Monday, June 06, 2005

Perry Threatens First Amendment: Demagogue Governor in Texas

It is natural to "take alarm" at the grotesque perversion of First Amendment Principles by Governor Rick Perry of Texas. As he promised he made good on his promise of celebrating with "Christian Friends", Governor Perry traveled to Calvary Christian Academy, to speak and sign legislation amidst cries of "Amen" limiting abortions for teen-agers, and symbolically signed a proposed constitutional amendment to be placed before Texas voters banning same-sex marriages.

Appealing to the worst prejudices of his fundamentalist following, Governor Perry trashed the Constitutional provisions protecting our Republic from "Establishment" of religion. As stated by the Supreme Court in Everson:
“The establishment of religion clause means at least this: Neither a state nor the federal government may set up a church. Neither can pass laws that aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion... . Neither a state or the federal government may, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between church and state.'"
James Madison expressed it best in Memorial and Remonstrance:
Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects?

Governor Perry signing Texas anti-abortion law.

And what of the laws Governor Perry signed? Unmarried women under 18 must now receive written consent from their parents to obtain an abortion. Current Texas law already requires parental notification, but that isn't enough for these zealots. The only difference of this law is that now parents can veto a minor's request for an abortion. In other words they can force their daughters to have a child against her wishes. This will only encourage more harm for young girls who are forced into back-street abortionists to obtain their desired abortion. Shame on Governor Perry!

In addition, as reported:
The bill also restricts doctors from performing abortions on women who have carried a child for more than 26 weeks unless having the baby would jeopardize the woman's life or the baby has serious brain damage.
That sounds good but Roe v. Wade allows a greater degree of freedom for abortions than the restrictive elements of the Texas law:
The final stage of pregnancy under Roe v. Wade occurs after the fetus becomes viable[4]. After viability, the state could regulate or prohibit abortions unless they were ``necessary, in appropriate medical judgement'', to preserve the life or health of the woman. This standard must be read, however, in light of the Court's decision the same day in Doe v. Bolton, that clinical judgement ``may be exercised in light of all factors -- physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman's age -- relevant to the well-being of the patient[5]. Thus, the Court nominally allowed the state to prohibit post-viability abortions except in apparently limited cases, but it actually defined the limitation in a way that bars the state from prohibiting such abortions if physicians are willing to perform them.
The Texas law clearly is an unconstitutional limitation on Roe v. Wade, and is likely to be overturned, with the failure to allow for the health, and not only the life of the mother!

And what about the Texas same-sex marriage ban? This resolution states:
“Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.”

An amendment, added during House debate by Chisum stipulates, “This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.”
Once again, these Christian zealots and their puppet-Governor are threatening the rights of children.

Children? "How is that possible?" you ask.

Making marriage off-limits for gays will not cure any gays. It will not strengthen any heterosexual marriages. It will simply harm those individuals who are involved in homosexual family units. This will deny health care coverage for spouses, this will affect custody issues for those children who are involved in these families, and it will deny these children the protection that our society offers children in civil unions and marriages. So shame on you Governor Perry!

First you drive girls out of the conventional abortion service into back-street butchers. Children who may be pregnant with their own fathers subjecting them to incestuous harassment, or who may be pregnant with other family members children! Children who may be afraid of asking permission from those very same parties!

And now you attack children again, denying them of the protections of having parents who are married. Or maybe you are unaware that there are between six and ten MILLION children in America who are in households headed by gay, lesbian, or bisexual parents. Maybe you enjoy making children suffer.

To top it off, Governor Perry had a Jew for Jesus give the closing benediction, misrepresenting again to the Christian Faith a bizarre ideal of Judaism, Jews who profess Jesus Christ as their Savior!

As reported:
A Jewish leader was, in fact, present and gave the final benediction: Rabbi David Stone of the Beth Yeshua Messianic Jewish Congregation in Fort Worth. The group believes Jesus was the Messiah, a tenet heretical to traditional Jews.
But this is no "Jewish Leader". This is a Christian man who found Jesus Christ at the age of 11! As reported by the "Beth Yeshua" website:
"Rabbi Stone graduate from Berean Bible College in March 1997, receiving a diploma in Ministerial Studies and received ordination in 1997 with the Assemblies of God."
In the March 11, 2005, newsletter from Beth Yeshua is this "Prayer of Committment":
Prayer of Commitment

Dear G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, I now confess myself to have broken your law and to have sinned before you. I acknowledge my sin and ask you to forgive me. I ask Yeshua (Jesus) to enter my life and be my Messiah, Savior and L-rd. From this moment forward, I believe He rose from the dead and is living now, and I place my trust in Him. By faith in Him, I am now born again, given eternal life and invite your Holy Spirit to take up residence within. Help me now to continue to trust You, love for You and grow in my relationship with You. Amen.
Jewish people do not accept Christ as their savior. Where has Governor Perry been? Jewish people do not get ordained in the Assembly of God!

As explained by the Assemblies of God website, their mission:
We commit ourselves to anointed worship–to glorify God in Spirit and in truth, unashamed of our extravagant love for Jesus Christ. We commit ourselves to be a people who live in, and for, the glory of God. In our endeavor to enable every believer to become a true worshipper, we will ask the Lord to provide anointed, gifted worship leaders, and we will equip them in every way possible as they lead our congregations in authentically expressed, spiritually alive worship to the Lord."
If it walks like a Christian, talks like a Christian, well you get the point!

Enough said.

This circus led by the Texas governor is a travesty of the highest order. The whole thing just makes me sick.

Texas deserves a leader who respects the unique place of religion in America and the role of the Governor of Texas in protecting religious freedom in the Great State of Texas! We cannot pander to religious zealots by carrying out legislative matters under the roofs of churches without threatening our very freedom!

Senator John Kerry understands religious freedom. As reported:
On Friday, he scolded the Vatican for saying Catholic politicians like himself have a "moral duty" to oppose laws granting legal rights to gay couples. ... "I believe in the church and I care about it enormously," said the Massachusetts senator. "But I think that it's important to not have the church instructing politicians. That is an inappropriate crossing of the line in America."
Thank you Senator Kerry! America needs your leadership in all of our states, from Texas to Massachusetts! America needs a President who understands that religious freedom means freedom for every American and not just pandering to the fundamentalist activists. That no American can truly be free if every American is not granted the right to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness"!

Keep that door open for 2008! We have your back!



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