Friday, July 18, 2008


Recently the official John Freshwater defense webpage, The Bible on the Desk, went online, It provides bios of Freshwater and his family and a PayPal link for defense donations. The site is sponsored by The Community Council for Free Expression. (In fact, the subtitle of the page, when it is Googled, is "The Official Webpage of the Community Council for Free Expression," though the banner doesn't say that.) The 'Community Council Members" link, however, is blank, begging the question: Who is the Community Council?

A quick run over to the Ohio Secretary of State's business database tells us the following about CCFE's initial papers of incorporation (filed May 19, 2008):

CHARTER NO: 1781823
EFFECTIVE DATE: May 19, 2008-May 19, 2013
STATUTORY AGENT: William Kepko, Attorney
1 E. Vine Street
Mount Vernon, Ohio.

Here is where it gets weird:
To have and exercise any and all powers, rights, and privileges which a corporation organized under Chapter 1702 may now and hereafter have or exercise by law, and take action necessary to expedient, incidental, appropriate and convenient to the carrying out of the forgoing purposes. (hand written, May 3, 2008)

I've been involved in the incorporation of a non-profits and even attended a 2-day non-profit incorporation workshop, and I've never seen anything this generic before.
I suspect, since this is an initial filing, it's a placeholder with something more substantial to follow. I'll keep checking.

A further Google search for CCFE finds the blog, A Good Choice: America is in the midst of a raging cultural and spiritual war. Forces of Good, Light, Conservatism and a Judeo-Christian Worldview daily battle the forces of Evil, Darkness, Socialism and False Religions and Philosophies. A Good Choice is on the frontlines exposing evil across America’s political and social spectrum.

The blog belongs to Matt Miller, Gregjaye (no full name given), and Merrill "Sam" Keiser, Jr. a truck owner/operator from Fremont.

Gregjaye's blog entry of May 20, one day after incorporation--Freshwater Legal Defense Fund-- tells us to send checks, made out to The Community Council for Free Expression to Trinity Assembly [of God Church], 1051 Beech Street, Mount Vernon, OH 43050. The picture accompanying the entry informs us that God supports Freshwater.

A post comment about the purpose of the defense fund collection is attributed to "Don Matolyak,
Community Council For Free Expression" and coincidentally, Freshwater's pastor. Mayolyak has gotten a fair amount of face time over Freshwater. He organized May 18 rally in Mount Vernon's Public Square.

The unofficial Support John Freshwater website has a download of audio interviews with Matolyak, Freshwater with WRFD's Bob Burney, along with a video of Freshwater on Fox's Showdown with Larry Elder.

Speaking of official versus unofficial Freshwater support pages, Bible on the Desk makes it clear that Dave Daubenmire is permanently off Freshwater's bus. Under the "New Media" link we're told:

This is the only official source of information from John Freshwater and his team of legal and spiritual advisors. No other person or group has the authority to speak for or on the behalf of Mr. Freshwater.

I'm going downtown next week and will try to pull CCFC's incorporation papers.

In the meantime if Mount Vernon readers can fill in the blanks on CCFE an its "members" feel free to comment.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Cincinnati busybody and anti-sex crusader Phil Burress, director of Citizens for Community Values, was featured in yesterday's CitizenLink, a daily e-publication of Focus on the Family. The 5-minute video interview with Stuart Sheppard, which you can see here, contained nothing new for Burressphiles. Nonetheless, I was surprised to learn that, according to Philly Vanilli , there are over 110 "sexually oriented businesses" (whatever that means) in Columbus. Who knew?

Just a little less than three minutes into the interview though, Burress got a little hinky. Discussing a 2004 interview with a New York Times reporter, he recalls:

I just said, you know I’m gonna tell you everything, the good the bad the ugly. But but if you don't understand what happened to me on September 6, 1980 my story will not make sense... Well, what’s his first question now? What happened on September 6,1980?

That’s when I met my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. and I turned my life around Divorced in the past, Drugs. Alcoholic. I’m Liberal. A union executive. Democrat. And my life did turn around And, so what keeps me in this battle is that I know the harms that the Left produces in the area of sexual exploitation, human trafficking. Can cause to the community—can cause to the family.

We already know that Burress' purification drive is all about his former dissolute porn addicted soul. But let's get this straight. "The Left" with its labor unions, alcohol and drugs is responsible not only for his personal downfall, but his whole sin list of "sexual exploitation" that must be struck from cities across the US: strip clubs, Larry Flynt, Hustler, homosexuality, escort services, Marriott Hotel porn-to-order, prostitution, suggestive billboards and ads, private dancers, and peep shows. The way Burress talks you'd think he needs all these eradicated to keep him in line. You'd think that the Solid Gold Dancers were hot for his lap.

For other Theoconia pieces on Burress check the Theoconia Blog archives to the right.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Last Saturday Larry Elder snagged an exclusive interview with Mount Vernon middle school science teacher John Freshwater. You can see all but a few seconds of the video here. Scroll down on the right and click on "John Freshwater and Attorney on FOX News with Larry Elder."(Thanks to Rawhide on KnoxPages Forum. I couldn't find it anywhere).

I've spoken casually with Freshwater a few times during protests outside the old Capital Care Women's Center in Columbus. He was energetic but not rabid. I was a bit surprised, then, to find him so jacked on Showdown. Freshwater acted like was possessed by Dave Daubenmire. Or one of the umpteenth guys dragged on Maury's Who's the Daddy. The robotic gyrations, finger pointing, wide-eyed incredulity, forced chuckles, third person declamation, and weird vocal inflections were disturbing.

Freshwater was lawyered up with R. Kelly Hamilton who played Paul Winchell to Freshwater's Jerry Mahoney. I could almost see Hamilton pulling a string (or leash?) at the back of Freshwater's head"

"That's a great question!" ka-chink!

"You know what?" ka-chink!

He seemed grateful to tears when Hamilton took over answers.

And Larry Elder did indeed ask solid questions. He seemed to actually want to know what the story is.

Freshwater categorically denied he had ever taught creationism or intelligent design in the classroom. He insisted he was held to teach three "standards," one of which was evolution. What the other standards are were left a mystery. He claimed that no one ever complained about his Bible until April 10, 2008 (!) Both he and Hamilton claimed they had no idea why anybody, in fact, would complain.

As usual, the cross "branding" allegation got played. I believe the branding incident is a red herring for the school board and Freshwater. It makes things easier for everybody, the media loves it, and it keeps the pot boiling.

With this is mind I found the following 3-way Q&A interesting:

Elder: Mr. Hamilton, one of them [allegations] is the allegation that he burned a cross or an X on somebody’s arm. Tell me about that, Mr. Freshwater.

Freshwater: (laughs) I wanna stop that right now.

Elder: That’s why I brought it up. I want to know.

Freshwater: I did not. John Freshwater did not brand anybody OK. This is not...that is not truth. I did not brand anybody.

Elder: So somebody made it up?

Hamilton: Sir, you've seen a picture.

Elder: Right.

Hamilton: that is purported to be a particular mark. Somebody has put the cross designation upon that particular mark. John very thoroughly explained not only to the investigators but to anybody will listen. He has not burned, branded, or made any kind of religious symbol on anybody. Not himself, not his family, and certainly not a student in the public school system. (Freshwater laughs) There's not been any medical evidence deduced indicating...

and a minute later:

Hamilton: Let’s not load the question with an improper premise, that he branded or put a religious symbol on anybody.

This is very close to Dave Daubenmire's argument on his June 29 radio show:

He may have done a science experiment but John Freshwater did not do that to this boy’s arm.

While the real issue is the teaching of evolution in the public schools, Christianity in the classroom, the Bible on the desk, and Freshwater's insubordination, this will play out as an I say/you say with the plaintiff and his family being portrayed as whiney, lying, God-haters going after an innocent God-loving Freshwater through the back door. Expect to see more of this confusion. Who's arm is it? Who took the picture? Has it been doctored? Who REALLY made the mark? As Paul Simon sang, " one man's ceiling is another man's floor." Reality is what you can convince the Mount Vernon Powers That Be is real.

Finally, Freshwater argued that his bottom line was the removal of his Bible from his desk. "That’s how I’m able to teach. It gives me my inspiration. It’s me."

Elder, hardly a raving liberal , closed the segment with his opinion that if he were a teacher and a parent, especially one that is an atheist, agnostic, a Muslim, or of some other faith were offended, he'd remove the Bible. "It seems to me" Elder closed, "that Mr. Freshwater, probably with very good intentions, is trying to make a statement about his Christian beliefs in God, and it seems to me that the pubic school is an inappropriate place for that."

Freshwater obviously should have hooked up with Sean Hannity.

Freshwater's lawyer Kelly Hamilton is located in Grove City. He is listed in the Christian Blue Pages, but the link to his website is dead. He is listed in the ABA Lawyer Locator, but there are no details on him such as years of practice, specializations, professional memberships, and university and law school attended.

NOTES: If you interested in what people in Mount Vernon think about this, go to and Knox There are huge discussions on both. These links will take you to the last few pages of the the very long Freshwater forums.

Monday, July 07, 2008


Another letter wailing "Christian persecution from Patrick Johnston, this time in today's Zanesville Times Recorder. "Disgusted by media's comments of teacher"

Here are two excerpts from it:

Why can't the evolutionists handle criticism of their precious little theory? It's as if their taxpayer-subsidized atheism is to be accepted on blind faith, with a mandatory inquisition for all opponents. The recent movie "Expelled - No Intelligence Allowed" reveals how common it is that creationists are persecuted at institutions of higher learning.


Evolutionists appeal to a separation of church and state to censor competitive theories of origins, but what we desperately need is a separation of atheism and state. For too long America has believed the myth that governments and public institutions can be legitimately neutral with regard to Christianity and its claims. But Jesus said we are either for Him or against Him, that if we do not gather with Him we scatter abroad. We are either in rebellion or submission to Him. "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord" but "every nation that forgets God will be turned in hell."

There's also comments.



Rev. Clenard Childress, the anti-abortion Northeast and the folks from the Columbus-based Center for Bio Ethical Reform Midwest/Genocide Awareness Project (see here for Columbus GAP action) will be in Cincinnati next week July 13-18-to protest the 2008 NAACP convention downtown. We should expect the usual Christian porn: a fleet of Truth Trucks, a graphic gaggle of baybee blender bits blow-ups, and maybe even a GAP sidewalk setup.

The gripe: NAACP's 2004 resolution to support "equal access to abortion."

I don't have a lot of time today to work on this, and I've been unable so far, to find a copy of the original resolution so I'm relying on secondhand reports--and not the best sources. The 2004 resolution is not on the NAACP website, and interestingly, I haven't found any reports on it on "liberal" and so-called "pro-choice" websites, only conservative and anti-abortion sites.

According to the conservative Cyber News Service:
In 2004, the NAACP issued a resolution voicing support for equal access to family planning services and urged its members to participate in a rally for abortion rights.

Noting that "women of color seek abortion at rates higher than their percentage in the population," the organization said that "a woman denied the right to control her own body is denied equal protection of the law, a fight the NAACP has fought for and defended for nearly 100 years."
Reportedly, since 2004 the Macon, Georgia NAACP has attempted twice to introduce a resolution at the organization's annual meeting to refute National's resolution. I have not found a copy of the Macon resolution, but according to Clenard Childress,"Historically, the NAACP has failed to address the concerns of many of its delegates about abortion."

Since GAP and Black like to graphically compare abortion with slavery, the KKK,and lynching, they don't get much play in the real world, even when the ubiquitous Dr. Alveda King Tookes, rightwing niece of Martin Luther King (she does not use Tookes) shows up lecturing "there is no greater injustice facing black people than abortion."

For a response to King, Tookes and LEARN/CBR see Margaret Kimberley's article on race and repro rights in Black Agenda Report Freedom Rider: Abortion Rights are Civil Rights:

As black preachers have been bought off in every other realm, the anti-abortion racketeers have purchased some colored face time too. Alveda King, who makes a living billing herself as "Dr. King's niece," has become a vocal opponent of abortion with a lucrative living to go along with it. Anyone in the pay of right wing think tanks who writes opinion pieces for the Wall Street Journal and Washington Times is not to be trusted, even if they are King's kin.

LEARN Northeast (Life Education and Resource Network) is based in New Jersey and is part of "a national network of pro-life/pro-family advocates dedicated to protecting the pre-born and promoting traditional family values." For 10 years it has partnered with CBR's Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) whose local presence I've written about early.

CBR is no low-rent project. According to its 2006 IRS 990. form national CBR grossed $1,860,137 and netted out at $986,694. Priests for Life Director Fr. Frank Pavone and Rev. Childress sit on the board. Mark Harrington, director of CBR-Midwest is listed as making $51,837. (Go to Guidestar and type in names of organizations you wish to research. Free but account is necessary).

If any readers in Cincinnati spot the action, I'd appreciate a couple pictures to add to the archives.

Saturday, July 05, 2008


A regular Theoconia reader, Msgr. John Sweeley, started to comment recently on one of my John Freshwater pieces. The comment took on a life of its own. As a consequence, I have invited Msgr. as a guest blogger. His opinions are strictly his own.


Having grown up in Western Massachusetts and being a history buff since I was in high school, I thought I knew who the Minutemen were. In fact, I have visited all of the historical sites connected with the Revolutionary War in Massachusetts. I have seen the window in the Old North Church where the lantern was held for Paul Revere. I have traced the rout taken by Revere when he rode to warn the colonists and alert the militias along the way to Lexington and Concord that “The British are coming.” I have walked on Lexington Common where the first shot of the Revolutionary War, “The Shot Heard ‘Round the World” immortalized in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poem, The Concord Hymn rang out yet neither the parties of the time nor historians since can determine which side or if one of the onlookers fired that shot. I have stood on the top of Bunker Hill and looked over Boston Harbor as I put myself in the place of William Prescott, Commander of the Colonial forces, who ordered his men, “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes.”
Of course there are contemporary “Minutemen” who have brought dishonor to that noble honorific. These self-styled Minutemen are otherwise know as Survivalists and a more motley crew of misfits, outcasts, and right-wing extremists one would be hard pressed to find. However, they all share one or more of the following in common: they are reactionaries against contemporary America including government policies and threats of nuclear warfare. They fear the imminent social and economic collapse of America and believe that America is just a step away from a war of racial genocide. Many share extreme right-wing religious beliefs and believe that the apocalypse of God’s judgment is near and that God will severely chastise America for its promotion of the “homosexual agenda,” abortion, secularism, and denial of biblical inerrancy. Consequently, Survivalists often retreat from the modern world and create communes where they engage in para-military training; stockpile food, weapons and ammunition; and indoctrinate their children with the belief of Creationism. However, unlike Evangelical Christians waiting for the Rapture, Survivalists prepare to step into the breach of chaos when either God smites America or America falls from within to restore it to its rightful place as a God-fearing nation in their own image.

Yes, I thought I knew about Minutemen

I also thought I knew fresh water. Having grown up hunting and fishing, having walked the woods and crossed the rivers and streams of Western Massachusetts and Southern Vermont – and yes even drinking from them – I was sure I would know fresh water when I see it. I should know it because in addition to the rivers and streams of those areas I am also intimately acquainted with its many fine ponds and natural springs – and yes I have drunk from them too. And, I have had the good fortune to dip not only my cup and toe into them but have also dipped worms, nigh crawlers, and lures into them as well. Moreover, I have seen them in their entire splendor throughout the four seasons of the year from their tepid languidness in the dog days of Summer, to their frost covered edges with a cornucopia of rainbow colored leave bobbing of their surfaces in the Fall, to the opaqueness of blue veined, milk-colored ice emitting staccato rifle shots in the dead of Winter, to mad rushing rivers and streams gorged with the abundance of winter’s snow melt off in early Spring.

Yes, I thought I knew about fresh water.

Ignorance! I have lived long enough to be sure I know, or thought I knew, about every kind of ignorance a human being is capable of either falling into or manifesting as a consequence of their birth. I have seen the ignorance generated by those born with intellectual limitations that prohibit their ability to learn, to acquire knowledge, or even to develop the skills of self-care. I have seen the ignorance manifested by those who were gifted with intellectual and artistic abilities but chose to destroy their gift by use of alcohol and drugs as did my alcoholic uncle who was a concert violinist but ended his days at Northampton State Mental Hospital not knowing one day from another and in constant need of custodial care. I have seen the ignorance of ordinary people, America’s underclass, who rather than take advantage of the educational opportunities offered them chose instead to live the fast life of the street, hustle for the quick buck, get pregnant, drop out of school, and become the third or even fourth generation of a family dependent on welfare. Most disastrously, I have seen the ignorance of politicians who hold the highest offices of our nation, make decisions regarding America’s domestic well being and foreign policy bomb, invade, and occupy a sovereign nation predicated on religious beliefs, bankrupted economic theory, hubris, feelings of omnipotence, and the lies, lies, and more lies they told and continue to tell the American people to justify their actions.

Yes, I thought I knew about ignorance.

I also believed I knew about faith; at least faith as understood by mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics expressed by Frederick W. Faber in his immortal hymn, “Faith of Our Fathers.” I know the faith of Job, the fortress of an unbreakable faith, that in the end shatters and leaves us crying out, “Why me God?” I know that faith is belief in something not apparent to the senses. I know that faith cannot be created or destroyed by reason. I know that faith is something that cannot be proven by the scientific method. Yet I know that faith is something that is who we are at the core of our being to use Rudolph Otto’s description. I know that faith at its most ignoble and most noble is the faith John Milton describes in his epic poems, Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained. Faith is that wonderful elixir, that when all else fails, binds up our wounds and sooths our soul.

Yes, I thought I knew about faith.

Yes, I thought I knew about Minutemen, fresh water, ignorance, and faith; that is, until Marley posted about the Ohio Minutemen and their defense of John Freshwater who was a middle school teacher recently fired for teaching Creationism and refusing to remove a Bible from the top of his desk. So, I checked out the website for the Minutemen of Ohio and found them to be an extremely misguided cultus of born again, biblically inerrant believing Christians. These Minutemen are no more Minutemen than am I. In their ignorance they flail against the hallmarks of American progressiveness as did Don Quixote against his windmill. Their manifestations of faith are as blind as are their faith beliefs bankrupt in defense of John Freshwater’s Creationism and denial of the legitimacy of homosexuality that is as much a gift form God as is heterosexuality.

However, the Ohio Minutemen are not unlike countless other Evangelicals, believers in biblical inerrancy, and retrogrades who wrap themselves in the flag and thump their Bibles in the inerrant belief that the Founding Fathers created America according to Christian faith beliefs and intended America to be a “Christian” nation. Consequently, I have spent many years and much energy to refuting this error and the faith beliefs that create it. Yet, the neoconservative movement of which the Ohio Minutemen are an extreme fringe group is responsible for the mess, both domestically and internationally, that is America today.

As we all know, debate with Evangelicals, believers in biblical inerrancy, and Neoconservatives is all but impossible because they do not accept or recognize that an illogical argument is illogical on its face and that the Bible does not change the speciousness of their argument. Moreover, they do not accept the historical record when that record does not agree with their theology or world-view.

In the Bible the Pharisees are quoted as asking, “Can anything good come from Galilee?” because Galilee was the hotbed of the hotheads of the Apocalyptic Movement. Fast forward 2,000 years and the question is just as valid regarding America’s right-wing Christians. It is valid because in both cases, the Galileans and right-wing American Christians, each are antithical to and dismissive of the historical theology and beliefs of the faith. Rather, they created a religion in their own image to justify their heretical beliefs.

However, for those with an open mind, and you gentle readers, the words of the Founding Fathers are as a trumpet blast as clear and pure as the shofar that initiates Rosh Hashannah in their condemnation of those who claim their intent was to create America pursuant to Christian faith beliefs and that America is to be a “Christian” nation. Why is this so important? It is extremely important because it is this belief that America was intended by the Founding Fathers to be a “Christian” nation that legitimizes in their mind all the damage they do in trying to impose their truncated faith beliefs that deny the exercise of ones conscience as the final arbiter of moral decision making and action especially regarding life and life style issues.

Let us go back to the time of the Founding Fathers and listen to what they said that completely and totally debunks the claims of the religious right and Ohio Minutemen that the Founding Fathers created America predicated on Christian faith beliefs and that they intended America to be a “Christian” nation. I have retained the spelling of the Founding Fathers where it is different from how the word is spelled today.

The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with gods, or wee in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledge that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.

...John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the Unites States of America, 1787-1788

Thomas Jefferson believed in materialism, reason, and science. He never admitted to any religion but his own. He wrote, “You say I am a Calvinist. I am not. I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know.”
...Thomas Jefferson, letter to Ezra Stiles Ely, June 25, 1819

The Rev. Mason Weems portrays Washington as a devout Christian yet Washington’s own diaries show that he rarely attended church. He never mentioned Christianity in his thousands of letters and rarely spoke about his religious beliefs. Contrarily, his Freemasonry experience points to a belief in Deism. Washington wrote to the United Baptist Churches in Virginia in May 1789, “Every man ought to be protected in worshipping the Deity according to the dictates of his own conscience.” After Washington’s death, Dr. Abercrombie, a friend replied to Dr. Wilson who had interrogated him about Washington’s religion, “Sir, Washington was a Deist.”

...Rev. Mason Weems, Life of Washington

As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion…

...Treaty of Tripoli, Article 11, ratified by the Senate June 10,1797

Here we have a clear admission by the United States that our government did not found itself upon Christianity.
....Joel Barlow, Counsel to Algers responsible for the treaty negotiations, Treaty of Tripoli

John Adams was a Unitarian who flatly denied the doctrine of eternal damnation. He wrote, “I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved – the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!”
...John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson

Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting “Jesus Christ,” so that it would read, “A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant of comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.

...Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom

I contemplate with sovereign reverence that the act of the whole American people witch declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” builds a wall of separation between church and state.

...Thomas Jefferson, letter interpreting the First Amendment to the Danbury Baptist Association, January 1, 1802

And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.

...James Madison, letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822

During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.

...James Madison, Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments, 1785

In many of his letters, Thomas Jefferson denounced the superstitions of Christianity. He did not believe in spiritual souls, angels or godly miracles. Although Jefferson did admire the morality of Jesus, he did not think him divine, nor did he believe in the Trinity or the miracles of Jesus. He wrote, “Question with boldness even the existence of a god.”

...Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787

It is much to be lamented that a man of Franklin’s general good character and great influence should have been an unbeliever in Christianity, and also have done as much as he did to make others unbelievers.

...Dr. Priestly, an intimate friend of Franklin, Priestley’s Autobiography

Of all the systems of religion that ever were invented, there is no more derogatory to the Almighty, more unedifying to man, more repugnant to reason, more contradictory to itself than his thing called Christianity.
...Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instance they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not.

...James Madison, Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments, 1785

They all attributed the peaceful dominion of religion in their country mainly to the separation of church and state. I do not hesitate to affirm that during my stay in America I did not meet a single individual, of the clergy or the laity, who was not of the same opinion on this point.
...Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835

I will close with this quotation from the historian Robert Middlekauff. In the words of the late Howard Cossell, “It tells it like it is.”

The idea that the Constitution expressed a moral view seems absurd. There were no genuine Evangelicals in the Convention, and there was no heated declaration of Christian piety.

Friday, July 04, 2008


Saturday, July 5, 8:00 pm ET
Sunday, July 6, 10:00 pm ET

John Freshwater is scheduled to appear on Fox News' Showdown hosted by Larry Elder. No details other than it appears he’ll be the first guest.


The July 3 edition of the Columbus Dispatch published letters from Dave Daubenmire and Dr. Patrick Johnston in response to its June 26 editorial, About Time, supporting the Mount Vernon School Board’s vote to fire John Freshwater--but asking why it took them 11 years to do it.

The editorial read in part:

He used his classroom to push his religious views by displaying Bible-related posters, calling other faiths false and telling students that homosexuality is a sin. Such proselytizing in a public school violates the constitutional ban on government establishment of religion. But Freshwater went further: He undermined those parts of the approved science curriculum that don't comport with his beliefs. In doing so, he misled his students and failed in his fundamental duty as a science teacher….

...Freshwater declared himself a free-speech martyr, summoned the assistance of religious provocateur Dave Daubenmire and called a press conference. The ensuing hubbub revealed a disturbing degree of support for Freshwater by people who do not understand or value the difference between science and religion. But it also brought out those who appreciate the Constitution's prohibition on state advocacy of religion.

Minutemen United founder Coach Daubenmire's reply, Editorial was unfair to science teacher, reads:

The Dispatch is out of touch. Millions of Americans are sick and tired of being branded as religious fanatics simply because they question the evolutionary theory of the origin of species. The Dispatch and its henchmen are intent on removing from the public school classroom anyone who worships the God who created Charles Darwin….

Christian dominionist, creationist, and anti-abortion activist Dr. Patrick Johnson, a frequent protester at local abortion clinics, who runs the Stop Columbus Killing website and opposes public funding for schools,complains in Evolutionists practice “religion” in schools of being victimized by “religious bigotry” in college and medical school for his Christian beliefs:

As a physician and creationist, I felt the sting of religious bigotry during my decade in America's universities. Why can't evolutionists even entertain some criticism of their precious little theory? Scientists such as Freshwater can prove atheistic evolution to be false, but evolutionists won't allow the truth in the name of "separation of church and state…. …The newspaper appeals to a separation of church and state, but what we need is a separation of atheism and state.

All photos by the author

Thursday, July 03, 2008


Coach Dave Daubenmire, New Beginnings Church Pastor Bill Dunfee, and about 20 Minutemen United including Max Erwin, Sr, Jim Harrison, Jeff Cline, and a few wives, passed out bottled "Jesus Water" and The Word to the Local Lost at last Saturday's Pride parade. Joining them in their Living Waters project were three members of the Jehrico Riders an independent motorcycle ministry who rode in from Missouri, and a handful of freelance culture warriors. I hung out with them for several hours. Below are pictures from their event with commentary. For the Minuteman version go the their page here.

The day starteda little after 11 AM with prayer and instructions at the Great Seal of the State of Ohio at the Statehouse. Pastor Bill laid out the logistics of the water distribution, walkabout, and protest. He admonished the gang to respond to critics, "not in the flesh but in the spirit." That is, don't get in a fight if anybody hassles you. Nobody did, and they didn't.

After the prayer service, those who hadn't already done so, slipped into hot chartreuse "I was born a sinner/Talk to me" tees. I joined them as they headed for Bicentennial Park to kill time and evangelize a little. For a $5.00 entry fee we could pick over merch and lit from the health department, banks, realtors, NARAL, sex phone lines, and ubiquitous "affirming" churches--and pass out water and minister. I doubted the Minutemen would pay $5.00 a crack to get in ( I wouldn't!) and wondered what they'd do when stopped at the toll table. Coach told me that he had a "letter from the lawyer" saying that the park is public space and they could walk in. I was unable to clarify if "the lawyer" was just any lawyer or the Columbus City attorney. Whatever, the walls tumbled temporarily when security disappeared, and the Minutemen walked through with no outstretched hands grasping or their wallets.

Coach Daubenmire rejecting trendy fashion opted for this tee. A member of the Local Lost gently remonstrated him on the sin of gluttony. Coach vowed to diet.

Conversion was in the air. Once inside the park, the Minutemen broke into small groups. The ick factor remaining high, few went it alone, remaining attached to at least one buddy. No down low allowed. They passed out water and pink "Pride and Peace" bracelets, and attempted some low-key evangelizing. I overheard one person claim the Minutemen were a gay group. He was serious--not projecting.

Soon, of course, the preachers were being preached to by the preached at. Liberal affirming churchers cluelessly tried to talk the Minutemen into reading the Bible their way. Minutemen cluelessly tried to talk liberal affirming churchers into seeing Jesus their way. Each thought they gained points with the other. Bill Dunfee was laid back and seemed to enjoy the tete a tete. It's probably better than Saturday mornings standing with the homeless under the Broad Street Bridge or being yelled at by strangers driving by a clinic. And let's not even talk about The Fox Hole!

No doubt the boys were squicked, but they were troopers to the end.


At the New Beginnings Church truck, Minutemen traded their Talk to Me! shirts for "Little Lambs Protection Agency" tees, to gear up for the parade.

Coach handed out water...

Pastor Bill and the boys stirred it up...


Pride is a social event. The parade is just a reason to get together. It reminds me of standing in a line three hours to get into a campus bar on Saturday night. This year was no different. After the run-up prayer service, Bicentennaial visiation, and "discussions" in the street, this year's parade was almost an afterthought. But the Minutemen didn't see it that way--nor did the police. Lined on both sides of HIgh Street, just south of theh Statehouse, the Minutemen let themselves be seen and heard as the cops grided them in (at least on the west side) with their bicycles.

When the Dykes on Bikes (surprisngly small is year) roared by, one Jehrio Rider shouted, "Get yerself a reak bike!"

Pastor Bill waved his Bible--when he wasn't wearing it.

Coach popped a cork when a young African American marched by in a leather thong, "Cover yourself up!"

Oops sorry! No picture!

Most energy was spent on "affirming churches," especially from the Minutemen sphere of influence, that marched in Granville.