WARNING! Not for the faint of heart!
Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
It is because of the holy name of our Lord that believers are beaten, imprisoned and even killed. Pray that the blood shed for following Him will bring honour to His holy name. Pray that through their testimony, His kingdom will increase on earth, as well as bring many into an eternal relationship with Him.
Give us this day our daily bread.
Pray for the families of those who are persecuted. Pray that in the absence of those who are imprisoned or killed—often fathers who are raising families—the needs of the families for food and shelter will be met. Pray for the welfare of these families in their grief.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Pray that God will empower the persecuted to forgive those who are inflicting pain on them, as Christ forgave His accusers on the cross. Pray that this testimony of forgiveness will be an irrefutable testimony to the sincerity and reality of the victims’ faith—and will lead to conversion of the oppressors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Pray that God will strengthen believers to stand firm in their faith when others try to force them to turn from Christ. Pray that God will miraculously shield persecuted believers from the pain and cruelty of their persecution.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen
As with persecuted Christians, our ultimate hope and victory is in the confident assurance that beyond our circumstances, our loving God holds us in His hands. Ultimately He will defeat the forces of evil for all eternity. Thank God that in the midst of intense worldwide persecution, millions of people are turning to Christ. Pray for strengthened leadership in the persecuted church.
May God bless all of His persecuted laborers in all that they do for His Kingdom, by His power and for His glory. Amen
The following exerpt is from the book, You and the Law, published in 1973 as a Revised Edition of its 1971 original publication by The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc. Freedom of Religion does not mean freedom from religion or the stifling of any person from expressing his religious beliefs within reason and legally and publicly, but rather it says we have the right to freely choose and express our worship to God be it Protestant, Catholic or Jewish* as was intended by our Founding Fathers and first settlers of our nation:
The very first part of the First Amendment to the Constitution reads:”Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise therof….” You’ll note again that this amendment is directed at Congress, and not at the state legislatures. The language seems simple enough, but thousands of hours of judges’ and lawyers’ time have been spent interpreting it, and more is certain to be spent in the future.
There is little doubt that the states in 1790 were determined to prevent the creation by the national government of the kind of established church that existed and still exists in many countries. Today, the Church of England is the officially established church in the United Kingdom: Parliment approves the bishops and other clergy designated by the queen; even the Book of Common Prayer cannot be altered without parlimentary approval. France disestablished the Roman Catholic church during the French Revolution-that is, severed the state’s ties with the church. In Italy the Church of Rome is still the “official” church.
In some states in the Union, particularly in New England, it was long after 1790 that public support for the Congregational church came to an end. But from the early 1800′s until the end of World War II most Americans agreed that church and state should be kept seperate from each other.** Then trouble arose-from economic problems, not from any desire to bring the two closer together. A question asked in the mid 1940′s was whether public funds could be constitutionally used to pay the cost of transporting children to and from schools, including parochial schools. Several of the state legislatures appropriated funds for this kind of transportation, and the battle was on.
Opponents of this use of public funds claimed it was unconstitutional as a “law respecting an establishment of a religion.” Nonsense, said others, the statutes say nothing about one or another church; they merely permit the expenses of transporting children to all kinds of schools to be paid by the public. The courts in several states that had passed such statutes agreed, and so did the United States Supreme Court; payment of such transportation expenses does not violate the United States Constitution. In some states, however, the courts have held that payment for transportation to parochial schools does violate state constitutional provision similar to that of the First Amendment.
In an effort to expand the scope of the First Amendment ban on the establishment of religion, some parents have challenged the practice in public schools of Bible reading and a daily prayer. Although this practice was once fairly general throughout the United States, and had been upheld by the courts of a clear majority of the states where it had been challenged as a violation of state constitutions, the U.S. Supreme Court held in 1963 that Bible reading and classroom prayer violate the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and must be stopped. Next to be challenged are likely to be any kinds of religious observances in schools, such as Christmas and Easter and nativity scenes.***
The second clause of the First Amendment that is concerned with religious liberty is the one prohibiting the Congress from passing any law prohibiting the “free exercise thereof.” This clause should be read carefully, because it doesn’t mean what it seems to say-as the Mormons found out in 1879 when one of them was prosecuted for the crime of bigamy…Being polygamous, said the Mormons, was engaging in the “free exercise” of their religion.
Not so, said the U.S. Supreme Court. Polygamy is a practice almost universally condemned in the Western world. It is inconceivable that anyone intended to permit, much less make legal, its practice in the United States. The First Amendment, the Court decided, sets up no absolute rights to a course of conduct just because it is permitted by one’s religion. Religious freedom must give way to reasonable restrictions adopted to protect the health, safety and convenience of the community.
The principle in the Mormon case is simple and would unquestionably be followed if a new church arose that permitted marriage between persons closely related to each other by blood, a marriage now forbidden by all states. In the same vein, federal courts have held that the “free exercise” clause does not permit parents who are members of a particular religious sect to withold medical care from a sick child because such care is contrary to the sect’s doctrine.
Exemption from taxation of property owned by religious and educational institutions is another aspect of the First Amendment’s reach that is very much an issue today-again for economic reasons. Most states and municipalities are prevented by state constitutions from imposing real estate taxes on property owned by churches and schools and operated for church and school purposes. Similarly, the Internal Revenue Code of the U.S, government and the tax laws of those states that have income taxes exempt the income of churches from income tax and also give donors of money to churches a tax deduction for such gifts. These tax deductions have recently been upheld after challenge in the U.S. Supreme Court.
However, trouble may be ahead for some religious and educational institutions that take advantage of their tax exemptions and use part of their real property or income for commercial purposes. Some churches and universities own a considerable amount of real estate, especially in urban areas, which they rent out to businesses. They may then try to avoid paying income taxes on the rent on the ground that the property is owned by the church or an educational institution. Some churches have more capital or income than they need, and invest the excess in a variety of money making activities. Sooner or later these commercial uses of church and university property are likely to be taxed, even if the courts continue to exempt from taxation property that is exclusively devoted to church or school use.
*I mention these main religions as they were the ones most prominent at the time of the drafting of the U.S. Constitution. Many Christian and Jewish settlers fled oppressive and persecuting governments and, thus, our laws and rights are based on Judeo/Christian principles. This does not mean that those of other religions are denied these rights but their practices cannot violate the laws of the states or nation.
**In that the federal government does not establish a national religion. No church run state and no state run church.
***Though our nation was founded on Judeo/Christian principles, it is not a Christian nation, as in a theocracy. It does have a Christian heritage that is all but forgotten thanks to the public school system’s
inability refusal to teach that aspect. This excerpt was written in 1973 and we have seen the banishment of Christmas and nativity scenes. Prophetic observation by the writer! Some schools have even banned Halloween because of the recognition of its pagan roots
(post title is pure snark)
Oh! Just wax nostalgic or look at how your parents and grandparents lived! What a life! I was 2 years old at this time… but I remember having stuffed animals just like the ones shown in the documentary and my brother wore the same red velvet suit with the white satin shirt that is picked up by the American Woman in the baby store. Hand me downs and thrift store clothes were the norm. This documentary shows the American Woman as the thrifty one of the household-almost “martry-like” with her sacrifices for her family’s sake. It celebrates her thrift as an example of what all Americans do, or should do, as a way of business and life. No credit cards to spend tomorrow’s prosperity today. Thrift was a must.
BTW, this shows capitalism is a major part of the American Way of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Prosperity from thrift…what a concept.
‘We Want Justice’ Say Capitol Demonstrators Protesting Army Killing of Egyptian Christians
CNSNews.com) – Rain and dozens of armed Capitol police setting up barriers did not dampen the enthusiasm of hundreds of Coptic Christians who showed up on Wednesday to show support for their fellow believers in Egypt.
Protesters said the persecution and killing of Christians in Egypt has happened for centuries, but the slaying of more than 20 Coptic Christians by the Egyptian army in Cairo on Oct. 9 marks the deadliest attack since the “Arab spring” uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak.
The deadly incident, caught on video, shows demonstrators protesting in front of the state television station being mowed down by military vehicles.
“We want justice for the killing of our Coptic brothers in Egypt,” Shawky Boulos, who came from New York for the protest, told CNSNews.com. “We want justice now.”
Peter Maurice, who traveled from New Jersey for the protest, told CNSNews.com that the United States should continue to provide financial support for Egypt.
“If the U.S. is not funding, they don’t have the influence,” he said, adding that Congress should ensure that any funding is tied to Egyptian authorities meeting certain criteria, including protection of human rights and religious tolerance.
But is our funding helping the Coptic Christians? Read on…
American Taxpayers Aiding the Slaughter of Egypt’s Christians
Millions of us have seen the pictures on our television screens of armored personnel carriers plowing into unarmed protesters, mowing them down. Those vehicles, and their drivers, are being funded in part by the United States. We are lavishly paying the Egyptian military regime.
The Obama administration welcomed last February’s ouster of longtime Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak. President Obama and Secretary Clinton have referred to the mass demonstrations in Egypt ’s capital as part of a new and more hopeful “Arab Spring.”
Well, is it? We now know the Muslim Brotherhood is increasing its influence daily in post-Mubarak Egypt . This international Islamist group is well versed in using terror and threats of terror to advance its political objectives. The Obama administration takes at face value any statements from the Muslim Brotherhood that it seeks to work within the recognized boundaries of civil, cultural, and political life. It does indeed. But it also keeps in reserve its mailed fist. It has influence with Egyptian masses, in part, because it is known to use terror against its opponents.
American taxpayers continue to underwrite Egypt ’s military regime. Why? We are constantly told that without them, things would be even worse for the Copts. Yes. They might be, like Egypt ’s Jews, driven out of their homeland.
The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom states that “to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical.”
That 1786 statute was a cornerstone of our own Great Republic . Jefferson and Madison worked in harness to achieve this Magna Carta of religious liberty. Has the U.S. Department of State forgotten who we Americans are?
The folly of sending more U.S. tax dollars to the Palestinian Authority.
(a 2009 story but still relevent for today)
Does Secretary Hillary Clinton read the reports issued by her own State Department? It’s a fair question. She recently argued passionately at a summit at the Egyptian resort center of Sharm el-Sheikh for increased Western and Arab financial aid to an entity called the Palestinian Authority. To show the Obama administration is taking the lead, she pledged $900 million in U.S. taxpayer funds to jump start the re-building of Gaza and to underscore American commitment to the “two-state (Israel and Palestine) solution.”
In Gaza, which we are paying to rebuild, Muslims attacked Christians with impunity. The Lighthouse Baptist School in Gaza City has been attacked repeatedly, as has the YMCA. Rami Khader Ayyad was abducted on the way home from work at the Baptist Holy Bible Association and murdered and the association offices were bombed.
Is this the new diplomacy? Is this the new direction of U.S. foreign policy? We’re supposed to cheer when our new leader bows low before the Saudi king. Of all people! The report on religious freedom in Saudi Arabia could be written on one side of a postcard: there is none. (Save the postage.)
Its been 5+ years of prayers, pleadings, rallies and political wranglings to get Gilad Shalit home and, finally! it has happened. Truly a day to celebrate in Isreal and among all of those around the world who trusted God to bring him home safely. Welcome home, Gilad!~
It’s hard enough being homeless. Heartbreaking, actually, for both the homeless person and those with a heart who desire it not to be so for any American citizen. Those who can give of time and money and goods to help the homeless through various charities know how that blesses them many times over. Not to be forgotten by these tender-hearted carers are the pets of the homeless. I confess, I never gave it a thought that some of these poor souls have animals they love so dearly that they are willing to have them by their side through the season of their homelessness. Its quite the close companionship, too. The other day I heard about a charity that helps the homeless pet owners out so, I want to share it with you to raise awareness of the need. These pets are well loved by their owners and with help these animals can stay out of the crowded animal shelters in this day of home foreclosures and bankruptcies, thus relieving the pet owners of further heartache. I believe if these homeless souls had nothing but their furry companions it would give them some hope that life will get better. Certainly the love these animals give none can compare.
Between 5% to 10% of homeless people have dogs and/or cats. In some areas of the country the rate is as high as 24%. Most people who experience homelessness are homeless for a short period of time, and need help finding housing or a rent subsidy. Unfortunately for those with pets it becomes more difficult.
An article about the above organization:
In the above article it mentions contacting your veterinary clinic to let them know about the organization so they may consider what they can do. Its worth a try and if you are unable to help monetarily, you can help in making your town’s clinic aware of such organizations.
Another informative article:
God bless you in anything, including prayer, that you are able to do to help the homeless with or without pets!
It’s an old video from back in the last election run~
Don’t just listen to this one! Get over to his You Tube site and grab a coffee and listen for a spell. Its called common sense thinking.
Love the Michael Mooreos Cereal analogy! ♥
This is sooo refreshing after having steeped myself in the steaming pile of OEWS trying to figure out what they are about. Not that they didn’t put me in stitches with laughter at times…
Thanks, Dear Citizen! I know our nation will do just fine with citizens like yourselves caring about its direction.
Her function is to sit and be admired. - Georgina Strickland Gates
“No matter how much cats fight, there always seems to be plenty of kittens.” – Abraham Lincoln
“Of all God’s creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave of the lash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat.” – Mark Twain
“With their qualities of cleanliness, discretion, affection, patience, dignity, and courage, how many of us, I ask you, would be capable of becoming cats?” -Fernand Mery Her Majesty the Cat
Everything I know I learned from my cat: When you’re hungry, eat. When you’re tired, nap in a sunbeam. When you go to the vet’s, pee on your owner. – Gary Smith
“After scolding one’s cat one looks into its face and is seized by the ugly suspicion that it understood every word. And has filed it for reference.”- Charlotte Gray
“Cats are kindly masters, just so long as you remember your place.”- Paul Gray
“Dogs come when they’re called; cats take a message and get back to you later.” – Mary Bly
“There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” – Albert Schweitzer
Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want. – Joseph Wood Krutch
There is, incidently, no way of talking about cats that enables one to come off as a sane person. – Dan Greenberg
Like a graceful vase, a cat, even when motionless, seems to flow. - George F. Will
A meow massages the heart. - Stuart McMillan
If we treated everyone we meet with the same affection we bestow upon our favorite cat, they, too, would purr. - Martin Buxbaum
Cats always know whether people like or dislike them. They do not always care enough to do anything about it. - Winifred Carriere
Cats’ hearing apparatus is built to allow the human voice to easily go in one ear and out the other. - Stephen Baker
As every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat. - Ellen Perry Berkeley
As anyone who has ever been around a cat for any length of time well knows cats have enormous patience with the limitations of the human kind. - Cleveland Amory
Kittens are born with their eyes shut. They open them in about six days, take a look around, then close them again for the better part of their lives. - Stephen Baker
Of all animals, he alone attains to the Contemplative Life. – Andrew Lang
Most cats, when they are Out want to be In, and vice versa, and often simultaneously. - Louis F. Camuti, DVM
“Even overweight, cats instinctively know the cardinal rule: when fat, arrange yourself in slim poses.” – John Weitz
“There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast.” – Unknown
“If the pull of the outside world is strong, there is also a pull towards the human. The cat may disappear on its own errands, but sooner or later, it returns once again for a little while, to greet us with its own type of love. Independent as they are, cats find more than pleasure in our company.”- Lloyd Alexander
A cat is there when you call her – if she doesn’t have something better to do.- Bill Adler
From LEARN‘s website~
|Abortion–The Unnatural Choice|
|Written by Dr. Delores Bernadette GrierAbortion is the termination of a pregnancy which results in the death of a developing human, according to Webster’s Medical Dictionary. This is not a medical procedure, it is invasive surgery where the surgeon uses steel instruments to terminate the life of the unborn child in the mother’s womb. The word terminate means to end and is also used to indicate “killing.” For example, Arnold Schwarzenager’s film, “The Terminator”–the terminator in the abortion arena is the doctor and the target of the terminator (TOT) is the defenseless child in the womb.
Abortion is unnecessary surgery usually performed by a doctor who although trained to heal and cure when pathology indicates it, now stoops to invade the body of a woman he has not seen before, nor will see again, and dismembers the body, crushes the head and evacuates the child in the womb and throws it in the garbage. This is the only surgery where a patient has not first been examined or tested and there are no post surgery visits. Post abortion physical complications such as incomplete abortions where parts of the body of the unborn child are left in the womb, excessive hemorrhaging. infection, hormonal body changes, and sterilization all must be treated by another doctor without the benefit of medical records. Psychological trauma following abortions due to guilt, regret and anxiety have led women to depression, use of drugs and attempted suicide.
Advances in science have opened the womb, once hidden, and now we may observe through the technology of ultra-sound the movements and the growth of the unborn child. Surgeons are performing corrective surgery, administering blood transfusions, medication and electrocardiograms on the alive and growing child in the womb.
The child terminators endeavor to hide the humanity of the babe in the womb by describing the child as a “fetus.” This Latin word is a medical term which is defined in Webster’s Medical Dictionary as “a developing human.” In other medical dictionaries the definitions are “a child in the uterus,” “a developing individual,” “an unborn child.”
This scientific terminology was introduced to the general public to deny the humanness of the unborn child and his/her right to birth. Fetal experimentation or fetal extermination is not as offensive as child experimentation and child extermination.
Dr. Delores Bernadette Grier is Vice Chancellor for Community Relations and President of the Association of Black Catholics Against Abortion.
From the website, LEARN (Life Education And Resources Network)~
Today many doctors, educators and geneticists recognize that life begins at conception. However, there are some who believe an individual cannot be human until love is experienced, they know right from wrong, they draw a first breath, attain a certain IQ, or give the appearance of being human, since human beings take on a different appearance in the very early stages of life. In 1981 a U.S. Senate subcommittee report to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee contained comments by a host of authorities who believe unique human life begins at conception. One such authority, Dr. Jerome Lejune, professor of genetics at the University of Rene Descartes in Paris stated the following: “I think we can now say that the question of the beginning of human life—when life begins—is no longer a question for theological or philosophical dispute. It is an established scientific fact. Theologians and philosophers may go on to debate the meaning of life or purpose of life, but it is an established fact that all life, including human life, begins at the moment of conception” (Beckwith, p.42, 1994).
Over the last few decades a number of studies have been conducted by Planned Parenthood to determine the reasons women have abortions. For example, in the July/August 1988 issue of Family Planning Perspectives a survey revealed that approximately 90% of abortions were done for social reasons (e.g., woman can’t afford baby now, woman not ready for responsibility, concern about how having a baby could change woman’s life). Approximately 5% of abortions were performed because of the “hard” cases (i.e., rape, incest or fetal deformity). These statistics have not changed much over the years. The numbers tell us that society condones abortions for almost any emotional, physical or familial reason. Though reproductive rights advocates hold up the hard cases to justify abortion on demand, the vast majority of abortions are allowed for matters of convenience.
Decisions by the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court (i.e., Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton) declared God’s human creation in the womb, who is precious in His sight—made in His image—known by Him before and after conception—given purpose and identity before birth, to be held hostage by what this world calls a woman’s right to choose. For God the choice is obvious, “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him…” (Deuteronomy 30:19,20). God’s word seems to declare to readers of this Scripture that He desires His people to choose life not death.
Many of today’s cultures no longer worship idols made of gold, silver, stone or wood, but they do bow down to idols of money, power, position or self. Today’s idols may take on different forms than those worshiped in biblical times, their source is still demonic, and their devilish goal is to keep one’s eyes off the Lord. Millions of unborn children have been aborted since 1973 because of America’s worship of money, power and self-interest. Those who have shed innocent blood during the 20th and 21st centuries are not forgotten by God, and will reap what they sow just like Israel, when the nation sacrificed its children to false gods. The words of Jeremiah 22:3-5 ring true for us today, as they did in his time, “ ‘This is what the Lord says: Do what is just and right…Do no wrong or violence to the alien, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place…But if you do not obey these commands, declares the Lord, I swear by myself that this palace will become a ruin.’ ” The Lord makes it clear that he “…hates… the hands that shed innocent blood…” (Proverbs 6:16-17), and those who shed innocent blood will not go unpunished.
It should be noted here that God is also a forgiving God and there is no sin including abortion that the shed blood of Jesus Christ cannot cover (see 1 John 1:7-9). In fact, if we truly repent of our sins God will not only forgive those sins, He will forget them (see Jeremiah 31:34). Though God’s judgement can be severe for those who cling to a culture of death, His mercy, love and grace abound even more when we recognize our sin and repent.
Read the full article here:
African-American Women Are Exploited by Abortion
by Mrs. Akua Furlow
In Deuteronomy 30:19, God tells us to “Choose life so that you and your children will live…”
Everyday in America thousands of women and teenagers seek medically-induced abortions. Often the women and teenagers who seek to have an abortion have been deceived to believe that their pregnancy is little more than a mass of tissue, a non-living blood clot. Most of them would recoil in horror if they realized that an abortion always stops the beating heart of a baby.
While “pro-choice” feminists push abortion as a “woman’s right,” the truth is that women are being exploited by abortion, especially African-American women. The pro-abortion feminists (or, as they like to call themselves, “pro-choice” advocates) have successfully identified abortion as a “civil right.” Some African-Americans, having fought for their civil rights in the 1950′s and 1960′s or learned of this struggle through history books, have somehow been duped into identifying the “pro-choice” movement with the fight for civil rights. The civil rights movement was a battle for equality and human rights. Medical abortion is the induced death of a developing human baby–the destruction of a child’s fundamental, as well as civil, rights.
A 1994 “Post Abortion Research Study of African-American Women” showed that of 126 women who responded to a questionnaire, 81% indicated one or more psychological complaints. Of the complaints identified, 60% felt feelings of guilt, 49% reported that they had feelings of regret and remorse, 55% reported crying and depression and 35% stated an inability to forgive herself for having an abortion. Other complaints noted were low self-esteem, feelings of despair and helplessness, anger, rage and suicidal tendencies. Thirty percent of the respondents also complained about physical complications that included hemorrhage, infection, incomplete abortion and perforated uterus and intense pain. Only 1% of the respondents stated that they would recommend abortion for others.
Dr. Karen Stevenson, an African-American psychiatrist had this to say about the devastation that abortion brings: “I have encountered tortured women who were struggling with depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and drug and alcohol abuse who have had encounters with this thing called ‘the women’s right to choose.’ I’ve seen women touched by the horror of abortion, yet during my training, this issue was never discussed by my professor as a possible contributor to the person’s present state of emotional turmoil. Men and children are also impacted by the implications of abortion.”
According to a 1992 U.S. Census report, the number of minority pregnancies that ended by abortion from 1973 (when abortion was legalized throughout America as a result of Roe vs. Wade) to 1991 corresponded to approximately 21 percent of the total minority population in 1991. This same source reveals that in 1990 minority women constituted 26% of the female population (age 15-44) yet they underwent approximately 36% of the abortions.
The history of America’s number 1 abortion”provider,” Planned Parenthood, reeks with the stench of racism and bigotry that adds another level to the insidious attack that has been waged on African-American women throughout the United States. African-American women are not only exploited by abortion but have been targeted by radical population control groups like the International Federation of Planned Parenthood who want to control the birth rate of the Africa-American community and people of color throughout the world. Through programs such as the Negro Project of 1929, Planned Parenthood began to spin a web of deception by baiting the African-American community with the pretense of “family planning” and other “health services.”
In a letter dated December 10, 1939 Sanger wrote to Dr. Clarence Gamble of a plan to “exterminate” the Negro population. Planned Parenthood apologists deny the intent of this statement referring to a genocidal plot, yet rebuff the fact that the world’s most notorious Nazis and racists made up the bulk of the contributors to Sanger’s monthly publication, the Birth Control Review. It would be time well spent if African-Americans, especially those Planned Parenthood uses for its public “service” campaigns, would spend an afternoon doing first-hand research on this federation that has caused the astronomical decline in the African-American birth rate and has fostered the forced abortion and sterilization policies in China. Many believe the China policy of one child per family is a pilot project that will target other underdeveloped nations and eventually here in the U.S.
To read the full article: http://www.abortionfacts.com/learn/blacks_and_abortion.asp
(I have noticed there is a spirit of death, or a death culture, among the young people in America due to the right to murder the unborn, but could it be that the increase in racism has gained ground because of the legalization of abortion? I also see women being thought of and treated as things and sex objects in the entertainment world as well as in news stories about abused/murdered women by their boyfriends/husbands. Has the NOW fallen asleep? They were making great strides in this for a while back in the late ’60′s and early ’70′s. And, of course, both the legalizing of abortion and the radical “burn the bra” feminism has brought about the ridiculing of the father and his role in the family structure. He’s either made to be a buffoon or one not needed to make a family whole for the child/children. One thing seems to lead to another, imho.~Sherry)
(epilogue to Fact)
In Casey’s case, the prosecution clearly provided more than enough evidence, circumstantial or otherwise, to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she was guilty of some form of murder. Prisons throughout the country, death rows included, are full of persons convicted on far less evidence. In my view, the jury verdict in Casey’s case resides just barely inside the fenceline of rationality (more on that later). Some jurors who have spoken have noted that the first straw polls of the jurors at the outset of deliberations were 10-2 in favor of acquittal on the murder counts, and 6-6 on the aggravated child abuse count, which would have supported some form of lesser homicide liability. What happened to those initially pro-prosecution-leaning jurors? The jury deliberated for a total of approximately 10 hours over two days — there was not even one single full day of deliberation and the jury did not request to review any exhibits or have any testimony read back.
The Anthony trial was an intricate circumstantial evidence case, but it shouldn’t have flummoxed a jury of even borderline intelligence. Why did these jurors so lack the courage of their convictions (literally) that they were not willing to fight for their convictions for even one full calendar day? It seems to me that the jurors collectively certainly did not carefully evaluate the evidence in the manner that this circumstantial evidence required — when such careful examination could have resulted in a guilty verdict. None of the reported comments of the several
jurors who have communicated, in one form or another, has said anything that inspires confidence that they knew what they were talking about, understood the difference between inferences that could be drawn from evidence as opposed to mere speculation or properly understood what the prosecution was required to prove.
Don’t get me wrong. I respect the jury system and, in some philosophical sense, respect the verdict although I disagree with it. But part of that “respect” is respect for the system that I understand is designed to sometimes yield inexplicable verdicts, and is based on the fact that the verdict is unimpeachable — and speaks, or should speak, for itself. The more the jurors talk — and make tragically incorrect, dare I say uninformed, statements such as that the case lacked “hard” evidence, that the time of death and manner of death was not shown and that the jury largely ignored all of Casey’s lies as having nothing to do with the case because it shed no light on the specific day that Caylee died — the less their verdict and decision-making deserves to be respected. The more they make public comments, whether or not for compensation, the more they set themselves up for constructive criticism in the cacophony of public debate. The prosecution is not blameless here. It has to take responsibility for helping select this jury. It also has to take responsibility for frittering away four hours of closing argument without adequately explaining to the jury how to properly evaluate a circumstantial evidence case. But that is really a separate topic deserving a separate discussion.
I suspect that, in all likelihood, none of the jurors probably has ever seen any of the versions of the cinematic classic Twelve Angry Men. Although legally flawed in many ways — so much so that if the microlessons were actually followed by a real jury, a mistrial would be a certainty if the antics were discovered prior to verdict (as a trial judge, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor reportedly told prospective jurors not to follow the example of the Twelve Angry Men jurors) — the macrolessons of the film are nevertheless a timeless testament to searching examination of the evidence, and the type of pressing, reasoned debate that could make jurors change or rethink their initial positions. The government’s case, when viewed properly, should have carried the day. What reasonable doubt was there? Poor little Caylee was not abducted by aliens and then deposited, dead, a short distance from home, with duct tape over her face. The universe of possible persons who killed Caylee was small. The evidence established that.
A juror initially inclined toward conviction who possessed the courage of his or her convictions would have pointed out, among other things, that Casey was last seen with Caylee. She inexplicably abandoned her car that reeked of decomposition. She hid and lied about Caylee’s whereabouts for more than a month, and then continued to lie to law enforcement so as to impede their investigation and ultimately delay for several months the recovery of her body. The unprecedented series of lies, coupled with her narcissistic, uncaring behavior, was strong circumstantial evidence of her consciousness of guilt and unrepentant state of mind. The prosecution proved —by excluding the possibility that anyone else searched the Anthony home computer for chloroform — that Casey undertook that search. Unusually high levels of chloroform were found in the trunk. And so it went. The point is not that every rational person had to conclude that everything happened the way the government theorized. The point was that one juror should have had the backbone to stand firm and require the necessary mosaic-like inquiry.
What other reasonable possibilities were there? If Casey didn’t intentionally kill her daughter, could she have done so accidentally with a dose of chloroform? Either way, she should have been convicted of some form of homicide that had been charged. The prosecution can be criticized for both overcharging and undercharging the case. They overcharged in the sense they went “all in” for a premeditated capital murder theory. They undercharged in the sense they chose to forgo other alternative theories of lesser criminal liability — maybe some lesser manslaughter charge or some obstruction counts. Perhaps they were not comfortable with alternative theories — some prosecutors think it tacitly shows a sign of weakness in the most serious charges.
But even so, where was the reasonable doubt? Many theorize the jury seemed to think Casey’s father, George, was hiding something and came across as not credible? So what? The accident theory — that Caylee drowned and George orchestrated a cover-up to make it look like a murder, and that Casey knew about it but did nothing because she had been a lifelong victim of child abuse — makes no sense.
To say it was based on speculation because no evidence was presented on the alleged parental child abuse is being far too kind. The possibility of an accident can only be explained by accepting the sex-abuse theory that allegedly so paralyzed Casey to the point of mindless compliance with the cover-up. However, the trial court properly ruled that the sex-abuse claim was utterly without proof — and could not be argued to the jury — and that should have fatally uncoupled the accident theory as well. Somehow, the poison of the statements made in the opening statement further improperly poisoned the jury in the manner in which they further and irrationally viewed George with suspicion.
But the prosecution had it right when it argued that the defense was sending the jury down the rabbit hole to a world of bizarre unreasonableness. A medical examiner testified at trial that in 100% of accidental-drowning cases involving a child, 911 is called. Not here. Why would George retrieve Casey’s car? It would have been imminently crushed at the junkyard. Why would he use the same duct tape on Caylee’s body that he used in putting up “Missing Caylee” signs? If he wanted to make it look like a murder by a stranger unconnected to the family, why would he hide the body such a short distance from home? And why would he risk framing his daughter for capital murder for which she might have been executed? Thus, George’s supposed involvement in a cover-up of an accident becomes an “impossibility” in the legal sense that George’s purported involvement in Caylee’s death does not create a reasonable doubt in this case. Why didn’t one juror press these matters during
In a circumstantial case, there are always unexplained tidbits and gaps in the evidence. The creepy meter reader. George’s alleged mistress. But many mosaic pieces can be missing and one can still figure out — with absolute certainty — what the picture is. How many letters can be missing when you are absolutely certain of the “Wheel of Fortune” word puzzle? The jury never did this.
Don’t tell me the jury didn’t have to because the prosecution simply did not prove their case — it was their burden, and so on. Using an appropriate amount of poetic license, that takes us back to the Sherlock Holmes comment at the beginning of this essay. When you exclude the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, is the truth. Maybe I wouldn’t use those exact words in a prosecution closing argument because defense counsel might jump on the word “improbable” and try to transform that alone into reasonable doubt. But the concept is spot on. There was a finite universe of possibilities as to what happened to Caylee. When you rule out the impossible, the prosecution’s proof — sufficient to support a conviction — becomes irrefutable. Too bad not one juror saw fit to press that view for even one full day.
Had the jury deliberated for a longer period of time, the verdict would have likely been better received because it would have indicated the jury at least seriously evaluated all the evidence and tried to put the puzzle together. As I said before, the jury verdict resides just inside the fenceline of rationality. I suppose a rational jury, exhausted after a long and thorough evaluation of the evidence, not convinced of intentional murder and somewhat unclear on aggravated child abuse via the chloroform theory (perhaps believing that Casey’s mother did the computer search and perhaps somewhat sidetracked as a result of the government’s all-in approach to intentional murder; or perhaps questioning whether Casey, a high school dropout, had the ability to make chloroform) might have eventually concluded guilt was not established beyond a reasonable doubt. Again, I would have respectfully disagreed with the verdict, but it would have been easier to stomach if there was evidence of a longer, more careful and thoughtful deliberation.
In law school, and reflected in rudimentary “circumstantial evidence” jury instructions, circumstantial evidence is often simplistically illustrated with the hypothetical that if you go to bed and it is dry on the ground — and when you wake up there is snow on the ground — using circumstantial evidence and common sense — you can conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that it snowed last night.
Thanks, Keyser Soze, your dedication shows~
Thanks for sending this my way, wicked monkey~