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Voter Guides Get The Boot

Like every other member of AU, I spent as much time as possible this election season fighting the right. I'm of the belief that every action, no matter how small, ultimately helps.

Many of the Christian churches in my community of Montrose conducted a push toward the Nov. 3 election, using their tax-free status to promote the Christian Coalition's voter guide. Some churches placed a stack on their literature tables with no promotion, some clergy announced from the pulpit the availability of the guides, some encouraged getting out the vote for the suggested candidates and amendments and some did all of the above.

I live in a HUD senior housing complex, and a stack of these CC voter guides even appeared on our mail distribution table. I spoke to the management, stressing that on this property it is illegal to promote party politics and that I would remove such matter. The next day there was another fresh stack of these guides which, of course, I removed.

I have sent a copy of the flyers to the Internal Revenue Service office in Grand Junction, voicing my disapproval of the tax-exempt status held by the Christian Coalition and other religious organizations that promote political agendas. I know Americans United has filed complaints against the Christian Coalition with the IRS. If any of my endeavors help in the smallest of ways to stop the Religious Right I will be glad and always proud I am an AU member.

--Lucy Redding Montrose, Colo.

Disappointed In Charlton Heston

I am a member of the National Rifle Association and voted for Charlton Heston for its president. I have contributed to the Institute for Legislative Action. No more. I read "God, Guns And The GOP" (November Church & State) and got an education. I am all for the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, but as a retired teacher of 27 years in a public school, I am tired and sick of politicians and other people bashing public schools. They are blind to the contribution public schools have made, and are making today, to our country's greatness and to the American culture, Without public schools, society would come apart at the seams.

I cannot support a person or politician who attacks public schools for personal advancement.

--Max A. Cates Grand Island, Neb.

A Second Amendment Defense

In reference to the article "God, Guns and the GNP," I would like to say that not all gun owners or people who just believe in the constitutional right to own firearms are of the far right.

As a long time member of Americans United and a believer in the Second Amendment (yes, I know there are many on the left who would have us believe the Second Amendment refers only to the state and `well organized militia,' but after very careful reading of the text, I do not), I can say that Charlton Heston does not speak for me and many other advocates of firearms ownership.

In closing, I would like to say that there are many of us who believe in defending the whole Constitution, and not picking and choosing those sections or amendments that agree only with our own beliefs.

--Frank Tartaglia Brooklyn, N.Y.

Skipping Heston's `Ten Commandments' This Passover

It is always refreshing to read Church & State. I am so glad there are voices of people of faith who differ from those of the Christian Coalition's.

I am a parent of two young children, and the Religious Right's efforts to force its brand of religious (and racial?) intolerance into the schools is frightening to me. I would like to see this country heal its wounds of racial, ethnic and gender -- and everything else -- bigotry. For the future of our children and the world, our country needs to lead the globe in setting an example of tolerance.

The Religious Right, its allies in the GOP and even Charlton Heston don't stand for freedom or tolerance. Many of their leaders lack an important aspect of character -- that aspect is compassion.

By the way, this Passover my family will not be watching C.B. DeMille's version of "The Ten Commandments" starring Charlton Heston. Our Moishe, who had, by all Rabbinical accounts, a wife of color, would never advocate racism in any form.

--Danielle Hess Elk Grove, Calif.

Only In Church & State ...

I am glad I was on the list to receive the November issue of Church & State. Despite being a subscriber to The New York Times and other publications, yours is the only coverage I have seen of Charlton Heston's speech to the Christian Coalition meeting. I think that the racist, sexist, homophobic and (implicitly) anti-Semitic content of the speech should be well publicized. I encourage you to distribute the article widely. Keep up the good work.

--David J. Halperin Orinda, Calif.

Church & State welcomes letters to the editor. Although not all correspondence can be published, readers' opinions are appreciated. The editorial staff reserves the right to edit all letters for brevity and clarity.
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Publication:Church & State
Date:Jan 1, 1999
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