In a news article titled "Did O'Reilly force Illinois Governor's hand in signing of Jessica's Law?" (http://rffm.typepad.com/republicans_for_fair_medi/2007/10/rffmorg-news-ex.html) RFFM.org inaccurately reported Jessica's Law would not have become law if Governor Rod Blagojevich had failed to sign the bill before 60 days. In reality, the Illinois Constitution provides that a bill failed to be signed by a Governor within 60 days after it comes to his desk automatically becomes law if he does not act on said legislation.
The Illinois Constitution states:
ARTICLE IV (THE LEGISLATURE)
SECTION 9. VETO PROCEDURE
(a) Every bill passed by the General Assembly shall be presented to the Governor within 30 calendar days after its passage. The foregoing requirement shall be judicially enforceable. If the Governor approves the bill, he shall sign it and it shall become law.
(b) If the Governor does not approve the bill, he shall veto it by returning it with his objections to the house in which it originated. Any bill not so returned by the Governor within 60 calendar days after it is presented to him shall become law. If recess or adjournment of the General Assembly prevents the return of a bill, the bill and the Governor's objections shall be filed with the Secretary of State within such 60 calendar days. The Secretary of State shall return the bill and objections to the originating house promptly upon the next meeting of the same General Assembly at which the bill can be considered.
(c) The house to which a bill is returned shall immediately enter the Governor's objections upon its journal. If within 15 calendar days after such entry that house by a record vote of three-fifths of the members elected passes the bill, it shall be delivered immediately to the second house. If within 15 calendar days after such delivery the second house by a record vote of three-fifths of the members elected passes the bill, it shall become law.
(d) The Governor may reduce or veto any item of appropriations in a bill presented to him. Portions of a bill not reduced or vetoed shall become law. An item vetoed shall be returned to the house in which it originated and may become law in the same manner as a vetoed bill. An item reduced in amount shall be returned to the house in which it originated and may be restored to its original amount in the same manner as a vetoed bill except that the required record vote shall be a majority of the members elected to each house. If a reduced item is not so restored, it shall become law in the reduced amount.
(e) The Governor may return a bill together with specific recommendations for change to the house in which it originated. The bill shall be considered in the same manner as a vetoed bill but the specific recommendations may be accepted by a record vote of a majority of the members elected to each house. Such bill shall be presented again to the Governor and if he certifies that such acceptance conforms to his specific recommendations, the bill shall become law. If he does not so certify, he shall return it as a vetoed bill to the house in which it originated.
RFFM.org stands by the original premise of the story which questions why Governor Blagojevich nearly ran out the clock on Jessica's law and signed the bill just days after inquiries from producers for Bill O'Reilly (The O'Reilly Factor--FOX News). RFFM.org apologizes for the technical error regarding the edicts within the Illinois State Constitution. -- DTZ
The following story has been corrected because of technical inaccuracies in the original version regarding the Illinois Constitution and its application to bills passed by both Houses of the state General Assembly.
Springfield, Illinois -- RFFM.org has learned producers for Bill O'Reilly [The O'Reilly Factor, FOX News] recently contacted the office of state senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) regarding the status of Jessica's Law in Illinois. Producers of the highly rated cable news program were inquiring as to why Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich had not yet signed the legislation into law. The deadline for the Governor's signature on the bill was fast approaching and some critics were beginning to speculate whether Blagojevich was going to let the highly popular bill, designed to identify and monitor sexual predators of children, expire. [Photo Bill O'Reilly]
Once it reaches his desk, after a bill is passed by both Houses of the Illinois General Assembly, the Governor has 60 days to either sign the legislation into law, veto the bill, simply allow the bill to expire or the law would go into effect automatically after the 60 day period. The legislation, SB1397, puts additional restrictions on child sex offenders and producers of methamphetamine. In addition, the bill will further restrict child sex offenders and methamphetamine producers. It also increases punishments for sex offenders and establishes a meth ingredient sales tracking pilot program in a selected county. [Photo Gov. Blagojevich]
Concern was raised when the date for the signing of Jessica's Law was quickly approaching the deadline for the Governor's signature. The Illinois General Assembly voted passage of the law on July 11, 2007. The legislation was on Governor Rod Blagojevich's desk on August 9th, awaiting his signature. But the bill was not signed by Blagojevich until October 5th.
Senator Brady, who was one of the major sponsors of Jessica's Law in Illinois, was contacted by producers for The O'Reilly Factor only days before Blagojevich finally signed the bill. The law is named after Jessica Lunsford, a nine year old Florida girl who was kidnapped, raped and buried alive. Jessica's killer, John Evander Couey, now sits on Florida's death row. O'Reilly says a version of Jessica's Law has been enacted in over 40 states. The FOX News commentator has made the passage of this bill across America a personal mission and many believe pressure from O'Reilly has led to the successful passage of Jessica's Law in more than a few states. [Photo Jessica Lunsford]
RFFM.org learned producers for Bill O'Reilly also contacted Blagojevich's office shortly before he signed the legislation into law. The bill will go into effect in January of 2008, according to a press release issued by Senator Brady.
"I don't know whether inquiries from Bill O'Reilly had any effect on the Governor's signing of Jessica's Law," said an Illinois law maker. "I know there were special interests group who did not care for the bill and those same special interests groups have a substantial influence on the Democratic Party. But the law has been signed and no matter how we reached the goal or what it took to get there doesn't matter to me, although some voters might see it a different way."
According to O'Reilly, only seven states are now lacking legislation modeled after Jessica's Law. After his daughter's death, Jessica's father, Mark Lunsford, has dedicated his life to the protection of children from child predators. He is seen by many as a catalyst for numerous pieces of legislation designed to identify and track individuals who prey on children.
Copyright 2007 RFFM.org
"Doctor" Vinod Goyal is one of the Chicago area's most prolific abortionists, owning or operating a string of five suburban mills. Since July of 2002, pro-life activists have peacefully gathered in front of his Inverness, Illinois house or at the entrance to the exclusive subdivision on the third Saturday of each month. Jim Finnegan and I have been privileged to lead the witnesses for life in raising our voices in prayer, reading the Bible, and making his neighbors and passers-by aware of how Goyal makes his living.
Unfortunately, as all too often happens, what began as a group of well over a hundred dwindled to the point that the vigils were suspended. But Jim refused to allow the effort to fade away and urged we gather together before the winter winds blow to remind Goyal that we will never stop until he stops killing babies. Saturday, October 20th from 1 - 2 P.M. was picked as the day and time for our return.
Unfortunately, Jim had a commitment out of state and was unable to attend. So, early that morning I loaded my pickup truck with our signs and banners and set off for work. Saturdays are typically my busiest day of the week, but I had only one appointment scheduled--Sauk Village at 10 A.M.--and was confident I would arrive in Inverness with plenty of time to spare. God had other plans.
Due to an incredible traffic jam on the Tri-state Tollway--which Newsradio 78 never even mentioned--I arrived seven minutes late at Goyal's house; no one was there. (1) Keeping in mind Joe Scheidler's admonition to never picket alone (2) I sat in my truck and prayed, while I waited to see if any other stragglers would show up. Five minutes slowly ticked by, then ten. After fifteen minutes, I was still alone and decided to leave.
I will admit I was discouraged, maybe even a little disheartened, as I left for home until I rounded the curve and saw an elderly man walking along side the road. Now you must understand that seeing a pedestrian in this subdivision is not an every day occurrence--typically the only people you see on foot are landscapers--so I slowed down to see if I recognized him. Sure enough, he was one of Pro-Life Action League's most faithful, Dan Wenzel. I invited him to hop in and said I would turn around so we could witness together for an hour. "By the way," I asked, "where is your car parked?" His answer surprised and humbled me. "I didn't drive. I walked."
Wenzel, 78, had walked a mile from his apartment to Harlem Avenue. He then rode a bus north for about a half hour until Northwest Highway where he walked a couple of miles to the Edison Park Metra station; after another thirty minute ride, he arrived at the Palatine train station. Dan then walked over four miles to Goyal's house. All-in-all, he had invested at least three hours to attend a one hour prayer vigil.
Wetzel modestly summed up his superior effort with, "It's a nice day and I needed the exercise." He was even reluctant to accept my offer to drive him to the train station afterwards because it would be "out of my way."
Talking with Dan in the car gave me a new perspective. Here I was upset because I had driven for about an hour, listening in comfort to the NIU Huskies fall to the Wisconsin Badgers, and no one was waiting for me yet he never complained one iota. To the contrary, he apologized for being late. He showed me true dedication, humility and faith. He also reminded me that doing the right thing always takes more effort, but the rewards--in this life and the next--are awesome! Thank you Dan for reminding me what it means to sacrifice to walk with the angels.
Tomorrow, Saturday, October 27th Fox Valley Families Against Planned Parenthood is holding a massive event at the Aurora Abortion Fortress, 3051 East New York Street, from 9 A.M. until 11:30 A.M. This is your chance to do God's bidding.
The headline on Pro-Life Action League's announcement proclaims, "It's not over. "We're here for life." This event will include:
. Continuous prayer walk around the block--bring your hymnal.
. "Old school" picket along New York Street--signs provided (3)
. Pro-life display at New York & Eola Road--show the beauty of life.
. Special activities for teens and kids--bring the whole family
. Free Choose Life caps for the first 200--so come early!
Need more information? You can contact the Pro-Life Action League at (773) 777-2900.
Not sure if you can make time in your busy schedule? Just remember Dan Wetzel's dedication. I promise I'll be there.
(1) I found out the next day that I had missed two pro-lifers by less than two minutes.
(2) "One person truth teams are difficult and unsafe. Also, there will be no friendly witness in case of trouble." CLOSED 99 Ways to Stop Abortion, Joseph M. Scheidler (Chapter 2).
(3) Graphic abortion pictures will not be used at this event.
Dan Gura is a contributing editor to RFFM.org
Commentary by Daniel T. Zanoza, National Director, RFFM.org
Recently, Focus on the Family founder, Dr. James Dobson [www.family.org/] warned if Rudy Giuliani won the Republican Party's presidential nomination it would be a disaster for the pro-life movement in America. In fact, Dobson went so far as to say he would consider leading a movement to form a third party if Giuliani were indeed the GOP nominee.
I have heard some say Dobson and pro-lifers would essentially be cutting off their nose to spite their face because a socially conservative third party candidate would virtually assure the election of a Democratic president, probably Hillary Clinton. However, those who criticize Dobson don't get it and probably never will. If Giuliani were to win the presidency, the power brokers in the Republican Party would forever more look to a so-called social moderate as part of a winning formula regarding future presidential elections. If this happens, the pro-life movement would be marginalized and so would the issue in future election cycles.
A win by Giuliani would have an impact beyond national elections as well. There are those in the GOP who fervently maintain social conservatives are a drag on the Republican Party and the effects of a Giuliani win would filter down to local politics as well.
What those who would support Giuliani don't understand about the pro-life movement is we really think abortion is the taking of innocent life. Even if Hillary Clinton became the next President of the United States, it would be better than electing Rudy Giuliani which would eventually doom the pro-life movement for perpetuity. No political race is worth that price.
I hear political pragmatists say sometimes we simply have to choose between the lesser of two evils. But I feel Americans should never choose evil at all. A vote for Giuliani is a vote for abortion rights. A vote for Giuliani is a vote that would further erode the Second Amendment. A vote for Giuliani would also challenge the institution of marriage in America.
Some day Republicans will learn we cannot be better Democrats than Democrats themselves.
Deep down I am hoping the scenario described above will never take place. I contend Rudy Giuliani's numbers are inflated because of a media which often portrays the former New York Mayor in a more positive light than his conservative opponents. In time the Republican base will finally catch on and Giuliani's chances for the GOP nomination will diminish. It better or there will be big trouble on the horizon.
The Republican Party must understand this reality. There are individuals like myself who have pledged never to vote for a pro-abortion candidate and, in essence, support the killing of the innocent unborn. The sooner they understand this truth, the better the Party will be.
RFFM.org Commentary by Daniel T. Zanoza, National Director
Despite an attempted veto by Democratic Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, the state's General Assembly passed legislation requiring public school teachers to call for a "moment of silence" at the start of each school day. The landmark legislation was upheld when the state's General Assembly overrode Blagojevich's attempted veto of the bill by a vast margin. The law went into affect last week, but will not be implemented until the Illinois State Board of Education lays out guidelines for educators to follow.
The new Illinois law is seen by many as the first salvo in the battle to again allow the observance of First Amendment rights regarding religion in the state's public schools. In 1962, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling titled, "Engel v. Vitale" removed prayer from classrooms across America. Many feel the high court's 1962 ruling was the first step leading to the various social problems which have been visited upon American society during the past 45 years.
The Illinois law, SB1463, amends the Silent Reflection and Student Prayer Act to require (instead of allow) a teacher to observe a brief period of silence at the opening of every school day [http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/95/SB/09500SB1463.htm]. The moment of silence, will be mandatory, but students will be able to observe the period in any manner they wish.
One of the groups which strongly supported SB1463 was the Illinois Family Institute (IFI) which lobbied for the bill's passage.
"It is good to see that the state is finally recognizing that citizens have freedom of religion, not freedom from religion," points out IFI's Dave Smith. "While liberal groups like the ACLU and People for the American Way continue to spread misinformation about the supposed 'separation of church and state' and how it should be applied, the First Amendment guarantees the right of all Americans to freely exercise religious freedom. Simply offering students a moment of silence each school day in appreciation of that sacred right is a good thing."
There has been a great deal of speculation as to why the "moment of silence" requirement did not face greater opposition from groups like the ACLU and the teachers' unions. Conventional wisdom concerning the issue indicates black religious leaders and the African-American community in general were in strong support of the bill. The support from blacks and other special interest groups muted much of the criticism that would be expected from the political left regarding such legislation. Indeed, the original vote taken by the Illinois General Assembly had strong bi-partisan support and Blagojevich's veto was also met by a unified front from both Democrats and Republicans.
The Democratic Party dominates Illinois politics and the party holds every state elected office. Both Houses of the General Assembly are also controlled by Democrats and the passage of the new law was a surprise to many political observers.
"This bill may begin to undo the damage created by the 1962 Supreme Court ruling," said one Illinois lawmaker. "Illinois may be in the forefront of a movement to reinstate the Constitutional rights of students in our public schools."
Conservatives have long criticized the 1962 decision which stripped prayer from America's classrooms. They see the new Illinois law as the beginning of a response to the secularization of American society by the radical left. Some believe the Illinois legislation may prompt other states to follow suit.
From the Desk of Bill Zettler *
“Man never understands that the cities he has built are not an integral part of Nature. If he wants to defend his culture from wolves he must keep a rifle always at hand. If he goes to sleep, if he thinks about something else for a year or two, then everything’s lost. The wolves come out of the forest, and everything is buried under dust and snow.” Vasily Grossman, Russian author.
In part one of this 2 part series I outlined the concept of Resource Acquisition as a driving force for all life. In part two, I will outline what could happen if Resource Acquisition needs come to the forefront because of a terrorist act in the West.
The prime example is the 9/11 terrorists attacks. On that day our resources were not only threatened, but many were actually destroyed, reminding us deep in our DNA that threats to our survival and threats to our Resources were real and immediate. We began to realize that pacifism and multi-tribalism are anti-resource acquisition and therefore dangerous to our survival. What should our response be? Destroy competitive predators (including terrorists) and aggressively pursue Resource Acquisition at every level. Those who control resources control human destiny. To think otherwise is cultural suicide.
Western cultures have a problem though, and that problem is wealth and its tendency to distance us from reality, its separation from the real source of our physical well-being, Resource Acquisition skills. Extensive, American-type wealth is a recent phenomena in the 120,000-year history of Homo sapiens and has a tendency to make us think resources have always been here and always will be in the future. Memories of the constant struggle to acquire and maintain those resources have been temporarily forgotten, a sort of cultural amnesia. But our DNA contains the history of our species and DNA does not forget.
In reality, resources are the sin qua non of survival not manna from heaven. The ability to acquire resources, not just having accumulated resource wealth available, is quintessential to survival. Wealth, that is having resources already available for use without effort, is the false prophet of liberal thinking. If wealth disappears, the elemental, instinctive sense of Resource Acquisition will return to humans with a vengeance.
You need look no further than Africa to see how lack of wealth results in the Resource Acquisition instinct coming to the fore. Resource wars in the Congo, Liberia, Somalia and the Sudan are evidence that, in the end, Resource Acquisition is the driving force of life. You will notice there are few, if any, liberal sentiments in these countries and gun control, such as for Darfurans, is a certain death sentence.
Darwin’s theory allows for no conscious sharing of resources between species. Wolves and vultures don’t share the carcass, wolves abandon it for better opportunities and vultures get the leavings. Resource Acquisition by one species means less resources available for the other. Fewer wolves today are a direct result of humans killing them and taking their resources. Given the chance, wolves will return the favor. They are only biding their time until we make a big enough mistake that will allow them to come back.
What could that mistake be? Don’t think for a moment any of us are all that far from the citizens of Somalia. They have no clean water or sewage treatment nor much food. If a terrorist explodes a nuclear bomb or even a dirty bomb in Lake Michigan near Chicago, millions would have no clean water, or sewage or much food. A single terrorist event and we are right back fighting the wolves, human and otherwise. Unlikely? Perhaps, but much more likely now than it was 10 years ago.
If that happens you won’t be concerned about learning the Koran or multi-culturalism or reintroducing coyotes to your backyard. Geese and deer will be harvested for food, as they should be now, and predators competing for that food, such as wolves and coyotes, will be killed on sight, again, as they should be. Political correctness will have gone up in smoke along with thousands of people’s lives, jobs, homes and future. If Chicago’s resources are suddenly as limited as Somalia’s, your DNA’s Resource Acquisition instinct will then awaken from its slumber and, no different than Somalis, you will be looking to kill all predators and acquire all the resources you can to protect your family, clan and tribe. Humans who do not realize this will be prey themselves.
Instead of waiting for that terrible event to happen, Darwin says we should kill all the predators now before they kill us. Humans in wolves clothing first.
And there will be more than just terrorist wolves prowling the streets. The Chicago Crime Commission reported that in 2006 Chicago and its suburbs had over 200,000 gang members. FBI audio and video recordings show that the accused Miami terroists called the "Liberty City Seven" hoped to use Chigago street gangs as soldiers who would stage attacks, ranging from large-scale bombings of major buildings, including the Sears Tower, to poisoning salt shakers in restaurants. One of the defendents, Narseal Batiste, is heard on tape saying he would make sure no one survived destruction of the 110-story Sears Tower because his soldiers would be ready to shoot down anyone who escaped.
Where do you think the gangs will be headed if there is a breakdown in civil order in Chicago? My guess is the rich enclaves along the North Shore and other wealthy suburbs because that is where Resource Acquisition will be the easiest and of highest value. And of course the city of Chicago, like New York, has strict gun control laws so the innocent civilians will be unarmed, but the gang Jihadist-anarchists won’t be.
If civil disorder becomes widespread in the West where is the best place to live? Easy, Switzerland where every adult male between the ages of 18 and 50 must by law keep an assault rifle in his home ready for instant use as part of the citizen militia. Instead of tennis clubs and golf courses, the Swiss have Shooting Clubs where sharp-shooting contests are regularly held. Understandably, the Swiss are considered to be the best marksmen in the world. The Swiss not only have a right to bear arms they have a civic duty to bear arms which probably explains why they have never been invaded. Compare that with the American left’s contention that Americans have a civic duty to reject the right to bear arms.
So if Switzerland is the best place where is the worst? I hate to say it, but our friends in Great Britain will be in big trouble if anarchy hits there, as is likely, because of the government’s complete ban on gun ownership. Not only can you not own a gun you can be prosecuted for defending yourself with anything that can be considered a weapon such as a walking stick. Not allowing citizens to defend themselves is leftist corruption of the worst kind. Great Britain joins North Korea, Cuba and Sudan in this hall of shame.
Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister of Great Britain, once said “civilization is a thin veneer over anarchy”. Ironically, the veneer has not been this thin since Genghis Kahn’s Golden Horde spread anarchy and death throughout the Muslim world 800 years ago, leveling everything in their path including Baghdad. And the wolves feasted.
Remember, Rome did fall and the wolves did return. And the innocent and weak were the first to die. Wolves always take gentler blood first.
Bill Zettler is a contributing editor to RFFM.org.
From the Desk of Bill Zettler *
New Delhi, India - "Starving flood victims fought each other for scarce food supplies Monday..." Associated Press, Aug 6, 2007
All life can be described by the term “Resource Acquisition”. This is really what life is about. And it is reflected in the AP quote above.
In the first part of this two part series I define Resource Acquisition as it exists in Nature and give examples of how it has been used by humans over millennia to establish and promote social order. In the second part of this two part series, I describe what might happen if an act of terrorism breaks down this established social order and the historical precedents for the evils of “dark terrorism”, a term recently coined by President Mushareff of Pakistan.
If you are a predator, acquiring a resource such as food is a daily task. Acquiring a female to mate with is an annual or estrus cycle task because females provide offspring, which continues the species, which maintains Resource Acquisition. Finding a safe home/mating location whether a cave, a hole in the ground, or a nest in a tree is acquiring a resource. Killing or driving away competitors is acquiring a resource because lesser competition means more available resources within a given area. Making more resources available in your neighborhood makes it more likely you will succeed in your Resource Acquisition goal, which is survival. Head-butting rams, wolves killing coyotes and pine trees killing all plants beneath their branches are examples.
Examples in the human species are legion. Human tribes burning villages of other tribes and taking their women and food is an example of acquiring resources. Another example is humans killing off wolves and other predators to expand their Resource Acquisition area for food. Wolves basically eat the same protein sources humans do (and humans themselves if given the chance) therefore we had to kill them in order to survive and expand. This is obvious from the numbers: in 10,000 BC there were 20 million wolves and 3 million humans. Now there are 200,000 wolves and 6 billion humans. We killed the wolves before they could kill us and, by doing so, acquired their resources. Humans are the ultimate Resource Acquirers. We don’t need to apologize for that, it is what we are supposed to do.
Wars are fought over resources although the history books will often couch them in different terms. Caesar in Gaul? Resources for feeding and arming Rome. Thirty Years War? Land, gold and taxable populations, all resources to be acquired and subsequently used. US Revolutionary War? Retaining resources, taxes being paid to England and access to all resources in N. America. That was indeed a large Resource Acquisition.
Conservation of resources is another form of acquisition because conservation minimizes the risk of Resource Acquisition failure. And failure to acquire resources means death. Conservation, including procreation, applies because maintaining life provides more opportunity for the species to expand i.e., survive. Procreation is projecting Resource Acquisition for your species into the future.
Predators such as wolves fight to acquire territory, which will provide the two most important resources: food and females. Wolves that acquire territory survive, those that don’t die, either directly in battle or indirectly by the ending of their genetic line. Keep in mind that unlike the current batch of Western humans, wolves do not die of old age they die from failing at Resource Acquisition. There are no nursing homes for wolves. And if the anarchists win this war there will be no nursing homes for humans either.
Think of a human process and you can come up with a Resource Acquisition explanation.
Traditional Marriage? Children are resources provided by women; food, shelter and security are resources provided by males.
Divorce? Economic wealth allows enough resources to be provided to both parties thus eliminating the Resource Acquisition needs of Traditional Marriage. Wealth provides Resource Acquisition reserves i.e., future resource needs can be guaranteed by current wealth unlike resource needs being a daily or constant need.
Capitalism? Using agreed upon rules to acquire as many resources as possible to ensure the survival of your own family, clan and tribe.
Socialism? Theory that Resource Acquisition by a group is more productive than by individuals within the group. It has been proven false and has, in every case, lead to less Resource Acquisition not more. See Soviet Union, China, India, Cuba and North Korea as examples.
Liberalism? Economic wealth dulls Resource Acquisition recognition/anxiety thus encouraging anti-survival behavior such as pacifism, species diversity (including competitive predators), and multi-tribalism (multi-culturalism), even if it threatens your survival. However the Resource Acquisition gene is never permanently muted and when faced with the immediate certainty of resource threats virtually every member of a species, including the human species, will revert to personal Resource Acquisition. It is in our DNA.
In part two of this two part series I will discuss the possibilities of a modern breakdown of social order by terrorist acts. Has it happened before and what should we do to prevent it from happening again?
Bill Zettler is a contributing editor to RFFM.org.
EDITOR'S NOTE: On Sunday, October 7th, two homosexual men made a mockery of the Catholic faith and the Sacrament of Holy Communion in a San Francisco Catholic church. RFFM.org went to Mary Anne Hackett, the President of Catholic Citizens of Illinois for a response to what many are calling "The Outrage in San Francisco." Hackett lays much of the blame for the recent attacks on Christianity and Catholicism in particular in San Francisco at the feet of San Francisco's Archbishop George Niederaurer.
"The Outrage in San Francisco"
Guest Commentary by Mary Anne Hackett, President, Catholic Citizens of Illinois *
Headlines and pictures all over the internet cried out “San Francisco Archbishop gives Communion to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.” The “Sisters,” as described by Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth [www.americansfortruth.org], are a group of men who dress up in outlandish outfits and white facial makeup mocking Catholic nuns and adopting blasphemous, sexualized names. Their motto is “Go and sin some more.”
The recent Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco has been criticized by Catholic groups, including the Catholic League for Religious & Civil Rights which has been promoting a boycott of Miller Brewing Company for its sponsorship of the Fair, which featured public nudity and sexual acts in the streets. The poster announcing the Fair was a mockery of the last supper of Jesus with homosexual men in leather replacing the apostles and Jesus in the picture.
Although Archbishop George Niederaurer did belatedly condemn the blasphemous picture, there has been no condemnation of the Folsom Street Fair or the regular participation by Holy Redeemer Church in the gay pride parades. Holy Redeemer Parish has a history of catering to the homosexual community, apparently overlooking the fact that their lifestyle is in direct contradiction to the teachings of the Catholic Church.
However, one week after the Fair, the ultimate blasphemy that has outraged Catholics around the country, is that Archbishop Niederaurer gave Holy Communion to two of the "Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence," in full costume, at Mass at Holy Redeemer Church. His statement that he didn’t notice any mocking behavior tells you how far gone the parish is. He described them as “two strangely-dressed persons.” I can assure you that “two strangely-dressed persons” presenting themselves for Communion would be considered unacceptable in most parishes in the country and it would be hard to believe that it would not be recognized as a mockery of the Eucharist.
Catholics believe that Holy Communion is the Body and Blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ. If you are aware of the outrage among Christians around the country, you can imagine the horror and shame among Catholics to see their most Holy Sacrament mocked and repudiated in this blasphemous reception by homosexual activists with the full participation of the Archbishop of San Francisco.
Archbishop Niederaurer has apologized to the Catholic people. Is the apology the result of having been caught on videotape in this offensive act? Has he come to the realization that it is time to reform Holy Redeemer Church and perform the duties he was sent to perform -- the sanctification of his flock and the saving of souls? He needs to apologize to Jesus Christ and make reparation for the blasphemy that occurred. It is also my hope that Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, will intervene and take action to assure the Catholic people of San Francisco and other parts of the country that such outrage will not occur again.
* Catholic Citizens of Illinois: www.catholiccitizens.org
Hear ye. Hear ye. I hereby challenge every atheist, heathen and non-believer within ear shot to find the phrase "separation of church and state" anywhere in the Constitution of these United States of America.
You should be forewarned, however, that President James Madison would have told you it does not appear in it. President George Washington would also have told you those words are not in it. And they should know, after all they were both there when it was ratified.
If you could ask the thirty-nine delegates who signed the U.S. Constitution every last one would tell you that the phrase "separation of church and state" does not appear anywhere in it.
If you don't believe me go ahead and read it…it's a fascinating document and you might even learn something about democracy (such as that word never appears in the Constitution either).
So, just where do those five words which have been used to drive such a wedge between our country and God come from? I'll tell you. They're taken from a mere letter penned by a man who did not even sign that sacred document. In fact, he was not even in the United States during the Constitutional Convention--he was in France!
Those words were taken from a personal letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1802, a full fourteen years after the Constitution was ratified. The Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut was worried that the phrase “free exercise of religion” implied this right was government granted rather than God granted. Jefferson, then President, understood their concerns and wrote said gentlemen, “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.”
Hmmmm, when read in its proper context, it's sure a lot different than what you've been led to believe. The truth is Jefferson wrote that phrase to assure the Danbury Baptist Association the government would never interfere with religious activities.
Want more? Let's go straight to the man who actually put quill to parchment, James Madison, who historians regard as the Father of the Constitution. He said, “Religion (is) the basis and foundation of government” and “We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments.”
In fact, it wasn't until 1947, 160 years after the Constitution was written, that Supreme Court Justice Hugo L. Black selected exactly eight words out of context from Jefferson's letter when he wrote the courts opinion in Everson v. Board of Education. Those words, taken wholly out of context, are now commonly referred to as the “Establishment Clause.”
Since very few ever read such opinions, why do people believe that this phrase is actually in the Constitution? Well, as Hitler's propaganda minister Joseph Goebbel's oft said, “If you tell a lie big enough, and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” And the whoppers don't come any bigger than that one.
So, now that you know the truth about the big lie, let's fast forward to the current date. For the last sixty years, spineless politicians and jurists have been selling out Mr. Madison's legacy by buckling under to the demands of a tiny number of vocal atheists. From the late Madalyn Murray O'Hair (one of the litigants in Murray v. Curlett which led the Supreme Court to ban organized prayer in public schools in 1963) to Buffalo Grove resident Robert Sherman (who has pressured many a local suburb into removing all traces of their religious heritages from their logos) we, the God fearing majority, have been silent far too long. We have no one to blame but ourselves.
Excellent illustration: Last month Rob Sherman's daughter Dawn (a freshman member of the Student Council) was instrumental in having Buffalo Grove High School (District 214) ban the singing of "God Bless America" at their homecoming. I had the opportunity to interview Sherman about his daughter's “achievement” in having the patriotic song banned and offer our exchange for your consideration.
Sherman opened by saying, “it's an excellent set of questions. You'll love my secular answer.”
Sherman and I began with a discussion of school calendars being written to accommodate religious holidays. Since Sherman chose to provide one lengthy answer to the several individual questions--which selectively addresses only parts of each actual question--I have edited his response to remove redundancy.
RFFM.org's contributing editor Dan Gura interviews atheist Rob Sherman:
Q. Should District 214 schools require atheists and those of other religions to attend school on December 25th lest the child recognize on some level that their non-attendance is an acknowledgement of Christmas?
A. Public schools classes should be scheduled for only those days on which most students AND most faculty are available to attend.
Public school classes should NOT be scheduled on those days on which the school board knows, in advance, that a substantial number of students and/or faculty will not be available to attend. No religious favoritism nor discrimination here. It's all about numbers.
If the school board knows that most students and/or staff will be unavailable on a particular date, schedule school for a different date. State laws generally require a minimum of 180 to 190 school days in a year. For financial reasons, school districts almost always limit the number of school days to the state minimum. Therefore, there is no shortage of dates in a 365-day calendar year for holding school, so it's not like they'll be missing out on a possible day of education during a year by scheduling school for only those dates when most will be available to attend.
A substantial number of students and faculty are not available on Saturdays or Sundays, so, fine, that leaves 260 weekdays in a 52 week year to pick and choose from the necessary 180 to 190 required school days.
Q. The same holds true for Good Friday, March 21st of the following year. Will every child who does not attend know the reason their vacation begins at the close of school on Thursday, instead of the close of school on Friday, is to allow Christians the day off to honor Christ’s sacrifice? Should non-Christian students and staff be required to attend school on these days? And what about Thanksgiving?
A. Since a substantial number of students and staff are going to be unavailable on July 4th and December 25th, it doesn't matter WHY they will be unavailable, it only matters that they will be unavailable, so schedule school for another one of those 260 dates when students and faculty will be generally available. Otherwise, you'll be using up a school day on a day when the education process will not be progressing, because the next day, the teacher and class would have to go back over the material from the previous day.
Q. Do you intend to demand Buffalo Grove High School be open seven days a week for those who do not obey God's laws (“Remember the Sabbath day”), again, lest observers conclude that God’s laws are being obeyed by teachers and students?
A. No direct answer was given, however, Mr. Sherman did state, “I would like for them to schedule an off day for next year on Monday, October 27th, because that's the day that everybody will want to go downtown to watch the victory parade after the Cubbies win next year's World Series. Couldn't they at least schedule an off day for Opening Day at Wrigley Field? That's a major cultural holiday in Chicagoland, at least on the North Side of the metropolitan area.” He declined my offer of a wager--that he attends a service at my church when the Cubs do not win the World Series next year versus my attendance at the event of his choosing if they do--and offered instead to send his wife, a die-hard Sox fan, in his place.
We next discussed Sherman's daughter's recent activism.
Sherman's website describes it as follows: “One of the first things Dawn did upon starting the school year was to apply for membership in the Student Council so she could be part of a team to challenge any injustice that Dawn came across at school. Dawn was promptly appointed to the Student Council by school administrators. Last week, school administrators presented to the Student Council, for their comments, a list of songs that were planned for homecoming. One of the songs was 'God Bless America.' Dawn immediately objected to the inclusion of that song, on the grounds that songs at public schools should be secular. The Student Council and school administrators both concurred that Dawn was correct, so school administrators removed 'God Bless America' from homecoming. Thank you, Dawn, for banishing God from Buffalo Grove High School. Does this prove that Dawn is more powerful than God? It certainly proves that one person can make a difference, especially if the last name of that person is 'Sherman.' Don't mess with Dawn.”
Q. Since it's “all about the numbers” and there are significantly more believers in God (both Christian and Jew) than atheists at Buffalo Grove High School, please reconcile your response with your daughter's recent actions.
A. The Student Council is about majority rules. Dawn proposed a policy. The majority of the Student Council and the administration agreed that her proposal should be adopted.
Q. Should majority rules be used to set other school precedents?
A. Constitutionally guaranteed civil rights are not subject to popularity polls. That's why the administration took out GBA. The government cannot select a prayer to be played over the PA system in the hallways between periods during homecoming week or any other time.
Q. What would your response be if, at some date in the future, another member of the student council proposes a policy, which is approved by a majority vote, whereby the students are encouraged to sing God Bless America at some function?
A. The Student Council is bound by the Constitution because it acts as an agent of government. Therefore, it is not permissible for this governmental agency to encourage prayer. Article I, Section 3 of the Illinois Constitution states, in pertinent part, that "No preference shall be given by law to any denomination or mode of worship. Therefore, the Student Council, being an agency of government, can't do it.
Q. Currently, adherents to the Muslim religion are in the minority (in southern Lake County). However, that is not the case in many school districts across the country. Do you feel similar accommodations should be made for Muslim religious holidays where they are in the majority? What about rearranging class schedules to allow Muslim students time to pray? (At minimum, two of their six daily prayer times (DHuhr-noon and ASir-afternoon) fall during the school day.) Should the school provide a place for them to pray?
A. Muslims: Reasonable accommodation.
Q. And do I understand your response, reasonable accommodation, to mean that, in your opinion, a school can provide a place for Muslims to pray?
A. That depends. Another part of that same sentence in Article I, Section 3 states, "No person shall be required to support any ministry or place of worship against his consent." If a school wants to allow them use of a room that is not needed for a secular purpose at that time, that's fine, but the government can't go spending money building a mosque for them inside the school. There is the balance in reasonable accommodation.
Q. What if every student except your daughter voted to boycott an assembly because they would not sing God Bless America?
A. Boycott? Children around here, and most adults, are a bunch of sheep. They follow just about anything that they're told to do by the authorities. My daughter and I, on the other hand, are leaders. We question authority every time what they ask for is improper.”
So there you have it. Answers which may appear as elusive as the mists of Brigadoon, but are as subtle as the blow of a hammer by a man skilled in its use. And if they don't scare you into getting involved nothing will.
Psalm 14-1…"The fool says in his heart, There is no God."
RELATED ARTICLE: The Founding Fathers: Their True View On Religion's Role In Government
Dan Gura is a contributing editor to RFFM.org