The prayer in the schools issue

The has been a lot of reports about Perry and the school issue in the last few days.  Most of it is incorrect.

The prayer issue was first put on the table by myself, John WorldPeace, on September 22, 2001 in the following trifold brochure (which has now evolved into the WorldPeace Contract with the Citizens of Texas) that made a part of the literature that I handed out at that time.  This brochure was handed out on September 28, 2001, the night that Don Sanchez goons, the Bayshore Hotel security personnel and the League City Police stopped me from entering a Neighborhood Democrats fundraiser where Don Sanchez was speaking.  More were handed on September 29, 2001 at the candidate forum put on at the IBEW union hall on the North Loop in Houston and about a hundred more were handed out the NAACP forum in Austin on October 6, 2001.

So it was on September 22, 2001, when the prayer issue became an issue along with the Ten Commandments in the court room which as of yet as not been reported by the press.  It was WorldPeace who made prayer an issue and not Perry.

Now here was the problem from Perry's position.  In order for a Democrat to win the governor's race in November 2002, not only is it going to be necessary to secure a large number of Hispanic and Black voters, it is going to be necessary to cut into the Republican voters as well.  I intend to do this by appealing to the female Republicans with my promise to allocate half of my appointments to women.  Further, I intend to bring some of the Republican Christian vote to me by advocating the Ten Commandments in the court room if the judge so desires.  Seven of the Ten Commandments are the foundation of the secular law.  And lastly, taking a firm stand on advocating prayer in the schools (within the following parameters) would also cut into Perry constituency.  

Perry realizing what was happening, determined that he would have to make a stand on the issue to stop the erosion of his voter base to WorldPeace.  Unfortunately, Perry did not think through how he was going to promote prayer in school and stay in line with the law.  He just did not have the foresight or the brain power to figure it out.  All he knew is that he had a problem with his constituency.  

So the October 18, 2001, Palestine school event was all set up for Perry to take a stand on the prayer issue.  Then the press got all excited and pointed out that Perry had made this an issue.  That is just stupid.  It was Perry reacting to WorldPeace.  It is WorldPeace who has been setting the agenda in the governor's race and no one else.  In fact, one of the articles about the boycott of the NAACP conference spoke about the fact that the candidates did not want to take a stand on the issues before January 2002 and that is why they boycotted the event.  

On October 30, 2001, Ken Herman with the Austin American Statesman asked me about my response to Sanchez response to Rick Perry's stance on school prayer.  I sent the following email to Mr. Herman. I think it makes my position clear.  I think it also shows that both Sanchez and Perry are lost as to how to deal with prayer in the schools.  No surprise to me.  If you look at my WorldPeace Peace Page you will see the doctoral equivalent of comparative religious studies.  And then there is the fact that I am an attorney.  Together they mean that I am more qualified to speak to this issue than either Sanchez or Perry.  This issue is going to cause them both a lot of problems and at the same time bring me a lot of votes.  

John WorldPeace
The next governor of Texas.

November 1, 2001, All Saints Day

_________________________

Subj: Re: Sanchez on prayer- Response by WorldPeace
Date: 10/30/01 2:02:36 PM Central Standard Time
From: JohnWrldPc
To: kherman@statesman.com

In a message dated 10/30/01 11:29:43 AM Central Standard Time, kherman@statesman.com writes:

<< Subj: Sanchez on prayer
Date: 10/30/01 11:29:43 AM Central Standard Time
From: kherman@statesman.com (Ken Herman)
To: JohnWrldPc@aol.com

John,

I'd be interested in your response to this release issued today by Tony Sanchez.
Thanks.

Ken Herman
Austin American-Statesman
512 445 1718

---

Democratic Candidate for Texas Governor
Supports Virginia Law On School Prayer

<AUSTIN - - By refusing to hear an appeal from a circuit court in Virginia, the
U.S. Supreme Court yesterday clarified guidelines for religious freedom in our
public schools.

The high court had been asked to overturn a Virginia law mandating a moment of
silence in that stateís schools. The parents of seven children and the American
Civil Liberties Union had challenged the law for a potential violation of the
Constitutional separation of church and state.>

Mandating a time to pray is forcing religion on the school population and the court should have overturned the law. However, you are dealing with a Republican to the right Christian court. Due to its backlog, the court can support an unjust law by simply refusing to hear the matter based on the fact that it truly cannot hear every appeal to its jurisdiction. If all the justices were Democrats, there is a good chance that it would have been heard this matter. Republican courts tend to hear business matters. Democratic courts tend to hear matters that create Constitutional questions. The Republicans believe that the Constitution is static and the Democrats believe it is dynamic.

<The appeals court ruling, which was allowed to stand by the high court, points
out that there is Constitutional purpose in the mandated moment of silence
because it accommodates religious freedoms.>

Children who are so inclined to pray can do so at any moment. To mandate a particular time to pursue religion does violate the separation of church and state doctrines. It is easier to visualize if you consider the issues under a one hour mandatory moment of silence for prayer and meditation.

<"I think this is exactly the common ground we have all been looking for," said
Democrat Tony Sanchez. "If the Constitution guarantees our right to practice the
religion of our choice everywhere else in our society, why should our children be
asked to check their beliefs at the door when they enter the schoolhouse?">

He has missed the point. When you set aside a time for prayer and meditation, you have essentially set up a non-denominational religion within the school. The problem here is the mandate. If each school could chose to have a moment of silence then there would be no establishment of an unnamed religion.

<"This means, under the guideline of silence, our children can pray or meditate
and practice their religion freely, while in school, because religious liberty is
a right that is guaranteed as much in a classroom or a boardroom as it is in a
church.>

This is wrong wrong wrong. The word religion is the problem here. Mandating a time to practice religion of any kind at school violates the Constitution. Tony is off the mark here. The Constitution talks about the establishment of religion. That is not the same as the right to practice religion. Mandating a moment of silence is the fact issue and that is an establishment of religion issue. That fact issue was not preventing a group of students from praying. Tony is off point talking about the right to practice religion as opposed to the state mandating the practicing of some form of religion. Kids who want to pray can do so at any time. It is stupid to suggest that if these kids do not have designated moments to pray, they will be denied their right to pray. Tony is just confused. He does not have the ability to clearly distinguish the facts and the related issues.

< The courtís wisdom on this matter is protective of our Constitutional
liberties and our children.">

There was no court wisdom at all. The court refused to rule. The court did not feel that this issue was as pressing and important as the issues it has decided to hear. The court made no ruling. It would be a mistake to interpret anything from their refusal to hear the case.

<Sanchez agreed with an Austin American-Statesman editorial supporting the
Virginia law for Texas schools. The law does nothing to organize or coerce
prayer in children.>

Yes, it does.

< It simply mandates that neutral time be set aside for children to exercise their religious freedom, however they see fit, or to have nothing more than quiet time for themselves.> 

Quiet time can be accomplished by extending the lunch hour by sixty seconds. Again, it is silly to have to mandate time for children to pray. If they want to pray, then all they have to do is pray. That is not even the issue.

_______________________

THE WORLDPEACE POSITION

The legislature cannot mandate any time for silence, prayer or mediation. That would be contrary to the establishment clause of the Constitution and the separation of church and state.

However, one must consider that in 1864 we added "In God we trust" to our money.
It was determined that those words were not an establishment of religion. And the reason is that God is not religion. Religion is a bureaucracy for the promotion of some particular spiritual philosophy, i.e., Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism. "In God we trust" does not establish one religion over another. Remember the issue in Europe was not God, but religion, i.e., Catholicism v. Protestantism. No one said that God did not exist. The arguments and wars were about which was the true religion. So we could not place "In Jesus we trust" on our coins" because that would establish Christianity. But we can say "In God we trust."

In 1953, we added "under God" to the pledge of allegiance. Again, that did not establish a religion. "under Buddha" would have.

So we can have a moment allocated to God but not a moment allocated to religion. If we cannot have a moment allocated to God, then we need to take "under God" out of the pledge of allegiance and "In God we trust" off our coins.

My position is that school districts can determine to set aside a moment for God if they desire. The legislature cannot mandate anything. The school districts cannot reference any particular religion and so the prayers and/or the designation of the time of silence must be sanitized so that they do not contain any remnants of a particular religion. 

(What is interesting here is that Buddhism, Taoism and Hinduism consider God as the Infinite unknowable and Judaism, Christianity and Islam see God as an all knowing, all present male anthropomorphic supreme being. So in truth the God of the Eastern religions is beyond definition and so they really do not understand the concept of a Western God who is finite by the fact that He can be described. The Tao says "The God that can be defined is not the infinite God.)

As governor, I would allow moments of silence and prayers to God but none supporting a particular religion. If a school district violated any state laws by acknowledging God in this manner, I would pardon them and thus effectively stop their prosecution under state law while I was governor. 

In regard to the Federal law and Constitution, if the issue became that important to the population, I would select a school and go and personally hold a moment of silence to God in order to force the U S Supreme Court to consider the issue under the guidelines that I have stated above. This would allow me personally to suffer the consequences. I would not advocate or ask anyone else to do this in my place.

The law is dynamic and static. And the law is ever changing. We have a conflict in the application of the law in that we have "In God we Trust" on our money and "under God" in our pledge of allegiance and at the same time we are not allowing a moment to acknowledge God in our schools. The only way to resolve this (federally) is for me as governor, to stand up for what I believe the law should be and create a fact situation for the U S Supreme Court to rule on. The courts are not allowed to rule on a hypothetical fact pattern. That is why it would be necessary for me to lead the school prayer.

This is the difference between WorldPeace and Sanchez and WorldPeace and Perry. It is the difference in web pages where they have slick campaign "jingles" and I have in-depth discussions of important issues. It is the difference between standing up for what you believe and saying what you think will get you elected. And it is the ability to carefully review and evaluate and issues and positions as opposed to selling out a position to the highest bidder.

Thanks for the question.

John WorldPeace
The next governor of Texas
www.johnworldpeace.com

_________________

John WorldPeace, Attorney at Law
2620 Fountainview, Suite 106
Houston, Texas 77057
Tel. 713-784-7618
Fax. 713-784-9063
email: johnworldpeace@aol.com
http://www.johnworldpeace.com

WorldPeace the Man

Fourteen years ago I changed my name from Kenneth Edward Wolter to John WorldPeace. At that time, I was about to turn forty and had just divorced after seventeen years of marriage. I have never used illegal drugs. I worked full time for nine of the ten years I attended night school at the University of Houston where I earned three degrees in Political Science, Accounting and Law.

After graduating from the University of Houston in August 1970, I was drafted and served as an infantry sergeant in the U S Army from Oct 1970 to May 1972. By God's grace I was sent to Italy instead of Vietnam. I have three sons who honorably served in the United States Marine Corps.

I met my present wife, Kay, in 1988, a few months after I had changed my name. We have six children between us. We have seven grandchildren.

I chose the name WorldPeace because I have always felt a commitment to do something to leave the world a better place than I found it. I believed that if I changed my name to WorldPeace that at the least people would have to think about WorldPeace for a moment when they read or heard my name.

The WorldPeace Platform

The foundation of my political platform is that of "equality and justice". Equality in the sense of equal opportunity and a level playing field. Justice as the lack of corruption and prejudice.

There are three major groups of citizens that are disenfranchised in Texas: Blacks, Hispanics and Women. Each of these groups face glass ceilings in society in regards to how far they can go as a group. Women of color must face a double glass ceiling.

I believe in affirmative action as regards to executive appointments by the governor. Therefore, I will allocate a percentage of my appointments as governor to Blacks and Hispanics that is equal to the percent they represent to the total vote for governor in 2002. I will not allocate a percentage based on their population to the total population because I do not intend to reward voter apathy.

In order to show my commitment to women, I will allocate half of my executive appointments to women. I will also order that the state payroll be immediately audited to make sure that there is no discrimination based on race or gender.

I am also committed to the Native Americans who live in Texas.

Education

I am committed to giving teachers a $2,500 across the board pay raise. I am also committed to giving teachers equal rights with students. I am also committed to changing the way that children are allowed to learn such that children who learn best with a computer will be allowed to do so and that children who require personal instructions will have access to qualified teachers. I will maintain the TAAS test but I will reduce the emphasis on them until some other method of measuring student and teacher performances can be implemented. I believe in a modified Robin Hood plan where money is reallocated from the rich school districts to the poorer districts; not to the point of total equality but only to the point where the poorer schools are brought up to a new minimum; ie. All children will have access to computers. In regards to the money for these programs, I will reallocate the state budget such that education is a top priority. This means that unless the public insists on a tax increase, other services are going to be reduced in order that our educational goals for our children will be met.

The Family Law

I intend to require that everyone who files a divorce must participate in mediation within 90 days of filing. In addition, when children are involved, all parties will have to attend COPE programs designed to create an awareness of the trauma that children of divorced parents must endure. If mediation is not successful, then the divorce will proceed as usual.

The Civil Law

I believe in tort reform but I believe that the current limits of $200,000 in punitive damages is too low. I advocate raising that amount to $500,000 because it is my experience that with the current restrictions, businesses have quit paying legitimate claims because the present limits are not large enough to encourage them to settle claims without going to court.

The Criminal Law

I will set up a Public Defenders office which will replace the current system whereby judges appoint attorneys for indigent defendants. A public defenders office will set up a true adversarial system whereby prosecutors are evenly matched with defense attorneys who represent indigent defendants. I believe this will go a long way to reducing the number of defendants who serve longer than normal sentences, who plead guilty to crimes which they did not commit and who are wrongly executed.

The Election of Judges

I advocate the election of judges but I believe that a judge must disclose to the attorneys before him contributions that he has received from those attorneys either directly or indirectly.

The Texas Economy

As John WorldPeace, I feel that I am a natural world ambassador and as such I will seek out companies from all over the world to locate in Texas. I am pro-business because business creates jobs. At the same time I am pro-union because my experience as an attorney has proven that justice is best achieved when competing views are pitted against each other.

School Prayer and the Ten Commandments

I believe that judges should be allowed to display the Ten Commandments in their court rooms if they so desire because they are the foundation of the law. I also believe that the World Trade Center tragedy has shown that Americans believe in prayer. They also believe in God because "In God We Trust" is on our money. Therefore it is ridiculous not to allow and encourage prayer in our schools.

In Summary

There are many concrete ideas that I have which I believe will lead to a more just and equitable society. I have only mentioned some of the more significant ones to give examples of how I will implement my policies. For details go to

www.johnworldpeace.com

If you feel that you are in line with my ideas, then I encourage you to contribute to my campaign by visiting my web site.

John WorldPeace
The Next Governor of Texas
God Bless Texas
God Bless America

Don Tony Sanchez for Governor - NOT

1) He said Secretary of State Henry Cuellar sent him a "death threat" letter, but he has refused to show it to anyone, 2) His drug defending buddy, Tony Canales, sent two goons to intimidate Mr. Cuellar and label him a homosexual, 3) He worked for Ben (the Pariah) Barnes in the early sixties, 4) After Ben (The Pariah) Barnes' career ended with the Sharpstown scandal, Old Ben introduced Tony to Morris Jaffe, who died a few months ago, for whom Tony went to work as a landman for years (Morris Jaffe is the guy who hung Jim Wright out to dry before a U S Congressional investigation and the guy who had connections with the New Orleans Mafia - oh yes, Morris is dead but he has two sons who are very much alive), 4) He bankrupted his Tesoro S & L but not until after he laundered $25 million in drug money (and did anyone think about what it takes to accumulate $600 million in a couple of decades), 5) He is trying to sell the Camino Columbia Toll Road fiasco (in which his bank has a big investment) to the state of Texas, 6) He successfully drilled under the Falcon Reservoir south of Laredo and on the Texas Mexico border without the Mexicans drilling from their side of the Reservoir, and 7) he was one of Bush's Pioneers (someone who contributed $300,000 to Bush) so Tony is a really big Republican running in the Democratic Party (How is that possible? - Hey, FOLLOW THE MONEY). Tony is into banking and oil. How much money do you think he can launder and how many state parks do you think he can plunder drilling for oil as governor?