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ACLU also put its muscle into preventing state support of Islam

To The Daily Sun,

Russ Wiles sure likes to tell tall tales. One of his latest is nothing more than a falsehood from the right-wing bubble. Russ paints for us, "While the ACLU is hell-bent on banning Christian prayers in schools, they fight to allow for Muslims to pray in schools." That's ridiculous.

Let me tell you about the Minnesota charter school, Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TIZA). In 2009 it came to the attention of the ACLU that TIZA was in violation of the First Amendment. The Wikipedia article states: "In January, 2009, describing the Academy as "in essence, a private religious school", Charles Samuelson, executive director of the Minnesota ACLU, announced that the ACLU would file a lawsuit alleging that the academy promotes the Muslim religion and that its directors illegally use a holding company to channel taxpayer dollars to a religious organization. The suit accuses the school of holding group prayers during school hours, including a 30-minute prayer session on Fridays, allowing teachers to post religious material on classroom bulletin boards, and enforcing Islamic rules on modesty of dress — including sleeves and skirts or trousers of a certain length, on female but not male students and teachers."

The St. Paul Pioneer Press put it like this: "The ACLU sued the charter school, the Minnesota Department of Education and the charter school's sponsor Islamic Relief in 2009, claiming leaders used taxpayer money to finance the teaching of religion, directly in violation of the establishment clause that separates church and state."

So once again, Russ spins a tale but runs out of yarn in the face of the facts. That is the right-wing way — to make stuff up. Russ cries a river about Christian persecution, but what it amounts to is right-wing Christians throwing hissy fits when their religion isn't allowed to usurp the establishment clause. The Constitution isn't the Bible. In fact, it never mentions God, Jesus, Christianity, or the Bible. They deliberately did that to separate themselves from England and the 1600's theocratic colonial order which fundamentalists miss so much.

The ACLU, People For The American Way ( and Americans United For the Separation of Church and State ( will take to court any taxpayer supporter school that promotes any religion whether is be Christian, Muslim, or Jewish.

Just this week, the ACLU won a major appellate court case in New Jersey, where Gov. Christie had granted state funding to religious schooling. The ACLU page states, "The ACLU of New Jersey, national ACLU, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State successfully challenged New Jersey's grants of $10.6 million to Beth Medrash Govoha, an Orthodox Jewish yeshiva in Lakewood, and $645,323 to Princeton Theological Seminary, a Presbyterian seminary, both of which are dedicated to religious training and engage in discrimination." PLONK!

So here you see that the ACLU put its muscle into preventing state support of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. This is what the ACLU does when it comes to the establishment clause. And this one is just for Russ: Another victory just today is that Catholic hospitals in Illinois can no longer withhold complete medical information and options to women seeking reproductive health care. That was done by the Illinois Legislature. Winning!

James Veverka

  • Category: Letters
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I am running to represent Gilford & Meredith at the Statehouse

To The Daily Sun,

On June 1, I filed to run for one of the four state House of Representative seats covering District 2 for Belknap County — the towns of Gilford and Meredith.

Why do I run?

I have many ideas about our state government that I will address in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, I hereby formally pledge the following:

1. I will vigorously oppose and seek to block any attempts to impose a personal income tax in our state.

2. I will vigorously oppose and seek to block any attempts to impose a broad-based sales tax in our state.

3. I will propose and vigorously seek to repeal our state's tax on interest and dividends.

In considering the state candidates who seek your support, ask them if they will take the same "Enhanced Tax Pledge" that I have now taken.

The lifeblood of any government and its numerous and various regulatory agencies is our taxes, and I believe the only way to curtail the size and scope of our state government and its regulations is to reduce our taxes.

Government is not the solution to every problem (real or invented) facing us. Government itself is often the cause of our problems.

I ask for your support and vote, and I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible, and discussing the critical issues we face, in the coming weeks.

Norman Silber

  • Category: Letters
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