Republican Flier Says Democrats Will Ban the Bible

From Holden:

Now we know where Atrios’ C-SPAN caller gets her ideas:

The Republican Party acknowledged yesterday sending mass mailings to residents of two states warning that “liberals” seek to ban the Bible. It said the mailings were part of its effort to mobilize religious voters for President Bush.

The mailings include images of the Bible labeled “banned” and of a gay marriage proposal labeled “allowed.” A mailing to Arkansas residents warns: “This will be Arkansas if you don’t vote.” A similar mailing was sent to West Virginians.

A liberal religious group, the Interfaith Alliance, circulated a copy of the Arkansas mailing to reporters yesterday to publicize it. “What they are doing is despicable,” said Don Parker, a spokesman for the alliance. “They are playing on people’s fears and emotions.”

In an e-mail message, Christine Iverson, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, confirmed that the party had sent the mailings.

“When the Massachusetts Supreme Court sanctioned same-sex marriage and people in other states realized they could be compelled to recognize those laws, same-sex marriage became an issue,” Ms. Iverson said. “These same activist judges also want to remove the words ‘under God’ from the Pledge of Allegiance.”

[snip]

Mr. Parker, of the Interfaith Alliance, said, “I think it is laughable to think that someone could be arrested for reading out loud from the Bible.”

But Richard Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, argued, “We have the First Amendment in this country which should protect churches, but there is no question that this is where some people want to go, that reading from the Bible could be hate speech.”

Still, Mr. Land questioned the assertion that Democrats might ban the whole Bible. “I wouldn’t say it,” he said. “I would think that is probably stretching it a bit far.”