The Associated Press is reporting that Personhood Ohio, a state affiliate of Denver-based Personhood USA, will likely fall short in its effort to put a so-called “personhood” amendment on the ballot this fall:
With less than two weeks before a crucial July deadline, the group's director says it has close to 20,000, or 5 percent, of the roughly 385,000 signatures required for the proposed personhood constitutional amendment to appear on November ballots.
Backers of the state constitutional amendments hope to spark a legal challenge to the landmark Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 that gave women a legal right to abortion.
The advocates of the Heartbeat Bill have proven their willingness to push one person out of the boat to try to save another. How? By way of the bill's exceptions, its inappropriate penalties, and its counterfeit moral standard.
Burress, who headed the campaign that successfully promoted passage of the state's 2004 amendment to ban gay marriage, said the personhood group is going to need close to 500,000 signatures ensure they have enough.
"Unless a miracle occurs, they are probably going to be looking at 2013," Burress said.
Ultimately, Ohioans have no business pointing our fingers at the Supreme Court, the U.S. Congress, or the abortion advocates entrenched in political parties for the shedding of innocent blood that Ohio allows. […] Criminal justice is a local matter. God's wrath abides on Ohio for the innocent blood that has been shed in our state, and God obligates Ohio to do justice to protect the innocent from assault and murder, and thereby purge our land from the guilt of innocent blood.Until there is justice for the preborn, there will be no lasting mercy for us.
In a 5 to 4 decision released today, the Supreme Court upheld President Obama’s Affordable Care Act legislation, enacted by Congress in 2010 to address rising healthcare costs and reduce the number of Americans without health insurance.
People For the American Way President Michael Keegan released the following statement:
“Today’s decision is an important win for the American people. The Court recognized that our Constitution gives Congress the authority to address the challenges that face our nation—and that Congress acted appropriately by using its power to address the crisis in our health care system.
“What’s shocking about this decision is that it isn’t unanimous. By any reasonable standard, the constitutionality of Obamacare is not a close question. Ultra-conservative ideologues have been remarkably successful in pushing the Court far, far to the right and in using the Court to advance their political ideology. If the right-wing Justices on this Court want to write our laws, they should run for Congress; if they’d rather remain on the bench, they should do their own jobs, not someone else’s.
“Today’s close call will make the Supreme Court a major issue for progressives and independents. Mitt Romney’s decision to appoint Robert Bork as his chief advisor on judicial nominations makes it clear that he’s interested in stacking the Court with more of the kind of Justices who wanted to scrap protections for children and people with preexisting conditions. Voters will remember this decision when they go to the polls in November.”
Seems like Biden has an opinion on a Romney Supreme Court, as reported by CNN Political Ticker:
"Close your eyes and picture what the Supreme Court would look like four years from now under Romney," Biden said to groans from a crowd of supporters at a rally in Dubuque. "Tell me what you think would happen to women's rights in this country, civil rights."
Good to note that we’re not the only ones afraid of a Romney Court. Not worried yet? Check out RomneyCourt.com.
Here’s a quick recap of the Supreme Court’s decisions during the past week: Unions are now further disadvantaged and despite some important changes to the state’s immigration law, racial profiling remains a viable option for Arizona law enforcement.
On June 21, the Supreme Court issued its decision on Knox v. Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1000. The case dealt with a labor policy several states have, known as agency shops, in which employees are not required to become members of the union representing their place of employment, but must pay dues since they benefit from the work the union does. At the point in which all employees working at an establishment that has a union presence are receiving higher wages, more vacation days, and overall better working conditions, it is only fair that all employees pay union dues and not free-ride off of just the union members who pay.
However, in the case of public sector unions, the Supreme Court held a generation ago that non-members have the right to opt out of having their dues used for political activity by the union, effectively weakening the union’s ability to operate on its members’ behalf. In Knox, the Court criticized the balance struck in 1986 and ruled that when the union has a mid-year special assessment or dues increase, it cannot collect any money at all from non-union members unless they affirmatively opt-in (rather than opt-out). This ruling addressed an issue that wasn’t raised by the parties and that the union never had a chance to address, furthering the Right Wing’s goal to hamper a union’s ability to collect dues and make it harder for unions to have a voice in a post-Citizens United political environment. To add insult to injury, Justice Alito let his ideological leanings shine through when he essentially claimed right-to-work laws are good policy.
After the Knox v. SEIU decision, the court released its ruling on the highly contentious 2010 Arizona anti-immigration law, known as S.B. 1070. In a 5-3 decision, the court struck down the majority of the southwestern state’s draconian immigration policy. The court ruled that much of the state’s law unconstitutionally affected areas of law preempted by the federal government, acknowledging the impracticality of each state having its own immigration policy. Oppressive anti-immigrant provisions were struck down, such as one criminalizing the failure to carry proof of citizenship at all times, and a provision making it illegal under state law for an undocumented immigrant to apply for or hold a job. The decision also recognized that merely being eligible for removal is not in itself criminal, and thus the suspicion of being eligible for removal is not sufficient cause for arrest.
Although the majority of S.B. 1070 was overturned by the Supreme Court this week, one component remains, at least for the moment. Officers can still check the immigration status of anyone stopped or arrested if they had “reasonable suspicion” that the individual may be undocumented. This keeps the door wide open for racial profiling. Arresting an individual is not the same as being convicted for a crime. Latinos and other minority groups can be stopped for a crime as simple as jaywalking and “appear” suspicious enough to warrant an immigration background check. By leaving this portion of the law, the US Supreme Court has, for the time being, allowed the potential profiling of thousands of Arizona residents, regardless of whether they are immigrants or US citizens, but has left open the ability to challenge the manner in which this provision is put into practice.
Back in April we reported on a suit filed against TBN – the right-wing televangelism powerhouse based in Orange County, California – by Brittany Koper, a granddaughter of TBN founders Paul and Jan Crouch and a former senior executive at the organization. The suit alleged “multiple cover-ups of sexual and criminal scandals,” including a cover-up of a “bloody sexual assault.” A new suit, filed last week by Koper’s 19-year-old sister Carra Crouch, sheds signficant light on the allegation.
A granddaughter of Trinity Broadcasting Network founders Jan and Paul Crouch filed a lawsuit Monday alleging that she was plied with alcohol and raped by a TBN employee when she was just 13 — and that her family covered up the incident, rather than report it to authorities, to protect TBN’s reputation.Carra Crouch, now 19, was distraught after the 2006 assault by a 30-year-old man, and told her grandmother what had happened. “Jan (Crouch) became furious and began screaming at Ms. Crouch, a thirteen year old girl, and began telling her ‘it is your fault,’” according to the suit.Carra Crouch then told John Casoria, TBN’s in-house counsel and her second cousin; he became agitated and told her that he didn’t believe her, it says. “He elaborated by stating he further believed she was already sexually active ‘so it did not really matter’ and he ‘believed she may have propositioned him,’ ” the suit alleges.
The 30-year-old TBN employee, who Crouch had known for years, wound up in her room and ordered a bottle of wine from room service on Trinity’s account (“Trinity Broadcasting makes a regular practice of providing alcohol to its employees during business meetings”), the suit alleges. He coerced her to drink it “in an attempt to get her intoxicated,” and she did, it says. She asked him to leave her room, and he responded by giving her a glass of water to “help her feel better.”Carra Crouch drank the glass of water and passed out immediately, according to the suit. When she awoke the next morning, the man was lying next to her, there was blood on the bed sheets, and she had “severe pain and soreness in her body in places which indicated she had been molested and raped,” it alleges. She locked herself in the bathroom and screamed at the man to leave her room, and returned to California that day.That glass of water, Crouch now believes, contained a date rape drug which caused her to pass out.
Casoria, TBN’s in-house attorney, fired him over the telephone, saying Trinity had gathered enough evidence to terminate him with cause, that the evidence was “most probably sufficient to bring criminal charges” against him, and that Trinity would not disclose the evidence to the police if he would not file for unemployment, worker’s compensation or an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claim, the suit alleges.
The U.S. Supreme Court this morning refused to reconsider its flawed Citizens United decision and summarily reversed a Montana Supreme Court decision by a 5-4 majority. The ruling struck down the state’s century-old Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibited corporate spending in elections. The Montana court had defended the constitutionality of its longstanding law, citing the state’s unique history of political corruption, the many factors that distinguish state and local races from the federal races, and the overwhelming power of corporate election spending to corrupt or create the appearance of corruption.
“In the two years since the Citizens United decision, the damage our democracy has suffered has been obvious,” said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President of People For the American Way. “The decision has profoundly distorted our electoral system and handed unprecedented power to corporate interests. The Court’s insistence that unlimited corporate spending doesn’t create the appearance of corruption flies in the face of common sense, the opinion of the American people and the facts. Aside from the five people who wrote the original decision two years ago, it’s difficult to find anyone who thinks that candidates can benefit from million dollar checks written to their SuperPACs without the ‘appearance of corruption.’ When faced with facts that clearly disprove a central premise of Citizens United, it’s unfortunate that the Supreme Court chose to double down on its error.
“Today’s decision affirms the need to reverse Citizens United by amending the Constitution. I’m proud of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have joined our movement to do just that.”
Americans overwhelmingly support constitutional remedies to overturn Citizens United. Under the banner of United For the People, more than 100 organizations, over 250 states and localities, and nearly 1700 public officials have officially endorsed amending the Constitution to overturn Citizens United.
The Supreme Court invalidated most provisions of Arizona’s draconian anti-immigration law, known as S.B. 1070, including Section 6 which granted state police greater authority than federal officers to make warrantless arrests of anyone they suspected of being undocumented. The decision upholds, however, the clearly discriminatory Section 2b – the “show me your papers” provision – which allows police to demand proof of immigration status from individuals they stop, detain or arrest. The Court did not rule on challenges to that provision which question its discriminatory effects. It will likely hear additional challenges on those grounds at a later time.
“Today’s decision is a partial but important victory against S.B. 1070,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way, “and yet another reminder of how important it is that Congress move quickly to pass comprehensive immigration reform. The Court’s decision to uphold, for now, one of the most oppressive provisions of S.B. 1070 makes it painfully obvious how damaging the Republican obstruction on comprehensive immigration reform has been. No one should be forced to prove their right to be in this country simply because of the way they look, dress, or speak. These are not the American values we treasure, and we will continue to fight against these provisions in the courts, the Congress, and the halls of state legislatures.
“It’s deeply concerning that Section 2b is still in effect—especially given the reckless and dangerous rhetoric of Governor Brewer and Sheriff Arpaio. Today’s decision is important, but it is certainly not the end of this fight.
“The President recently took a courageous step to help young people – brought to the United States through no fault of their own – stay in this country and continue to contribute to their communities. Republicans in Congress should follow this example and suspend their obstruction of meaningful comprehensive reform to address the immigration crisis. Continuing to shirk that responsibility encourages dangerous state laws that threaten our civil liberties and harms hardworking individuals who have worked hard to live up to American ideals.”
Truth in Action Ministries has released yet another short film chronicling America’s supposed moral decline and spiritual collapse. In Losing Liberty, hosts Jerry Newcombe and Jennifer Kennedy Cassidy, daughter of late televangelist D. James Kennedy, insisted that America is a “Christian nation” but that secularists are “working day and night to unmoor of us from our Christian foundations.” According to the film, America is turning into a dystopian society much like The Hunger Games, the trilogy about a dictatorial regime which forces children to fight to the death each year. “One can’t help but wonder, will our future will be similar if our nation continues in the direction we are headed,” Carmen Pate asks.
After activist Dee Wampler insisted that America was much better off in the 1950s and 1960s, South African evangelist Peter Hammond said there is a “secular humanist assault on our Christian heritage” that is leading to tyranny. “It’s the Christian foundation of our foundation that brought us freedom,” said John Rabe, who hosts the organization’s radio show Truth that Transforms alongside Pate, “to turn away from that would take what’s already disastrous and make it infinitely worse.”
As Hammond discussed “everything that is evil in this world,” the film displayed images of the September 11 attacks, bombings, drug abuse, Adolf Hitler…and a married lesbian couple and the kiss between characters Kurt and Blaine on Glee!
Much like American Religious Right activists who reminisce about the 1950s, when much of the country had legal segregation, Hammond asserted that the 1994 election in South Africa, the first free election following the fall of Apartheid, demonstrated the “disastrous” impact of “evangelical apathy.”
Evangelicals “refused to vote because they didn’t like what was happening in our country at that time,” Hammond said, “all that happened is less Christian candidates got elected and more anti-Christian candidates got elected, and the country got more anti-Christian and soon they legalized abortion and pornography, homosexuality and before we knew it we had desecration of Sundays to a massive increase of crime.” He then went on to blame the Obama administration for having “encouraged” anti-Christian persecution and violence abroad.
Watch highlights here:
Bob Maginnis of the Family Research Council spoke to Lee Webb of CBN News this week about the Defense Department’s decision to recognize June as Gay Pride Month, warning that it is part of a plan by gays and lesbians “to advance their radical agenda.” The FRC senior fellow began the interview by falsely claiming that a Pentagon survey “found that there would be many that would leave and some that would reconsider” if Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is repealed, however, the survey actually noted that very few service members would consider leaving the military and an Army Times survey following the policy’s repeal found that number to be even lower. Maginnis went on to claim that “if homosexuals want to parade their homosexuality as their defining characteristic of who they are rather than that they’re a soldier or sailor” it would lead to “dysfunction” and undermine “cohesion, trust” and “morale” by upsetting those who believe gays are “not pleasing to God.”
Webb: Is it your prediction that many in the service, not just chaplains but those who are religiously opposed, morally opposed to homosexual behavior will be leaving the ranks soon because of this?
Maginnis: Certainly the survey that the Pentagon did found that there would be many that would leave and some that would reconsider. A lot depends upon what the homosexual community does within the ranks of the military, are they going to use this to advance their radical agenda or are they going to be quiet about it and blend in? Keep in mind, the military is about removing distinctions among people, we works as teams, we try to accomplish things as crews and units and not as individuals. Unfortunately, if you stick out, if you make your particular behavior or profile to be an anomaly in a unit, whether it be homosexual or anything, you’re really not a team member, so we’ll have to wait and see.
Webb: In keep with what you just said, it seems like they are not willing to be part of a unit if they are seeking recognition through a Gay Pride Month, is that the way you’re seeing this?
Maginnis: I am concerned about the conformity to military standards because after all the military is about removing those distinctions, fighting and being prepared to fight across the world as one type of unit. If homosexuals want to parade their homosexuality as their defining characteristic of who they are rather than that they’re a soldier or sailor, then that’s dysfunction. It undermines cohesion, trust and confidence; it undermines morale. Of course, for those in the military that are people of faith, it also runs contrary to that very faith. I am very concerned about the promotion of homosexual marriage, about the removal of the idea that heterosexuals and homosexuals are different, well in fact they are and those of us of faith have reason to believe that those distinctions are not pleasing to God.
Michele Bachmann took her propensity for promoting conspiracy theories to another level this week while speaking with the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios, after warning of not just a media plot to use “flattery” to sway the Supreme Court decision on health care reform but also new claims about the Obama administration and the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood. She told Rios that Obama undercut the Magna Carta and “spit at the Constitution and at the will of the American people” with his move to block the deportation of some younger undocumented immigrants, proving that he is “the most dangerous President we have ever had in the history of the United States.” Bachmann, who last year said Americans were concerned about “the rise of the Soviet Union,” also criticized Obama for having “whispered to the Russian, Communist president that he would be more flexible in his second term.”
Rios: They said that even if the mandate is struck down they are going to keep other parts of it, what’s your comment about that? What do you know about that?
Bachmann: That was already violated last Friday when President Obama said that he was not going to enforce the law when it came to illegal immigration for people of a certain age. This President is not bound by the law; this is huge. Even King John under the Magna Carta had to be bound by the law, that’s what it said, that the King is under the law, that’s the essence of the Magna Carta and the very earliest form of Western, English law. But Barack Obama is not. Barack Obama sees that he is the law. That’s unbelievable. And so if the President is saying that if the Supreme Court is striking down the law and yet he is going to ignore the court and continue to put this unconstitutional law in place? That tells us who he is.
Remember, this is the same President who whispered to the Russian, Communist president that he would be more flexible in his second term. He sees himself as a law unto himself rather than a man bound by the Constitution. That’s why I say he is the most dangerous President we have ever had in the history of the United States.
When I look at the sacrifice that was made to this country, I’m absolutely outraged that a President would continue to spit at the Constitution and at the will of the American people and instead insist on his own way. This has been infantile the way that this President has governed. We better do something about it, rather than just shaking our heads, it’s time for us to stand up and actually do something between now and November when we have a chance.
Later in the interview, Bachmann insisted that “there has been deep penetration in the halls of our United States government by the Muslim Brotherhood” and that security agents are no longer allowed to learn about terrorist attacks, apparently referring to efforts to stop using discredited, anti-Muslim material.
Bachmann: It appears that there has been deep penetration in the halls of our United States government by the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood has been found to be an unindicted co-conspirator on terrorism cases and yet it appears that there are individuals who are associated with the Muslim Brotherhood who have positions, very sensitive positions, in our Department of Justice, our Department of Homeland Security, potentially even in the National Intelligence Agency. I am calling upon the Justice Department and these various departments to investigate through the Inspector General to see who these people are and what access they have to our information.
There is also another issue that is going on that doesn’t get talked about at all in the media and it is very sensitive. We currently have orders by President Obama for a purge in the FBI and now in the military of any training materials that teach FBI agents or people in the military about Islam and these materials are being purged. So the motivations behind terrorism and the understanding of the ideology of why people are committing terrorist acts, that is being purged out of the training materials. There was a request for this to be done by over forty Muslim groups and the President ordered this purge to occur and it’s happening now, they are purging libraries. We have other governments that have censored libraries but not the American government, now the American government is purging in the libraries in the FBI and in our military any training materials that could in any way be construed as negative about Islam.
Rios: Let me jump in and let me just say that also the trainers, many that you and I know, that are the experts on this issue are being blackballed from the Pentagon and from FBI training because they hold the wrong view.
Bachmann: That’s right. They are being blacklisted. Your listeners need to know, the experts that are training our FBI to find these terrorists, those experts are being blackballed and they are no longer allowed to teach our FBI agents. I am standing outside right now in front of our United States Capitol and a few months ago an illegal alien strapped a bomb onto himself and he was going to blow up the Capitol, and now our new agents are unable to learn that information.
While most readers found the recent Time Magazine profile of Justice Anthony Kennedy to be an innocuous piece about the justice who has emerged as a deciding vote on some of the more divisive Supreme Court decisions, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) sees a surreptitious effort by the media to convince Kennedy to uphold the health care reform law.
While speaking to Sandy Rios of the American Family Association earlier this week, Bachmann warned that if Kennedy is “succumbing to flattery in the media” then “he could potentially be persuaded to go the way of the left,” as liberals “are not above doing anything that they can to influence that one swing voter.” She insisted that if the ruling is upheld, potentially due to media influence, it will mean “the end of our Constitution and the end of our Republic as we know it” in addition to “one of the final so to speak nails in the coffin to our country.”
Rios: I’ve been out of the country Michele but when I came back one of the first things I did was spotted TIME Magazine, I don’t know if you saw this, but Anthony Kennedy’s face, they did an entire, many, many, many pages profile of Anthony Kennedy with his picture on the cover, a very flattering profile as you can imagine. I thought at the time, that was just last weekend, I thought, ‘this doesn’t seem appropriate to me.’ They are getting ready to make all these major decisions and they are talking about that he is the main vote on the court because he is the swing vote, this is what they always say, and they do this total puff piece on him, didn’t you think that was a little unseemly?
Bachmann: I think that what we need to recognize is that the left is committed to outcome-based Supreme Court decisions, they want what they want, bottom line, the end justifies the means, they want socialized medicine, they want the government to control it and so they are not above doing anything that they can to influence that one swing voter. By everyone’s estimation, Anthony Kennedy is the justice who will make the decision if we have socialized medicine, which in my opinion will be the end of our Constitution and the end of our Republic as we know it. It will bankrupt us, there is no question Obamacare will do that, and it will change our relationship to government forever. I think it will be one of the final so to speak nails in the coffin to our country. If he makes that decision and if he is succumbing to flattery in the media, and these are human beings we’re talking about, he could potentially be persuaded to go the way of the left, that could be, and I think that’s why it wouldn’t surprise me at all that we are seeing these big, flattery pieces.
Kevin Swanson of Generations with Vision Ministry this week on his radio show hailed the roundly criticized Mark Regnerus study on gay parenting, but warned that the purportedly harmful effects of same-sex parents are still unknown. After maligning other studies that didn’t observe significant differences between the children of same-sex and opposite-sex couples with cohost Dave Buehner and making a comparison between studies of gay parents with studies of suicide bombers, Swanson declared that the “generational outcome of kids raised in homosexual families” will be “mind-blowing” and “one of the most devastating things we have ever seen in the history of mankind”:
Swanson: They were saying ‘hey all the studies today pointed out that there is no real difference between children raised in homosexual families and those raised by the average nuclear family out there,’ now what [Mark] Regnerus was saying is that apparently these other studies are looking at whether or not these young people grow up to accept the homosexual lifestyle themselves. So of course the measures tend to feed those who wanted to see that the outcome was good, in other words, the studies are going to be relative to what the studies perceive to be the good, a good outcome. A good outcome is going to be something that is going to be worldview oriented and oriented to the people that are doing the studies.
Buehner: So what you’re saying is, let’s say you were a Palestinian parent and you were raising your child to be a good Palestinian, that would be a child who puts on the suicide vest.
Swanson: Right, and blows up other people in mosques and supermarkets.
Buehner: That would be more measurable to be a good parent.
Swanson: Right, that would be the measure. So if you take a sample size of thirty and twenty-five grow up to put on suicide vests and blow up other people, then that would be a successful story, that would mean these young people grew up very balanced and ready for life. Well the same thing applies of course when you’re doing studies in universities concerning homosexual parenting. According to this guy, apparently he took forty measures of social and emotional relationship outcomes and found out there were substantial differences.
Another thing I think we’re going to find is we don’t have much data yet, he only had a sample size of something like seventy-three adults raised by gay fathers, so that’s not very many, that’s not a big sample size and chances are they are young adults. In fact, they were young adults. Apparently he looked at these young adults that had been raised, 3,000 randomly selected American young adults, probably not quite time yet to determine what the future of these people really looks like.
The generational outcome of kids raised in homosexual families I think is just going to be just mind-blowing. We’re not going to know how many suicides; we’re not going to know how messed up and trashed up these families are, these young people are, as they try to form their own families. Generation by generation by generation you know—you know—that these dysfunctional families that are not proper, traditional families, are going to be more and more dysfunctional as you get into later generations.
Now you’re probably not going to discover this at twenty-four years of age, but when these people turn thirty-six, when they turn forty-eight, when they turn fifty-seven, you’re going to see over the generations that what we’ve done in experimenting with kids, allowing them to be raised in these homosexual families is going to be one of the most devastating things we have ever seen in the history of mankind.
Joining other anti-gay activists in embracing a debunked study about the children of gay and lesbian parents, Linda Harvey of Mission America today warned that families led by same-sex couples represent “a picture of dysfunction.” Harvey, who this week in a WorldNetDaily column lamented that society is allowing “sexual deviance to be exalted,” urged listeners to “protect our kids” from gays who “insist on modeling their sexual immorality to their children” and expose “kids to serious kids”:
Harvey: Friends, this is a picture of dysfunction where the next generation is not simply disadvantaged by adults who insist on modeling their sexual immorality to their children, it’s also a picture of exposing kids to serious risks. We already knew this, of course, and now the picture is backed up by detailed facts. People of conscience need to continue to stand up against attempts to call homosexuality the same as committed male-female marriage. It’s not and it never will be. People who are drawn to homosexuality do not need to stay there, there’s no reliable evidence that these attractions are inborn and we know that starting with the word of God. Now we have verification of the truth about the outcomes of these relationships. Let’s protect our kids and educate all our family and friends.