soldier.pngWhy should you vote for conservatives? Consider the small victory that advocates for religious freedom celebrated August 31, 2007.

The Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday that state higher education officials have no authority over seminaries in Texas, ending several years of litigation over state efforts to restrict the operations of three seminaries in Dallas, Fort Worth and San Antonio.

The high court said the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board violated the constitutional rights of the institutions by preventing them from issuing degrees in theology and calling themselves seminaries.

Writing for the court, Justice Nathan Hecht said state education requirements affecting the institutions “impermissibly intrude” upon religious freedom protected by the U.S. and Texas constitutions.

“Since the government cannot determine what a church should be, it cannot determine the qualifications a cleric should have or whether a particular person has them. Likewise the government cannot set standards for religious education or training,” the court said, citing the establishment clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits government from establishing an official religion. (from here).

Texas law was quite intrusive.

Liberty Legal Institute filed suit on behalf of Tyndale Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1999, after the higher education board fined the school $173,000 for issuing degrees and calling itself a seminary. Two years earlier, a new state law combating so-called diploma mills had mandated that law schools, medical schools, technical schools, and seminaries meet 21 standards to operate legally.

But applying the same standards to law schools and religious institutions doesn’t work, argued Kelly Shackelford, Liberty Legal Institute’s chief counsel. “For example, the (Texas) requirement that you have to have a master’s degree to teach at a post-secondary school,” he said. “That means Billy Graham couldn’t teach evangelism in a Texas seminary.” (from here)

Many, of course, will look to this victory as proof that our rights are being defended. However, that is hardly the case. The reason the Texas Supreme Court had to step in is that the legislative and the executive branches made it necessary. Texas passed laws that permitted the regulation of seminaries, and the executive branch attempted to enforce those laws.

We cannot rely on the courts to protect our rights. Of the three branches of government, the judicial branch is the weakest. So we must also elected good people serve in the legislative and executive branches of government. We must elect people who understand that our Creator gave each of us inalienable rights. We must elect citizens who understand that protecting our rights necessitates that we limit the power of government.


460px-thomas_paine.jpgRight at the beginning of the American Revolutionary War, the Patriots made freedom of religion one of their goals. Consider this excerpt from Common Sense by Thomas Paine.

As to religion, I hold it to be the indispensible duty of all government, to protect all conscientious professors thereof, and I know of no other business which government hath to do therewith. Let a man throw aside that narrowness of soul, that selfishness of principle, which the niggards of all professions are so unwilling to part with, and he will be at once delivered of his fears on that head. Suspicion is the companion of mean souls, and the bane of all good society. For myself, I fully and conscientiously believe, that it is the will of the Almighty, that there should be diversity of religious opinions among us: It affords a larger field for our Christian kindness. Were we all of one way of thinking, our religious dispositions would want matter for probation; and on this liberal principle, I look on the various denominations among us, to be like children of the same family, differing only, in what is called, their Christian names.

The House 13th Debate — Bruce Roemmelt (D) / Robert G. Marshall (R)

rivalry.pngI suppose this seems like old news, but I would like to talk about something that happened earlier this month. Yesterday evening, I took the time to watch the video of the debate between Bruce Roemmelt and Del. Bob Marshall (see here). The PW Committee of 100 sponsored this debate on October 10, 2007.

When I listened to the candidates, I heard one candidate who was focused on the solution and another candidate who was focused on the problem. What is the difference? When you focus on the solution, you work on overcoming the obstacles in your way. When you focus on the problem, you see all the reasons why the obstacles in your way are insurmountable.

Marshall focuses on solutions. For example, instead of trying to tell us why the problem is too big for us, why we should lobby the Federal Government to fix the problem of illegal immigration (Roemmelt’s solution), Marshall talked about the approaches the Commonwealth of Virginia could use to help itself.

Are you sitting on the fence between Marshall and Roemmelt? Then listen to the debate. Both Marshall and Roemmelt are good men, but Marshall knows what he is talking about. Marshall answered the questions put to him directly and honestly; Roemmelt answered with platitudes. While Marshall is working on solutions, the “best” Roemmelt can do is to try to convince us that Marshall is part of the problem.

Marshall has solutions. Most involve letting us run our own lives and spend our own money. What Marshall lacks is enough conservative votes in the General Assembly. We need more Bob Marshalls, not fewer.

If we elect Bruce Roemmelt, we will not get solutions. Roemmelt will just throw our money at problems. If we elect Bruce Roemmelt, all we will get is another lapdog for any lobbyist with a problem.

Watch the video and judge for yourself.

Other Views

Bryan J. Scrafford likes Roemmelt (here).

Loudoun Democrats like Roemmelt (here).

The Right-Wing Liberal likes Marshall (here).


plus-i-too.pngDo you want to see our local candidates for political office debate?  Well, the PW Committee of 100 did a great job of organizing many such debates.  Now those debates are online.  Here is what they have currently posted.

Please visit PW Committee of 100 and let them know you appreciate their hard work.