Lisa Miller

Duck the Halls: The Religious Right's Own War on Christmas

If you’re already tired of the Duck Dynasty flap, I have some bad news for you: Religious Right leaders aren’t going to drop it. On Christmas Eve, while millions of Americans were finishing Christmas preparations and gathering with loved ones, Janet Porter and Rick Scarborough were holding an emergency conference call to launch Porter’s latest gimmicky scheme: sending rubber ducks to A&E executives to protest the suspension of Phil Robertson.

Porter has been warning about a war on American Christians for years – she even wrote a book called The Criminalization of Christianity.  So she clearly sees this as her (current) last chance to save America.  Faith2Action has launched a website MailTheDuck.com, at which you can hand over your contact information to Porter so that she can send a postcard on your behalf to Nancy Dubuq, CEO of A&E Networks, declaring “You Can’t Camouflage Anti-Christian Bigotry!” The postcard demands an apology and warns of a boycott until Robertson is reinstated.  You can also fork over some cash if you want to send a rubber duck or ten to A&E to be sure they get the message.

The opening image of the website is, unfortunately, a big lie. It’s a picture of Robertson with the word FIRED stamped across it. In fact, Robertson hasn’t been fired for making offensive comments in a magazine interview, just suspended. Americans who have wanted to get their Duck on this week have been able to watch a Duck Dynasty marathon. Even WND, in its story on the project, notes: “According to Entertainment Weekly, sources close to the show report nine of the 10 remaining episodes of season four have already been shot, and the network has no plans to cut out the footage featuring the senior Robertson.”

But on the conference call Porter and Scarborough had with activists, freedom was hanging by a thread. Robertson’s suspension is “an atrocity,” “an attack on religious liberty” and an effort to “shut down Christians.” Faith itself is at risk of “being declared unlawful.” Porter even compared Robertson to the famous Chinese activist who stood in front of a tank (yeah, that’s just the kind of risk Robertson took by spouting off to GQ magazine). Porter says Americans can courageously stand with Robertson by sending  millions of ducks (probably made in China, come to think of it) to A&E.

Porter mentioned that she is working on a documentary about anti-Christian persecution. A caller who described herself as a former lesbian urged Porter to include the story of Lisa Miller, the woman who became a far-right folk hero when she kidnapped her child and fled the country rather than obeying court ordered custody arrangements involving Miller’s former partner.  Porter said Miller’s story is part of her film project.

Back to the ducks.  In addition to Scarborough’s Vision America, Porter’s new project is being cosponsored by the dominionist Oak Initiative (Porter is a board member) and by Liberty Counsel, the Religious Right legal group that used to represent Lisa Miller. Of course, Porter and Scarborough aren’t the only ones trying to cash in on the Duck Dynasty controversy. Among those who have launched  petitions are the National Organization for Marriage and Mike Huckabee.  Huckabee and Porter are longtime allies; she declared his 2008 presidential candidacy anointed by God.

Ken Cuccinelli Donor Linked To Kidnapping Case, Anti-Semitic Newspapers

While Ken Cuccinelli may be the top law enforcement officer in the Commonwealth of Virginia, that hasn’t stopped him from taking campaign contributions for his gubernatorial bid from a Religious Right activist linked to a kidnapping investigation. Blue Virginia notes that Cuccinelli donor Philip Zodhiates of Response Unlimited is tied to the Lisa Miller kidnapping case.

Zodhiates was named in a RICO lawsuit [PDF] filed by Janet Jenkins, whose former partner Lisa Miller kidnapped their daughter, Isabella, and fled to a Mennonite community in Central America. Before leaving the country with Isabella, Miller broke off a civil partnership with Jenkins after she renounced homosexuality and moved to Virginia and joined the church founded by Jerry Falwell, who also established Liberty University. Miller abducted Isabella after refusing a court order to transfer custody of their daughter to Jenkins.

The lawsuit depicts how Zodhiates and Liberty University School of Law, which represented Miller, were connected to the kidnapping:

36. Unbeknownst to Plaintiff Janet Jenkins, on September 21, 2009, Lisa Miller and Isabella were transported, in disguise as Amish-Mennonites, to the Canadian border by Philip Zodhiates and at least one other Response Unlimited, Inc. employee. Lisa Miller and Isabella crossed the border at the Rainbow Bridge in a taxi in the early morning hours of September 22, 2009, just days prior to the contact ordered by the Rutland Family Court in its September 2009 Interim Order.

37. In the days prior to September 22, 2009, Lisa Miller and Philip Zodhiates conspired with Kenneth Miller, a member of the Virginia Beachy Amish-Mennonite Brotherhood with whom both Victoria and Philip Zodhiates were acquainted, to arrange the purchase of plane tickets from Canada to Nicaragua for Lisa Miller and Isabella Miller-Jenkins.



41. Unbeknownst to Plaintiff Janet Jenkins, in 2009 Victoria Zodhiates (now Hyden) was an employee of Response Unlimited, Inc., and also a "student worker" at Liberty University School of Law. On information and belief, Victoria Zodhiates sent an email during this time period to her co-workers at the law school requesting donations for supplies to send to Lisa Miller to enable her to remain outside the country. Lisa Miller's attorney, Matthew Staver was the Dean of the Law School and Ms. Zodhiates's boss. Matthew Staver and Philip Zodhiates were also personal acquaintances at this time. On September 20, 2009, both Philip Zodhiates and Victoria Hyden called Lisa Miller's father, Terry Miller in Tennessee to assist in arranging her and Isabella's transportation from a Walmart parking lot in Lynchburg, Virginia, to Waynesboro, Virginia, from whence they would depart for Canada and Nicaragua the next day.

42. In early November, 2009, elders of the Thomas Road Baptist Church packed up the personal belongings of Lisa Miller in two bags. These bags were picked up from Lynchburg, Virginia by Philip Zodhiates who arranged to have the bags transported to Nicaragua by sending them with his son's school teacher who was taking some children on a mission trip to Managua. Philip Zodhiates arranged for the teacher, John Collmus, to deliver the bags at the airport to Timothy Miller. The bags also contained some supplies for Lisa Miller, such as peanut butter. –



53. In May of 2010, Philip Zodhiates contacted Kenneth Miller purportedly to arrange the purchase of hydrangea plants from Millmont Greenhouses, Inc., for his daughter Victoria's wedding. As stated above, Kenneth Miller was an employee of Millmont at that time. Upon information and belief, this transaction with Mr. Zodhiates was never recorded in the normal course of business, but instead, was fraudulently transferred through a payroll account into a check to Andrew Yoder, for $500. Andrew Yoder was never an employee of Millmont Greenhouses, Inc. On August 10, 2012, Andrew Yoder testified under oath that he received a check to cash from Kenneth Miller to enable him to bring cash to Nicaragua to transfer to Timothy Miller. Yoder testified that he believed this cash was related to Lisa Miller.

Zodhiates’ company is also closely tied to Nativist and anti-Semitic groups. Author David Neiwert described how Response Unlimited worked with anti-immigrant “Minutemen” groups in his book And Hell Followed With Her:

Headed up by Diener’s Phil Sheldon and a man named Philip Zodhiates, Response Unlimited makes its money by brokering mailing lists—hundreds of them, gleaned from right-wing organizations and political campaigns, and made available to fundraisers and organizers who can select a list of thousands of names based on their specific interests. Besides the [Minutemen Civil Defense Corps] and readers of the conservative Weekly Standard, among the lists offered by RU is one culled from readers of the notoriously anti-Semitic weekly the Spotlight.

The Southern Poverty Law Center adds that even after Spotlight closed down, Zodhiates maintained ties with its successor:

Response Unlimited, based in Waynesboro, Va., and headed by Christian Right activist Philip Zodhiates, charges $100 for the rental of every 1,000 names of subscribers to the now-defunct Spotlight newspaper. Founded by veteran anti-Semite Willis Carto, The Spotlight carried anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic and wildly conspiracist articles interspersed with ads for Klan, neo-Nazi and related hate groups.

Zodhiates also peddles lists of subscribers to the American Free Press, which replaced The Spotlight when that tabloid was shut down amid legal and financial troubles surrounding Carto. The Free Press began immediately after The Spotlight fizzled in 2001 and picked up many of its predecessor paper's propagandists. Today, the Free Press carries stories on Zionism, secret "New World Order" conspiracies, American Jews and Israel. Mixed in are advertisements for outfits like Pete Peter's Scriptures for America and Kingdom Identity Ministries -- practitioners of Christian Identity, a theology that claims that Jews are the literal descendants of Satan.

Right Wing Leftovers - 7/25/13

  • Not surprisingly, anti-gay activists are pleased with RNC Chairman Reince Priebus' statement that the GOP is not changing its anti-gay views.
  • CBN's David Brody has posted video of pastors praying over Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.
  • There is trouble in Beckville as Glenn Beck declares that Michele Bachmann is "almost dead to me" over her vote against defunding the NSA.
  • They are literally changing the definition of marriage.
  • Finally, the pastor convicted of helping "ex-gay" Lisa Miller kidnap her daughter and flee the country is appealing his conviction, saying he should not have been tried in Vermont.

FRC's Peter Sprigg Suggests Kidnapping Laws Shouldn't Protect Gay Parents

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins hosted senior fellow Peter Sprigg on Washington Watch yesterday to discuss the sentencing of pastor Kenneth Miller for aiding Lisa Miller (no relation), who kidnapped her daughter, Isabella Miller-Jenkins. Perkins recently praised Kenneth Miller’s “courage” in aiding the kidnapping scheme.

Lisa Miller disobeyed a court decision that gave Isabella’s other mother, her former partner Janet Jenkins, visitation rights and, as a result, the courts eventually transferred custody to Jenkins. Miller then fled the country with Isabella to a Mennonite compound in Central America.

Sprigg told Perkins that Jenkins, who was in a civil union with Miller at the time of Isabella’s birth, should not be considered Isabella’s parent because she is not biologically related and therefore shouldn’t be protected by the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act. According to Sprigg, paternity and kidnapping laws should only apply to heterosexual couples.

In normal marriage between a man and a woman the presumption of paternity was a presumption of something that is almost always true. But the Vermont court, which has allowed these civil unions, granted them all the legal rights of marriage, has converted that into a presumption of parentage whereby you are presuming something that cannot be true, something that is biologically impossible. That just shows how in the same-sex marriage debate we are flipping logic on its head.

And another aspect of this is that the law that Lisa ran afoul of and that Kenneth Miller, this pastor, ran afoul of is something called the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act. It was designed again normally for the context of heterosexual marriages that break up, where there is a divorce and perhaps a custody battle between two parents who are both the biological parents — the biological mother and the biological father — who have divorced each other and it’s designed to prevent someone from taking a child and crossing state lines to another jurisdiction in order to get a more favorable court ruling. So the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act was designed to protect the rights of a biological parent so that they cannot have their rights violated by the other biological parent. But here you have the rights of the biological parent being violated by someone who is not the biological parent at all. So again, the original purposes of these laws are being turned on their head in this case.

Liberty Counsel Warns Gay Marriage Will Keep Boys and Girls from Becoming Men and Ladies

Back in 2010, when a federal district court in California heard the first legal challenge to the anti-gay Proposition 8, the judge asked the attorney defending Prop 8 how marriage equality would hurt the ability of straight couples to bear and raise children. The attorney sputtered and answered, “I don’t know.” A key witness for Prop 8’s supporters had the same answer, and later changed his mind to support marriage equality.

Four years later, the case is coming before the Supreme Court, and marriage equality opponents are still struggling to answer that question. In an amicus brief [pdf] filed with the court last week, the anti-gay Liberty Counsel took a shot at it. If marriage equality is achieved, Liberty Counsel argues, “Many boys will grow up without any positive male influence in their lives to show them what it means to be a man, and many girls will grow up without any female influence to show them what it means to be a lady.”

Not only does Proposition 8 further the state’s interest in steering childrearing into the husband-wife marriage model, but it furthers the important interest in providing male and female role models in the family. Male gender identity and female gender identity are each uniquely important to a child’s development. As a result, one very significant justification for defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman is because children need a mother and a father. We live in a world demarcated by two genders, male and female. There is no third or intermediate category. Sex is binary. By striking down Proposition 8, this Court will be making a powerful statement: our government no longer believes children deserve mothers and fathers. In effect, it would be saying: “Two fathers or two mothers are not only just as good as a mother and a father, they are just the same.”

The government promotion of this idea will likely have some effect even on people who are currently married, who have been raised in a particular culture of marriage. But this new idea of marriage, sanctioned by law and government, will certainly have a dramatic effect as the next generation’s attitudes toward marriage, childbearing, and the importance of mothers and fathers are formed. By destroying the traditional definition of marriage, the family structure will be dramatically transformed. Many boys will grow up without any positive male influence in their lives to show them what it means to be a man, and many girls will grow up without any female influence to show them what it means to be a lady.

The repercussions of this are incalculable and will reshape the culture in which we live. Many children learn appropriate gender roles by having interaction with both their mother and their father and by seeing their mother and their father interact together with one another. By redefining marriage to state that this is not a family structure that the state wants to foster and encourage, this Court will be overturning centuries of historical understandings of family and the home.

To give you an idea of the kind of parenting that Liberty Counsel supports, its lawyers Mat Staver and Rena Lindevaldsen, who are named on its brief, are also representing a woman accused of kidnapping her daughter rather than let her have contact with her other mother (the woman’s former same-sex partner).
 

Right Wing Leftovers - 1/25/13

  • The American Decency Association claims that criticism of “ex-terrorist” hoaxer Kamal Saleem is proof that he is telling the truth! 
  • Kenneth Miller has been jailed due to his refusal to testify before a grand jury about his role in the Lisa Miller (no relation) kidnapping case
  • Both David Barton and Liberty Counsel are comparing President Obama to Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Lenin, Fidel Castro and Idi Amin. 
  • Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality is furious that President Obama sent a video message to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Creating Change conference. 
  • Televangelist James Robison laments that marriage equality, abortion rights and the Obama presidency are removing “the hedge of God’s protection” from America and continued “rebellion will ultimately break us.”

Hurricane Sandy is God's Vengeance for Lisa Miller

Back at the very beginning of the Lisa Miller saga, a Facebook page called "Only One Mommy: The Story of Lisa and Isabella Miller" that had been created by Rena Lindevaldsen, Miller's attorney and a professor at Liberty University Law School suddenly went dark and an announcement was made it would be "replaced by a new group (still to be named) that will be created by Linda Wall."

Wall, an "ex-gay" activist and close friend of Miller's who was among those named in a RICO lawsuit filed by Miller's ex-partner Janet Jenkins, created a Facebook group called "Lisa and Isabella" where she occasionally posted updates on the Miller case along with prayers for all those involved. 

On Saturday, with Hurricane Sandy closing in on the East Coast, Wall set off a bit of controversy when she posted this short message on the group's page:

That statement, understandably, did not sit well with some of the Vermont-based members of the group: 

Now what I am seeing is people openly admitting to imprecatory prayer that God will smite my neighbors and me because of where we live. Not prayers that Vermont's politicians and judges will see the error of their ways and come around. Not love. Hatred. And the worst part is that it's not just hatred for enemies, but for innocent people. We must pay the price too solely because of where we live.

And then when I object to prayers FOR MY DEVASTATION (yes that's personal!), I'm met with self-righteous self-justification and excuses. I'm told that I need to do things that are not practical or else I deserve to be harmed.

But Wall was unapologetic, shooting back that "God's judgment is upon this country" and Hurricane Sandy was an example of God's vengeance:

 

I didn't expect most of you to agree with my statement. But I tell you this the tragedy here is that a little six year old Christian girl and her born again Mother had to flee America in order to obey God's Word.

And now a Minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ is facing imprisonment for helping protect a little child from being removed from her biological Christian Mother and turned over to a stranger.

Christians who loved and nurtured Lisa and Isabella through the six plus years are also being sued for obeying God's Word. So look in the mirror and decide where your commitment is.

Vengeance is God's and He does repay.

Not surprisingly, all the offending posts have since been removed. 

Mat Staver Says Attorney in Lisa Miller Kidnapping Case 'Ought to be Sanctioned'

Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, whose firm represented “ex-gay” Lisa Miller who is now wanted for kidnapping, says the attorney representing Miller’s former partner Janet Jenkins “ought to be sanctioned” for filing a RICO lawsuit against Liberty University Law School, where Staver is the dean. Just before the lawsuit was filed against Liberty and other parties implicated in the kidnapping case, a Mennonite pastor was convicted for aiding Miller in kidnapping her daughter Isabella in order to avoid an impending court order to hand over custody to Jenkins.

Ironically, Staver’s law school reportedly teaches students to break the law when representing a client in Miller’s situation, and more information has emerged linking the law school to Miller’s disappearance.

In an interview with the conservative website LifeSiteNews.com, Staver denounced the RICO lawsuit as “outrageously frivolous,” “defamatory” and “sanctionable.”

A lawsuit filed by a homosexual against Liberty University School of Law and various other organizations and individuals for “conspiracy” and “racketeering” is based on lies and is defamatory, according to law school dean Mathew Staver, who says that he will “pursue every recourse” against the plaintiffs for having filed it.

Staver also says that the suit is an attempt to undermine the freedom of speech of pro-family groups in their opposition to homosexual behavior and homosexual parenting.

“This is outrageously frivolous,” Staver told LifeSiteNews.com. “It’s a press release filed in federal court. It is sanctionable, and we will pursue every recourse possible because this suit is defamatory. It’s filled with lies, it’s frivolous, and the attorney who filed it ought to be sanctioned…”

The suit, filed on behalf of Vermont lesbian Janet Jenkins, claims that Liberty University School of Law, Thomas Road Baptist Church, Christian Aid Ministries, and other organizations and individuals are involved in various schemes of “conspiracy” and “racketeering” for allegedly offering support for ex-lesbian Lisa Miller’s and her daughter’s escape from the United States in 2009.

Liberty Law School and Others Hit With RICO Lawsuit Over Lisa Miller Kidnapping

Yesterday Kenneth Miller was convicted of aiding an international parental kidnapping for the role he played in helping Lisa Miller (no relation) flee the country with her daughter rather than abide by a court order transferring custody to her former partner, Janet Jenkins.

But that was not the only interesting development in the case, as Jenkins has now filed a civil RICO lawsuit [PDF] against Kenneth Miller and several others who allegedly played a role in helping Lisa Miller kidnap her daughter and leave the country, including Liberty University Law School and Thomas Road Baptist Church:

 41. Unbeknownst to Plaintiff Janet Jenkins, in 2009 Victoria Zodhiates (now Hyden) was an employee of Response Unlimited, Inc., and also a "student worker" at Liberty University School of Law. On information and belief, Victoria Zodhiates sent an email during this time period to her co-workers at the law school requesting donations for supplies to send to Lisa Miller to enable her to remain outside the country. Lisa Miller's attorney, Matthew Staver was the Dean of the Law School and Ms. Zodhiates's boss. Matthew Staver and Philip Zodhiates were also personal
acquaintances at this time. On September 20, 2009, both Philip Zodhiates and Victoria Hyden called Lisa Miller's father, Terry Miller in Tennessee to assist in arranging her and Isabella's transportation from a Walmart parking lot in Lynchburg, Virginia, to Waynesboro, Virginia, from whence they would depart for Canada and Nicaragua the next day.

42. In early November, 2009, elders of the Thomas Road Baptist Church packed up the personal belongings of Lisa Miller in two bags. These bags were picked up from Lynchburg, Virginia by Philip Zodhiates who arranged to have the bags transported to Nicaragua by sending them with his son's school teacher who was taking some children on a mission trip to Managua. Philip Zodhiates arranged for the teacher, John Collmus, to deliver the bags at the airport to Timothy Miller. The bags also contained some supplies for Lisa Miller, such as peanut butter.

...

47. Lisa Miller's attorneys Mathew Staver and Rena Lindevaldsen also routinely instructed their Law School students that the correct course of action for a person in Lisa Miller's situation would be to engage in "civil disobedience" and defy court orders.

48. Also in 2009, TRBC Head Pastor Jonathan Falwell was among several religious leaders who made a call for "Christian civil disobedience" and published a public declaration, known as The Manhattan Declaration stating that they:

"will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family."

49. Hence, Defendants TRBC and its related ministry Liberty University School of Law encouraged its agents to disregard state laws governing parental rights, particularly Vermont's law giving rights to members of same-sex families. The TRBC and Liberty University School of Law through its public declaration promoted, condoned and explicitly ratified its agent's tortious, racketeering activity. These agents and employees have followed this direction, making TRBC and Liberty University School of Law liable in respondeat superior for the consequences.

...

57. At the trial of Kenneth Miller in August 2012, a number of Lisa Miller's friends and supporters testified, including Defendant Wright, and several members of the PIC. When asked if any of them had met or heard of Philip Zodhiates, the answer was no. At the trial, the government introduced phone records that showed phone calls made from Philip Zodhiates's cell phone between 1:28pm and 1:30pm on September 22, 2009, to a cell phone with an Orlando area code that is registered to Liberty Counsel, a landline registered to Liberty Counsel, and a landline registered to Liberty University School of Law. Mathew Staver, Dean of the Liberty University School of Law, splits his time between Lynchburg, Virginia and Orlando, Florida. At the time that the calls were made, Philip Zodhiates was still en route back to Virginia after depositing Lisa Miller and Isabella near the Canadian border.

58. Lisa Miller's attorneys, Matthew Staver and Rena Lindevaldsen have at all times maintained that they did not know their client's location to various courts in Vermont (including in sworn testimony of Rena Lindevaldsen) and Virginia, and to the press that she simply stopped communicating with them and disappeared.

59. Meanwhile, Matthew Staver's acquaintance, Philip Zodhiates, and his daughter Victoria, an assistant in the Law School knew of Lisa Miller's whereabouts and solicited donations from other Law School employees for her aid. Upon information and belief, other law school employees who spoke to Victoria about Lisa Miller's whereabouts were too intimidated to come forward to law enforcement for fear of angering Dean Staver and losing their jobs. During the time that Lisa and Isabella were missing, Dean Staver fired several members of the admissions and financial aid department who were under his supervision. To this day, Victoria Hyden is still an employee of the law school, even though her tortious conduct involving Isabella Miller-Jenkins has been in public court records for over a year. Also, while Lisa Miller and Isabella were missing, Lisa Miller's attorneys continued to press appeals on Lisa Miller's behalf until the last appeals were exhausted in November 2010 (more than a year after she was missing), stating that they had advance instructions from Lisa Miller as to her wishes for the ongoing litigation.

...

62. Based on the foregoing, all of the Defendants named herein, in both their individual capacities and as agents of TRBC, Liberty University Law School, Response Unlimited, Inc., and CAM are liable for conspiring with Lisa Miller and with each other to kidnap Isabella Miller-Jenkins, assure her continued detention outside the State of Vermont, and for conspiring with Kenneth Miller to participate in the affairs of the Beachy Amish-Mennonite Brotherhood through a pattern of racketeering activity .. Defendants are also liable for conspiring to violate Janet Jenkins' and Isabella Miller-Jenkins' rights to a parent-child relationship on account oflsabella having two mothers instead of a mother and a father, and Defendant Wright is liable under 42 U.S.C. 1986 for failing to prevent the violation of Plaintiffs' civil rights.

Is Bryan Fischer Trying to Get Himself Sued?

On his radio program yesterday, Bryan Fischer proclaimed that Lisa Miller had a responsibility to God to defy court orders granting visitation and custody rights to her former partner, Janet Jenkins, and kidnap her daughter and flee the country.

Fischer returned to the case today where he baselessly but repeatedly asserted that Jenkins sexually abused the girl:

[When] the girl came home, she suffered nightmares, she was wetting the bed, she was harming herself, she gave every indication of being sexually molested while she'd been in the company of this lesbian. She told her mom that she had bathed naked with this lesbian person to whom she's not even related, hadn't seen her in like four years and she's taking baths without any clothes on with this lady at five and a half.

So she's coming home clearly very disturbed, agitated emotionally by these visits and the mom said I'm not going to do it, I'm not going to put my child back into that environment. And the Vermont judge says that if you don't submit your child to an abusive environment, it was emotionally abusive, it was sexually abusive and the judge was saying, look if you don't put your child in that environment, I'm going to take your child away from you altogether and I'm going to award sole custody to the lesbian.

That was the plan; in fact the judge ruled you gotta turn her over January 1, 2010, you got to hand her over to this lesbian household where there's a proven record of child abuse. 

Fischer Says Ex-Gay Mom had an Obligation to God to Kidnap Her Daughter and Flee

For years now, we have been covering the case of Lisa Miller, a former lesbian who found Christ thanks to Jerry Falwell's church and then sought to prevent her former partner from having any sort of visitation with the couple's daughter.  After repeated violations of court orders regarding visitation arrangements, Miller was ordered to hand over custody of her daughter, at which points she kidnapped her and fled the country.

Ever since, the case has become a rallying point for anti-gay Religious Right activists and today a trial got underway for a man accused of helping Miller and her daughter flee to South America, prompting Bryan Fischer to come to Miller's defense by declaring that this kidnapping was entirely justified because the little girl was being sexually abused by Miller's former partner and so Miller had a responsibility "to obey God rather than man" and had no choice but to kidnap her daughter and run:

The New York Times Sheds New Light on the Lisa Miller Kidnapping Case

New York Times reporter Erik Eckholm has a big front-page story in Sunday’s paper on a case that readers of RWW are familiar with: the disappearance of Lisa Miller. Eckholm traveled to Nicaragua to talk with the Mennonite communities that have helped harbor Miller and her daughter Isabella on their flight from United States law enforcement and from Isabella’s other legal parent, Miller’s former partner Janet Jenkins of Vermont. Miller, who kidnapped her daughter rather than allow her to have visitation rights with Jenkins, has become a cause celebre among the Religious Right, a supposed victim of anti-Christian persecution.

Eckholm supplies us with an illuminating and creepy anecdote about a family of hamsters left to die in Miller’s abandoned house, and casts some light on the thinking of those who helped harbor Miller in Nicaragua. But there’s one important piece of the puzzle that remains a mystery: did Miller’s attorneys at Liberty University have anything to do with Miller’s disappearance? LU Law School dean Mat Staver tells Eckholm that he was surprised as anyone when Miller disappeared, as he has since it first became known.

But Liberty University’s relationship with Miller has always been a little complicated. Rena Lindevaldsen, an LU Law School dean and Miller’s attorney before she disappeared, has now written a book arguing Miller’s case. And even before Miller kidnapped with Isabella, Lindevaldsen and Staver were teaching Miller’s case as an example of a situation where the demands of “God’s law” trump those of “man’s law.” Religion Dispatches’ Sarah Posner talked with several students who had taken a required class from the two deans and got her hands on a copy of an exam that quizzed students on what to do in Lisa Miller’s situation:

Students at Liberty Law School tell RD that in the required Foundations of Law class in the fall of 2008, taught by Miller’s attorneys Mat Staver and Rena Lindevaldsen, they were repeatedly instructed that when faced with a conflict between “God’s law” and “man’s law,” they should resolve that conflict through “civil disobedience.” One student said, “the idea was when you are confronted with a particular situation, for instance, if you have a court order against you that is in violation of what you see as God’s law, essentially... civil disobedience was the answer.

This student and two others, who all requested anonymity for fear of reprisal by Staver (who is also the law school’s dean), recounted the classroom discussion of civil disobedience, as well as efforts to draw comparisons between choosing “God’s law” over “man’s law” to the American revolution and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail. According to one student, in the Foundations course both Staver and Lindevaldsen “espoused the opinion that in situations where God’s law is in direct contradiction to man’s law, we have an obligation to disobey it.”
...
That semester’s mid-term exam, obtained by RD [see excerpts of the actual exam here], included a question based on Miller’s case asking students to describe what advice they would give her “as a friend who is a Christian lawyer.” After laying out a slanted history of the protracted legal battle, the exam asked, “Lisa needs your counsel on how to think through her legal situation and how to respond as a Christian to this difficult problem. Relying only on what we have learned thus far in class, how would you counsel Lisa?”

Students who wrote that Miller should comply with court orders received bad grades while those who wrote she should engage in civil disobedience received an A, the three students said. “People were appalled,” said one of the students, adding, “especially as lawyers to be, who are trained and licensed to practice the law—to disobey that law, that seemed completely counterintuitive to all of us.”

Still, some knew what they needed to “regurgitate,” in order to get a good grade. “It was obvious by the substance of the class during the semester the answer that they wanted,” said one of the students. “The majority of people that I am acquainted with who did get As wrote that because that was expected of them.”

One of the students who got an A said, “I told them she needed to engage in civil disobedience and seriously consider leaving the country,” adding, “I knew what I needed to write.”

Given what was expected of them on the exam, and the tenor of the class, there is “not a lot of shock among the students about the current developments,” said one of the students, referring to the revelation that Miller is in hiding in Nicaragua. “Everybody semi-suspected that Liberty Counsel had something to do with her disappearance.”


Of course, we have no way of knowing what Liberty Counsel knew and when they knew it. But Posner’s reporting shows that it’s certainly worth looking into.

Second Mennonite Pastor Arrested in Lisa Miller Kidnapping Case

We have been following the Lisa Miller saga for nearly two years now, beginning back in late 2009 when it started to become apparent that Miller had kidnapped her daughter and fled the country rather than abide by court-ordered custody arrangements with her former partner Janet Jenkins.

Earlier this year there was a break in the case when a Mennonite pastor named Timothy Miller (no relation to Lisa) was arrested for allegedly having helped Miller and her daughter Isabella flee the country for Nicaragua and charged with aiding and abetting in the international kidnapping. 

A few weeks ago, the charges against Timothy Miller were dropped in exchange for agreeing to cooperate with authorities in the investigation. Today it is being reported that information Timothy Miller provided has led to charges against another man, Kenneth Miller (who is not apparently related to either Timothy Miller or Lisa Miller,) for his role in the kidnapping:

A Virginia man who federal prosecutors say helped a woman leave the country with her daughter so she wouldn’t have to turn custody of the girl over to her former lesbian partner surrendered Tuesday to face charges he aided in international parental kidnapping.

A complaint unsealed Tuesday said Kenneth L. Miller, 46, of Stuarts Draft, Va., arranged passage for Lisa Miller to travel to Canada before flying with her daughter in September 2009 to Nicaragua, where she was sheltered for a time by a group of Mennonite missionaries.

...

The affidavit made public Tuesday indicated that Timothy Miller had helped provide the information that led to the charges against Kenneth Miller.

The affidavit says Timothy Miller arranged passage for Lisa Miller and her daughter, paying for the tickets with his mother-in-law’s credit card, but Kenneth Miller had told him he would be reimbursed for the price of the tickets.

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The latest complaint alleges that Kenneth Miller, a Mennonite pastor, asked another Mennonite pastor from Ontario, whose name was redacted from the affidavit, to meet Lisa Miller and her daughter Isabella, now 11, at a hotel in Niagara, Ontario.

In Ontario, that pastor picked Lisa Miller and her daughter up at the hotel and took them to the airport in Toronto, where they flew to Mexico and then Central America.

If convicted of aiding in international parental kidnapping, Kenneth Miller could be sentenced to three years in prison.

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