The British government (the Brown administration) wants to hold people for up to 42 days without charging them with a crime. A number of people in the House of Lords are openly objecting to what would be a serious degradation of civil liberties. The 42-days could easily be used to punish the political opposition regardless of whether or not that opposition might otherwise be considered the loyal opposition. The 42-day period is ripe for abuse. Just think about the negative impact upon one's life, family, business, employer, reputation, etc., if that one is held for 42 days while being completely innocent and while being afforded zero due process of law (no judicial oversight). The government would need to demonstrate nothing in order to incarcerate citizens and visitors alike. If they don't like what you are saying, they could punish you by holding you 42 days regardless of whether or not what you are saying is correct or ought to be protected political speech.

Some of those in the House of Lords who have publicly come out against this plan include the following:

Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller, former head of MI5, has said, "I have weighed up the balance between the right to life – the most important civil liberty – the fact that there is no such thing as complete security, and the importance of our hard-won civil liberties. Therefore, on a matter of principle, I cannot support 42 days' pre-charge detention. I do understand different views and that there are judgments honestly reached by others, and I respect these views."

Lord Falconer, former lord chancellor, said, "I'm absolutely clear that there is no advantage to fighting terrorism that will be gained by extending pre-charge detention to 42 days." "We in this country determine whether people should be detained on the basis of a judge's view. I find it worrying that someone could be detained in prison on the basis of a deal done with another political party."

Lord Goldsmith, former attorney general, said, " cannot keep somebody for as long as it takes." "I dealt with the plots which we believed were being uncovered in the summer of 2006. I flew back from my holiday. I stayed with the prosecutors and got detailed briefings through that period. I was anxiously considering and wanting to know whether a longer time was necessary. It wasn't. I asked the prosecutors, 'If you had had longer than 28 days, would you have used it?' 'No', they said. I cannot support this. I believe that detention without charge for a long period would undermine fundamental freedoms on which this country is based, of which this country should be proud, of which I will say my party ought to be proud. I will not undermine them in this way."

"Former head of MI5 says 42-day detention plan is 'unworkable'," by Ben Russell. Wednesday, 9 July 2008.


The following should appear at the end of every post:

According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":

Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.

Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.

Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.

Political Campaign Intervention

Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.

Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.

Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:

  • Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
  • Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
  • Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
  • Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
  • Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office

Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:

  • The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
  • Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
  • We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
  • When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
  • It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
  • We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
  • We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
  • When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
  • We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
  • It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.

And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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