September 28, 2002
Mainstream Montgomery County
Having decided that they don't want to be mistaken for the publicity-hungry wackos of the Republican Leadership Council, a group of Montgomery County citizens have formed a group called Mainstream Montgomery County to oppose censorship and general nutbaggery.
Anne Bayerkohler, who helped found the group, said the book-banning issue has roused people of every political stripe to opposition. The response has consumed most of her time, she said, and 70 people have sent e-mails requesting membership.
"I can't keep up with the momentum this particular issue has caused within the community," said Bayerkohler, 26, who lives in The Woodlands with her husband and 7-year-old son.
They have their work cut out for them.
"Everybody in the county knows they are not mainstream," said RLC president Jim Jenkins. "They are a bunch of Democrats upset about the movement of the Republican Party in the county. They're not just Democrats. They're very, very liberal Democrats."
One imagines the Chron
reporter had to wipe some spittle off his face after recording that quote.
"What we had in the library were 27 books promoting homosexuality or experimentation, one neutral and none that had opposing views -- no success stories about getting out of homosexual addiction," [County Judge Alan B.] Sadler said. "In my opinion, there's a problem."
Mine, too, Judge.
Best of luck to you, Anne Bayerkohler and Mainstream Montgomery County. I fear you'll need it.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 28, 2002 to Elsewhere in Houston
Considering the stance of "Mainstream" Mongomery County on the issue of putting "In God we Trust" plaques in county libraries, I'd say they are quite a bit out of the mainstream. They claim the plaques are in "conflict with our Consitution," even though "In God We Trust" is the national motto, is on all currency, and is part of the fourth stanza in our National Anthem.
The opposition in Montgomery County just threw away all of its moral authority with that remarkably untenable position. They support censorship every bit as much as the far right, only instead of being obsessed with a few books and a statue of David, they focus on any awknowledgment of American symbols and slogans that mention God.
Oh give me a break. They're fighting against people who think that Michaelangelo's David is pornographic and that homosexuality is contagious. If that's the mainstream, you're welcome to it.
I'm just saying that neither side is truely mainstream. This is the far-left versus the far-right, with both sides trying to claim the center, and neither doing a good job of it.
MMC is not far left by any definition of "far" or "left" that I'm aware of. You're basing your statement on their opposition to placing framed posters which say "In God We Trust" across the backdrop of an American flag in every library branch in Montgomery County. I don't think you have to be a commie pinko atheist to think that maybe that's a tad inappropriate.
This article, linked from the MMC "Issues" page, contains a couple of illuminating quotes:
Commissioners Court decided Monday to accept the donated plaques, despite warnings from County Attorney David K. Walker that doing so could open up the county to lawsuits.
"Although certain mandated uses of the national motto have been held to be proper, it has not been litigated as to whether or not the display of 'In God We Trust' by itself in a county library is in violation of the establishment clause (of the United States Constitution)," Walker wrote in a memorandum to Jerilyn Williams, director of the Montgomery County Library System.
"Therefore, based on the above reasoning and on the statements in the (Center for Law and Policy's) letter indicating they expect the displays to invite litigation, it is the opinion of this office that if the library system does not want to be a party to litigation, it should not accept and use the displays," Walker wrote.
"There wasn't a vote," County Judge Alan B. Sadler said. "We're just doing it. None of the commissioners oppose it."
Sadler said the threat of lawsuits will not stop commissioners from doing what they believe is right.
Personally, I don't care that much about this issue. I think the posters are out of place, but I wouldn't file a lawsuit to stop it. (Neither is MMC, by the way. They've got a link to a web petition and they're urging people to get out and vote. Such subversive tactics these far-left agitators use!)
On the other hand, I'd be awfully concerned about a county commissioner who is unconcerned about taking an action that might result in a lawsuit against my county, which has to be defended with my tax dollars. I'd be even more concerned if the commissioners let that action happen without any vote or debate because "they're all for it". They may be right, and they may win any resulting lawsuit, but I'd want to know why they're so damn cavalier about it.
They don't think it's a "tad inappropriate" to put "In God We Trust" placards in county libraries, they think it is unconstitutional, and that's an untenable, far-left position. As far as the actions of county commissioners go, I'd say their chosen stance is entirely appropriate. Putting up the national motto in public buildings shouldn't warrant lengthy debate simply because some people have a fundamental misunderstanding of what the First Amendment says.
The issue over the posters isn't whether it is a national motto (which, by the way, is "E Plurubus Unum", not "In God We Trust"), not whether it is in the Anthem-- the issue is, whether a public building is the appropriate place for such a document to be posted. If the county was planning on spreading the issue somewhat- say, another with Arabic script with Allah looking over the well-being of the US, or prehaps a series which had a brief blurb for our Buddhist, Hindu and polythestic citizens, it might not have been so inapporopriate. However, all you have is tax dollars being used to promote a single religious slogan, which ain't cool. I realize that most of Montgomery County is dim to the idea that there just might be some other religion than Christianity, but these folks also are taxpayers, so their money is getting spent for the posters just like everyone else.