*----------------------------------------------------------------------* | The following i

Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

*----------------------------------------------------------------------* | The following is the ASCII version of the Citizens Project Newsletter| | _Freedom_Watch_ for April/May 1993. | | | | The Citizens Project is a Colorado Springs, CO - based group of | | volunteers who seek to prevent extremists from eliminating our | | fundamental freedoms. | | | | Slight reorganization of the articles was necessary in order to | | convert this text from a newsletter multi-font format to an | | electronic 80-column one. No alteration of wording was done. | | | | Distribution of this document or portions thereof is strongly | | encouraged under the following conditions: | | | | 1. This material is copyrighted, but may be copied verbatim, | | in part or in entirety, with the condition that Citizens Project | | is properly credited. | | | | 2. There is no profit derived from sale of publications in which | | Citizens Project material is quoted; otherwise, express | | permission is required. | | | | 3. If portions of this newsletter are included in materials | | distributed by any other organization, the price of those | | materials must not be greater due to the addition of the Citizens | | Project materials. | | | |Please contact us if you have any comments or questions. | | | |The Citizens Project | |Voice: 719-520-9899 | |Internet e-mail: citizens@cscns.com | | | |Back issues of the newsletter are available from cscns.com via ftp and| |listserv. "finger citizens@cscns.com" on the Internet for info. | *----------------------------------------------------------------------* F R E E D O M W A T C H ======================================================================= The Citizens Project Newsletter ======================================================================= Vol. 2, No. 2 April-May 1993 WHO WE ARE In the Pikes Peak area, we are seeing a push toward prayer in the schools, pressure to modify school curriculum to reflect religious views, the rise of stealth candidates in elections, increased anti-gay activity, and growing religious intolerance. Citizens Project was formed to challenge these trends. We represent citizens from a broad spectrum of political parties and religious beliefs who are concerned about these threats to our constitutional freedoms by local sectarian and political extremists. We are dedicated to maintaining the traditional American values of separation of church and state, freedom of religion and speech, pluralism, individuality, and tolerance and compassion for others. We invite you to participate in this process with us. CITIZENS PROJECT Box 2085 Colorado Springs, CO 809016 (719) 520-9899 Amy Divine and Doug Triggs Directors LIBRARY SPONSORS TOLERANCE/INTOLERANCE PANEL DISCUSSION The Pikes Peak Library District, as a forum for the exchange of ideas, is sponsoring a five-part series of panel discussions about the topic of tolerance and intolerance in our community. The purpose of the discussion is two-fold: first to explore the various facets of the subject and how it is affecting our community; and second to summarize the issue from differing vantage points--and from these perspectives--learn ways to better understand and address the issues. The forums will be held on consecutive Wednesdays (except Thursday, May 27), from 7 to 9 pm, beginning May 5 at the East Library and Information Center. Each discussion will be cablecast live at 7 pm on Cablevision Channel 17. Written questions from the audience will be directed to the appropriate panelist by the moderator for a response. Beginning at 7 pm on the evening of the discussions, those watching the programs live on Cable Channel 17 may call the library at 531-6331, ext. 1170 and 1171 with questions for the panelists. Videotapes of each program also will be available for check-out. Seating is limited. MAY 5 - THE ROLE OF THE MEDIA Ann Erwin, Anchor/Reporter for KKTV Dan Griswold, Editorial Page Editor of the Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph Andy Lyon, News Director for KOAA, Channels 5/30 Dennis Ritchie, Former Publisher of the Northern Light Jon Stepleton, Editor of the Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph MAY 12 - SEXUAL ORIENTATION ISSUES Roc Bottomly, Senior Pastor of Pulpit Rock Church R.T. "Terry" Jackson, Independent Legal Counsel Robin Miller, Past President of Pikes Peak Gay and Lesbian Community Center Kevin Tebedo, Executive Director of Colorado for Family Values Greg Walta, Trial Lawyer Rev. Dr. James White, First Congregational Church MAY 19 - THE RACIAL EXPERIENCE Zoe Goodblanket, Native American Women's Association Andi Leopoldus, Colorado Springs Human Relations Commission Ruben Martinez, Chairman of the Chicano Unity Council Andy Song, Chairman of the Korean-American Chamber of Commerce James Tucker, Director of the local NAACP MAY 27 - THE IMPACT OF/ON RELIGION Rabbi Howard Hirsch of Temple Shalom Rev. Harvey Joiner of All Souls Unitarian Church Tom Minnery, Vice President of Public Policy for Focus on the Family Rev. Shirley Renfro of Healing Light Church of Religious Science, Pueblo Dr. Gerald Trigg, Senior Minister of First United Methodist Church Additional Panelist to be announced. JUNE 2 - WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? Kathleen Beatty, Dean of the UCCS Graduate School of Public Affairs Amy Divine, Co-Director of Citizens Project Mary Lou Makepeace, Member of Colorado Springs City Council Rocky Scott, President of Greater Colorado Springs Economic Devision Corporation Gary Shupp, Member of El PAso County Board of Commissioners Calvin A.H. Waller, Lt. General, Retired, U.S. Army CFV HOLDS "COMMUNITY WATCH" SEMINARS Colorado For Family Values has now held four of their Community Watch seminars. CFV's first Community Watch seminar was held at the Bethany Church in Boulder February 26. It attracted a number of CFV stalwarts, as well as some 400 protesters. Other seminars have been held in Monte Vista, Lamar, and Fort Collins. The next scheduled seminar is April 17 in Grand Junction. For details on the Grand Junction seminar, you can call CFV's contact at (303) 245-9705. To keep up on CFV's seminar circuit, get your free copy of Denver Christian News (see our News Briefs) at your local King Soopers. You may want to attend CFV's seminar when it gets to your area. At your local CFV seminar you will: see their action film The Gay Agenda; hear and read CFV's latest rationales promoting discrimination; learn their growing list of community groups to monitor (see our News Briefs); get your free CFV sweatshirt to wear proudly in public; and pray and rub elbows with the good old boys of the Colorado anti-gay movement! If you do plan to attend your local CFV seminar, you should be aware of CFV's screening tactics. The February 26 seminar at Boulder was abruptly changed from a public meeting to a private meeting because the public audience contained a number of protesters. Admittance to the private portion of CFV's meeting was limited to those who said they voted "yes" on Amendment 2 and who would also provide their names and addresses to CFV. You can expect to be screened further. As the CFV literature states: "Screen unknown volunteers by verifying names, addresses, phone numbers, and asking them where they worship." And CFV videotapes the audience that attends their seminars. With this much security and secrecy, a person might easily think that CFV was promoting a program about which they were ashamed. CFV's seminars are aggressively pushing the film The Gay Agenda. This film graphically displays outrageous gay and lesbian behaviors. These behaviors are the gay agenda, CFV tells its followers, and we must fight them. CFV's strategy of using shocking extremes to discredit all gays and lesbians is a slick propaganda tactic that works well to motivate CFV followers. However, The Gay Agenda is no more realistic a portrayal of gays and lesbians than, for example, using a documentary of Colorado Springs street preacher Terry Brandon's public theatrics to portray all Evangelical Christians, or using footage of the sometimes ribald New Orleans Mardi Gras parade to stereotype all heterosexuals. Nonetheless, as former CFV co-founder Tony Marco recently noted: "It is easier to nauseate than educate." The controversial aspects of using this vicious anti-gay propaganda have been highlighted in a recent memo from former CFV co-founder Tony Marco to CFV's Will Perkins. Tony Marco, who has now parted ways with CFV, said in his memo that he fears CFV will alienate people and promote violence against gays by "rubbing the faces of the state's people in repulsive, extremist homosexual behavior". Marco went on to say to Perkins: "You risk giving gay activists ammunition to make their charge that Amendment 2 is what they've said it is: a hateful, fear-mongering and mean-spirited piece of work" and current CFV tactics "risk arousing violent animosity toward gays, to which gay militants will react in kind, as extremists on both sides come out of the woodwork." Sadly, CFV's agenda has now expanded beyond its apparent pre-election concern about special political rights for gays toward a more extreme program of general repression of gays and lesbians. CFV's current literature makes it clear that the CFV agenda now extends to activism against local governments, schools, businesses, and churches to promote its new agenda. This expansion in CFV's agenda is apparent, among other places, in the title to CFV's "Community Watch" seminars. Regardless of the outcome of Amendment 2, CFV has clearly moved to promote a new and expanded Colorado witchhunt against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and their friends. CFV's new activism will continue to produce controversy and injustice and will increase the polarization in our communities, effects that will remain with us for a number of years. With CFV's help, perhaps Colorado will yet justify the "hate state" label that some have attached to our state. RELIGION IN THE SCHOOLS: UPDATE The following chart is designed to keep our readership informed on events occurring in our local schools. We have left out names and schools to allow the parental process of investigation and review to proceed unhindered. We do not wish to embarrass the parties involved if remedies can be worked out internally. We will continue to update the chart with the status of these events and with new events as we hear of them. RECENT AND CURRENT INCIDENT COMMUNITY RESPONSES | Caleb Issues and Answers, a teen- | Principal was notified and oriented evangelical Christian newspaper | the papers were removed discussing evolution, abortion, etc., | after review. was distributed in stacks on a District | 11 school library counter. Student had | asked permission and was allowed to | leave the papers when they were not | thoroughly reviewed. | | | Motivational letter from a District 11 | History of letter is being hockey coach to prospective team members | reviewed; administration includes sentence, "The spirit must be | and other interested parties fully nourished by a strong belief in the| have been notified. Further highest authority, Jesus Christ, who will| action is pending. guide your dreams and goals and drive you| to accomplishment." | | | District 20 teacher kept stack of Bibles | Principal was notified, on his desk. In the same school non- | checked with legal counsel student religious material was posted in | and Bibles and other material student areas. | were removed. | | District 20 Human Sexuality teacher | Concerned parents reviewing showed graphic abortion film taped off | film, determining how film the 700 Club with introduction by Pat | got into curriculum and what Robertson. The film was not made | action should be pursued. available with other materials for | parental review. Balancing materials | were not provided. | | | District 20 Human Sexuality manual | Concerned parents reviewing includes several references reflecting | manual; determining if proper greatly unbalanced political positions | curriculum process was used; and a religious perspective on gays, | discussing issue with lesbians and abortion. Manual also | principal. refers to the use of Focus on the Family | materials. | | District 12 high school biology teachers | Concerned parents instructed not to mention sex or related | investigating. issues in classes | NEWS BRIEFS More Ministry Groups Moving To Springs: Three more Christian Ministry groups have announced plans to move to Colorado Springs this year. These are the David Cook Publishing Company, from Elgin, Illinois, with 850 employees; the Association of Christian Schools International, from La Hambra, California, with 25 employees; and Christian Camping International/USA, from Wheaton, Illinois, with 13 employees. CFV Approves Of Boycotts Against Colorado Businesses: Colorado For Family Values, which has condemned the prevailing boycott of Colorado due to Amendment 2, now advocates boycotts against Colorado businesses that engage in "pro-homosexual tactics" such as sensitivity training for their employees. At the February 26 CFV "Community Watch" seminar in Boulder, CFV advocated "outright boycotts" and "picketing" of businesses that do not support the CFV line in favor of homosexual discrimination, and also advocated taking "preemptive measures toward undecided business leaders". Sensitivity or "valuing differences" seminars, says CFV, are used to harass employees who disapprove of gays and lesbians. Have You Read Your Money Lately? The lead editorial in the February 20 edition of World magazine, published by God's World Publications, expresses concern about the phrase "In God We Trust", which has appeared since 1954 on our nation's money. This phrase is "trite" and "far too ambiguous to give spiritual sustenance to anyone". As well, it doesn't clearly identify which God it is in which we should trust--is it Jehovah of the Judeo-Christian ethic, the God of the Muslim, or Jesus of the Christians? [or Satan, or Odin, or Zeue, or....-- drice] America would all be far better off, says World, if all our currency were changed to carry the slogan "We Trust the God of the Bible". SOME THOUGHTS ON THE DIVERSITY DILEMMA Recently, Citizens Project received a letter from Paul Hetrick, vice-president at Focus on the Family, which asked if Citizens Project's interest in diversity was broad enough to include organizations such as Focus on the Family. About the same time, the Gazette-Telegraph published Chuck Asay's political cartoon (reproduced below) which questions whether Citizens Project is intolerant toward the religious right. These events caused us to reflect again on the values of tolerance, respect, and diversity in our society, and to look anew at the religious right and ourselves in these matters. The article that follows may help promote an examination of these issues, at both an intellectual and practical level. Chuck Asay's Cartoon from the Gazette Telegraph CP (answering phone): "Hello! this is Citizens Project!" Caller: "Is this the wonderful watchdog group that keeps an eye on all those scary people who may be planning to run for political offices and change our community?" CP: "Yes, it is!" Caller: "What group of people are you watching?" CP: "The religious right! Would you like to join?" Caller: "I don't know! What other ethnic and religious groups are your planning to target?" Are Tolerance and Respect Beneficial in our Diverse Society? One assumption we make is that tolerance is both a virtue and a necessity in our pluralistic society. Without sufficient tolerance and respect for other legitimate groups in our nation, we run the risk of entering into a new era of ideology-driven societal conflict. This type of conflict is being played out in other nations around the world, but it would ill-serve our country now or in the future. Groups in our society, we believe, have an obligation not only to promote their individual agendas to the best of their abilities, but also to conduct themselves with respect toward other groups and individuals with whom they interact. Is the Religious Right a Good Model for Tolerance? "We're talking about a battle of ideas...we sometimes refer to it as a third world war between those who defend and respect family and traditional values and those who reject them. We do not believe those two can coexist, and those who win will control the hearts and minds of our children." ---Paul Hetrick of Focus on the Family in the National Catholic Reporter, December 25, 1992. [He did not define what "family" or "traditional" values are.-- drice] The religious right literature we read here at Citizens Project repeatedly invokes this war imagery, expressing intolerance of any differing world views and calling for "battlefield tactics" in today's war between right and wrong. The spiritual warfare theme is that of Christian righteousness (exemplified by the stand of religious right groups on particular issues) opposed and beleaguered by the myriad of Satan's forces who must be defeated yet again for God's will to triumph. And, as Mr. Hetrick states it, today's battle is portrayed as between those groups promoting Christian "traditional/family" values and all the rest who fail to accept these values. Here the battle lines are clearly drawn between good and evil, the choice can only be one or the other, and the rhetoric is ringing: "We are at war, and these two cannot coexist". Some publications have suggested that the religious right's graphic war scenarios are simply useful propaganda to motivate their participants toward action or more contributions. As such, these statements may be useful internally, but may also do more harm than good in the relationship between the religious right groups and the remainder of the world. Those who are unable to agree with "traditional values" as enunciated by the various religious right groups are often surprised to learn that the religious right has banished them to a nether world of undifferentiated immorality, with whom the religious right "cannot coexist". One result of this graphic war imagery has been a tendency of the religious right groups to paint themselves into a corner of perceived intolerance. A second result has been an increased sense of alienation by those elements in more mainstream American society who understand the exclusionary and intolerant effect of the religious right's "warfare" statements. This battlefield rhetoric also saddles religious right groups with an additional burden. They must undertake special efforts to exhibit a more human face to their fellow citizens and provide reassurances that their agenda is not as hostile as the warfare statements would imply. They are compelled toward community outreach to promote the view that they are really "good citizens" who, despite their "we will conquer you" rhetoric, deserve acceptance and can be trusted to responsibly participate in American pluralistic democracy. And, these reassurances to their neighbors must be done without using tolerance language, since any overt compromises in this war of values will have a dysfunctional effect on these organizations structured around religious or ideological purity. Overall, the religious right groups have sent decidedly mixed messages in the area of tolerance. Many remain concerned that the religious right's need to "win" far overshadows any respect for other legitimate groups, and that political compromise and coexistence remain unacceptable to the religious right. Is Citizens Project Any Better? The first response is this: How can a group that promotes "Celebrate Diversity" bumperstickers be accused of intolerance? The reality, of course, is more complex. On the positive side, Citizens Project is attempting to promote more tolerance in our city, and our city can easily benefit from an increased dose of tolerance. Our message of tolerance is quite broadly based, to also include the religious right groups here in Colorado Springs. Sadly, some in the city would look upon our move toward increased tolerance as a negative. As one speaker at a recent local seminar stated, "Tolerance overlooks Truth!" But, appropriate tolerance may be a Truth. In addition, Citizens Project is not interested in invoking a new rhetoric of uncompromising religious warfare, with its polarizing effects. Besides, given the diversity of people who support Citizens Project, it is unclear exactly whose God it is that we should righteously invoke if we were to choose to promote more spiritual warfare. Unlike the religious right, we are comfortable with the concept of different people pursuing their spirituality through different paths, but working together in harmony and with respect in our great nation. On the other side, we here at Citizens Project now view with increasing concern the religious right's repeated statements of "we will win," "God is on our side," and "we can't coexist with those of you who don't believe as we do". While these statements do not encompass the totality of the religious right or individual religious right groups, yet these intolerant statements are an ongoing theme among these groups. That concern on our part has provoked a certain intolerance by us of that portion of the religious right's message. In short, we have become intolerant of that part of the message from the religious right that promises to impose their strongly-held values on the remainder of us who might disagree with those values. We are impressed with Paul Hetrick's belief that his values and ours cannot coexist, although we cannot share it. For that reason, we have moved closer to accepting the religious right's method for grappling with the world: We love the sinner (the religious right people we have come to know and respect), but we hate their sin (their uncompromising, intolerant, and disrespectful spiritual warfare model). Is This Simply a Mirror Image Problem? Upon reflection, we have been struck by some similarities between Citizens Project and the religious right in this area, as well as by a number of differences. We all experience certain mirror image problems. Gays and lesbians in our community feel attacked, stereotyped and disenfranchised. Liberals feel the same. Indeed, so does the religious right. For every report we hear of a Jewish child ostracized on the playground, I hear of a child not invited to a birthday party for being a "religious zealot". Those of us who do not conform to a religious right worldview feel threatened by an impending imposition of values that will leave us unable to live by the values we hold dear. Those on the religious right articulate the same threat. How can we protect ourselves from these threats while respecting the rights of all? However, the mirror analogy only goes so far. Although we may experience the same sense of threat to our families and our values, our worldviews hold essential differences. One view recognizes the value of diversity; the other recognizes an absolute moral authority that, according to Summit Ministries, "assumes Biblical Christianity to be true, and other worldviews to be threats to the ultimate welfare of mankind...". Can we coexist or must this be warfare? Can we be inclusive and also protect our children from those who would recruit them into an absolute worldview that may conflict with the values of tolerance we wish to pass on? We at Citizens Project would like to be inclusive. We wish to be respectful of the right of others to hold values that differ from those that we may hold. We wish the same respect toward each other and our families. We do not want to respect the actions of others that are harmful, and we do not want our actions to do harm. Is this achievable, or can we only celebrate the diversity that does not threaten us? We Need a New Model To make progress in resolving this dilemma, we must look to a different model. If opposing sides are all we know--we versus them, we become locked into the religious right's image of warfare so clearly stated by Mr. Hetrick. We will all perceive our threats, stereotype our enemies, belittle the rights of others, and continue to splinter our community. Is there another way? Dialogue may be the beginning of understanding and appreciating our similarities and promoting respect for differing spiritual paths. But can we actually resolve some of our essential value differences? Or, are we simply fated to eternally disagree, as we work to keep that disagreement within tolerable boundaries? We here at Citizens Project do not know the answer, but we are thinking about the problem. We are also starting the dialogue process with the various religious right groups in this area. We invite you to join us in seeking healthy and respectful coexistence for all members of our community. 1993 COLORADO SPRINGS CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE SURVEY Questionnaires were sent to all candidates. Answers were edited for length and not for content. Full answers are available upon request. QUESTION 1: Has the City Council provided leadership when devisive issues, such as the Ku Klux Klan rally, occur in the city? Should they? Mary Lou Makepeace, District 1 - Yes. Yes. We must obey the law and acknowledge their rights and we must not fan the flames of controversy. William Guman, District 2 - Yes. Yes. Robert Pemberton, District 2 - Yes. Yes. Leadership is needed to assure that the rights of everyone are protected whether you agree with them or not. Hate speech is still speech and it and the right to peacefully assemble are constitutionally protected. Ed Rasimus, District 2 - Yes. Yes. The City Council's leadership was demonstrated in the handling of the locations, the publicity, the support of alternative activities and the establishment of a calm demeanor in the face of a difficult situation. Leon Young, District 4 - Yes. Yes. The safety and welfare of all our citizens is of upmost importance. QUESTION 2: Do you favor or oppose stronger covenant enforcement by the city, e.g., RV's? Mary Lou Makepeace, District 1 - Favor. Neighborhoods are the foundation of our community. We must do what we can to preserve and protect neighborhood integrity and personal property rights William Guman, District 2 - Oppose. Robert Pemberton, District 2 - Oppose. People move to covenant protected communities by choice. Council has no business enacting covenants and enforcing them where they did not exist and where the people did not vote for them. Ed Rasimus, District 2 - Oppose. Neighborhood covenants, where applicable, should be enforced. Where covenants are not applicable, city ordinance governs and that ordinance should be minimally restrictive, i.e. oriented toward safety and free access. Leon Young, District 4 - Favor. QUESTION 3: Do you favor or oppose the school voucher system allowing tax dollars to be used for private, parochial or home study schools? Mary Lou Makepeace, District 1 - This is not an issue that can be decided by the City Council. William Guman, District 2 - Oppose. Robert Pemberton, District 2 - Favor. Education of your children is a parental responsibility, not the state or city. If the schools in your area are not meeting your needs, you should be allowed to move on and not pay for an system that failed you. Ed Rasimus, District 2 - Oppose. Vouchers, as currently proposed, ignore the various mandated services currently provided by public schools. Until private programs are forced to comply with all requirements, vouchers would cause all education to deteriorate. Leon Young, District 4 - No answer at this time. QUESTION 4: Are you in favor of retaining the city membership in the U.S. Conference of Mayors? Mary Lou Makepeace, District 1 - Favor. We gain a great deal from our affiliation with this organization. William Guman, District 2 - Favor. Robert Pemberton, District 2 - Favor. I favor this only because I believe that a substantial part of our city employee retirement/ benefit dollars are connected to this membership. Ed Rasimus, District 2 - Favor. Although we may be temporarily offended by the Conference actions, our membership provides benefit to the community in lobbying strength at the Federal level. Leon Young, District 4 - Favor. The city of Colorado Springs has received much support and has been able to receive financial support by knowing what the Conference of Mayors programs are. One has to be on the inside to make a fast decision. QUESTION 5: Should church-related educational organizations which advance political positions be given tax-free status under statutes covering religious organizations? Mary Lou Makepeace, District 1 - Oppose. William Guman, District 2 - No response. Robert Pemberton, District 2 - Favor. This is between the organization and the IRS. If the IRS declares them tax-free and they stay within those guidelines, then they are tax-free. Ed Rasimus, District 2 - Oppose. Once an organization actively espouses a political agenda, they should forfeit any religious- based tax exemption. However, how do you prove that to be the case? Leon Young, District 4 - I would have to look at each issue individually. QUESTION 6: Should the city pass enviromental controls, even if they fringe on property rights? Mary Lou Makepeace, District 1 - I would need to know specifics before I could respond. William Guman, District 2 - No. Robert Pemberton, District 2 - No. Individual rights and property rights always preclude the will/wants of any collective. Ed Rasimus, District 2 - Some local issues might be appropriate for action, if the community so desired. Examples could be mountain scars, electric transmission towers, scenic view corridors, historic districts or billboards. Each issue needs to stand on its merits. Leon Young, District 4 - No answer at this time. QUESTION 7: The County Commission does not begin their meetings with a prayer. The City does. Do you favor continuation of the City's current practice? Mary Lou Makepeace, District 1 - Favor. I prefer general ecumenical prayer. William Guman, District 2 - No response. Robert Pemberton, District 2 - Favor. As long as council is comfortable with this current policy, don't stir things up by asking for a change. Ed Rasimus, District 2 - Certain ritual procedures such as the Pledge of Allegiance or moment of silence are inherent in our system, but a particular denominational prayer is probably not appropriate in formal governmental proceedings. Leon Young, District 4 - Favor. QUESTION 8: Do you favor or oppose extending the half-cent sales tax for capitol improvements Mary Lou Makepeace, District 1 - Favor. The $15 million raised annually by the 1/2 cent sales tax is critical to funding infrastructure in our community. Even with the tax, we cannot fund all the needs for streets, bridges, drainage,etc. William Guman, District 2 - Favor. Robert Pemberton, District 2 - Favor. Where else could we get funds for capitol improvements? We need a source of tax income targeted for maintaining/improving the city. Ed Rasimus, District 2 - Favor. Although I recognize the need for maintaining our ongoing capitol improvement programs, the council needs to demonstrate how the loss of the tax will hurt the city and to show increased efficiencies within city administration. Leon Young, District 4 - Favor. The city of Colorado Springs is now over 100 years old and is beginning to show wear and tear on our infrastructure. There are many drainage problems in our city that need to be taken care of. QUESTION 9: Do you support the continued municipal ownership of Memorial Hospital? Mary Lou Makepeace, District 1 - Favor.Memorial is an enterprise operation of the city, supported by their revenues, not general fund tax dollars. They are growing and providing an important service to citizens of our community. William Guman, District 2 - Favor. Robert Pemberton, District 2 - Favor. Memorial is a valuable source of income and it serves a very important role in our community. While providing 37 percent of all city hospital services. Memorial covered 52 percent of all unreimbursed medical care in the city while remaining both competitive and profitable. Why sell? Ed Rasimus, District 2 - Favor. I have spent the last year participating in the Citizen's Goals Memorial Hospital Action Research Team effort to answer this question. My personal opinion is, "If is not broke, don't fix it." I support a referendum at some time in the future to reaffirm the community's desires regarding ownership. Leon Young, District 4 - Favor. QUESTION 10: Would you favor night meetings to encourage more citizen participation? Mary Lou Makepeace, District 1 - Favor. Night meetings will not necessarily ensure more citizen participation. William Guman, District 2 - Oppose. Robert Pemberton, District 2 - Favor. As a candidate who had to negotiate for the right to run for council and still keep his job, I feel that night meetings would encourage more interested citizens to seek public office. Ed Rasimus, District 2 - Citizen participation is essential to good local government. In the past, night meetings have been favored because the length of the agenda has resulted in extremely late meetings. More frequent, but shorter meetings could help in converting to evening sessions. Leon Young, District 4 - Oppose. QUESTION 11: What are the three most important issues facing the city, and what is your position on each? Mary Lou Makepeace, District 1 - 1. Job availability for all our citizens. We must continue to diversify our employment base. 2. Protecting our quality of life --a safe, pleasant place to live, work and raise our family. That's why most of use choose to live here. 3. Polarization within the community. We must listen to each other and find areas of agreement so we can come back together. William Guman, District 2 - The erosion of our high quality of life. Planning decisions need to foster responsible, planned growth. Expected growth con be maintained with intelligent decisions on various planning issues. Too many residents feel routine decisions affecting the quality of life are made by bureaucrats who have little personal contact with constituents. More accessibility is needed. Robert Pemberton, District 2 - 1. Figuring out what to do/what is allowed in the aftermath of Amendment 1. Make a decision on it and move on. 2. We cannot possibly ask for tax increases without first examining all budget items and first proving more funds are really needed. 3. Focus on crime prevention among teens instead of harsher punishments as the end-all. Ed Rasimus, District 2 - 1. Aggressively support diversification of economic base in case the defense base is significantly down-sized. 2. Council must develop a plan for I-25 before a solution is imposed upon us. 3. To insure that the airport generates enough revenue to redeem its bonded debt, we must aggressively market and explore uses beyond scheduled airlines such as air freight hubs, maintenance facilities and airline training. Leon Young, District 4 - 1. Pulling the community back together. Stop taking sides and put the community first. 2. Improve our economy. Finding more ways to take advantage of our tourism potential. 3. Crime prevention, especially with our juvenile population. CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES' BIOGRAPHIES District 1 - Mary Lou Makepeace is a consultant with a human services background. She has lived in Colorado Springs for 20 years, has served on City Council for the last 7 years, and also has served on the Colorado Springs Planning Commission. She is running unopposed in District 1. District 2 - William F. Guman is currently President and CEO of Guman/Hackworth Associates, Ltd. and is managing associate and landscape architect. Guman is currently a member of the Colorado Springs Planning Commission, and the city's Capitol Improvement Program's Professional Design Review Committee. He has served on the Parks and Recreation Department's Arborist Board, Horticultural Advisory Board, and SpaBA/Trees for the Future Committee. He is Council President of Bethel Lutheran Church. Guman holds a Bachelor of Science from Colorado State University. District 2 - Robert Pemberton is currently employed as a principal software engineer with Digital Equipment Corporation. He is from Virginia, has a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech. Pemberton is co-chair of the School District 20 Transportation Study Committee, block captain for Neighborhood Watch Program, and is active in the Republican Party. He is a competitive shooter, believed to be strongly opposed to gun control. Pemberton sings and plays trumpet at St. Patricks Catholic Church. District 2 - Edward Rasimus is a retired, decorated Air Force pilot who has recently worked with industry on 21st Century aircraft development, and has worked as marketing director for a national municipal finance brokerage. He currently serves on the Pikes Peak Library Board of Trustees, the City Council's Underground Utility Policy Advisory Committee, and the Citizen's Goals Memorial Hospital Research Team. Rasimus ran unsuccessfully for City Council in 1991, is a Republican precinct committee person, and was a delegate to the State Assembly. He holds Master's degrees in Political Science and International Relations. District 3 - Leon Young is president of Young Janitorial Services of Colorado Springs. He has lived in the Springs for 51 years and has been a member of City Council for the last 20 years. Young is presently Vice Mayor and is running unopposed in District 3. District 4 - John P. Forrest (Jack) is a retired Lieutenant General, life-long Republican (current precinct captain) and past Executive Director of US Space Foundation. He retired from Loral Corporation in 1991 as Director, Advanced System and Programs. Forrest currently is Chairman of the Committee for Employer Supporter of Guard and Reserve; a bank director and consultant. He is running unopposed in District 4. MORE NEWS BRIEFS: Rocky Mountain Family Council Meets Here: The Denver-based Rocky Mountain Family Council, a political offshoot of Focus on the Family, is alternating its monthly meetings between Denver and Colorado Springs as it moves to put its Community Impact Network in place. The Community Impact Network, as you may recall from our report in the December Freedom Watch, works through sympathetic churches to create a network of community activists to promote the Bible-based politics of the religious right, both within and outside of those churches. Their most recent Colorado Springs meeting was held at Nazarene Bible College. CFV's New Target List: The February 26 CFV seminar in Boulder also included an extensive list of groups and churches that CFV will monitor for pro-homosexual bias. According to the CFV documents, groups with names that include "human rights", "diversity", and "citizens watch" are suspect; the United Methodist churches, the Catholic Conference, Presbyterian USA churches, and Unitarian churches deserve CFV scrutiny; governmental bodies like "human rights commissions" and "civil rights commissions" are of special concern to CFV; and businesses with "standing non-discrimination policies" should also be monitored. Conservative Seminary Plans Campus: A conservative evangelical seminary will locate its first branch campus here in Colorado Springs. Knox Theological Seminary, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and headed by D. James Kennedy, plans to have its Colorado Springs campus operational this September. James Kennedy, well-known for his concerns about excessive separation of church and state, most recently stated to the American Family Association: "...the wall of separation is a myth. It has been used as a club to progressively demolish the religious freedom we have enjoyed in this country for over two hundred years." Chancellor Kennedy has named the Rev. Bernhard Kuiper, senior minister of our Village Seven Presbyterian Church, as vice-president of the new Colorado Springs branch. Get Informed The Easy Way: The Denver Christian News, a very conservative monthly newspaper published in Parker, announced that it is now available in Colorado Springs King Soopers grocery stores. This newspaper contains regular guest columns from Rocky Mountain Family Council and Citizens For Responsible Government, among others. Copies are free, so don't hesitate to pick one up to learn the latest Religious Right views on today's issues. The February 1993 issue of Denver Christian News contained an article on gays and lesbians so controversial that Denver Safeway stores pulled the newspaper from their racks after receiving a number of complaints, but eventually put the newspaper out again. The newspaper will soon be changing its name to Colorado Christian News. ANNOUNCEMENTS Citizens Project Introductory Meetings. The next two Citizens Project introductory meetings are scheduled for April 1 and May 4. These meetings provide an excellent means for you to get to know about Citizens Project and meet some of the Citizen Project people. These meetings are held 7 PM at the Unitarian Church, 730 North Tejon, Colorado Springs. You're welcome to attend, and we don't ask you how you voted on Amendment 2! Smokebrush Foundation Announces Performances: The Smokebrush Foundation announces two upcoming performances at the Smokebrush Center for the Arts, 235 South Nevada, Colorado Springs. For additional information on these and other Smokebrush events, call 444-0884. Bob Tudor, a one-man band, will give a free concert of Bob Tudor and guest artists at 8:00 PM Wednesday, April 7. Donations will be accepted to benefit the Smokebrush Foundation's fund for special theater projects. The acclaimed Scott McPherson play Marvin's Room will be performed April 22-24 and April 29-May 1 at 8:00 PM. Admission is $6 for students/seniors and $8 for general admission. The April 22nd performance will be a benefit for the Southern Colorado AIDS Project; the April 30th performance will be a benefit for Ground Zero. The Smokebrush Center for the Arts offers local and regional artists from all disciplines the opportunity to develop and present new work. Throughout the year, the Smokebrush Center will present a wide variety of productions from children's theater, art exhibits, music, plays, poetry, dance, and Theaterworks Shakespeare Festivals. Openings on Human Relations Commission: The Colorado Springs Human Relations Commissions will soon have three openings. If you are interested, watch your local Gazette-Telegraph for information on deadlines to file your application. For more information on the work of the Human Relations Commission, you can call city government at 578-6421. Theater Performance: First Strike Theater will perform "Brickbats, Unnatural Acts & The Family Club" the evenings of May 7, 8, 14, and 15 at Poor Richard's Restaurant. One performance will be a Mothers' Day matinee Sunday, May 9. For more information, call the Pikes Peak Peace & Justice Commission at 632-6189. Republicans Invited to Join: The Colorado Springs Business and Professional Republican Women's Club, affiliated with the Colorado Federation of Republican Women, is looking for Republican women who want to become active. Meetings are the first Monday of every month for dinner, currently at the Antlers Doubletree Hotel. Dues are $15 per year. Men can become associate members. For more information, or to join, call Jo Mitchell at 570-6040. Democratic Women's Club will meet on April 24 to discuss environmental policies in El Paso County and on May 22 to discuss the impact of the political right wing. For information, call Mary, 684-9846, or Roseanne, 596-2027. Womens Political Caucus: The Colorado Springs chapter of Colorado Womens Political Caucus will meet from 1:30 - 3:30 PM on April 25 at All Souls Unitarian Church, 730 North Tejon. To RSVP or for more information, call 578-0891. AIDS Benefit: The Southern Colorado Aids Project is sponsoring an evening of dancing, dining and a silent auction April 24 at the Cheyenne Mountain Conference Resort. For information, call 578-9092. Abortion Debate: Amber Jorgensen, head of Colorado Issues Coalition (formerly Colorado Family Coalition) and of the very conservative Citizens For Excellence in Education, has requested that Citizens Project help publicize their debate "Pro-Life vs Pro-Choice Republicans: Is It Tearing The Party Apart". The debate will be held at 6PM at Penrose Public Library (downtown branch), located at 20 North Cascade. For more information, call Amber at 570-9823. An Open Forum on Childcare and Early Education: will be held from 1 to 4 p.m., April 24, at the Pikes Peak Church of Religious Science at North Academy and Jeannine Drive. This forum is sponsored by the Democratic Women's Club. Earth Day '93 Dance: Pikes Peak Church of Religious Science will host a neo-Native ceremonial participatory Earthdance on Friday evening April 23 to celebrate Earth Day '93. Admission is free, but reservations are required. For reservations or more information, call Karla at 635-0532. Jewish Voices For Justice: A new organization called Jewish Voices For Justice is forming in this area. The purpose is to promote awareness of Jewish concerns and to respond to anti-Jewish activities in the Colorado Springs region. Membership is not limited to Jewish persons. If you want more information or are interested in joining, call Howard Drossman at 685-4534 or 389-6756. Become a Private Eye: El Paso County Parks and Recreation announces a 4-week series of classes on the "extraordinary world of sleuthing", featuring local investigator John Holiday. Cost is $25. For more information or to register, contact Parks & Rec at 578-6981. Pueblo After 2 is sponsoring a "Pueblo Black & White" benefit on April 30. The cost is $5 in advance and $7 at the door. Black and white attire is requested, but not required. On May 23, there will be a "Fun Bus" to Cripple Creek, leaving Pueblo at 10 a.m. For more information, call 543-7981. Your Announcement Here. To get your announcement in the next issue of Freedom Watch, simply mail the information to Citizens Project with a request that it be included in the newsletter. Deadline for the next newsletter is May 15. POLITICAL POTPOURRI By Leslie Jorgensen Pull up a Precinct Chair In an off-election year, political involvement in the parties is generally put on hold until caucus. But, you don't have to wait until next March. In both the Republican and Democratic parties, there are a number of vacant precinct committee chairs. These seats are usually filled on caucus night when registered voters attend their neighborhood precinct meetings and elects a chairmen and vice chair- man along with delegates to the county, congressional and state assemblies. Precinct chairs are called "precinct committee people" and they are automatically members of the county party central committee which elects county officers, and state and house district chairmen. In addition, the precinct committee people (precinct chairs) have a greater chance of being elected delegates to the county, congressional and state assemblies (called a state convention in a presidential year) which determine by vote the candidates for offices. The job of precinct committee people includes distributing campaign literature for candidates prior to the general election and turning out the vote. To become a precinct committee person, call your party head- quarters to determine if your precinct chair is vacant. (You must be affiliated with the party and live in the precinct to fill a vacancy.) Then, cal or write a letter to the county party chairperson, saying that you would like to fill the vacancy. The county party chair, vice- chair and one other person review the request for approval. Pro-life Republicans Recruited Because El Paso County is dominated by registered Republicans, there are traditionally a number of open Democratic Party precinct chairs. But, even the Republicans have a percentage of unfilled precinct chairs--and those are being filled rapidly with "religious right" and "pro-life" Republicans. Although the Republican Party wants to play down the abortion issue and get back to the basic fiscal conservative policy issues, pro-choice Republicans are deeply concerned about the pro-life and religious movement that has continued its divisive march. Victor Mote, a pro-candidate who lost the state House District 17 to incumbent Democrat Daphine Greenwood last year, issued an 11-page letter in February that listed vacancies. The letter was a scathing criticism of old guard, conservative Republicans who failed to support Mote during his campaign. In his drive to divest power from the old guard conservatives, Mote, as well as other pro-life Republicans, is working to fill precinct chairs with hand-picked people. According to Mote, about 28 percent of HD 17 precinct seats are vacant, 20 percent in HD 21, less than 15 percent in House Districts 15, 16 and 22, and less than 10 percent in House Districts 18, 19 and 20. Pro-life activists have made strides in the Republican Party--electing Gary Miller as HD 17 chairman and Doug Dean as HD 18 chairman. They are particularly interested in producing candidates for the state Legislature to wrestle the HD 17 seat away from Greenwood and fill the potentially vacant HD 18 seat from incumbent state Rep. Tom Ratterree, who intends to run for the state Senate. In addition, the "religious right" has targeted state Rep. Marcy Morrison, a Republican who won election from HD 22, a legislative seat retired by Democrat Renny Fagan last year. During a recent speech in Colorado Springs, Morrison was being monitored and tape recorded by pro-life activist Ken Gray, who lost to her by just 27 votes in the Republican primary last August. Gray, a graduate of Pat Robertson's Regent University law school, said he intends to run against Morrison again next year. And he will probably receive help from the Citizens for Responsible Government Political Action Committee (PAC), who last year distributed campaign fliers with graphic pictures of aborted fetuses to sabotage Morrison. In House District 20, state Rep. Charles Duke may vacate his seat to run for the state Senate. If so, his seat in the state House of Representatives may also be subject to a battle by the "religious right" activists. GOP County Chair Open The Grand Old Party is losing a "grand dame" in El Paso County. County Republican Chairwoman Carley Johnson, who just won re-election to a fourth term, decided to resign the post in March to become a field director for Republican U.S. Sen. Hank Brown. Johnson will replace Connie Solomon, who will head U.S. Rep. Joel Hefley's 5th Congressional District office in Colorado Springs. Although the Republicans have 30 days to elect a new county chairperson, the odds are that county GOP Vice Chairman Bob Gardner will succeed Johnson. He may be opposed by former state Legislator Barbara Philips, who lost the HD 17 seat to Democrat Daphne Greenwood in 1988. Names being bantered around to fill Gardner's vice chair shoes are Jeanne Smith, a conservative "legal eagle" under District Attorney John Suthers, and Mary Ann Carlos, a veteran activist who raised the dander of pro-lifer Victor Mote. Association, or disassociation, with Mote may indicate where the battle lines are drawn in the election of new officers and the direction of the local Republican Party. In Mote's 11-page epistle, he praised Philips for personally him to campaign against Greenwood. On the other hand, he lumped Carlos in the "Gang of Five" and characterized them as a "cancer" that needed to be excised for allegedly failing to promote his candidacy--from refusing to erect Mote's campaign signs in their yards to caring more about where to have lunch than stuffing the candidate's fliers into Republican literature bags to be distributed in each precinct. Rating the short list of candidates, sources say Gardner and Carlos are more likely to deal fairly with pro-choice Republicans than Philips and Smith. Johnson's successor will be chosen within 30 days, and according to revised bylaws, the new chairperson will select the vice chair. Don't be surprised if Gardner, a government contract lawyer, crosses the line and picks "legal eagle" Smith. ON CHRISTIAN FUNDAMENTALISM By James W. White, Minister, First Congregational United Church of Christ (Colorado Springs) As a "Protestant minister outspoken", I have now been interviewed by reporters from Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, AP News Service, and the Gazette-Telegraph. The reporters all want to know "What is happening in Colorado Springs religiously?" By that question they usually mean, "What is happening socially and politically vis a vis religion?" None are interested in the answer I try to formulate. I want to speak theologically, but there is little interest. I am grateful now to Freedom Watch for the opportunity to write of what I think is the root cause of most of our concerns here. What we all know is that Colorado Springs is a conservative socio-political-economic community. Most churches of the community compliment that milieu. In this mix over 50 para-church organizations with constituency of similar persuasion have been added. With so many folk (1) in the churches, and (2) in the para-churches, a "critical mass" for the religious right has occurred. These zealous folk are acting out from their new-found strength in the public arena (schools, politics, libraries, etc.). Many folk--such as those on the Citizen's Project mailing list--are concerned, if not sometimes frightened. I too nervously observe the religious right's entry into the public domain. My strongest reaction, though, is to something else: these folks' theological underpinning. Though some will resist that naming, all are fundamentalists. By "fundamentalists" several specifics can be listed. Foremost on the list is belief in the "inerrancy of scripture", belief that there are no errors in the Bible, that the pages of Christian writ hold God's direct "Word". As "God's Word", the Bible is taken literally: what is on any given page is God's objective Truth. What most people don't know is that fundamentalism's literal inerrancy of scripture doctrine is a johnny-come-lately position. Protestant fundamentalism is less than a hundred years old. It was formalized only in 1912, then supported by a series of publications of the second decade of this century. It grew up in reaction to the development in the 19th century of science and "higher criticism" of the Bible. Historically, then, fundamentalism is a recent aberration from "great tradition" Christianity. Luther, Aquinas, Anselm, Augustine and Paul would find it appalling. Fundamentalism's Biblical literalism, of course, generates a lot of power, as narrow ideologies usually do. Much of it is negative. Personally, I take the Bible much too seriously to take it literally. My read on the Bible is that we are called to be attentive to its "weightier matters" love, justice, and mercy. INSIDE CITIZENS PROJECT Change of Location. Citizens Project has moved downtown!. Our new office is located at 310 South Cascade, at the corner of Vermijo and Cascade. Our new office phone number is 520-9899. Our mailing address remains Box 2085, Colorado Springs, CO 80901. Office Equipment Needed. Our new and larger offices need more furniture and office equipment. We would be grateful for donations of the following: -A copier table -One reliable 286 or better IBM-compatible computer -A computer desk Office Manager Needed. We are looking for a full-time office manager for our new office. The job would involve office organizing and phone work. Salary is negotiable. If you are interested, please send your resume to our mailing address or call for further information. Citizens Project Youth Group To Meet. The first meeting of the Citizens Project Youth Group (for grades 5 through 12) will meet April 18, 3-4:30 PM, in the back of Poor Richard's Restaurant The youth group will meet to talk about issues, become involved in our community, and socialize. Citizens Project "Get Involved" Seminar Well-Attended. The Citizens Project "Get Involved" seminar, held February 27 at the First Congregational Church, was well-attended, with 210 participants. Speakers talked about opportunities in our local political parties, schools, and government. We hope to repeat this (maybe shorter) later this year. Citizens Project Goes On-Line. Citizens Project now has an Internet electronic mail address. You can reach us at "citizens@cscns.com". However, until we are up to speed in responding to what we expect to be our heavy electronic mail, be aware that you may have better results in simply calling our office. Thanks to everyone calling and sending us information. We couldn't work without you! -- Citizens Project * PO Box 2085 * Colorado Springs, CO 80901 * 719-520-9899 Doug Triggs & Amy Divine, Coordinators * internet email: citizens@cscns.com ---"Honoring American Liberties in the Pike's Peak Region"---


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank