Idaho Values Alliance Re-Launch Draws Sparse Crowd and Offered Mixed Messages

COMMENTARY

Idaho Values Alliance President Gary L. Brown.

IVA President Gary L. Brown

Former abstinence educator and pastor of Coeur d’Alene’s NorthStar Church , Gary L. Brown, stood at the steps of the Idaho Statehouse Friday and announced his new role as president of the Idaho Values Alliance.

IVA had been dormant since former polarizing Executive Director Bryan Fischer left Idaho to become a national figure with the American Family Association and is now famous for his anti-Muslim hate speech.

Brown addressed a small crowd of about 30-40 for Constitution Day about the country now being, “[E]mbroiled in a different kind of war [from the American revolution]. This is a war being fought on the battlefields of the hearts and the minds of every American and every Idahoan. This is a war that is not being fought with muskets and bayonets. The weapons of this war are ideas, principles and values.”

Idaho Values Alliance President Gary L. Brown at the podium flanked by event sponsor Wayne Hoffman of the Idaho Freedom Forum and to Brown\’s right his mentor Ron Vieselmeyer.

Brown first introduced Ron Vieselmeyer as the author of the 1989 Idaho legislation that was, “instrumental in leading the state in requiring our public schools to teach the Constitution on this [Constitution] day.”

Openly anti-gay, Vieselmeyer is on the board of directors of Brown’s other organization Reach America, Inc. that promotes Brown as an abstinence education consultant.

During the 2005 same-sex marriage debate the Idaho Statesman’s Dan Popkey reported Jan. 30, 2005, “Ron Vieselmeyer, a former lawmaker form Coeur d’Alene and family counselor, said he’s studied gays and lesbians. They are suicidal, guilt-ridden sex addicts from who the state must protect us, just as it defends us from terrorists, gangs and drunken drivers, he said.”

This is the man who Brown introduced Friday as his “mentor.”

Brown told me in a phone interview Wed., IVA had no immediate plans for lobbying the legislature that his focus would initially be on values education and what he calls a revival of Americanism.

When Hoffman took the microphone, he gave a different impression. “Having Idaho Values Alliance back in the scene working on public policy in the state and making our families stronger is absolutely huge and is critical and will have a huge impact come January when the legislature meets again.”Hoffman also said he was “excited to be partner” with the IVA.

Idaho Values Alliance Press Conference Obama Swastika

God led African American artist Lee Arthur Rice II, (left above center) from voting for Obama to making him out to be a Nazi. At a public event where the media was invited to cover events taking place on State property, Rice exercises his Constitutional First Amendment right to free speech through displaying his art and handing out marketing materials. This staunch defender of the Constitutional Freedoms and Liberty that made this country great, hypocritically attempted to prevent this member of the press from taking a close-up of the swastikas Rice drew in Obama’s eyes.

In closing, Brown told the audience his agenda for IVA is to build a network of 11,000 Idahoans by Nov. 11, 2011 and announced three initiatives. The first is to resurrect the Black Robe Regime who according to Brown preached to, and recruited, people in the colonies to join the American Revolution.

“We’re asking pastors, priests and rabbis all to join together and take a stand now in join in this resurrection of the Black Robe Regimen with 111 pastors by 2011,” Brown said.

Black Robe Regiment

The Black Robe Regiment wants Uncle Sam to Stand Up For Christ.

Today the Black Robe Regiment is a Christian fringe organization that promotes, “Biblical responsibility to stand up for our Lord and Savior and to protect the freedoms and liberties granted to a moral people in the divinely inspired US Constitution,” and assert there is a, “false wall of separation of church and state.”

The BRR market themselves as victims claiming, “The church and God himself has been under assault, marginalized, and diminished by the progressives and secularists. Christ has been attacked on all fronts and challenged by the progressive courts and groups such as the ACLU.”

I think someone needs to tell the BRR that it is the ACLU that fights to protect THEIR freedom of speech, religion etc. I do not think they know that ACLU stands for American Civil Liberties Union! Perhaps someone should tell them.

Browns second IVA initiative is to, “Place the 10 Commandments, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution in the hands and the homes of every Idahoan.” Browns third initiative is to personally visit every community in Idaho by Nov. 11, 2011.

Idaho Values Alliance Press Conference

A crowd of about 30-40 assembled for the Idaho Values Alliance press conference re-launch announcement and for the Constitution Day event organized by the Idaho Freedom Forum that directly followed

After his presentation was over, I asked Brown, who claims to want respectful open dialogue, if he would open the IVA blog up to comments, something his predecessor was criticized for not allowing. “Well,” he said, “we are right now examining exactly how we are going to handle those type of things, so let’s just leave it at that right now. I think we better wait for another time.”

Idaho Values Alliance Press Conference Constitution Day Protester

(left) The only person with signs. Is he a protester? (right) An eight foot tall framed replica of the original U. S. Constitution

In a phone interview with Brown a few days earlier, Brown told me he had relationships with members of Congress in Washington that would be beneficial to his work with the IVA but did not say who those members are.

I pressed Brown again on this question in person Friday and he responded, “I have been gone from DC for about two years so let’s talk about that another time.” Continuing to press him on public’s right to know who in Congress is supporting IVA, all Brown would say was, “I’ve got some calls into some offices to ask for permission to reveal their, I am just big into protocol. I’m not trying to hide anything again you’re not going to have any problems knowing who we associate with it’s just that when you talk about a congressional office that there is a decorum in Washington.”

Brown said he would follow-up with me when he is able to release the names of Congress members that be support him and IVA. “You will know who they are, said Brown, because they will be publicly supporting us.”

Brown is really good at kicking the can down the road, dodging fair questions that speak to the credibility of his statements. His less than artful style is hauntingly reminiscent of his predecessor. This “recasting” of the IVA into a revived organization with a new focus appears to be a surface only re-branding, a toned-down version of the same extreme religious right ideology wrapped up in the tea party’s flag.

Idaho Values Alliance Press Conference

(left) Davy Crockett proudly displays Old Glory with an image of an American Indian in the center. (right) Ben Franklin struggles with today\’s new fangled technology.

Both of us knowing we are on opposite ends of the political spectrum, and agreeing to disagree, Brown was always pleasant respectful, and perhaps both of us overcompensating for our passion on these issues, shook hands several times.

I told Brown that my mother always said, “You are free to swing your arm all you want, until it hits my nose.” The history of the IVA’s propaganda an policies have been smacking the gay community in the nose since its inception. I told him I hoped things would be different. He did say he would be happy to meet with the gay community.

After failing miserably at holding Bryan Fischer accountable for his lies and bullying propaganda, Idaho media has a second chance to hold IVA’s feet to the fire in its next incarnation.

14 thoughts on “Idaho Values Alliance Re-Launch Draws Sparse Crowd and Offered Mixed Messages

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  4. The name is Lee Arthur II of the Shines-Rice family. Unfortunately, the reporter is sadly mistaken about my actions. Had he taken the time to ask and speak with properly and in a professional manner he would have discovered the true regarding my drawing and actions. It is hypocritical and unethical to claim to be a reporter and not understand how to be or act like one. Much love and God bless.

  5. Shelly W. -“

    When religious extremists bring up NAMBLA, and they always do, it is used to vilify and dehumanize LGBTQ people by equating us with pedophiles or, as in your comment, to slam the ACLU for defending unpleasant or ugly speech. My comment was simply to make the point very clear that NAMBLA has NOTHING to do with, and is NOT CONDONED, by the LGBTQ community.

    To your point about attorneys, the ACLU does not go and seek out cases to defend. Cases are brought to them by people and organizations who believe their Constitutional rights have been violated. It is not a matter of whether a plaintiff can afford a private attorney or not.

    Rigorous defense of the First Amendment is essential to a free democracy particularly when it is unpopular speech. I personally abhor the hate speech of Bryan Fischer but I would not want violate his constitutionally guaranteed freedom of free speech or his civil liberties to stop him. Instead I respond with more speech.

    This fundamental point about liberty is lost on religious extremists with their my-way-or-the-highway theocratic ideology where they defend the Constitution only for themselves but quickly abandoned it when they do not agree with what is being said.

    One of my favorite civil libertarians said to me, “If only people truly understood the vexing nature of our Constitution. Especially the First amendment which often times means defending the speech you may find deplorable.”

    Those who do not get that, do not truly understand what freedom and liberty really means, and likely never will.

  6. I never said that you or your site advocated any ot the things NAMBLA stands for. My point was that the ACLU needs to be a little more selective of the people they represent. NAMBLA could have hired thier own private attorneys. There are numerous infringements on free speech that the ACLU could defend without messing around with a despicable group like this. My only point was that the ACLU whom Buddy defends lost (or should have) all of its respect by defending this bunch.

  7. First and foremost let me make it perfectly clear that this site and I, the author, DO NOT advocate sexual relationships between adults and children EVER. Furthermore I repudiate NAMBLA and what they stand for as as does the LGBTQ community, PERIOD!

    Why did the ACLU represent NAMBLA?
    “The ACLU of Massachusetts’ represented members of NAMBLA because, while the ACLU does not advocate sexual relationships between adults and children, we do advocate robust freedom of speech. This lawsuit struck at the heart of the First Amendment. It is easy to defend freedom of speech when the message is something people find reasonable. The defense of freedom of speech is most critical when the message is one most people reject.

    Here is what the ACLU of Massachusetts has to say about this case:



    ACLU of Massachusetts Secures Victory for Freedom of Speech and Association Case Against NAMBLA Members Dismissed With Prejudice

    April 23, 2008

    BOSTON — In a victory for freedom of speech and association, the long-running suit for damages against members of the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) has been dismissed with prejudice. The ACLU of Massachusetts had represented the defendants in the suit, asserting that the organization’s views were protected by the First Amendment.

    The case, filed eight years ago, sought to hold the defendants responsible for the murder of Jeffrey Curley, a 10-year-old Cambridge boy who had been abducted and murdered by two men who lured him into a car.

    Copies of NAMBLA publications were later found in the apartment of Charles Jaynes, one of the killers, but nothing in these materials was about abduction or murder. “This was a misguided effort to spread the blame for the horrific murder of Jeffrey Curley, to shift responsibility away from those who actually committed the crime,” said John Reinstein, Legal Director of the ACLU of Massachusetts. “The principle is as simple as it is central to freedom of speech. Those who do wrong should be held accountable for their crimes.

    Those who write about ideas, no matter what we think of those ideas, have a constitutionally protected right to freedom of speech under the American system of liberty.”

    The case was sponsored by the Traditional Values Coalition and the Thomas More Center. After the suit was filed, Thomas More Center lawyers attempted to claim that Jaynes had met with NAMBLA members and had been trained to abduct and rape children. There was no evidence of any contact between Jaynes and NAMBLA other than his brief membership and his receipt of the organization’s publications.

    He did not attend their meetings and never met any NAMBLA members. When the court ordered the Curleys’ lawyers to come forward with an offer of proof of their claims, they instead agreed to dismiss the case. “It was a meritless case from the start,” said ACLUM Executive Director Carol Rose. “It was dragged out for years by groups who shamelessly preyed on a grieving family in order to raise money for their own causes by attacking a group whose ideas they found offensive.”

    “Our position was straightforward: the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment does not allow anyone to be sued simply for what they have written or said. That principle holds true no matter what a reader may later do,” said Rose. “This victory ensures that those who commit crimes be held accountable for those crimes and not be permitted to blame their actions on things they have read or seen.”


  8. Buddy you are right about the ACLU’s benefits to society.

    This is the same ACLU that defends NAMBLA (North American Man Boy Love Association) on one hand while it sues San Diego over the Boy Scouts use of a portion of Balboa Park. It is all about tolerance as long as you agree with the Progressive Ideology. The following goal comes from NAMBLA’s web site and explains why the ACLU is such a savior to all, including children of all ages.

    NAMBLA’s goal is to end the extreme oppression of men and boys in mutually consensual relationships by:

    building understanding and support for such relationships;
    educating the general public on the benevolent nature of man/boy love;
    cooperating with lesbian, gay, feminist, and other liberation movements;
    supporting the liberation of persons of all ages from sexual prejudice and oppression.

  9. What’s up with the Paul Revere guy and Davy Crockett? Didn’t they get the marching orders from FOX televangelist Glenn Beck? No more silly outfits! If you don’t obey Glenn Beck you’re not a good tea bagger!

  10. @ Mr. Kilmarx – you’re only proving how totally misinformed you are about the role of the ACLU and its track record for defending free speech, freedom of religion, and human rights in America. The ACLU has been in the forefront of defending individual rights for decades, what upsets the ultra right-wingers is that they defend EVERYBODY’s rights, not just those of a few! It’s easy to drink the Tea Bagger kool aid, but it might be in your best interest to learn the facts before shooting off your mouth.

    The ACLU of Florida (2007) argued in favor of the right of Christians to protest against a gay pride event held in the City of St. Petersburg.
    http://www.aclufl.org/pdfs/StPeteLetter.pdf

    The ACLU of Louisiana (2009) argued for the right of Christian preachers to distribute pamphlets at the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival. http://content.usatoday.net/dist/custom/gci/InsidePage.aspx?cId=thetowntalk&sParam=30796437.story

    The ACLU of Louisiana (2009 ) filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Donald Leger, a devout Catholic and prisoner on death row at Angola State Prison. http://www.laaclu.org/newsArchive.php?id=342#n342

    The ACLU of Delaware (2009) represented the Episcopal Diocese of Delaware in a threatened eviction action against a congregation that was meeting in an elementary school on Sunday mornings.

    The ACLU of the National Capital Area (2009) brought suit on behalf of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish firefighters and paramedics. http://pacer.cadc.uscourts.gov/common/opinions/200903/07-7163-1168865.pdf

  11. “I think someone needs to tell the BRR that it is the ACLU that fights to protect THEIR freedom of speech, religion etc. I do not think they know that ACLU stands for American Civil Liberties Union! Perhaps someone should tell them.”

    No I think that you should go back and look at the record of the ACLU in dealing with religious freedoms. They have fought for years to erase every vestige of the Judeo Christian foundation of which this country was founded.

  12. My greatest fear is that Americans are too ignorant to understand and defend themselves against this crap! If not then all this will all go away on its own.

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