From: Scott <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Wednesday, August 8,[masked]:22 PM
Subject: [atheists-331] Fwd: A Political Race of Consequence here in Rhode Island
Steve Alquist, Jessica Ahlquist's uncle, sent me this email. As strange
as it seems, he's supporting a clergyman and I agree with his reasoning.
`-- c8 ]
-------- Original Message --------
> Subject: A Political Race of Consequence here in Rhode Island
> Date: Tue, 7 Aug[masked]:23:15 -0400
> From: Steve Ahlquist <[address removed]>
> That's what we're fighting against here in Rhode Island and in the
> coming election there's one race that is of particular importance.
> Those of you familiar with the case of Jessica Ahlquist v. City of
> Cranston and School Committee of the City of Cranston might well
> recognize both the candidates running for state senate in
> District 26.
> First there is Frank Lombardi, a member of the School Committee who
> voted in favor of keeping a prayer on the wall of Cranston West High
> School three times, citing his Catholic Faith as one of his main reasons
> for doing so. When questioned recently about marriage equality, an
> important issue in the upcoming legislative session of which Lombardi
> hopes to take part, Lombardi replied that he couldn't switch off being a
> Catholic. In other words, he would vote against marriage equality, vote
> against reproductive rights and vote against church/state separation.
> Listen to Lombardi at the following link where he talks about the "three
> hats" he wears as an elected official.
> <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rODxl0SNUk&feature=youtu.be#t=1m20s> He
> speaks of being a lawyer, an elected official and a
> Catholic," saying that all three roles come into play when he makes
> decisions as an elected official. Lombardi is simply unable to separate
> his religion from his politics, and this is bad for Rhode Island, and
> bad for the United States.
> Later, Lombardi discusses a DVD he watched about the history of the
> United States.
> The video was a documentary by pseudo historian and theocrat David
> Barton, and Lombardi's take away is chilling. He learned that "religion
> is inevitably intertwined with our government and has been for… over two
> hundred years…" adding, "I learned about all the religious references in
> that DVD, and I paid attention." That's right, Lombardi has learned his
> history from a fringe right-wing Christian crackpot.
> If this
were all there was to Lombardi, that would be bad enough. After
> losing the case and exposing the tax payers of Cranston to a potential
> $175,000 loss in defending the prayer banner, Lombardi used his three
> minutes of opening comments at the next school committee hearing to go
> after an anonymous social media poster who called the school board
> "dumb." <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UE1X5HDUx0c> Lombardi's public
> tantrum was an embarrassing display of defensive pettiness, and
> unbecoming of a public official.
> It's clear that Frank Lombardi is not suited to any elected position,
> and especially not the important role of State Senator where he will be
> voting on and introducing legislation of real importance and consequence
> to the lives of thousands of Rhode Islanders.
> Fortunately, there is an alternative.
> Those who know me
and my family might be surprised that I am without
> reservation in throwing my support behind /Reverend/ Gene Dyszlewski in
> this race. I am a very vocal critic of the worst abuses of religious
> privilege and have been very active in combating the rise of theocracy
> in my state and Gene Dyszlewski is an ally in my cause.
> Gene supported the removal of the prayer banner in Jessica Ahlquist's
> school, and after the judge ruled against the banner and in favor of my
> niece, and the ugly death and rape threats against Jessica started, Gene
> was one of the many members of clergy who publicly stepped up and
> defended her. He was also a very visible and vocal presence at the
> school committee meetings where he challenged the expectations of the
> pro-banner crowd as a minister in support of church/state separation.
> Gene's take on issues of church/state
separation fly in the face of his
> opponents. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPkplBTfX5c#t=18m10s
> than rely on the revisionist history of Tea Party zealots like David
> Barton, Gene reflected on the real accomplishments of Rhode Island's
> visionary founder, Roger Williams, declaring, "The separation of church
> and state is one of those interesting paradoxes: In order to have
> freedom of religion, Roger Williams developed a secular society."
> Gene served on the board of Marriage Equality Rhode Island, and is a
> full supporter of equal rights for LGBTQ people. He recognizes the
> importance of reproductive freedom, and has earned the endorsement of
> Planned Parenthood, Marriage Equality Rhode Island, the Rhode Island
> National Organization of Women and the Rhode Island
> Unlike his opponent, a petty bureaucrat plugged into the political
> machine here in Rhode Island, Gene is a believer in higher ideals. He
> wants to make Rhode Island a better place for all its citizens, tackling
> real issues of real importance.
> That means he needs money.
> You knew this was coming. Running for office is expensive and Gene
> doesn't have the backing of the Democratic Party here in Rhode Island.
> They're backing Lombardi, the plugged-in, business as usual heir
> apparent to the seat.
> So I'm asking you for $100 or $50 to support Gene. If you're able to
> contribute more, that would be great. If you can only spare $5, that
> would be appreciated as well. <http://www.justcallmegene.com/donate/
> Fighting for and
maintaining a secular society means supporting
> candidates that best embody our values and challenging those who do not.
> I cannot imagine a more clear case of political race where the values of
> secular, humanist and atheist voters align. A victory for Gene, with the
> support of the secular community, will be a victory for all of us.
> With my sincere thanks,
> Steve Ahlquist
> Rhode Island
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