Monday, March 18, 2013

My mixed feelings on Kentucky's Freedom of Religion bill.

I received an email from one of the local Tea Party groups here in Kentucky asking me to call the governor's office to register my approval for the Kentucky House Bill 279 "The Religious Freedom Restoration Act". I did make the call and left my approval. Then I started to think about what the bill means.
Sometimes a law can have unintended consequences. When read from one point of view it sounds good that government would not "substantially burden a person's freedom of religion" but taken from another point of view can it create a bad thing? Without limiting my selections let me point out two religions as examples of groups that do not deserve any freedom of religion or tax-exempt status.
 Was the human race created by God or by Aliens?
The Church of Scientology is a group that has received a lot of bad press and continues to prosper. Scientology is banned in Germany and prosecuted in other countries as a criminal organization. Wikipedia has a lengthy list of countries that have declared their negative opinions, many saying it is a dangerous cult and not a religion. And the controversies involving the religion warranted its own page of details on Wikipedia. The background of Scientology is a strange mix of science fiction and mind-altered slave labor. It was founded in 1953 by L. Ron Hubbard, a science fiction writer and the foundation is based on his beliefs that aliens populated the Earth. In spite of the criminal activities Scientology is allowed to be recognized as a tax-exempt religion. While the group may enjoy the following of a lot of people who enjoy Star Trek and attend Comic Con conventions, apart from the corrupt practices, it is more or less just a peaceful, flaky organization that doesn't go around slaughtering people who don't believe in them. Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia on some of Scientology's documented criminal activities.

Allegations of criminality; criminal convictions of members

Much of the controversy surrounding Scientology is reflected in the long list of legal incidents associated with the organization including the criminal convictions of core members of the Scientology organization.
In 1978, a number of Scientologists including L. Ron Hubbard's wife Mary Sue Hubbard (who was second in command in the organization at the time) were convicted of perpetrating the largest incident of domestic espionage in the history of the United States called "Operation Snow White". This involved infiltrating, wiretapping, and stealing documents from the offices of Federal attorneys and the Internal Revenue Service. The judge who convicted Mrs. Hubbard and ten accomplices described their attempt to plead freedom of religion in defense:
It is interesting to note that the founder of their organization, unindicted co-conspirator L. Ron Hubbard, wrote in his dictionary entitled Modern Management Technology Defined...that 'truth is what is true for you.' Thus, with the founder's blessings they could wantonly commit perjury as long as it was in the interest of Scientology. 
The defendants rewarded criminal activities that ended in success and sternly rebuked those that failed. The standards of human conduct embodied in such practices represent no less than the absolute perversion of any known ethical value system.
In view of this, it defies the imagination that these defendants have the unmitigated audacity to seek to defend their actions in the name of religion.
That these defendants now attempt to hide behind the sacred principles of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and the right to privacy -- which principles they repeatedly demonstrated a willingness to violate with impunity -- adds insult to the injuries which they have inflicted on every element of society.[21]
Eleven church staff members including Mary Sue Hubbard and other highly-placed officials, pleaded guilty or were convicted in federal court based on evidence seized in the raids and received sentences from two to six years (some suspended).[21]
Other noteworthy incidents involving criminal accusations and prosecutions against the Church of Scientology include:
  • On January 4, 1963, more than one hundred E-meters were seized by US marshals at the "Founding Church of Scientology" building, now known as the L. Ron Hubbard House, located in Washington, D.C. The church was accused of making false claims that the devices effectively treated some 70 percent of all physical and mental illness. The FDA also charged that the devices did not bear adequate directions for treating the conditions for which they were recommended.[22][23]
  • In 1978, L. Ron Hubbard was convicted in absentia by French authorities of engaging in fraud, fined 35,000 francs, and sentenced to four years in prison.[24] The head of the French Church of Scientology was convicted at the same trial and given a suspended one-year prison sentence.[25]
  • The FBI raid on the Church's headquarters revealed documentation that detailed Scientology actions against various critics of the organization. Among these documents was a plan to frame Gabe Cazares, the mayor of Clearwater, Florida, with a staged hit-and-run accident. Also, plans were made to discredit the skeptical organization CSICOP by spreading rumors that it was a front for the CIA, and a project called "Operation Freakout" which aimed at ruining the life of Paulette Cooper, author of an early book critical of the movement, The Scandal of Scientology.[26]
  • In 1988, the government of Spain arrested Scientology president Heber Jentzsch and ten other members of the organization on various charges including illicit association, coercion, fraud, and labor law violations.[27] Jentzsch jumped bail, leaving Spain and returning to the United States after Scientology paid a bail bond of approximately $1 million, and he has not returned to the country since. Scientology fought the charges in court for fourteen years, until the case was finally dismissed in 2002.[28]
  • In France, several officials of the Church of Scientology were convicted of embezzlement in 2001.[30] The Church was listed as a "dangerous cult" in a parliamentary report.[31] In May 2009 a trial commenced in France against Scientology, accusing it of organised fraud. The case focussed on a complaint by a woman who says that after being offered a free personality test, she was pressured into paying large sums of money. The church is regarded as a sect in France.[32] The result of the trial was that two branches of the organisation and several of its leaders have been found guilty of fraud and fined. Alain Rosenberg, the group's head in France, received a two year suspended jail sentence.[33]
  • The Church of Scientology long considered the Cult Awareness Network (CAN) as one of its most important enemies, and many Scientology publications during the 1980s and 1990s cast CAN (and its spokesperson at the time, Cynthia Kisser) in an unfriendly light, accusing the cult-watchdog organization of various criminal activities. After CAN was forced into bankruptcy and taken over by Scientologists in the late 1990s, Scientology proudly proclaimed this as one of its greatest victories.[citation needed]
  • In Belgium, after a judicial investigation since 1997, a trial against the organization is due to begin in 2008. Charges include formation of a criminal organization, the unlawful exercise of medicine, and fraud.[34][35][36]
  • In Australia, Scientology has been temporarily banned in the 1960s in three out of six states; the use of the E-meter was similarly banned in Victoria. In Victoria, Scientology was investigated by the state Government. In the conclusion to his report written as part of this investigation, Kevin Victor Anderson, Q.C. stated "Scientology is a delusional belief system, based on fiction and fallacies and propagated by falsehood and deception".[38] The report was later overturned[citation needed] by the High Court of Australia, which compelled the states to recognize Scientology as a religion for purposes of payroll taxes,[39] stating "Regardless of whether the members of [the Scientology organization] are gullible or misled or whether the practices of Scientology are harmful or objectionable, the evidence, in our view, establishes that Scientology must, for relevant purposes, be accepted as "a religion" in Victoria."[39]
  • In 2009, a Paris court found the French Church of Scientology guilty of organized fraud and imposed a fine of nearly US$900,000.[40] The prosecution had asked for the Church to be banned, but a recent change in legislation made this impossible.[40] The case had been brought by two ex-members who said they had been pressured into spending large amounts of money on Scientology courses and other services.[40] Commenting on the verdict, the plaintiffs' attorney said, "It’s the first time in France that the entity of the Church of Scientology is condemned for fraud as an organized gang."[40] A Scientology spokesperson likened the judgment to "an Inquisition for modern times" and said the Church would appeal.[40]
Islam, the so-called "Religion of Peace".
The other group that I have frequently written about from a critical point of view is Islam. While it is one of the world's largest religions, from the time it was founded in the 7th Century it has been one of the most violent and hate-filled groups of all time, accounting for some 270,000,000 deaths in its 1400 years of existence. Its texts are predominantly filled with violent passages against every other religion, directing its faithful to wage war against non-Muslims and destroy all forms of government that are not based upon its Islamic Sharia Law. On the basis of the passages in the Qur'an and the Hadiths, considered the holiest of Islam's texts, Islam would be a Hate Group and not a religion if the laws of our nation were applied to it. On the 10th anniversary of the Islamic inspired attacks on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon, this is how some Muslim groups in America planned their celebration. Read the entire article for a better understanding.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

How some Muslims are preparing to remember the 10th anniversary of 9-11-2001.

This is the message they are telling each other: "Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope." -- motto of the Muslim Brotherhood, “The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers…” — Recep Tayyip Erdogan,Turkish Prime Minister ... is anyone listening?
Yet, because of the vast wealth coming from the oil production in the Middle East, the cause of Islam has been widespread throughout America due to their financial influence. The government of Saudi Arabia, home of 17 of the 19 airline hijackers on 9-11 has funded the construction of over a 1,000 mosques in the United States, alone. And the mosques have been known to be the recruiting and training grounds for more radical Islamic terrorism. Yet this group enjoys the benefits of our freedom of religion and our tax laws. Even though that Freedom of Religion originates in our U.S. Constitution, the same document that Islamic Sharia Law, the basis of the Islamic religion despises.
Political influence of Islam stems from groups such as C.A.I.R., the Council on American-Islamic Relations which has been identified in 2008 in a Federal Court in Dallas, Texas as an "un-indicted co-conspirator" in the Holy Land Foundation trial that convicted many in funneling money to finance the terrorist group Hamas. Some newspapers in America report dozens of plots and acts by Islamic radicals against Americans. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a Muslim, identified himself as a Soldier of Allah when he murdered 13 unarmed soldiers in Ft. Hood, Texas on November 5, 2009. The Fort Hood shooting, occurred less than a month before he was due to deploy to Afghanistan. The teachings of Islam say that faithful followers of Islam should wage war against anyone who attacks and kills another Muslim. Hasan has been charged in the mass shooting with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted murder. And the record goes on and on around the world. See the following from Wikipedia and take note of the 20,549 (as of today) Islamic attacks carried out since 9-11-2001 as documented by The Religion of in the left margin of this blog.
List of Islamic terrorist attacks
The outer skin of World Trade Center Tower Two that remained standing after an Islamist terrorist attack orchestrated by Al-Qaeda.

So here is the conundrum of this proposed House Bill in Kentucky. Should these cults and hate groups that pass themselves off as religions enjoy the same freedoms as every other bonafide religion that practices peace, love and charity? Here is the message from the American Family Association.

A Personal Note from Tim Wildmon

Online VersionOnline Version

Uh-Oh! Governor Steve Beshear repressing religious freedom in Kentucky?

From our friends at The Family Foundation of Kentucky
March 18, 2013

Dear Nelson, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is considering a VETO for House Bill 279 - The Religious Freedom Restoration Act - and we're told he is keeping a tally of calls coming in for or against the veto!!! The General Assembly voted 82 to 7 in the House and 29 to 6 in the Senate to pass House Bill 279 in order to restore the "strict scrutiny" standard for the Commonwealth.
This needed to happen this year because the Kentucky Supreme Court watered down the state's judicial standard last Oct. 25 when it introduced "rational basis" - implying that government only needs "a reason" to infringe on religious liberties.
HB 279 Language:
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:
Government shall not substantially burden a person's freedom of religion. The right to act or refuse to act in a manner motivated by a sincerely held religious belief may not be substantially burdened unless the government proves by clear and convincing evidence that it has a compelling governmental interest in infringing the specific act or refusal to act and has used the least restrictive means to further that interest. A "burden" shall include indirect burdens such as withholding benefits, assessing penalties, or an exclusion from programs or access to facilities.
Groups asking the governor to veto the bill are the ACLU and various Gay/Lesbian groups that push "sexual politics" over religious freedom. They've successfully seduced several Human Rights groups to jump on their band wagon. Unless the governor gets support from concerned Christians, he may cave to the pressure!
Here is where YOU come in - YOU really could make the difference.
Please call Governor Beshear at 502-564-2611 today and leave this kind, but firm message with a secretary - "Sign HB 279 - The Religious Freedom Restoration Act."
Remember, this is the Governor who tried to change the state "Christmas Tree" to "Holiday Tree," so he's known to waffle under pressure from liberals. Call the Governor's message line now at 502-564-2611.
For more information on this bill and the impact of a possible veto by Governor Beshear, visit


Tim Wildmon, President
American Family Association

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