Phyllis Schlafly Columns

War on Religion Freedom  by Phyllis Schlafly  November 6, 2013

Americans who believe in God had better wake up and realize that a well-orchestrated campaign is moving to fundamentally transform the United States into a scrupulously secular nation. If this succeeds, we will no longer enjoy our First Amendment right of “free exercise” of religion but will be forbidden to speak or display any prayers, Bible quotations, or other evidences of religion in any public place or event.

The major strike force working to accomplish this consists of the ACLU plus various atheist groups. They are always ready to file lawsuits to get some supremacist judge to restrict religious expression.

This effort is magnified by two other organizations that have a major impact on our culture: the military who feel the temptation to be politically correct and the liberal bureaucrats in public schools who now feel free to teach their leftwing views. Barack Obama’s fingerprints are not on most of these acts, but his anti-religious attitudes are widely enough known to encourage those on the public payroll to charge ahead with extremist politically correct policies.

We’d like to know if Pentagon officials have met with any Christian leaders to balance the aggressive lobbying by those who want to silence all religious expression by members of the military. Nine senior Army or Navy officers were dismissed this year, and some wonder if this was a purge of senior officers suspected of not toeing the Obama party line.

A Young Marines program in Louisiana, which has been helping at-risk youth for 25 years, lost its federal funding because its graduation ceremony mentions God. The oath says simply, “I shall never do anything that would bring disgrace or dishonor upon my God, my country and its flag, my parents, myself or the Young Marines.”

Graduation also includes a voluntary and non-denominational prayer that, in 25 years, no one ever complained about. But Obama’s Department of Justice discovered the oath and prayer in a random audit and then demanded that both be removed or else the government would cut off its $15,000 in federal funding.

Some public school busybody bureaucrats are trying to suppress any and all religious mention on school property. Their orders are far more extreme than anything courts have ever held to be violations of the First Amendment.

Sports are a favorite target of the anti-religious crowd. A high school football coach, Marcus Borden, was forbidden even to bow his head or “take a knee” during voluntary student-led prayers before the games.

In Texas, a boy’s track relay team ran its fastest race of the year and defeated its closest rival by seven yards, which should have enabled it to advance toward the state championship. The team’s anchor runner pointed to the sky to give glory to God as he crossed the finish line, but someone didn’t like the gesture so the authorities disqualified this winning team because of it.

The ACLU in Rhode Island filed a lawsuit to force Cranston High School to remove a prayer banner in the auditorium, even though there had been no complaints in 38 years. The banner reads in part: “Our Heavenly Father: Help us to be good sports and smile when we lose as well as when we win. Teach us the value of true friendship, help us always to conduct ourselves so as to bring credit to Cranston High School.”

High school officials in Kountze, Texas, and a Wisconsin atheist group called Freedom From Religion made a tremendous effort to stop the cheerleaders from displaying a banner before a football game that read: “And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”

In North Carolina, a high school junior knelt for a brief two-second prayer before a wrestling match, and the referee penalized him a point for doing so. A senior at Tomah High School in Wisconsin was given a zero on an art project because he added a cross and the words “John 3:16 A Sign of Love” to his drawing of a landscape.

You can laugh at the following rule issued by the principal at Heritage Elementary in Madison, Alabama, but she was downright serious. She allowed Easter observances including a costumed rabbit, but she issued this imperious warning, “Make sure we don’t say ‘the Easter bunny’ because that would infringe on religious diversity.”

America was founded on very different beliefs about government actions. As Alexis de Toqueville, the Frenchman who traveled around our country in the mid-19th century, wrote: “Upon my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention. … The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other.”

Amnesty is Republican Party Suicide by Phyllis Schlafly October 30, 2013

Most Americans believe that the United States of America is an exceptional country. The “borders test” proves that people are coming TO America, not fleeing FROM America to exit to other countries.

Republicans and conservatives recognize that the principal reason for our unique abundance is our constitutional restraints on the power of government, separation of powers, balanced budgets, and a minimum of government supervision and interference in our daily lives. America offers a remarkable opportunity for foreigners no matter what socioeconomic rank they were assigned in their native country.

Most of the millions of immigrants we have welcomed came from countries where the only government they knew was one that made all decisions about economic and social policy. The current level of legal immigration to America adds thousands of people every day whose views and experience are contrary to the conservative value of limited government.

The influx of these new voters will reduce or eliminate Republicans’ ability to offer an alternative to big government, increased government spending, and favorite liberal policies such as Obamacare and gun control. New voters will lean on our hard-pressed health care system and overcrowded public schools to demand more government services.

Amnesty advocates point to the assimilation of large numbers of immigrants in the early years of the 20th century. But that was followed by a national pause and slowdown of immigration from the 1920s to the 1960s, which allowed newcomers to assimilate, learn our language, and adapt to our system of government.

Under current law, 1.1 million new legal immigrants come in every year. CBO projections indicate that amnesty plus its scheduled increases in legal immigration will add an additional 4.6 million new voters by 2014.

An enormous body of survey research shows that large majorities of recent immigrants, who are mostly Hispanic and Asian, hold liberal views on most policy issues, and therefore vote Democratic two-to-one. Their motivation is not our immigration policy; it is economic issues.

The 2008 National Annenberg Election Survey found that 62 percent of immigrants prefer a single government-run healthcare system. The 2010 Cooperative Congressional Election Study found that 69 percent of immigrants support Obamacare, and the Pew Research Center found that 75 percent of Hispanic and 55 percent of Asian immigrants support bigger government.

A Harris poll found that 81percent of native-born Americans believe the schools should teach students to be proud of being American compared to only 50 percent of immigrants who had become naturalized U.S. citizens. Only 37 percent of naturalized citizens (compared to 67 percent of native-born citizens) think our Constitution is a higher legal authority than international law.

The Pew Research Center reported in 2011 that, of all groups surveyed, Hispanics have the most negative view of capitalism in America — 55 percent. This is even higher than the supporters of Occupy Wall Street.

The data do not support the notion that immigrants are social conservatives. Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute points out that “It is not immigration policy that creates the strong bond between Hispanics and the Democratic Party, but the core Democratic principles of a more generous safety net, strong government intervention in the economy, and progressive taxation.”

The current level of immigration, even without amnesty, will add nearly 15 million new potential voters by 2036, a large share of whom will favor the Left. To allow this to happen will make Republicans a permanent minority party.

Looking at the political motivation of the groups pushing higher immigration and amnesty, it’s obvious that the Democrats promote large-scale immigration because it produces more Democratic votes. But why are some prominent Republicans pushing amnesty?

The pro-amnesty New York Times gleefully reported on October 26 the front-page news that big-business leaders and Republican big donors are gearing up for a “lobbying blitz,” backed up by money threats, to get Congress to pass amnesty. Big business wants amnesty in order to get more cheap labor and keep wages forever low, and that is a gross betrayal of the legal immigrants who hope to rise into the middle class and achieve the American dream.

The big donors poured $400,000,000 into the campaigns of losing establishment-backed Republican candidates in 2012. They would rather elect Democrats than conservative, social-issue, Tea Party-type, grassroots Republicans who don’t take orders from the establishment.

If the Republican Party is to remain nationally competitive, it must defeat amnesty in every form. Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), summed it up: “I think it would be crazy for the House Republican Leadership to enter into negotiations with Obama on immigration, and I’m a proponent of immigration reform. He’s trying to destroy the Republican Party, and I think that anything that we do right now with the president on immigration will be with that same goal in mind, which is to destroy the Republican Party and not to get good policy.”