The Press On Our Victory: “It’s a Victory for All Free Speech”

Monday, incidentally, is 03-03-03, for whatever that’s worth. And if you count zero as an even number, then it will be over eleven hundred years until we have a date with all odd number digits again. Our last one was November 11, 1999. Our next one will be November 11, 3111. Now, back to business.

Steve Chapman on the Supreme Court Decision

In Sunday’s Chicago Tribune, Steve Chapman says one of the targets of people who want to stifle freedom of speech is “veteran anti-abortion zealot Joseph Scheidler” and his Pro-Life Action League who have carried out innumerable protests at abortion clinics, sometimes engaging in illegal activities like lying down in driveways and blocking entrances. Steve then tells about NOW’s suit and the jury trial and damages of $440,000.

But, Chapman writes, last week the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the law had been misapplied and while some laws may have been broken, Notre Dame law professor G. Robert Blakey who drafted the statute thinks the law was misused. Scheidler may have been prepared to go to jail for breaking laws but he wasn’t willing to lose everything he owns.

Had NOW won, Chapman says, RICO could have been used even against their own people such as Martha Burke who is trying to force the Augusta National Golf Club to admit women and may hold an illegal demonstration to get her way. But, thanks to the Supreme Court, both Burke and Scheidler will benefit from the recent ruling against use of RICO. Chapman concludes both sides benefit from policies granting ample space for protest.

Steve Chapman on the Supreme Court Decision

In Sunday’s Chicago Tribune, Steve Chapman says one of the targets of people who want to stifle freedom of speech is “veteran anti-abortion zealot Joseph Scheidler” and his Pro-Life Action League who have carried out innumerable protests at abortion clinics, sometimes engaging in illegal activities like lying down in driveways and blocking entrances. Steve then tells about NOW‘s suit and the jury trial and damages of $440,000.

But, Chapman writes, last week the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the law had been misapplied and while some laws may have been broken, Notre Dame law professor G. Robert Blakey who drafted the statute thinks the law was misused. Scheidler may have been prepared to go to jail for breaking laws but he wasn’t willing to lose everything he owns.

Had NOW won, Chapman says, RICO could have been used even against their own people such as Martha Burke who is trying to force the Augusta National Golf Club to admit women and may hold an illegal demonstration to get her way. But thanks to the Supreme Court both Burke and Scheidler will benefit from the recent ruling against use of RICO. Chapman concludes both sides benefit from policies granting ample space for protest.

Dennis Byrne on the Supreme Court Decision

In the same newspaper on Monday, Dennis Byrne’s commentary said the Supreme Court struck one of the most important blows for free speech and political dissent in at last a decade, delighting all the activists from Greenpeace to the American Civil Liberties Union, but that we pro-lifers should be the happiest of them all.

Byrne says not only can I keep my Chicago home, but, “he also will be able to continue saving hundreds of babies without fear of being treated like all those outfit thugs that Tribune columnist John Kass writes about. The recent ruling prevents abortion rights groups from using RICO and threats of bankruptcy to club anti abortion groups into silence.”

Byrne points out that Kim Gandy of NOW compares us with Osama bin Laden, a comparison he calls hyperbole that goes too far, and Byrne attacks the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act of 1994 as unconstitutionally vague, as are safety zones around abortion mills.

Dennis then quotes from our statement from our August 2002 Action News:

It is tempting to think that because our cause is just, any tactic that will save a baby’s life is justified. It is a tougher challenge to remain true to our mission as Christians to see each pregnant woman and the people in her life from the perspective of Jesus Christ. ‘What would Jesus do?’ –the currently popular slogan–is a question we should routinely ask ourselves. We need to reflect the loving Father and the compassionate Son if we are going to change the culture. It wouldn’t even be necessary to change the laws on abortion if we were able to change hearts and minds.

Byrne concludes: “Scheidler has been so demonized some won’t believe he means any of this, but now that some free speech protections have been returned to Scheidler, maybe it’s time to listen with an open mind to what he has to say.” E-mail Dennis Byrne to thank him for his insight and honesty. We think he deserves the Pulitzer prize in journalism for just being so darn smart.

(We can’t help but wonder which editor changed “Father” and “Son” to lower case in the Tribune quotation. These are important persons whose names should be in Caps if anyone’s should. We’ve restored them above!)

Ninth Circuit versus God Almighty

And speaking of God and not giving him His due, out of the city by the sea, San Francisco, the full Ninth U. S. Circuit Court of Appeal ruled 15 to 9 that the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance constitute an establishment of religion and are therefore verboten. Earlier a three judge panel had ruled 2-1 that “under God” was an endorsement of religion and violates the non-existent separation of church and state clause of the Constitution.

The original ruling was attacked by President Bush, Congress, and nearly anyone with a brainstem. The Ninth Circuit, famous for making strange rulings, has jurisdiction over Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington state. The catalyst for this nonsense was atheist Michael Newdow who objected to his eight-year-old daughter having to listen to the offensive two words, “Under God” in her school.

Incidentally, the Pledge of Allegiance was first recited by school children in 1892 at the dedication of the Colombian Exposition World’s Fair in Chicago. The words, “under God” were added by Congress in 1954.

Our advice to the kids in the Ninth circuit. Say “under God” over and over again, say the pledge on the playground, in class, at home, in the candy kitchen. Defy, defy, defy. Go into the hallowed chambers of the Ninth Circuit, find an American Flag and recite the Pledge of Allegiance with all the judges walking by and don’t forget to include “under God.” And maybe at the very end add, born and unborn.”

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