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Chaldeans Overwhelmingly Plan to Vote YES on California Prop. 4 & 8 and NO on Michigan 1 & 2
By Sam Yousif :: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 :: 78721 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

California, USA – Chaldeans in California and Michigan are eager to vote on their state ballot initiatives.  In California an effort to prohibit or allow homosexual marriage is on the ballot as proposition 8. In Michigan, the statewide ballot is asking voters to either allow or reject the use of marijuana (proposal1) and embryo research (proposal 2). 

“Chaldeans in California and Michigan should understand that all three of these issues are very important.  The cost to Chaldeans and America is very high if gay marriage is allowed, embryos are killed for research, or drugs are made legal,” says Ann Bodagh, of El Cajon.  “Chaldeans need to work together to prevent America from slipping even further.”

Bodagh’s opinion is the majority, but liberal corporations, like Apple computers and Levi Straus jeans are throwing big money to help fund the passing of proposition 8.  In Michigan, drug companies, the DNC, and Planned Parenthood are hoping marijuana use and embryo research get passed. 

We examine all three propositions.

California Proposition 8

Bodagh says, “Proposition 8 places into the California Constitution the same language that voters already passed by 61% of the vote in 2000. The proposition is now necessary because an outrageous California Supreme Court decision overturned Proposition 22 against the will of the voters.”

In 2000, California voters overwhelmingly voted that, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”  However, four judges in San Francisco overturned the people’s vote triggering a constitutional amendment to restore the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.

Bodagh says voting YES on Proposition 8 does 3 simple things:

1) It restores the definition of marriage to what the vast majority of California voters already approved and what Californians agree should be supported, not undermined.

2) It overturns the outrageous decision of four activist Supreme Court judges who ignored the will of the people.

3) It protects our children from being taught in public schools that “same-sex marriage” is the same as traditional marriage, and prevents other consequences to Californians who will be forced to not just be tolerant of gay lifestyles, but face mandatory compliance regardless of their personal beliefs.

Other Chaldeans in California have shared that if Proposition 8 is not passed Chaldeans will get hit in the pocketbook.  Saad Brikho writes, “Do you want to know why they want to be able to marry.  Gay people want to marry because they want to share health benefits.  Sexually transmitted disease among gay is the highest in the nation.  Things like aids, herpes, and gonorrhea is more with gay people then anyone else.  Having one partner with insurance, means the insurance company has to cover the other partner.  This means higher cost in health care for everyone.  The insurance company will pass the cost on to healthy people.  Look how much the health care system has cost us.  All because of people living unhealthy lifestyle.”

Those voting No on proposition 8 say it is a matter of discrimination.  Backers of the proposition have spent 5 to 1 on helping to defeat the proposition and hope to persuade voters that the issue as a matter of civil rights.  The money seems to be working as pollsters say the margin is closing, but others say otherwise. 

One Google insider says that Google, a company who has donated and come out in helping to defeat proposition 8, has been purposely promoting the issue in its page ranking, on news sites, and in YouTube.  The blogger also writes that Google is removing videos supporting proposition 8, crossing the sacred line of censorship.  “This is not the frist time Google has been caught fixing information to further their agenda,” says Bodagh.

Hani Sadik of San Diego e-mails that it gay issues have nothing to do with discrimination and civil rights.  “We have laws to help guide people on how they should act.  Because their actions can hurt our country and passing laws about how people act is not discrimination.  Just like laws tell me I can not sell liquor to minors, we both want to, me for business and them for enjoyment.  But, the law says no because the action causes problems for the state.” 

Michigan Proposition 1 & 2

In Michigan, both John and Jennifer Shamaya are voting no on both Michigan’s proposals.  Proposal 1 is to allow marijuana to be grown and freely used by those who claim to have a medical need.  Proposal 2 is to allow for human embryo stem cell research. 

Stem cell research has captured the imagination of many in our society. Stem cells are relatively unspecialized cells that, when they divide, can replicate themselves and also produce a variety of more specialized cells.

“No & No,” John and Jennifer both say.  John adds, “If these proposals get passed we will have a flood of drugs in Michigan, like what has happened in California, and there is no need to kill human embryos for stem cell research.  Adult cells are better and ethical.  How can anyone kill a human just to use their body parts for research?  This is a bad dream of science fiction.”

Proposal 2 has enraged moral and ethics leaders at major universities and unanimously among religious churches.  The Catholic church has come out strongly against Michigan’s proposition 2 and have lampooned the backers for supporting the culture of death.  “

The coalition for American Research Ethics ( writes that the need for human embryo research for stem-cell study is unnecessary.  They write in a statement, “Research groups have generated “induced pluripotent stem” (iPS) cells with all the properties of human embryonic stem cells by direct reprogramming of adult cells.  There is no longer any need for Embryo Stem Cell research.”

When asked why the measure remains on the ballot in an e-mail, they reply, “There have been hundreds of million dollar investments in equipment, labs, employment, and training for Human Embryo research. With this new discovery of iPS their facilities and investment is threatened to become meaningless.”

The discovery of iPS prompted Ian Wilmut, creator of Dolly the sheep and one of the world’s leading authorities on the cloning process Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT), to announce that he was  abandoning  SCNT to focus on reprogramming instead.

Jennifer Shamaya, a research clinician in Livonia Michigan says, “Proposal 2 is all about money.  These big companies want to protect their outdated investment and get tax payers to foot their research and they keep all the profits.”

Her husband John adds, “Those who are moral and ethical know this is wrong.  The entire Catholic church and Jewish Orthdoxy have had panels of bioethicist review this.  They all say this a very bad proposal.”

Proposal 1 in Michigan has called for the legalizing marijuana by those who claim to have a medical purpose to get high. 

John Walters, America’s top anti-drug director says that the ballot proposal is bad medicine for Michigan.  Walters said, “proponents rely on sympathy, not hard facts, to gain support for allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes.  It's not a science-based review of the efficacy of this substance.”

Walters said medical marijuana initiatives like the proposal before Michigan voters on Nov. 4 are the first step in "a clear strategy to ... legalize drugs," exploiting marijuana's reputation as a less risky narcotic than cocaine and heroin.

John Shamaya  comments that legalizing marijuana will cost voters a great deal.  “We will all pay in more crime, car accidents, job injuries, children hooked on drugs, birth defects, and more.  This is a gateway drug to worse nightmares.  If this proposal is passed we will all have to foot the bill to pay for more police protection, more jails, and worse schools. This is obvious and proven in other states that have legalized the drug.  They all are now trying to ban it again.”

St. Thomas, MI USA

St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church
6900 Maple Rd.
West Bloomfield, MI 48322
Tel: (248) 788-2460
Fax: (248) 788-2153

Founding Pastor:
Rev. Hanna Cheikho

Current Pastor:
Rev. Frank Kalabat

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes, Retired  

Rev. Frank Kalabat

Rev. Frank Kalabat was born in 1970 in San Diego, California and entered St. Francis Seminary of San Diego, California.  The admission to the Catholic seminary made him the first born U.S. Chaldean to enter an American seminary.  In 1992, Fr. Kalabat continued his studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.  In July 1995, shortly after graduation he was ordained as priest by His Excellency Bishop Ibrahim N. Ibrahim.  

Fr. Frank chose Mother of God Parish in Southfield, MI. as his first assignment serving the Chaldean community as an associate pastor for half a decade.  In 2001, Fr. Kalabat was elected to serve as Pastor of St. Tomas Parish in West Bloomfield, Michigan where he remains today.   

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1942. Upon graduation Fr. Abrahim was admitted to St. Peter Chaldean Seminary in Baghdad, Iraq.  After a decade of studies and numerous degrees, Fr. Abrhim was ordained a priest in 1967.  He chose to continue ministering in Baghdad, Iraq.  There he was appointed the headmaster of the catechism at Mother of Sorrows Cathedral.  Fr. Abrahim also assisted St. Therese Church in Baghdad until 1978.  Afterward he was asked to assist St. Joseph Church in Baghdad and was appointed Parochial Vicar from 1978-1992. 

In 1992, Fr. Abrahim was called upon to assist the growing Chaldean population in Michigan.  Upon his arrival he was assigned to St. Joseph Church in Tory, Michigan.  Two years later Fr. Abrahim was asked to become the pastor of a Parish community in Windsor, Canada  where he remained the parish pastor until 2001.

Continuing demographic changes in Michigan required Fr. Abrahim to return to St. Joseph Parish in Tory as a Parochial Vicar, where he remained until 2006.  In 2006 he was elected to St. Thomas Parish as Parochial Vicar in West Bloomfield, MI. where he currently serves the Chaldean community.


Rev. Emmanuel Rayes

Rev. Emmanuel Rays was born in Araden, Iraq in 1930.  He studied at St. John Dominican Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood in 1954.  The Chaldean catholic ambassador ministered in northern Iraq from 1954-1963, in Syria and Lebanon from 1963-1980, and in the United Stated from 1980 to the present day.
Form 1980-1983, he was appointed associate pastor at Mother of God Parish in Southfield, Michigan.  From 1983-1989 he served as pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit, Michigan.  During the early 1990’s he ministered to the Chaldean community in Farmington Hills and was at St. Joseph Parish in Tory where he was Parochial Vicar until 2000.

Although Fr. Rayes retired in 2001, he remains active in serving the community.  He is the author of many articles in Arabic and is the editor-in-chief of the Al Mishal and Al-Tariq magazine.  He has translated and continues to translate many books from French and English into Arabic.