November 5, 2003
Ben Thompson, Minnesota
Here are a couple of news articles about our rally at the capitol building in St. Paul, Minnesota:
ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, SATURDAY, 1 NOVEMBER, P. 5B
Two hundred people withstood three hours of bitter wind Friday afternoon outside the state Capitol in hopes of getting the Ten Commandments put back inside public buildings and schools.
"It's almost unbelievable to me we would have to be here asserting the importance of the Ten Commandments," said state Sen. David Hann, R-Eden Prairie. "We've strayed a long way"
Similar rallies have been held around the country since a Ten Commandments monument in an Alabama courthouse was declared unconstitutional this past summer. A debate is brewing over a monument in front of the Fargo (N.D.) Civic Center.
"This is our moment of crisis," state Sen. Michelle Bachman, R-Stillwater, told the rally. "We are here today to take a stand for liberty and for the essence of our law."
Attendees were asked to sign petitions to remove cases involving the Ten Commandments and Pledge of Allegiance from federal judicial review; to get the commandments posted in public schools; and to impeach U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson, who issued the Alabama ruling.
"It is no longer a case of conservative vs. liberal or Republican vs. Democrat," said the Rev. Thomas Jestus of Miracle Centre church in South St. Paul. "It is a case of biblical vs. pagan." (Ed: Rev. Dr. Jestus is the previous chairman of the Constitution Party of Minnesota)
Hann said the commandments are a universal code of law providing the foundation for U.S. government.
"They may be a Judeo-Christian expression of that natural law, but their universal truths cannot be ignored."
Thompson's ruling said a Ten Commandments monument violated a constitutional ban on promoting religion.
MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE, SATURDAY, 1 NOVEMBER, 2003, P. B2
About 200 Minneaotans gathered in the wind and chill on the State Capitol steps Friday for a three-hour "Ten Commandments Rally," where they heard a dozen speakers call for a return to biblical and Christian principles and for posting the commandments in public schools and buildings.
Speakers also urged getting rid of federal judges who have ruled that the commandments' display in some public places violates constitutional prohibitions against the state establishment of a particular religion.
The rally was prompted by in larger part by the national furor over a federal judge's recent ruling that a display of ther commandments in the rotunda of the Alabama state judicial center had to be removed. A recent CNN poll found that about four of five Americans disapproved of the judge's ruling.
"This is judicial tyranny," said Allen Quist, a former legislator and longtime leader of conservative Christian activists in the Republican Party.
One sponsor of the rally was the Declaration Project, a group headed by Dave Racer, a veteran conservative Republican activist and a supporter of 2000 Republican presidential candidate Alan Keyes, who is organizing a national movement supporting the Ten Commandments.
The Declaration Project's newsletter lists on its letterhead priorities that include "Impeaching Federal Judges" and establishing the "Holy Bible as Foundational to All Governing Authorities."
The rally was aired live on KKMS (980 AM), a religious radio station in Richfield, and the event agenda allowed time for commercial breaks on the station.
One of the speakers, state Sen. Michelle Bachmann, R-Stillwater, told the crowd that the founders of the United States
Other speakers said the commandments' prohibitions of behavior ranging from lying to murder are an expression of universal moral values, and are badly needed in a secular society that seems to have no values.
"The commandments are such a civilizing influence that we want to get them in all the schools," said Mark Skogerboe, a lay minister for a Wisconsin church.
But Skogerboe said the group does not seek to make posting the commandments mandatory.
"We want enabling legislation," he said.
House Minority Leader Matt Entenza, DFL-St. Paul, said Bachmann's interpretation of the commandments as the foundation of American law was off-base.
Those founders in many ways made it clear that having the state impose a particular religion's beliefs on citizen's was forbidden, Entenze said, and tens of millions of Americans are neither Jews nor Christians.
"I'm all in favor of the Ten Commandments, but our founders came to this country to escape a state church and religious persecution and it's sad that 222 years later a few people have forgotten about that," Entenza said.
A spokesman for Minnesota Atheists, August Berkshire, released a statement arguing that the U.S. Constitution "makes no mention of a god, Jesus, or the Bible." As early as 1797, in a treaty with Tripoli negotiated by George Washington, the United States government stated that it "is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion," the statement by Berkshire said.
Although Bachmann was one of the three legislators participating in the event, it's not clear whether the commandment crusade has a strong political coalition supporting it in Minnesota.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty, considered an ally of social conservatives on issues such as abortion and gun control, did not attend the rally.
October 25, 2003
Steve Weathers, Alpharetta, Georgia
The Oct. 21 rally in Blairsville, Georgia, was great! It seemed to have been pretty well planned and publicized.
Blairsville was a beautiful setting in the North Georgia Mountains, with the temperature probably in the mid-60s, and the home side of the football stadium was almost full. One local man said that both sides of the stadium together held close to 6,000, and he estimated that there were 3,500+ in attendance. If his assessment of the stadium's capacity is correct, then I would say that was probably a pretty accurate number.
Alan Keyes was excellent, as usual, as was Rick Scarborough. The crowd responded often with standing ovations in support of their message. It was an encouragement to be there, and those who attended left highly motivated!
October 24, 2003
Rick Scarborough of Vision America
On Tuesday, October 21st, Alan Keyes and I conducted a rally in Blairsville, Georgia, at the local football stadium. Blairsville is a small out the way town in NE Georgia.
More than 3,000 people spilled over the home side of the stands and stood on the track around to the visitor stands, which were almost full. They cheered, gave numerous standing ovations, signed commitment cards and committed to fill 12 buses to go to DC in September of 2004 for the National rally.
A recent rally in Lufkin, Texas drew over 2000 participants. The Lufkin attendance, along with rallies in Houston, Texas, Barrow County, Georgia, and this rally at Blairsville have been supported by more than 15,000 people committed to restoring the Ten Commandments to their place in the public square. Every rally we conduct exceeds expectations.
Two committees from North Carolina and Tennessee were present last night and both went back to secure locations in Raleigh and Jackson for rallies. God is blessing this effort.
In Lufkin we added 30 more Patriot Pastors. Last night we met with about 50 Pastors at a dinner before the rally and most of them were filling out cards to join our growing network. As you know, the commitment of Congregational Leaders is essential to sustaining this effort to recognize God in the public arena.
With the assistance of national columnist, Don Feder, Vision America has designed a petition. Affixed to this petition are the signatures of the agency heads who have partnered with us in our efforts to restore the Commandments! These organizations have agreed to adopt the petition and distribute it through their network of contacts and their names will be on all the copies which are distributed nationally. We anticipate the gathering of millions of signatures by the National Rally date in September 2004. There will be a press conference in Washington, DC the week before Thanksgiving to launch the petition drive.
Please remember to keep us in your prayers. There is much work before us.
October 16, 2003
The following success story shows that even a relatively "small" rally can generate effective media.
Since a major goal of any rally is "earned media," this particular rally was highly successful
Dear Rally Volunteers,
Please check out the link below for a story on our Columbus Day Celebration.
St. George, Utah
October 10, 2003
CARAVAN CONCLUDES TOUR WITH THE PROMISE OF ACTION!
Washington, DCóOn Monday morning, the "Save the Commandments" caravan concluded its tour with a rousing news conference and rally that culminated in the delivery of 384,000 citizen petitions supporting the public display of the Ten Commandments.
For the "Grand Finale Rally", 500 citizens listened intently as speaker after speaker brought clarity, understanding and a historical perspective on the importance of acknowledging God in the public square.
To view pictures of this event, go to http://www.grassfire.net/35/popup1.html
Ironically, on this the first day of the Supreme Courtís new session, they closed their doors at noon to observe the first evening of Yom Kippur. Yet, citizens wanting to pray on the steps of the Supreme Court were moved back to the sidewalk by Capitol Police.
"Whereís the common-sense, here?" asked Rev. Pat Mahoney, who just the day before was arrested and jailed by Capitol police. "Itís up to the citizens of this nation to usher in the sanity that has been removed by a radical secularist regime."
Throughout the news conference and rally, at least a dozen boxes carrying more than 384,000 citizen petitions were prominently displayed before the podium and microphones, waiting to be delivered to main entrance to the court.
To view the petition, http://www.grassfire.net/35/petition.asp
At one point during the rally, president of Grassfire.net, Steve Elliott, announced the final total of the petitions that were gathered, explaining that the original goal of 250,000 was shattered by nearly 150,000! "This issue isn't over with this delivery," said Elliott, "itís just beginning!"
Following the rally, camera crews clamored for position as a number of citizens hoisted boxes of the petitions and ushered them to the main entrance of the court in a dramatic citizen-led display!
"Iím so encouraged by these petitions," said Elliott. "People are fed up with the secularist agenda of the court, and this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what Grassfire intends to do in coming months to pressure our leaders and court justices into returning to the moral foundation of law in our society!"
Thanks to everyone who either joined us in person, or who supported the caravan through our "Virtual" caravan.
Your support was paramount to the success of the tour, and an encouragement to everyone involved in the event. Please continue to rally much needed support for this cause by spreading the grassfire on this issue to your friends and family. Millions of Americans who support the Ten Commandments and religious liberty have yet to hear this message, and we are relying on your help in the coming weeks and months!
Thanks for your support!
For more on the tour, go to http://www.grassfire.net/35/news.asp
For news links, go to http://www.grassfire.net/35/newslinks.asp
September 18, 2003
Larry Meyers, St. George, UT
10 Commandments Volunteers,
I am writing to share a success story that we are having here in southern Utah in showing our support for God, the Constitution, and Justice Roy Moore (and our contempt for the ACLU!).
Following a rally we had in support of Justice Moore on the day they removed his monument, my friend Robert Anderson had a great idea. Robert began distributing law signs bearing the 10 Commandments, for people to display on their lawns or in their windows, and the demand has not stopped since!
For more information, check out the story that ran today in the Deseret News: http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/1%2C1249%2C510054991%2C00.html
If you would like to help start a similar movement in your area, please email me at email@example.com or call Robert at 435-656-2458. This is not for profit, but for the cause of Christian freedom!
St. George, UT