Archive for January 2nd, 2007

Activist Says Massachusetts Court Admits it Couldn’t Force Change

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007

A leader of the Parents’ Rights Coalition in Massachusetts says he believed all along that Gov. Mitt Romney chose to implement “gay” marriages in that state, and now a court has confirmed that it did not have the power to order that change.

John Haskins, associate director of the family-support organization, told WND that three years after the Goodridge decision by the Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts, “Americans merely have to note that the judges admit now … that they have no power over the other branches of government, and that the state constitution says that only the legislature can suspend laws.”

His reference is to last week’s ruling that concluded the state legislature is bound under the state constitution to vote up-or-down on voter initiatives presented to the lawmaking body. That group so far has defied that responsibility on a proposal signed by 170,000 Massachusetts residents calling for that up-or-down vote on an initiative that would allow voters to define marriage in Massachusetts.

The lawmakers voted to recess until today, the last day of the current legislative session, without voting on that measure.

That Supreme Judicial Court opinion noted that the vote is a constitutional requirement, even though the court held no power to force a vote.

However, when that same court three years ago ruled that “gay” marriages must be recognized by the state, the governor began implementing those rules changes, even though there was no such requirement, Haskins said.

“Since even the court admitted that the marriage statute excludes homosexual ‘marriages’ and the statute remains law, Mitt Romney did what he did on his own. Neither governors nor courts – neither being law-makers – have legal authority to convey to illegal homosexual marriages licenses,” he said.

He said it’s exactly the opposite in the more recent decision from that court. “What the Massachusetts high court has not reminded anyone of – and what no prominent conservative dares even think aloud, is that the state constitution does prescribe recourse, and it is the filing of felony charges against the outlaw legislators. Violating an oath to uphold the Massachusetts Constitution is subject to the penalties of perjury: up to 20 years in state penitentiary. This the plain meaning of the oath itself, which is found … in the state constitution.”

“How’s a governor to bring this up, when he, ‘Matinee’ Mitt Romney, no less than anyone, is subverting the Constitution day by day, having ordered public officials to solemnize sodomy marriages though they remain illegal,” Haskins told WND. “On Mitt Romney’s order alone, town clerks and justices of the peace are compelled to violate the Constitution they swore to uphold and the statute – which remains among the Massachusetts General Laws.”

He said the early advice from conservative activists – for Romney to just ignore the court’s conclusion – was the right one.

“Hiding in Wednesday’s ruling like an elephant in a courtroom is still more proof that Romney had a choice. The court has admitted, as it does whenever it really doesn’t want to order the Legislative or Executive branches to obey the Constitution, that it actually can’t.

“If there were no Massachusetts Constitution, no other proof of the high crime of Mitt Romney – this ruling proves that Mitt Romney had a choice and he chose wrong. He imposed homosexual marriage illegally, using the Goodridge decision as a smokescreen. No court forced anything on him, nor did they have any such authority, and that historic admission is implicit in this ruling,” Haskins said.

Haskins also writes for the coalition, an affiliate of MassResistance.com, a family-oriented group of activists.

He said additional documentation for the arguments are available at: Mass Resistance’ marriage documents, as well as RobertPaine.Blogspot.com.

No one from the governor’s office could be reached over New Year’s Day for a response.

Last week’s ruling came on a lawsuit brought by Romney – as a resident – and others, seeking a ruling from the court it is unconstitutional for state lawmakers to refuse to vote on an initiative that calls for marriage to be limited to one man and one woman in that state.

The ruling could not have been better for advocates of traditional, biblically-based marriage, Brian W. Raum, the senior legal counsel for the the Alliance Defense Fund told WND.

“The plaintiff in that case had asked the court to issue a declaratory judgment and a writ of mandamus. The court (said it) didn’t have the authority to force the legislature to vote, but it issued a lengthy opinion which established … that the legislature has a constitutional duty to vote,” he said.

The initiative, organized by VoteOnMarriage.org, was presented to the legislature since by Massachusetts’ Constitution, lawmakers must vote on any initiative presented to them.

However, only 50 affirmative votes are needed to place the issue on the ballot, and through the political maneuverings of pro-“gay marriage” factions in the legislature, members voted to recess until today, the last legal day of the current legislative session, without voting on the initiative.

The ADF has a federal lawsuit pending against the 109 individual lawmakers who endorsed that recess vote, and Raum said the state court opinion, although it is a separate case, simply strengthens that.

“This decision by the SJC strengthens the federal case against the individual legislators,” he said. “We’re claiming the legislature violated the federal Constitution by depriving people of the right to vote.”

He said it’s not surprising that the court would decline to order a vote by lawmakers, an order that could be interpreted as violating the separation of powers. But he said that doesn’t make the lawmakers’ refusal to vote legal.

Glen Lavy, a senior counsel for the ADF, said when the federal lawsuit was filed that there will be “big trouble” if lawmakers who have sworn to uphold the Constitution “can willfully ignore it with impunity once in office.”

Last July the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman could be placed on the 2008 ballot.

But it’s been held up for the five months since because the state constitution states the Massachusetts Legislature has a duty to vote on whether the process for placing the amendment on the ballot can proceed.

The federal lawsuit seeks a holding of personal liability for the individual lawmakers who have refused to bring the issue to a vote.

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Sunni Areas Rage Over Saddam’s Death

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007

BAGHDAD — Rage over the hanging of Saddam Hussein spilled into the streets in many parts of the Sunni Muslim heartland yesterday, especially in Samarra, where a mob of protesters broke the locks of the badly damaged Shi’ite Golden Mosque and marched through carrying a mock coffin and photo of the executed former Iraqi dictator.
Sunni extremists had blown apart the glistening dome on the Shi’ite holy place 10 months earlier, setting in motion the sectarian slaughter that now grips the troubled land.
The U.S. death toll climbed to at least 3,002 by the final day of 2006 as the American military reported the deaths of two soldiers in an explosion Sunday in Diyala province, northeast of the capital.
The Samarra protest was particularly significant because it signaled a widening expression of defiance among Sunnis, the minority Muslim sect in Iraq that had enjoyed special status and power under Saddam and had oppressed the now-ascendant Shi’ite majority for centuries.
Until Saddam was executed, excluding a few days of protests after his death sentence was handed down Nov. 5, the broader Sunni population had sought a low profile in the sectarian conflict that had seen thousands of them killed or driven from their homes by Shi’ite militia forces since the Samarra bombing Feb. 22.
The Sunnis were angered not only by Saddam’s hurried execution, just four days after an appeals court upheld his conviction and sentence, but also by the unruly and undignified manner in which the hanging was carried out.

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Barna Releases 12 Most Significant Religious Findings Of 2006

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007

Some of these results are disturbing. We need to pray for God’s church

VENTURA, Calif. — Even though George Barna has been conducting national public opinion surveys for a quarter-century, surprises emerge each year from those studies. The California-based researcher traditionally ends each year by identifying some of the unexpected and most significant findings of the passing year. Barna, the founder of the Barna group, has released his list of the 12 most noteworthy results of 2006 and described a few themes that ran through this year’s surveys.

• Although large majorities of the public claim to be “deeply spiritual” and say that their religious faith is “very important” in their life, only 15 percent of those who regularly attend a Christian church ranked their relationship with God as the top priority in their life. As alarming as that finding was, its significance was magnified by research showing that on average pastors believe that 70 percent of the adults in their congregation consider their relationship with God to be their highest priority in life.

• Three out of every four teenagers have engaged in at least one type of psychic or witchcraft-related activity. Among the most common of those endeavors are using a Ouija board, reading books about witchcraft or Wicca, playing games involving sorcery or witchcraft, having a “professional” do a palm reading or having their fortune told. Conversely, during the past year fewer than three out of every 10 churched teenagers had received any teaching from their church about elements of the supernatural.

• The notion of personal holiness has slipped out of the consciousness of the vast majority of Christians. While just 21percent of adults consider themselves to be holy, by their own admission large numbers have no idea what “holiness” means and only one out of every three (35 percent) believe that God expects people to become holy.

• The growing movement of Christian Revolutionaries in the U.S. distinguished themselves from an already-select group of people—born-again Christians—through their deeds, beliefs and self-views. Revolutionaries demonstrated substantially higher levels of community service, financial contributions, daily Bible study, personal quiet times each day, family Bible studies, daily worship experiences, engagement in spiritual mentoring, and evangelistic efforts. They also had a series of beliefs that were much more likely than those of typical born-again adults to coincide with biblical teachings. Their self-perceptions were also dramatically different than that of other born-again adults.

• Involvement in a house church is rapidly growing, although the transition is occurring with some trepidation: four out of every five house church participants maintain some connection to a conventional church as well.

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Christian Woman Battles Muslim Husband for Custody

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007

Christians are not supposed to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. In this case, the result could cost the lives of the children involved. It should be a wake up call to America when Muslims are willing to kill their own children unless they become ‘good Muslims’.

A Christian woman who once served as an FBI informant on her husband’s alleged support of terrorism now is seeking divorce from the self-described radical Muslim who told her he would be proud if their two teen sons blew themselves up for Allah.

But she’s finding herself on her own – completely – after a judge allowed her lawyer to withdraw, refused to allow an interested lawyer from appearing in her court, and then refused to allow time for any other replacement to be found before today’s trial.

At stake are Rosine Collin Ghawji’s sons, whose futures have been defined by her husband as being “good Muslims” or dead, she said.

The situation is developing in the case in which Mrs. Ghawji is seeking not only her freedom from her husband, Maher Ghawji, but also to protect her sons Louis and Takek from any violent Islamic plans their father may have for them.

Joe Kaufman, who has run an anti-terrorism organization for several years, noted that both of the Ghawji sons have, in e-mails and other communications, told friends their father was planning to take them to Syria against their will, and one noted that his grandfather has promised to beat him up when he arrived there.

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