Public Advocate Urges Robe Burning Again -- In Iowa
Its been 20 years, but Public Advocate president Eugene Delgaudio is urging that conservatives start burning some robes again, this time in Iowa.
In letters, interviews and talks with Iowa conservatives, Delgaudio is relating the manner in which Public Advocate burned Supreme Court Judge Antonin Scalia's robes in 1990 after the Court announced its five to four decision to allow flag burning and other desecrations of the American Flag.
On the same day as the 1990 court decision and in front of 1,000 Americans who gathered on short notice, Public Advocate volunteers burned "judicial robes" and made international news.
Today Public Advocate is urging the same kind of creative grass roots action in the debate over retaining judges who have reached their term limit and are subject to being rejected.
The Rev. Cary K. Gordon has organized an educational effort entitled "Project Jeremiah 2010," and is named for the Old Testament prophet who rails against forces that "defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination," and those who "handle the law."
Gordon said he has recruited leaders at more than 100 churches, which he declined to name, who will speak against Justices Marsha Ternus, David Baker and Michael Streit on the three consecutive Sundays before Election Day.
The Liberty Institute, a socially conservative nonprofit group in Texas, has promised free legal protection to any church that joins the educational effort which publicizes the court decision which is a public opinion issued by the court last year to overturn traditional marriage.
Pastors will then discuss the ballot initiative and leave it up to parisioners what they should do.
The ban stems from a 1954 congressional amendment offered by then-U.S. Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson, which prohibited churches and charities from engaging in political campaign activity. Churches cannot advocate for or against a specific candidate, but are free to lobby for or against ballot measures or speak about political issues.
Clearly, in Public Advocate's experience and in the widespread practice, discussing moral issues and ballot measures is done by thousands of churches but the controversy in Iowa is that liberal forces don't want anybody connected to a church to even discuss it and that is wrong.
According to the IRS, churches that violate the law can be warned, fined, or - in extreme cases - have their tax-exempt status revoked.
Source for some of this information
Iowa pastor: Churches will urge voters to remove 3 justices