Daily Archives: March 16, 2013

The Most Important Speech at CPAC 2013

All day long I’ve been swabbing my house and keeping me company? Hour after hour of all the speeches from CPAC 2013. I loved Sarah Palin’s speech–“step away from the telepromptr, Mr. President and lead” –later grabbing her Big Gulp cup, Ted Cruz’s fabulous exhibition, Marco Rubio’s charged up reminder of what makes America great and Phyllis Schlafley’s tales from the front lines. But I believe the most important speech of the event is one that won’t get much play. It’s the one that is the most important because of who made the speech. It was made by an author whom I’ve tried countless times to come on my show to talk about just this thing. 

eric metaxasThe most important speech was by Eric Metaxas who spoke on religious liberty. It is one speech that as an American you cannot miss. Metaxas has especial moral authority to tell this tale because he has done deep study into the last time the world saw this loss of religious liberty–under the Nazis. He tells this tale in his book Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. 

Here is an excerpt of that speech and below is the video of his talk. Please watch it.

Okay, so where are the threats to Religious Freedom in America today? Well, for one thing, understand we are not talking about Freedom of Worship. In a speech 18 months ago, Hillary Clinton replaced the phrase Freedom of Religion with Freedom of Worship — and my hero and friend Chuck Colson noticed and was disturbed by it.  Why? Because these are radically different things. They have Freedom of Worship in China. But what exactly is Freedom of Worship?

In my book Bonhoeffer I talk about a meeting between Bonhoeffer’s friend, the Rev. Martin Niemoller, who early on in the Third Reich was one of those fooled by Hitler.  And in that meeting he says something to Hitler about how he, Niemoller, cares about Germany and Third Reich — and Hitler cuts him off and says “I built the Third Reich. You just worry about your sermons!”

There in a few words you have the idea of Freedom of Worship.  Freedom of Worship says you can have your little strange rituals and say whatever you like in your little religious buildings for an hour or two on Sundays, but once you leave that building you will bow to the secular orthodoxy of the state! We will tell you what to think on the big and important questions. Questions like when life begins and who gets to decide when to end it and what marriage is…  And if you don’t like it, tough luck! That’s Freedom of Worship and that have that in China and they had it in Germany in Bonhoeffer’s day…

But the Founding Fathers said just the opposite! They said the faith inside that church building must live on and flourish outside that building. In fact, the Founders believed the success of the American Experiment depends on it! In Os Guinness’s book — A FREE PEOPLE’S SUICIDE – he reminds us that the Founders believed Freedom of Religion was at the heart of the American Experiment.

In that book he talks about the Golden Triangle of Freedom — I’ll bet you never heard about that in school or in college. He explains that the Founders knew that Freedom and Self-Government were not possible without Virtue. Without virtue, we would simply vote to line our own pockets and elect those leaders who would line our pockets. Sound familiar? But they believed that Freedom required Virtue and Virtue in turn required Faith. It was mainly Faith that motivated citizens toward Virtue.  So Freedom required Virtue and Virtue required Faith — but Faith in turn required Freedom.  Faith requires Freedom. The whole triangle falls apart if you take away any of those three things. They support each other.  Please read A FREE PEOPLE’S SUICIDE.

Ginny Burdick Takes Cover Behind Her Office in Gun Battle

Public Records Ginny BurdickState Senator Ginny Burdick, who claimed she cancelled a March 4th citizen’s town hall meeting because of threats against her by “gun extremists,” is now stonewalling efforts to see proof of those threats. Burdick has alleged threats against her on local and national television.

As I reported here, on March 8th, I filed a public records request with Senator Burdick’s office to receive,

“…all reports by the Senator and her staff to law enforcement and recordings, written communications, including texts, facebook messages, emails and tweets, and visual proof of threats she received prompting her to cancel her Town Hall meeting at Portland State University on March 4, 2013.”

I concluded my request by stating,

Ms. Burdick has made very serious allegations against people she has described recently in interviews and on her own facebook page as gun nuts and wackos. It’s necessary for her to substantiate her claims of threats and I look forward to reporting on the veracity of those claims.

As I reported here, Burdick provided KATU news with emails she claimed were threatening but which did not appear to rise to the level of actual threats. Were they threats there would have been more prominent news coverage and criminal charges forthcoming. Here’s an example she gave to the TV station.
GUNS GINNY THREAT STALIN
But instead of satisfying the request for documents to prove these new allegations, something that should have been easy for her staff to do, she lateraled my request to the Legislative Counsel Dexter A. Johnson who sent me this response which read in part,
 
The Legislative Assembly and members and staff of the Legislative Assembly are not subject to the public records law during periods in which the Legislative Assembly is in session.  ORS 192.410 (5).  The Legislative Assembly is currently in session and therefore will not be providing the materials you requested.
In short, Burdick isn’t required to honor requests for documents until the session is over. I asked attorney and VictoriaTaft.com Blog member Bruce McCain who confirmed Burdick can’t be compelled to turn over documents until the legislature is over and added, 

But even if Burdick defamed an individual (a class of unidentified persons doesn’t qualify) she could not be served with civil process while the legislature is in session. But merely describing her political opponents as crazy, nuts, or whackos doesn’t rise to actionable defamation of an individual.

And if Burdick accuses someone of “threatening” her which is a criminal offense? Should she have to prove her allegation? McCain continues,

As far as records of a member of the Legislative Assembly that may relate to criminal activity, that is an entirely different issue. Public records law wouldn’t even apply because law enforcement (not the general public) could get to those records through warrants and subpoenas. But that still doesn’t mean a member of the general public is entitled to see exempt public records just because the records may be related to criminal activity.  

If she chose to, Burdick could turn over any documents to prove her allegations of ‘threats’ against her but has not. Why not?

Here are some possibilities: 

  1. She’s planning to wait till after the session is over.
  2. She can play victim  (as she did recently on MSNBC) and cast her political opponents as criminals. 
  3. The State Police are investigating.
  4. She has no proof.

If there’s no crime, then Ginny Burdick is both a liar and a coward. One who uses the imprimatur of authority to politically marginalize constituents who have an honest difference of opinion with the State Senator on civil rights. And a coward who hides behind her office now just as she hid from her constituents on March 4th.