Democrat Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign is squealing like a stuck pig about Republican mailings in the swing states of Arkansas and West Virginia. Kerry must win one of those states to win in November.
These letters portray the liberals banning the Bible while allowing same-sex marriage. "This will be Arkansas if you don't vote," some letters warn.
The mailings show a Bible labeled "BANNED" and explain that the liberal agenda includes removing "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance. For contrast, the mailings show as "ALLOWED" a picture of a man on his knees putting a wedding ring on the hand of another man.
There is nothing far-fetched about these pictures. Already, the U.S. Supreme Court has banned Bible readings, the Ten Commandments and voluntary prayer from public schools. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the largest federal circuit, has banned "under God" from the pledge - a decision the Supreme Court temporarily sidetracked on a technicality. The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts has ordered same-sex marriage licenses, and gays are filing lawsuits to get activist judges in other states to force those states to recognize the Massachusetts outrage.
The liberal media are yelping about these mailings because the Democratic game plan is to conceal from voters the fact that they support these goals. By keeping mum on the subject and refusing to do anything to stop these travesties, Kerry and his running mate are counting on Democratic-appointed judges to make these unpopular decisions so Democratic politicians can avoid taking any heat for them.
When the Defense of Marriage Act passed Congress in 1996 and was signed by President Bill Clinton, Kerry was one of eight current U.S. senators who voted against traditional marriage. The vote in the Senate this summer on the marriage amendment gave Kerry a chance to clean up this embarrassment, but he declined to do so.
Kerry's home state of Massachusetts, the source of the country's most direct attack on traditional marriage, is issuing same-sex marriage licenses. Not only has Kerry done nothing to stop this travesty, the usually loquacious candidate declines to criticize it.
The Pledge of Allegiance issue also has Massachusetts overtones. Michael Dukakis, the 1988 Democratic presidential candidate, vetoed a Pledge of Allegiance bill. That act led to his defeat at the hands of the first President Bush. (Funny thing, when the Democrats held their national convention in Boston this summer, they hid their hometown leader and past presidential nominee, Dukakis, from the television audience.)
Ordinarily, liberal lawyers such as Kerry and his running mate, Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., would be expected to champion free speech. Instead, they are running like crybabies to get their pals in the media to censor the Republican mailings.
Kerry trotted out Edwards, a trial lawyer, to whine that President Bush should "tell everyone associated with the campaign to never use tactics like" these mailings. But Republicans should have no fear of including these issues in the presidential debates.
Opposition to same-sex marriage is a powerful issue in the 2004 election. Seventy-one percent of Missouri voters passed a traditional marriage amendment to their state constitution in August, and 78 percent of Louisiana voters did likewise in September.
Similar amendments to ban same-sex marriage will be on the November ballots in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah and maybe Ohio. Democrats know the issue is hurtful to Kerry, so the American Civil Liberties Union is desperately trying to get an activist judge to remove it from the Arkansas ballot.
Fortunately, the U.S. Constitution provides a way to curb judicial supremacists who legislate from the bench and trash American culture. Article III endows Congress with the authority and responsibility to curb an abusive and overreaching judiciary by deciding what cases the judges can hear.
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed two bills to withdraw jurisdiction from the federal courts over matters where activist judges are trying to overturn decades of U.S. culture. The House passed the Marriage Protection Act (H.R. 3313), sponsored by U.S. Rep. John Hostettler, R-Ind., to stop the courts from forcing 49 states to recognize Massachusetts' gay marriages. The House also passed the Pledge Protection Act (H.R. 2028), sponsored by Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., to keep judicial activists' mitts off the Pledge of Allegiance.
Historians should mark these votes as the beginning of the end of the runaway judiciary's assault on our culture. Will supremacist judges try to resist this limitation of their power?
The 271-to-173 vote by which the Pledge Protection Act passed shows that there are more than enough votes in the House to impeach any judge who defies these constitutional laws. The House can adopt Clint Eastwood's approach: "Go ahead, make my day."
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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