Is Religious Right Anti-Constitution?

Bob Jones
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Wednesday - October 27, 2010
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An excellent essay I recently read suggests that what tea party people and conservatives want is a return to traditional American karma. The idea that those who work hard should fare better than those who choose not to; that people who do bad things should be punished rather than rewarded; that good deeds should beget rewards.

I think most of us of a progressive mind can agree with that, too. We’ve all seen too many cases in the past 50 years of fraudulent welfare and Medicare and unemployment compensation, questionable Social Security payments, and greedy bankers and criminals who are not punished.

So some of our liberal laws did bring us unintended consequences.

But there’s something else this year that’s not common ground. That’s the conservatives’ - almost always GOP - introduction of a kind of religious litmus test for holding office. It has tarnished the Hawaii election year.

That anti-abortion, anti-civil union, anti-same gender marriage clamor is mainly religion-based. The clamorers are really asking, “Are you Catholic enough, Mormon enough, born-again Christian enough to hold office and will you swear to marginalize those we don’t approve of?”

That’s very troubling because that’s in direct contravention of the U.S. Constitution.

If you are troubled, too, you must fight back.

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Obscene amounts of money have been spent on this year’s local races.

What struck me as extremely suspicious was that over a two- or three-day period, so many employees of firms R.M.

Towill and Mitsunaga Associates all decided late in the game to ante up to a few thousand each to mayoral contender Kirk Caldwell.

KITV reported that on Sept. 10, Towill employees gave Caldwell’s campaign a total of $17,000. Mitsunaga employees and relatives made contributions of $20,000 to Caldwell Sept. 15 and 17.

Two whole offices seem to have been instantly infected with fear of Peter Carlisle.


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The City Council is looking over the law that gives a property tax break for homes or buildings on the State Historic Register. Those are properties more than 50 years old and deemed to be architecture worth saving or with historic significance.

The city admits to some lax oversight. And maybe there should be a limit of one property exemption per person, family or business entity. Obviously, a rich person escaping tax on many properties isn’t fair taxation.

But here’s my thought as a non-rich guy with my one house on the Historic Register:

If the state wants to preserve some unique homes for posterity, the city must offer some financial incentive. Otherwise, what’s the point of applying for the register?

Without some tax break, I’d be better off building a second story or selling to somebody who’d tear it down because it’s 55 years old and always needs work.

No tax exemption would seem to negate the state preservation effort originally fomented by state Rep. Barbara Marumoto.

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