Friday, September 15, 2006


Yes, it's Boise--Idaho, that is! This relatively quiet river city where the desert meets the mountains is also the staging ground for an epic battle in the war for America's soul. Faith and Action sent our partner, Rev. Pat Mahoney, out to Boise this week to help organize a citizen's movement against the removal of a Ten Commandments monument.

Two years ago the Boise city council decided, of its own accord, to remove a beautiful monument of the Ten Commandments from a city park. The mayor and certain council members claimed they were "afraid" of an ACLU lawsuit that would waste taxpayers' money. (No lawsuit has ever been filed.) But, then, they launched their own suit against their own citizens when the electorate demanded the decision be put to a vote at the ballot box! I've posted below Boise's FOX News 12 reporter Dan Hamilton's complete story from their website. Please take time to read it.

Brandi Swindell (quoted in Hamilton's article) is well-known to us and has been with us at our ministry center numerous times and at many of our events over the years. She's a young, articulate, fresh face in the culture wars. Rev. Mahoney has been working with Brandi's group for over two years. He went out this week to help her train and organize for the upcoming referendum.

This showdown is critical because--if successful--it will set a precedent for citizen action on the public display of God's Word all over the country. One of the greatest challenges in Boise is the cost for commissioning a Zogby Poll, a necessary step in executing the right strategy. It's going to run somewhere around $6000. If you can help with this and other expenses for this critically important effort, you may do so at our website: (use the donation button at the upper right). Then, send us an E-mail telling us when you made the gift online and the amount ( We will speed it out to Boise!

Here's Hamilton's story:

Boise, Idaho -- Boise's Ten Commandments monument that once stood in Julia Davis Park was moved over two years ago to Saint Michael's Cathedral.
The decision was made after Kansas preacher Fred Phelps tried using the monument as an avenue to install his own anti-gay monument.
But a group of Boise citizens fought to keep the Commandments in place, and have continued fighting to get them moved back. And today, the Idaho Supreme Court decided the Commandments should go to a vote.
"So we're making history here in Boise, Idaho," said Brandi Swindell of the Keep the Commandments Coalition.
Two years ago, a group of Boise citizens began collecting 19,000 signatures in order to allow voters to decide whether or not to move the Ten Commandments monument back to Julia Davis park.
And now the Idaho Supreme Court ruling determined voters would get that opportunity -- so on Nov. 7, Boise residents will be the first in the country to vote on such an issue.
"This is a huge victory that not only has significance here in Boise, but really has national significance as well," said Swindell.
Boise Mayor Dave Bieter and Boise city council members had fought to keep the issue off the ballot saying it was an administrative decision and not legislative in nature, and in late August 2004 a district judge agreed.
"I also have to say that this clearly shows that Mayor Bieter and Councilman (Alan) Shealy wasted city time, city money, city resources. They spent thousand and thousands of dollars to fight against their own citizens," said Swindell.
"From the beginning, we have said that we will abide by the will of the people at the ballot box, and we expect the mayor and the council to do the same thing," added Bryan Fischer of the Keep the Commandments Coalition.
But according to Boise city, the ruling, unlike the monument, may not be set in stone.
According to Boise Spokesperson Elizabeth Duncan the vote will go forward, but what happens after that is still anybody's guess.
"Today, the supreme court essential said, 'we don't have enough information to make a decision. We'd like you to put this on a ballot, and then we'll make a ruling,' which is exactly what we plan to do," said Duncan.
According to the ruling, the Idaho Supreme Court is a little confused itself as to whether or not this is an administrative or legislative issue.
No matter how things eventually end up, city officials said this has never been about the monument itself -- rather how the city can avoid further legal distractions.
"This is about making sure that the city of Boise conducts itself in a very conservative, prudent, measured way so we're not having to get in the middle of legal battles in the future," said Duncan.
Should voters decide in favor of the monument, and that decision stands, we're told a new monument would be created to go back into Julia Davis Park.
The original statue would stay in place at Saint Michael's Cathedral.

Keep a watch on this and pray. God is doing something big!

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