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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

OH-02 Jean Schmidt: I Knew God Was 'Censored" But Said Nothing

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt surprisingly admits she kept quiet and did nothing upon learning from a Colorado congresswoman "that 'God' had been censored from the flag certificate of one of her constituents." This is a striking disclosure, because Schmidt says she quickly joined the protest when the Architect of the Capitol struck the word God from the inscription of a flag flown over the Capitol for an Ohio teenager. Andrew Larochelle, an Eagle Scout from Dayton wanted the certificate to say for God, Honor and Country. Yet Schmidt says she was "first aware of this interpretation" prior to the Scout's complaint.

Republican Schmidt denounced what happened to Larochelle as an act of censorship.

"This is an important issue. Some in the United States have sought to use the First Amendment prohibition on the establishment of religion to drive God from the public square. Many would argue that the separation of church and state means that 'God' should not be a part of our national motto, in the Pledge of Allegiance, or on our currency. But the Architect's office clearly went too far. The First Amendment goes beyond simply prohibiting the establishment of religion. It guarantees individuals the right to exercise their beliefs freely."

If it was such an important issue -- as Schmidt now says -- why did she fail to speak up when U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, R-4, Colorado, told her that God was being censored? Why did Schmidt remain silent and not protest until the Eagle Scout from Ohio began to draw national attention?

Schmidt's actions and admission make it appear didn't see the point until God became a political issue she could try to exploit. Matt Hurley at Weapons of Mass Discussion has Schmidt's latest newsletter. It expresses righteous indignation about religious affronts, but shows that she did nothing when first exposed to a religious affront. She waited until there was a bandwagon.

Remember, U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave told Schmidt-- by Schmidt's own admission -- that God was being censored from flag certificates. Could you imagine her GOP opponent in OH-02, Phil Heimlich, keeping his mouth closed? She just may have handed him an issue. Heimlich can say I would have spoken up for God immediately.

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