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Ever Heard of Chester (Chuck) Smalkowski? Well, You Should! (LONG)

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Synnical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-09-06 07:43 PM
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Ever Heard of Chester (Chuck) Smalkowski? Well, You Should! (LONG)
He and his family fought a hard battle against the repressive fundies and won.

In his own words from the the DU Oklahoma Forum, posted Fri Dec-09-05 05:56 AM in reply to an OP entitled, "It's not easy being a Liberal in Oklahoma"

Chuck replied:

Its even worse if you are a liberal and have no gods

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

The beginning:

I live in a small town called Hardesty but it is truly just another Salem. Please spare a few moments to read this.
My name is Chester Francis Smalkowski Jr. I am an American. I was in the military and injured during Para rescue training in the U.S. Air Force. I have an Honorable discharge. I am a Liberal. I have no Gods. I was brought up and schooled to be a Lutheran Minister. I say the Pledge of Allegiance as it was written by Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister. I accept evolution as the most promising theory to date. I have long hair. I ride a Harley. I love my family very much. My wife Nadia and I have three children, Nicole 15yrs, Czeslaw 11yrs and Bridgett 4yrs.
Our family has no Gods We do not need them. We do not want them. We believe in the Constitution of the United States. We believe that all life is precious and must be treated with respect. We bury our dead and mourn their passing. We laugh. We cry. We stand together as one family and when you harm one of us, you harm us all. You come to fight we fight. You come to share we share. You need help we?re there.

Hardesty has labeled us as devil worshippers. I assure you if we do not believe in bearded white men flying in the heavens with wings we surely do not believe in a black man in the ground with horns and a pointed tail.
The country leads by example said Judge Bridice. We now have a country that shouts if ?You are not with us you are against us!? Is it any wonder that with this manipulative rhetoric that teachers with students present told my daughter Nicole this is a Christian country and if you don?t like it get out! These teachers have since left Hardesty. Teachers watched as students said she was gay because she voted for Kerry, only homosexuals vote for Kerry, we are Christian we vote for Bush. They persecuted my daughter. They called her a half-breed. Made fun of northerners and Yankees. Teachers said they hated her. Having other students follow her around to catch her on the littlest infraction. No teacher ever tried to enlighten these misguided children. Instead the school encouraged more of the same. So those paid to educate our children instead used their position to persecute my daughter. Do you really think the other children benefited being use by teachers in this way? Taught to prejudge and single out those that are different. Hardesty School should be proud. It has never stopped to this day. The school board believes it can do anything. I think not.
School is for teaching not preaching. To supply our children with the tools and knowledge, not the seed of hate and divisiveness. My greatest gift to my children is that of a future of promise of a better and free tomorrow. Not hindered by the shackles of fear.

In Hardesty they teach fear. Just look at the Principal?s son wanting to go get a gun when he saw my daughter. What has he heard at the kitchen table? And the grand inquisitors, the school board so fearful of one child and family?s beliefs that they will do anything and with the help of corrupt police they might get away with it.
Hardesty knows my views and politics. They read my writings. Out here democrat is a dirty word. Liberal is blasphemy. They want to silence me. They call me the Devil.
They vilify. It?s the old labeling, calling someone a witch, devil, and old tom. They scared children into lying and thinking it was okay because it was against the devils daughter. Many in Hardesty know it! Some have come forward to tell the tale only to have their business threatened. Does this sound like a country that prides itself on the teachings of the man of peace? We never learn. We never learn because we are not willing to put the madness to rest. There is much more I could say but time is short and the, give us Barrabus mob want to feed. The republic for which it stands, does not stand out here.

So as to the incidents exactly a year ago? A year ago they remove my daughter from the basketball team because she refused to paticipate in ending cerimonies which was to recite the lords prayer.( this is a fact and confirmed by their lawyers own printed statements) This was a publc school! When I found out the real reasons I relised the principle and outher school employes had lied to my wife and I.So I had a talk with the principle On a saturday night leting him know I was going to sue the school. A fight ensued and I was charged with assault.
I never started a fight in my life and I have had many. I?ve seen them all, bullies, bigots, young bucks and just plane-bored idiots.
But a year ago today, I had a fight out in the street with the pronciple who lied to my family and intentionally harmed my child. he was 350lbs, an ex-Marine.
I weighed 170. It is simple just do the math. Believe what you want or what you need to believe.
I turned myself in within 2 hours of an arrest warrant. Bail was set high at $5000 for a misdemeanor. When I paid it, it was switched to $15,000. A man that turns himself in and owns land is not a flight risk. I am not charged with two charges; the misdemeanor was brought along because of the excessive bail! The Sheriff Benji Fuentes and policeman Guy Cook, who are this mans friend, live within a few doors of each other,have wives and relitives on the school board, never took both sides of the story, though they heard it. If they had it would have stopped right there. Instead they knowingly shaped the evidence to hopefully stop the lawsuit I said I was going to file. They even went so far as to hindering us in obtaining evidence that would prove my innocence and my daughter?s civil suit. That?s our taxpayer dollars at work. Police trying to stop a child from getting her constitutional rights.
Local papers print one side and say they cannot contact me. At best bad reporting at worse an attempt to shape public opinion. People say my phone is tapped and are scared to call me. There was surveillance of my property that violated our and guests privacy. There was a rumor started that I am a drug dealer.
A year later to the day they removes my daughter again from the basketball team for now she says the pledge instead of the lords prayer. The new charges against my daughter are bogus but she was suspended.
It is truly the middle ages out here. I know this must sound like I am making it up but I am not. These people really believe that liberals are the devils tool. That a public school is a place to force religion. That to work there you must be a church goe. Yet they have no problem in hurting my child. How many days must I see her come home with tears in her eyes? As I said before I was brought up to be a minister and I assure you these people do not follow the teachings of the prince of peace. They may say the Lords prayer but I have seen no following of that prayers wisdom out here.
The lawsuit was being concidered before the fight.People have said I am using the civil suit as a tactic. The civil suit against Hardesty school is about an incident that happened before the fight. Well, two more suits against the school are on the way and I plan to hold all those that lied about me or my family held accountable including the police.

I have been told ( by many lawyers)I cannot get a fair trial in Texas county because we do not believe in God and are liberals. That this is the Bible belt and all republican. Everybody?s related to everybody.

This trial is not about a fight it never has been but of a place called Hardesty and a school board with the help of the Sheriffs dept of Texas County that is trying to run a family out of town. The D.A. was willing to drop the charges if I left the county. The charges were switched from a misdemeanor to a felony when I refused. My local lawyer from Guymon was more than compromised and the DA knew it, yet she allowed him to continue until I found out and dropped him. He admitted it himself. As to my new lawyer, time will tell. But I trust no one out here. The control of the church even has lawyers scared to help me.
Remember the Judge in Florida?
Religion and government use fear to control. Fear is the killer of men?s dreams. Fear is king in Hardesty. Many know the real story but they will never say. Police harassed those that have. The police constantly harass my family. I challenged two police harassment bogus tickets, both dismissed. My wife could not pick up my daughter from basketball practice without being pulled over by a Sheriff Matt McCormick, whose stepfather is on the school board. Sheriff Bengi Fuentes has said he is going to put me in jail if he has anything to do about it. He is the investigating Officer. His wife is on the school board. Just what you want in a search for justice.
Clinton Martin, a school board member, calls me outside to fight at the Balko gamein Beaver county.. There are many witnesses. Saying he?s going to kick my f!!!!! a!!. He hides behind the principal and the glaring Hardesty school board continuing to taunt me. Why does he get a Texas county police car escort home from the game? Yet in Beaver county the police told me they cannot understand why Texas county made such a big deal out of it. The Hardesty school board insisted that the Beaver police charge me with something. The Beaver police refused. So what lies did they and the Texus county police dream up? My wife and I are now banished from coming near the school accused of threating children! Yet again I refure you to Beaver copunty police and their investagation found no warrant for any legal action. Therre are many witnesses that confirm my side of this latest incident. The school is in lockdown. The school board is up to their games again. It never ends. It is just another Salem witch trail except there are no witches just us liberals and atiests.
Yet when the principal?s son says he is going to get a gun when he saw my daughter entered the Gym. The Texus county cops say that was because of the disturbance I made but the facts are I never was there yet. There are many witnesses. A child in school says he is going to get a gun but the police say that is okay in Oklahoma. School board member Clinton Martin and Policeman Guy Cook were seen, after a game my daughter refused to pray and instead said the pledge, talking about how to keep us out of the games. They found out other girls at the next game were going to stand with my daughter and say the pledge. Well they figured out a way. More lies. More fear. Can?t you see this harms all? The school board conspires to stop some proud children from saying the Pledge? This is America?

The federal lawsuit scares them.( it goes to trial in May) They must silence my family and me. They do not want their true colors to be shown in the light of the day and in the public. Their civil attorneys needed another incident to cloud the facts. But in the end it will backfire. Big man Martin called me out. We talk some trash. I said bring it on. He started it .I was already leaving. He had no call. Now he has excuses and lies to hide that yellow streak. And a school board that is going to twist it into something else. That?s fine with me.
You want to run me out of town, Clinton Martin? Just get on the mat like you agreed.
They point at the speck in my eye yet there is a telephone pole sticking out of theirs. They condescend my family values? That I stand up for family and myself. Better look at yourselves.
In Hardesty promiscuity is prevalent; drugs are everywhere. Friday night is get drunk or high night for the teenagers. Dating is like anywhere else but without Sex Ed classes being taught, the inevitable happens. The adults are not much better. Adultery is big in Hardesty. So are all kinds of drugs. The police just look the other way or have some themselves. They all go to church on Sunday. What do these ministers preach? Fear? Hate? Stupidity? Surly not the teaching of the man Jesus.
Well my family does not do drugs. My daughter is a good girl. Played football on the Balko Team, The boys respect her. My son is a proud young man. When Clinton Martin was threathening me I was told my son stood by my side. My wife is a proud and beautiful Indian woman. We have been married and faithful for 17 years. We eat at a table every night as a family. My children are my band members. I can?t wait to see my kids after school. I walk up the dirt road to meet them. We are always together. It is just the way it is. We have traveled all over the country. We are a team.

So Hardesty wants to railroad me into jail for five years or more for a Saturday night brawl. Knock yourself out. We all know the real reason.
As to the federal case they robbed my daughter of the freedom to think and speak. They did it willingly and with forethought. And they hid behind badges and guns and the Cross to do it. Her emotional scars will last lifetime.
So blind and brazen in their disregard to the words of the Constitution the Hardesty School admitted their guilt and did it again exactly to the day one year later.

But what ever happens, I win. I?m the father of a good family and the daddy of a great bunch of kids. And the Smalkowski?s stick together because of love and respect. Not fear, not hate, not lies, not self-righteous hypocrisy.We are liberals and we have no Gods.
Can you blame us?



The middle:

Atheist using atheism as a defense in criminal court - found not guilty
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

The Smalkowski case attracted national attention after Nicole
Smalkowski was kicked off of the girls' basketball team after refusing
to stand in a circle with her teammates on the gymnasium floor of the
Hardesty public High School and recite the "Lord's Prayer." After
school officials learned that she and her family were Atheists, lies
were created about her as grounds to take her off of the team.

When her father Chuck discovered conclusively that public school and
law enforcement officials had lied to him about his 15 year old
daughter, he and Nicole and her mother Nadia went to the home of
principal Lloyd Buckley to attempt to discuss the matter with him.
Outside of his front fence, the principal struck Chuck, who blocked
the blow. Both men fell to the ground and Buckley sustained minor
injuries, the provable origins of which were strikingly contrary to
his under oath trial testimony. Buckley then took out misdemeanor
criminal assault charges against Chuck. After Smalkowski rejected the
offer to drop the charges if he and his Atheist family left the state,
the charges were raised to a felony. Chuck called American Atheists
for help.

On June 22, 2006, after only a little over two and a half hours of
deliberation, a span of time that included dinner, the jury found
Chuck "Not Guilty" of the felony charge of assault and of two lesser
included misdemeanor assault charges.

Edwin Kagin, National Legal Director for American Atheists and his
wife Helen drove from Kentucky to Guymon, Oklahoma for the five day
trial. Edwin had become registered as an attorney in Oklahoma for the
purpose of assisting Tim Gungoll, Chuck's attorney from Enid,
Oklahoma. Mr. Kagin conducted the voir dire of the prospective jury,
gave the opening and closing statements in the case, cross examined
the Superintendent of the Hardesty public schools, David Davidson, and
conducted the direct examination of the defendant Chuck Smalkowski.
Tim cross examined the other prosecution witnesses and conducted the
direct examination of Nicole and Nadia Smalkowski.

The Atheist and Christian attorneys worked together effectively for
the cause of justice and to vindicate an Atheist falsely accused.

The true significance of this trial is that this is the first case we
know of in American jurisprudence where Atheism has been directly used
in as a defense in a criminal trial.

Edwin introduced himself to the jury as National Legal Director for
American Atheists and asked the prospective jury in the Oklahoma
panhandle if they could accept the testimony of an Atheist over that
of a professed Christian. When the jury looked at him blankly, the
judge asked the prospects if they understood the question. One woman
spoke for many in the group by asking "What is an Atheist?"
Edwin explained that an Atheist was a person who did not believe in a
god or gods or in a supernatural world, and that the defendant and his
entire family were such persons. Many of the prospects said they
could not believe such a person over a Christian and were struck for
cause. To their credit, many members of the jury panel, including two
ministers' wives, told the judge they could not be fair to an Atheist
in such a situation and were excused.

Edwin also told the prospective jurors that his co-counsel Tim Gungoll
believed Jesus Christ to be his personal savior and that Tim was a
practicing Roman Catholic who asked if the jury might feel him a
hypocrite to his faith for defending Chuck. Ultimately a jury of
twelve was seated who had sworn that they could believe the testimony
of an Atheist over that of a Christian.

In closing argument, Edwin told the jury that it really should not be
necessary for an Atheist to tell them it is wrong to lie under oath,
as he reminded them the Christian school officials and the police had
done in their sworn trial testimony. "Thou shall not bare false
witness against thy neighbor. Ninth Commandment. Eight if you are
Roman Catholic," Kagin said.

The jury believed the Atheists. Unanimously.

The night of the verdict, tornados of unusual violence descended on
the panhandle of Oklahoma. The home of the Principal who had brought
the false charges against Chuck Smalkowski was severely damaged.

This fact has no relationship whatsoever to the verdict.

A civil lawsuit in Federal Court, with the Smalkowski Family and
American Atheists as Plaintiffs, is contemplated.



Not the end in Chuck's own words here on DU:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...


JUST ANOTHER SALEM


The bailiff took the piece of paper from the foreman of the
jury and handed it to the Judge. He opened the paper and
while staring at it he nodded. The courtroom was silent and
the jury stared straight ahead.
I have been in many situations where my life or limb were on
the line but I was still in the game and had a hand to play.
But not here, here I just sat waiting for the verdict.

Though I worried about being sent away for five years on
bogus charges, my dread was the Christian mob. They knew I
must be found guilty in order to slow or stop the civil case
being filed in Federal court. Since the start of my
daughter's stand against the public schools disregard for the
law of the land, it was imperative to run us out of the county
to make any civil action non valid. With me in jail for five
years running my family out would be a whole lot easier, or
so they might have thought.
The courtroom was packed for it is the Bible belt. There was
no love in this courtroom.
The loving Christians brought their children to hear the
verdict. They brought the town. They brought ministers. I
even saw another Judge in the back of the room. The Judge who
in an earlier hearing while slapping an inch thick stack of
papers on his bench saying with a list of witnesses this big
you had better be a good boy. It was lies then, it was lies
now and the DA knew it! (She was later forced to hand over a
written statement she denied for over a year existed!)
People prayed openly for a conviction. Many holding their
bibles. During the trial the Prosecutions side of the
courtroom was packed. Only my son and Edwin Kagin's wife,
Helen sat behind me, but now there was not enough room in the
whole courtroom.
Yet now the so-called victim, the 325 lbs victim, the ex
Marine, hurrahs, was nowhere to be found. Neither was the
woman assistant district attorney anywhere to be found.
Whose vindictive, bogus case this was from the start.

What type of place is this? Well this is not the place for a
little debate in a coffee shop with the sweet salt air rolling
up from San Francisco bay. This is a place where the children
write on their schoolbooks the south will rise again. This is
a place where they say that black people caused slavery! Where
they burn rock CD's. Mormons are the tools of Satan. That my
daughter is gay cause only homosexuals vote for Kerry and
Christians vote for Bush. Atheists worship Satan!
Where religious fanaticism is fused with political rhetoric
and political leaders pander to this madness.
This place has a sickness, a malignant disease and it is
spreading. Edwin saw it first hand.

There has not been many a trial with a Not Guilty verdict in
this county for years. The head DA is good friends with the
self-righteous in the courtroom and greets them all by name.
You know the type.
Many old women in the courtroom are taking notes. Others
have been taking notes at every hearing for the past year and
a half! They strain to listen not wanting to miss one juicy
word. With the pens and pads they write continuously. The
pads shaking with every push of the pen. Even writing down
what my children spoke amongst themselves.
Blue gray haired old Christian spinsters bitter for wasting
all those fruitful years now just waiting for those pearly
gates. These are truly the wicked. You have seen them before.
With their bogus self-righteousness they strut and sneer. How
far we have not come.
Others had walked out into the hall and warned a police
witness saying that justice must be served, that justice
better be served. The judge called a hearing on the threat.
He warned the crowd that if it happens one more time he would
have no choice but to throw out the case. He was between a
rock and a hard place. He knows my lawyers are watching and
the loving Christians are out for my blood, and they are
watching too. The law, elections and politics were all in
play. The Judge left the court for his chambers and stayed
away for a quite awhile.

The Christians, the loving Christians! Praying to a God whose
wings are dripping in the blood of innocent men, woman and
children down through the ages. Truly hypocrisy is one of
their commandments and the blood of the innocence one of
their sacraments!
Christian against Christian, Christian against Moslem,
Christian against Mormon. Basically Christian against anyone
or anything that challenges their pathetic little fairy tale.

Go to any Indian reservation and see the lies and broken
promises by a country with "Under God" in their
pledge.
I assume I need not have to explain about the loving hymns
sung in church on Sunday and beatings of black slaves on
Monday. But on Monday night the good old Master has a little
tippy toe over to slave huts for a little brown sugar. While
the queen of the manor is in the master bedroom past out on
an opium tonic. Praise the Lord!

Well that was then but now the court was about to hear the
verdict. There was a feeding frenzy about to begin with the
dirty little atheist and his family put in their place with
him in jail and the family run out of town. Like the teacher
told my daughter "This is a Christian country and if you
don't like it get out!"
I could hear my heart beat in my ears and I dreaded the
cheers from the righteous mob that were about to begin.
The pain of having my family being in the front row to
witness this swirling cesspool of hatred come to its
inevitable end with my head on a pike, sucked the air right
out of my lungs.

It was truly just another Salem. Different time and place.
Same characters with new names. Oh, no gallows or big oak
tree this time. But if they could they surely would.
How far we have not come. I know, I already said that but do
you really understand what a tragedy it means? The whole
universe is ours if we want it but instead we must gravel in
the dirt having to debate the obvious.

I have been standing against injustice most of my life. It is
my nature. I am a child of the 60's and proud of it. But what
of my poor family? They stood so proud and strong. They are
tougher than I will ever be. I had told them do not cry. Do
not give these bastards any satisfaction. I told my wife if I
see you cry I will surely loose it. I said it is in the
Federal courts we will set things right and send that wall
higher than it has ever been. On the wall behind us was a
painting of the signing of the Declaration.
The judge handed the verdict to the clerk. The only sound was
the paper. The paper in the clerk's hands with the hand
written words that spelled my doom, my family's fate and the
inevitable cheers from the Christian mob.
With my guts in my throat and no air to breathe. The court
clerk read the decision of the jury.

We the jury find the defendant:
On the charge of Aggravated Assault and Battery:
Not Guilty!
On the charge of Assault and Battery:
Not Guilty!
On the charge of Assault:
Not Guilty!
On the charge of Battery:
Not Guilty!

Not a word, not a sound. The lynching had been cancelled.
I took my first free breath in almost two years. I looked at
the jury and mouth the words thank you. I gazed at the floor
as floodgates opened, I dared not move my head that others
might see. Charley don't cry, but free air has its effects.
With all their praying, lies, crooked cops, warning that
justice better be done, packing the courthouse with their
followers, Even a teacher on the jury who had taught at the
Hardesty School. (Our motion to take her off the jury
denied.) Not guilty was still the outcome. The evidence was
obvious. This was a bad case. And 12 men and women had the
guts.

From the start of this legal fight my lawyers said Atheism
must be kept out. That it was a no go in the Bible belt. I
was just adamant that Atheism be brought in. For it is the
reason. It was the motive for all the lies and hate. I felt
it was about time that this dirty little secret of hate,
persecution, Christian madness and hypocrisy is brought out
into the light of day. When I told my lawyers this they all
gave me the same bewildered stare.
So one by one, I dropped one lawyer then two. Then I had a
hard time in finding another one. My third lawyer was still
trying to convince me to keep my atheism out even up till the
day of the trial. I still said no. Somewhere along the line I
talk to the ACLU out of San Francisco. Who let me know my
first civil lawyer was not telling me the whole story. I was
advised by them and many others to complain to the Bar about
him.
You see he never told me that the prayer in itself is
illegal. That the schools in this area were not following the
state and federal funding guidelines. When I asked him after
finding out from the ACLU. He said yes it is against the law.
I told him I want to have it stopped. He told me he would not
for he was a Christian and he believed there should be school
prayer. His statement floored me for it bordered on madness.
I said what you believe and what you do for a client is two
different things and that you took an oath. He still refused.
It did not matter to him that I had already given him $10,000
dollars. He knows we are not rich. So I wrote a letter to him
to complain about his refusing to take my daughters civil case
where it should have gone from the start. And I asked for my
money back. He sent me a bill for another $5000 saying it was
the charge for reading my letter and wasting his time.
In my search for a civil attorney it became clear that no one
would touch this case. In all of Oklahoma I could not find an
attorney. My criminal attorney said he would look at it but
only after I paid him his $15000 for the criminal case. He
sent me a letter that the funds for the criminal were coming
too slow and suggested that I seek other counsel for the
civil matter. But even after he got his $15000 he would only
take it if I paid him more. (Now that I have won the criminal
case he wants on the civil. Suffice to say he is off the
civil!)

Eventually I contacted the American Atheist, which was
referred to me by Edward Tabash, who was referred to me by a
Mr. Robert Tierman. I told them my problem in finding an
attorney willing to take church and state case in which the
people are blatantly breaking the law. Yet no one will take
it. American Atheist, being out of another state, could not
refer me to anyone. But they said they would try to help.
The ACLU out of Oklahoma City refused. They sent me some
standard letter. It really hurt that I did not even rate a
return call or a reason. I felt betrayed, lost and confused.
Was this the United States? Where freedom reigns?

The whole family was under constant stress. Police trying to
get search warrants to the property by having ex-employees
file false statements. Other cops trying to hire ex-cons to
beat me up. The whole town knows of it! The Sheriff trying to
have my bond pulled by the bail bondsman when there was no
legal way to do it. My kids have been out of school since
November. Principal's son saying should he get a gun when he
sees my daughter and my son. DA has yet to reply to our
concerns. The Department of Human Services comes to my place
saying they received a complaint that I starve my kids. It
was even obvious to them the charge was bogus.
We have become very good at using back roads. The police
follow us around. Traffic tickets that when challenged were
dropped in court. Not to mention the stares and whispers, the
betrayal from employees, one of my healthy dogs dying. Brush
fires starting up upwind.
An FBI agent even said, "You aren't kidding". When
it was obvious someone followed us and was watching our
meeting out in the middle of nowhere. I was told about a few
things. All I can say is that some of the crooks out here now
charged with crimes wore badges and guns! But he could not
help my family and me. Not without witnesses willing to come
forward. One scared witness left the state. The last words
she spoke to me were, Chuck I don't want to end up dead in a
ditch!
Just what you would expect life to be like out here in the
Bible belt!

The roller coaster of emotions we went through every minute,
every day. It was truly a hell. There were days we spoke
little. Other days we spoke late into the night. You get to a
point you become numb, but it doesn't last. For it is all
aboard and you are on the roller coaster again.
My poor family. They were standing tall. But they would not
even be in this place if it were not for me and my bright
idea about centralizing our business. We all missed the
desert. The free open Mojave Desert. My family did not ask
for this. They deserved better. I saw them all suffering.
Many a night I would sit in the barn alone with a pint of
scotch and look at the high beams and the rope on the wall.

Then out of the blue my wife received a call from Ellen
Johnson who said they had a lawyer that can help us, an Edwin
Kagin who is their legal director. Well I called him up, and
our civil case is up and running.
Edwin Kagin also by my request came to my criminal case for
the two cases are obviously interrelated. There were also
other reasons.

Simply stated without Edwin Kagin, Ellen Johnson and American
Atheist I would be in jail now, or worse. Without them, we
would have no federal case on separation of church and state.
The only group, the only lawyer that would stand with my
family and me to protect the wall and not cringe at me
wanting to put atheism as part of my defense.
In Edwin's opening statement American Atheist magazine was
shown. The crowd almost rioted. He explained that Atheism was
not a dirty word and that it was a conclusion. That my family
and I are not devil worshippers. We just have no Gods.
It was the basis of the case. It was the danger. It was the
truth. Yet the only lawyer to go there freely was Edwin
Kagin.

In a world where superstition is the norm and those who seek
another path are ridiculed or worse. Being an atheist takes
guts. Freedom is never freely given. The good fight is always
there.
Oh you can hide yourself in the latest sitcom or have one or
two more scotch and waters but the good fight is still there.
You can run to your malls and buy yourself crazy with credit
card frenzy. But the good fight is still there. You can look
away and deny allegiance. But the good fight is still there.
These are the times that try men's courage. You can debate
till you're blue in the face. It will not change a damn
thing.
Our forefathers are on our side in this fight. Trust me. From
Adams to Madison to Jefferson and Paine they all knew the
dangers of a Theocracy. They wrote the Constitution to assure
it. And within the federal courts we can protect this nation
from a Theocracy.
The wall between the church and state must stand. But the
wall is being battered and cracks now appear. The Christians
are at the gate attempting to breach the wall and send us back
down the road to an age of darkness, bloodshed and fear.
My family and myself are willing to stand and fight the good
fight. If we lose some skin, so be it. We have no more else
to give. We are financially done. Thanks to American
Atheist, Ellen Johnson and Edwin Kagin for the first time we
do not fight alone.
Please stand together with us and fight the good fight. The
fight that our forefathers began. Lets make the wall so high
between Church and State that they who wish to tear it down
will know better and be content with staying in their
churches.
For freedom has never been free!
There can be no freedom for all if the wall does not stand.

The wall must stand
Chuck, Nadia, Nicole, Czeslaw and Bridgette Smalkowski




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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-09-06 08:01 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thanks for this
He is right-the wall between church and state must stand. If not, the madness displayed in this town will be found throughout the USA.

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Synnical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-09-06 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thank Chuck!
And his family.

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Synnical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-09-06 08:26 PM
Response to Original message
3. ..
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Anarcho-Socialist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-09-06 08:31 PM
Response to Original message
4. A kick for this one
:kick:
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GOPFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-09-06 08:35 PM
Response to Original message
5. Way to go, Chuck!
The people of Hardesty better hope that Chuck is right, that there is no God, that there is no heaven and hell, because if hell existed, a lot of Hardesty's residents would be spending eternity there.
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King Coal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-09-06 08:56 PM
Response to Original message
6.  They should have hung that heathen Chuck.
With a medal that is. LOL!
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Synnical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-09-06 09:31 PM
Response to Original message
7. .
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Synnical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-09-06 10:14 PM
Response to Original message
8. .
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-09-06 10:56 PM
Response to Original message
9. I think Chuck Smalkowski and his loving family, for the wall must stand
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NMMNG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-09-06 11:12 PM
Response to Original message
10. Oh come now, there's no discrimination against atheists in the US!
:sarcasm:
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progressoid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-10-06 08:56 AM
Response to Reply #10
14. Exactly. Everyone knows that Christians are persecuted in Amurica.
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Synnical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-10-06 07:30 AM
Response to Original message
11. .
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Lochloosa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-10-06 07:50 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Here let me help you out. Kick...thanks.
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Synnical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-10-06 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. That's funny
Thanks.

You made me :)
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-10-06 07:58 AM
Response to Original message
13. tiny town with issues..
Our poor defendent must have a very high profile.

http://www.epodunk.com/cgi-bin/popInfo.php?locIndex=158...
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Synnical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-10-06 09:31 PM
Response to Reply #13
19. Tiny town, big issues n/t
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vickitulsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-10-06 02:29 PM
Response to Original message
15. Marvelous! Amazing! Wonderful! I'm with you Chuck!
And I do know exactly the sort of madness mindset you are talking about. I moved back to Tulsa three years ago after spending 18 months in a tiny town in southeastern Oklahoma called Vian. The only way I could survive in that place was to simply ignore everyone except my roommate and some horse buddies I met in a nearby town. I rode my horse, a racehorse that had been injured but I nursed him back to full health and loved the fact that I could tie him up in my back yard right on the main street and no one minded. I enjoyed life there in some ways very much, but I had to just ignore most of the people there or I'd have lost my mind.

So much about small town life can be wonderful, but the Bible banging mentality of so many who live in small communities, especially rural ones and especially in "heartland America," can drive you insane. I'm so proud of you, Chuck, and your terrific, loving family who withstood such venom and spite from the ones who call themselves "believers."

Believers in WHAT, exactly? Hate? Perversion of everything the man Jesus ever preached? Discord and destruction? Violence against a peaceful family? Torment of a child? Promulgation of LIES to harm others whom you've never even gotten to know?

*Harumph!* I'm disgusted with the whole lot of the ignorant, Bush-voting, hypocritical lot who have made life for sane intelligent people in this country utter hell for the last five years. When the love of my life contacted me again yesterday after several years of being out of touch due to circumstances out of our control (not unlike yours with the threat of prison), one of the first things I told him was that I didn't believe in all that Christian garbage anymore!

He didn't hesitate -- he told me he understood completely, and I got the feeling he was just shifting that direction himself. I used to be a "believer," but I have seen too much hypocrisy and hate among the ranks and preached by the leaders of the Christian community. I have had my fill up to here with their fantasies that favor and reward ONLY THEM, while everyone else they'd like to see burn in hell. It's like their special joy, to imagine atheists and other unbelievers roasting over hot fires. I've never seen as much malice and contempt, to the point of violence, heaped on anyone as Christians have heaped on others.

And now one of their maniac tribe is the most powerful man in the world, ruling our country and imposing his "Christian" will on the world as much as he can. I think these people forget that Jesus didn't criticize the sinners when he walked the earth ... he attacked the CHURCH PEOPLE!!

He called them hypocrites and vipers and warned them about how they lived. These people can say "I love Jesus" and "I hate my neighbor" in the same breath and not even see the disconnect!

Thanks, Chuck, for going through a hell of their making to prove who the righteous ones in their dirty little three-act play really are. I'm sorry you have had to take this burden upon yourself and your family, but I'm grateful that you're doing it. I'll stand with you any day, and proudly!


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byronius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-10-06 03:28 PM
Response to Original message
16. Always frightening when small towns are insane.
I've been in little Texas towns up in the panhandle that are just like Hardesty. Hair up on the back of my neck. Can't stand that stuff -- the good 'ol boy HateFest. Chuck, you're a stronger man than I am.
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-10-06 08:46 PM
Response to Original message
18. My personal thank you to the Smalkowski Family for this fight!
I always laugh when some gung-ho right winger chants that "Freedom isn't free!". Not to put down the soldiers or the vets, but people like the Smalkowskis do as much or more to protect our freedoms!

By the way, why is it that small towns like this lay claim to the title "Heartland of America"? All too often they represent the worst distortions of the American ideal. I'm not knocking small towns, just the ones that imagine the only "real Americans" are white Christians.
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neebob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-11-06 09:40 AM
Response to Original message
20. Kick and hello from a nice Mormon girl from Salt Lake City
who's alive and well and trapped in the body of a cynical atheist chick in a blue bubble in Colorado, who's wondering why the Smallkowskis aren't getting more attention and support from their fellow liberals on DU.
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-11-06 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
21. Kick
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Synnical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-11-06 10:36 PM
Response to Original message
22. . . .
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me b zola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-11-06 11:28 PM
Response to Original message
23. I wish I could nominate...but I am too late
I agree that the wall of seperation of church and state must be fortified, because it is under assault.

Interesting to have this story the same time as John Dean's book on authoritarian conservatives is coming out. I've lived in a (very)small town in mid-MO, and I know the personalities, small town psychology & politics that Chuck described in Hardesty.
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