Please Sign Petitions Online

Please help your favorite candidates get enough petition signatures by the May deadline to get onto the ballot.  It’s easy.  Click on the following link. Some candidates are still able to accept online signatures.  Gila Watch supports Kelli Ward (U.S. Senate), Rep. Paul Gosar (U.S. House of Representatives), Sen. Sylvia Allen (Arizona Senate), Rep. Bob Thorpe (Arizona House of Representatives), Frank Riggs (Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction), Kimberly Yee (Arizona Treasurer), Jim O’Connor (Arizona Corporation Commission), and Justin Olson (Arizona Corporation Commission).  

You will need your Driver’s License Number. 

Arizona E-Qual

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Thanksgiving Proclamation: George Washington, Oct. 3, 1789

By the President of the United States of America. a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor—and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

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The Truth about SB1062

SB1062 was not a "controversial" bill.  Nor did it "affirm the right to discriminate."  It was not "broadly worded."  As for those "unintended negative consequences" that Governor Brewer stated in her veto, those are the consequences of standing up for religious liberty and the freedom to associate.  Are those worth fighting for?   Apparently not.  

What Governor Brewer, many Republican legislators, and candidates for Governor revealed was their total ignorance about the so-called "economic benefits" of bringing the Super Bowl to Arizona, and their spinelessness when faced with a mob.   Some of those candidates for Governor are really ferocious, so they tell me. 

As stated by Ilya Shapiro in the Cato Institute article titled For Marriage Equality, Religious Liberty, and the Freedom of Association:  

"SB 1062 does nothing more than align state law with the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (which passed the House unanimously, the Senate 97-3, and was signed by President Clinton in 1993). That is, no government action can “substantially burden” religious exercise unless the government uses “the least restrictive means” to further a “compelling interest.” This doesn’t mean that people can “do whatever they want” – laws against murder would still trump religious human sacrifice – but it would prevent the government from forcing people to violate their religion if that can at all be avoided. Moreover, there’s no mention of sexual orientation (or any other class or category).

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God’s Name Will be Heard again in Gilbert, after 14 Years of Silence

God’s name was mentioned at tonight’s Gilbert School Board meeting so many times, I think He descended to earth to see what was up.  (The Gilbert Governing Board meetings had always been "off limits" to the sound of God’s name.)  

The question being debated was:  Should the Gilbert School Board bring the Invocation back to their board meetings?  The answer was:  Yes!  

This issue had been brought to the board over a year ago by Staci Burk.  It was voted down 4-1.  After the most recent election, Daryl Colvin brought it to a vote, but it didn’t pass 2-2.  Board President Staci Burk was in the hospital.  Then, Julie Smith brought it up again, and it passed 3-2.  

So, tonight, Ms. Segal, the GPS attorney, gave a blow by blow description of various court cases.  The Resolution is jam packed with case law and Supreme Court statements that she said will minimize the exposure to a lawsuit.

The board voted 3-2 in favor of the Invocation Resolution.  17 citizens spoke in favor; 3 against.  There were 31 comment cards submitted by people who were in favor but did not speak, and 2 were submitted by people who were opposed, but did not speak.

I don’t know the number of emails that were sent to the Board.  Lots.  This is a community that believes very strongly that we were all endowed by our Creator, and that we are a religious people who recognize a Supreme Being.  Further, we have the right and the duty, to ask for our Creator’s guidance and blessing in a public forum.  Most of the people who spoke were Christian, but they expressed a welcoming heart toward those of other religious traditions.  "Let a thousand flowers bloom," stated a parent who learned that statement from a law professor.  

Every person who spoke considered the issue from a slightly different angle.  Many eloquent statements were made by each person.  There were 4 high school students who spoke in favor.  They understand very well that the issue is one of tolerance of religious expression.  Brett Harvey, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, spoke in favor.  Harriet and Bill Bathman, who spent 30 years as missionaries behind the Iron Curtain, also spoke.  A J LaFaro, Chairman of the MCRC, spoke in favor.    So did Glen Frakes, who taught in Gilbert Schools for several years.  Patrick O’Malley, Gordon Ray, Gil Fidler, Anita Christy, Yvonne Hoskins, and Lina Hatch spoke in favor.  

No one from the Freedom From Religion Foundation spoke.  It was an extraordinary evening. 

"It’s not ok anymore to be silent," said a young mother of four children who had never been to a Gilbert School Board meeting before tonight.

I know this sounds a little dramatic, but it almost seemed like God was present.  It was as if He heard someone speak His Name. 

See Also:

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Rob Haney Responds to LD28 Chair Scott O’Connor

I read an email exchange recently between Republican LD28 Chairman Scott O’Connor and Precinct Committeeman Rob Haney.  Mr. Haney is a former Maricopa County Republican Committee Chairman.  It was chilling to read this exchange, because I had just finished reading an article in Pravda titled "America Resembling Anti-Democratic Regime:  Russia’s Moment to Lead."

During the Cold War, Pravda was well known as the official voice of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

And now, after all these years, it is Pravda that has observed that, while Russia has returned to its religious roots and the end of Soviet Communism,  America is in rapid moral and institutional decline:

"In recent decades, Russia has undergone vast political and social reforms underscored by a return to religious roots, the end of Soviet Communism, and new existential threats (among them domestic Islamic radicalism).  All of these changes have necessarily resulted in political transformation.

"As Russia has changed, its former adversary – the United States of America – has also changed, with breakneck speed.  America is in rapid moral and institutional decline – fueled by lawless government leaders and a seismic move away from God (at least the Judeo-Christian God that underpins Russian and Western societies), as well as the parallel rise of an entertainment escapism that displaces public awareness and voter engagement while blinding citizens to the loss of freedom and resultant blurring of moral boundaries.

"In short, America is beginning to resemble the regimes it topples and wars against.  America no longer has the moral credibility to lecture other nations on the incontrovertible virtues of democracy and republican government."  

Here is the email exchange between Scott O’Connor and Rob Haney.  Mr. Haney copied members of the Executive Committee

January 10, 2014

Dear Scott,

I am taking the liberty of publishing our exchange of emails in an open forum because I view removal of the Invocation from our LD 28 meetings at the sole discretion of the executive board as a continuance of the attack on religion in our country.   Other districts need to be made aware of how easily they can lose the rights they took for granted through the actions of a few anonymous complaints brought to a receptive executive board.  To have a universally accepted, decades long practice within the Republican Party ended by fiat of the executive board without even debate or a vote of the body, is the height of arrogance and is reminiscent of Obama’s executive orders. 

I would suggest to other LDs that they take preventative action possibly through a bylaw addition which states that the Invocation and Pledge cannot be removed from the opening proceedings of a district meeting without a vote of the LD precinct committeemen.

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The Institutional Church versus the Church

A religious divide is taking place in America.  Nobody understands it better than the Anglicans who have pulled away from The Episcopal Church (TEC).  These Anglicans refuse to remain with a church that has slowly but surely endorsed unbiblical beliefs.   TEC leadership has been questioning the authority of Scripture for decades.  Back in the 1990s, Bishop John Shelby Spong was publicly deriding the virgin birth, the resurrection of Christ, and the reliability of the Bible, and Bishop John Chane in his 2002 Easter sermon declared Jesus’ resurrection "at best conjectural."  Katharine Jefferts Schori, who became the first female bishop in 2006, has questioned the resurrection, and adamantly denies Christ as the only way to God.  

All of these departures from the Bible have been very troubling for many Anglicans, but the last straw was when TEC consecrated Gene Robinson as its first openly homosexual bishop in 2004 date, and later, when the denomination approved liturgy for homosexual weddings.  Since then, hundreds of churches have fled the denomination.  Gene Robinson married his first wife Isabella in 1972.  They had two daughters. He divorced his wife in 1986 and entered a formal relationship with his current spouse, Mark Andrew, in 1988.  

The Episcopal Church wages War Against those who Stand Firm for the Authority of Scripture

TEC has fought their own departing church members with astonishing tyrannical vindictiveness.  They have sued the fleeing churches for their buildings, even though the church members paid for those buildings.  In one case, the congregation of Christ Church Anglican in Savannah, Georgia, lost their building, even though they had held title to the property since 1773.  A judge ruled against them.    

Even when the churches have offered to pay TEC for the buildings, TEC has refused and in some cases have sold them at bargain basement prices to other denominations, including to Muslims.  The Church of the Good Shepherd offered the TEC $150,000 for their own church building.  But TEC stuck its finger in their eye, and sold it to local Muslims for $50,000.  The Muslims used a crane to tear down the cross.  It is now the Islamic Awareness Center.  

Rev. Jefferts Schori has stated that "Bad behavior must be confronted."  She has likened the departure of believing Christians from TEC to murderes.  "It’s not terribly far from the state of mind evidenced in school shootings…." 

Anglicans aren’t the only ones fleeing their denomination.  In 1965, membership in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) numbered 3.70 million.  Today, it numbers 1.85 million.  At least 110 congregations left the PCUSA in 2012, shortly after the denomination ordination of homosexuals in 2011.  

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