British Magistrate Summons Head of Mormon Church to Court Over “Fraudulent” Beliefs

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President Thomas S Monson of the Mormon Church 

President Thomas S Monson, the head of the Mormon church, has been summoned before a Magistrate in Britain. The charge is that the teachings of his faith are fraudulent and that religious leaders can be prosecuted for teaching these beliefs and then asking for donations.

The charges were originally filed by Tom Philipps, a former Mormon bishop, stake president and area secretary who has evidently decided that he no longer believes the teachings he once taught. A Mormon convert named Stephen Bloor also filed a charge. Mr Bloor has, presumably, deconverted.

That, of course, is their privilege. I don’t believe in the teachings they once taught and believed, either. What I do believe is that people have the right to think whatever they want and that neither of these two men should interfere with others in this matter. I do not understand the spiteful, I’ll-burn-your-house-down crazy meanness of people who do things like this.

However, I do see a pattern of nuisance lawsuits against people of faith on both sides of the Atlantic. Being drug into court has a chilling effect on the exercise of free speech and the rights of personal religious belief. I think that is the immediate (but not the only) purpose behind these legal actions; to intimidate people of faith into backing down and withdrawing from public debate.

President Monson is an American citizen who lives in Salt Lake City, UT. I don’t know if the British government intends to make this an international situation by starting extradition proceedings. According to news stories, probably not.

President Monson is not charged with breaking American law. In fact, his work as a religious leader is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. He is not subject to this British Magistrate and her fanciful court orders. If it was me, she could just go ahead and draft up her arrest warrant. I wouldn’t be going to England.

The same procedure by which the summons was issued to President Monson was also used in the past by a Palestinian activist against the Israeli justice minister.

District Judge Elizabeth Roscoe signed this order.

From The Telegraph:

A British magistrate has issued an extraordinary summons to the worldwide leader of the Mormon church alleging that its teachings about mankind amount to fraud.
Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been ordered to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London next month to defend the church’s doctrines including beliefs about Adam and Eve and Native Americans.
A formal summons signed by District Judge Elizabeth Roscoe warns Mr Monson, who is recognised by Mormons as God’s prophet on Earth, that a warrant for his arrest could be issued if he fails to make the journey from Salt Lake City, Utah, for a hearing on March 14.
In one of the most unusual documents ever issued by a British court, it lists seven teachings of the church, including that Native Americans are descended from a family of ancient Israelites as possible evidence of fraud.
It also cites the belief that the Book of Mormon was translated from ancient gold plates revealed to the church’s founder Joseph Smith by angels and that Adam and Eve lived around 6,000 years ago.
The document suggests that asking members of the church to make contributions while promoting theological doctrines which “might be untrue or misleading” could be a breach of the Fraud Act 2006.The Church dismissed the summons as containing “bizarre allegations” and signalled that Mr Monson has no plans to attend.It was issued in response to a private prosecution attempt by Tom Phillips, a disaffected former Mormon who now runs MormonThink a website highly critical of the church.

 

Abortions for Valentine’s Day. Gotta Love It.

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Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood

 

I know what my husband is going to get me for Valentine’s Day.

I know because I told him what to get.

I’m no fool. I know better than to just send him off to wander around in a store and come back with a slow cooker or a set of wrenches or maybe a case of the real man’s answer to every question in life: WD40.

I’m not going to share my request on this blog.That’s between me and my guy. But one thing I will say is that it is not on the list of things that Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood, says that women want for Valentine’s Day. According to her, women need “really radical stuff” like

  • Preventive care
  • Birth control
  • Cancer screenings
  • Safe and legal abortion
  • Well women visits
  • Preventive care
  • Maternity care
  • Or, in other words, women need Planned Parenthood.

Before I jump off on the obvious. I’d like to point out a couple of things. First, this itty-bitty list is all that Planned Parenthood says that it does to earn the 4-5 hundred million dollars in tax payer funding that it receives each year. Second, several of the items on this list are duplicated. “Cancer screenings” and “preventive care/well women visits,” are the same thing.

So, if you reduce it down to what she’s actually claiming, Planned Parenthood itself admits that it provides (1) abortions, (2) pap smears, (3) birth control and (4) maternity care. I don’t know what kind of maternity care they are talking about. Is she claiming that women receive obstetrical care for the full nine months of pregnancy, as well as delivery care (including c-sections, blood transfusions, etc, if needed) and follow-up care for a couple of months afterwards?

That is what “maternity care” means to me. If Planned Parenthood provides this level of care, I am unaware of it. I did notice that “mammograms” were nowhere on the list, probably because Planned Parenthood’s repeated lies about this service have been exposed.

So, what does Planned Parenthood provide for all that money? Their primary business is the supply of dangerous chemical birth control and abortions, and they charge for those. They are not free to their patrons.

And, oh yes, they do a fair amount of lobbying, (paid for out of separate funds) participate in committees such as the one that gave us the HHS Mandate and provide huge amounts of “sex education” to public school students.

So. If women need Planned Parenthood for Valentine’s Day, then what they need is to be indoctrinated in Planned Parenthood’s notion of sexuality, then doped up on expensive and dangerous chemical forms of birth control with an abortion chaser, all to the tune of around half a billion government dollars.

I’m not going to tell anyone what I asked my hubby to get me for Valentine’s Day. But I will share this: It won’t kill anybody, and it costs a lot less than Planned Parenthood.

To see the full tweet Ms Richards sent, go to TownHall.com.

Diverse Coalition Unites to Defend State Marriage Laws

Oklahoma and Utah are the latest states to find themselves in the bull’s eye of court action concerning gay marriage.

Federal court justices have overturned laws, which were passed by the voters, in both states that defined marriage as between one man and one woman. The court cases are now before the Tenth Circuit in Denver.

According to an article in the Daily News, diverse groups, including the attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma and South Carolina have filed briefs opposing the decision.

“Traditional marriage is too deeply imbedded in our laws, history and traditions for a court to hold that more recent state constitutional enactment of that definition is illegitimate or irrational,” Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller wrote.

One of the most interesting briefs was filed jointly by lawyers for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the US Conference of Catholic bishops and signed by the Southern Baptist Convention and the Lutheran Church-MIssouri Synod.

“Our respective religious doctrines hold that marriage between a man and a woman is sanctioned by God as the right and best setting for bearing and raising children,” it says. “We believe that children, families, society and our nation thrive best when husband-wife marriage is upheld and strengthened as a cherished primary social institution.”

Their statement, summarized the Daily News, continues:

The coalition struck back at the notion that opposing gay marriage makes one anti-gay, irrational or bigoted.

“The accusation is false and offensive,” it says. “It is intended to suppress rational dialogue and democratic conversation, to win by insult and intimidation rather than by reason, experience, and fact.”

They say they have no ill will toward same-sex couples, only “marriage-affirming religious beliefs,” supported by sociological facts, saying holding on to the man-woman definition of marriage is essential.

The “friend of the court” brief was one of several submitted Monday by groups, professors and state attorneys general supporting Utah and Oklahoma in their efforts to persuade the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse recent rulings by federal court judges.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/religious-groups-join-forces-gay-marriage-okla-utah-article-1.1609630#ixzz2t2cytFqm

Children Denied Coverage for Serious Medical Conditions Under Obamacare, Hospital Sues Government

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Seattle Children’s Hospital has filed suit against the government over the failure of Obamacare to provide essential coverage to children.

Specifically, the insurers in Washington state’s Insurance Network are excluding major hospitals from their networks. They then deny payment for essential medical care for serious medical conditions when patients need the kind of care that only these hospitals can provide.

Seattle Children’s Hospital is ranked as one of the best hospitals in the United States. It ranked in the top twenty hospitals for 10 specialities, including a number six ranking for children’s cancer treatment. A number of Obamacare insurance providers are denying coverage for treatment at this hospital.

It seems to me that for an insurer to refuse coverage for care at hospitals like Seattle Children’s Hospital is tantamount to saying that their plan does not provide full coverage. Plans that only provide coverage for every day illnesses at second and third tier institutions should not be allowed to market themselves as full insurance coverage.

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Abortion: Four Decades

 

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A Man Born to Hang, Ain’t Never Gonna Drown

My grandmother used to say, “A man born to hang, ain’t never gonna drown.”

Evidently, 16-year-old Mackenzie Wethington was not born to die in a 3,000 foot fall out of an airplane.

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Woody Allen and Polanski: The Rich and Shameless Display Hypocrisy About Child Sexual Abuse

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Nobody hates pedophiles more than the Rich and Shameless.

At least, they hate pedophiles when the pedophile is a priest.

Pedophile priests should be — and are — burned at the stake of public opinion, and their pedophile-enabling bishops along with them. That’s the verdict of the R&S set.

However, when the pedophile is a powerful director of successful films — who might conceivably be of benefit to their careers — we are reminded of the cinema “art,” these directors provide. As for the unimportant girl-child, well, she can’t give anybody a job or produce their play or anything of value. So what’s the beef? Put away the stake, douse the flames and quit the word processor. There will be no public hating today.

Here’s how the Rich and Shameless appear to regard these things:

Catholic priest caught with child pornography on his computer:

R&S: Burn/behead/draw-and-quarter him. At the least, send him, his bishop and the bishop’s dog to a maximum security prison for life.

Powerful director rapes a teen-aged girl:

R&S: It wasn’t rape rape. Let’s sign a petition protesting the police-state arrest of this great artist.

Powerful director, at age 56, has an affair with and marries a girl he has raised as his daughter, and is accused by her sister of having raped her when she was seven:

R&S: This is just a bitter woman (the girls mother) who is trying to get this fine man, who, by the way, is a “great artist.” His “personal life” should not interfere with the professional respect he receives for his “art.”  

Does anybody but me detect a wee bit of hypocrisy here?

I have no problem with sending pedophile priests to jail. I am as disgusted with the bishops who hid them and allowed them to continue in their abuse of children as anyone on this planet.

The difference between me and the Rich and Shameless is that I feel this way because of the children. I am not interested in using the sexual abuse of children as a leitmotif to try to define and destroy the Catholic Church. I also do not excuse priests who do this because they’re on “my” team. So far as I’m concerned, it’s all about the children.

These people, that I’m calling “Rich and Shameless” for lack of a better way to describe them, excoriate Catholic priests who sexually abuse children without mercy or limit. They extend this excoriation to the Church as a whole, drubbing all priests and bishops with the same filthy brush.

Then they turn around and deny and defend powerful members of their own community from well-founded accusations of egregious sexual abuse of children. They use specious denials, personal testimonies, accusations and claims of some sort of non-existent moral high ground to excuse who they want excused from whatever they do. It gets so ridiculous that they inevitably end up skewering themselves with their own dissimulations.

I don’t think that people who do this care about the sexual abuse of children. I think they use it when the sexual abuse fits their other objectives as a means of attacking people and causes they don’t like. I think they then turn around and dismiss it, to quote Shakespeare, as much ado about nothing when the accused is one of their own, even when the accusations against their own stink like an open sewer.

Their outrage over pedophile priests looks like a pose and a sham. Their reactions to pedophiles, both charged and credibly accused, who are also powerful directors, are exhibits a and b, pointing to that conclusion.

Will They Know We are Christians by Our Love?

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“A Christian murderer…It’s not me saying this, it’s the Lord. And there is no place for nuances. If you speak ill of your brother, you kill your brother. And every time we do this, we are imitating that gesture of Cain, the first murderer in History.” Pope Francis

I want to tell you two stories, both true, and both of which happened to me.

Back when I was running for office the first time around, I held a fund-raising party at a friend’s house. During the course of that campaign, I had been the target of a group of people who were strongly pro life. I had preachers at the largest churches in the district, preaching against me every Sunday. I had pro life people, walking door-to-door throughout the entire district, spreading outrageous lies about me.

For some reason, whenever a woman runs for office, the lies usually center around sex. I was denounced as a lesbian/prostitute/whore. I was also called a Communist.

When the fund-raising party took place, several of the pro life people showed up and took photos of the guests as they entered the house in what everyone thought was an attempt to intimidate them. They also made a point of writing down the license tag numbers on the guests’ cars.

That was back then, when I was pro choice.

Flash forward a couple of decades, and I am a converted Catholic, and what has been called the most pro life member of the Oklahoma legislature. (That’s the same Oklahoma legislature I was in back when I was pro choice.)

I hold another fund-raising event, this time a reception at the law office of a long-time friend of mine. Once again, I have been attacked by people who are passionate about the issue of abortion. Only this time it is the pro abortion people. I almost get censured by the Oklahoma Democratic Party. I am called a woman-hater/liar/whore. I am also called a (get ready for this) Fascist.

Now, at this fund-raising party, the pro abortion people show up. They — you guessed it — take photos of the guests as they enter the building, presumably to intimidate them, and write down the license tag numbers on the guest’s cars. The only difference between them and the pro life people who attacked me in my past is that they add the flourish of pickets with signs and chanting “traitor” at me in loud voices when I walk into the building.

Here’s my point: How, exactly, would a person on the sidelines be able to tell these two groups apart?

Answer: They’re can’t.

Both groups justify their behavior with claims that they are behaving badly out of a desire to create a greater good. The pro choicers claim that they are motivated by their love for women. The pro lifers say that they are motived by their love for unborn babies.

But if there is love in either group, you can’t see it by watching them. Their motivation appears to be hatred of one another.

In my humble opinion, if you can’t tell the difference between the behavior of pro life people and pro abortion people, then the pro life people are doing something wrong.

Evidently, my earlier post about slander and hate in political campaigns, felt like a personal attack to at least a few Public Catholic readers. That was not my intention. I know how hard it is to keep your religion when you are dealing with evil, and abortion is evil, right down to the ground. It perverts everything it touches, including good intentions.

It is the easiest thing in the world to convince yourself that sin is not sin if it is committed in the name of doing good. Politicians do this all the time. It’s why nobody trusts them. Politicians have extraordinary verbal skills and a good dose of legal sophistry at their disposal. They can spin up explanations about their own behavior and use those explanations to give themselves a green light to do just about anything. They excuse immoral behavior by claiming a moral imperative to behave immorally on just about every weasel vote they take.

Anyone who engages in the political battles of this world — even volunteers and well-wishers — is positioning themselves for a blast from the temptations of power. There are plenty of power brokers out there working full-time to grease the slide of ordinary people into the same self-congratulatory self-excusing self-justifications that politicians use.

But the truth itself remains untouched. In the end, the only ones we fool are ourselves.

What I’m trying to say is Do not let the evil of abortion and the venality of politics overwhelm your goodness and destroy your Christian witness. Do not tell yourself that sin is not sin if it is committed in the name of fighting abortion. Do not tell yourself that maliciously spreading ugly stories and gossip about other people is ok if it’s done to keep a pro abort out of office.

Because it is not ok. You may not do evil for a good cause. You also may not do evil because someone else did it first. It is wrong. It is sinful. For your own sake — for your own soul — do not become hardened in this sin of personal character assassination.

Several commenters have objected to the use of the phrase “murder with words” to describe the deliberate destruction of another person’s reputation for malicious purposes. I have looked into the eyes and seen the faces of people from both sides of the argument as they spit out vile epithets at me. I saw who sent them in their eyes. I never doubted that they were trying to hate me to death, that the only thing between their hate and actual, physical murder was fear of the law. The experience gave me an understanding of what Jesus meant when he said that a person who hates his brother or sister is a murderer, and no murderer has eternal life within him. 

Think for a minute. Consider the dark pleasure that you feel when you are venting your righteous rage. Ponder the ugliness that enters your soul, along with the anger that accompanies it.

I spent a good bit of time in church this weekend, praying about my own righteous anger over fallen Catholics in high places. I knew that I could not and would not take to the various forums that are open to me and begin calling them names and putting out Photoshopped versions of their faces, replete with horns and ugly expressions. I had no temptation to degrade them as human beings or to spread ugly stories about them to punish and hurt them.

But I knew that the anger I felt could fester into bitterness, and that this bitterness would separate me from the one place above all that I want to be, which is in a state of grace. I want to do what my Lord Jesus Christ requires of me. So, I prayed about this anger before it had time to grow roots and begin to own me.

It is ok, it is fine, in fact, to deal with issues and facts and to point out the areas where you disagree with a person. It is ok, when the facts themselves warrant it, to say something such as President Obama is the most pro abortion president in history. I think there is sufficient factual evidence to warrant that statement, and I also think that it pertains to his job performance.

As their employers, the American people are obliged to have opinions about their elected officials’ job performance. Judiciously considering the facts and making reasoned judgements about how our elected officials perform their jobs is part of our charge as citizens of this Republic.

It is also imperative that Christians engage the larger culture through their work, their politics and their ministries. We are called to be the light of the world. We need to go into the world and be that light.

But trashing another person for the pleasure of hurting them — which is the real reason people repeat ugly, personal stories — is sinful. Trashing another person as a tactic is just as sinful. I am not talking about legitimate political criticism. I am talking about attempts to destroy someone’s reputation by spitefully spreading personal stories about them in what amounts to a political vendetta. Use any excuse you want, that is a sin. If you will just look into your own heart, at the darkness it puts there, you will know it for the sin it is.

I can attest to this because I am a human being. I know about the dark pleasure of hurting someone with words because I have felt it. I can tell you, based on my sinful experience that this is a grave sin that not only inflicts helplessness, humiliation and scalding pain on the person you attack, it dips your own soul in the blackness of evil. It is from the pit.

The question is not whether or not “everybody else is doing it.” Of course they are. Our whole culture is rotten with the politics of personal destruction. That is not a question at all.

The real question is: When people look at pro life advocates, will they be able to tell a difference between us and the pro abortion advocates?

Unless the answer to that is a clear-cut and resounding “yes,” we will never, no matter how hard we try, convert this culture to Christ.

After I wrote this, I found these comments from Pope Francis on this subject. From CNA/EWTN:

.- During his morning Mass homily in Santa Marta, Pope Francis focused on the topic of gossip – saying that when we participate in this sin, we imitate Cain’s gesture in killing his brother Abel.

The Pope began his homily Sept. 13 by echoing the words of Jesus in the gospel reading, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

He spoke for a few minutes on the virtue of humility, adding that Jesus addressed those who practice the opposite and who foster “that hateful attitude towards one’s neighbor when one becomes a ‘judge’ of his brother,” calling them “hypocrites.”

“Those who live judging their neighbor, speaking ill of their neighbor, are hypocrites, because they lack the strength and the courage to look to their own shortcomings.”

Pope Francis said that the “Lord does not waste many words on this concept,” and that “he who has hatred in his heart for his brother is a murderer.”

The Pope added that in his first letter, John the Apostle emphasizes that “anyone who has hatred for his brother is a murderer, he walks in darkness, he who judges his brother walks in darkness,” and that those who judge or speak ill of others are “Christian murderers.”

“A Christian murderer…It’s not me saying this, it’s the Lord. And there is no place for nuances. If you speak ill of your brother, you kill your brother. And every time we do this, we are imitating that gesture of Cain, the first murderer in History.”

During this time when there is so much debate and discussion about war amid cries for peace, the pontiff pleaded that “a gesture of conversion on our own behalf is necessary.”

“Gossip,” he cautioned, “always has a criminal side to it. There is no such thing as innocent gossip.”

Quoting St. James the Apostle, the Pope imparted that the tongue is designed to praise God, “but when we use our tongue to speak ill of our brother or sister, we are using it to kill God…the image of God in our brother.”

ESPN Reporter Laughs at Kevin Durant’s Testimony for Jesus Christ

Kevin Durant answered a simple question with his direct testimony to the power of Christ in his life. The reporter’s response?

Watch, and get a look at what Christians face more and more, even when they are famous athletes being interviewed by “professional” reporters of major cable networks.

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Sandra Fluke Files for Congress

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Here’s a little something to kick around this fine morning.

Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown student who testified before Congress about the high cost of her contraceptives, is taking her celebrity to a new level. She’s announced that she’s running for retiring Congressman Henry Waxman’s seat.

According to Breitbart, one of her opponent’s in the race will be Wendy Greuel, a former candidate for mayor of Los Angeles. According to the same Breitbart article, Ms Fluke will have the backing of “national Democrats.” If this means the full backing of the national Democratic Party machine, she will have plenty of money and professional help for the race.

I don’t care for these machine races from the national parties, no matter who the candidate is or which party is doing it.

What these nationally-funded races are, in essence, is an attempt by organized national party machines to take control of a congressional district or a senate seat or some other office for their own ends. This leads directly to the election of puppet people politicians.

It also takes the particular office away from the people of the district. The citizens of the district are nothing more to their elected representatives than numbers in polling data. Their concerns do not matter to the person elected to represent them, who will represent the interests of the national political party who put him or her in office.

It will be interesting to see if national money and fame can buy a Congressional seat for a young woman, who, according to the article I’ve referenced, does not even live in the district.

From Breitbart:

Sandra Fluke has made it official: she has filed to run for the congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) after 40 years.

The birth control advocate who shook up the 2012 presidential campaign does not live in the 33rd district, but is eligible to run for the seat. She will be facing off against local Democratic stalwart Wendy Greuel, who narrowly missed winning the Los Angeles mayor’s race last year, among others.

Fluke stirred controversy by fighting to force Georgetown Law School to offer free contraception as part of its insurance coverage for students and faculty, despite the institution’s Catholic principles. She was scheduled to be a witness called by Democrats at a congressional hearing in 2012, but was blocked by Republicans. When conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh called her a “slut”–a remark for which he later apologized–a star was born.

Immediately, Fluke became a national symbol of the Republicans’ so-called “war on women,” and campaigned for President Barack Obama. When pressed, however, she admitted knowing little about the actual low cost of birth control, and eventually enthusiasm faded to the point where she had trouble drawing crowds for rallies.

Today Fluke practices as a “social justice attorney” and has the backing of senior national Democratic figures for the seat.


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