The Catholic Church and every single other church in America already has all of the exemptions in place that they are crying foul about. The problem is they have to turn down the more than $750 BILLION dollars in tax payer funds that they receive each year. They are already allowed to discriminate against those that share a different faith, are gay or even handicapped, The church can even participate in racial discrimination should they choose to do so. The church is already allowed to not dispense contraception and they do not have to perform any procedures that result in abortion or sterilization. The only legal condition is that they are not allowed to do so if they are using tax payer dollars which come from people of all faiths and none.
The CONTROVERSY is not even real. The real problem is that the catholic church doesn't want to give up the $750 BILLION dollars a year and follow the law.
Since actions speak louder than words; the bishops believe their church is above the law and the United States Constitution. These Catholic Bishops are Anti-American and are doing everything in their power to be exempt from the United States Constitution and impose their world view and their set of religious dogmatic laws on every single American they can get their hands on. They seek to create a Catholic States of America.
IF you think this sounds like “its fine, I’m a Christian.” Then re-read the above statement and replace catholic with Muslim and Islam or the Church of Satan, then think about how you would feel.
I will do it for you:-------------------------------------------
While the above is true – the following is pure fiction for the purpose of making a point:
The IMAMS along with their democrat and republican leaders that claims an attack on religion are LIARS and are BEARING FALSE WITNESS. Religious liberty as defined by the 1st and 14th amendments along with U.S. Tax law that requires that an institution that receives funds from the tax payers is not allowed to use those funds for religious purposes or to promote their religious agenda. The participation in taking tax dollars is purely voluntary. The Church of Islam made the choice to take the money which then requires that they obey the law no different from you and me.
The Church of Islam and every single other church in America already has all of the exemptions in place that they are crying foul about. The problem is they have to turn down the more than $750 BILLION dollars in tax payer funds that they receive each year. The Church of Islam is already allowed to discriminate against those that share a different faith, are gay or even handicapped, The Muslims can even participate in racial discrimination should they choose to do so. Muslims are already allowed to not dispense contraception and they do not have to perform any procedures that result in abortion or sterilization. The only legal condition is that they are not allowed to do so if they are using tax payer dollars which come from people of all faiths and none.
The CONTROVERSY is not even real. The real problem is that the Muslims don't want to give up the $750 BILLION dollars a year and follow the law.
Since actions speak louder than words; the Imams believe their church is above the law and the United States Constitution. These Muslim Leaders are Anti-American and are doing everything in their power to be exempt from the United States Constitution and impose their world view and their set of religious dogmatic laws on every single American they can get their hands on. They seek to create a Islamic States of America.
For the record I am neither anti-catholic nor anti-muslim – I am anti-religion. I don’t choose to pick a fight with any single faith. It is the Catholic Church leadership that made the choice to spread these lies and my values and morals are opposed to those that seek to get even a single dollar by lying. This is a fight the Catholic bishops started, it has no honor and is completely based on lies.
Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford
Attn: Mr. Henry J. Mantel
134 Farmington Ave.
Hartford, CT 06105-3784
First, I need to relate a story. Years ago I was put in the position some of your leadership has been in. Approximately 15 years ago a 10 year old little girl that lived next door to us came to us for help because her stepdad was molesting her and her mother refused to believe her and punished her for “saying such lies”. It took me a few minutes to come to grips with the horror of what she was telling us. But I immediately picked up the phone and called the police. There was no doubt in my mind what the correct action to take was. The step dad was arrested and confessed to his crime.
You will have to forgive me for my unfamiliarity with catholic dogma or terminology since I am not a catholic. I am an American, a husband and a parent.
The actions of the catholic church and your fellow leadership in opposition to the House Bill 5473 is alarming to me. You will have to forgive me for my unfamiliarity with catholic dogma or terminology since I am not a catholic. I am an American, a husband and a parent that has a lot of concern about the double standards afforded religious institutions over the average citizen; especially in this particular scenario.
I am extremely confused and concerned as to why would any sane person oppose this bill? What could be the negative side effects of such a bill?
I think I understand that your faith and religion believe these matters to be handled by god’s law and is to be in the domain of your church.
I have to believe that you forgot that your church operates in the United States of America. The United States is a secular nation with secular laws. Religion and religious laws do not trump the state or the constitution. You have to understand that the state has a compelling interest here being that we are talking about the safety of children.
But let’s set all that aside for a moment. What I cannot grasp is that any human being would ever oppose a bill that provides no safe haven for any individual or group that participated in the rape and torture of children or that offers safe haven to those that did such heinous and vile acts.
Your concern that your diocese may go bankrupt like others have as a result of this law really makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. There is only one logical reason that I can conclude as to why any person would oppose such a bill. That would be because they have knowledge that such events have happened, could be exposed and result in a punishment that is undesirable to an offender.
You tell me. What is the average ordinary person to think when you make this type of stand?
I am a person that believes actions speak louder than words. In particular, the catholic church, has shown through action, a complete lack of regard for the safety of children and the law. The number and frequency of incidents that have occurred globally stand as solid evidence to a systemic problem with your church.
This concern over trial lawyers is absolutely ludicrous. The only way trial lawyers could have such a field day with this particular type of lawsuit is if it actually was based on factual evidence. The trial lawyers you must be referring to would never blindly pursue such cases unless they had reason to believe they had a very good chance of winning.
You must be aware that law suits are never cheap and that a tremendous amount of money is spent by both sides in discovery, depositions, expert witnesses and additional resources. No lawyer worth a bean would invest all that time, money and resources without the reasonable expectation of winning. The only way they could have such an expectation is if the facts of the case gave them that expectation.
I humbly ask that you reverse your position on this bill. As a human being, as a leader of men, women, children and faith, as a person that is to lead by example a good and clean life; please reverse your decision, take a stand for justice and for what is right. Speak out against these horrors and the people that perpetuate evil against children.
Surely, as a man of faith, you must believe that there can be no expiration date on evil?
Real men stand up and face the music. Correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn’t facing the music here on earth be far less stressful and intimidating than facing it in heaven? I am just guessing here, you tell me.
I would really like to understand, but your stance and those of your fellow leaders just completely baffles me.
Prescott E. Small
Concerned father, husband and citizen
- The economy - job creation and replacement
- Energy Independence - reducing our need on foreign sources and fossil fuels
- Transitioning to renewable and clean energy - addressing the issues of climate change/global warming and increasing pollution.
I see a way to do this that involves creating jobs in the manufacturing and services sectors. Start by giving tax incentives to companies that create jobs designing and building cheap and affordable solar and wind power products for homes and small business. Help a new industry to be born. This would be an investment in our future. With the proper leadership and investment strategy this technology path could be the next technology boom.
Encourage development by creating a series of X-Prize type programs for development similar to our "race to the moon" programs to encourage innovation and invention. Just look around you and you cannot see something in your room or life that is not a direct result of the space program; Velcro, wireless communications or computers might ring a bell?
Design a model of business practices that encourages inventors and manufacturers to share patents and ideas in new clean energy while guaranteeing that they get financial compensation for their ideas and labor. This will allow for a greater, regionalized manufacturing resulting in less transportation and more affordable devices.
Make a federal law that requires all utility companies to buy back excess energy produced by solar, wind power or from any other clean energy source. Give the American public a chance to earn money generating power instead of becoming energy poor.
Provide a tax credit to homeowners and business owners that give them back 90% of their investment for having their own solar or wind power. You will also need to design a tax credit plan for proper maintenance of such equipment. This will greatly increase the demand for devices, increasing demand for manufacturing and increase demand for highly skilled labor to produce the devices and support devices during their lifetime of use. All of this will generate a windfall in taxable income from multiple sectors across the United States for as long as people need energy. There will also have to be a support structure in place to train people to work with and support such devices and services.
Give tax incentives to individuals and business that buy Hybrid vehicles and extra incentives for people to upgrade their vehicles to plug-in hybrid or expand battery capacity and don't allow car manufacturers to void warranties for an individual making such improvements to the vehicle as long as they use a certified service provider. Such improvements are for the greater good so a warranty for non-related parts should not be voided. This could help spur a cottage industry of hybrid upgrade specialist and create jobs supplying such innovators. It would also be wise to create a financial incentive with auto manufacturers motivate them to review such innovations and reward them and the inventors for incorporating changes that bring "significant improvement" to reducing emissions.
Try to imagine an America where a large percentage of the citizens drive Plug-In Hybrid Electric vehicles that they charged on power they generated at home. Can you imagine the impact that only 10% of America could make by doing that? Just imagine 20% or 50% - that is something we can all do given the right incentive and the right leadership.
All of these efforts will create jobs, generate income and help to clean up the environment. With the added bonus of reducing our dependence on foreign oil and reduce funding to terrorist organizations every time someone buys a gallon of gas.
Essentially, President Elect Obama, you have a chance to address three major issues facing this nation right now by addressing one major policy - Localized Clean Renewable Energy.
Disclaimer: I did not write this article. It is my opinion that this information is too important to keep from the public. Stuart Ollanik is performing a great service for Parents and Children by writing this article:
Making cars safe for kids
People take safety precautions for their children, but auto manufacturers must follow suit and make safety changes. Regulations and laws should ensure that they do. It’s time for a national child auto-safety initiative.
When it comes to auto safety, children take a back seat. Our society claims to value its children above all else but fails to protect them from an epidemic of automobile-related deaths and injuries.
Automakers also claim that they value our children above all else. One major American auto company’s Web site proclaimed: “Child safety comes first.”1 But lawsuits brought by injured consumers across the country reveal another story. Children have not come first, or even second or third. When it comes to auto safety, children have been an afterthought.
The neglect of child safety in automotive design is a national disgrace. It is time to change that and promote a national child auto-safety initiative.
The consumer behavior side of the child safety coin has landed heads up. Seat belt use rates have increased substantially in the past two decades.2 Laws requiring belt use have been effective, and laws requiring child seats—and, more recently, booster seats for children who have outgrown their child seats—promise to reduce child injuries and fatalities as compliance increases.3
Older children are wearing seat belts more often. Graduated driver’s license requirements that restrict night driving for young, new drivers have been reversing the trend of deaths and injuries caused by teen drivers.4
But the equipment side of the coin is not so shiny. Information coming to light in lawsuits on behalf of children injured and killed in auto accidents show that car manufacturers make child safety their last priority.
- By 1974, the driver and front passenger seats in every new car were required to have lap and shoulder belts or passive restraints that provided similar protections, but children rode in back with lap-only belts. It wasn’t until 1990 that cars were required to have lap-shoulder belts in the left and right rear seats. Middle seat lap-only belts were still tolerated until the 2008 model year.5
- By 1998, all new cars were required to have air bags for both front seats.6 But auto safety researchers knew that full-powered air bags could pose a danger to children. Many children were injured or killed before parents were advised to put children in the back seat and new regulations required lower- or variable-powered air bags for light-weight passengers in front seats.7
- In the mid-1990s, many seat belts were equipped with adjustable upper anchors on front seats to help adults get a better shoulder-belt fit. But few cars have these in the back, where children sit and greater adjustability for smaller passengers is needed.
- Until the last few years, up to 90 percent of child seats were installed incorrectly.8 Parents were sometimes blamed for this, but even certified child-restraint specialists cannot properly install some child seats in some cars. There are issues of compatibility, complexity, and poor instructions. This problem had been solved in Europe by requiring standard mounting hardware for tethering child seats at the bottom and the top. But top tethers for child seats were not common in the United States until 2001, when regulations were changed to effectively require them, many years after they were standard equipment in Canada.9
Auto safety has advanced over the decades—lap belts were introduced in the 1960s, shoulder belts in the 1970s, antilock brakes in the 1980s, air bags in the 1990s, and electronic stability control in the 2000s. Hundreds of other safety innovations have come along the way, including efforts to provide child safety.
However, a broad divide between state of the art and state of the industry exists, and the record shows that child safety has been neglected. Change is needed in several areas.
Seat belts and seats
The most important area for change involves the most important safety component in the car: the seat belts. In 1990, one automaker appointed a committee to investigate how to best protect children in rear seats in frontal collisions, the most common type of crash. The committee issued two recommendations: Make seat belts fit, and make them perform well. These recommendations were not adopted then or even after subsequent committees reached the same conclusions.10
The need for good fit and performance was obvious. Experience with early shoulder belts in the 1960s showed that they do not fit even older children correctly unless they are designed with adjustable upper anchors to ensure good fit for passengers of many different sizes.
The consequences of poor fit are serious. Uncomfortable belts will not be worn. Nor will belts that fit in a way that appears dangerous. Some automakers advised parents that if the shoulder belt cut across a child’s neck, it should be placed behind the back. The federal government also gave this warning.11 Safety experts now agree that shoulder belts should never be placed behind the back, but the practice persists, and some medical providers and public safety materials continued to repeat the outdated recommendation for years.12
Besides discouraging use and facilitating improper use, ill-fitting belts do not protect children properly. Belt effectiveness depends on the belt remaining on the hard bones of the body—the pelvis (hip bone) and shoulder bones—to transfer accident forces there and avoid vulnerable body parts like the head and abdomen. When a child is swimming in an oversized belt, it is too likely that in a crash the belt will not stay where it belongs.
Even when worn as intended, poor-fitting belts create two specific injury risks. “Rollout” can occur when children lean away from a shoulder belt that fits too close to their necks, or when the seat belt buckle is on a strap or stalk too long for child occupants so that the shoulder belt does not wrap all the way around the child’s torso. In such situations, a child can “roll out” of the shoulder belt—his or her torso rotates around the taut belt, which comes off the shoulder.
Rollout can result in severe organ damage as the belt slides down to the abdomen. It can also cause the child’s body to bend where it was never meant to bend, causing spinal injury and paralysis.
“Submarining” occurs when poor belt fit allows a child, whose pelvis is less developed than an adult’s, to slide under the lap belt. It can also cause disabling or fatal internal injuries or paralysis.
Rollout and submarining injuries are common and have been the subject of many lawsuits. Auto industry studies and other internal documents uncovered in litigation recognize these risks, but manufacturers still do not properly protect children against them.
The auto industry has known about the following solutions for well over a decade, but has failed to adopt them:
- adjustable upper anchors that can be moved down for children
- upper shoulder belts anchored to the “package tray” behind the back seat in a sedan, rather than higher up on the roof pillar
- anchors at the seat cushion placed close together to provide a more snug fit
- buckles mounted flush to the seat (buckles that are placed further along the belt webbing are fine for adults, but when children wear these, the lap-shoulder belt junction is too high on the child’s lap, encouraging both rollout and submarining)
- anti-submarining seat pans, that help keep the occupants’ buttocks from sliding forward.
These design alternatives make restraints safer for children sitting in car seats and in booster seats, and some cost almost nothing. The most expensive option costs about $4 per seat belt.
Engineers have tested, modeled, and recommended fixes for poor belt performance for children for over a decade. Two of these—pretensioners and web clamps—either tighten the belt or prevent spooling in accidents. A third option is to simply produce belts with less webbing.
Pretensioners usually are found on belts in the front seats, where adults typically sit. They cost about $7 each, according to documents uncovered in discovery—about the price of two McDonald’s Happy Meals.
Web clamps secure the belt immediately in an accident. They cost about $2.
Less webbing on the spool means less can pay out in a crash. Federal law requires that belts have enough webbing to fit 95 percent of the men in America, according to official sizing charts.13 That means that the largest men and women—under 3 percent of the population—would need to use a seat belt extender. Rather than inconvenience that 3 percent, some automakers add extra webbing, which increases children’s risk. Using no more webbing in the rear seat than the law requires is a no-cost improvement.
Quick belt engagement allows the passenger to take advantage of the crumple zone in the front of the vehicle—the part designed to buckle and fold in an impact, absorbing crash force rather than transmitting it to occupants. The crumple zone is one factor that helps “ride down” the crash impact for occupants—that is, increasing the duration of the crash, which reduces acceleration. When a child’s seat belt does not engage until a third or a half of the crumple zone is crushed, the child loses much of the ride-down and has an impact with greater force.
Those three design alternatives also protect children who are in booster seats. No booster seat will provide good protection if the belt does not work well.
When belt systems didn’t include pretensioners or web clamps, testing and modeling uncovered in litigation showed that forces on child-size dummies were sometimes greater with booster seats than without them. The research also showed that pretensioners reduce forces on child-size dummies with booster seats and without them.14
Integrated child seats are a wonderful solution to both fit and performance problems. These child-restraint or booster seats are built into the vehicle, eliminating the problem of improper compatibility or installation. They hold the child snug and fit properly, providing optimal child protection. Unfortunately, they are available in very few vehicles and have not been widely promoted or stocked when offered as an option.
While every child should use a child-restraint seat, then a booster seat when he or she outgrows it, this is an incomplete solution to the problem of restraining children. The design alternatives discussed here should be implemented to better protect children of all ages.
Because of the danger of air bags, nearly all children now sit in the rear seats. However, that placement also poses a serious danger that could be prevented with proper design. In a frontal collision, cargo from the trunk can collapse the rear seatback forward, injuring or killing a child seated there. Even loads under 100 pounds can push into the occupant compartment in an accident, endangering children in the back seats, including those in child seats. Standards for retention of cargo have been proposed but are not widely used by U.S. automakers, although they appear in some of their European and Australian vehicles.
In moderate-speed rear-end collisions, the front seatbacks of many vehicles on the road will collapse rearward, often with tragic results. A collapsing seatback poses risks for the front-seat occupant, as well as serious risk for infants in rear-facing car seats because their heads will be directly in the zone of the collapsing front seatback. Stronger seatback designs are available that can minimize this risk.
For decades, the federal government has required crash tests in which force levels on test dummies are required to be below federally established limits believed to correspond with severe injury thresholds. However, these requirements do not include the use of child-size dummies, and no crash dummy testing is required for the back seat, where all children are supposed to sit.
Discovery in one case revealed that a major U.S. automaker had conducted about 200 crash tests while developing one of the best-selling sedans of all time, the Ford Taurus. None of those tests included child-size dummies.15
Automakers say they do not have good data on safe injury levels for children and that this justifies the lack of crash testing. Where is the data, and when do they propose to conduct the research? We need to ask why the science for children and the requirements for ensuring their safety have lagged by decades behind that for adults.
Automakers do conduct sled tests with child dummies, but these are sorely inadequate. In a sled test, a car body is placed on a test platform and rapidly accelerated backward on a short track, simulating a collision. But a sled does not move like a real car in a real accident. It cannot roll, pitch, or yaw. It just moves backward. Sleds also include only some parts of the car.
In investigating one accident, it was discovered that the floor of the car bent upward and forward in a frontal collision at the point where the seat belt was bolted down and loaded with just the weight of a young child. In two real-life collisions, children belted into rear seats were paralyzed in frontal collisions no more severe than a crash test or sled test would measure. In the sled test for that vehicle, the seat belt was bolted to the rigid sled; the manufacturer never tested the vehicle to determine what would happen if a belt anchor was deformed by the crash.
Vehicles can pose grave dangers to children even when not on the roadway. The advocacy group Kids and Cars reports that since 2001, more than 1,400 children have been killed in nontraffic automobile accidents, including 232 in 2007.16 “The real tragedy is that all of these deaths could have been prevented with existing technology,” said the group’s founder, Janette Fennell.
The following features can be modified for child safety.
Automatic windows. Children have been strangled in automatic windows. One reliable solution is a sensing device that stops the window when it encounters resistance—a technology we have had for automatic garage doors for decades. At the very least, window switches should be designed to make it difficult to accidentally close the window; for example, recessed switches need to be pulled up to raise the window. Current federal regulations will finally require such switches by the 2009 model year.17
Trunks. Most cars made before 2001 did not have internal trunk releases, making the trunk a suffocation hazard. Retrofit kits are now available for many vehicles.
Rear visibility. Consumer Reports and other news sources have reported the lack of rear visibility in many vehicles, especially SUVs, pickup trucks, and vans.18 Tests measured “blind zones”—the distance behind the vehicle at which an average driver or a five-foot, one-inch driver could not see a 28-inch traffic cone. For the small driver, the blind zone behind one SUV was 69 feet. Only a handful of vehicles, including the Acura MDX, the Honda Pilot, the Lexus RX400h, and the Chevrolet Avalanche offered rear-view cameras as an option to eliminate the blind zone.19
According to Fennell, vehicles back over 50 children in this country every week.20 There is great variation in visibility behind different vehicles, and their design should take this into account. Vehicles like pickup trucks, vans, and SUVs should be equipped with visibility-enhancing devices like rear-view cameras or rear-sensing devices that warn drivers if there is an obstacle behind them.
Some, but not all, vehicles have a “brake-shift interlock” mechanism that prevents a vehicle from being placed in gear unless the brake lever is depressed. Vehicles lacking these commonsense devices have been set in motion by children, injuring themselves and others.
Advocacy groups like Kids and Cars, Consumers Union, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, and Public Citizen have worked to educate legislators about children and nontraffic accidents. As a result, the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007 became law in February.21
Named in memory of a two-year-old victim of an SUV backover accident, the new law directs the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to implement child-safety regulations in several areas. It mandates new rulemaking on power window safety, rear visibility, and brake-shift interlock. It requires the agency to expand its accident databases to include noncrash injuries and deaths, and establishes a Child Safety Information Program to use this data to advise parents and others how to reduce the risks vehicles pose to small children.
Fennell is looking toward further legislative progress to address the epidemic of child auto injuries, and her group is investigating other fixes, such as requiring audible warnings when rear seat belts are not fastened, similar to those that already exist for the front seats. This technology would also alert parents who inadvertently forget a child is in the rear seat, an occurrence that results in hyperthermia deaths each year.
Nontraffic auto injuries to children present a shared responsibility. Drivers must be educated to walk all the way around a vehicle before backing out of the garage, every single time. Parents and other caretakers must be taught never to leave a small child unattended in a vehicle even for a moment. And automakers must be required to implement safety design changes that will minimize the incidence of accidental injury and death to children.
To protect against collision injuries, we need state laws requiring booster seats for children up to 80 pounds. We need laws on restraining children in cars that permit primary enforcement so that drivers can be stopped and ticketed solely for failing to have their children in proper restraints.
We need uniform, simplified educational materials for public health departments and private health care providers to distribute. These materials should address selection of child safety seats appropriate to the child’s size, proper use of seat belts, the dangers of lap-only belts, proper posture for children in seat belts, the need for top tethers for child seats, and proper installation instructions.
Automakers have responsibilities, too. Safety window switches, trunk releases, brake-shift interlocks, and backup sensors and cameras can prevent tragedy, and these safety features should not be considered as mere options or offered only on high-end vehicles.
We need fit and performance standards for seat belts for children, including testing and injury criteria for four- to eight-year-olds that must be achieved with and without booster seats. We need requirements and safer designs that eliminate delayed restraint and incorporate seat belt pretensioners and web clamps.
We need to either require or provide incentives for automakers to include the safest form of child restraints, integrated child seats. We need research on injury values for child-size crash test dummies, and crash test requirements for the full range of dummies.
And we need a different design ethic. Documents uncovered in litigation show that engineers have recognized and urged use of all the solutions recommended here for many years. We need management at leading automakers to follow through and make sure their engineers’ efforts to protect children are implemented.
It is up to us to protect our children in the cars we drive. We must make a conscious choice to put children first and enact statutes and regulations to ensure that vehicle operators and manufacturers act accordingly.
Stuart Ollanik is a partner with Gilbert, Ollanik & Komyatte in Arvada, Colorado. © 2008 Stuart Ollanik.
- See Ford Motor Co., Ford Vehicles: Helpful Guides—Safety, formerly at http://www.fordvehicles/. com/help/guides/safety (Sept. 22, 2006).
- See Donna Glassbrenner & Tony Jianqiang Ye, Natl. Hwy. Traffic Safety Admin. (hereinafter NHTSA), Traffic Safety Facts, Research Note: Seat Belt Use in 2007—Overall Results, DOT HS 810 841, www.nhtsa.gov/nhtsa/announce/810_841. pdf (Sept. 2007).
- See NHTSA, The Need to Promote Occupant Restraint Use for Children, Youth, and 16- to 20-Year-Olds, DOT HS 810 654, www.nhtsa.dot.gov/ people/injury/airbags/OccupantProtectionFacts/ restraint.htm (2004).
- See Li-Hui Chen et al., Graduated Driver Licensing Programs and Fatal Crashes of 16-Year-Old Drivers: A National Evaluation, 118 Pediatrics 56 (2006), www.pediatrics.org/cgi/content/full/ 118/1/56; Ins. Inst. for Hwy. Safety, Good News about Teen Drivers, 42 Status Rpt. 1, 2 (June 15, 2007), www.iihs.org/sr/2007.html.
- Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208, Occupant Crash Protection, 49 C.F.R. §571.208 (2007).
- See Matthew L. Wald, Keeping Children in Back Seat Cuts Road Deaths, Study Says, 159 N.Y. Times (Aug. 17, 2005), www.nytimes.com/ 2005/08/17/health/17cnd-baby.html; Charles J. Kahane, NHTSA, Fatality Reduction by Air Bags: Analyses of Accident Data through Early 1996 (July 1998), http://www.nhtsa.gov/ (search DOT HS 808 470).
- See C.H. Taft et al., Child Passengers at Risk in America: A National Study of Car Seat Misuse (National SAFE KIDS Campaign Feb. 1999), www.usa.safekids.org/tier3_cd.cfm?content_ item_id=2530&folder_id=680; Natl. Safety Belt Coalition, Why Child Safety Seats?, www.nsc.org/ traf/sbc/sbcchild.aspx (Dec. 12, 2002).
- The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard was amended to allow less forward excursion of dummies in child restraint seats, which caused automobile manufacturers to equip child restraint seats with top tethers. 49 C.F.R. §571.213 (2007). See Final Rule, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, Child Restraint Systems, Child Restraint Anchorage Systems, 64 Fed. Reg. 10786-01 (Mar. 5, 1999).
- This was revealed in discovery documents produced in Combs v. Ford Motor Co., No. 99-CI-00234 (Ky., Knott Co. Cir. 2002)(on file with author).
- See NHTSA, Why Are Child Safety Seats Needed?, NHTSA DOT HS 805 174 (1982).
- See e.g. N.C. Dept. of Transp., North Carolina Safety Belt Law FAQ: Can’t Safety Belts Actually Cause Injuries?, formerly at www.ncdot.org/ secretary/GHSP/ClickIt/sbfaq.html (Dec. 2005). This language has been replaced by a proper advisory to avoid putting shoulder belts behind the back. Both documents are on file with the author.
- 49 C.F.R. §571.209 (2007).
- Discovery documents produced in Combs, No. 99-CI-00234 (on file with the author).
- See id.
- Pub. L. No. 110-189 (Feb. 28, 2008).
- See ConsumerReports.org, The Danger of Blind Zones: The Area behind Your Vehicle Can Be a Killing Zone, www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/ car-safety/car-safety-reviews/mind-that-blind-spot-1005/overview/index.htm (Apr. 2008).
- Pub. L. No. 110-189.
1) "...no meaningful content or history, and the text is unsalvageably incoherent"
2) "...serve no purpose but to disparage their subject or some other entity."
Talibaptist is a term derived from the combination of the words Taliban and
Baptist. The term is used to describe fundamentalist right-wing Christians that follow the teachings of extremist.
The term implies that the extreme Christian-Right has a similar goal to the Taliban in that they seek to enforce religious laws and create a theocratic state. They are often seen to be misogynistic, have a political agenda to control others by passing legislation to mandate their particular brand of faith and morality upon all people that may or may not share their religious beliefs.
Talibaptist is a term used to convey references to Dominionism also known as Dominion Theology and Christian Reconstructionism while using the Taliban like reference to highlight the true nature of such extreme right-wing Christian political agendas.
Common Usage of the term:
Talibaptist: 728 references to the term on Google:
Jerry Falwell: And on Here
Old Radio Guy Blog
Search Google - You will see that at the time of this post there were 728 references to the term Talibaptist. So that is 728 to 2. How can I be so wrong?
If the term Talibaptist is being used by a large number of people, is reflective of the current religio-political times and events then how can it not meet the criteria on Wikipedia?
I have to argue and declare that Talibaptist is relevant and timely. If GW Bush can make up ten new words a day, why can't we have our one new word?
One more ironic point here: "Unsalvageably" also appears to not be a real word either.
I hate to sound hateful, but this was a very bad man that did very bad things in the name of God.
The worst thing about his death is that his ministry will probably be taken over by his son. From what I can tell Falwell Junior is to Jerry as Uday was to Saddam. The children are far worse than the father.
I for one will not miss or mourn this bad person. This Talibaptist has done more harm to American Democracy than the Islamic Terrorist overseas could ever hope to achieve.
Larry Flynnt was very accurate in his description of Falwell as A.H.O.T.M., repeatedly.
This man has been one of the greatest architects at the conversion of America into a Theocratic State with Christian Laws that are much closer to Islamic Sharia Law than they are to American Traditions and Freedoms as spelled out in the Declaration on Independence, The Constitution and the Bill of Rights..
I have to say, Good Riddance.
Try the test, I was rather surprised that I got 100%!
Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and Usama bin Laden have a lot in common. Take the quiz and see if you can identify statements by each of these "leaders."
Just a few sources:
Jerry Falwell on 9-11:
God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve. Rev. Jerry Falwell, blaming civil libertarians, feminists, homosexuals, and abortion rights supporters for the terrorist attacks of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, to which Rev. Pat Robertson agreed, quoted from John F. Harris, "God Gave U.S. 'What We Deserve,' Falwell Says," The Washington Post (September 14, 2001)
And, I know that I'll hear from them for this. But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way - all of them who have tried to secularize America - I point the finger in their face and say "you helped this happen." Rev. Jerry Falwell
I sincerely believe that the collective efforts of many secularists during the past generation, resulting in the expulsion from our schools and from the public square, has left us vulnerable. -- Rev. Jerry Falwell, after the 700 Club broadcast.
Alcoholism and Negroes:
"There are almost as many alcoholics as there are negroes."Rev. Jerry Falwell
"I do not believe the Republicans or the Democrats have the solution to America's moral and spiritual dilemma. Only a pervasive and national spiritual awakening can prevent us entering the post-Christian era as we go simultaneously into the 21st century. I believe America is in imminent peril. We are rotting from within.Rev. Jerry Falwell "Rebuilding America's Walls," 7/6/97
"Somewhere in the past generation, we've lost our biblical mind and not arranged something better in its place. We need a spiritual brainwashing,"Jerry Falwell
Church and State: "The idea of separation of Church and State was invented by the Devil to keep Christians from running their own country."Rev. Jerry Falwell
"I listen to feminists and all these radical gals - most of them are failures. They've blown it. Some of them have been married, but they married some Casper Milquetoast who asked permission to go to the bathroom. These women just need a man in the house. That's all they need. Most of the feminists need a man to tell them what time of day it is and to lead them home. And they blew it and they're mad at all men. Feminists hate men. They're sexist. They hate men - that's their problem"Rev. Jerry Falwell
I do not believe the homosexual community deserves minority status. One's misbehavior does not qualify him or her for minority status. Blacks, Hispanics, women, etc., are God-ordained minorities who do indeed deserve minority status. Rev. Jerry Falwell, USA Today Chat, quoted from The Religious Freedom Coalition, "The Two faces of Jerry Falwell"
Human Failure:If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a human being.Rev. Jerry Falwell
I know a few of you here today don't like Jews. And I know why. He can make more money accidentally than you can on purpose.Rev. Jerry Falwell
The Jews are returning to their land of unbelief. They are spiritually blind and desperately in need of their Messiah and Savior.Jerry Falwell, Listen, America!
Martin Luther King:
"I do question the sincerity and non-violent intentions of some civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mr. James Farmer, and others, who are known to have left-wing associations. Rev. Jerry Falwell
Grown men should not be having sex with prostitutes unless they are married to them.Jerry Falwell, on CNN's Crossfire, May 17, 1997
"We are on the brink of our destruction, and if we do not awaken now, it will be too late. We have been victimized by traitorous behavior on the part of our leaders."Rev. Jerry Falwell
Politics and Religion:The idea that religion and politics don't mix was invented by the Devil to keep Christians from running their own country.Rev. Jerry Falwell, Sermon, July 4, 1976
I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!Rev. Jerry Falwell, America Can Be Saved, 1979 pp. 52-53,
"Modern U.S. Supreme Courts have raped the Constitution and raped the Christian faith and raped the churches by misinterpreting what the founders had in mind in the First Amendment of the Constitution... [W]e must fight against those radical minorities who are trying to remove God from our textbooks, Christ from our nation. We must never allow our children to forget that this is a Christian nation. We must take back what is rightfully ours." Jerry Falwell, March 1993 sermon
"He is purple - the gay-pride color; and his antenna is shaped like a triangle - the gay-pride symbol." Rev. Jerry Falwell
"As a Christian I feel that role modeling the gay lifestyle is damaging to the moral lives of children." Rev. Jerry Falwell
Jerry Falwell, a televangelist and Baptist pastor in Lynchburg, Va., is recruited by far-right activists Howard Phillips, Ed McAteer and Paul Weyrich to form the Moral Majority, a vehicle for bringing fundamentalist Protestants into the Republican Party with the aim of unseating President Jimmy Carter. The move was an about-face for Falwell, who advised his congregation
in 1965, "Preachers are not called to be politicians but soul winners."
MAJOR LIE # 1 Falwell tells an Anchorage rally about a conversation with President Carter at the White House. Commenting on a January breakfast meeting, Falwell claimed to have asked Carter why he had "practicing homosexuals" on the senior staff at the White House. According to Falwell, Carter replied, "Well, I am president of all the American people, and I believe I should represent everyone." When others who attended the White House event insisted that the exchange never happened, Falwell responded that his account "was not intended to be a verbatim report," but rather an "honest portrayal" of Carter’s position.
After Southern Baptist Convention President Bailey Smith tells a Dallas Religious Right gathering that "God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew," Falwell gives a similar view. "I do not believe," he told reporters, "that God answers the prayer of any unredeemed Gentile or Jew." After a meeting with an American Jewish Committee rabbi, he changed course, telling an interviewer on NBC’s "Meet the Press" that "God hears the prayers of all persons….God hears everything."
After the election of Ronald Reagan, the Moral Majority begins advocating for constitutional amendments banning abortion and restoring school-sponsored prayer. The group also demands tax aid to religious education.
Falwell announces a drive to register 1 million new voters before the November elections.
MAJOR LIE # 2 Falwell is forced to pay gay activist Jerry Sloan $5,000 after losing a court battle. During a TV debate in Sacramento, Falwell denied calling the gay-oriented Metropolitan Community Churches "brute beasts" and "a vile and Satanic system" that will "one day be utterly annihilated and there will be a celebration in heaven." When Sloan insisted he had a tape, Falwell promised $5,000 if he could produce it. Sloan did so, Falwell refused to pay and Sloan successfully sued. Falwell appealed, with his attorney charging that the Jewish judge in the case was prejudiced. He lost again and was forced to pay an additional $2,875 in sanctions and court fees.
Reports from the Federal Election Commission indicate that Falwell’s "I Love America Committee," a political action committee formed in 1983, was a flop. The PAC raised $485,000 in its first year—but spent $413,000 to do so.
MAJOR LIE # 3 Falwell apologizes to a Jewish group for seeking a "Christian" America. From now on, he says, he will use the term "Judeo-Christian."
Falwell holds a Washington news conference to announce that he is changing the name of the Moral Majority to the Liberty Foundation. The new name never catches on and is soon abandoned.
Falwell accepts control of the collapsing PTL from his friend and fellow televangelist Jim Bakker. The floundering PTL (Praise The Lord Network) and it’s Heritage U.S.A. evangelical theme park continued to fall into bankruptcy. Falwell was accused of forcing his Fundamentalist ideas on Bakker’s Presbyterian flock. Tammy Faye, the former wife of Jim Bakker said in her 1996 book, Telling It My Way, "Jerry Falwell conned Jim into giving the PTL to him. He got us at a time when I had just gotten out of the hospital. He knew we were at a down time in our lives. He came to California and he lied to Jim. He told Jim he wanted to help him and Jim believed him."
CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR # 1 The Federal Election Commission fines Falwell $6,000 for transferring $6.7 million in funds intended for his ministry to political committees.
MAJOR LIE # 4 Falwell tells reporters he is stepping down as head of the Moral Majority and retiring from politics. "From now on, my real platform is the pulpit, not politics," he says at a news conference.
The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down a $200,000 jury award to Falwell for "emotional distress" he suffered because of a 1983 Hustler magazine parody. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, usually a Falwell favorite, wrote the unanimous opinion in Hustler vs. Falwell, ruling that the First Amendment protects free speech.
Falwell announces that the Moral Majority will shut down its offices and disband.
Siding with Americans United, the Virginia Supreme Court unanimously rejects Falwell’s quest for $60 million in state bonds for his Liberty University. During the litigation, Falwell tried to camouflage the school’s rigidly fundamentalist character, telling the court that the school would no longer discriminate in hiring or force students to attend mandatory chapel (renamed convocation). All the while, Falwell assured his congregation that Liberty had not changed, insisting chapel will be mandatory "until Jesus comes."
Stephens Inc., a Savings and Loan institution from Arkansas forecloses the North Campus of Liberty University, which Falwell had put up as collateral on $72.3 million. Falwell was also involved in the eventual failure of the Lincoln Savings and Loan of California, after borrowing $32 million. The deed to Thomas Road Baptist Church was recovered from their vault and returned.
In the wake of Bill Clinton’s election to the presidency, Falwell mails fund-raising letters nationwide asking people to vote on whether he should reactivate the Moral Majority. He later refuses to say how much money the effort raised and tells reporters he has no intention of reactivating the organization.
CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR # 2 The Internal Revenue Service determines that funds from Falwell’s Old Time Gospel Hour program were illegally funneled to a political action committee. The IRS forced Falwell to pay $50,000 and retroactively revoked the Old Time Gospel Hour’s tax-exempt status for 1986-87.
Despite his promise to Jewish groups to stop referring to America as a "Christian nation," Falwell gives a sermon saying, "We must never allow our children to forget that this is a Christian nation. We must take back what is rightfully ours."
Falwell announces he will not reactivate the Moral Majority but will instead do political work through a group called the Liberty Alliance.
Falwell announces the formation of a new group, Mission America, which he claims will mobilize like-minded clergy across the country. Falwell describes the group as a "personal ministry" and says it will have no budget or staff. Nothing more is heard from it.
Jerry Falwell’s Liberty Flame newspaper runs an article calling TV preacher John Hagee a heretic for saying Jews can be saved without accepting Jesus Christ. Falwell urges every pastor to "take this information to the podium next Sunday."
Falwell endorses former Iran-Contra figure Oliver North for a U.S. Senate seat in Virginia. Falwell glosses over North’s legal problems, saying they happened "in the past."
CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR # 3 Falwell is criticized for using his "Old Time Gospel Hour" to hawk a scurrilous video called "The Clinton Chronicles" that makes a number of unsubstantiated charges against President Bill Clinton—among them that he is a drug addict and that he arranged the murders of political enemies in Arkansas. Despite claims he had no ties to the project, evidence surfaced that Falwell helped bankroll the venture with $200,000 paid to a group called Citizens for Honest Government (CHG). CHG’s Pat Matrisciana later admitted that Falwell and he staged an infomercial interview promoting the video in which a silhouetted reporter said his life was in danger for investigating Clinton. (Matrisciana himself posed as the reporter.) "That was Jerry’s idea to do that," Matrisciana recalled. "He thought that would be dramatic."
Farwell hosts a "Washington for Jesus" rally in the nation’s capital where he holds a mock trial of America for engaging in seven deadly sins: persecution of the church, homosexuality, abortion, racism, occultism, addictions and HIV/AIDS (acronym: PHAROAH). He declares the nation guilty "of violating God’s law."
Falwell joins Revelation Corp. and adds his mailing list of 5 million to receive coupons and catalogues from Revelation Corp. Revelation Corp. was started by James Lowery as a way for black churches to receive money off of insurance premiums from their congregation’s purchases. Churches make 30% of the money funneled into Revelation and 50% goes to a housing fund, 20% goes into church coffers and 2% goes directly into the pocket of Lowery through a profit sharing plan. Many black church leaders have expressed disdain in the Fundamental Falwell’s joining a system design to help poor black churches.
Falwell announces a series of "God Save America" rallies in evangelical churches to stop the United States from entering a "post-Christian" era.
Falwell sponsors a pastors’ briefing in Washington, during which he threatens to form a new political party if Republicans waver on abortion.
Falwell announces a plan to urge fundamentalist churches to intervene in partisan politics. He vows to send sample candidate endorsement sermons that pastors can read in their churches and says he has already done this in the Virginia attorney general’s race. Falwell drops the plan after being reported to the IRS by Americans United.
Falwell pleads for funds for a new group, the National Committee for the Restoration of the Judeo-Christian Ethic. In a fund-raising letter, he promises to "get back in the ring" and be a "spiritual George Foreman." He pledges to register 4 million new voters and mobilize 50,000 pastors. After publishing a couple of fund-raising letters, the group is never heard from again.
Falwell accepts $3.5 million from a front group representing controversial Korean evangelist Sun Myung Moon to ease Liberty University’s financial woes. The donation, and several Falwell appearances at Moon conferences, raised eyebrows because Moon claims to be the messiah sent to complete the failed mission of Jesus Christ, a doctrine sharply at odds with Falwell’s fundamentalist Christian theology. (In 1978, before the Moon money started flowing, Falwell told Esquire magazine, "Reverend Sun Myung Moon is like the plague: he exploits boys and girls, and he should be deported.")
Falwell accepts a $70-million donation from insurance magnate Art Williams, for his debt-ridden Liberty University. Falwell says the contribution will free him to focus on politics again.
MAJOR LIE # 5 Confronted on national television with a controversial quote from America Can Be Saved!, a published collection of his sermons, Falwell denies having written the book or had anything to do with it. In the 1979 work, Falwell wrote, "I hope to live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won’t have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!" Despite Falwell’s denial, Sword of the Lord Publishing, which produced the book, confirms that Falwell wrote it.
In a fund-raising letter, Falwell announces plans to expand his ministry and to "immediately rededicate myself to use my God-given skills as a national spokesman for morality and return to the moral/political arena....[W]ith God’s anointing and your prayerful support, you will soon think I am omnipresent."
Falwell tells a pastors’ conference in Kingsport, Tenn., that the Antichrist prophesied in the Bible is alive today and "of course he’ll be Jewish."
MAJOR LIE # 6 Falwell becomes the object of nationwide ridicule after his National Liberty Journal newspaper issues a "parents alert" warning that Tinky Winky, a character on the popular PBS children’s show "Teletubbies," might be gay. (Americans United was responsible for releasing the information to the national press.)
Falwell sues the White House for harvesting illegal FBI files on him and other televangelists. His accusation is that Bill Clinton has been compiling a list connecting televangelists to violence done to abortion providers called VAAPCON (Violence Against Abortion Providers CONspiracy), which includes personal details of Falwell’s political and real-estate ventures in violation of the Privacy Act. The White House has denied the accusation, and the FBI claims that it’s database contains no such information.
CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR # 4 Falwell forms the People of Faith 2000, a campaign designed to mobilize Christians in the 2000 election. Federal tax laws clearly state that it is illegal for a tax-exempt organization to conduct partisan voter registration. Although Falwell claims his campaign is nonpartisan he admits, "It is my experience that most people of faith in the country vote pro-family, pro-life, and that will mean George W. Bush." He may also be accused of funneling tax-deductible donations made to his religious ministries into partisan political projects…. So what’s new?
In America it seems that numerous Christian leaders claim that Christianity is under assault, in a war even. It would also seem this war is being fought on many fronts.
For example; The War on Christmas & the “Battle” against “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, the forceful removal of “God from the public square” and the forced removal of “God from our public schools,” and of course the “Hidden Gay Agenda.”
Robert Meyer states in one of his articles the following:
“To call someone a liar, you must know something about the thoughts and intentions of the individual making the claim. In this era of reckless character assassinations, we have become impervious to the principle that if lying is despicable, then calling someone a liar gratuitously is proportionally as repugnant.11
It is with this in mind that I proceed.
Religiosity in America:
America is a religiously diverse country, with one clear majority.
Approximately 1.4 % of Americans are Jewish while approximately 0.22% of the world is Jewish.1&2
Approximately 0.6% of Americans are Muslims while 21% of the world religions are some form of Islam. 1&2
Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese traditional & Primal Indigenous:
The World Report shows that these religions collectively account for 32% of the world population and approximately 1% of the United States population. 1&2
Agnostics Atheist Humanists, Theist & Jedi Knights3:
Based on the World Report about 8% of people world wide have no religion or are atheist/agnostic and 8% are theists, meaning they believe in a god or gods with no revelation while they are less than 1% of the American population. 1&2
According to Adherents.Com 33% of the world’s Population is some form of Christian. While the U.S. Census approximates that 80% of Americans are some form of Christian. 1&2
Who is really waging a war on who?
The easiest way to identify a “war monger” is by their own pro-war rhetoric.
"There will be Satanic forces... We are not... up just against human beings, to beat them in elections. We're going to be coming up against spiritual warfare."
Pat Robertson, Road to Victory, 19917&8
Robertson named his enemies in a 1992 newsletter, Pat Robertson Perspective. The list includes, among others, the National Organization for Women, the National Education Association, the National Council of Churches, the Gay-Lesbian Caucus, as well as People for the American Way, and Americans United for a Separation of Church and State. They are lumped together as the "Radical Left." 7&8
"The strategy against the American Radical Left should be the same as General Douglas Macarthur employed against the Japanese in the Pacific... Bypass their strongholds, then surround them, isolate them, bombard them, then blast the individuals out of their power bunkers with hand-to-hand combat. The battle for Iwo Jima was not pleasant, but our troops won it. The battle to regain the soul of America won't be pleasant either, but we will win it."
"We need to find ways to win the war" Karl Rove, President Bush's chief political strategist, and deputy chief of staff told a gathering of the Family Research Council in March, 2002. 7&8
Reverend Tim LaHaye co-authored Mind Siege: The Battle for Truth in the New Millennium, published in 2000. The best-selling book issues a call to arms for evangelical Christians to battle against secular humanism. Mind Siege declares that secular humanism is a "religion," and issues marching orders to evangelical Christians to gear up for an all-out battle to root secular humanists out of public life; their bottom line is that "No humanist is fit to hold office." 7&8
Paul Weyrich said in a talk, "The real enemy is the secular humanist mindset which seeks to destroy everything that is good in this society." 7&8
“Children are the prize to the winners in the second great civil war. Those who control what young people are taught and what they experience – what they see, hear, think, and believe – will determine the future course for the nation.” 7&8
Children At Risk: The Battle for the Hearts and Minds of Our Kids, Word Publishing, 1990, p. 35
“One day, I hope in the next ten years, I trust that we will have more Christian day schools than there are public schools. I hope I will live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won’t have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!”
America Can Be Saved!, (Sword of the Lord Publishers, Murfreesboro, Tenn.) 1979, p. 52-53
“[T]he only hope for the inner city is vouchers, so that all the churches can go in and plant Christian schools in the inner cities and capture these fatherless young people for Christ and teach them biblical discipline and so forth. It’s either God or it’s ruin for our country, I do believe.”
“The 700 Club,” Sept. 3, 1996, (reported in Church & State, October 1996, p. 19)
D. James Kennedy:
“This is our land. This is our world. This is our heritage, and with God’s help, we shall reclaim this nation for Jesus Christ. And no power on earth can stop us.” 7&8
Character & Destiny: A Nation In Search of Its Soul, (Zondervan Publishing House, 1997)
“God forbid that we who were born into the blessings of a Christian America should let our patrimony slip like sand through our fingers and leave to our children the bleached bones of a godless secular society. But whatever the outcome, one thing is certain: God has called us to engage the enemy in this culture war. That is our challenge today.” 7&8
Character & Destiny: A Nation In Search of Its Soul, (Zondervan Publishing House, 1997) 7&amp;amp;8
"How much more forcefully can I say it? The time has come, and it is long overdue, when Christians and conservatives and all men and women who believe in the birthright of freedom must rise up and reclaim America for Jesus Christ." 7&8
Crouse called on the church to stop worrying about appearing tolerant and start proclaiming the truth, saying that Jesus was the most intolerant person in the world. 7&8
Christian Citizens regarding the Christian Terrorist Eric Rudolph:
"He's a Christian and I'm a Christian and he dedicated his life to fighting abortion," said Mrs. Davis, 25, mother of four. "Those are our values. And I don't see what he did as a terrorist act." MURPHY, N.C., May 31, 2003 20
Changed the sign in front of her diner from "Roast Turkey Baked Ham" to "Pray for Eric Rudolph." Mrs. Howard said she was going to start an Eric Rudolph legal defense fund. Many customers have already said they would chip in. 21
"Bless his heart," Mrs. Howard said. "Eric needs our help." 21
I challenge you to find similar, verifiable rhetoric, from the Secular Left. I couldn’t find any. In fact, my searches only found vast fonts of rhetoric from the Religious Right.
Common Sense & Simple Math:
The “War on Christmas”, the vast conspiracy by the “Secular Left” engineering the death of Christianity in America and the numerous other claims made by the “Religious Right” just do not add up.
Here is why:
Let’s do some fairly simple math:
Approximately 80% of Americans are Christian. Approximately 8% of Americans are secular if you include, atheist, agnostic & theist. That is a 10:1 ratio. It just doesn’t add up that such a small minority could hold so much influence over such a vast majority. This would require a far greater amount of resources per person amongst the minority to be able to exert such a disproportionate influence.
Let’s exercise some common sense:
If there has been a war on Christianity in America it has been a greatly sustained war and appears to have started in the 1948 in the McCollum v. Board of Education case where religious education in Public Schools was first struck down by the Supreme Court.18
We should consider how much money it takes to wage war. If there is one thing we American’s should be acutely aware of, it is that war is not cheap. War costs money, a sustained war costs even more money.
When it comes to fund raising we should consider some things about the “Secular Left” versus the Religious Right. It is fairly safe to assume that the Religious Right is one of the most effective fund raising machines in the world. The sources to validate such claim are so vast it would take a book about the size of Encyclopedia Britannica to track them all.
Where’s the organized effort by the left?
Where are the meetings? How can you have a war without meetings and organization? I have never been invited to one, I have never seen a Death to Christmas handbook, nor can I find one. There are no leaders or organizers in the “War on Religion.” How can you go to battle without a clear chain of command? The only document we have is the U.S. Constitution while the Religious Right has the Wedge Strategy.
Let’s consider some of the problems with the “Secular Left”:
- They are too fragmented, the left’s greatest weakness is that they go in too many directions at once and can almost never agree on a single cause. It is either, save the whales, save the trees, save the owl or save the (Fill in the blank).
- A lot, not all, of the extreme left are financially disorganized and don’t do as good of a job at raising money as the Religious Right.
- They are an extreme minority, with a 10:1 ratio they have a much smaller base from which to raise funds. The point being, it is far easier for the Religious Right to raise money to fund a war simply because a vast number of Americans are Christian.
The question then is how can a sustained and expensive war be waged by the Secular Left? No Money, No War.
Let’s consider some of the problems with the “Religious Right”:
The tactics actively utilized by the Religious Right are themselves evidence of the fact that they don’t have a legal leg to stand on. They know their actions are unconstitutional.
Thus the Religious Right’s only approach is:
a. To create their own theistic law schools where teaching falsehoods and granting law degrees to people that have been indoctrinated into a false belief system about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is the primary goal. 13&28
a. As Falwell himself states” "We are unabashedly proactive," "We are on a mission to return America to her religious heritage. We're hoping we are training the lawyers who can turn the legal profession back to the right." 28
b. In an interview with the Associated Press, Falwell added, "We want to infiltrate the culture with men and women of God who are skilled in the legal profession. We'll be as far to the right as Harvard is to the left."28
b. To create a public campaign of disinformation which: 13
a. Promotes the false idea that The United States of America was founded as a Christian Nation. 13&14
b. Redefines Science, the Scientific Method & Scientific Theory to include the supernatural as a plausible explanation as cited in the Discovery Institutes own document appropriately titled “The Wedge Strategy.” 13&14
c. Uses lies and deception, intentionally marketing falsehoods about science,13 education,13 birth control, abortion, stem cell research, the War on Christmas, etc…
d. Uses hateful rhetoric, even alluding to calls for violence, such as prayers for the death of people such as Pro-Choice participants, Supreme Court Justices and other “Activist Judges.”
e. Raises funds to mount the criminal defense of people that commit acts of terrorism by murdering doctors and nurses that perform abortions, or planting bombs at abortion clinics. 19
f. Commits terrorist acts to promote a fundamentalist agenda. 16&19
g. Attempts to legislate away the intended checks and balances as defined by the Constitution and using false claims about Activist Judges that are “legislating from the bench” as a means to undermine the law.
h. Promotes laws that undermine the very essence of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and our Democracy by silencing free speech.
i. Intentionally undermines and degrades public education by promoting a theistic agenda that is designed to force a single religion and world view upon the children of America regardless of their families’ belief system.
War On Christmas:
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly claimed that "it's all part of the secular progressive agenda ... to get Christianity and spirituality and Judaism out of the public square." He then added: "[B]ecause if you look at what happened in Western Europe and Canada, if you can get religion out, then you can pass secular progressive programs, like legalization of narcotics, euthanasia, abortion at will, gay marriage, because the objection to those things is religious-based, usually." 4
The War on Christmas as some like to call it is far from a reality. Though I can actually find one group that is opposed to Christmas, it is not the Secular Left:
“There is no day commanded in scripture to be kept holy under the gospel but the Lord’s Day, which is the Christian Sabbath. Festival days, vulgarly called Holy days, having no warrant in the Word of God, are not to be continued.” The Directory for the Public Worship of God Agreed upon by the Assembly of Divines at Westminster. 25
Kevin Reed offers this summary of the Puritan opposition to Christmas: 25
“(1) No time of worship is sanctified, unless God has ordained it; (2) unscriptural holy days are a threat to the proper observance of the Lord’s day because these holy days tend to eclipse the sanctity which belongs only to the Lord’s Day; (3) the observance of unscriptural holy days tends toward the superstition and innovation in worship which is characteristic of Roman Catholicism.” (Christmas – An Historical Survey Regarding Its Origins And Opposition To It) 25
What would our godly forefathers think of the nonsense that goes on at this time of the year, in and out of public worship? We can only imagine what they would have thought of Santa Clause – ‘who sees and knows all about little children’. That some Christians even lie to their children, telling them that there is a Santa is almost incredible – their children may well ask when older, ‘Is God fictional too, just like Santa and the Tooth fairy?’ We plead with you not to try to put Christ ‘back into Christmas’ for he was never there, nor does he belong there. We ask you instead to stand apart – though admittedly this is very difficult, and you will be vilified for it – and emphasize God’s weekly Holy Day all the more. 25
The reasoning for this Christian opposition to Christmas is based on the historical evidence that the real origins of the Christmas holiday are in fact rooted in pagan and non-Christian traditions. According to these Christians, the act of celebrating Christmas is actually an affront to God and his son.
The ignoble nature of the origins and customs of Christmas can be found in many standard reference sources; therefore, we will not dwell on them in great detail. It is appropriate, however, to mention a few highly significant facts pertaining to the origins behind Christmas. 24
The transition from festivals commemorating the birth of a sun god to a celebration ostensibly for the Son of God occurred sometime in the fourth century. Unable to eradicate the heathen celebration of Saturnalia, the Church of Rome, sometime before 336 A.D., designated a Feast of the Nativity to be observed. 24
The only references to an actual organized effort to eradicate Christmas and remove references to Jesus from Christmas are solely by Christians for Christian purposes.
Of course I am not saying there are not any members of the secular left that advocate or even call for the end of religion. There is Richard Dawkins who is very outspoken about the damage that has been done to society in the name of religion. There most certainly are others like him, however, this does not constitute an army nor a major organized force against religion.
The Assaults on Christmas:
- In Saginaw, Michigan it was alleged that Township schools opposed red and green clothes and prohibit singing Christmas songs.26
- In Watchung, N.J. it was alleged that the city council passed a policy to start calling the Christmas tree a “Mitten Tree” replace all references to Christmas with the word “Holiday.” 26
- In Plano, Texas, the school allegedly told the students they could not wear red and green because they were Christmas colors. 26&27
- At Glendale-River Hills School District in Wisconsin it was alleged that the schools prohibited any song close to the Christmas holiday from having any religious “motive or theme,” yet they would still allow secular and Hanukkah holiday songs. 26
Gays will Destroy Marriage & The Earth:
Focus on the Family founder James Dobson warned those attending the Friday afternoon rally at Oklahoma Christian University that the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman must be protected. ... "Homosexuals are not monogamous. They want to destroy the institution of marriage," Dobson said. "It will destroy marriage. It will destroy the Earth.” Activist Judges: The Whitehouse has a Statement by G.W. Bush;
The sacred institution of marriage should not be redefined by a few activist judges. All Americans have a right to be heard in this debate. I called on the Congress to pass, and to send to the states for ratification, an amendment to our Constitution defining and protecting marriage as a union of a man and a woman as husband and wife. The need for that amendment is still urgent, and I repeat that call today. 10
War on Christmas:
As reported in USA Today in December of 2005: Last December, a group called Public Advocate for the United States (which claims to defend America's traditional family values) sent some Christmas carolers over to sing in front of the ACLU offices in Washington.
Carrying signs reading "Merry Christmas" and "Please Don't Sue Us!" — they also seem to have carried with them some rather strange imaginings about an assault on Christmas.
To tell the truth, the ACLU is not often serenaded by Christmas carolers. So it was with some excitement that the staff went outside and joined in the singing. They brought with them cookies and warm drinks to share. One staff member, who is an ordained Baptist minister, did a little witnessing about his faith to some astonished proponents of family values.
Fox News did broadcast the event (as a part of its "war against Christmas" campaign). Although the visiting singers were shown, the cameras failed to include any footage showing that everyone had participated in the caroling. Rather than reporting the facts, the anchor preferred the propaganda: "We believe the ACLU heard the message loud and clear, but they don't care." 5
What about all of the reported claims where the Secular Left is attacking Christmas?
The majority of incidents I have been able to find thus far that are reported to be evidence of this alleged “War on Christmas” by the Secular Left have, in fact, been proven to be hoaxes. I prefer to call them what they are, lies.
- In Saginaw, Michigan it was alleged that Township schools opposed red and green clothes and prohibit singing Christmas songs. The fact is that the official school color is green and that no such policy ever existed. 26
- In Watchung, N.J. it was alleged that the city council passed a policy to start calling the Christmas tree a “Mitten Tree” replace all references to Christmas with the word “Holiday.” In response Mayor Albert Ellis said the “Tree of Lights” is sponsored by the local rescue squad as a fundraiser. The town has been doing so for 15 years. The town has a holiday display policy negotiated with the two local churches. The policy allows private citizens to erect holiday displays. 26
- In Plano, Texas, the school allegedly told the students they could not wear red and green because they were Christmas colors. The district has responded by saying this is not true and never has been true. The Superintendent has expressed frustration that this story continues to circulate and instructed its attorney to write to Bill O’Reilly, requesting a correction. 26&27
- At Glendale-River Hills School District in Wisconsin it was alleged that they prohibited any song close to the Christmas holiday from having any religious “motive or theme,” yet they would still allow secular and Hanukkah holiday songs. The district responded by saying this is not true. In fact they do recognize the Christian religious tradition with songs being sung that include “Angels We Have Heard on High” and “I Saw Three Ships.” 26
Lying, by omission, is still lying. To intentionally report only half the truth in order to promote false claims is unconscionable, especially from someone who is expected to report the truth as a member of the forth estate. The members of the press have an obligation to report the whole truth.
With these blatant attempts at misdirection the agenda becomes clear. This is another attempt at creating a wedge issue designed to separate the Christians from the “liberal left” and manipulate the moderate independent voter.
Isn’t it ironic that these self proclaimed Christians have to bear false witness in order to manipulate the public? After all doesn’t their own God order “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”
Where is all of this legislation that is being pushed through that allegedly strips Christianity from America as many have claimed? Where are all of the “activist decisions” by the courts that have left religion lying in a pool of its own blood about to expire?
It doesn’t exist, these false claims and misdirection are designed to keep America from seeing what is really going on.
[S]ince 1989...more than 200 special arrangements, protections or exemptions for religious groups or their adherents were tucked into Congressional legislation, covering topics ranging from pensions to immigration to land use. New breaks have also been provided by a host of pivotal court decisions at the state and federal level, and by numerous rule changes in almost every department and agency of the executive branch.
One result is that religious institutions participating in essentially secular business ventures now enjoy financial and other advantages over their secular competitors. And, a greater tax burden falls on ordinary citizens.12
The distinction that the press fails to make over and over is that the ACLU and other groups are trying to hold the government accountable to the First Amendment which prohibits the government from making a law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
There are numerous examples of the ACLU defending Christian Americans and their right to express their faith in the public square.
For example, in 2006 alone:
- The ACLU has helped a New Jersey student’s right to sing “Awesome God” in a voluntary after school program. 6
- In Louisiana the ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Christian man who was protesting Wal-Mart based on his religious beliefs. Wal-Mart had the man chased away for carrying a sign that read “Christians: Wal-Mart supports Gay Marriage and Gay Lifestyles. Don’t Shop there.” 6
- The ACLU of Rhode Island filed an appeal in federal court on behalf of an inmate who was barred from preaching during Christian religious services, as he had done for the past seven years under the supervision and support of prison clergy. The prisoner, Wesley Spratt, believes his preaching is a calling from God. Prison officials cited vague and unsubstantiated security reasons for imposing the preaching ban on Mr. Spratt. The ACLU argued that the ban violates the religious freedom guaranteed to Mr. Spratt under federal law. 6
- The list goes on, and on, and on…..
The ACLU lists approximately 80 such cases defending religion in places like the public square and public schools over the last 5 years. The alleged war on Christmas is what generates ratings - the truth, apparently, does not.
The media continuously fails to point out the vast number of cases where these groups that are “determined to exterminate religion in the public square” and kill Christmas have expended vast resources to protect the very thing they are being accused of trying to destroy.
Individuals are free to preach on the street corner, that is their right under the Constitution. They just aren’t allowed to use tax payer dollars to fund their preaching. The government is prohibited from endorsing that person, or stopping that person. It is so very simple yet there is a huge percentage of Americans that chose to believe the exact opposite and demand that their government do the same. How patriotic is it to ignore the Constitution and force un-American values on Americans?
The attacks on the courts and several attempts to pass legislation that strip the courts of their Constitutionally defined duties are as un-American as Stalin.
Using the law to deny rights or to silence dissenting political opinion is the warning bell that danger lies ahead. To silence political free speech and dissent is more in line with policies of the Red Coats.
If these anti-democratic actions are allowed to get a foothold, it will be the beginning of the death of America and the birth of another giant theocratic government or dogmatic dictatorship.
The same people that are screaming “Beware of Burning Flags and Marrying Fags.” are the exact people that are attempting to yank the Constitution and the Bill of Rights right out from under us all.
The Religious Right has been very affective in their campaign of terror. They are constantly running around and bellowing at the tops of their lungs about the DANGER AMERICANS FACE, the DANGERS AMERICAN CHILDREN FACE, the DANGER MARRIAGE FACES, and on and on and on. They distract the average person from real issues through fear and erode their rights while they look the other way. Didn’t anyone learn from the story of Chicken Little or the Little Boy that Cried Wolf?
There is further irony in the fact that the Religious Right has the highest divorce rate in America.9 How can it be that the righteous, who are waging the war against homosexuals in God’s name, have the highest divorce rates? I thought the Gays were destroying marriage?
If the Religious Right are the saviors of Marriage in America, then how is it that “90% of divorces among born-again couples occur after they have been ‘saved?’ 9
Look at how the Religious Right entertains their children with the new computer game “LEFT BEHIND: Eternal Forces”. 29 This game is a perfect example of the hypocrisy that these Religious Right groups preach. They protest and demand new laws to protect their children from games that depict street violence or emulate warfare unless that game promotes their world view to “Conduct physical & spiritual warfare : using the power of prayer to strengthen your troops in combat and wield modern military weaponry throughout the game world.” 29 The game takes place in New York City after the rapture. The objectives of the game include creating Christian militias in order to roam the streets of New York City. Simulate Christian conversion of non-believers while killing those who will not convert. After large scale and violent battles players must use prayer to recharge their "soul points" which are drained by all the killing. Doesn’t this just sound more like “Grand Theft Auto: The Rapture?”
Then we can mention the sexual misconduct by the conservative religious leaders, both liberal and conservative, but all Christians.
Wake up people. This is like having Michael Jackson telling you how to protect your children from sexual predators!
What’s the Point here?
There most certainly is not a war on Christmas, much less religion. There is no great conspiracy by the Secular Left nor is there some hidden “Gay Agenda.” These are fabricated lies designed to divide Americans with fear.
Inversely, there is definitely a great and vast conspiracy by the Religious Right to gain control of the United States and its government, to pass laws that reflect their values, and to revoke rights that our Constitution currently protects. I don’t have to make this stuff up, they have said so in they own words and in writing thereby making their thoughts and intentions perfectly clear.
There are those that would argue, “80% of America is Christian; the majority rules.” That is also completely and utterly wrong. The United States Constitution was drafted with a specific intent of protecting the minorities from majority rule, which is clearly explained quite eloquently on the United States Senate’s website:
For over two centuries the Constitution has remained in force because its framers successfully separated and balanced governmental powers to safeguard the interests of majority rule and minority rights, of liberty and equality…17
What to do?
We should all be more vigilant in protecting our Constitutional rights. We should all get offended when our tax dollars are used to proselytize or build houses of worship. Religion, like people, should be able to stand on its own two feet and be funded by its believers. If welfare for people or corporations is not good for America, why should we remain silent about welfare for religion? 22&23
The only people that can hurt Christianity are the Christian extremists. If you fear that religion is falling in numbers in America like they did in Europe then stop the Religious Right’s zealous venture towards theocracy in the United States.
The reason religion has failed in Europe is solely because they have or had state-sponsored and state-funded religion. The Europeans have seen the horrors of that sponsorship and they remember them.
Europeans also greatly resent their tax dollars being used to support a religion that they themselves may not subscribe to. Therefore, they stopped going to church and stopped believing the myth.
So to close;
The preponderance of evidence shows that we need understanding and tolerance to grow, not fear and not war. There is absolutely no way our tiny little minority can harm Christianity or kill Christmas. After all…
- We still like getting presents.
- We still like the days off from work.
- We still enjoy the extra time with family and the big dinners.
- We aren’t organized enough to pull it off.
- We don’t have the money to pull it off.
- We don’t care enough about it to even try to pull it off.
- The majority of my fellow liberals, they are Christians too.
I predict that the harder the Religious Right pushes their agenda to achieve their theocratic goals the harder individuals that are liberal and moderates in this country will push back.
America is the land of the free.
Remember that one person’s religion is another person’s mythology; to each his or her own.
1) Religions in the U.S. – Wikipedia collection from U.S. Census Bureau.
2) Adherents.com - ("membership/adherent statistics and congregation statistics for over 4,200 religions, churches, denominations, religious bodies, faith groups, tribes, cultures, movements, ultimate concerns, etc")
3) The Telegraph U.K. – Jedi Knights
4) Media Matters – Bill O’Reilly & The War on Christmas, Religion out of the public square & Secular Progressives.
5) Fictional War on Christmas: USA Today
6) ACLU – The ACLU has numerous examples of where it defends religious liberty.
7) Theocracy Watch – A Religious Right watchdog group.
8) Americans United for the Separation of Church and State – The Religious Right in their own words.
9) Religious Tolerance – Divorce rates are slightly higher for Born Again Christians than Atheists or Agnostics.
10) Statement by the President – Activist Judges
11) Renew America – Calling Someone a liar
12) Rational Radical – Podcast #65
13) Wedge Document (PDF file), a 1999 Discovery Institute fundraising pamphlet. Cited in Handley P. Evolution or design debate heats up. The Times of Oman, 7 March 2005.
14) Dover Trial - Full text of Judge Jones' ruling, dated December 20, 2005 (PDF File)
15) Killing Policeman was a gift - http://judicial-inc.biz/Horsley.htm
16) Refuse & Resist – Anthrax Threat letters sent to 250 Abortion Clinics
17) Majority Rule – U.S. Senate Website
18) McCollum v. Board of Education
19) Eric Rudolf – Christian’s raising funds for Abortion Clinic Bomber
20) NY Times – Run, Rudolph, Run June 31, 2003
21) NY Times – Sympathy for bombing suspect may cloud search for evidence – June 2, 2003
22) March, 2004, issue of Church and State - "Faith Czar" Jim Towey announced $40 billion dollars was now available to religious charities.
23) NY Times - Lawsuit Challenges Use of Federal Aid for Bible-Based Counseling 09/13/2006
24) Christians against Christmas - http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualNLs/Xmas_ch2.htm
25) Puritan & Reformed against Christmas
26) American United – The Religious Right's Phony 'War on Christmas': Mything in Action
27) Plano Independent School District – Public Statement
28) Find Articles - Jerry Falwell Opens Law School To Train 'Radical' Attorneys
29) Left Behind: The Game – PC Game that is based on the left behind series of books.