Friday, July 02, 2004

George Wants Your Church Roster

It's not enough that under George Bush's presidency, the US government has broad, unbelievably broad, new powers to peruse our personal affairs. The FBI and what-not can limitlessly access our medical records, our library usage records, our cable TV viewing habits, even our school records. They can read our email, tap our phones, keep track of our air travel, and monitor our every banking and credit card transaction. They most certainly watch our tax returns and social security accounts. And no one...absolutely no permitted by law to admit that info is being accumulated about us.

No, it's not enough.

This week, George asked church-goers to turn over church membership directories to his state campaign staff. He wants to use the directories to target his campaign mailings, as well as to identify clergy to lean on for Republican-tinged voter registration drives. He wants Sunday church services to be used for partisan get-out-the-vote drives. He wants clergy to deliver votes. To him.

It's all political gamesmanship for George. He has little grasp of democratic principles or of civil liberties in a free society. He clearly has no clue that a non-profit organization is legally required to be politically neutral, or risk losing its tax-exempt status. He seems to think God is a Republican. It's all about what's good for George....including church worship services.

Just imagine the lists he could...he would compile if he had all the nation's church directories. Just imagine how he would use them. Just imagine the end of freedom and democracy as penned by our forefathers.

Here's a logical question that will haunt already risk-allergic pastors....will people sue churches for divulging their names and home data to third parties without their permission? What is the church's liability if, unbenownst to staff, a congregation member hands over the church roster to a third party? After all, the church published it. Headlines scream that air travelers are suing airlines for releasing info at the federal gov't's demand. Apparently, there exists a cadre of attorneys making a rich living only based on the Bush administration's civil rights violations. It's now a cottage industry for the legal field.

Once again, George Bush's utter disregard for our privacy and constitutional rights causes paranoia, intrusion into our personal lives and another bonanza for litigation attorneys.

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