Bearing True Witness

'Ain't that a shame!'

Those were the words from Pat Boone's 1955 hit single that came to mind when I read his recent 'ACLU: Tear down this wall!'

Now I'm not as much of a biblical scholar as Pat Boone, but I always believed that one of the core messages of the Bible is 'not to bear false witness.' When we talk about someone else, or when we describe their positions, we certainly ought to do the best we can to be accurate.

Isn't that true?

If I wanted to argue with Pat Boone about an issue, the first thing I should do is make sure that I know what his position is. So I would read his writings, listen to his talks, and maybe even listen to a song or two. It would also make sense to visit his home page.

It would of course be unfair if I were to start out by ridiculing him with caricatures, exaggerations, and stereotypes - and then suggest that somehow I know why he behaves the way he does. We all know how nasty things can become when people lead with an insult rather than the facts.

Indeed, it is not hard to bear false witness - anyone can do it.

Bearing true witness requires care. It requires discernment. It requires honesty. It requires verifying rather than vilifying.

The words that Pat Boone uses to describe the ACLU - which he offers in support of true religion - certainly don't sound like words coming from someone who takes seriously the command to 'love your enemy'! Boone says:

I believe that even in their diabolical determination to remove every vestige of religion from public life - every mention of God or scripture from pledges, from currency, from public ceremony - that even they realize there are still some limits to how far they can go in robbing the vast majority of Americans of their freedom of speech, of expression, of liberty itself. I think they sensed that, were they to mount their customary screeches, litigation and protest, against the most admired single person on the planet, they might just spark a long overdue rejection of their insidious campaign.'

Now where did good old Pat get such ideas? I looked through his article and see that he never actually quotes an ACLU position on anything.

Rather than believing that he already knows ACLU's positions (which clearly he does not), I invite Mr. Boone to go to our religion web page and look at two ACLU documents that reveal almost the opposite of what he imagines.

Does he have any proof for the extravagant claim that the ACLU is seeking 'to remove every vestige of religion from public life,' or is that just some fanciful false witnessing?

The truth - for those who seek it - can be found in part in the major statement of the ACLU position on freedom of religion.

For example:

Religion is pervasive in the public square in the United States - and it is constitutionally protected. The ACLU has long defended individuals, families, and religious communities who wish to manifest their religion in public...

The ACLU has supported the right of people to preach their religion in public places and to go door-to-door to spread their religious messages. The Constitution properly protects the right of religious figures to preach their messages over the public airwaves. Religious books, magazines, and newspapers are freely published and delivered through the U.S. Postal System. No other industrialized democracy has as much religion in the public square as does the United States.

All of this is constitutionally protected and the ACLU defends the rights of individuals, families, and religious communities to express such religious beliefs in public.

The ACLU does however believe that it is not the role of the government to be promoting religious beliefs or deciding religious questions - whether it's the religion of the great Pat Boone or the mighty Reverend Moon.

These are the true ACLU positions. Now maybe Pat Boone believes that it is a good idea for the government to be endorsing religious beliefs and paying for religious activities. Fine. Let's have a serious debate about that. But to suggest that the ACLU is trying to eliminate every vestige of religion in public is bearing false witness and the facts prove otherwise.

For example, the ACLU has represented many religious believers - including many Christians - in helping them to exercise their rights to manifest their religion in the public square. A list of recent ACLU cases on just this issue include:

  • the right of Christians to protest against a gay pride event;
  • the right of high-school athletes not to violate their Sabbath by playing sports;
  • the right of an elementary-school student to sing Awesome God in a school talent show;
  • the right of a Christian to condemn homosexuality in front of a Wal-Mart store;
  • the right of churches to obtain a zoning permit that had been denied;
  • the right of Evangelical Christians to preach in public;
  • the right of public school students to express religious messages to other students;
  • the right of a Christian to erect a cross on public property that was an 'open forum.'

The document gives dozens of other examples. All of these facts are easily available for someone who wants to know the truth. When the ACLU opposes religious symbols it is when they are promoted by the government or when they erected on government property. The issue is not 'religion in the public square'; the issue is government-sponsored religion.

And I'll even wager that Pat Boone himself does not want the government to be promoting any religion other than the one in which he believes. If he ever lobbies to erect monuments to the Koran in front of the Courthouse or inserting the beliefs of L. Ron Hubbard in the Pledge of Allegiance, then I'll eat my hat. I'll eat his too.

Perhaps someday Pat Boone will finally read the actual ACLU positions and conclude that he doesn't agree with them. Perhaps he will find some contradictions or inconsistencies. (Lord knows we're only human!) Or perhaps he sincerely believes that it is a good idea for government officials to get in the business of deciding which religion the state should support and which religions it should not. Well, then we can debate those issues. But let's not start out by throwing mud.

Finally, I hope that Mr. Boone does not think that the biblical command against bearing false witness should not apply to those who claim to act in the name of religion. That would be a shame.

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Anonymous

The problem is that there is a long and honored tradition in Christianity that they are above the law, even God's laws. How else to justify crusades and pogroms? If you're doing God's will, rules do not apply. As fifth century Egyptian monk Shenoute said after ransacking a pagan neighbor's house, "there is no crime for those who have Christ."

rigross

While I respect and applaud the non-confrontational tone and content, even with its thinly veiled accusation of "false witness", it is indicative of the attitude of most liberal and progressive observers that there is a shred of integrity in right wing attacks on the ACLU, indeed, on the Constitution. Their aim is not fairness or decency, contrary to their rhetoric. They are of the lineage of the protofascist authoritarians who base their entire philosophy on fear and control. We would be better advised to sue the pants off Mr.Boone for making fraudlent statements that misrepresent the ACLU, the spirit of America and the Constitution.

R.C. Huffman

REVOLUTION

By
R.C. HUFFMAN

DO YOU THINK?

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”

Declaration Of Independence…July 4th, 1776.
Introduction

For those of you who have yet to read my first book “Wasted”, this is the Third book in a series of 3. Wasted was written during a period of 14 days in which I did not sleep, and was soon to be diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. That all began on September 11, 2001. A day which we should never forget! It took me until July of 2007 to send out 30 copies to musicians or people I admired.
It is now April of 2008, and I am slowly recovering from my series of unfortunate events. I had to skip book two, which covers several “episodes” with bipolar. Either way, I have continued to have ideas, plans, and things that would help every American, and for that matter….the whole world. Again I will attempt to unload these thoughts and ideas and pray that for the love of God and Family someone might take time to listen. I leave you with these final moments from my book “Wasted”.

DREAMING
By
R.C. HUFFMAN

Some say to wish upon a star…..to get what you desire!
That the breaking of a wishbone……might set life’s chances higher.

No rubbing of Alladin’s Lamp…..no heads or tails can see.
There’s nothing wrong with dreaming…..but that’s just not for me.

A wise man once did tell me……he sang it in a song.
It takes money in this world of ours…Dreamer’s don’t last long

WHERE TO START?

It is no small wonder, that our Government is not really looking out for the “People”, it is just our elected officials can’t just focus on one thing! As my main man Spike Lee wrote…..DO THE RIGHT THING! It is no small wonder, that we have the problems we have. The Economy, we’ll talk about that! Healthcare costs, prescription cost, Social Security, we’ll talk about that, too! But if we really get down to it, think it through……we’ve got even bigger problems than that! If the Government would pass laws made to benefit the CHILDREN…..a lot should get done. Homelessness, poverty, education, race relations, minimum wage, taxes, ….I’ll get to that too! The dilemma for me is where do you start. Our problems, your problems. I was told there is strength in numbers, which is why I am writing this book. I know I’ve said this before but, my grandfather once told me “I’ve had ideas and dreams my whole life, I just could never do anything with them.” Before his passing, I promised him that I would make him proud. And since this is probably the only promise I have yet to break……I will not give up! We all know the saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try again.” Either way, I started this journey letting you know what I think…..the best way I knew how. So enjoy the ride!

SIN by R.C. Huffman

You wonder where I’m going…..you wonder where I’ve been?
Let’s take a little time out…..I’ll tell you this again.

Nestled in my armchair……looking outward in.
Everyone’s gone crazy…..this world is full of sin.

Television, radio….this nation must be mad!
Homelessness and Hunger…..boy…that sure is sad.

In God We Trust…..it’s surely cliché.
Heaven or Bust…..that’s what I say.

BEFORE

With gas prices at all-time highs, along with healthcare costs, prescription costs, Social Security…..like I said “where to start”. The economy is effected and affects every aspect of Life in America. It effects every working mans wallet(and woman’s purse). The economy is evolving while the people are really clueless as to what the so called leaders are really doing. The corruption and greed imbedded in so many people, because of our culture…..,has taken society as a whole backwards in it’s evolution. Men speak of intelligent design, they speak behind closed doors…they whisper their intentions, and then speak their lies. Ultimately…..this must change. People must change! For if our elected official have become blinded by their fortune and their fame….they must go. If our elected officials operate on a wink, instead of a handshake….they must go. If our elected officials spend religiously, and denounces God in Government….yet claim to be Christians…they must go. If we would only Put GOD back into Government…..well I bet things would get done. We have many who have given up on GOD. And then many who are what people in the know call “Weekend Worshipers”. America is not bad, just portions of it. I know…my past has been haunting me for 37 years. Not Bad, just rough around the edges. We are the disenfranchised, we are the People of this country. If we want to change things we can….we just have to do it together! Time can be a friend…..or a foe.

Move You Over By R.C. Huffman

Things sure aren’t pretty…..except for pretty poor.
I’ll help out….. if you’ll let me……please show me the door.

We’ve got to move you over…..your time’s been poorly spent.
It’s time that you move over…..and then you should repent.

Elected by the people……disguised behind a mask .
Hiding indecisions……move over I do ask.

Your time was spent untimely…..Your will was way to weak.
Your soul was sold to early…..do you wish to speak?

Exposure is an answer…..an answer to a prayer.
Greed is like a cancer…..now show us your dispair.

UN-AMERICA

As best I can see, the values, principles , and beliefs that this once strong nation adhered to, and stood for have deteriorated to the point of collapse. If not for the honor of our fallen, if not for the appreciation of our soldiers, if not for our children…..then who for? We have homeless people all over this country! We have starving children all over this country! We have problems with race, with religion, with the family bond! And we have a right as a citizen of the United States to just STAND UP! To say that enough is enough, to say that were mad as hell….and we’re not going to take it anymore. I started writing this edition to make a point. There are too many things wrong with our country, and by gosh we need to fix them. Before it’s to late!

Wake-up Call

It’s absent from your papers……it’s absent from our minds.
We breath in deadly vapors…..we’ve all become so blind.

No doubt that we have faltered……just look, just listen in.
From streetlamp to the alter……life’s game we cannot win.

Wake- up, wake-up, wake-up…..get back into the race.
Break-up, make-up, stand-up…..tis such a sad dissgrace

You’ve failed as our elected……your leadership’s in question, too.
Do you rest easy in your easy chair…….tell me this ain’t true.

If your decisions were dissected……your choices lives affect.
Wake up, wake up, wake up………it’s time to REDIRECT.
THE ECONOMY

I sometimes think people that have the “highest intelligence”….have little intelligence at all. We have experts in every field imaginable, and to think that they can’t come up with a solution……puzzles me? So it has to be one of two things. We have the ability to do things to help every working person in this country, for that matter, every person in America…..man, woman, and child. Or we have the ability do those things and choose not to. Our government makes those choices…..an it is their fault for our shortcomings…..I suspect. I seem to think it boils down to several problems. Greed for money…..greed for power……greed for material things. It all boils down to greed. You can’t tell me any other reason. Our economy is evolving while we are devolving…don’t think so. Well think about this?
We, the people, must all start to pay a bit closer attention to what is going wrong. Let’s start at the top…nah! Let’s start at the bottom! Our country has failed us all. Take a close look around. Homelessness…yep! Poverty…..yep! Hunger…..yep! That’s where I’ll start.

HOMELESS by R.C. Huffman

Is this not America…..this country held so high.
Is this not America…..please tell me it’s a lie.

On streets across this nation…..in rooms without no doors.
People have no shelter…..has this happened once before?

I can’t seem to get it…..it makes no perfect sense.
Homeless in America…..little help to them is lent.

They preach of all the good in man…..but I am seeing red.
No doubt there is answer…..for this this line I bled.

Take a moment there to ponder
Take a moment…..to see the sign.
Don’t just stare and wander.
Lend a hand, maybe just a dime!

Believe it or not, we could fix this problem. With the money we spend on ill advised government programs, with the money we raise by donations, with money spent on wars. There is a solution…..a true government overhaul in spending! A overhaul on taxes, immigration reform, increase in minimum wages, etc. See some people think that certain problems are complex and require much thought and foresight. Well, it is a lot simpler than that. If we want to fix our problems with homelessness, hunger, poverty….we have to fix our economy. We have to fix the way we look at things….to much talk and not enough actions. As I go through my plan for economy, I will take a moment to discuss some of our problems as a whole. If I tend to bounce back and forth from topic to topic…..we’ll in the end you’ll understand why?
If I were to tell you that our government blows more money than GOD, would you understand? If I were to tell you we could eliminate taxes for couples making under $100,000 per year, would you believe it? If I were to tell you that the minimum wage, and all wages are not in line with life in America……would you agree? As an example, I did my own research paper on Minimum Wage in America. Of course, I didn’t graduate from high school so it couldn’t be right……..right? So let’s go…..failure of the minimum wage system in America….yep! When you look at my facts, I assure they are facts…..been there done that! Rather than use the current Government mandated wage, I chose to use an Single adult making $8.00 per hour. Before you ask, this paper also shows why children must continue to live with their parents. Before you ask, this paper will show why Poverty, Hunger, Healthcare Costs, Gas and other aspects of our Economy effect everything. That is why our Government has failed in over 16 issues related to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness….but for now let’s look at my report.

War on Wages

We wage wars on countries……we wage war in name of God.
It’s time we war on wages……and on officials prod.

To prod, to poke, to snoop around.
To see what we might see!
A joke, a nod, a whisper
Then we might be free.

As times keep getting tougher…..as days pass….. with such regret.
We must pay our earners wisely…….to help them out of debt.

So in the midst of evils…..in the midst of corporate greed.
It’s time we got a pay hike…..we have mouths to feed.

8 DOLLARS AN HOUR

Let us make some assumptions. Assumptions that our leaders might like to hear. Either way here we go….Eight dollars an hour doesn’t go very far. So let’s see what it takes to live the American Dream….better yet let’s see what it takes to be self-sufficient. Let’s say we live within 15 miles of our place of work. Let’s say our car gets 30mpg, and gas is three dollars per gallon. You commute 5 days a week. And God forbid, we never go out to eat or take any trips. And God forbid if we get sick or need prescriptions.

SHELTER: One bedroom apartment $400.00
FOOD: Breakfast, lunch, dinner for 1 month $150.00
PHONE: Land Line only $ 25.00
CELL: Optional, but not really $ 35.00
CABLE: Basic only $ 35.00
CAR: Need reliable, affordable transp. $150.00
CAR INSURANCE If your lucky! $ 55.00
GAS TO WORK Just to work and back $ 90.00
CLOTHES: Gotta have them. $ 25.00
HEALTH COST: Let’s hope your employer pays… $ 20.00 Co-pay
INTERNET: Optional, but not really $ 20.00
TOILETRIES: Men/women average mthly + $ 25.00
$ 1030.00

Now although, there are several variables that can be attributed to this cost break-down, we can see what happens when you get your paycheck. For ease of understanding, let us say that you have the standard deductions from your pay check. You know social-security(joke), medicare, and our favorite…Federal income tax. By the way, I will discuss those later. So simple put here is your so often called take home pay!

40 hours worked X $8.00 per hour = $320.00 per week

$320.00 per week X 4 weeks = $1280.00 per month before taxes & deductions

ARE YOU SURE YOUR READY?

SURVEY SAYS: LET’S DEDUCT

Salary Paycheck Calculator for a single person claiming one deduction in North Carolina

Weekly Gross Pay $320.00
Federal Withholding $22.90
Social Security $19.84
Medicare $4.64
North Carolina $13.00

Net Pay $259.62

So how does it look now! Well, not that great! Let’s just figure that you come home with $260.00 per week after taxes. We all know that would be $1040.00 per month, which would allow an $8.00 per hour employee to at least exist. So will say, they have a car. Okay! Some will say they have no need for the internet. Okay! Or maybe you don’t need a cell phone. Okay! What about cable television, why not cut that. Okay! Just remember….this scenario is @ $8.00 per hour. And just remember, gas prices will only continue to increase. And maybe think about the fact everything in this country is going up with the exception of wages. Our children are living with their parents longer, our young adults are returning home because they just can’t make it on their own. So many hopes and dreams are shattered because our leaders just don’t have a clue. Even worse, they have a clue but just don’t care. They bog us down with so much, they put restraints on us with out concern. And to think, minimum wage is what!

FEDERAL MINIMUM WAGE 3 step increase is scheduled as follows:

$5.85 - Summer of 2007
$6.55 - Summer of 2008
$7.25 - Summer of 2009

RHETORIC

Although this may sound a bit corny…..Houston, we have a problem. The rhetoric from both parties of government, Republican and Democrat, bogs down progress. The rhetoric from leaders talking about change has become just that, RHETORIC. One change in the policy of wages would begin the long journey to repair. It would trickle down to every working man or woman. It would increase employee confidence, it would increase moral and give hope to tens of millions of Americans. Coupled other changes in the way our government works, the ECONOMY would begin to recover. Tax reform, Education, poverty, war! They all have to be put in place. As we go along, you may here my very own version of rhetoric. The difference is I am not in anyone’s pocket, not funded, just one man. So let’s keep it rolling. Next up……TAXES!

TAX MAN COMETH

I don’t know the reason….I don‘t quite know why.
But when it comes to taxes……it seems that people lie.

At first I felt they cheated.
And then I heard the news.
America are you seated.
We have been abused.

Were taxed from all directions.
Were taxed, that’s tired too!
After much reflection.
What are we to do?

Many owe those agents,
The dreaded IRS.
And with this picture painted
I think it’s such a mess.

So come along this journey
Let’s see where it will lead.
The tax man he may cometh.
For him I plant this seed.

Angel Kirkland

People are too concerned with "religion" and "denominations". I am a Christian, which means I follow Christ, not man. There are certain rules that Christians have to follow, and going to a particular church or sticking to particular popular views are not among them. I do not agree with anything the ACLU is supporting, but I will not voice my opinion unless it is well documented to be true.

NY1@IC.FBI.GOV

HOW SO MANY AMERICA PERSONAL IRS FILES WITHIN THESE INDIVIDUALS THAT ON THIS WEBSITES HTTP://WWW.WELFARESTATE.COM/911 HAND .INCLUDING THE MR MULLER ,MR BUSH, MANY NYPD EMPLOYEEES AD ETC

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