The United States Department of State issued a report on human trafficking. The report singled out Pope Francis’ strong condemnation of human trafficking for praise.
The United States Department of State issued a report on human trafficking. The report singled out Pope Francis’ strong condemnation of human trafficking for praise.
But … it’s the law!
You must follow the law!
That’s the com box battle cry whenever the topic of Hobby Lobby or the baker who has no problems serving gay people, but just doesn’t want to bake a wedding cake for a gay wedding, due to his religious beliefs. This argument also gets trotted out whenever a high school senior mentions God in his or her graduation speech.
Now Boulder Colorado’s court clerk, Hillary Hall, is going renegade and issuing gay marriage licenses, even though Colorado’s ban on gay marriage is still intact and operative.
The shoe, at least for a while, is on the other foot.
From The Denver Post:
BOULDER — Despite warnings from Colorado Attorney General John Suthers that the documents aren’t worth the paper they are printed on, same-sex couples lined up at the Boulder County Clerk’s office Thursday to get marriage licenses.Clerk and Recorder Hillary Hall began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Wednesday after the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Utah’s ban on gay marriage.
But in a news release akin to a fraud advisory, Suthers made it clear that the licenses are not valid.
“That’s their opinion. We disagree with it,” Hall said Thursday morning. “We will be here issuing marriage licenses until a Colorado court or the Supreme Court tells us to desist.”
So far, no other Colorado counties are following suit.
Congressman Frank Lucas has been getting elected to represent Oklahoma’s 3rd District for a long time now.
I am acquainted with Congressman Lucas, and I have to say, he’s always seemed real enough to me.
Frank Lucas’ erstwhile opponent in the recent Republican primary, Timothy Ray Murray, evidently saw something in the Congressman that slipped right past me. Even though Congressman Lucas garnered 82.8% of the total vote, and even though Mr Murray only got a teensy 5.2% of that same vote, he issued a statement on his web site informing the public that he will file a challenge to the election.
It seems that Mr Murray will not base his challenge on more mundane concerns such as election irregularities. He is claiming that the election should be overturned because the person who won is not Congressman Lucas. His contention is that Congressman Lucas is dead and has been replaced by a body double.
I’m going to let you read Mr Murray’s statement for yourself. But before I do, there is one small point I want to make. Elected officials get letters like this all the time. By that, I mean every single day. I also got phone calls similar to this.
I don’t mean the specific Frank-Lucas-is-dead-and-the-guy-who-calls-himself-Frank-Lucas-is-a-body-double thing. I mean delusional stuff. It was a lot worse back before we got psychotropic drugs. Back in that day, I got calls all the time from people who thought the Martians had a microphone under their beds and that their neighbor’s dog was really a Russian spy.
Medication has helped this a lot.
So, joking aside, I want you to know that dealing with this kind of thing is part of the business of holding public office. It’s just a reality (pun intended) of the job. I’ve read a couple of “dumb Okie” comments about this, and even saw one atheist web site claiming that this was due to the strong Christian influence in Oklahoma. (Move over Mr Murray, you have a bedmate.)
In truth, this has nothing to do with locality, philosophy or ideology. Take it from someone who’s been getting things like this in the mail for a long time. It doesn’t fit into that kind of neat category.
The election for U.S. House for Oklahoma’s 3rd District will be contested by the Candidate, Timothy Ray Murray. I will be stating that his votes are switched with Rep. Lucas votes, because it is widely known Rep. Frank D. Lucas is no longer alive and has been displayed by a look alike. Rep. Lucas’ look alike was depicted as sentenced on a white stage in southern Ukraine on or about Jan. 11, 2011.
This is a situation similar to the Senators’ from Kentucky situation in the 2012 election. I am contesting that this matter has happen since his election was blocked, because of the U.S. Defense Department’s use of Mr. Murray’s DNA. To my knowledge, the U.S. Defense Department has not released to the public that information, as it is their confidential information about many people. Congress is likely wanting me to state that all my DNA used will not result in benefits to people I have never had relations with of a family nature. I have been bound to protect that information unless it causes harm to The People.
The contest of election and or petition will be correctly filed with county election boards and with federal offices. I, Hon. Mr. Timothy Ray Murray, fully meet all Constitutional, Federal and Oklahoma requirements for election and for holding Office if the voters’ results show that is the case.
Thank You for your service in giving Oklahomans great current news and information.
(Digital signature was recorded)
Hon. Timothy Ray Murray
Tim Murray for Congress
Toll Free: 1-(800) 865-6072
The Guardian reports that Meriam Ibrahim is safe at the United States Embassy in Sudan.
Her husband, Daniel Wani, spoke with Agence France-Presse by phone.
The Guardian story does not make it clear whether the charges against Mrs Ibrahim have been dismissed. It says that she was released from police custody on the condition that she remain in Sudan. That sounds to me like she is still not in the clear.
She was charged with forgery because she attempted to leave Sudan using a passport that was issued by South Sudan. I am guessing that this passport was obtained based on the fact that her husband has dual South Sudan/American citizenship. Sudan does not recognize her marriage because her husband is a Christian and she was, at least legally, a Muslim.
Mrs Ibrahim was originally charged with apostasy and sentenced to be flogged and then executed by hanging because she refused to recant her Christian faith. She was 8 months pregnant at the time. She gave birth to her baby while she was in prison.
The Sudanese court overturned her apostasy conviction and she and her family were trying to leave Sudan when she was re-arrested.
According to the Guardian article, the envoy for the United States state department met with Sudanese foreign ministry officials to obtain Mrs Ibrahim’s release from jail. Hopefully, this means that the family will be able to leave Sudan soon.
Mrs Ibrahim’s husband said that the motive behind the initial attack on his wife was a desire to steal her business interests. He said that Mrs Ibrahim owns a hair salon, a mini mart and agricultural land.
All in all, it sounds as if this family would make a wonderful contribution to the United States. I hope they can begin their new lives of freedom here soon.
It’s about time.
The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of he Faith has ordered Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski to be stripped of the priesthood. This order came after a canonical trial.
According to an article from Reuters, the Holy See has indicated that “criminal proceedings by Vatican judicial authorities would begin once the sentence was confirmed. If found guilty in a criminal trial, Mr Wesolowski could risk extradition to the Dominican Republic.”
Mr Wesolowski is the former Vatican nuncio to the Dominican Republic. He is accused of child sexual abuse. This alleged abuse includes buying sex from minors while he was in the Dominican Republic and an unspecified connection with a Polish priest accused of sexually assaulting at least 14 underage boys.
He has two months to appeal this decision. Authorities in the Dominican Republic are investigating Mr Wesolowski, but have not filed charges against him.
According to Polskie Radio, “accusations against Mr Wesolowski went public when television footage appeared in which the nuncio was seen visiting areas in the capital known for child prostitution.”
It is interesting that child prostitution is so widespread and acknowledged in the Dominican Republic that local television knows where to go to photograph it in action. But it’s not a surprise. I would imagine that they could do the same thing here in Oklahoma City.
The Dominican Republic is well known as a sex tourism destination, as is New York. This is not something that is hidden. It is big, highly-publicized business. Dominican authorities only recently started to crack down on the practice. Gay sex tourism, including tourism aimed at sex with children, is rife throughout the area, including further south in Brazil.
I have personal knowledge of a woman who was kidnapped from her apartment in the Dominican Republic, brought to the United States and sold by sex traffickers. Her pimps used the threat that they would go back and kidnap, rape and sell her young daughter if she did not cooperate with them. This brave lady testified in court against her pimps, who are now in prison.
The thought that a Vatican Nuncio is participating in this human rights violation is, sad to say, not surprising. I’ve thought for a long time that the scandal the Church has endured because of the behavior of her prelates as regards child sex abuse was necessary. This behavior had to stop. It was as if the Holy Spirit said Enough!
The Church must be cleansed of this evil. It. Has. To. Stop.
I, for one, am glad that the Vatican has finally taken this action against a pedophile prelate.
I do not want to see innocent men persecuted because of false charges. That is why due process is so necessary. But when the charges are proven true, these men must be laicized and turned over to the authorities.
I want a priesthood of genuine Christians who wear that collar because they have given their lives to Christ. I want a priesthood I can be proud of.
That cannot happen in an institution that tolerates sexual depravity among its members.
Members of the Supreme Court seem to be thinking alike.
Yesterday, they handed down a unanimous decision requiring search warrants before law enforcement can go through cell phones. Today, they handed down another unanimous decision overturning a Massachusetts law that requires protestors at abortion clinics to stand back 35 feet from the clinic. The Court ruled that the 35-foot protest-free zone violates the First Amendment.
I don’t know if this is a harbinger of a court that is reconsidering the long-term narrowing of individual American’s rights under the Bill of Rights or not. Hopefully, it is. And hopefully, we’ll see another ruling in support of First Amendment rights when they hand down their decision on Sebelius vs Hobby Lobby on Monday.
In the meantime, today’s ruling is a hopeful sign.
The most important ruling will be Monday when they hand down their opinion on the Hobby Lobby/HHS Mandate. I hope, for many reasons, but most especially for the sake of my country, that the Court limits the HHS Mandate and allows the First Amendment to work. It will be a tragedy if it doesn’t.
From CBS News:
The Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Thursday that a Massachusetts law setting a 35-foot protest-free zone outside abortion clinics violates the First Amendment.
The court in the past has allowed for buffer zones around facilities like health clinics, but Chief Justice John Roberts noted that the Massachusetts law restricts access to sidewalks and other public space. “Such areas occupy a ‘special position in terms of First Amendment protection’ because of their historic role as sites for discussion and debate,” Roberts wrote.
The government is allowed to limit speech in public spaces, so long as there is a significant interest in doing so, and as long as the limits are narrowly tailored and leave open alternative channels for speech. The Massachusetts law did not meet the latter part of those standards, Roberts wrote.
“The buffer zones serve the Commonwealth’s legitimate interests in maintaining public safety on streets and sidewalks and in preserving access to adjacent reproductive healthcare facilities,” the summary of the ruling says. “At the same time, however, they impose serious burdens on petitioners’ speech, depriving them of their two primary methods of communicating with arriving patients: close, personal conversations and distribution of literature.”
Moreover, Roberts wrote, the state could have enacted other laws that protect abortion clinic patients without restricting freedom of speech to that extent. “The Commonwealth has not shown that it seriously undertook to address the problem with less intrusive tools readily available to it,” the justice wrote.
While the ruling was unanimous, Roberts and the court’s four liberal justices struck down the Massachusetts law on narrow grounds. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote a separate, concurring opinion that Justices Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas signed onto. Justice Samuel Alito also wrote a separate, concurring opinion.
The case was brought forward by Eleanor McCullen, a woman in her mid-70s, and a group of other anti-abortion rights activists who stand outside of clinics to try to dissuade women from getting abortions.
Meriam Ibrahim has not been freed. The story I posted earlier was incorrect.
She was arrested once again while she and her family were at the airport, awaiting a flight to leave the country.
According to The Independent, the new charge is that she was using a passport obtained from South Sudan. Sudan does not recognize her as a South Sudanese citizen because it does not recognize her marriage to her Christian husband. Her husband has South-Sudan/American citizenship.
Mrs Ibrahim is being charged with forging her passport, a crime that is punishable by up to seven years in prison. She is being held in a Khartoum police station. Her family has refused to leave without her.
From The Independent:
The US and South Sudanese ambassadors have been summoned to Khartoum by Sudan over the rearrest of a Christian convert accused of apostasy trying to flee the country after being released from death row.Mariam Yahya Ibrahim was freed on Monday after an appeals court cancelled the death sentence imposed for having converted from Islam to marry her Christian husband, after the government came under what it called unprecedented international pressure.But she was detained again on Tuesday for trying to use documents issued by the embassy of South Sudan to fly out of Khartoum with her American-South Sudanese husband and their two children – deepening the diplomatic wrangle over her case.Sudan does not recognise her as a South Sudanese citizen because, despite lifting her sentence, it does not recognise her marriage to a Christian, something not allowed under the Islamic laws applied in Sudan, where most people are Sunni Muslims.South Sudan, with a majority Christian population, became independent from Sudan after a public vote in 2011 that ended years of civil war between the two states.“The airport passport police arrested Abrar after she presented emergency travel documents issued by the South Sudanese embassy and carrying an American visa,” Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services’ media department said on Facebook, referring to Ibrahim by her Muslim name.
So, I got up this morning.
Opened my bedroom door.
And stepped into water.
I slip-slopped my way down the hall and around to the kitchen. It was water, water, everywhere; water running the full length of the hall, and all over the kitchen. The hall toilet (they call it a “powder room” in the magazines) was stopped up and running, full-tilt.
I unstopped the toliet, used every dirty towel in the hamper (they’re in the washing machine with hot water and bleach right now) to mop up the water and then went back over the floor with a disinfectant. I kept thinking about my bare feet, in that toliet water, the whole time I did it.
I was just sitting down to breakfast when my mama presented me with a bleeding foot. She had somehow or other managed to get her hands on a pipe (I kid you not) which she dropped on her 89-year-old foot. I washed and bandaged the foot, called the doc, who graciously worked her in, and we’re all set to go.
To top it off, I have gum surgery scheduled for myself this afternoon.
And it’s not even noon yet.
I’m telling you all this because it seems like every time I say something in the com boxes, the person I’m answering replies, “I didn’t mean ….” as if I’ve accused them of something. I’m not arguing about that. I guess I’ve been short and accusatory. But believe me, I didn’t mean it.
I’ve been sandwiching blogging in between mopping and bandaging and thinking about my bare feet in that toliet water, and I guess it’s made me gritchy. (I haven’t let myself think about the toliet water all over my floors. I’ve already disinfected once, and will steam it later. If I think too much, I’ll start ripping up tile.)
Anyway, this is an apology/explanation to everyone I’ve spoken too harshly to. Mea culpa.
Now, off to the docs.
The most important thing we can do to stand for religious liberty today is to take action in support of Meriam Ibrahim, who has been detained — again — and charged — again — with a crime related to her conversion to Christianity.
Mrs Ibrahim is being held at a Khartoum police station. This time, she’s charged with using a “forged” passport. According to reports in The Independent, the government of Sudan is refusing to recognize her passport because it was issued by the government of South Sudan. Sudan does not recognize Mrs Ibrahim’s right to a passport from South Sudan because they do not recognize her marriage to her Christian husband, who is a citizen of South Sudan.
Mrs Ibrahim’s husband is also an American citizen.
The crime they have charged her with is punishable by a 7-year prison sentence.
Please email, call or write the Sudanese Embassy and tell them that you support Mrs Ibrahim and request that the Sudanese government release her immediately.
You can contact the Sudanese Embassy by email here.
You can contact the Sudanese Embassy by phone or letter here:
Embassy Of The Republic Of Sudan
2210 Massachusetts Ave
Meanwhile, back at the much-battered Fourth Amendment, the Supreme Court, in a rare unanimous decision, ruled today that law enforcement needs to get a warrant before it can look through you cell phone.
The justices ruled in favor of the obvious; that cell phones are not like the chewing gum and old ticket stubs languishing in the bottom of your purse or pockets. Cell phones are small, but powerful, computers, that contain files which open up our entire lives.
The Court had issued rulings back in the 1970s allowing police to require suspects to empty their pockets and to use whatever they found there without obtaining a warrant. Law enforcement had extended that right to obtain the contents of a suspect’s pockets without a warrant to their cell phones. Today, the Court ruled that cell phones are not the same thing at all and that seizing and searching a person’s cell phone requires a warrant.
That’s good news for freedom lovers, as well as those who cherish the Fourth Amendment.
From the Associated Press:
WASHINGTON (AP) — In an emphatic defense of privacy in the digital age, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that police generally may not search the cellphones of people they arrest without first getting search warrants.
Cellphones are unlike anything else police may find on someone they arrest, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court. They are “not just another technological convenience,” he said, but ubiquitous, increasingly powerful computers that contain vast quantities of personal, sensitive information.
“With all they contain and all they may reveal, they hold for many Americans the privacies of life,” Roberts declared. So the message to police about what they should do before rummaging through a cellphone’s contents following an arrest is simple: “Get a warrant.”