Downeast Humanists and Freethinkers Message Board › Linnehan's "Census"

Linnehan's "Census"

Abbie M.
downeastdance
Bangor, ME
Post #: 189
Do we want to respond to this? If Chris Hedges is right, the Dominionists are "hell bent" on creating a theocracy by any means necessary, including targeting individuals such as us. What better way to compile a list of people to be harassed (or eventually even exterminated) than a door-to-door survey of their religious attitudes? I wonder if his survey could be classified as a "solicitation" and if he has the necessary "charitable solicitation certificate" from the State for this effort? It's probably a stretch to suggest that, but the law is there to protect people from unauthorized door to door solicitations. He is plowing his ill-gotten gains into something that sounds innocent enough, but the data base could be very mischievous.
Nancy G.
user 8856801
Group Organizer
Bar Harbor, ME
Post #: 326
Do you have a link to the ad or article, Abbie?
Nancy G.
user 8856801
Group Organizer
Bar Harbor, ME
Post #: 328
Nadine m.
user 14063030
Sullivan, ME
Post #: 16
I bet this new stand with the Air Force removing mandatory God in pledge has him upset!
Nancy G.
user 8856801
Group Organizer
Bar Harbor, ME
Post #: 329
There are two good letters-to-the-editor in this week's EA responding to the front-page article on Linnehan's "census." I am still ruminating about a possible response. Knowing myself, I think I will have to make one, but right now it would probably be too acidic.
Nadine m.
user 14063030
Sullivan, ME
Post #: 17
I think you are wise to think it out carefully. His camp will love to find something to pounce on! I know if anyone can respond to their rhetoric without being drawn into their crazy vortex, it is you! You go girl!
Nancy G.
user 8856801
Group Organizer
Bar Harbor, ME
Post #: 330
I received an email from Judy Harrison of the BDN (she is the Religion editor) asking for a DEHF response to Linnehan's religious census for an article she is doing for Monday's paper. Let's discuss at our meeting on Saturday and see what we can come up with! And I think I will bring my draft of my LTE to the EA also.

Nancy G.
user 8856801
Group Organizer
Bar Harbor, ME
Post #: 331
I would suggest something like the following as a statement from DEHF:

Going door to door proselytizing is nothing new and not illegal. Mr. Linnehan is free to spend his money as he wishes to increase his "flock." But a so-called census, creating a list identifying people by their religious beliefs, or lack of them, is concerning. Anyone who cares about privacy and an individual's right to his or her own beliefs, should refuse to participate in Mr. Linnehan's census. Or a second choice would be to painstakingly fill out all the forms proclaiming our membership in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Abbie M.
downeastdance
Bangor, ME
Post #: 190
Nancy thought I should post this. I hope it helps you formulate a response for the reporter who is interested in a statement from DEHF. Sorry I can't be at the meeting - daughter's birthday.

How about recommending that people being interviewed first ask the interviewer a series of equally intrusive questions, e.g.

1. Please write your name and physical (home) address (your own personal info please, not Linnehan's.)

2. (check all that apply) Are you conducting this survey because:
a. you need extra money right now
b. you are worried that you might not get into heaven and you think working on this survey will help
c. you have been brainwashed to follow the teachings of Mr. Linnehan
d. you are really concerned that residents of Hancock County are going to hell, and if so, why?
d. other (describe)

3. How much money do you think Mr. Linnehan is spending on this survey?

4. Where do you think Mr. Linnehan got the money?

5. What other useful things could he be doing with this money?
a. donating money to a soup kitchen
b. providing funds for existing homeless shelters
c. paying real estate taxes on his megachurch property
d. donating money for cancer research, environmental protection, or other established charities, and if so, which ones?

6. Are you going to be asking for donations, and if so, may we see a copy of your state-issued Charitable Solicitation Certificate?

7. What was the background check that Mr. Linnehan performed on you? Did he verify your criminal history? How did he satisfy himself that you are not just "casing the joint" in preparation for a future robbery?

Doug B.
user 8862280
Franklin, ME
Post #: 231
I would suggest something like the following as a statement from DEHF:

Going door to door proselytizing is nothing new and not illegal. Mr. Linnehan is free to spend his money as he wishes to increase his "flock." But a so-called census, creating a list identifying people by their religious beliefs, or lack of them, is concerning. Anyone who cares about privacy and an individual's right to his or her own beliefs, should refuse to participate in Mr. Linnehan's census. Or a second choice would be to painstakingly fill out all the forms proclaiming our membership in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

My suggestions: if the group decides to provide a response for the BDN, I think short and sweet is better. Nancy put it well and in a few words. I would however change "refuse to participate" to "consider carefully whether to participate". Also probably wouldn't reference the church of the FSM in what will be an official DHF response in the media. If we want to add anything, I suggest, after " is concerning" in Nancy' letter: "Certainly Mr. Linnehan must be aware that such personal information has sometimes been used to target individuals who hold minority views."
So my suggestions would read;
Going door to door proselytizing is nothing new and not illegal. Mr. Linnehan is free to spend his money as he wishes to increase his "flock". But a so-called census, creating a list identifying people by their religious beliefs, or lack of them, is concerning. Certainly Mr. Linnehan must be aware that such personal information has sometimes been used to target individuals who hold minority views. Anyone who cares about privacy and an individual's right to his or her own beliefs, should consider carefully whether to participate in Mr. Linnehan's census.
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