Before I address the questions of law, here’s the plot of the film, which is, in fact, murkier: A typical American family is on vacation at Disney World, when the father, Jim, finds out that he has been fired. Jim begins to act strangely, and his perception of their day at the park becomes twisted and scary. Aided by the use of black-and-white film, the familiar Magic Kingdom is transformed into something abjectly terrifying, as friendly icons morph into monstrous forms. The father imagines that his son and a creepy man in a wheelchair want to kill him. He also becomes obsessed with a pair of sexy teen-age French girls, and he trails them around the park inappropriately. A nurse warns him that he may contract the cat flu. In the end, his fears are warranted: he is captured and tortured by secret agents, his son turns on him, and he dies a gruesome death that involves coughing up huge hairballs. The film drags and meanders at times, but its potential for cult status cannot be denied.
“Escape from Tomorrow” is, essentially, a commentary on a shared social phenomenon, namely the supposed bliss of an American family’s day at Disney World. In Moore’s version, the day is a frightening and surreal mess that destroys the family forever. The film isn’t so much a criticism of Disney World itself but of the unattainable family perfection promised by a day spent at the park.
AP is doing a good job on fact checking candidate claims this election, lets hope they keep it up because the electorate really does need to vote based on facts.
Republicans are calling it “Taxmageddon,” the big tax increase awaiting nearly every American family at the end of the year, when a long list of tax cuts are scheduled to expire unless Congress acts.
It would be, GOP leaders in Congress say again and again, “the largest tax increase in American history.”
Except it wouldn’t be, not when you take into account population growth, rising wages, and most importantly, the size of the U.S. economy. When those factors are taken into account, the largest tax increases were those imposed to help pay for World War II - back when the U.S. raised additional revenue to pay for wars instead of simply borrowing.
In a recent Christian Post op-ed, Newcombe, who is with Truth in Action Ministries, a group connected with the late TV preacher D. James Kennedy, blasts Americans United and me for daring to suggest that pastors ought to obey the law.
I didn’t think that was such a frightening thing to do. In fact, it’s downright uncontroversial. If there’s one message that comes through loud and clear these days, it’s that the American people don’t want their houses of worship to become cogs in some candidate’s political machine. They support the law that prevents this from happening.
The polls on this aren’t even close. Americans overwhelmingly oppose church electioneering. Even LifeWay Research, a polling arm of the Southern Baptist Convention (hardly a font of political or theological liberalism), has found that 85 percent of Americans believe it is not “appropriate for churches to use their resources to campaign for candidates for public office,” and 87 percent do not ‘believe it is appropriate for pastors to publicly endorse candidates for public office during a church service.”
Nevertheless, the Religious Right, which is determined to forge a church-based political machine to assist ultra-conservative candidates, continues to prod pastors to get partisan in the pulpit.
Newcombe’s column, which is also being distributed by the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow, tells pastors that they really have nothing to worry about when it comes to electoral politics. In his article, headlined “Pastors and the IRS Bogeyman,” he accused me of trying to scare churches into silence.
I’m not trying to scare anyone. I’m merely pointing out what federal law says, and I’m recommending that churches follow it.
Federal prosecutors say a homeless man charged on Thursday with the New Year’s Day firebombing of a family planning clinic targeted by near-daily protests had acted out of “strong disbelief” in abortion and stood by just long enough to see crackling, popping flames spread.
Bobby Joe Rogers, 41, has been charged with one count of damaging a building by fire or explosive and was being held at a Florida Panhandle jail after the blaze early Sunday gutted the American Family Planning clinic in Pensacola. He could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Rogers, who has an arrest record spanning nine states from the Southeast to the Midwest, told investigators he intentionally set the fire around New Year’s Eve using a firebomb fashioned from a gasoline-filled beer bottle that used an old shirt as a wick. No one was hurt in the fire.
According to the affidavit, Roger’s told investigators he had an aversion to abortion and said he had recently witnessed an anti-abortion protest near the clinic that further prompted his actions.
His public confession on Dr. James Dobson’s radio program nearly five years ago, the speech at the graduation ceremony of Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, his much publicized conversion to Catholicism, his insistence on writing, making films and speechifying about the threat of a secularized America, may all have contributed to re-branding Newt Gingrich, from womanizing miscreant to redeemed sinner, in the eyes of the Religious Right.
Now, the personal endorsement of his run for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination by the Rev. Donald Wildmon, the founder and chairman emeritus of the Tupelo, Mississippi-based American Family Association — one of the most powerful Religious Right organizations in the country — and the founder of American Family Radio, may indicate that the disgraced former Speaker of the House’s long hard slog through the minefields of the Religious Right may be over.
Wildmon, who is expected to campaign for Gingrich in Iowa in the coming days, could provide a much-needed boost to his campaign.
“Newt Gingrich recognizes the threat to our country posed by judges and lawyers imposing values upon the country inconsistent with our religious heritage, and has proposed constitutional steps to bring the courts back in balance under the constitution,” Wildmon said in a statement.