Extremist Group Should Not Use Public Funding PDF Print E-mail
AppEd - Opinions and Editorials - AppEd - Opinions and Editorials
Written by Andy Duncan   
Saturday, 02 August 2014 09:42

Once again, the Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization has asked the Allegany County commissioners for public funding (“Cemetery group renews funding request,” July 25). Once again, it has tried to obscure its own history and its own current activities.


As any Times-News reader knows, CHCO has graver issues on its mind than merely “preserving our area’s rich historic heritage.” CHCO has been an activist, extremist political organization for years, on a host of incendiary fronts unrelated to cemetery maintenance.


As I type this on my computer, I have the current CHCO website displayed on my other screen. On July 25, 2014, its home page boasts a “Don’t Tread on Me Flag” and links to a number of other political sites, for example: the anti-reproductive-rights, anti-marriage-equality Manhattan Declaration; the Southern Party, which advocates Southern secession from the United States; the anti-reproductive-rights group Defend Life; the conservative political think tank The Heritage Foundation; the Allegany County Conservative Tea Party Caucus; and the Fluoride Action Network.


Most telling of all is CHCO’s homepage link to Truth in History Ministries, whose “Statement of Faith and Purpose” (http://truthinhistory.org/statement-of-faith-and-purpose.html) says: "We believe that the Anglo-Saxon, Germanic, Celtic, Scandinavian and related peoples are the only people that fulfill all the prophetic earmarks that identify them with being the literal physical descendants of the ancient people of Old Testament history known as Israelites."


In other words, only white people are God’s Chosen Ones. Has CHCO President Edward Taylor tried to explain that to his new allies in the A.M.E. Church?


One might ask what any of that has to do with local cemetery preservation. Longtime Times-News readers wondered the same thing in 2001, when CHCO brought to town secessionist Southern Party speakers Jerry Baxley and Earl H. Kepler; in 2006, when CHCO linked to the Constitution Party presidential campaign of the Maryland neo-Confederate Michael Peroutka; in 2008, when CHCO bedeviled our public officeholders for months to get Confederate flags in the public schools and the Ten Commandments on the courthouse lawn, and when CHCO allied with Taylor’s other political organization, the Maryland Fathers Rights League; and in 2010, when Taylor reminded the faithful of “our great patriotic fight to defend Confederate history, which we consider our godly duty.”


Anyone can plug CHCO’s Web address (http://www.chco-online.org/) into the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine (https://archive.org/web/) to see all this documented on the group’s own website through the years.


While you’re there, check out CHCO’s public face on Feb. 1, 2001, when it stated a position it now contradicts: “In 1985 the board of directors decided that the organization would never use government grants. Only private funds are used.”


Yes, the preservation of local cemeteries should be an apolitical endeavor, but it never will be as long as Taylor’s organization continues to yoke the cause to every right-wing fringe movement that comes down the pike.


CHCO has every right to express its political views, but not at public expense. CHCO’s founders had that right the first time, back in 1985. Let their ideas compete in the marketplace. If their followers dwindle and their budget dries up, so be it. The idea of publicly funding these zealots should be buried in an unmarked grave.


Editor's note: Originally published in the Cumberland Times-News on July 30, 2014.

Comments (1)
Thumbs up
Richard Kerns
Friday, 03 October 2014 21:12
Belatedly, spot on! It's all about accountability. Not what you say, it's what you do. Kudos on posting truth; it's often in short supply in these environs,and these times...
Please register or login to add your comments to this article.

What's Happening?