Banning the Bible

Does anyone have the full text of the RNC flier telling West Virginia and Arkansas voters that liberals want to ban the Bible?

Eugene Volokh asks a good question:

Has anyone posted the full text of the Republican National Committee mailer, first mentioned in Blogistan by Josh Marshall a week ago, accusing “liberals” of wanting to ban the Bible?

Reading the front and back text as posted in Steve Clemons’s Washington Note strongly suggests that the “Bible-banning” charge is just an hysterical exaggeration about the issue of taking “under God” out of the pledge; from the usual design principles of such mailings, the inside is probably just a pitch for money and volunteers. Still, Eugene is right that it would be useful to see the entire thing.

Since Eugene has been witheringly critical of some recent right-wing nonsense on homosexuality, including outrageous statements by Lester Kinsolving, and Jimmy Swaggert, and since he’s deeply (and justly) respected in all of Red Bloggerville, there’s considerable potential value here.

Note this isn’t just some group of random wingnuts: this comes from the Republican National Committee, and in the week since it came out the RNC hasn’t retracted or apologized. Mr. Bush, who’s so big on the Ten Commandments, doesn’t seem to recall that one of them is “Thou shalt not bear false witness.”

One of Clemons’s commenters points out that the plutocratic party in this country has been using this stunt since it was called the Federalist party and the Democratic candidate was Thomas Jefferson. Presumably it worked then, and works now. The only way to reduce the frequency with which this appeal to fear is employed is to make it expensive for those who employ it by arranging for as many as possible of those who will be offended by such items to hear about them when they appear.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

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