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December 2002 Issue #93


“Fan Mail" Shows Why We Must Persevere

Did the religious right’s apparent influence in the election discourage you? Have you been wondering why you should bother opposing them? The following message sent to Let Freedom Ring shows why we cannot give up our fight to preserve separation of church and state, individual liberty, and freedom of expression. These are the cherished values that have made this nation so great. We who care about our country must not let our elected officials or our fellow citizens forget that. We—liberals, moderates, conservatives, of all political persuasions—must continue calling on our elected officials to reject the religious right’s agenda and its message of intolerance, narrow-mindedness, and exclusion.

"Way to Go and keep it up! "Right Rules" The Right is the way to go a message from the majority of Americans, we the Christian Americans. I love to see a web site like yours because it means we are getting under your skin. You all ought to be ashamed of yourselves stealing the title to Sean Hannity's book, which you should read you might learn something, and then name your web site with it. Nice try, America has lost all respect in what the liberals believe in. What am I talking about? Liberals don't believe. Liberals beliefs and values are NIL. Please leave our country and go live some place where you are wanted like Iran or China then you will see that taking America for granted is the wrong thing to do. Please visit Arlington National Cemetery and see how many Christians died for this country, almost 98 %. Count the crosses on the tombstones. I will continue to pray for you all. God does love you very much."


What Can I Do?

You can help Let Freedom Ring’s efforts by giving your time, your money, your information, and your voice. The challenges ahead are great. Please become a member (or give a membership to the person who has everything), send us your e-mail address if you want to get action alerts by e-mail, share with us information about the religious right or about efforts to stop them, and volunteer to help our education and advocacy efforts.



Gearing Up Over School Vouchers

Tom Craddick, who will be the speaker of the Texas House, told the Houston Chronicle that the legislature will likely create pilot voucher programs and he would like to see one in Harris County. The Coalition for Public Schools (CPS) is preparing to again lead the opposition to vouchers.

Carolyn Boyle, who has led the CPS since 1995, says that personal contacts with legislators have been crucial to stopping vouchers in the past few sessions. According to Boyle, calls to legislators are especially critical when floor amendments are attached to other bills at the last minute.

The CPS needs grassroots activists to meet with their legislators in their home district or Austin, call the Capitol, send letters, and encourage others to do the same. Among new house members being contacted are Larry Taylor, Dist. 24, Friendswood (northern Brazoria and western Galveston counties), Glenn Hegar, Dist. 28, Katy (Wharton, Waller, and western Fort Bend counties), Glenda Dawson, Dist. 29, Pearland (Matagorda County and northern Brazoria County), Wayne Smith, Dist. 128, Baytown (plus LaPorte and Goose Creek ISD), and Martha Wong, Dist. 134, Houston. If you will meet with these legislators or otherwise participate in this campaign, please contact Let Freedom Ring.

Meanwhile, the Bush Administration is funding a media campaign targeting black parents and leaders by the Black Alliance for Educational Options, a vouchers group created by the far-right Bradley Foundation, The Black Commentator reported. The education undersecretary announcing the $600,000 grant said, "We want to change the conversation about parental choice by positively influencing individuals who are resisting parental choice options and get them to reconsider their outlook."


Alabama Ten Commandments Monument Held Unconstitutional

A federal judge has ruled that Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore violated the First Amendment when he placed a monument engraved with the Ten Commandments and other references to God in the state judicial building’s rotunda. The opinion said it is not improper in all instances to display the Ten Commandments in government buildings but the nonsecular purpose of Moore’s monument was self-evident by his words at the unveiling ceremony and the trial and by its appearance. Further, the monument, viewed alone or in the context of its history (Moore campaigned as the “Ten Commandments judge” and installed the monument to fulfill a campaign promise to "restore the moral foundation of law"), physical characteristics, and location has the primary effect of endorsing religion.

The opinion also noted that Coral Ridge Ministries, a religious right media outlet, was the only media outlet to record the monument’s placement, has used this lawsuit to raise money, and is paying Moore’s legal fees. “(T)he monument can be viewed as a joint venture between the Chief Justice and Coral Ridge, as both parties have a direct interest in its continued presence in the rotunda” and “it could be argued that Coral Ridge's religious activity is being sponsored and financially supported by the Chief Justice's installation of the monument as a government official.” Moore vows to appeal.


Education Board Approves Textbooks

The State Board of Education voted 14-1 to approve social studies textbooks. The dissenter, Republican Dan Montgomery, accused the board of being “intent on driving content” in violation of state law placing content decisions at the local level. Other board members pointed out that they had ordered no changes and had left it up to the publishers to work out differences with anyone that sought revisions.


Quote of the Month

"This is the window that we have, and we need to do everything we can to advance life and really bring God into the marketplace and the political arena. Only Christians can do that."

Sandy Rios, president, Concerned Women for America, 11-6-02.

Let Freedom Ring news is published monthly. 

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