MorganRants

Things I am passionate about. Injustice, stupidity, intolerance, bigotry and small-mindedness. Oh and there might just be some humor to offset the whole thing.

Posts Tagged ‘ACLU’

Decalogues everywhere, with thanks to the ACLU!

Posted by morganwrites on August 17, 2008

Project Moses promoting God’s Laws with Ten Commandments monuments

Thousands of stone Ten Commandments monuments on highly visible properties in communities across the nation, millions of smaller plaques in Christian and Jewish homes, and a massive bronze showing the biblical image of Moses holding the stones on which God wrote… The target of the ACLU? Nope. Thanks to the ACLU!

Joe Worthing, the executive director for Project Moses, says his organization, only a few years old, is well on its way to reaching many of its goals of placing Ten Commandments monuments all over the nation, and it’s because of a complaint from the ACLU.

The ministry was launched by John Menghini, an Overland Park, Kan., businessman, who was disturbed by a news story about the ACLU demanding and getting the removal of a Ten Commandments monument from a Kansas City courthouse.

The Kansas City story also noted the fate of the monument to which the ACLU objected: It was moved about 100 feet across the street to St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, so that it would be on private property and no longer subject to the whims of lawyers and judges, and a light clicked on for Menghini.

“The beauty of this move is that now, far more visitors to the courthouse actually view the Ten Commandments because it is more visible than it ever was on the courthouse grounds,” he said. “I thought, if every church and synagogue in America would proudly display God’s law, as this one church did, maybe our culture could turn a corner and come back to its Judeo-Christian roots.”

The result was Project Moses, which works to install 900-pound stone monuments to God’s Laws on church and other private properties in prominent civic locations across the country. Hundreds already are installed, as well as thousands of smaller stone plaques that are offered to families for their homes.
“The ACLU is not the problem [with removing the Ten Commandments from America],” Worthing told WND. “We need to send them a thank you. They awakened a sleeping giant.

“The problem has been the apathy of good citizens sitting on their hands and saying, ‘That’s happening in California or Boston, not in Omaha,'” he said.

One Nebraska city’s situation is a perfect example of what the organization wants to do: A citizen brought a complaint against the city government for a Ten Commandments monument hidden in a remote corner of a public park.

It was removed, but one of the Project Moses monuments was placed instead on a street front property. It happens to be only a few blocks from where the complainant lives, and he now has to drive within 15 feet of God’s Laws whenever he passes that location, Worthing said.

“Listen, they [the ACLU] may have won a few skirmishes, but God’s going to win the war,” Worthing said.

He said his organization in just a few years has installed nearly 400 of the monuments, far more than have been removed from public locations because of litigation and intimidation over the past 30 years.
“Project Moses’ stated mission is the restoration of respect for the Ten Commandments so all may live out Christ’s call for true social justice in the home, communities and political policies,” the organization says. It cites the instructions from the Torah, Deut. 6:4-9. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. … Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates…”
Worthing says the primary goal is to place the stone monuments, 5 feet, 4 inches tall, “on every private religious property, Catholic, Protestant and Jewish, in America.”

These monuments are intended to be on “‘Main Street,’ right in front for the whole community to see.”
The cost of the monuments, including those made from marble imported from the Sinai Peninsula, run about $4,500 to $5,000 including delivery and the organization has various methods of raising funds for churches that want to participate.

The goal is to install a total of 5,000 monuments over the next five years and distribute 1.5 million eight-inch square stone plaques in homes and offices at the same time. More than 15,000 already have been handed out, officials said.

The last part of the goal is a bronze of Moses holding the Decalogue over his head. It is expected to be about 24 feet tall and be placed on private property in Washington, although no details about the land can be released until its purchase is completed, officials said.

Because the numbering traditions among Catholics, Protestants and Jews vary, the monuments are available in the St. Augustine, King James or Jewish number traditions.

The project’s goal “is not to argue whose tradition is better but to get all who view these monuments to dive into Scripture and move beyond the simple 10 sentences we learned as children.”
The project supports the efforts of many Christian individuals and organizations to maintain historic Ten Commandments monuments in public locations.

But, Worthing said, “If the first place someone sees the Commandments is at the courthouse, that’s probably why he is there!

“Political battles need to be fought but conversion and changing how people live needs to be the goal. America is where it is at today, morally, not because of groups like the ACLU but because of the APATHY of the faithful.

“Sir Edmund Burke said it best when he said, ‘The only thing necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.’ Project Moses gives the average believer the opportunity they have not had in the courtrooms over the past 30 years, a tangible way to show support for God’s laws,” he said.
He said a teaching curriculum also is available to churches, since the goal is more than to plop a piece of rock on a sidewalk. Also available are plans for “Ten Commandments weekends” where churches raise their own funds for the monuments.

“More than 90 percent of the churches who hold a weekend raise more money than they need to buy the monument,” he said.

Christians schools, too, should consider the impact, he said.

“Instead of having a cardboard cutout, how about a 900-pound stone monument in an entryway,” he said. “It’s something like 3,500 times a child will have to walk by that over the course of their grade school years. They just may be able to remember them then.”

Only five states have not yet had such a monument installed, and plans are under way at this time for the first installation in Vermont. The other states remaining are North and South Carolina, Alaska and Hawaii.

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Our view on civil liberties: Convention hosts regard your rights as a nuisance

Posted by morganwrites on August 1, 2008

Denver’s plans will keep protesters out of sight and out of earshot.

The delegates who’ll wave signs, speak their minds and nominate a presidential candidate at the Democratic National Convention next month in Denver will be treated by the city like royalty. But the people who want to wave signs, speak their minds and demonstrate outside the convention hall have already gotten a taste of Denver’s hospitality. They’re being treated like a bunch of pests.

City officials stalled for months after the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado sought information about convention plans. The city responded only after several groups sued, and then with a plan that treats free speech like the flu. Anyone showing symptoms will be isolated, particularly from delegates.

A February promise from Mayor John Hickenlooper that at least one designated parade route would end “within sight and sound of the convention site” was essentially abandoned. The route now ends several blocks away, and parades must end one hour before convention sessions begin.

Meanwhile, demonstrators who want to be near the hall, where their message can be heard and seen, will be confined to a “demonstration zone” surrounded by mesh wire and concrete barriers. It is about two football fields from the hall’s main entrances. It looks as if the delegates would need superhuman powers to see or hear the marchers. Which seems to be precisely the idea.

It is all a very strange fit for a political convention in a nation where people prize nothing quite as much as their freedom to speak their minds, particularly about politicians. Their right to do so is enshrined in the Constitution’s First Amendment, along with a right to assemble and protest.

Particularly since 9/11, the stated reason for pushing protests far from the action has been security, a valid concern. Unstated is that neither political party wants a repeat of the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago, where anti-war protests turned into melees with police, and the televised turmoil helped doom the party’s ticket. A little common sense could strike an appropriate balance.

Instead, host cities use security and far less valid issues as excuses to squelch speech. In 2004, New York City declared Central Park off limits to two huge demonstrations. One concern? That protesters might tear up the park’s sprawling Great Lawn. The same year, Boston reached a new low: For the Democratic convention, it set up what’s best described as a cage for protesters, under railroad tracks and covered by razor wire. A federal judge called it “grim, mean and oppressive.”

This summer, St. Paul is doing a bit better: Marchers will be able to get within 84 feet of the Republican National Convention, but they must end the parade by midafternoon. Teresa Nelson of the ACLU of Minnesota says, “We have a permit to march to an empty building.”

At least they’ll get closer than the folks in Colorado, where Nita Gonzales, a Denver native and longtime organizer, says the city is merely paying “lip service to civil liberties.”

Both cities’ leaders need a remedial course in American values. In 2004, in the face of Boston’s oppressive rules, U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock put it well when he wrote that protesters “are not meddling interlopers. … They are participants in our democratic life.” It’s tough to participate when you’re behind a fence and blocks away from where you can be seen and heard.

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