Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Good Fight

This should be very interesting, indeed.

A Wisconsin church whose leaders created a video and passed out leaflets to support a state ban on gay marriage is fighting allegations that it violated campaign finance laws by failing to disclose its activities.

Monona Oaks Community Church acknowledges it spent more than $25 - which triggers a requirement to register with the Elections Board - urging people to vote for the gay marriage ban, which passed with 59 percent of the vote last November.

But its lawyers asked the board this week to dismiss complaints filed by voters and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, arguing the registration requirement cannot apply to religious groups.

The requirement is unconstitutional because the video program on public access television and distribution of 1,500 pamphlets by church members "were protected exercises of their rights and responsibilities to freely exercise their religion," they wrote.

The Diocese of Madison was also named as an "offender" by Mike McCabe, a professional pain in the ass. But there's a difference between the two cases.

McCabe's group made a similar argument before the Nov. 7 referendum when it accused the Catholic Diocese of Madison of trying to sway the election without registering. The group cited a diocese flier urging a "yes" vote distributed outside a Catholic church in Madison.

But Madison Bishop Robert Morlino said the reporting requirement did not apply since the fliers were given to church members and called the complaint an attempt to intimidate the Catholic Church.

"To claim that I must pay a fee and report to the state about my teaching activities in Catholic venues blatantly violates the rights of myself and my sister and brother Catholics to the free exercise of religion," Morlino said at the time.

The Elections Board didn't act on the accusation [about the Catholic church] since it never received a formal complaint from a witness.

The Monona Oaks church apparently went door-to-door with its flyers.

When someone comes to my door with religious tract-materials I generally thank them for their time, shoo them away (politely as possible,) and toss their materials. It matters not whether their materials are "political" or "religious."

Seems to me that Annie, Mikie, & Co. take themselves FAR too seriously.

Or maybe they don't have any common sense.

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