are being blasted from all sides by over-indulgence and hostility, from extreme sports to excessive sexual content and pharmaceutical products.  The game of politics also has become extreme and for the ultra wealthy.  Honestly, I don't like any of it, but it's not my call.  I have to live with all of it and somehow make my peace with it being all around me.

There is little tolerance of any sort within our current U.S. civilization.  It's not profoundly in religion or in most aspects of our daily living.  Just look at how people drive their vehicles.  They are angry and intolerant.  There is little respect for one another.  How often do we find an abrassive store employee when we need help or when paying for products at the cash register?  Hostility and intolerance is all around us.

I know Christians like to think their religion is the best one and that others should become part of their religion, but in truth, there are quite a few other and older religions that have well-suited millions of people for centuries before Christianity emerged.

Trust, tolerance, honesty and respect are the key ingredients of any successful nation or person.  Unfortunately, we seem to have entered some sort of ice age and on the path of extinction regarding these important human qualities.

As for atheism, it is not such a terrible thing not to believe in any religion if a person maintains and practices those human qualities expressed above, and if you disagree with this statement, then you are missing the human quality of tolerance.


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16 - Richard Combs   8 Feb 2010 @ 10:25:23 AM 

Why do we need to add such a law? To protect the many from the few who are willing to spend tons of money so they do not have to hear a prayer when they go to a football game. If you dislike it that much then don't go to the football game, listen to your Walkman, heck plug your ears with your fingers. Don't try to take away our right to pray because you don't want to pray. It is sad yes I agree that we need this law. But it is necessary because judges believe it it their right to take away the everyone's right to freely worship. Remember it says it is ALLOWED. Not required.



17 - ron borden   8 Feb 2010 @ 10:46:33 AM 

prop 4 does not force you to do any suchthing. see below, don't spread false statements.

 

Proposition #4: Public Acknowledgement of God

(Propuesta Electoral #4: Reconocimiento Público de Dios)

"The use of the word "God", prayers, and the Ten Commandments should be allowed at public gatherings and public educational institutions, as well as be permitted on government buildings and property." (El uso de la palabra "Dios", las oraciones, y los Diez Mandamientos deberían ser permitidos en reuniones públicas y dentro de Instituciones Públicas de Educación así como ser permitidos en edificios y terrenos gubernamentales.)

YES or NO (SI ó NO)

 

(Propuesta



18 - pstern   8 Feb 2010 @ 11:57:38 AM 

What some of you continue not to comprehend is that by "allowing" such a law, it forces the majority to abide by it.


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19 - pstern   8 Feb 2010 @ 12:23:26 PM 

What others do not seem to recognize is that all of these proposition encourages government to control more of our lives.

Many started to focus on Prop. 4, but all of the proposals are pushing concepts and actions that would force the entire Texas population to observe.

Prop. 1

Photo ID's are NOT going to do much to prevent Voter Fraud.  There is more voter fraud occurring via the issue of voter machine integrity and of those controlling the voter system.  In addition, big companies manufacturing these machines, e.g., Diebold, actually contribute huge campaign dollars to candidates.  Isn't THAT a conflict of interests?  And yet, there is no law protecting us from these more severe fraudulent issues.  A photo ID is not going to prevent much voter fraud.


Prop. 2

Why do we need a new law to get government to budget better?  Isn't that part of the job of all our elected and appointed officials?  They all need to do the jobs that they were hired and voted-in to do.  It would be better to establish term limitations so that officials have a quicker timeframe to do what they need to do.

Prop. 3

So now we need a law to stop stimulus dollars AFTER THE FACT that corporations already received massive amounts of our tax dollars?  Look at GM.  Not only did this greedy corporation received several bail-outs, the CEO and Board Members REFUSE to repay the tax dollars it received.  GM also had the nerve AFTER the bail-outs to close dealerships (which also repair vehicles) and add thousands of people to the huge number of unemployed.  But NOW we are supposed to approve a law?  I do not like such bail-outs, but we should have leaders that can control expenditures.  We should not completely cut that budgeting option from being used intelligently when / if needed at some future date.  Our leaders need to practice more intelligence and fiscal conservatism.

Prop. 4

We already discussed this one to death.  It's more government control over the lives of the majority.


Prop. 5

There is a bigger issue within this proposition that opposes unconditionally abortions.  For the most part I am against abortions, although I recognize times when an abortion may be needed.  There are births from rapes, child deformaties that remain critical for a life, but the bottom-line is that abortions should be left up to the mother and/or father, along with counseling and education for the parent(s) before making this critical decision.

 

Again, the main issue here is government intrusion.  We do NOT need more and more government intrusion into our lives.

Government can't even deal properly with political issues.  It can't deal properly with public education and other issues, or with health care problems.  Why do we think more government intervention in our lives will make our lives any better?


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20 - Walker   8 Feb 2010 @ 12:38:06 PM 

My argument I guess boils down to the fact that no nation can long survive that lives in a moral vacuum or maybe a better description would be the "law of the jungle." If you are the biggest, strongest animal you eat what you want and sleep where you please. This sure seems to be where we are headed. I think Christianity is the best solution for preventing America's moral slide into the abyss but if there is a kinder, gentler God to follow than Jesus Christ and a better road map to salvation than the Holy Scriptures, bring them on.

Let's get a little closer to home than the Holy Roman Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition. I've also read Foxe's Book of Martyrs. Christianity was at the root of the founding of the most powerful and prosperous nation the world has ever seen. I realize some of the Founding Father's were not Christians in the truest sense of the word but they were certainly believers in God. I don't think even Jefferson was an atheist. "Not yet in this nation" should be "Not again in this nation." You can't alter the past as much as you would like to, Mr. Stern.

No one can say it better than "Trust, tolerance, honesty and respect are the key ingredients of any successful nation or person." I couldn't agree with you more. I also agree with your last sentence. Even if Jefferson was an atheist, he was essential in our being able to argue exactly as we are today and there is nothing in this Democratic Republic more important than our freedom to disagree.

I have listened to countless sermons in my life time in various denominations and various states. I have never once heard anyone disparage the Jewish religion or people. To the contrary, sometimes I think American Christians are  blinded by their devotion to the Jewish peoples. Myself included.

I don't like the idea of having to have a Ballot Proposition on this subject either but it's one way to pass on to the Republican leadership that we are disgusted with the court rulings regarding public "acknowledgement" of God. Our courts are there to interpret the law not to make religious judgements. When those religious judgements are wrong, and anyone that can read the Constitution without bias knows they are wrong, and detrimental to the general welfare of the people of the United States it's time for the courts to be told to just do their job and let the people decide on how they "acknowledge" God.

 

 



21 - Frank Hildebrant   8 Feb 2010 @ 12:45:32 PM 

The problem is not with what is allowed, but the fact that all laws can be twisted, is the problem! You want no law that "allows" the things that you dissaprove of. This nation was built on the back so those who believed in God. But let's not be hasty!!!  It is unreasonable that a cross be desplayed on one's business to let the public be aware of the beliefs of this business person. I feel the very word you use to win the arguement is the very thing that has brought about such destructive acts, as butchering a "living" human by the reasoning, "It was not allowed to breathe" before the murder was commited!! Had there been an honest concern for the mother's life, you would have also tied her tubes so her life could not be endangered ever again... or would that be dictiating whether she could be put in danger later so you could "save her" again for a profit!! You claim the right to freedom of speech... do you also allow my freedom to make any comment I choose in regard to you and your family?? If I believe they are true, am I not free to use any words that allow me to express my opinion, no matter how crude??  A barrel of apples is a very good thing. until someone is allowed to place a rotten apple in the center of the barrel... I believe that the one thing that is lacking in our country, is the absense of responsiblity, integrity, and compasion. We live in a nation that no longer governs, but shapes it into the nation those in power desire. Do you have the courage to put all these items on the national ballot... so "we" the people may decide??



22 - pstern   8 Feb 2010 @ 12:59:52 PM 

By the way, why should anyone have to decide NOT to go to a football game or any other event because they don't want to pray or have to have others pray while they wait and watch?  It's a public game or event, NOT a religious one.


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23 - pstern   8 Feb 2010 @ 1:13:36 PM 

No, Mr. Hildebrand, I would NOT have tied her tubes and neither should the government.  These are decisions better left to the individuals along with health care professionals.  We can try to educate people, but there sometimes is a fine line between offering and demanding.

Surely, there must be a better way to move to a better life for all of us than for government to constantly gain more control over out lives.  When does it stop?

And why can't we take steps to improve in various areas WITHOUT always proposing laws for them?

Maybe I'm wrong.  Maybe there is no other alternative than for the "survival of the fittest" or for the best relgion to take over control?  Or, the wealthiest?

Maybe we all must bow to the realization to become the sheep of all the controllers over our existence --- or, maybe we are there already and just can't acknowledge the fact?

The GOP was NOT around during the days of Washington and Jefferson.  Neither were the Democrats.  To my mind, historical fact is that our forefathers may have been Christians, Jews and Atheists, among others, but the one fact that echoes for all is their distrust in government control.  They ALL wanted government to have as little control as possible.

We have deviated considerably from that purpose and all these types of propositions simply look to add more government control.

 


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24 - Walker   8 Feb 2010 @ 1:39:51 PM 

Mr. Stern: I find it peculiar that people that insist on tolerance in others refuse to be tolerant themselves. You would seriously not go to a High School football game because there might be a one or  two minute prayer by a student asking God to watch over the players? I don't find this to be any more intrusive than standing when a lady enters the room or taking off my hat when I enter a building. It isn't peculiar, it's downright mystifying.

Chery #8 - above thinks praying at something as trivial as a football game is "blasphemy." Good grief.

We are living in an entirely new world where what was once bad is now good and what was good is now bad. It's completely reversed in my life time. Back in the 60's I went to a basketball game where the visiting team was Oral Roberts University. When Oral Roberts walked into that packed gymnasium everyone on both sides stood up, with the game going on, and didn't sit down until he reached his seat. I'll bet a lot of those people didn't like Oral Roberts personally but they stood up in respect anyway. I liked that kind of America. I wonder what would happen in 2010 under similar circumstances? Have we "progressed?" Not in my opinion.



25 - pstern   8 Feb 2010 @ 2:19:51 PM 

Mr. Walker, I was responding to a comment made by Mr. Combs above. 

He stated:

"If you dislike it that much then don't go to the football game, listen to your Walkman, heck plug your ears with your fingers."

 

I personally have gone to many such event where there was prayer or moments of silence, etc.

Yet, at the same time Mr. Combs states:

"It is sad yes I agree that we need this law. But it is necessary because judges believe it it their right to take away the everyone's right to freely worship."


I disagree that "judges are taking away peoples' rights to freely worship".  I simply do NOT believe that is the case.  The Supreme Court has mostly GOP judges who believe in free speech and the right to practice religion.

 

The point I am making again and again is "Why do we need a law to do this???"

 

Creating such "religious" laws provides opens a gateway for more.  It provides government with the priviledge to create laws for every avenue of our existence.  We need to question each one and to fight against them.

I really do not see a need to propose Constitutional amendments EVERY year or 2 that provides government with more control of our daily living.

The topic I speak of is GOVERNMENT CONTROL, which also was a primary issue among our forefathers.

 


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26 - pstern   8 Feb 2010 @ 2:23:20 PM 

BTW, if a team or team member wants to pray to God, why can't they do so in the locker room as we all have done for many years.  Why does it have to be a public action????


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27 - Walker   8 Feb 2010 @ 2:28:15 PM 

One more thought on public acknowledgement of God and I will go away and leave you alone.

I have an intense dislike for Nancy Pelosi because I disagree with her vehemently about her politics "but" I would still stand up when she enters a room and show her respect because she is a lady and because of her office.

I also have an intense dislike for Jane Fonda for an entirely different reason. Pelosi does what she does out of I'm sure pure motives. Fonda on the other hand is a traitor to our country. Just because time has passed and she has repented, she is still a traitor and in my opinion deserves no respect. I would get up and walk out of any room she walks into.

My contention Mr. Stern is that you should treat Christians as I would Pelosi and not as I would Fonda. Our motives are pure. We love our country and our God. We should not be treated as traitors like Jane Fonda. You may disagree with us, like I do with Nancy Pelosi, but accept us for the issues we agree on and tolerate those we disagree on. We Christians should strive to do the same.

 



28 - pstern   8 Feb 2010 @ 3:49:41 PM 

Mr. Walker, I appreciate your ongoing comments as I'm sure others here do and you shouldn't feel like you should "go away".

I feel the same as you do re: Pelosi and Fonda.  I am a disabled Vietnam Veteran.  But I would give each of these women respect because I believe we should be respecfult to each other no matter what our differences are.

I agree with you not only with regard to Christians, but also to other religions.  Apparently, this blog rang a dischord in you and a few others re: Christianity and I meant no disrespect in its intentions.

However, again, the point of this total conversation is to view these 5 propositions, and all other past, current and future propositions, as an issue of government control, which is what this is.  It doesn' t matter if the proposition is for religion, photo ID's, or drinking beer on April Fool's Day. 

The more control we give to the government is less control we have over our daily lives.

And THAT's the point of this entire commentary.

 


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29 - humanbeing   8 Feb 2010 @ 4:29:13 PM 

I totally understand the points you are making, pstern, and appreciate your fortitude on this blog. Personally, I find all of these propositions to be quite offensive and frankly, stupid. We have REAL problems that require intelligent thinking from us and not just fear-based, gut reactions. You want to pray? Then pray. I do. We're clearly going to need it. I've just decided, as an independent, to vote in the Republican primary so I can vote 'NO' on all this hogwash.


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30 - salon   8 Feb 2010 @ 4:34:29 PM 

Have to chime in here. NOBODY prevents people from praying to God at football games, assemblies, in class etc (as long as people aren't disruptive). What people cannot do is have organized prayer because by definition that becomes exclusionary and forced.  See the courtcase from Santa Fe, Texas. I believe it is a matter of respect to consider that there are those who want, in any type of situation, to pray to their God AND a matter of respect to leave sponsored prayer out of secular settings.


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31 - pstern   8 Feb 2010 @ 5:31:41 PM 

Thanks, HB, and thanks Salon for "chiming in".

Last note from me, as also a comment to HB, re: all propositions...

Unfortunately, most propositions (90%) to change the State Constitution that make it on the ballot are approved by Texas Voters, at least the 4 to 8 percent of registered voters do.

I really do NOT comprehend this mentality.  If the Texas Constitution requires so many new amendments, then clearly it should be completely rewritten by the Texas Legislature.  But honestly, I do NOT trust the current legislators to do this "above board", honestly without special interest pandering.

It should be obvious to Texans, and I am sorry it appears not to be, that these "little steps" in changing or adding to the laws every year or 2 is a ploy to get special interest laws approved via the quickest and least objectionable methodology.

As far as I am concerned, doing this year after year should be prohibited via another proposition! 

Texans need to wise-up to elected officials playing this game before more of our rights disappear and government has the control it obviously wants so badly.

 


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32 - humanbeing   8 Feb 2010 @ 6:15:28 PM 

Let me add that when I go to vote, I find that the language of the proposed amendments to be so incomprehensible that I'm just not sure what I'm voting for. I consider myself to be a reasonably intelligent, educated and literal humanbeing. However, if I can't figue out what the language means, then what do the less educated voters make of it? I think these amendments are intentionally obscured to confuse the voter and I always walk out of the booth wondering if I did the right thing. I've learned however, when in doubt, vote 'NO'.


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33 - salon   8 Feb 2010 @ 7:51:23 PM 

HB-and the Trans Texas Corridor was a really good example of that. I voted for that amendment and had NO idea it was about taking land for a humongous foreign-leased toll road.


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34 - humanbeing   8 Feb 2010 @ 8:17:02 PM 

I voted for it, too, salon, and that's when I learned my lesson!!


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35 - TheMitch   8 Feb 2010 @ 11:24:28 PM 

Mr Stern,

         You have stated ""allowing" such a law, it forces the majority to abide by it." And the problem with this is what exactly? Having gone through numerous websites, I have made the most unbelievable discovery:The vast MAJORITY of people in these United States consider themselves to be CHRISTIAN of some denomination or another( to the tune of around 76.5% according to one website).The problem I see is that since Ms O'Hare and her crusade,the vast majority have been having to toe the line of the whims of the obvious minority.You make it sound as if 14.1% of the people would be dictating what the rest of us should do by having this proposition on the ballot (14.1% is the percentage of citizens who call themselves athiest,agnostic,humanist or just have no religious affiliation,by the way).The fact is this:For nearly FIFTY years the majority has been forced to do what the minority wants in this country in regards to prayer in schools and at school events and having the 10 commandments in government buildings and having nativity scenes on public property.Maybe this propositon is what the Silent Majority need to finally get them to stand up for what is truly right.How about this: let's put all the hot button issues(abortion,prayer in schools,"gay" marriage) on every states ballots and have the people vote on them,for or against? It won't happen.Why? Because the people who are proponents of these issues KNOW that they would be voted down in nearly every state.They  want the federal government to just make them laws so they can get what they want.By having the government just make it a law,that is truly more government involvment in our lives than when the people actually vote for something.   



36 - Mike in SATX   8 Feb 2010 @ 11:29:05 PM 

     Mr. Stern, please allow me to answer your questions concerning these issues:


     First, I fail to understand how requiring each citizen to show their identification infringes on their constituional rights.  In fact, I'm inclined to think it actually PROTECTS our rights, as the number of illegal immigrants (or undocumented workers/unregistered Demorats, as the left so affectionately calls them) increases at an alarming rate.  Requiring citizens to show ID simply ensures that ONLY legal citizens of this Country (and the great State of Texas) exercize the privilege of voting on the candidates, propositions, and other matters put before us to decide on.  As evidenced by the actions of many left-leaning "immigrant advocacy" groups (the ACLU, NCLR,  NILC, to name a few), the perceived "rights" of illegal immigrants have trumped the rights of the citizens of the United States.  As the numbers of illegals in our country and State increase, the left continues to push for "inclusion" of illegals for the votes (for Democrats) such inclusion would provide. 

     This was actually proven to be a falacy by none other than President Reagan himself.  After signing in to law the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, you would have thought the party of Reagan would enjoy the votes of those people he helped gain citizenship, since Reagan was responsible for the inclusion of some 4-5 million Mexican nationals who had illegally entered the United States.  Unfortunately for the Republican Party, this was far from the case.  True, George Bush won the 1980 Presidential election, but the Democrats began to pass legislation that granted certain "concessions" to illegals over the last 20 years.  Those concessions, along with a sustained push in the courts by the ACLU, NCLR, and NILC have amounted to an immense power grab by the left and a push for a second, even larger amnesty in order to gain the votes of persons who would otherwise be unable to exercise the privilege of voting.

     Concerning Proposition 2, you state that the GOP says we "need to control government growth via additional budget restrictions."  On the federal level, I haven't seen ANY budget restrictions since the Democratsgained control of Congress in 2008.  In fact, we've seen a quadrupling of the national deficit since President Obama took office one year ago.  So, if the State of Texas GOP says we should avoid following the same path our federal government is taking, perhaps we should take heed before the State of Texas falls in the same budgetary hole as the State of California.    In your infantile wisdom, you seem to have forgotten the first rule of holes:  When you realize you're in one, you should STOP DIGGING!!! Perhaps if the government would curb its own spending, the PEOPLE would not have to place Propsition 2 on the ballot in the first place.

     As to Propsition 3, have you learned NOTHING?  The government has proven time and again, since FDR's "New Deal", that government subsidy programs (or "stimulus packages", as the left calls them) do nothing except raise the taxes of hard-working Americans to pay for those who, in large part, have refused to become productive members of society, and spounge off the rest of us, courtesy of our government.  Cutting "stimulus" programs and cutting taxes go hand-in-hand.  If you cut one, you will be able to cut the other.  Besides, I remember reading nothing in the Constitution of either the United States or the great State of Texas that requires the government to fund "...life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."  This was never a guarantee in the Constitution, simply that citizens had the right to do so IF THEY CHOSE TO.  The concept of taxes was never intended to redistribute the wealth of individuals, whether in the form of "stimulus" or other subsidy, to anyone.  That's not the givernment's responsibility, it's the responsibility of the individual.

     In one of my favorites, Proposition 4, you state that the GOP want to force all of us to acknowledge GOD at all public events.  This is a long-time argument of the ACLU, American Humanists, American Aethists, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation.  As citizens of the United States, the Constitution guarantees us the freedom OF religion, not the freedom FROM it.  More specifically, The First Amendment prohibits the Congress from making laws "Respecing an establishment of religion", impeding the free exercise of religion, infringing on the freedom of speech, and infringing on the freedom of the press.  If an acknowledgement of GOD is favored by the majority of the people. why should those in the minority  be allowed to dictate what the rest of us do?  If you don't want to acknowledge GOD, DON'T.  But don't make the rest of us suffer the indignity of not being allowed to acknowledge ourGOD, whether we be Christians, Jews, Muslims , or any other faith that believes in the existence of a supreme being.  An acknowledgement is simply that, nothing more.  And the way this bill is worded, it will ALLOW, not FORCE, us to acknowledge GOD at public events.  Perhaps if GOD was allowed in to more of these events, our country would not be in the precarious position it is in today.


     Finally, you seem to be concerned with the possibility that women who become pregnant should be spared the trauma of being shown a sonogram before commiting themselves to an abortion.  What's the concern here?  Your 1950's-era train of thought alludes to your own fear that a woman might actually make an informed decision when provided with ALL the facts.  I believe that EVERY pregnant woman should be shown a sonogram...that of HER OWN baby...or as the left would call it, fetus, before she makes any decision regarding abortion.  And any doctor who would not show a mother her own sonogram should be removed from practicing medicine, as the Hypocratic Oath holds no meaning to them.  I also believe that alternatives to abortion should be provided to any woman considering such a drastic choice for her baby - there are literally tens of thousands of upstanding couples in the United States who have the financial means, the desire and the willingness to support a baby, but for purely physiological reasons, cannot conceive a baby on their own.  These families would be all too happy to adopt a baby from any woman who did not want to keep her baby.  For you that want to deny that information and that alternative from any woman is sexist, and prohibits a woman from making an informed decision on a subject that will affect her for the rest of her life, whichever way she chooses.

     Oh, these propositions are on the ballot because the PEOPLE see the need to limit the role of government in our daily lives.  If today's government wasn't the power-hungry, rights-limiting money pit of an abomination that it has become, interfering with our constitutional rights, the PEOPLE would not go to the trouble of putting these issues on the ballot at all.



37 - ARod   8 Feb 2010 @ 11:31:33 PM 

The point I am making again and again is "Why do we need a law to do this???"

Because Madalyn Murray O'Hair fought to remove prayer and we sat idle and she succeeded; its time we stand up and fight  back.  Now really, what is so wrong with praying at a football game?  Have you listened to the prayer?  It is only asking for God's blessing and protection upon all of us.  Who would not want that?  Ask those football players if they wouldn't want an extra shield of protection around their physical bodies.  What is so wrong and offensive about that?  I have yet to attend a football game in which we were all asked to sing praises to Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha or the Virgin Mary!!  None of those prayers ever encouraged me to worship one over the other nor did it force me to feel spiritually bound to or acknowledge any one religion or any one God.  I have many Muslim friends who use "God" in every part of their conversation and I assure you the God they refer to is NOT the same God I acknowledge, but I am not the least bit offended by this because I know which God I acknowledge and that's the only thing that matters to me.  I've attended Catholic weddings and funerals and when they pray to the Virgin Mary, I don't get offended by that because I chose to pray to Jesus and respect them when they acknowledge the Virgin Mary.  Do you applaud when everyone applauds?  I often don't.  Do you stand up and properly recite the Pledge of Allegiance?  I sometimes don't.  Do you always pray when everyone supposedly "bow their heads to pray?"  I sometimes don't.  So if you don't want to pray, don't.  If you don't want to acknowledge God, don't but for goodness sake, don't take that away from the rest of us that would like an extra blessing, an extra bit of protection!  Honestly, I don't understand what is so offensive about asking for protection and blessings?!  Blow hot air over other issues like human trafficking, political corruption, moral decline, terrorist blowing up planes and buildings!  (At this pace, this country is going to push God so far out of the picture that when things go way sour we'll want him back and then have the nerve to ask, "where was God when .....?"  I'll tell you where He was, no where near the group of God haters this country has become!  Lord have mercy!)



38 - R.Hand   9 Feb 2010 @ 12:15:01 AM 

I do not agree with Mr. Stern in regards to the "use" of these propostions on the upcoming ballot.  These are really questions in regards to how the voters feel on the five matters that are mentioned and not "changes" to the constitution.   I don't happen to agree with number 5  for example but I do basically agree with the idea behind the other four.   I think Stern has his summation of number 4 wrong as this is not dictating religion to all the public.  When this country was built we have had God as part of the "foundation" .  We have had God mentioned on our buildings, on our money, and on other things from the very beginning.  Nobody has said that you have to believe in God to enter those buildings nor spend this countrys money but our liberal nuts in washington have chosen to listen to individuals or small groups who want such references to God eliminated to suit their particular minority  view.  Why should these folks even be acknowledged other than their freedom of speech on such matters?  Doing so would actually be "changing" things whereas leaving things as they are would be considered doing business as usual. The protestors are not being forced to pray and if having "in God we trust" on the money is truly a problem for them then I am sure they could find someone who would gladly take it off their hands.

The most distrubing thing about all of these propositions is that our current politicians seem to think that they need to gleen this information from the American voters.  This would seem to indicate a definite lack of personal "character" on the part of our current politicians because IF the current politicians do not already KNOW the correct answer to these "propositions"  then I would maintain that is part of our current problem.   It is common sense that our voting system should be kept as accurate as possible.  It is also common sense that our government should do their best to run the country or the state without spending more than is taken in.. If we don't have a law that prohibits our politicians from going on a spending spree, then we should.   I happen to think it also makes since to not allow some nuts to try and change the history of our country by demanding the removal of symbols, signs, or statues because it doesn't fit THEIR particular liking.  These things are basicly who we are, what we are, and how we got here.  It's not up for discussion because some fringe minority happens to want to make a federal case.     All too often we see our political people spend way to much time creating legislation  rather than making sure legislation gets enforced..  It's a bit like having a doctor prescribe a pill for you to fix a symptom you have which is being caused by another medication you are taking..    sometimes less....is more

 

 

 



39 - humanbeing   9 Feb 2010 @ 6:53:31 PM 

Well, so much for common sense discussion. As long as we remain in the 'us and them' or the 'liberal and conservative' or the 'christian and the Others' mentality, we will continue to get nowhere. What amazes me is how few on this blog are willing to admit the disaster created by their party, post 9/11, in particular. I'm totally disgusted with our government's gridlock, both the D's and the R;s. But the R's have been in power for all but 13 out of the last 41 years and they have certainly made their contribution to this mess. You want to reign in costs? What about Iraq and Afghanistan? What have we accomplished there? What right did we have to go there and destroy? Has this been an intelligent use of our resources? It's a real luxury for those Americans who have not been paying attention all these years to suddenly lay the blame for all this on our current President. This is just more delusion.


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40 - pstern   9 Feb 2010 @ 8:47:57 PM 

Yep, HB, there goes the neighborhood.     But, you can't expect too much from our fellow Texans because --- as I previously mentioned --- approximately 90% of propositions on ballots get approved by a mere 4 to 6% of the total number of registered Texas voters.

So, what can we do????  Just rhetorical, no need ot respond.

The Republicans and Democrats together initiated the wars in the Middle East (Iraq, Afghanistan) under the double Bush administrations and now Obama, instead of cutting our costs over there, is continuing an ever-lasting Afghan assault.

It's reminiscent in a way of German and Italian forces during WWII plunging headfirst into Russia, into Siberia and freezing their Nazi logos and collective butts due to the harsh sub-zero rugged terrain, just wasting lives and money in a no-win situation.  In many ways, we're doing the same thing in the Middle East.

Look at the sheer waste of taxpayer dollars versus the enormous profits being made by U.S. approved contractor services.

AND THEN... the government promises jobs, but does NOT keep that promise and then based on obscure and absurd statistics disallows a cost of living adjustment (COLA) for all those on Social Security, Disability and Veterans benefits.

Objectively, what is going to happen to the middle class in the U.S.?  The middle class once held the largest number of American citizens.

Outsourcing is killing average Americans, along with lax immigration laws that continue to permit employers to hire legal and illegal immigrants at a fraction of the cost of hiring American citizens.

In short, we are a mess as a nation.

We remain at the mercy of greedy, powerful and disrespectful leaders.  The group in Washington, DC is a Legislative Mob.  They are viciously pillaging American citizens and are destroying our once-great nation.  We are out of control.

I really do not think that we can return to some semblance of normality.  Look at our TV programs and how we drive.  Look at our impatience and disregard for one another.  Look at al the political and corporate games that enable a Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi to gain such power and control over our lives.

I'm sorry to rant here, but where the hell did we go?  Where is our self-respect and respect for all of our American virtues and priorities?  Reality shows are causing us to lose sight of our reality!

I wish we could get rid of the 2-Party system.  It is killing the U.S.

In closing, I believe that the Texas GOP AND the National GOP need to rethink more intelligently a new platform and direction, to climb out from the self-made muck that is consuming and defeating the Party's success and survival.
 
We are scraping the barrel out for candidates who never should be considered for the offices they run for.  We need to find higher quality candidates.
 
I also believe that the 2-party system is failing most Americans and our economic well-being.
 
I further believe we need to get rid of all parties and simply vote for the BEST person for each position.
 
We need to limit significantly or eliminate excessive campaign contributions so that wealthy lobbyists, corporations and/or individuals can NOT purchase the best government money can buy.
 
Then, we need term limitations.  Any elected official gets 2 terms max!  After 2 terms THEY ARE GONE!  Like crop rotation.  Call it my LIP --- Legislator Incentive Plan!!!
 
Think about it.  All these suggestions will ensure that we can a continuous flow of fresh, honest and ambitious slew of elected officials who will NOT be bought and who will perform their duties in the best interests of the community they serve within a 2-term limit!
 
Those are MY propositions!

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41 - Fully Aware   10 Feb 2010 @ 10:16:40 AM 

As usual the atheists philosophical is to use the "Casper the Ghost" debate tactic. When they want to end the long held practice of acknowledging a Higher Authority by your fellow citizens around them, they "appear" as the victim who is forced to witness the expression and urge legal action to end it (don't lie and say the assaults on public expressions of faith are not being challenged) and then when there is a backlash to preserve our heritage, the obvious hostile assaults suddenly "disappear" and they portray themselves (again as the victim) that there is not justification to any attempt in defending our public freedom of faith. There is NO evidence of ANYONE EVER being force to bow their head in a public prayer...just because you "feel" ashamed doesn't mean you force the world to accommodate your atheistic indoctrination.

The Founding Fathers deemed it necessary to put in the FIRST Amendment to the Constitution; "CONGRESS (not the independent States) shall make no laws respecting an establishment of (National) religion (as Europe had) or PROHIBITING the free exercise thereof". The Founding Fathers found it necessary to place a protective barrier around the Faith of the people and the fallen nature of mankind through government...NOT as the atheist's have turned the tables and feigned victimhood, saying that the Faith of the people is dangerous to government. I'm sure, just as the criminally minded initially had to kill their conscience, those enslaved to the whims of the fallen nature want to silence the conscience of our collective society's mind...which is a major affect the religion has on the fallen world. There ARE NO VALUE NEUTRAL arenas of society...we don't have to teach children to lie, there is already a bent toward accommodating selfish fleshly desires! Historically, the end consequence of this degenerating trend is that there is no sense of responsibility to anything higher than one's self and rampant relativism descends into a "rat-race feeding frenzy". Our higher education system has become infiltrated with a hostile atheistic belief system that will "allow no other gods before it (the god of Self Determinism, i.e., self godhood that is)"! This is at the heart of the Globalist Utopianism that is invading the world that was initiated by the French Revolution into Europe and has created multiple dictators in collectivism. In contrast, the American Revolution began the successful experiment with a respectful co-existence with Faith that help tempter the affects of fallen human natures in Capitalism, which has elevated the condition of the world for many years. Just remember, Godless Capitalism is no better that godless socialism.



42 - Interested and Amused   10 Feb 2010 @ 1:01:00 PM 

Mr Stern, interesting your comments, I guess you are a Reform Jew for the way you are talking, and the phenotype of your last name, connected to one of the largest diamond Traders in the World.

Yes we are proud Judeo-Christians, and yes we are a majority, as far as a Tyranny, I wouldn't go there, becuase if the majority is a tyranny, forcing this majority to live by a minority rule, that is call Dictatorship, bis a bis, Allende, Franco, Chavez, Castro, Hitler, Stalin and the list goes on and on, which is what Americans desperately left behind when they came here.

As you can see, I include dictators of all flavors and colors, is not important what they think, but that you force a Nation to follow a minority. rule.

It is clear here, what the majority is going to vote for, and that has some upset, maybe, if I don't like meat, I don't go to Steak House, or if I decide in my infinite freedom to go, I order salad or fish. I don't go in and try to close the place or change their menu.

We in Texas are majority Judeo Christians and we want to keep it that way. All others are welcome to stay, but do not force us to change our menu. That is what these propositions are, is our house, and we like it and want to keep it that way. There are plenty of other houses where they will abide by other rules, is a simple statement, we are Judeo Christians, and we want to keep it that way.



43 - salon   10 Feb 2010 @ 2:12:06 PM 

@Interested and Amused. You must be kidding. What an arrogant comment. What do you not get about how NOBODY is preventing you from praying where you want when you want (unless you're doing it out loud and being otherwise disruptive during a meeting). When you go to your church, nobody is breaking down the doors to prevent you from worshipping according to the dictates of your own conscience. What you cannot do, and guess what, the Supreme Court says so, regardless of what you'd like to see passed in Texas, says that government cannot establish religion. Luckily our government DOES uphold the rights of whoever's religion or not to be able to worship or not as he or she pleases. Sometimes I think some of the more fringy religions WANT to feel persecuted, but I think it's ridiculous. What you cannot do is lead a sectarian prayer that is exclusive to one God. Of course I'm sure you don't give a hoot about others who are Jewish, Mormon, Muslim, etc because you're the Bully on the Block-I hope you know that the Persecuted Bully Act doesn't fool a lot of people and is highly unattractive.


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44 - humanbeing   10 Feb 2010 @ 2:56:23 PM 

You may see yourself as a good Christian, Interested and Amused, but you sure don't sound like one to me. Gosh, pstern, do you think they'll let me stay, too?


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45 - humanbeing   10 Feb 2010 @ 3:32:59 PM 

Also, pstern, your closing summation above, is excellent and exactly what I wish all Americans would strive for..


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46 - interested and amused   10 Feb 2010 @ 4:01:18 PM 

Well I guess I touched some peoples anguishes.

In no part am I saying who can stay and who should go is it not for me to force anyone, , I am just saying a majority here wants something, or so we shall find,  and if the majority wants , Vox Populi, Vox Dei, then it should be taken into consideration.

Also, Judeo Christian God, is the only all inclusive God, for all of us who believe in Him, we know it is all inclusive, He wants all people to come and kow Him, no matter how separated they are from Him.What is the first thing that comes to mind when in ultimate peril? It is definitley not Oh Mother Earth, save me, but that is another whole issue.

Judeo Crhristian, is all inclusive because it derives from Abraham, which includes Ishmael, forefather of the Muslim world, Judeo explains itself, and Mormons are Christians as well. So I do not understand this argument. Is only one God.

Yes we want to be able to pray anywhere, just like other groups are allowed to have their Carnivals, parades ect. we want to be able to freely express ourselves, not only confined in our Churches, or following this argument, the Carnivals, Parades ect then should also be confined to secluded places, not open streets? The argument goes both ways.

We do not feel persecuted or anything like that, we know who we are, and finally we are starting to use the same tactics that have been used against us for years, and when you are on the receiving end, it defnitely doesn't sound appealing.

We only want to level the field, based on the numbers, again, Vox Populi, Vox Dei, what if we are surprised and we loose, we will accept it like we have accepted all the otehr decisions, and pick up where we are and go on with our journeys. We just want to see if we win, that other people take it the same way.

 



47 - salon   10 Feb 2010 @ 4:32:24 PM 

Interested and Amused-You completely miss my point. You CAN pray anywhere. WHERE have you personally been stopped from praying? You can pray in an open street at Mardi Gras, you can go hold up a religious banner at a football game, your child can pray before a test or a lunch or anytime he or she isn't paying attention to the teacher. Tell me, please, who is stopping you from doing this?

What you cannot do, except in your church, is impose your religion on a group of people, for example, through group led prayer. You may wish you could. But the Supreme Court has already ruled on this, and you can bet that if Texas Republicans can somehow get that prop passed, there are lawsuits waiting to happen. Now THAT amuses me how completely fiscally irresponsible that would be.

Let me put it another way. I don't want to go to a school board meeting and have someone from the Muslim religion leading a prayer. The local school board says "Let's bow our heads and pray". I don't believe in the Muslim religion and I would find it more than intrusive, even though by the standard in the prop above, nobody is FORCING this on me. Why, though, should I have to subject myself to religious prayers I don't agree with? Particularly when a government entity is NOT A CHURCH. It is a secular place for secular government business to get done. The people who follow the Islamic faith can still pray. NO ONE STOPS THEM. But they need to butt out of leading prayer. And the same goes for Christians of whatever sect, or Jews, or Mormons.

Again, where have you personally been stopped from saying a prayer and under what circumstance? Not a group of you. YOU.


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48 - Walker   10 Feb 2010 @ 4:32:46 PM 

pstern: I also liked your closing argument. George Washington would  agree with us. He said: "They (political parties) serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation, the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community."  Smart guy wasn't he?

The time for term limits has come. FDR abused the lack of federally mandated term limits but I'm not going to complain too much since he gave us Harry Truman. Why they didn't include term limits for Congressmen in Amendment 22 is beyond me. Oh yeah, the Congressmen would be limiting their own time in office. That won't work.

Any country that would elect Al Franken as a U.S. Senator or to continue to put back into office a senile Robert Byrd has in fact reached the "bottom of the barrel." I hate to say this but the last five candidates for President leave a lot to be desired as well. I honestly think this will change in the next election.

I would liken your solicitation of comments regarding these 5 propositions to the propositions themselves. These are our opinions and only our opinions. The voters will offer their "opinions" on election day and they will perhaps be completely ignored regardless of how the vote comes out. I think you referred to doing a survey. Well that is what the Republican Party right or wrong is doing.

I will definitely vote against #2 because I'm not smart enough to figure out what I am voting for. Maybe I will vote against #5 and I will vote yes on the other 3 propositions. I appreciate being asked what I think both by you and the Republican Party.

We don't need any more "stinkin laws" but unfortunately a lot of the characters in our courts think they are supposed to make social policy instead of interpreting the laws. We have to have more laws to protect us from the judges and lawyers than we do from each other.

 



49 - pstern   10 Feb 2010 @ 5:33:36 PM 

Dear Mr. "Interested and Amused",

 

Stern is German for "heavenly star".  If you would remove yourself from your bias nature, you would know that.

FYI, I also am not related to Howard Stern, the "shock jock", even though we share a last name.

I suppose from your other comment: 

"I guess you are a Reform Jew for the way you are talking"

How do reform Jews "talk"?  Do you know that many?

Are you so "accusing" me because of intelligent, reality-based and factual commentary????  Do only Reform Jews speak that way? 

All I get from your communication is that you are pretty filled with yourself for some unknown reason and apparently you are a bigot.

I sure hope I am wrong.  Maybe you could better inform us?


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50 - humanbeing   10 Feb 2010 @ 8:16:58 PM 

It's disheartening for me to see the direction this thread has taken. This is not the America we used to have, a country founded on diversity. I just saw a portion of a PBS show, Faces of America, with Henry Gates, Jr. One of the most poignant parts was an examination of the geneology of the family of Kristi Yamaguchi, the skater who brought the gold back home to us. Her grandfather, whose family was incarcerated in the American desert during WW II and labeled enemies of the United States, was decorated for his service in the Army, the only Asian in his battalion, and written up in the New York Times for his commendation. He was described by his commander as the finest solder in his unit. Here was a man who carried the true spirit of our country. Will we?


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51 - Interested and Amused   11 Feb 2010 @ 9:30:59 AM 

As the Great Demostenes said:  Violence take over when reason fails. Using names like bigot, or other similar finally tells me, you do not have real argument so you turn to verbal abuse, interesting.

As for conceded:

I am a Reform Jew because I am Intelligent. Please remove the branch on your eye before you take the splint from mine.

 Stern : is german for Heavenly Star, and is a Jewish name, Howard Stern, is a declared Jew, and so B J Stern founder of the Diamond trader. As you recall Jewish names correspond to where families or deeds come from or happen to.  

I definitely do not get your argument of how do Reform Jews talk, they have the heritage, but are open to laws different form the 365 coomandments they have on top of the ten given to Moses. But maybe you are right and I am wrong, just coincidence, isn't it how neo scientists define how our world came to be?

Einstein, and he was Jew, declared how can anyone who sees the world deny the existence of a Supreme Creator, as science always brought him closer to God. But again, maybe Einstein was wrong also

And yes, I am proud of the diversity of friends I have, Muslims, Jewish, Mormons, and believe or not, Atheists with whom we do have interesting conversations, and none of them are opposed to having religiuos monuments in public places, here or in any other part of the world. 

I guess, you all are right, this has just showed what Hayden wrote, we in America are a melting pot of substances that never blend. We are a big nation of hundreds of groups, and when the largest group tries to organize itself, it is accised of selfishness, and even thrown into the Hades because we are non tolerant, but we do have to allow every other one to feed us their believes.

Is sad, and to answer your question, yes, we are denied prayer every time they try to remove from our Constituion: One Nation Under God, we are denied the right to pray every tme they try to change the Pledge of allegiance

These are documents that have been the backbone for this country, and are now being exhibit as flaming torches that will bring down our country.

Yes is sad, when people came knowing who we were and why we came here to be able to pray and practive our Religion freedom, just to now see the guests trying to tear it apart. That is what we in Texas are trying, and yes we know there will be lawsuits, but we are rerady this time, we will fight back. We want our guests to understand, they are welcomed, but it is still our house. We want all to be part, but please do not force us to throw away our menu, we are still a Red Meat and Believers State. 

 

   



52 - salon   11 Feb 2010 @ 10:13:24 AM 

@Interested... I note that you do not answer my particular question with any personal examples, so I conclude that no one has stopped you on a personal level from exercising your freedom of religion.

I believe you may not be informed about the "One Nation Under God" phrase. It's not in the Constitution.  And speaking of the Pledge of Allegiance being changed-it was changed in 1954  during the McCarthy era to ADD the words "One Nation Under God"-wasn't there originally.

Hey, I'm in Texas too, I"m not a *guest* and I don't agree with you. It's my house, too.


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53 - humanbeing   11 Feb 2010 @ 11:11:28 AM 

I found this in the Oxford American Dictionary:

THE RIGHT WORD
An enthusiast displays an intense and eager interest in something (: a sky-diving enthusiast).
A fanatic is not only intense and eager but possibly irrational in his or her enthusiasm; fanatic suggests extreme devotion and a willingness to go to any length to maintain or carry out one's beliefs (: a fly-fishing fanatic who hired a helicopter to reach his favorite stream).
A zealot exhibits not only extreme devotion but vehement activity in support of a cause or goal (: a feminist zealot who spent most of her time campaigning for women's rights).
An extremist is a supporter of extreme doctrines or practices, particularly in a political context (: a paramilitary extremist who anticipated the overthrow of the government).
But it is the bigot who causes the most trouble, exhibiting obstinate and often blind devotion to his or her beliefs and opinions. In contrast to fanatic and zealot, the term bigot implies intolerance and contempt for those who do not agree (: a bigot who could not accept his daughter's decision to marry outside her religion).


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54 - pstern   11 Feb 2010 @ 11:15:00 AM 

In response,"Interested", I quote the ancient (Greek) poet and philosopher Pindar, who stated:

"Life is one long struggle in the dark."

Seems like it is being proven on this blog.

You really can't seem to hear what I and a few others are trying to convey and they are not necessarily the same thoughts or comments.  I wasn't "name calling" you a bigot, you just seem to be one based on some of your comments and ideas. 

What does it matter if a person is a Jew, Christian, Hindu or Atheist, etc., or whether a person is a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or Independent.  Somehow, we all have to live together.

My own quote is "Too many people, too many rules."

It's obvious you are set in the pattern of your existence and that you truly believe you speak for most Texans.  Maybe you do speak for most Texans.  Maybe you do.  If so, it is a sad commentary on all of us.


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55 - Interested and Amused   11 Feb 2010 @ 12:48:57 PM 

I guess as everything this has come to wait and see, maybe you all are rtight and I am wrong and the polls will prove it, and as I said at the beginning of all of this, if we loose, as we have in the past, we have accepted it and move on, but if we win, can we expect the same from those with opposite views? That is the real test for intellect.

Bigot is such a complicated word, and I have never, and please read carefully, have refer or implied anything in a demeaning way, as I can't say of your comments.

Any time, yu are told not to say something, means that you are prohibited. So every time, when we want to start a game and we are not allowed not display our religious belives because it is not a Religious place, we are prohibited, if we want to start with a a preayer a game, we are not being obtrusive, we respect your gathering please respect ours, that is all we are asking.

 

And to finish this, Darkness is the absence of light as Coldness is the absence of heat. So if Life is a struggle in the Dark, paraphrasing, is sad that a life has to be spent without the light.

Is too much, and let's wait to see the results of the polls, and let's all in a civilized way accept them, then we will now who holds the majority



56 - interested and amused   11 Feb 2010 @ 12:58:24 PM 

If Darkness is the absence of light, and coldness the absence of Energy, it must be sad to live a life with the light.

 

TO end all this discussions, which are getting heated, and by the way, if you review all my comments I nver refereed to anyone ina demeaning way or insulting, so the term Bigot, again, interesting and amusing

 

What I said all the time, we have lost in the past, picked up our pieces and move on, let's wait and see the reults of the polls, and if we win, which I do hope, can we expect the same from our opposition? Will they accept the Vox Populi Vox Dei as we did in the past? As you said, Too many people too many rules, we need to see what the majority wants, and then whoever is in the loosing side, graciously accept it.



57 - Ann   11 Feb 2010 @ 7:28:13 PM 

I would say that I agree that the government has had far too much control and we should not give them anymore. However, as far a prop 4 goes, as many here have mentioned  states for use of  prayer and the word God to be allowed in public, not forced. No one can be forced to take part in a prayer if they choose not to. And no right has been taken away from them. But when I am told that I can not pray or talk about God in a public venue because it "offends" someone else what happens to my rights? They have a choice to listen or not to listen. When I'm told that I can't then my choice and right by our constitution is taken away. 

No one is telling them they don't have to right not to take part in the prayer or discussion on God.  No one is telling them they have to listen. So if it takes prop 4 to allow me to be able to acknowledge my GOD in public or anywhere else then so be it. I don't understand why atheist or any other religion would be bothered by it anyway if they are secure with their And as for you comment referencing that Christian's believed their religions to be

All religions believe that their is the one and only and that theirs is the best not just Christians. And I don't think there is a Christian anywhere that doesn't know or has forgotten that Jesus was Jewish. The question was asked by Salon as to where someone was not allowed to pray because apparently this individual is not aware that there are places where we are not allowed to carry a bible or say a prayer before eating a meal.  Children are not allowed, yes I said allowed to carry a bible on school property and they are punished if they are caught saying prayer. So contrary to Salon's thought yes we as Christians are restricted on where and when we can pray or talk about God in public.

As for Prop 1 - While it may or may not end voter fraud, it would at least cut down on the number of voters who do not have the right to vote and should not have say in what is happening in this country.

Prop 3 - I never agreed with the stimulus anyway. I can't understand how the government would think putting $40 (of our own money) a month back in our pockets would stimulate the economy in anyway.

Prop 5 - While I don't agree with abortion, I do believe that there are circumstances where it might be necessary. And it should be a mothers choice because it's her body.  I don't believe that requiring a sonogram to be viewed would be wrong or a bad thing. There are too many instances where abortion is used as a birth control method. If there were sonograms shown then maybe some of the babies that were and are destroyed daily would be brought into this world and be given to people who want children and can't have them. And if they saw what they were destroying then maybe they would think twice about using protection the next time.

 

 



58 - salon   12 Feb 2010 @ 8:35:42 AM 

@Ann-Your argument is specious. I'll ask you the same thing I asked Interested. What example do you have personally where someone has kept you from exercising your free speech or prevented you from praying? The ambiguous *we* doesn't cut it.

You said you knew of examples of places where you cannot carry a Bible or say a prayer before eating? When and where did that happen to you? Did you file a lawsuit? What was the case number of the lawsuit? Was it your child that was prevented from carrying a Bible onto school property? Again, did you file a lawsuit? If you didn't, you should have. If they are examples that you think you know about, please cite what they are, instead of just making a general claim. I'm sure you know there is a difference between personal Bible reading and praying.

Here's what *I* can cite about school prayer or praying in public or carrying your Bible anywhere you dang well please. From Reilgious Tolerance

School religious speech: Students can carry Bible or other religious texts to and in school. They can pray before eating. A student can pray on the school bus, in the cafeteria, in classrooms before and after class, in the corridors, in the washrooms, etc. They can wear T-shirts with religious text. They can wear religious jewelry (buttons, symbols). They can hand out religious materials. They can freely talk about religion to fellow students, outside of class. They can pray before eating in the cafeteria. These are well-known freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Yet not everyone is aware of these forms of protected speech.

Yup. Apparently not.

Here's an example of a school that wrongly prevented a Laurel, VA girl from reading her Bible in class.

While reading this, I was reminded that schools in Texas are members of TASB-so I looked up prayer on the Glen Rose ISD site, search term prayer.

A public school student has an absolute right to individually, voluntarily,
and silently pray or meditate in school in a manner that does
not disrupt the instructional or other activities of the school. A student
shall not be required, encouraged, or coerced to engage in or
refrain from such prayer or meditation during any school activity.
Education Code 25.901

Nothing in the Constitution as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme
Court prohibits any public school student from voluntarily praying at
any time before, during, or after the school day. But the religious liberty protected by the Constitution is abridged when the District
affirmatively sponsors the particular religious practice of prayer.
The District shall not adopt a policy that establishes an improper
majoritarian election on religion and has the purpose and creates
the perception of encouraging the delivery of prayer at a series of
important school events.
Santa Fe Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Doe, 530 U.S. 290 (2000) (addressing
school-sponsored, student-led prayer delivered over the public
address system at high school football games) [For invocations
and benedictions at commencement, see FMH]

Get that? Now let me ask you again. WHERE has your child been prevented from praying and did YOU go to the school board and fight it? Or are you, again, just telling some general anecdotal tales, sort of like *this happened to a friend of a friend* urban fairy tales?  I suggest that, in Texas, if you know of someone violating board policy, you speak up and take action.

What you and some of the others really seem to be saying isn't about private prayer or Bible reading or being able to express yourself in the public square (which you certainly can do-I've seen plenty of preachers with tracts on street corners and in public parks) but that you want to be able to prosletyze and have directed or led prayer in which others, if not forced to participate, certainly could not avoid. You can't do that.

I have a friend who told me recently that if a Muslim stood up in the class and led a prayer, she would move to another country. I think that's pretty extreme. But her point was that, even if she didn't participate herself, she didn't want to be subjected to another religous view or prayer that she so strongly disagreed with. I think asked her if she would have a problem with that same Muslim praying quietly at his or her desk and not disrupting the classrom. No. She didn't. (Even Jesus, as you know, said that people should go into their private rooms and pray).

So. How about enough of the urban legend stories and stick with the facts? And realize that just because you might, in your religious life through your church, want to go out and prosletyze to the world, there are lots of different people here, with lots of different beliefs, who have the right NOT to have to be subjected to your beliefs in a controlled public setting.


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59 - Drakolan   12 Feb 2010 @ 10:51:30 AM 
To the socialist imbecile that wrote this article.
 
Proposition 1.    Each registered voter must present a photo ID to vote
 
How is this unconstitutional?  You have to be a citizen of the United States to vote, and photo identification is proof of said citizenship.  Also, let's get something straight, voting is a Priveledge, not a right.
 
Proposition 2.    GOP says we need to control government growth via additional budget restrictions

Dang skippy we do, the size of the government is way out of control and has been for decades.  It's about time we did something active to bring it back down to a manageable size.
 
Proposition 3.    Stop government stimulus and instead cut Federal Income Taxes

Again, perfectly logical.  Cutting income tax across the board gives everybody an equal share of the pie, instead of "too big to fail" businesses getting billions of dollars we'll never see again.  Also, will encourage prop #2 and we might get some sensible fiscal management in government for a change.
 
Proposition 4.    The GOP wants to force all of us to acknowledge God at public events

Ah, liberal bait and switch, one of your favorite tactics from the left.  The proposition reads ALLOW not force.  Get your facts straight.  You claim this is unconstitutional, I argue that NOT allowing the acknowledgement of God is unconstitutional.  By forbidding people from acknowledging God you are forcing them to comply with atheistic beliefs.  But, then again, you left-wingers are big fans of double standards.
 
Proposition 5.    The party wants to demand sonograms be shown to every woman who elects to have an abortion.

Have you ever met a woman that's had an abortion?  Somehow I doubt it.  It's one of those things that haunts her for life.  This is just a measure so women know what they're getting themselves into.


60 - pstern   12 Feb 2010 @ 12:28:24 PM 

 

"Drakolan", I am "the socialist imbecile" who wrote this commentary; however, I am neither a 'socialist' nor an 'imbecile'.  But thank you for acknowledging me in some hostile and obsure manner.

It is obvious that you do not comprehend my commentary, as a few others also do not.

So, I will try to respond to your questions and/or statements without similar hostility towards you:

 

Proposition 1.    Each registered voter must present a photo ID to vote
 
How is this unconstitutional?  You have to be a citizen of the United States to vote, and photo identification is proof of said citizenship.  Also, let's get something straight, voting is a Priveledge, not a right.
 
My response:  Whether or not you may want this action....  The fact that the GOP WANTS this to become a law, which is why it is a "PROPOSITION" is that the party believes it is NOT currently in the Texas Constitution.  So, if it is NOT in the Constitution then it is not a law.  And, if it is not a law and not in the Constitution, then currently it is UNconstitutional.
 
This proposition is founded on the belief that showing a photo ID will stop or considerably lessen voter fraud.
 
I am saying that it will NOT do that.
 
I also am saying that there are voter registration card with our signatures on them.  We must sign our names to vote.  If the voter card signature does NOT match the signature of the person at the poll, ISN'T THAT ENOUGH TO ID THE VOTER?
 
In addition, a far greater problem with our voting system and fraudulent activities are tied to the integrity of the voting machines and to the people who oversee the voting process on various levels.
 
Proposition 2.    GOP says we need to control government growth via additional budget restrictions

Dang skippy we do, the size of the government is way out of control and has been for decades.  It's about time we did something active to bring it back down to a manageable size.
 
My response:   "Skippy???"  You are very funny.  Anyway, this issue is already part of the government's responsibility.  I will agree with you that our government is out of control; however, if our government already is out of control, do you want to give it even more control by agreeing to this proposition?  Should we vote out the brigands who are abusing their powers and vote in new blood???  I don't think we want to keep on adding to the constitution ever 2 years because of the abuse of the Constitution by various legislators and corporate sector.
 
I think it is similar in a way of our immigration problem.  Because there are now estimated at more than 20 MILLION illegal immigrants living and working in our nation, many people are recommending all sorts of resolutions and new immigration laws.  Do we really need NEW laws or should we enforce the current immigration laws better?  The thought is that the current laws are not working, but in reality, I suggest that we are NOT enforcing the current immigration laws the way we should have been for the past several decades.
 
So, I suggest the same is true regarding the extravagant spending by our government.  It needs to abide by its responsibility to American citizens and cut outrageous expenditures.  Senator John McCain was right in one thing.  We have to cut the pork from government spending, but the President and Congress set their own priorities instead of making the priorities in the best interests of the American community.  Do we need to handcuff our own government with this proposition?  You may say yes, but I say no.  How and on what we spend in the future will vary from time to time and we will need to be more open-minded and flexible.  We do not want to make our government more restricted in what it can do.
 
Proposition 3.    Stop government stimulus and instead cut Federal Income Taxes

Again, perfectly logical.  Cutting income tax across the board gives everybody an equal share of the pie, instead of "too big to fail" businesses getting billions of dollars we'll never see again.  Also, will encourage prop #2 and we might get some sensible fiscal management in government for a change.
 
My response:  It is not THAT simple.  Cutting taxes "across the board" does NOT give "everybody an equal share" BECAUSE THOSE WHO EARN MORE MONEY WILL KEEP MORE MONEY. 
 
How much should we cut taxes?  Our budget already is in the red.  Our national debt is phenomenal.  We keep spending more tax dollars to pay the interest on our debt, to fight wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.  If we cut taxes and continue to spend the same budget dollars, OUR NATION SOON WILL GO BANKRUPT!  And we are close to that already.
 
I think we need to cut spending ACROSS THE BOARD before we can cut taxes across the board.  Am I against cutting taxes?  No, not really.  But I don't think the time is now and I certainly do NOT think we need a proposition, which would become a law, to do this.
 
Proposition 4.    The GOP wants to force all of us to acknowledge God at public events

Ah, liberal bait and switch, one of your favorite tactics from the left.  The proposition reads ALLOW not force.  Get your facts straight.  You claim this is unconstitutional, I argue that NOT allowing the acknowledgement of God is unconstitutional.  By forbidding people from acknowledging God you are forcing them to comply with atheistic beliefs.  But, then again, you left-wingers are big fans of double standards.
 
My response:  My response is exactly like Salon has been trying to share with readers on this blog, but many of you folks just do not get it.
 
Who is stopping you now from "forbidding" people to acknowledge God?  Has anyone stopped you personally from doing so?  Is there ANY public place where YOU are not permitted to acknowledge God?  By the way, I am NOT a "liberal, left-winger, atheist" or any other tripe you want to brand me with.
 
It is common-sense.  Unfortunately, it seems to be a precious and rare commodity these days.
 
So again, WHO IS STOPPING YOU FROM ACKNOWLEDGING GOD?   I am saying to you that NO ONE is "forbidding" you to acknowledge God whenever you want to, so why do we need this proposition?
 
The POINT here is that Proposition 4 is an issue of government control MORE THAN an issue of acknowledging God, but even more important is that the proposition is NOT needed because people already have this right.
 
Proposition 5.    The party wants to demand sonograms be shown to every woman who elects to have an abortion.

Have you ever met a woman that's had an abortion?  Somehow I doubt it.  It's one of those things that haunts her for life.  This is just a measure so women know what they're getting themselves into.
 
My response:  I agree with you that for a woman it may be "one of  those things that haunts her for life".  But regardless of that, it should be her decision, NOT THE GOVERNMENT'S DECISION, and already doctors and those who are licensed to provide abortions give the prospective mother education on whether or not it is the same thing.
 
It is the discretion of the doctor to show the woman education materials or a sonogram result.
 
To demand doctors to do this is:
 
  • An infringement on the personal rights of doctors and others in the medical profession
  • An equal infringement on the rights of the mother
  • Adds to government's control over our lives
  • Would be a huge additional expense to U.S. taxpayers and/or the health care industry.

I did NOT say at all that I am a pro-abortionist.  I am not.  But, I do believe it is the right of every person to make his or her own choice.  If a person does NOT want to see a sonogram they should not be forced to do so.

On the other hand, I believe people should be educated about all issues, including abortion.

And yes, I have know several women who have had abortions who have told me they would do the same thing again in that situation they were in at the time.

So, while you may be totally against abortions, that is YOUR right.  The Constitution protects people's rights.  So, you may NOT impose your beliefs onto any other person.  That includes demanding that all women view sonograms before having an abortion.

Sorry, but you live in a Representative Democracy.  These are the individual rights within the system.  You can NOT change them because you may disagree with a person's rights to do what that person wants to do.

You may try to educate them on any issue, but you can't demand certain actions from them.

Finally, I hope you can rid your hostility sufficiently to try to comprehend what I am saying even though what I say is against what you believe.  I have offered this without anger or hostility in the hope of sharing information and my thoughts regarding these proposition and how our government functions.

You do not have to agree with me, but respect my right to share it and please try to understand what I am saying instead of lashing out at me for saying it.

Thank you.

PS


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61 - Chip   12 Feb 2010 @ 2:29:27 PM 

... stumbled on this site via google ... I have little time to waste on your comments except why did you become a republican in the 50's? Your anti business/free enterprise stance and your twist on God and freedom of religion certainly has made you a frustrated republican. Become an independent or democrate.



62 - pstern   12 Feb 2010 @ 2:48:48 PM 

I am NOT anti-business.  I just don't want business to make huge profits by stepping on Anerican citizens.  During the 1950's businesses AND American citizens profited side by side.  THAT's what I am looking for and keep hoping the GOP and Democrats will want the same.

The number of unemployed is at the highest ever.  Why shouldn't every American who wants a job get one?

Why can't we all share in profits, salaries and good lives?  Why is it always extremes?  As in either large businesses make huge profits or low income citizens get taken care of by the government?  Why not somewhere in between, in moderation, so we all "profit"?

And why is it that corporations want capitalism when things are going well, but then want socialism to get taxpayer bail-outs when things are not going well.  It was greed above all else that got us here today.

We need a government somewhere in between.  Moderation!

.


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63 - humanbeing   12 Feb 2010 @ 3:43:33 PM 

I'm amazed at how few people here are concerned about the corporate takeover of our country. Capitalism is about making a profit from the sale of valuable products or services, not the hugely fraudulent practices resulting from the deregulation of our financial system that have taken us all down. You rant against Wall Street but don't seem to understand how it is still controlling you. This is the main reason I desperately want real health insurance reform. I'm not comfortable with my healthcare being determined by Wall Street and this is exactly what is happening now. This has nothing to do with being anti-business or free enterprise. Small business people like me can't afford health insurance. That's what I call anti-business.


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64 - pstern   12 Feb 2010 @ 6:21:35 PM 

It is part of the problem facing us now because so many Americans have been "snoozing" as government and the corporate sector have been making a fortune while average citizens lose their rights and jobs.  Banks, credit card companies, credit bureaus, oil & gas industry, etc., all are making a fortune while Americans still suffer.

There is such a feeling of sadness, disappointment and anger for me as I have watched it happening.  During the past decade a few people stood up and tried to inform Americans that this was happening.  I was one of them, trying to communicate in articles, commentaries and at community meetings.  It didn't matter because government and corporations no longer listened to us.

Greed and corruption dictated our nation's policies and direction, while government and corporations sought endless profits and infinite poiwer & control.

Little has changed.  People have lost their life savings.  Millions remain unemployed.  Government and corporations still are making profits and stepping on all of us to do so.

We have big problems that will not improve until reason returns to those in charge.  Until then, our issues will continue to hurt most Americans and profits will be made without more Americans also benefitting as well.

.


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65 - humanbeing   12 Feb 2010 @ 7:38:23 PM 

This is why it is imperative for Americans to overcome their ideological obsessions in order to promote that which benefits all of us. We are much more alike than different.


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66 - pstern   12 Feb 2010 @ 8:10:36 PM 

Greed and power are diseases, HB.  People into it are addicts like other addictive habits.  I don't know if the people can gain control back over their government.  If a President with all his powers and influence can not control it, how can we?


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67 - Interested and Amused   16 Feb 2010 @ 9:25:00 AM 

I really thought I was going to wait for the polls and was right as name calling and uncalled sarcasm came to be

 

1.- We have lost jobs because the load of fringe benfits and business sharing for unemployment and green stamps has gotten out of hand. If we had only when Reagan wanted to put a limit to them listened,then we would not be having this debate. We need to help the needy, but they need to work as well

2.- All of us want to have TV's, Cars, ect, and is natural, but our wages, as the car industry is a perfect example, make us uncompetitive, but we still want the LCD TV, and GPS in the car. Well guess what, it can be made cheaper somewhere else, because of the labor costs, the land taxes, the state taxes, the Socical Security contirbutipons. Forbes was right, a personal tax on purchases, and nothing else would bring back jobs, but what is wrong here, there will be no pie for the Governemnt to throw away and thus secure elections. Darn, we can't let that happen.

3.- Our ebnnergy industry, average of at least 12-13% of any industrial activity costs, are loaded with taxes, plus we dso not want to exploit our reserves, thus again increasing our costs, but again, let's depend on the Middle East, just like California showed in the late 90's when the Energy crisis, they imported most of their power, they want to have what the Energy brings, but not their plants in their state. Then we just file suits of the people overcahrging us, thus causing hte crisis, I willl accept Enron Dynegy and others really were raking money and staling it, but other smaller outfits, suffered from it. What is something worth, what someone is willing to pay. You do not want plants but want Energy, then you buy it.

 

4.- WE can all live with less, humans have thus forgotten that, but again where did we heard that, yes on that little book we have been talking, the Bible, as the spirit must get nourished together witht he flesh, and if you have a full spirit, the flesh will need less. but again, we want it out of our lives why allow it?

5.- I finally think like Einstein said: If Darkness is the absence of light, Coldness the absence of energy and evil the absence of good that comes from our eternal father, yes he was a faithul Jewish, common sense is the absence of opinionated human beings.

 

Again, let's reflect wehat started all of this, and how it comes back to it, let's focus in this period that starts tomorow, on what is really needed, what is really important, what can I share, and maybe we can straight our economy, it all boils down to, what is REALLY IMPORTANT IN OUR LIVES?

 

Let's wait for the polls and let's accept their results 



68 - Referee   18 Feb 2010 @ 10:15:43 AM 

Proposition 4 -- I really do not understand why it exists, but I will give my opinion.

God was in the beginning and is now in control of all life.  If you choose to reject Him that is your God given ability to have a choice. 

The founding fathers of our Nation saw it fit to include God in our US Constitution in 1776 and then later to include God on our currency.

The beginning of all wisdom is "the fear of God".   God is in control.  Can you hold the sun? Can you mold a man? Can you turn the earth? Can you move the waters of the earth or know the number of stars in the sky, sands on the beaches?  God can and does.

In the end, man is given choice -- choose well.  I choose God.



69 - salon   18 Feb 2010 @ 12:03:20 PM 

@Referee-The word God is not in our US constitution; not in the original nor any amendments. And it was during the Joseph McCarthy era that God was put in currency-that was 1954, long after the founding fathers had passed away.


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70 - pstern   18 Feb 2010 @ 1:40:31 PM 

And most importantly, NO ONE IS REJECTING GOD!!!   You are permitted to "honor" God in public, no matter what religion you adhere to.

This is part of the problem, and 'Referee' is no referee.  You can NOT make-up the facts as you go along.  It is the ongoing paranoia of the religious right that has been pushing itself into government for many decades.

A new law is NOT going to save Christianity.  Not in the world and not in this country.  The numbers of Christians in the U.S. has been declining during the past several decades and this is another of many ploys to somehow "save" Christianity.  It is not going to work.

It failed for the most part during the Crusades when pushing Christianity was more blatant, direct and hostile.

Furthermore, the rise of Islam is a fact.  Already, While Christianity still is the number 1 religion of the world, it may not be for long.   Those observing Islam are multiplying in birth rate consistently until they will become the predominant religion by sheer numbers.

 

Loose immigration laws and sheer repoductive numbers are increasing the Islamic population in the U.S.  Very soon, Islam will be the dominant religion and culture throughout the world and within our own nation.  It is a fact.  It is happening as we speak.  Currently, in the U.S. there are more "Christians" than those of other religions.

I do comprehend the fear by Christians.  I also fear the ongoing unregulated growth of immigrants.

Our nation is changing drastically in many ways.  How do we stop it?  Can we stop it?  Do we want to stop it?

 

Encouraging laws to protect Christianity is NOT going to work no matter how hard people try.  The numbers do not lie.

What encouraging such laws does is that it entwines Christianity more with the Secular Government, which is NOT permitted by the Constitution.  So, you can not justify Proposition 4.

Sorry, but those are the facts.  Y'all need to find another way to "save" Christianity,  perhaps by promoting more Christian births???


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71 - humanbeing   18 Feb 2010 @ 7:21:21 PM 

The answer is simple: Love thy neighbor and thine enemy as thyself and practice more birth control.


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72 - candi   19 Feb 2010 @ 7:47:51 AM 

The Republican party lacks any practical  policy solutions and they only care about marketing themselves. They are trying to to rebuild their base by making promises that they can't keep. They spent like drunken sailors for nearly a decade and put it on a credit card from China and left the bill for the next guy in line to pay and since he is now holding the bill they proclaim it to be his debt.Proposition 4 is a marketing ploy.I do not see anything about bank reform or fixing too big to fail or what reforms they would put on Insurance companies... The United States is not a Christian nation and the constitution is based on individual rights.



73 - candi   19 Feb 2010 @ 11:57:31 AM 

Dear Lord

please grant the people of the state of Texas the knowledge to recognize when their religion is being used as a political ploy to get votes for a party that is proposing things that can never be delivered on. Please grant them the will to accept the beliefs of others and let them acknowledge that they only way to preserve their  own religious rights is to keep the separation of church and state. Help them to question the motives of those who would prey on their faith for political gain and help them understand that those who would deceive them in the name of God are neither faithful or decent.



74 - pstern   20 Feb 2010 @ 11:14:02 AM 

Amen.

 

and thank you.


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75 - Karen   22 Feb 2010 @ 1:34:05 PM 

I believe that Propositions 1 through 4 should be enacted.  Proposition 5 should be an individual choice. 

For those who believe that more taxes and more government involvement in our lives is acceptable my response is this:  " Feel free to contribute as much as you want of your hard earned money to the government."  I for one want less government interference in our lives and certainly some control over government spending.  Liberal bleeding hearts are usually the have nots that want others to take care of them.  Whatever happened to personal responsibility?  Why do those who have not been able to attain their goals blame those who had the tenacity, drive and belief in themselves to rise above and make something of themselves?  Our constitution says that "All men are created equal."  What that means is that each person has the abiltiy to achieve what they want.  It does not mean that all men will attain their dreams nor does it mean that they should be able to take from others in order to be made equal.  Those who complain about capitalism clearly have not  had the success that capitalism can offer.  This resentment is stemmed from envy.

As far as being able to have "God" in our public schools, government buildings etc.  Lest not forget that the belief in "God" is what this country was built on.  The use of the word "God" is not base soley on Christianity.  All faiths believe in a supreme being.  It is the belief that there is something more powerful than ourselves that keeps us accountable for our actions.  Why should the smallest percentage of the population who, for some reason, fear the use of the word "God" be the majorities voice?  You are not the majority of this country and if you are offended by "God", too bad.  What about those of us, who make up the majority, who are offended that the use of "God" is being denied us?  It is time we stop trying to appease the small percentages of our population and start enacting what the majority of the people want.



76 - humanbeing   22 Feb 2010 @ 3:51:37 PM 

First of all, Karen, these propositions on the Republican ballot are analogous to an opinion poll, at least at this stage.  This is not a vote on new laws.

Secondly, you seem to contradict yourself. You say you want less government in your life but you want more laws allowing the government to control the way citizens live, as long as those laws support your choices for your life. Yet you have no concern for the possiblity of a new law being used and interpreted in such a way as to interfere with choices made by others different from you, those you call the minority.

I'm voting 'NO' on these propositions because I want less government in my life and I want to live my life without others telling me I must be like them.


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77 - pstern   22 Feb 2010 @ 5:14:59 PM 

Karen, both Democrats AND Republicans are into power & control of this nation and over our daily lives.  I agree we need less government interference over our daily lives; however, both parties are treading on our rights and are not going to stop of their own volition.

Corporations have become the worst offenders of having their hands out for our tax dollars, hence the term "corporate welfare".

It was the corporate "capitalist when things are going good, socialist when things are going bad" regime that demanded and accepted government taxpayer bailouts, which originated with the Bush administration and then continued under Obama.  The corporate sector has grown too powerful and insane for profiteering.

This nation was primarily built on the concept of "No taxation without representation", or have you forgotten that?  God was not the primary concern at the time.

Whether believing in God had an influence on the building of this nation is immaterial to the validity, need for or constitutionality of Proposition 4.

And then you state, "What about those of us, who make up the majority, who are offended that the use of "God" is being denied us?"

This is some obscure battlecry of those who perceive some unknown danger that the rest of us can NOT seem to view.

EXACTLY WHO IS DENYING YOU OF THE "USE" OF GOD IN PUBLIC???

Give us an example?  Who did this to you?  Who stops any group of people who believe in God from recognizing God in public?  Please share with us...

Otherwise,  your fear is nothing more than fictional paranoia and is unfounded. 


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78 - NOPoser   23 Feb 2010 @ 3:25:46 PM 

I don't live in Texas, and it seems odd to me that issues like these would be voted on in a party primary.  However, placing these particular questions on a Republican ballot seems to be a way for the proponents to guarantee a favorable outcome.  Anyway, as to proposition 4, why not broaden it to allow for verses from the Qu'ran, teachings from the Talmud, or Zen sutras to be posted in public places and recited in some sort of rotation with Christian prayers at football games and the meetings of public bodies? 

IMHO, our American identity is not defined by characteristics like race or religion; rather, it is defined by our adherence to a set of common ideals such as democracy, individual liberty, and the equality of all people.  The concept of America is sufficiently robust and inclusive to allow the country to be all at once a Christian nation, a Jewish nation, a Hindu nation, a Buddhist nation, and even an Islamic nation.  The best way to guarantee that all of us have religious freedom is to keep the Government out of the religious realm altogether.  This doesn't mean that people of faith cannot express themselves or that they cannot hold office and rely on their beliefs when passing legislation.  What it does mean, however, is that government is a secular realm where prayer and theology just don't belong.



79 - pstern   23 Feb 2010 @ 4:00:02 PM 

NOPoser, I salute your response, especially, the first sentence of your 2nd paragraph.

"IMHO, our American identity is not defined by characteristics like race or religion; rather, it is defined by our adherence to a set of common ideals such as democracy, individual liberty, and the equality of all people."

I could not have stated this better.  Thank you.

Frequently, people seem to lose sight of the substance of our nation and of democracy.


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80 - NOPoser   24 Feb 2010 @ 8:30:41 AM 

One question that both secularists and Christians might want to think about--if religious actions (e.g., school prayer) and religious ideals are explicitly brought into, and intertwined with, functions in realms controlled by government entities, isn't there a risk that the government could make us of its resources to modify those ideals and actions to sujit its own purposes?  That's what many Eurpoean monarchs openly did, and what the Soviet Union covertly did via the Russian Orthodox Church.  I don't think any of us, Christian or non-Christian, wants the government having any control whatsoever over our spiritual beliefs and practices.



81 - salon   24 Feb 2010 @ 10:41:22 AM 

@NOPoser- agree. Another example of that is King Henry VIII, who created a new church, Church of England, and broke with the Roman Catholic Church over marriage to Anne Boleyn.  Suggest that people watch the movie "A Man for All Seasons".   I think our founders wisely said that there should be no establishment of religion, while still championing personal religious expression.


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82 - humanbeing   24 Feb 2010 @ 11:26:55 AM 

I agree completely with you, NOPoser. One thing that continues to perplex me is how most Christian groups that are blatantly being used by politicians for their own aggrandisement don't object. Back when G.H.W. Bush was running for President, his campaign manager, Lee Attwater, was the first to identify the political advantage, in terms of votes, that is possible with the support of the Christian right. And we all remember G.W.Bush and Karl Rove, who perfected this strategy.


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83 - Andrea K   24 Feb 2010 @ 10:33:36 PM 

Mr Stern, You wrote:

18 - pstern   8 Feb 2010 @ 11:57

What some of you continue not to comprehend is that by "allowing" such a law, it forces the majority to abide by it. (def. tolerate it)

My response:

Please replace "such a law" above  with any of the following past and current  legislations and read the sentence again. :

government run health care, taxpayer funded abortions, taypayer funded welfare, free health care to illegals,  property taxes, free education to illegals,  anchor babies, drivers licenses for illegals, the removal of God from our schools, the patriot act, sanctuary cities, political correctness, cap and trade, TARP, home entitlement.  The list goes on.  All of the above are a million times more intrusive to the American's right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness than the word God written on a wall in a public building is intrusive to a few liberal bible burners

Not only has the American Taxpayer been forced to tolerate the above laws, we are also forced to PAY for the above laws with our hard earned money and our loss of individual freedoms.  It won't cost us a dime to allow God back into public buildings.

What you liberals continue not to comprehend is that  every tactic you have used to shove your socialist agendas down our throats,  We The People will use to reverse those agendas.  We the People will repair the damage done to our Constitution and We the People will  restore this Great Country  to One Nation under God.

You liberals just can't stand it when the tide turns...

Wake up Texas!  Vote for Debra Medina!



84 - salon   24 Feb 2010 @ 10:48:28 PM 

@AndreaK-You seem to forget that We the People includes everybody. It's not your private Club of Intolerance.


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85 - Andrea K   24 Feb 2010 @ 11:16:34 PM 

We the People INCLUDES everyone, that's right.  Where did I say it didn't?  What is your point?



86 - salon   24 Feb 2010 @ 11:20:34 PM 

@Andreak-because you are using We the People to advance only your own point of view and ideas, and using labels to divide.


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87 - humanbeing   25 Feb 2010 @ 2:23:26 PM 

"One Nation under God"? I think I'd settle for "One Nation with Intelligence, Compassion and Respect for all". This thread is depressing me. I'm going outside for some fresh air.


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88 - pstern   26 Feb 2010 @ 3:13:10 PM 

Still, NO ONE, in all these responses and often angry comments, has offered an actual example of why Prop. 4 or any of the other propositions is needed.

Have ANY of YOUR rights re: these propositions been violated under the laws of the current Texas Constitution????

If the GOP wants access only to party members' opinions on these issues then why not have a site where GOP members can respond to them as questions.  Why is it necessary to have such questions as propositions on the ballot?

The reason again is power & control.  You may not like it and you may not agree, but these are propostions that may one day be posted to become amendments to the Texas Constitution.

Why every 2 years or so do we need to add amendments to the constitution?  It is not necessary.

Prove to us on this site that there is a true reason for any of these propositions.  So far most of you have offered your opinions, but no example of how your rights are not honored or permitted under the current constitution.

So, please, offer factual proof that your rights have been violated.

 


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89 - TxLass   2 Mar 2010 @ 1:40:42 PM 

Nothing at all wrong with Props 1-4. The main issue I had with #5 is the word "required". While I think anyone contemplating killing their baby should have the fortitude to look the tiny creature in the face before doing so, I don't think the government has the right or the legislative authority to compel one to do so.  So I voted NO on prop 5.

Props 1-3 are civic and fiscal duty and common sense. You have to present ID to cash a check. Casting your vote should be at least as important. It is certainly more binding. Do you really have an issue with requiring our elected officials to control govt growth and spending? Would you hand your checkbook AND credit card to your teenager and tell him/her, "Just bring it back when you're done"? Seriously?

Post #88 is the crux of the matter. The mere mention of God really gets your grits, apparently. I agree that God shouldn't need to be legislated into the public square.  But liberal group-think have all but succeeded in legislating Him FROM the public square, so Prop #4 is simply a way of tilting the scales to a somewhat more level (and reasonable) angle.  If you don't believe in God, or don't want to pray at a ballgame or commencement exercise, by all means, don't. 

Finally, these are propositions. They're not binding. You're straining at a gnat on this one, brother. There are bigger issues in the world today than someone's "right" not to be offended.



90 - pstern   2 Mar 2010 @ 2:52:19 PM 

TXLass, you missed 2 big points again as so many others have. 

If these are little gnats, then why have them as propositions on a ballot.  Why not simply questions for GOP to answer via online web site?


Prop. 4 does NOT need any "leveling" since the right already is provided in the Constitution.  So, we should do so just to make some people feel more secure even though it does nothing more in adding to that already exisiting right?

It's stupid, okay?  So are the other props.  Some are invasion of privacy issues, e.g., Prop. 5, as you did mention.

The only one that may make some sense is Prop. 2 but it's another power & control issue.  Who exactly is going to enforce this proposition???

Basically, there are some GOP'ers who need to feel more secure with more ridiculous word added to the Constitution to bolster already existing laws and rights.

These are not gnats because this is the ongoing problem with the current GOP leadership.  They push these stupid issues instead of dealing with more important ones.


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91 - nowfound   2 Mar 2010 @ 2:53:32 PM 

 

PStern,

I totally agree with you about a few items here. We need less government. The GOP has lost touch and we already have a lot of these rights without having to put legislation to them. I am not sure if it has been addressed yet as there are quite a few responses, but I want to express a few opinions:

Prop 1: With agencies like ACORN out there allowing if not encouraging abuse of the voting system something non invasive must be done. Showing a govt issued ID to vote for your own govt isn't a bad idea. Having a finger print or blood sample database for voters to confirm ones identity may be a little negative.

Prop 2: I am torn on this one as I think the budget needs to be controlled, but we should be able to do that through the officials we elect, but since there is a lack of qualified, honest, public servants in the pool we have to do something. 

Prop 3: I think stimulus and federal income tax are both garbage. Cut them both out and live off sales tax revenue, but the alternative is to keep spending our great-grandchildren's money, if we even have a government at that time.

Prop 4: This has been addressed, but I think this should actually be ban smoking from all public events, because if you think someone praying over a PA system is forcing anyone to do anything then, anyone smoking in public is forcing everyone to smoke cigarettes. Although I do not smoke anymore, I do think that I have the choice to walk away if someone is smoking and the choose to not patron facilities who allow smoking. If someone doesn't like to listen to prayer then they can come to an event a few minutes late so they do not need to hear it or they can choose not to attend because it offends there beliefs. That is their God given choice. Why do we need a law stating this, because if we don't there will be a law saying we can't . The Constitution has provisions in it so that the government cannot force a state church and that taxes cannot be used to grow that illegal church. Nothing about  not-allowing or allowing public prayer. I see this as a notion to cut off an atheist movement before it gets to far.

Prop 5: With our tax dollars paying for many of these abortions, we should be able to demand that the truth be given to these women as many are told that their fetus are not living and cannot feel the abortion which is a lie. 

Just a few thoughts.

 



92 - pstern   2 Mar 2010 @ 2:58:16 PM 

And BTW, what the heck does this mean: 

"But liberal group-think have all but succeeded in legislating Him FROM the public square"

 

Please show me the facts that prove that silly and paranoid statement.


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93 - pstern   2 Mar 2010 @ 5:28:51 PM 

Okay.

Bear in mind that Prop. 1 will do virtually nothing to stop Voter Fraud.  Do you know exactly how much fraud goes on because people try to vote for other people?

Electoral fraud can occur at any stage in the democratic process, but most commonly occurs during election campaigns, voter registration or during vote-counting. The two main types of electoral fraud are preventing eligible voters from casting their vote freely (or voting at all); and altering the results.[citation needed] A list of threats to voting systems, or electoral fraud methods, is kept by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.[1]


The truth is that the kind of election fraud that Prop. 1 highlights is the LEAST of all the possible frauds before, during and after elections.

Before people even discuss Proposition 1 they should review the definition of voter fraud and review the process.

Read about the basics of voter fraud and election fraud here...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_fraud

 

and then try to comprehend how truly ridiculous Prop. 1 is.  It is a really ignorant and stupid attempt to "stop voter fraud".

There are many more problems of election fraud that should be resolved before even looking at ID photos.

Really, REALLY stupid proposition.

 


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94 - Derek Roberts   2 Mar 2010 @ 10:11:07 PM 

For anyone here who honestly believes that acknowledging God isn't something that the government infringes upon, then you have no idea what's really going in the world.  In 2000, we were sued for having signs on our homes stating, "This is a House of Prayer."  While proposition 4 would not necessarily affect this Texas and United States Constitutional issue of "Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion" for this situation, it does take a decisive stand against those who attempt to quash our Religious Rights.  As people continue to give away our rights, and others strip the rest away, Proposition 4 is a decisive stand (and as I write it's gotten 95% approval) for our Religious Freedom.  A litany of leaders and politicians including Rick Perry, Sheila Jackson Lee, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Bill White, Annise Parker, Dwayne Bohac, and lots of others have COMPLETELY ignored that our Religious Rights have been violated.  By providing legislature such as Prop. 4, it makes it harder for our leaders to ignore our Religious Rights.  For those who don't think a Prop. 4 does anything, just wait until you excercise your freedom of speech and someone is there to stop you, whether it is about God or not.  Once we give our rights away, they all go, not just some...



95 - humanbeing   3 Mar 2010 @ 8:09:46 AM 

Derek, who sued you for a sign on your home?


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96 - Steve Passalacqua   3 Mar 2010 @ 8:23:28 AM 

I'd say the voting results show what the a very large majority of American people want ...



97 - salon   3 Mar 2010 @ 8:50:48 AM 

@hB- must be THIS lawsuit which wasn't about religion but about advertising, running up against a homeowner's association bylaws.

Religious Orders.  The homeowners said they had a covenant with God, but the judge said the homeowners association could still enforce its rule prohibiting them from posting religious signs outside of their homes.  That District Court decision, in a Texas case, will allow Ivy Raschke, her son, and daughter, who all own houses in the same subdivision, to post small signs for short periods, no more than twice each year.  The plaintiffs had accused the association of religious discrimination for refusing to permit their signs proclaiming, “This is a house of prayer.”  But the association insisted that it was simply enforcing a ban on advertising of all kinds.  The earlier signs had included the telephone number of a religious group.   “It didn’t matter whether it stated house of prayer or Tom’s Flower Shop,” Chris Branson, the association’s attorney, told reporters.  He indicated that the association was satisfied with the decision, which requires the plaintiffs to pay the association’s court costs and attorney’s fees.  

I don't happen to live in an area that has a homeowner's association. But my dad did, and when he was building his house he had to submit the plans to the association and make modifications when the building didn't fit the standards. I know people have beefs sometimes with HOA's but those people sign contracts with them to live there, right? Apparently wasn't Derek Roberts but somebody else in the Oak Forest subdivision near Houston, but those people chose to live there and abide by deed restrictions. Of course HOA's don't have license to do just anything and are subject to court scrutiny, so maybe the woman who did the sign should have pursued the case instead of compromising.

While Gilleo involved a city sign ordinance, here in Houston a Harris County district judge ruled in 1994 that deed restrictions are also subject to the First Amendment. In Dubose vs. Meyerland, the district court held that a deed restriction forbidding residents from posting political signs was an unconstitutional violation of free speech. According to the judge, "[t]he U.S. Constitution does not end where deed restrictions begin." 
Accordingly, had Raschke erected a political sign on her yard, she would have been well within her First Amendment rights. By analogy, a pure statement of religious belief, such as displaying a creche during the Christmas season, would be protected by the First Amendment's free exercise clause. Advertising, however, is subject to a lower level of First Amendment protection and is therefore more amenable to regulation than political or religious speech. The salient issue, then, becomes whether Raschke's sign in effect provided advertising for the named prayer group. The sign clearly did not propose any type of commercial transaction, but distinguishing between commercial and noncommercial speech is not always so easy. It could be argued that the sign as originally displayed -- listing the name and phone number of the prayer group -- was akin to advertising in that it promoted a specific organization. 


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98 - salon   3 Mar 2010 @ 8:53:32 AM 

@ Steve- a majority of Republicans who voted in the Republican primary. You can't extrapolate from that into whether that represents a large majority of Americans, because it was a partisan primary and other Americans voted in the Democratic primary... or not at all.


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99 - Proud Texan   3 Mar 2010 @ 9:04:23 AM 

Enjoyed the debate everyone. I didn't get through all 95 previous posts --got work to do, and money to make-- but both sides came prepared. I'll keep my 2 cents very simple:

1) Gather facts; Not opinions... and make sure you vote in November. That is the ultimate responsibiilty in a healthy democracy.

2) After election day, If you don't like the final results of the vote... you have the right to move to another State. You also have the right to mantain / retain your opinion. This is not Iran. Nonetheless, the people of Texas --i.e. your neighbors, friends, coworkers, strangers, etc-- will have spoken... so respect their perspective as well... and minimize your slander.

* Slander dilutes your testimony, your character, and your argument.

** Everyone reading this comment would be doing yourself a huge favor by reading "Liberty & Tyranny" by Mark Levin. Hand it off to a friend when you're done reading it.



100 - humanbeing   3 Mar 2010 @ 10:56:16 AM 

I believe the two-party system, as well as Ideology, is defunct and obsolete. I'm seeking solutions that work and are productive for all and I don't care what kind of '-ism' is tacked on the end. I've asked this before and I'll ask it again: where were all you concerned conservatives, who are just now beginning to notice the mess we're in, these last decades?

I'm a Human Being, first and foremost, and an American.


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101 - Cindy Soothy   3 Mar 2010 @ 11:03:07 AM 

You really should know what you are talking about before you spout off.  At least read the proposition before you make such rediculous accuations.

 

Proposition 1.    Each registered voter must present a photo ID to vote.  ARE YOU AN AMERICAN AND PAY TAXES??? THEN SHOW YOUR ID. 
 
Proposition 2.    GOP says we need to control government growth via additional budget restrictions.  DO YOU WANT TO KEEP SPENDING WHEN YOU HAVE NO MONEY???? 
 
Proposition 3.    Stop government stimulus and instead cut Federal Income Taxes.  SAME THING.  STOP SPENDING MONEY YOU DON'T HAVE AND HAVE TO TAKE FROM THE TAX PAYERS.  IS $124 REALLY GOING TO HELP YOU?? 
 
Proposition 4.    The GOP wants to force all of us to acknowledge God at public events.  IT DOES NOT SAY "FORCE" IT STATES "ALLOW."  SINCE WHEN DOES IT ONLY WORK ONE WAY? 
 
Proposition 5.    The party wants to demand sonograms be shown to every woman who elects to have an abortion.  WOULDN'T YOU WANT TO SEE YOU ALIVE BABY BEFORE YOU KILL IT?????????????


102 - Johnny Dunigan   3 Mar 2010 @ 11:34:15 AM 

The results of the propositions should show you just how much you are out of touch.  Most folks agree with those propositons.  You are in a very small minority and trying to paint propositions that call for limited government as ones who are trying to grow government is just a big lie. 



103 - pstern   3 Mar 2010 @ 11:35:54 AM 

To Cindy:


Not that it will matter for you or the process or life in general here in TX, but you could have read the comments on here that already respond to the comments you just provided.

Although It really doesn't matter because even though these propositions are illogical in many ways, the majority of GOP members WHO VOTE always vote 90% FOR any propositions that the party places on the ballot.

Also as to Propositions placed on the ballots every 2 years or so that all Texans vote on, it is still 90% of all propositions are approved by Texas voters.

So, in the end it really does not matter.  We are who we are.  Love it or leave it.

And as predicted, all the propositions were approved by the majority of GOP voters.

And as predicted, Perry won the GOP primary.

Therefore, all is alive and well in the State of Texas.

Just relax and enjoy life.  That's the most important reality.


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104 - pstern   3 Mar 2010 @ 12:53:50 PM 

Johnny, glad you came out in the open to share your obvious thoughts.

There was never any question or doubt that the propositions would be approved by voters --- never.

We were merely a small shroud of reason within a shimmering vast pool of insanity.


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105 - humanbeing   3 Mar 2010 @ 1:48:13 PM 

Prop 1: a photo ID is no problem for me. I need one to drive and one to go to Paris.

Prop 2: No President in my 62 yrs spent our money like GW Bush, who inheirited a budget surplus when he took office in 2000. Let's see, there's the trillion plus for destroying Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11. Next was GWB's two outrageous tax cuts that benefitted my wealthy friends but didn't impact me. (Bush and the Republicans pushed both these cuts through Congress via 'reconciliation'). I wonder how many of you supporting Prop 2 re-elected him? 

Prop 3: Everyone hates the money used to prop up Wall Street. Conservatives have no exclusive ownership of this. But you find any decent economist that does not agree this was the only way to prevent a total meltdown of the world's financial system and I would be surprised. Of course, if we had kept the fox out of the hen house in the first place, maybe this wouln't have happened. When did you folks first start to notice the rotten fish called Wall Street? For me, it was when I lost most of my retirement in the tech crash of 2000. When I noticed my Merrill-Lynch friends weren't feeling any pain, that's when I started my own investigation.

Prop 4: I have no problem with this as long as all religions are treated equally.

Prop 5: For the righteous ones out there who have never experienced the desperation of an unwanted pregnancy and who claim to value life, what about all the killing our government does? Iraq? Vietnam? Could this be a contradiction in your 'beliefs'?

What responsibility do you take for what we have all created?


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106 - salon   7 Mar 2010 @ 10:23:55 AM 

After the election, from the DMN

Because they are nonbinding, the propositions have no practical effect.


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107 - cat   7 Mar 2010 @ 5:34:19 PM 

People would not think Proposition 4 would  be necessary if others would quit thinking their right to not bow there head for (or even hear)  prayer in public is more right than mine to bow.  We have Jehovah Witnesses in our classes at school and they stand during the Pledge to our flag, but do not cover their heart nor utter words.  (But they do hear the words)  That is their right, but they don't try to stop others right to Pledge.



108 - pstern   7 Mar 2010 @ 10:01:01 PM 

cat, I have no idea what you are trying to say or why you believe Prop. 4 is needed in our every day life.

I also do not know why so many people need justification for what already are laws in our constitution.

No one is stopping you from lowering your head to pray, to acknowledge God or to stand up and pledge to whatever and whenever you want to.

So, Prop. 4 is NOT needed.


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109 - Ivy Raschke   12 May 2010 @ 2:47:16 PM 

Salon- I am the woman, Ivy Raschke, you so callously and publicly accused of ‘compromising’ instead of ‘pursuing the case.’ (#97)  I did not compromise.  I defied a State District Judge’s Order (PK Reiter.)  I did not pay court costs.  I did not pay attorney’s fees.  I did not take down my sign.  I was told by opposing counsel that I was in contempt of court and the ‘judge will do with me as he sees fit.’ The end result being jail.  I refused to compromise, so I chose jail.  OFHA, Inc. never pursued contempt charges, even though they received their judgment, making it selective prosecution if they ever attempt to take anyone else to court over signs.  I did not compromise… I won.  …AND IT’S NOT OVER, YET!  -Ivy Raschke



110 - salon   12 May 2010 @ 4:55:08 PM 

@Ivy-My point, which was not intended to offend, was that I thought you actually should be pursing a court case against them if you believe you are in the right. I'm not for frivolous lawsuits but I believe people who think they have a case should pursue it. Do you now have the sign in front of your home?


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111 - salon   12 May 2010 @ 5:25:07 PM 

@Ivy-this is an old article but seems to represent what happened in 2002 in your court case.

Feb. 15--A judge ordered the homeowners who placed religious signs outside their Oak Forest subdivision home to pay their homeowners association court fees and $1,500 in attorney's fees for deed restriction violations.

But visiting state District Judge P.K. Reiter's order will allow Ivy Raschke and her son, Derek Roberts, to post temporary signs no larger than 3 square feet in area for "no longer than two months, twice each year, including signs such as political, patriotic, religious, holiday, garage and yard sales."

I assume you are able to post your temporary signs a couple of times per year?


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112 - ivyraschke   13 May 2010 @ 8:40:58 PM 

Salon- I still have the original sign on my home. This sign has never been taken down. The judge denied me my US and Texas Constitutional Rights of Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion then legislated from the bench and amended the deed restrictions, which could only be done by a vote of 75% of the homeowners in our subdivision. The judge expected me to take down my sign, and never expected that I would challenge the validity of his court order., even though I stated to him in open court, with news cameras rolling that I would never bow before him, I would never take down my sign. The amendments to the deed restriction that you speak of in the court order are non-existent in the Harris County Property Records. The original 1953 deed restrictions are still in place which are vague, outdated and unenforceable. Even the false/fraudulent OFHA, Inc./Oak Forest Homeowners Association/Oak Forest Neighborhood Association, (which does not even qualify to be a legitimate civic club) does not attach this court ordered amendment to the Oak Forest Section 16 deed restrictions on their website www.ofha.org. We have runaway out of control judges and corrupt courts. To fight this in court, you need courageous lawyers who will honor their oath and the laws of this land, who can’t be bought, controlled or intimidated by those in power with an agenda. My family and I were in the HBO “America Undercover” documentary, “Women on Trial.” We’ve had years of experience with corrupt courts. -Ivy Raschke



113 - Derek Roberts   13 May 2010 @ 8:53:16 PM 

Salon- The City of Houston is enacting laws based on the fraud of this false/fraudulent homeowners association.  You can check out www.houstoncorruption.org, www.ofhacorruptionwatchandreform.com and www.abuseletters.com for more info on this case...



114 - salon   15 May 2010 @ 11:02:31 AM 

@ivy and derek-I don't understand what the problem is. If the Oak Forest Homeowners Association is allowing you now, apparently since 2006 to have your sign in front of your property continuously, and you didn't have to take them to court to do it, what is the issue? The deed restriction for section 16 was here- http://www.ofha.org/dr/dr_016.pdf - and the judge defined its terms as http://www.ofha.org/arc/a_002.html - Even though the restriction is still in place, if you still have your sign up, it doesn't appear the OFHA is enforcing it, right?  Maybe your issue was more with the way I characterized it, but again, I didn't intend to offend, my point was that people have freedom of religion in this country. If I wanted to put up a sign in my yard with a scripture, I can do it but I have no HOA to tell me not to. If I did, and I had signed a contract with them, then I might have done the same as you and told them, look, you go put m in jail, not taking it down. It seems that even though the OFHOA now has had a judge define that signs only go up twice a year, etc, that they're not enforcing it, so all's well with you, yes?


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115 - Sharra   17 May 2010 @ 11:54:44 PM 

I could not even get through half the comments to be quite honest with everyone.  I think it is ironic that anyone that is not a christian or not a believer in God believes that no one should be and any christians right to pray must be banned at any event public or otherwise.  They say that it should not be forced on them as non-believers or perhaps the higher being they worship is not called "God".  All the while, they force christians not to pray because it infringes on their rights.  If you are not a christian, what stops you from just not participating?  Or even leaving the stadium, ballpark, ice rink, basketball court, high school gymnasium, funeral or banquet?  After all, it is your choice and you are not being forced to pray to a God you do not believe in.  But when you tell a group that they cannot mention the name "God" and they cannot bow their heads at a football game to pray for the safety of their players, what rights are you stripping from them?  You are taking their freedom of religion.  You are taking their freedom of speech.  All because you do not want to be inconvenienced for 60 seconds more or less.  You could go use the bathroom, you could go to the concession stand, or you could even stay at home and you could even not allow your children to participate.

Just once, during the moment of silence at a ballgame, I would like someone to loudly pray out to God, and ask Him to bless all our children on the field, keep them safe.  I'd like for them to say that they don't mean to offend any person that does not believe in Him, but that they are exercising their right to free speech by asking these things in His name.   I would like to hear someone say His name, so I could personally see who is offended by it.  Who chooses that moment to go to the bathroom or concession stand or better yet... home.

It is your freedom not to believe, it is your freedom to believe in Budah, Ala or whomever you so choose, and it is my freedom to believe in God.  Why does your freedom matter more than mine?  Why does your freedom of speech mean that I am not allowed to say what I think?



116 - salon   18 May 2010 @ 9:02:01 AM 

@Sharra. What you're saying is the whole point. There IS freedom of religion in this country and freedom of conscience. Anyone can pray to his or her god or gods or to no god at all. And that can be done ANYWHERE, including, as you mentioned, stadiums, ice rinks, funerals, banquets, etc. For a moment make a distinction between government sponsored events and events like funerals, which are private. (Incidentally, my background is southern baptist, which has had a rich tradition of separation of church and state).  If someone wants to shout out to God during a football game or carry a banner in the stands, or pray (I presume quietly so as not to disrupt the class) before a test, he or she can. What can't be done is for someone who represents the government authority to lead an entire football stadium during a game in a prayer.So it isn't a case of Your Freedom Versus Mine but rather that it's already there, just not in the case of being able to lead, such as happens in a church, an entire crowd in a prayer, in a setting sponsored by government. Or, if there are prayers, they must be non sectarian or include the entire range of religions, including islamic, buddhist, etc. prayers.Who stops anyone sitting at a football game from bowing their heads and praying for the team? I have never been to a game where roughnecks came out of the audience and told the participants to quit.

Suppose that we lived in a place that was predominantly islamic and all sports games or assemblies in school were led by muslims praying to allah. Would that bother you? The inman leading the prayer could easily say that you just had to ignore the prayer and not participate, but the very act of doing it while a group is a captive audience, makes them participants of a sort, even if just listening.

BECAUSE no one is stopped from saying prayers on their own, there's no persecution for people of any religion who want to pray in just about any place or situation, probably to themselves if in a classroom. What one can't do is lead a group of people at a football game in a sectarian prayer (that was decided in the case Santa Fe (Texas) -here's from a press release re: that. The Supreme Court ruled FOR the Christians and Jews who brought the case.

"Whatever the intention of such religious exercises, the net effect is to make children of minority faiths or no religious faith at all feel marginalized," he stated. "The Court’s action reinforces the principle that our nation’s public schools must provide children with a learning environment that is free of religious coercion and indoctrination, one that fosters tolerance and respect for all people."

Yeah, there's a lot of discussion on these comments.I continue to ask for examples of where someone has been stopped from personally praying in any setting, when did it happen TO YOU, and what did you do about it? (I would sue).


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117 - ivyraschke   19 May 2010 @ 8:15:41 PM 

Salon- Why did you assume we signed a contract with Oak Forest Homeowners Association? We did not sign a contract with the homeowners association. The contract that was signed states, in the Notice to Purchaser, (documented with the State District Courts) that the “deed restrictions are outdated and unenforceable.” As I have stated previously, OFHA, Inc./Oak Forest Homeowners Association/Oak Forest Neighborhood Association, is a false/fraudulent homeowners association and does not even qualify to be a legitimate civic club. You stated, and I quote, “If the Oak Forest Homeowners Association is allowing you now, apparently since 2006 to have your sign in front of your property continuously…” Where did you get that from? This issue has been going on since 1998, so what‘s the significance of 2006? How does a false/fraudulent homeowners association allow anyone to do anything? Who gives them their authority to govern? This is corruption.

 

Inalienable rights are given by God. No man has the authority to take away what God has given, so why would you sue? You are going to sue a man to give you what God has already told you no man has the authority to deny or take away from you? Civil Government has no inalienable rights, only people have inalienable rights. Civil Government only has powers, which are consented to by the people. Civil Powers will never trump inalienable rights. Then why sue? So man can tell you what God has already promised you possess (inalienable rights)? Doesn’t this make government god? …And if civil government should take your inalienable rights from you, did civil government trump inalienable rights, or did you give your inalienable rights away?



118 - salon   20 May 2010 @ 9:43:46 AM 

@ivyraschke-I'm not quite sure why you are spoiling for a fight so much, because I actually, intrinsically agree with you on a number of points. I don't agree with you on lawsuits, although I have never filed any, because we are a nation of laws, and not a nation ruled by any particular religion. I"m not going to debate the finer points of your struggle with Oak Forest-it sounds like you are doing as you want to, with your sign, and not being challenged by the association, whatever it is and whether it does or does not have the authority to do as you claim. Bottom line is that you have your sign and I wish you all the best in whatever struggles you have with the homeowner's association.  Best of luck to you!


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119 - Constantinesig   14 Oct 2010 @ 1:11:23 PM 

I don't considered requiring a photo ID for voting as intrusive.  With all of the voter fraud that is happening, we need to put better controls in place to ensure that each person casting a ballot is authorized to do so.  Plain and Simple. 



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