Tag Archives: ACLU

Methodist minister said caring about aborted babies is idolatry

It’s bad enough that the United Methodist Church supports legalized abortion, but what a Methodist pastor says about those who care about unborn babies should tell us how low the church has sunken.

Steve Ertelt reports for Life News, May 18, 2015, that pro-life advocate Sarah Terzo, who has a knack for documenting the history of the abortion debate and the abortion advocacy movement by posting quotes from pro-abortion activists through the years, posted a new quote that features Methodist Minister John M. Swomley.

Terzo explains that Swomley is an ordained United Methodist minister who was professor of Christian Ethics (!) at St. Paul’s school of Theology in Kansas City, Missouri from 1960 to 1984, president of Americans for Religious Liberty, and a longtime board member and sometimes vice president of the pro-abortion American Civil Liberties Union and chair of its church–state committee.

This is what Methodist Minister John Swomley wrote about pro-life Americans in his 1999 book Compulsory Pregnancy: the War against American Women:

Opponents of abortion in America have attributed to fetal life a sacredness that is actually idolatry… Fetal idolatry denies a woman’s right to control her body, her life, her destiny, all of which must be sacrificed to an embryo or fetus once she is pregnant…

Fetal idolatry shows no mercy. … One of the major critiques of idolatry about unborn life is its lack of concern for the abundant or purposeful life to which all of us should be called. No one of us should be an unwanted child or have to experience emotional abandonment or lack of compassion and love in childhood.”

Nothing much has changed in the United Methodist Church (UMC) since Swomley’s book. As examples:

This is why pro-life Methodists have left the denomination over the last couple of decades and continue to leave the church in droves, causing historic low membership rolls for the church.

John M. Swomley

I did an Internet search for John M. Swomley and discovered that he died on August 16, 2010, in Kansas City, Missouri at age 95 after living with Alzheimer’s for several years.

That’s 95 years more than the millions of aborted unborn babies, whom Swomley dismissed as “idols,” who never had a chance to breathe even one day of air.

See also:

~Éowyn

ACLU sues feds in bid to make Catholic groups provide abortion to illegal immigrants

unborn-baby2

Fox News: Providing food and shelter to illegal immigrants isn’t enough for federally-funded Catholic organizations, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which is suing the federal government to help ensure the religious organizations provide abortion and contraception to them as well.  

The suit aims to obtain government records related to reproductive healthcare policy for unaccompanied immigrant children in the care of federally funded Catholic agencies, which do not believe in abortion.

“We have heard reports that Catholic bishops are prohibiting Catholic charities from allowing teens in their care to access critical services like contraception and abortion– even if the teenager has been raped on her journey to the United States or in a detention facility,” said ACLU staff attorney Brigitte Amiri.

Almost 60,000 unaccompanied minors illegally crossed over from Mexico border last year. Nearly a third were young girls, and Amiri claims up to 80 percent were victims of sexual assault.

The government contracts with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to care for those children until they can either reunite with a relative or face an immigration hearing. The organization has received $73 million overall from the government- with $10 million coming in to care for unaccompanied minors in 2013 alone.

A letter from the USCCB shows the organization strongly objecting to a regulation proposed by the Obama administration requiring contractors provide abortions to immigrants who have been raped.

“The Catholic Bishops are taking millions of dollars in federal grants- and then imposing their beliefs on this vulnerable population who they are supposed to serve… and that raises serious concerns under the separation of church and state provision in our Constitution,” said Amiri.

But the bishops are hitting back at the ACLU- maintaining they are well within their rights to exercise religious freedom while taking care of the minors.

“For decades, we have provided exemplary services to this vulnerable population without facilitating abortions, and despite ACLU’s extreme assertions to the contrary, the law not only permits our doing so, but protects it,” said Kevin Appleby, Director of the USCCB’s Office of Migration Policy and Public Affairs.

Appleby says instances in which a client under his organization’s care asks for a service contrary to the beliefs of the Church are rare. He insists the USCCB informs the government of a girl’s desire to access reproductive healthcare if the government has legal custody of that child.

“Let’s be clear about the ACLU’s purpose here: ending the productive and successful partnership between the Catholic Church and the federal government on the care and shelter of vulnerable populations. Denying us the freedom to serve betrays the very children the ACLU is purportedly attempting to help,” he told Fox News.

The ACLU is only suing for federal documents on the USCCB’s policies at the moment, but will consider further legal actions depending on what those documents indicate. The government has not yet officially responded to the ACLU’s request.

Planned Parenthood logo

Just send the illegals to Planned Parenthood; they’d be more than happy to do abortions.

DCG

Terrorist who was accessory to over 30 deaths receives just 7 years in jail

kahn

Oregon Live: In a surprise move, a Portland sanitation worker pleaded guilty Friday to providing money to a terrorist who died in a 2009 suicide bombing outside an office of Pakistan’s spy service.

The suicide bombing in Lahore killed more than 30 people.

A Portland federal grand jury indicted Reaz Khan just after Christmas 2012, accusing him of taking part in a conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. Khan’s lawyers vigorously denied the allegations.

Less than two months ago, the American Civil Liberties Union joined the defense team and appeared ready to challenge the constitutionality of surveillance operations that helped U.S. government agents make their case against Khan. It was expected that Khan’s legal team would target the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA, which allowed the government to electronically eavesdrop on Khan.

In an odd twist, the federal judge presiding in Khan’s case, Michael W. Mosman, also sits as a member of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, in Washington, D.C., which authorized some of the government’s warrantless spying on Khan.

Khan’s lawyers had scheduled a status conference in the case for Friday, usually a time to wrangle over the scheduling of legal arguments and other judicial housekeeping before trial. But in an abrupt turnabout, Khan’s primary lawyer, Amy Baggio, told the court that she had reached a plea deal with government prosecutors that would allow for a reduced sentence.

Khan, 51, a Pakistani-born naturalized U.S. citizen, admitted to the judge that he was guilty of being an accessory after the fact in a conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists that resulted in death.

Khan admitted arranging for suicide bomber Ali Jaleel to receive about $2,450 in Pakistan before the attack. He also admitted to providing advice and financial assistance to Jaleel’s wives after the bombing.

kahn2

In the highly structured plea deal, Khan is expected to receive a sentence of seven years and three months in federal prison. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years and a $125,000 fine.

The FBI had arrested Khan in March 2013, but the court allowed him to post bail — a rarity in Oregon’s federal judicial district — so that he could prepare for trial in the national security case.

The government accused Khan of exchanging emails with Jaleel, a fellow Sunni Muslim who was killed in the May 27, 2009, bombing and small-arms attack at a compound in Lahore, near offices of police and Pakistan’s spy service, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency.

Khan, a wastewater treatment operator on unpaid leave from his job, was accused of wiring money to Jaleel, part of an old pact to seek martyrdom in the name of Allah.

Prosecutors won’t say when they think Khan grew close to Jaleel, a native of the Maldive Islands and more than a decade Khan’s junior, but Jaleel left home for a Pakistani madrassa as a teenager and returned to the country repeatedly.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ethan D. Knight and Charles F. Gorder, who serve on the national security team in the Portland office of the U.S. Attorney for Oregon, had assembled a trove of emails between Khan and Jaleel.

They were expected at trial to seize on a Jan. 14, 2006, email in which Jaleel reminds Khan about their shared promise to seek martyrdom in the name of Allah. A line from the email appears to be Jaleel quoting Khan’s own words: “This world is of no use to us so let’s sacrifice ourself for the pleasure of Allah in his way???”

The government accuses Khan of making good on those words, funding Jaleel’s training as a terrorist in 2008. Sentencing is scheduled June 8.

DCG

Oklahoma City in America’s spiritual war: 10 Commandments monument smashed into pieces

eye-of-the-storm

There is a ferocious spiritual war in America, and Oklahoma City seems to be at the center, targeted by malevolent people and forces.

In 2009 when Republicans were in control, the state legislature gave the green light for a Ten Commandments statue, paid for with private funds, to be placed outside the state capitol building in Oklahoma City.

Three years later, in November 2012, a 6-feet tall granite monument of the Ten Commandments was erected.

10 commandments monument outside Oklahoma state Capitol

Almost immediately, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) leveled a lawsuit to remove the monument, claiming that it violated the state constitution’s ban against using public property to support church or religion.

The ACLU’s lawsuit was followed by the New York-based Satanic Temple declaring their intention to build a 7 ft. tall statue of their master next to the Ten Commandments — all in the name of “religious parity.”

Then, on September 21, 2014, a local satanist group conducted a blasphemous “Black Mass” right smack in the Oklahoma City Civic Center.

Alton Nolen

Alton Nolen

Three days after the satanic Black Mass, on September 24, 2014, a recent convert to Islam, 30-year-old Alton Nolen, walked into a Vaughan Foods administrative office in Moore, a suburb of Oklahoma City, and attacked two female employees with a knife. Nolen beheaded Colleen Hufford, 54, and repeatedly stabbed Traci Johnson, 43, who survived the attack. (See “Of course he did: Obama Official Praises Mosque Of Oklahoma Beheader Alton Nolen”)

Mark Vaughan, the company’s chief operating officer, who is also a reserve sheriff’s deputy, shot Nolen, stopping the attack. Nolen was charged with first-degree murder and assault and battery with a deadly weapon, and may also face federal charges as well.

Writing for CNN, Mel Robbins is incredulous that the FBI refuses to call Nolen’s attack and beheading a terrorist attack:

It was a terrorist attack, and everyone knows it. Why won’t the government say so? The Washington Post reports that the FBI found ‘no indication that Alton Alexander Nolen was copying the beheadings of journalists in Syria by the Islamic State … adding that they are treating this as an incident of workplace violence.’

Workplace violence? You can’t be serious! Oh wait — the FBI must mean “workplace violence” as in the case of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the terrorist convicted in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting that killed 13 people and left many more wounded.

On September 19, 2014, the ACLU’s lawsuit to remove the Ten Commandments monument was thrown out by an Oklahoma County judge.

So satanists took matters into their own talons.

Zak Patterson reports for Oklahoma City’s KOCO that at approximately 9 p.m. on Oct. 23, 2014, a man drove his car into the Ten Commandments monument and smashed it into pieces.

The suspect told the Secret Service, upon his arrest, that Satan had told him to do it. He admitted that he had urinated on the monument before running it over.

The suspect reportedly also made vague threats at the Oklahoma City Federal Building and said he would kill President Obama and spit on a photo of Obama. The man was taken into custody. The vehicle involved was abandoned and has since been impounded.

The cleanup is underway and parts of the Ten Commandments monument will be restored.

The ACLU of Oklahoma made this statement following the incident:

“The ACLU of Oklahoma and our clients are outraged at this apparent act of vandalism. While we have and continue to seek the removal of the Ten Commandments monument from the Capitol grounds through the judicial process, the Ten Commandments constitute a strong foundation in our clients’ deeply held religious beliefs. To see the Ten Commandments desecrated by vandals is highly offensive to them as people of faith. Our Oklahoma and Federal Constitutions seek to create a society in which people of all faiths and those of no faith at all can coexist as equals without fear of repressions from the government or their neighbors. Whether it is politicians using religion as a political tool or vandals desecrating religious symbols, neither are living up to the full promise of our founding documents.”

An official with the US Attorney’s Office said if enough evidence is found against the suspect regarding his alleged threats against the president then a report will be submitted to the US Attorney’s Office.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call OHP at 405-425-7709.

Michael Reed Jr.

Michael Reed Jr.

The police have since identified the man as Michael Tate Reed Jr., 29. He is from Roland and was taken to Oklahoma County mental facility for an emergency order of detention and a mental evaluation.

Reed’s mother, Crystal Tucker, said her son “would never deface something that meant so much to him. He takes the Ten Commandments very seriously.” Tucker said Reed has been battling breakdowns for two years ever since he was injured at work four years ago. (See “Psychiatric nurse says half of patients have a spiritual affliction”)

Tucker said when her son “has these breakdowns, the one thing that is foremost in his mind, his religion, is the thing he takes it out on.” But Reed does not worship Satan, the mother said. “Anyone who knows Michael, knows he loves his God. Right now, everyone is praying for him.”

Well, mom. I suggest you ask your son who “his God” is.

See also:

UPDATE (July 1, 2015):

The satanists win.

On June 30, 2015, in a 7-2 opinion, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that the 10 Commandments monument must be removed from the grounds of the state Capitol because the monument violates Article 2, Section 5, of the Oklahoma Constitution which prohibits the use of public money or property to directly or indirectly benefit a “church denomination or system of religion.” Read more here. (H/t FOTM’s MomOfIV)

~Eowyn

Ten Commandments monument to remain on OK Capitol grounds

ten commandments

NewsOK.com: An Oklahoma County judge ruled Friday that a Ten Commandments monument on the state Capitol grounds is constitutional. Attorneys for the group that sued to have the monument removed said they will appeal that decision

District Judge Thomas Prince ruled the monument’s placement is constitutional and that it can remain in place during the appeals process. Prince on Friday granted the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission’s request for summary judgment, halting the lawsuit from advancing to trial.

Extensive briefs have been filed by both parties in the case — the state arguing the monument should be allowed and the American Civil Liberties Union taking the other side. Prince heard only brief arguments Friday before rendering his judgment.

“Today’s ruling is a clear message that the Ten Commandments can be displayed on public grounds like the Oklahoma Capitol because of the historical role the text has played in the founding of our nation,” state Attorney General Scott Pruitt said.

“The Ten Commandments monument on the Oklahoma Capitol grounds is constitutional because of its historical value.”

“The U.S. Supreme Court found constitutional a nearly identical monument in Texas,” Pruitt said. “We were confident in the state’s case from the start and appreciate the court’s thoughtful consideration and ruling in the state’s favor.”

Hiram Sasser, legal director for the Liberty Institute, also represented the state in the case. He said: “This is a great victory for the people of Oklahoma. Ten Commandments monuments are routinely upheld as constitutional across the country. This is just one more example of how the Ten Commandments monuments may be constitutionally displayed.”

The display, donated by Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, was installed Nov. 15, 2012, under the direction and with the permission of the Capitol Preservation Commission.

The American Civil Liberties Union argued the case on behalf of four plaintiffs, including a minister, a retired businessman and two former educators. The ACLU said that it will appeal the judgment, which was based on legal precedent pertaining to religious monuments involving state money.

The fifth section of the state constitution’s Bill of Rights reads as follows: “No public money or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, donated, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary, or sectarian institution as such.”

The ACLU will appeal to the state Supreme Court within 30 days of the judgment being filed, Oklahoma ACLU Legal Director Brady Henderson said. The state’s high court may first send the case down to the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals, he said.

“We respectfully disagree with the decision of the court,” Henderson said. “The plaintiffs in this case do not seek the removal of the Ten Commandments monument from the state Capitol lawn because they find the text of the monument offensive, but rather because, like many Oklahomans, the Ten Commandments constitute a core part of their sincerely held religious beliefs, and it is offensive to them that this sacred document has been hijacked by politicians.”

“We will appeal this decision and ask the Oklahoma Supreme Court to find that the Oklahoma Constitution does not give the government the power to cheapen inherently religious texts.”

ACLU Executive Director Ryan Kiesel said, “I think everyone involved knew this wasn’t going to be the last word in this case. This was just one step in a process.”

“Not only is the exploitation of the Ten Commandments for political purposes an insult to the many Oklahomans who incorporate the commandments into their religious observance, it marginalizes those Oklahomans of different faiths and no faith at all by sending a distinct message that they are less welcome at the state Capitol.”

“We aim to ensure the freedom of future generations of Oklahomans to make their own decisions about faith remains intact and free from political interference. We knew going into this case that it would ultimately be decided by the Oklahoma Supreme Court, and today’s decision places us one step closer to a resolution by the state’s highest court,” he said.

See also: Satanists to hold “Black Mass” in Oklahoma City.

DCG

Let’s Make Abortion Fun & Trendy!

abortion-is-murder

The following article is by Louise Mellon on the ACLU. My comments are in parenthesis.

The new romantic comedy “Obvious Child” has managed to do something pretty extraordinary — it’s made abortion sympathetic, and funny. (Oh, really?)

In it, main character Donna has an abortion after a drunken one-night stand. But unlike most other characters who grapple with this question, Donna doesn’t torture herself. She makes the decision without angst, guilt, or extenuating circumstances. And like millions of American women, Donna follows through, then moves on with her life. (How quaint)

A movie about an experience this common – nearly one in three American women will have an abortion in their lifetime — shouldn’t feel so revolutionary. But it does. (One in three? Really???)

Our culture still stigmatizes abortions and the women who have them. When President Obama issued a statement of support on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, he didn’t use the word abortion once. Think about that — in a statement supporting the decision that recognizes the constitutional protection to abortion, abortion wasn’t mentioned. (This is a rare example of the left admitting what deceitful liars they are.)

Even within the reproductive rights movement, we have a million ways to signal abortion without saying it. We talk about “personal, private decision making,” “women’s health” or “reproductive health care.” (More admitted lies.)

Even I, who have devoted my life to defending reproductive rights, have friends who want an abortion but won’t admit it to me. Instead they’ll call and tell me their “friend” needs help. That speaks to a frightening level of shame. (Gee, I wonder why? Could it be because murder is a shameful act?)

Here’s the truth: We all know – and probably love – a woman who’s had an abortion. Indeed, we likely know several women, and love them. We just don’t know it.

Here’s another truth: Even if we don’t agree about abortion, we can agree that we shouldn’t judge a woman unless we’ve walked in her shoes. Life, after all, is messy. And decisions aren’t always black and white. (Sure, they are. That’s what the Ten Commandments are all about. Thou shall not commit murder.)

Abortion stigma causes real harm. Even the simple silence around abortion hurts women. It makes women afraid to talk about their experiences, even with trusted friends and loved ones. It encourages politicians to chip away at women’s ability to make this decision for themselves – and then say they’re doing it for our own good. Stigma, and the silence it nurtures, enables a culture that tells doctors and nurses they can refuse to treat a woman who seeks an abortion because she is untouchable — declining even to take her blood pressure or provide her with pain medication, lest they be tainted by association. (So abortion stigma causes harm, but the physical murder of babies doesn’t? Someone get this woman to a shrink. Now!)

That’s why the “Obvious Child” is so welcome. It deftly reflects the experience of millions of women across the country – that we sometimes get pregnant when we didn’t want to and decide to have an abortion because it’s the right decision for our lives. (Risking eternal damnation a right decision? Hmmn… I don’t think so.)

Want a fast $60? Just cough up a sample of breath, saliva and blood

no way

Drivers can earn $60 with roadside blood test, breath check

Seattle Times: Government-hired survey teams will soon ask hundreds of Washington state motorists to answer questions and provide samples of breath, saliva and bloodall to give safety and police agencies a clearer sense of how many people drive impaired.

The roadside surveys are voluntary, and participants will be paid up to $60, under the federally funded project this summer.

National officials are collaborating with the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, which is hurrying to gather data before retail marijuana gains a foothold. That way, officials have a baseline from which to measure any safety effects of legalization, said commission spokeswoman Jonna VanDyk.

The roadside surveys began Friday and will continue over the weekend in Spokane and Yakima counties, followed by Kitsap and Whatcom counties later this month, and probably King and Snohomish counties, she said.

The study contractors plan to survey 150 drivers in five locations per county, for a total 4,500 participants.

Crews will not block or slow traffic, officials say. Drivers at a stoplight would encounter civilians wearing orange vests, with signs saying “Paid Voluntary Survey,” then be asked if they wish to participate.

Other National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) studies have caused controversy elsewhere — including a lawsuit in Pennsylvania — where drivers said they felt compelled by police to stop and participate. The NHTSA program in Washington state will be run by the same contractors, Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, but has been designed with extra safeguards, such as keeping police off the front line.

Any biological samples will be destroyed when the findings are published, the state says. Names and license numbers won’t be recorded, and therefore the samples won’t be archived or cross-checked by government agencies, VanDyk said.

The state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union was consulted and says the program respects Washington state’s constitution and culture.

“In other parts of the country, they used law-enforcement officers either as an actual roadblock, or waving people over, which would have raised our hackles,” said Doug Klunder, privacy counsel for the ACLU in Seattle.

State officials have likened the scene to a carwash where fundraisers beckon people to pull over, Klunder said.

Last fall, police in Fort Worth, Texas apologized and removed themselves from a NHTSA roadside study after people said a police presence made them feel compelled to participate, a news report there said.

General traffic roadblocks were found unconstitutional in Washington state in a 1986 Supreme Court case, City of Seattle v. Mesiani, on grounds they violate Article I, Section 7, which says: “No person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law.”

NHTSA conducted roadside surveys in various states in 1973, 1986, 1996 and 2007, and is covering the cost for this month’s Washington study. It will be conducted by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, which VanDyk said has done 30 studies in other states.

Preliminary findings are expected this fall, with a follow-up survey in early 2015 to gauge the impact of marijuana sales, said program manager Shelly Baldwin.

“It’s really hard to predict how this data will be used downstream,” VanDyk said. The findings might help local police decide how much time to spend on DUI patrol, for instance, she said. “As a state, we’ve committed ourselves to reducing fatal collisions,” she said.

Given experience in California, she’s confident the surveys will include an accurate cross-section of drivers, even people who’ve been drinking, because they are enticed by the $60 stipend for the 20-minute survey. She said a survey there found 1 percent of drivers who participated were legally drunk, and 14 percent had some drug in their system, most commonly marijuana.

Questioners will carry detectors that pick up alcohol in the air and will alert the team if someone has roughly 0.05% blood alcohol content. Those would activate even before somebody blows into a breath-testing device, has their mouth swabbed or gives a blood sample. Klunder said the detectors that sense alcohol in the air cause some concern, but one could argue that merely agreeing to take the survey is a form of consent.

“That is probably the most coming-to-the-edge part of that, in my mind,” Klunder said. “But still it’s limited, and how they use it is limited.”

The state threshold for driving under the influence is 0.08%, but research has found that reaction times decline before that level. If somebody blows between 0.05 and 0.08, the team would urge the driver to give the keys to a sober person, or accept a cab or motel room. Failing that, a police officer would explain the same options, said VanDyk. The police officer serves a second role, to protect the survey teams, which will sometimes work at night or in tough neighborhoods, she said.

The survey is meant to check for some 75 substances, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

Marijuana’s effects on driving are considered more difficult to predict than alcohol. “Traces of marijuana can be detected in blood samples several weeks after chronic users stop ingestion,” an NHTSA report acknowledges.

Alison Holcomb, author of Washington’s legal pot law and an ACLU lawyer, said collision studies are needed, and not just roadside surveys, to get a clear picture of how recreational marijuana affects or doesn’t affect traffic safety. Generally speaking, alcohol can lead to more aggression, while marijuana impairment leads to slower speeds and reactions, she said.

Surveys in other states have found good news — the proportion of drivers over 0.08 has gradually dropped from 7.5 percent in 1973 to 2.2 percent in 2007, NHTSA reported.

Washington state has been striving to reduce road deaths through its “Target Zero” program, and is making steady progress. Traffic fatalities here have declined from 825 in 1990 to 444 in 2012, according to federal tables. Still, an average 232 people a year die in the state because of impaired driving.

DCG