(Slave Freedom Movement)
Saturday, August 23, 2003
Jessica is picking me up for church in the morning at the Dexter Ave. King Memorial Baptist Church: Dr. King's old church. Gene.
Pictures From The Montgomery Fast
My big rule of thumb on getting married is this: "If you think about all the possible bad things that can happen, and you think the worst that can happen is still good, then that is the person for you." Gene.
Friday, August 22, 2003
Pictures From The Montgomery Fast
Pictures From The Montgomery Fast
Highlight of the evening for me was getting to meet Gene Chapman, who is on his "Tax March To Washington" to protest, well, pretty much the the very existence of taxation. Although I disagree with just about everything he has to say on the subject of taxation, I must admit that Gene represents his cause very well. He is intelligent and articulate and well versed in the Bible. I posed the question to Gene about the early Christians who, according to the Gospel of Acts, practiced what can only be described as Socialism. They gathered together as a group, pooled all their money and wordly goods and then gave it out to each according to his need. That, can only be described as Christian Socialism. Gene's response was 1) The early Christians literally thought that the end of the world was coming soon and that 2) they lived a communal life out of free will and not by coercion from the government. Fair enough. I wish Gene well as he continues on his fast. He looked like he truly has lost a good bit of weight already.
I was talking to a self described "Pagan" yesterday. He told me that they have the 10 Commandments in their religion. I asked why he was opposed to the monument, and he told me that it was because it was about the arrogance of those wanting it placed there, in so many words.
We are privilaged to live under Judeo-Christian ideas. It is not our birth-right. We have to earn it, like our forefathers did. Ideas like invention and the right to possess wealth are central to the Judeo-Christian world view. The world will be a much worse off place without the Bible in our world, I can assure you. Poverty came to Communist Russia over just this difference in world views.
Minister of Christ
Thursday, August 21, 2003
With this in mind, I'd like Doug Kenline to set up a blog entitled, "Gentle Love Christian Fellowship, (The Church on The Internet, for now), Pastor Gene Chapman." I plan to present sermons like a normal church on theological matters not dealing directly with tax policy, etc. Maybe we'll have a physical location someday; maybe not. We'll just have to let God lead. respectfully, Gene Chapman.
I have not seen mail in 3 months, so I'm just now able to update these Service Charges. respectfully, Gene.
All quotation taken from Robert S. Alley, ed., James Madision on Religious Liberty, pp. 37-94.
James Madison (1751-1836) is popularly known as the "Father of the Constitution." More than any other framer he is responsible for the content and form of the First Amendment. His understanding of federalism is the theoretical basis of our Constitution. He served as President of the United States between 1809-1817.
Madison's most famous statement on behalf of religious liberty was his Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments, which he wrote to oppose a bill that would have authorized tax support for Christian ministers in the state of Virginia.
Other sources for Madison's beliefs are his letter to Jasper Adams, where he argues on behalf of letting religion survive on its own merits, and a 1792 article in which he suggests that there is no specific religious sanction for American government.
Finally, a good deal of Madision's Detached Memoranda concerns the issue of religious liberty. This material is particularly important in that it gives Madision's views of a number of events that are sometimes disputed by accomodationists (eg., congressional chaplains, days of prayer, etc.).
Direct references to separation:
The civil Government, though bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability, and performs its functions with complete success, whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people, have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the State (Letter to Robert Walsh, Mar. 2, 1819).
Strongly guarded as is the separation between religion and & Gov't in the Constitution of the United States the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history (Detached Memoranda, circa 1820).
Every new and successful example, therefore, of a perfect separation between the ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance; and I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together (Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822).
I must admit moreover that it may not be easy, in every possible case, to trace the line of separation between the rights of religion and the civil authority with such distinctness as to avoid collisions and doubts on unessential points. The tendency to a usurpation on one side or the other or to a corrupting coalition or alliance between them will be best guarded against by entire abstinence of the government from interference in any way whatever, beyond the necessity of preserving public order and protecting each sect against trespasses on its legal rights by others. (Letter Rev. Jasper Adams, Spring 1832).
To the Baptist Churches on Neal's Greek on Black Creek, North Carolina I have received, fellow-citizens, your address, approving my objection to the Bill containing a grant of public land to the Baptist Church at Salem Meeting House, Mississippi Territory. Having always regarded the practical distinction between Religion and Civil Government as essential to the purity of both, and as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, I could not have otherwise discharged my duty on the occasion which presented itself (Letter to Baptist Churches in North Carolina, June 3, 1811).
Madison's summary of the First Amendment:
Congress should not establish a religion and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any manner contary to their conscience, or that one sect might obtain a pre-eminence, or two combined together, and establish a religion to which they would compel others to conform (Annals of Congress, Sat Aug 15th, 1789 pages 730 - 731).
Against establishment of religion
The experience of the United States is a happy disproof of the error so long rooted in the unenlightened minds of well-meaning Christians, as well as in the corrupt hearts of persecuting usurpers, that without a legal incorporation of religious and civil polity, neither could be supported. A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical Religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity (Letter to F.L. Schaeffer, Dec 3, 1821).
Notwithstanding the general progress made within the two last centuries in favour of this branch of liberty, and the full establishment of it in some parts of our country, there remains in others a strong bias towards the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between Government and Religion neither can be duly supported. Such, indeed, is the tendency to such a coalition, and such its corrupting influence on both the parties, that the danger cannot be too carefully guarded against. And in a Government of opinion like ours, the only effectual guard must be found in the soundness and stability of the general opinion on the subject. Every new and successful example, therefore, of a perfect separation between the ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance; and I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together. It was the belief of all sects at one time that the establishment of Religion by law was right and necessary; that the true religion ought to be established in exclusion of every other; and that the only question to be decided was, which was the true religion. The example of Holland proved that a toleration of sects dissenting from the established sect was safe, and even useful. The example of the colonies, now States, which rejected religious establishments altogether, proved that all sects might be safely and even advantageously put on a footing of equal and entire freedom; and a continuance of their example since the Declaration of Independence has shown that its success in Colonies was not to be ascribed to their connection with the parent country. if a further confirmation of the truth could be wanted, it is to be found in the examples furnished by the States which had abolished their religious establishments. I cannot speak particularly of any of the cases excepting that of Virginia, where it is impossible to deny that religion prevails with more zeal and a more exemplary priesthood than it ever did when established and patronized by public authority. We are teaching the world the great truth, that Governments do better without kings and nobles than with them. The merit will be doubled by the other lesson: the Religion flourishes in greater purity without, than with the aid of Government (Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822).
If the Church of England had been the established and general religion and all the northern colonies as it has been among us here and uninterrupted tranquility had prevailed throughout the continent, it is clear to me that slavery and subjection might and would have been gradually insulated among us. Union of religious sentiments begets a surprising confidence and ecclesiastical establishments tend to grate ignorance and corruption all of which facilitate the execution of mischievous projects (Letter to William Bradford, Jan. 24, 1774).
[T]he prevailing opinion in Europe, England not excepted, has been that religion could not be preserved without the support of government nor government be supported without an established religion that there must be at least an alliance of some sort between them. It remained for North America to bring the great and interesting subject to a fair, and finally a decisive test.
It is true that the New England states have not discontinued establishments of religions formed under very peculiar circumstances; but they have by successive relaxations advanced toward the prevailing example; and without any evidence of disadvantage either to religion or good government.
But the existing character, distinguished as it is by its religious features, and the lapse of time now more than 50 years since the legal support of religion was withdrawn sufficiently proved that it does not need the support of government and it will scarcely be contended that government has suffered by the exemption of religion from its cognizance, or its pecuniary aid. (Letter to Rev. Jasper Adams, Spring 1832).
The settled opinion here is, that religion is essentially distinct from civil Government, and exempt from its cognizance; that a connection between them is injurious to both; that there are causes in the human breast which ensure the perpetuity of religion without the aid of the law; that rival sects, with equal rights, exercise mutual censorships in favor of good morals; that if new sects arise with absurd opinions or over-heated imaginations, the proper remedies lie in time, forbearance, and example; that a legal establishment of religion without a toleration could not be thought of, and with a toleration, is no security for and animosity; and, finally, that these opinions are supported by experience, which has shewn that every relaxation of the alliance between law and religion, from the partial example of Holland to the consummation in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, &c., has been found as safe in practice as it is sound in theory. Prior to the Revolution, the Episcopal Church was established by law in this State. On the Declaration of Independence it was left, with all other sects, to a self-support. And no doubt exists that there is much more of religion among us now than there ever was before the change, and particularly in the sect which enjoyed the legal patronage. This proves rather more than that the law is not necessary to the support of religion (Letter to Edward Everett, Montpellier, March 18, 1823).
On Congressional chaplains and proclaimations of days of prayer:
Is the appointment of Chaplains to the two Houses of Congress consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom? In the strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of the U. S. forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion. The law appointing Chaplains establishes a religious worship for the national representatives, to be performed by Ministers of religion, elected by a majority of them; and these are to be paid out of the national taxes. Does not this involve the principle of a national establishment, applicable to a provision for a religious worship for the Constituent as well as of the representative Body, approved by the majority, and conducted by Ministers of religion paid by the entire nation?
The establishment of the chaplainship to Congs is a palpable violation of equal rights, as well as of Constitutional principles: The tenets of the chaplains elected [by the majority shut the door of worship agst the members whose creeds & consciences forbid a participation in that of the majority. To say nothing of other sects, this is the case with that of Roman Catholics & Quakers who have always had members in one or both of the Legislative branches. Could a Catholic clergyman ever hope to be appointed a Chaplain! To say that his religious principles are obnoxious or that his sect is small, is to lift the veil at once and exhibit in its naked deformity the doctrine that religious truth is to be tested by numbers or that the major sects have a right to govern the minor.
If Religion consist in voluntary acts of individuals, singly, or voluntarily associated, and it be proper that public functionaries, as well as their Constituents shd discharge their religious duties, let them like their Constituents, do so at their own expense. How small a contribution from each member of Cong wd suffice for the purpose! How just wd it be in its principle! How noble in its exemplary sacrifice to the genius of the Constitution; and the divine right of conscience! Why should the expence of a religious worship be allowed for the Legislature, be paid by the public, more than that for the Ex. or Judiciary branch of the Gov. (Detached Memoranda, circa 1820).
I observe with particular pleasure the view you have taken of the immunity of Religion from civil jurisdiction, in every case where it does not trespass on the private rights or the public peace. This has always been a favorite principle with me; and it was not with my approbation that the deviation from it took place in Congress, when they appointed chaplains, to be paid from the National Treasury. It would have been a much better proof to their constituents of their pious feeling if the members had contributed for the purpose a pittance from their own pockets. As the precedent is not likely to be rescinded, the best that can now be done may be to apply to the Constitution the maxim of the law, de minimis non curat [i.e., the law does not care about such trifles].
There has been another deviation from the strict principle in the Executive proclamations of fasts and festivals, so far, at least, as they have spoken the language of INJUNCTION, or have lost sight of the equality of ALL religious sects in the eye of the Constitution. Whilst I was honored with the executive trust, I found it necessary on more than one occasion to follow the example of predecessors. But I was always careful to make the Proclamations absolutely indiscriminate, and merely recommendatory; or rather mere DESIGNATIONS of a day on which all who thought proper might UNITE in consecrating it to religious purposes, according to their own faith and forms. In this sense, I presume, you reserve to the Government a right to APPOINT particular days for religious worship. I know not what may be the way of thinking on this subject in Louisiana. I should suppose the Catholic portion of the people, at least, as a small and even unpopular sect in the U. States would rally as they did in Virginia when religious liberty was a Legislative topic to its broadest principle (Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822).
Did Madison want the Bill of Rights to apply to the states?
No state shall infringe the equal rights of conscience, nor the freedom of speech, or of the press, nor of the right of trial by jury in criminal cases [Proposed amendment to make certain parts of the Bill of Rights to apply to the states].
The Congressional Record of August 17, 1789 made the following comment on Madison's proposal:
MR. MADISON Conceived this to be the most valuable amendment on the whole list; if there was any reason to restrain the government of the United States from infringing upon these essential rights, it was equally necessary that they should be secured against the state governments; he thought that if they provided against the one, it was an necessary to provide against the other, and was satisfied that it would be equally grateful to the people (from Alley, James Madison on Religious Liberty, pp. 75-76).
Madision's definition of "establishment":
One can get some idea of Madison's defintion of establishment by looking at his veto messages for certain legislation presented to him by Congress during his presidency. Generally, Madision's definition was expansive; he vetoed legislation incorporating an Episcopal church in the District of Columbia, and reserving a parcel of land for a Baptist church. Read in context, these veto messages demolish the claim that Madison would have turned a blind eye to minor religious establishments.
Veto Message, Feb 21, 1811 By James Madison, to the House of Representatives of the United States: Having examined and considered the bill entitled "An Act incorporating the Protestant Episcopal Church in the town of Alexander, in the District of Columbia," I now return the bill to the House of Representatives, in which it originated, with the following objections:
Because the bill exceeds the rightful authority to which governments are limited by the essential distinction between civil and religious functions, and violates in particular the article of the Constitution of the United States which declares 'Congress shall make no law respecting a religious establishment.' [Note: Madison quotes the Establishment Clause incorrectly; Constitutional scholar Leonard Levy comments on this misquoting as follows: "His [Madison's] use of "religious establishment" enstead of "establishment of religion" shows that he thought of the clause in the Frist Amendment as prohibiting Congress from making any law touching or "respecting" religious institutions or religions; The Establishment Clause, p. 119].
The bill enacts into and establishes by law sundry rules and proceedings relative purely to the organization and policy of the church incorporated, and comprehending even the election and removal of the minister of the same, so that no change could be made therein by the particular society or by the general church of which it is a member, and whose authority it recognizes. This particular church, therefore, would so far be a religious establishment by law, a legal force and sanction being given to certain articles in its constitution and administration. Nor can it be considered that the articles thus established are to be taken as the descriptive criteria only of the corporate identity of the society, inasmuch as this identity must depend on other characteristics, as the regulations established are in general unessential and alterable according to the principles and canons by which churches of the denomination govern themselves, and as the injunctions and prohibitions contained in the regulations would be enforced by the penal consequences applicable to the violation of them according to the local law.
Because the bill vests in the said incorporated church an authority to provide for the support of the poor and the education of poor children of the same, an authority which, being altogether superfluous if the provision is to be the result of pious charity, would be a precedent for giving to religious societies as such a legal agency in carrying into effect a public and civil duty [Note: both of the last paragraphs suggest that Madision did not think it was the role of government to aid even the charitable and educational aspects of religion, even non-preferentially].
Veto message, Feb 28, 1811, by James Madison. To the House of Representatives of the United States: Having examined and considered the bill entitled "An Act for the relief of Richard Trevin, William Coleman, Edwin Lewis, Samuel Mims, Joseph Wilson, and the Baptist Church at Salem Meeting House, in the Mississippi Territory," I now return the same to the House of Representatives, in which it originated, with the following objection:
Because the bill in reserving a certain parcel of land of the United States for the use of said Baptist Church comprises a principle and precedent for the appropriation of funds of the United States for the use and support of religious societies, contrary to the article of the Constitution which declares the 'Congress shall make no law respecting a religious establishment (note: Madison again misquotes the establishment clause).
Madison and religion at public universities:
I am not surprised at the dilemma produced at your University by making theological professorships an integral part of the system. The anticipation of such a one led to the omission in ours; the visitors being merely authorized to open a public hall for religious occasions, under impartial regulations; with the opportunity to the different sects to establish theological schools so near that the students of the University may respectively attend the religious exercises in them. The village of Charlottesville, also, where different religious worships will be held, is also so near, that resort may conveniently be had to them.
A University with sectarian professorships becomes, of course, a sectarian monopoly: with professorships of rival sects, it would be an arena of Theological Gladiators. Without any such professorships, it may incur, for a time at least, the imputation of irreligious tendencies, if not designs. The last difficulty was thought more manageable than either of the others.
On this view of the subject, there seems to be no alternative but between a public University without a theological professorship, and sectarian seminaries without a University.
...With such a public opinion, it may be expected that a University, with the feature peculiar to ours, will succeed here if any where. Some of the clergy did not fail to arraign the peculiarity; but it is not improbable that they had an eye to the chance of introducing their own creed into the professor's chair. A late resolution for establishing an Episcopal school within the College of William and Mary, though in a very guarded manner, drew immediate animadversions from the press, which, if they have not put an end to the project, are a proof of what would follow such an experiment in the University of the State, endowed and supported, as this will be altogether by the public authority and at the common expense (Letter to Edward Everett, Montpellier, March 18, 1823).
By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN
ONTGOMERY, Ala., Thursday, Aug. 21 — Midnight came and went, but the rock did not roll.
By 12:01 this morning, Chief Justice Roy Moore of Alabama was to have removed the 5,280-pound monument of the Ten Commandments that he secretly installed one night in the lobby of the State Supreme Court. A federal judge had ruled that the granite block, known as Roy's Rock, violated the separation of church and state.
But Justice Moore did not budge. And he had a lot of people right behind him. His monument has been like a magnet for Christian advocates, and as the night wore on its powers seemed to increase.
As the clock struck 12, the crowd assembled in front of the courthouse burst into "God Bless America." The muggy plaza was clogged with dozens of little girls wearing Jesus T-shirts, bearded men with thick arms and Confederate flags on their backs, black people, white people, the young, the old, the in between, a man who walked from Texas dressed in a monk's frock and another who drove from San Diego in a red truck with a sign that said "Shame on America."
They were here to make sure that when the deadline elapsed no federal officers stormed the courthouse and wheeled away the monument.
Some, earlier on Wednesday, had even been arrested, including 66-year-old Karen Kennedy, who was handcuffed in her wheelchair.
By midnight, Ms. Kennedy was back. And a hero.
"Let's hear it for this woman," yelled the Rev. Pat Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition.
"That's right," Ms. Kennedy said from the courthouse steps. "I was cuffed for God."
Justice Moore was nowhere to be seen. On Wednesday he had said, "If they want to get the commandments, they're going to have to get me first."
Supporters are now calling him "the Moses of Alabama."
But there may not be any apocalyptic finish. Federal officials have decided that fines, not force, are the best way to deal with the monument.
On Wednesday, Justice Moore lost a last-ditch appeal to the United States Supreme Court, hurtling him head-on into a conflict with a federal judge who has threatened to make him pay $5,000 for every day that the Ten Commandments remain in public view.
Detractors say the whole thing smells like Alabama's obstinacy of yesteryear, of the lost battles for states' rights in the 1960's.
"He's been even more flamboyant and stubborn than George Wallace when he made his stand in the schoolhouse door," said Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
The justice's defiance always seems to invigorate his supporters, and on Wednesday hundreds streamed into Montgomery to chant, kneel, pray and cry on the steps of the state's highest court, shouting out the Almighty's name and at times lying on their bellies to block passers-by.
"This is not about a monument," the Rev. Mahoney bellowed. "This is about resisting tyranny."
"Amen," the crowd boomed.
Gene Chapman, the man who walked the 700 miles from Austin, Tex., said, "This is a culture war."
Then Mr. Chapman added, in a thin voice: "I'd go to jail. Happily."
On top of the long walk, he has been on a 10-day hunger strike.
On Wednesday evening, the police took away more than 15 people, some of them elderly, after they refused to leave the monument's side when the building closed.
Judge Myron H. Thompson of Federal District Court, who has presided over this case brought by several civil liberties groups, tried to take the path of least resistance. It was nine months ago, on Nov. 18, that Judge Thompson issued his own commandment: Thou shalt remove thy monument.
Judge Thompson ruled that placing a 4-foot-tall stone block of the Ten Commandments in the court's lobby was "nothing less than an obtrusive year-round religious display."
"The only way to miss the religious or nonsecular appearance of the monument would be to walk through the Alabama State Judicial Building with one's eyes closed," he wrote.
His ruling had a tone of outrage to it. But Judge Thompson was patient. He granted Justice Moore until midnight to comply with the removal order. After several failed appeals, that ruling stands.
Alabama Judge Defiant on Commandments' Display
(Page 2 of 2)
Judge Thompson is expected to call a hearing, possibly as early as today, to decide the next course of action. Justice Moore's opponents say that while the federal court may have the authority to levy fines, it could be difficult collecting them.
"What's important here," said Mr. Lynn, "is that we send the message that you can't have every judge obeying only the rulings they like."
Legal experts say Justice Moore's views are on the fringe.
"This is not a close case," said Martin Redish, a Northwestern University law professor. "This is a situation where both on its face and from the context, it's quite clear that the Ten Commandments are being used as a clear message of governmental support for a religious institution."
Alabama's attorney general, Bill Pryor, a conservative legal figure who has been nominated for a circuit court judgeship, has tried to walk a fine line.
He issued a statement saying: "Although I believe the Ten Commandments are the cornerstone of our legal heritage and that they can be displayed constitutionally as they are in the U.S. Supreme Court building, I will not violate nor assist any person in the violation of this injunction."
Moses and the Ten Commandments appear on a frieze at the United States Supreme Court as part of a display of historical law figures. The courts have consistently ruled that it is acceptable to show the Ten Commandments if they are part of a larger historical display. Justice Moore, however, refused to place any other exhibits alongside his Ten Commandments.
Theoretically, Bob Riley, the Republican governor of Alabama, could order public safety officers to remove the monument if the state starts incurring fines. Such a debt would be especially awkward for Mr. Riley, who has been pushing a tax increase that he says is necessary to save Alabama from bankruptcy.
So far, though, the governor has supported Justice Moore, saying, "I have a deep and abiding belief that there is nothing wrong or unconstitutional about the public display of the Ten Commandments."
Associate Justice Tom Woodall of the Alabama Supreme Court said a majority of judges could vote to remove Justice Moore's administrative power over the building and have the monument carted away.
"That has been discussed," Justice Woodall said. "A lot."
But opposing Justice Moore will take courage. He is one of the most popular politicians in the state, rising from obscurity 10 years ago after he hung a homemade rosewood plaque of the Ten Commandments in his county courtroom. He believes that America's laws get their authority from the Bible, and has even compared himself to Moses and Daniel.
On Wednesday he said: "This is not about a monument. It's not about religion, or politics. It's about the acknowledgment of God."
Jodi Kirshner (sp) of FoxsNews - in New York - called to ask some questions and seek out a time for them to interview Gene on the Ten Commandment Monument this Saturday. She will be calling Gene at his motel room - 334-834-2881 room 212.
Fred Smart - reporting
Oh, Fred, I got the mail. Gene.
Additionally, The US Constitution states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or restricting the free exercise thereof." This document was signed by the Continental Congress, while Jefferson's letter was signed by one man. Are we to stay with the actions of Washington and Adams and the written text of the Constitution, signed by the Congress or are we to go with one letter by Jefferson as superceeding all this prior evidence? I choose the prior. respectfully, Gene Chapman, Minister of Christ.
Wednesday, August 20, 2003
Please keep in mind that you are all welcome to come to Montgomery, Alabama to end the 30 day fast with me on September 9th at 8 pm CT on the front steps of the State Capitol Building. I'll end the fast in Gandhian style with orange juice and immediately go to a local cafe to enjoy my 37th Birthday party with you all. All I want for gifts is your smiles. We have people coming from as far away as Chicago, so don't be shy. Even our opponents are most welcome to attend. After all, we seek only to grow toward becoming one with truth. respectfully, Gene.
The Indian people who run the motel where I'm staying bought and gave to me a new dhoti, as my other top dhoti was wearing badly. We'll have to send the old dhoti (ie. loin cloth) to the Gene Chapman Museum (ha ha). I'm very happy with the day for the movement. respectfully, Gene.
Pictures From The Montgomery Fast
Pictures From The Montgomery Fast
The Blackout of 2003 Is In Montgomery, Not In New York And Cleveland
Chuck Baldwin writes a very powerful commentary about how important the events happening in Montgomery Alabama are to the future of our country:
"The real issue is this: is America founded upon and subservient to the laws of God? Judge Moore and America's Founding Fathers say yes. Today's federal courts say no. That, in a nutshell, is the bottom line of this whole fight. Will America acknowledge its dependence and subservience to God, or will it declare itself to be above God's laws and declare the state to be god? That is what the Moore case is going to decide."
"Any thinking person should immediately recognize that the outcome of the Judge Moore case is going to determine the course and direction, not to mention results and ramifications, of this country for at least the next 50 years."
Here's the link fore more....
Peace and God Bless,
Fred Smart - reporting
Well, I'm off to the Capitol steps until about 11 am CT. respectfully, Gene.
The one major point that the TAX HONESTY MOVEMENT leaders have been able to convince me of is that the U. S. Tax Code is "void for vagueness."
The American Family Radio Network, found on over 200 radio stations across America, has expressed an interest in interviewing me. What I propose is to bring the two of you, Irwin Schiff and former IRS CID Agent Joe Banister on the air with me in a conference call to speak to the nation on the "void for vagueness issue."
We may also be able to set up a PBS round table, like they often do at Harvard, to get this very troubling issue of tax liability into the open on Public Stations around America. Please let me know your thoughts.
Minister of Christ
Tuesday, August 19, 2003
We also need to get some real numbers on billboard costs in Atlanta. I expect them to be as low as $400 each. Gene.
Pictures From The Montgomery Fast
English Translation Of German Letter
I've been speeping most of the afternoon, as the fast is drawing down on my energy a great deal.
A radio show in Moblie wants to have me on their show in the next few days, I found out today. Gene.
Verfasst am: 18.08.2003, 21:13 Titel: Hallo Ralf
Sorry das ich dir auf deine Mail noch nicht geantwortet habe, war im Urlaub. Das hole ich morgen nach.
Da der Artikel Bob Schulz erwähnt, ist mir eingefallen dass dieser zur Zeit gerade Gene Chapman unterstützt. Der ist auch mal in den Hungerstreik gegen die Einkommenssteuer getreten.
Siehe hier, hier (hat schon ne Menge Anhänger wie die Bilder zeigen) und hier
Na ja, den Hungerstreik hat er aufgegeben.
In a conversation with Michelle Naef, the Administrator of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, located in Memphis, Tennessee, it was very surprising to me to discover that she felt there were two moral problems with continuing my fast:
1.) Gandhi taught not to fast against those who do not love us. (scroll down to see LETTER TO GEORGE JOSEPH, April 11, 1924)
2.) Gandhi taught not to fast against those who think they are in the right. (scroll down to see INTERVIEW TO VAIKOM DEPUTATION, May 20, 1924)
I quickly realized that I had profound new material to evaluate prior to continuing my death-fast against the IRS. By Saturday afternoon, after our big rally together, I had lost 55 pounds, could not hold down water and had something coming out of the pours of my skin that smelled like Malathion® (insecticide that my mother had used around our yard when I was young.) Whatever the 'stuff' was it was sticky like glue and very unpleasant. In short I was dying from my perspective, and I knew waiting for my mind to clear again for further evaluation of teh newly found material was not realistic. I had already been in a daze for the previous nights, not knowing if I would awaken in this life again in the morning.
So I ended the death fast according to the rules that God and I had agreed upon months before both in letter and spirit. And I am still evaluating this new profond material and its implications on the tax honesty movement.
Currently I am working to raise cash so that I might begin a Gandhian type 'Salt-March' to Washington, D.C. perhaps by Sunday, June 1, 2003. Starting right here where I am in Austin, Texas. At last call, Fred Smart is to fly in from Chicago to march with me to Washington, D.C. (1,300 miles by the beginning of September.)
Also warten wir mal auf die Bilder des 'Salt-March'
Monday, August 18, 2003
Daily Financial Report For Monday August 18, 2003
Starting Balance: $334.41. Deposits: $500 from an anonymous donor in Arizona; Expenses: 400 copies of the Montgomery fliers ($30.80); Wallet and soap ($15.74). Total expenditures ($46.54). Ending Balance: $787.87
Yall be sure to come to help me end my 30 day fast at the Alabama Capitol on Sept. 9th at 8 pm CT. Afterward, we'll go to a local cafe and enjoy lots of good food and Karioki (sp?) to celebrate my 37th Birthday. Fred Smart is flying down from Chicago to be with us. Gene.
My bills begin being due on August 28th, and it takes a couple of weeks for the money to get through the mail system. I'll continue the fast until September 9th, then I'll be happy to go work myself if funds do not arrive. I'll leave it in God's hands and your prayers. respectfully, Gene.
Pictures From The Montgomery Fast
Subj: Anonymous $500 donation...
Date: 8/18/2003 3:48:30 PM Central Standard Time
We just received in the mail a $500 money order deposit withdrawn on a Travelers Express from Circle K Stores as the issuing agent.
The enclosed hand-written note reads as follows:
"Enclosed money order $500.00. I pray this will help free my grandchildren thru all of your labors and knowledge. God bless all of you people working to correct the IRS corruption."
There you have it.
Fred Smart - reporting
We need about 100 more people just like this, and we'll be a powerful voice on tv commercials, billboard use, etc. Gene.
10:07 am CT
10:40 am CT
I just got off the phone with a Montgomery paper and the Alabama Associated Press office. The AP already knew of my fast in Austin from a previous AP wire story from Texas back a few months ago. Gene.
I passed out the flier we had Saturday to some of Gov. Riley's Tax Plan people, as they were off this morning to make their case somewhere. My arguements are being heard all over the convervative radio talk shows, I'm reading on the internet and seeing on tv.
I'll make a few copies of the new flier tonight and pay for a second week in the room. respectfully, Gene.
I will respect your wish not to have your e-mail from today published on my sites.
To explore your view that the "principle" is to be addressed in Scripture and not the "literal" meaning is to suggest that Hermaneutics is "the science of gathering principles from the Bible" and not "the science of Bible interpretation," in my humble view. The literal meaning is essential in being able to discern what principles may be drawn from the text for modern application, based on my Hermaneutic training.
I gather you are too far given to your way of study and interpretation to be changed, but I can assure you that the preachers of America are much more drawn to the literal meaning of a text than you assume with your tax plan ideas.
I hope we can explore the concept of federal tax liability ( more Constitutional in nature than Biblical) with Professor Kahn of Columbia University in the coming days and weeks; it seems clear that we have two different Hermaneutic approaches to the Bible and will not be coming into agreement on the Alabama tax issue.
As an additional concern for 'equity' (Ps. 99:4) in tax policy, I was made aware this week that the relative poor in Alabama pay a 12% effective tax rate, while the relative rich pay a 3% effective tax rate. The current system in a graduated or progressive income tax. If your plan is equitable, as a graduated or progressive income tax, then why, under the current system, are we experiencing the realtive poor paying higher taxes than the relative rich now? Could it be that the relative rich find loopholes in the progressive taxes with their tax lawyers (unavailable to the relative poor) and transfer their expected tax liability down because the rich feel morally justified in using the loopholes? What heppens if a flat tax on increase from assets comes into being? Would the relative rich lose the legal and moral basis to seek loopholes and would the poor not be better off? Albert Einstein said something to the effect that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. It seems to me that more graduated taxes and not flat taxes on increase form assets creates more insanity.
Minister of Christ
Sunday, August 17, 2003
Pictures From The Montgomery Fast
Subj: Re: Gene Chapman Dialogues With Columbia Univ. Professor of Tax Law
Date: 8/17/2003 9:02:37 PM Central Standard Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)
Gene the quote from the 8 circuit leaves out section 63 and section 61 were it is very clear that you must have GROSS INCOME Derived from a SOURCE. Just as the 16th amendment requires a SOURCE , the Brushaver court tell us income must DERIVE from a SOURCE. I could go on but those whom have researched income taxes already know the truth. Isn't it a wee bit strange that the IRS code, IRS Rules and IRS Regulations only list International sources yet the Professor and the Courts don't seem to recognize this fact. Maybe they don't know the definition of the word SOURCE or maybe they are just assuming that earnings are Taxable income.
Tomorrow, I'll present the Governor a letter to offer to help him save face and back away from this tax plan to persue a more equitable solution. Let us be in prayer for the Governor. I like him, and I don't think he should be thrown away with the trash. He just had some bad advice, I feel. Maybe we can get him on track and on board with the TAX HONESTY MOVEMENT. You never know what God can do until He does it. repsectfully, Gene.
» More From Today's Mobile Register
Poll finds frail support for tax plan
By BILL BARROW
MONTGOMERY -- In a sign that Gov. Bob Riley's tax plan could be on life support, Alabamians would reject the proposal overwhelmingly if the vote were held today, the results of a new statewide poll suggest.
Three weeks out from the Sept. 9 referendum, the poll found that public opinion has remained essentially unchanged since the governor began stumping in earnest for his billion-dollar plan.
Fifty-two percent of respondents to last week's Mobile Register-University of South Alabama poll said they would vote against the plan "if the referendum were held today"; 27 percent said they would vote for it. The rest were undecided.
"Less than a month before the election and only 27 percent say they would vote for the proposal -- I would say chances of passage are very small indeed," said USA political scientist Keith Nicholls, director of the USA Polling Group, which conducted the survey.
The sermon from Pastor Thurman was based in Luke 23:26. It reads, "And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus." The title of the sermon was, "Forced Into Service." He spoke of the Gov. Riley Tax Plan and how we are sometimes forced into service though it may be a slavery. The pastor suggested that while the tax was a slavery, we must consider the outcome on the other side. Just as Jesus gave eternal life to those who believe in his finished work on the cross which resulted from Simon carrying the cross, we should expect a good outcome after Alabama's people pay the new tax. He was in favor of the tax as being a needed cross to bear for a better day out in the future.
Pastor Thurman and I spoke of the tax matter on last Thursday. I'll see if I can persuade him in the coming weeks. Please be in prayer. Surprised that the church where Dr. King fought the slavery issue, I was now hearing the pulpit preaching that slavery was the right path.
I couldn't believe my ears. He wants to vote in favor of "slavery" on September 9th, and I'm not putting words in his mouth either, folks. "Slavery" was the word he used and in favor of the tax plan. Wow. Gene.
You know as well as I that you tried to do one day of fasting with me during the Austin fast and couldn't pass up a Schlotzsky's on tha way. Gluttony is viewed as one of the 7 deadly sins. I'm sorry you are having problems with your weight, but please do not assume that I don't love or care about you.
I'm sorry you feel I am unspiritual because I want Christian leaders to get in shape and fast, according to Scripture (II Chronicles 7:14; Psalm 35:13, etc., etc.), so we can see this nation healed of its tax problems. There is a direct realtionship between people living in God's perfect will and Liberty in human government. We must walk away from feeding the flesh if we are to see God move in the nation and free us from Socialist/ Communsit ideas.
With your approach, I feel you are part of the problem at the moment and not part of the solution. Like Gideon, I'm looking for a group of special people, not a bunch of fleshly people. We must escape the sin of gluttony to get to the light of liberty. So I shall be removing your name from my e-mail list, as you ask. I was unaware that you were on it. I actually saw this self indulgent problem in your life back in Austin and then in Huntsville. I had no intention of keeping you on board until you moved toward God's Word and away from the flesh.
Minister of Christ
As a further concern, I want to make clear that a "glutton" was not promoted to religious prominence, as we saw this past Saturday at the rally in Montgomery. In Deut. 21:20-21, the glutton was stoned to death. I'm not for stoning over eaters, but I am for addressing the need to be aware that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Gene.
Before the rally began, I saw a man with a anti-abortion sign depicting a chopped up baby told to put the sign away. I agree it was morbid to look at, but I question if that was the place to have it forced out of sight.
A woman leading the rally had two police officers ask me to leave the rally, before I then expained my Christian connection of being dressed that way I was, in loin clothes on a 30 day fast. They assumed, based on my clothing, that I was not in need to hear the preaching of God's Word at the rally. It set in me a realization that bigotry is alive and well in Vision America.
A fat, restrictive anti-stanger mentality is not what Jesus would tollerate, and I doubt even he would have been welcomed at that rally, to be honest. We have alot of work to do. respectfully, Gene Chapman, Minister of Christ.
I wanted you and Professor Susan Pace Hamill to know that I do not support abusive words from our side of the tax discussion:
Dear Mr. Dulany:
I take great exception with you calling professor Kahn a "shyster." It is just this kind of non-objectivity that keeps these tax law people from interacting with the tax honesty movement and working toward a solution of the national tax problem. I shall not be associated with such wording. If we can't win with our ideas, I don't want to be apart of the discussion. Don't send me abusive material. My only objective is to become one with truth.
Fred, Please make sure the author of that e-mail gets my thoughts.
Minister of Christ