Unconscionable and Unconstitutional—Cruel CPS Tactic Fails in Court

parental_rights

Victory for Parental Rights

This 3-0 court decision  was long overdue.  Anyone with a minimal understanding of constitutional rights in the Child Protection Services Agency should have been able to see that this tactic goes against every fiber of freedom in this country.  Countless hundreds, perhaps thousands of families have been falsely accused simply because this bureaucracy valued power over freedom.

See this from the Pacific Justice Institute whose nation wide legal team fights valiantly for families in cases like these, free of charge:

Federal Appeals Court Finds CPS Tactic Unconstitutional
As families gather for the holidays, a recent ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals offers hope to hundreds of thousands of parents haunted by the nightmare of unproven child abuse allegations.For years, attorneys with Pacific Justice Institute have warned parents that, once CPS decides to investigate them for child abuse – sometimes based on anonymous tips from neighbors or vindictive ex-spouses – their names can end up on California’s Child Abuse Central Index (CACI). Parents are listed on the CACI even when CPS eventually deems the charges “inconclusive” and closes its files. The CACI listing shows up on background checks for years to come and prevents parents from obtaining jobs or state licenses.In Humphries v. County of Los Angeles, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals sharply criticized the ease with which people are listed on the CACI and the obstacles which prevent their names from being removed. The court was also troubled by a study indicating that as many as half of the more than 800,000 individuals listed on the CACI “may have a legitimate basis for expungement.” Calling the list “the reverse of the presumption of innocence in our criminal justice system,” the court ordered the state to enact greater procedural safeguards.PJI President Brad Dacus commented, “It is gratifying that the Ninth Circuit has acknowledged what we have been saying for years-that treating parents as criminals when they are never convicted of a crime is unjust. We call on the legislature to finally fix this broken system in a way that honors basic constitutional rights.”Karen Milam, who directs PJI’s Southern California office, stated, “Every year, PJI is inundated with hundreds of calls from desperate parents who do not understand how they could be labeled as child abusers based solely on unproven suspicions. This ruling is an important step toward keeping CPS honest.”

The San Francisco Chronicle’s article on the actual case is eye opening.  This scenario is representative of many others, the  silent victims of  CPS’s long arm of government gone awry.

There is nothing more sacred and precious than God’s children. To trample the rights of families under the guise of “protecting the children” is a tactic that is increasingly used to bully and subject healthy families to government scrutiny, and the scarring effects for  children can be life long.

Bob Egelko of the San Francisco Chronicle reports on the details of the case:

“Boynton’s clients, Craig and Wendy Humphries, were placed on the list after their 15-year-old daughter accused them of abusing her in 2001.   Sheriff’s deputies arrested the couple and put their other two children in protective custody, but the charges were dropped after a medical examination disclosed that no abuse had occurred, and two judges later declared the couple innocent.

Under the law, the Humphries’ only chance to get their names removed from the child abuse list was to persuade the investigating deputy that the allegations were unfounded. But the sheriff’s department told them the deputy no longer worked there, and a supervisor decided some crime must have occurred because charges were filed, the court said.

With no further appeal possible, the Humphries said the listing is an obstacle to their plans to volunteer at a local child care center and could hurt Wendy Humphries’ chances of renewing her teaching credential.

A federal judge dismissed the couple’s suit, saying damage to their reputation did not amount to a violation of their constitutional rights. But the appeals court, in an opinion by Judge Jay Bybee, said the listing “both stigmatizes the Humphries and creates an impediment to (their) ability to obtain legal rights,” like employment.

Bybee cited a 2004 state task force report that looked at listings from one county and found that half of them might be erroneous.

Although the state is justified in keeping a list of suspected abusers, including those who haven’t been convicted of crimes, he said, the California index has too few safeguards to meet constitutional standards.”

Half of the reports could be false.  Half.  That is truly frightening.

—Beetle Blogger

The ruling in Humphries vs. County of Los Angeles is available at www.ca9.uscourts.gov/ca9/ and the full SF article here

Faith Forbidden By License

arizona-lawyerArizona Bar Proposes PC Lawyer Litmus Test

Arizona’s State Bar is considering forbidding the licensing of lawyers who have a religious conviction against homosexuality from being able to practice law in that state.  This is an outrageous litmus test against freedom of conscience.

Throwing out constitutional rights of free speech and freedom of association, the proposed revision to the attorneys’ oath of office would silence certain viewpoints on gay issues. The oath would be revised to add the language in red as follows:

“I will not permit considerations of gender, race, religion, age, nationality, sexual orientation, disability, or social standing to influence my duty of care.”

The pressure to present the homosexual lifestyle as a right not a choice has been stopped in Arizona government by the voice of the people, but the AZ State Bar is moving forward with this attempt to silence moral opposition regardless.

According to the East Valley Tribune, The move has provoked severe objections from 31 attorneys who sent a letter to state Bar President Ed Novak.

“Tim Casey, one of those who is unhappy with the proposal, said it raises all sorts of issues. Casey, who is Catholic, said the language of the oath is so broad that it could require an attorney to accept a case that goes against his or her moral beliefs.”

The State Bar of Arizona is a mandatory association for attorneys practicing law in Arizona, and they have the power to revoke the license of any attorney they believe has violated this provision.  A clause like this has no place in an oath of office.  Oaths are used generally to swear allegiance to the laws of the land and nothing more.  Adding a controversial restriction on  First Amendment rights in order to promote a politically correct agenda is an inappropriate abuse of power by the Bar.

Regardless of what you personally believe about homosexuality, this kind of limitation on religious liberty should not be tolerated.

—Beetle Blogger

‘Licensing’ morality out of the law

Charlie Butts – OneNewsNow

Could lawyers be thrown out of the profession based on their religious conviction against homosexuality?

The State Bar of Arizona is considering whether to require new attorneys to swear they will not let their views on sexual orientation get in the way of providing legal services. Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and dean of Liberty University’s Law School, is concerned.

“I believe that this is a major threat to the practice of law,” he contends. “This is an attempt to literally license those out of business and to revoke the license of those who, in fact, have traditional moral values.”

Staver believes the campaign is going nationwide and will be a tool used by homosexuals to hold back Christian lawyers. “If they then can hold over your head the license and the ability to practice law, that will be a devastating blow to those of us who believe in traditional family values,” he points out.

According to Staver, this is an issue that lawyers and law school students cannot ignore. “It’s a ticking time bomb,” he concludes. “It is a land mine just waiting for someone to step on them.”

The Arizona Bar plans to make a decision in January.

Patronizing Paternalism

From Kazze

Freedom----photo by Kazze

Patronizing Paternalism vs. Freedom of Conscience

The opposition to conscience laws has it’s roots in paternalism, the idea that the nanny state is mother, father and priest.  It is based in the false idea that the state is the master of right and wrong, the great all-knowing, flawless arbiter, nearly god-like in it’s ability to determine whose religious convictions are acceptable and whose are not.

According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy,  Paternalism is the interference of a state or an individual with another person, against their will, and justified by a claim that the person interfered with will be better off or protected from harm. The issue of paternalism arises with respect to restrictions by the law such as anti-drug legislation, the compulsory wearing of seatbelts, compulsory payment into social security and until recently, demanded medical personnel perform medical procedures they find morally objectionable, even when alternatives were readily available.

In the current political climate, there are many preaching disregard for religious freedom of conscience under the guise of what’s best for the state.  The scary thing is that there are those coming to power who are demanding a return to those policies of coercion, all in the name of the greater good.

Despite what the nanny state thinks, government is no replacement for religion and is not in a place to judge the value of religious conviction.   Is there any appropriate price for demanding someone give up their religious choice and freedom for convenience?

Paternalistic policies, which currently favor secularism as the national religion, seem bent on forcing the religious objectors to conform to secularist views in order to benefit the convenience of everyone else.  It is the height of arrogance to imagine that the state can and ought to have such power over it’s citizens.

This is the issue we’ll be hearing more of in the next month as this battle heats up.    Here are two articles I read on this issue that I thought were enlightening.  One for, one against freedom of conscience.  —Beetle Blogger

Balancing Conscience and the Law

by Paul Rosenzweig

In Wisconsin, a pharmacist who is a devout Christian refused to fill a woman’s prescription for birth-control pills. He also refused to transfer the prescription to another pharmacy. He now faces disciplinary action.

In Texas, another pharmacist refused to fill the prescription for a morning-after pill requested by a rape victim – again, because of his religious convictions. Though Texas has a law that allows any doctor, nurse or hospital employee to opt out of an abortion procedure to which he or she has religious objections, it isn’t clear whether the law covers pharmacists or morning-after pills. The Texas pharmacist has been fired.

These cases are not unusual. Other disputes involving pharmacists whose religious conscience will not allow them to fill a prescription have surfaced in a half-dozen other states. So the question naturally arises: How should the law react to these events? Such an inquiry requires us to examine the role of religion and law in the public square.

An understanding of American history would help. The journey of the Pilgrims to Massachusetts was a journey of religious conscience from the orthodoxy of Anglican England. So, too, was the journey of the Society of Friends to Pennsylvania.

Harlan Fiske Stone, later to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, drew on this history when he wrote: “Both morals and sound policy require that the state should not violate the conscience of the individual. All our history gives confirmation to the view that liberty of conscience has a moral and social value which makes it worthy of preservation at the hands of the state. So deep in its significance and vital, indeed, is it to the integrity of man’s moral and spiritual nature that nothing short of the self-preservation of the state should warrant its violation; and it may well be questioned whether the state which preserves its life by a settled policy of violation of the conscience of the individual will not in fact ultimately lose it by the process.”

As a society, we have long recognized the truth of Stone’s words, refusing even to compel the religious conscience of objectors to serve in wartime. We exempt from combat service anyone who “by reason of religious training and belief, is conscientiously opposed to participation in war in any form.” Our civil rights laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of religious belief in any employment.

So, the answer from our history and the law is fairly clear. The answer we’ve given to those who are conscientious objectors to war should be the same answer we give those who are conscientious objectors to abortion. The principle of liberty of conscience must be a universal one, evenly applied across all religions and all beliefs, lest the government be in the uncomfortable and untenable position of choosing among disparate religious views and determining their legitimacy. We should no more compel a pharmacist to dispense birth control if it violates his conscience than, say, compel a prison guard to participate in an execution if religious objections cause him to oppose capital punishment.

That same history also allows us to draw appropriate lines. Freedom of conscience is a shield against compulsion, not a sword for religious orthodoxy. That is the beauty of the balance struck by the Free Exercise and Establishment clauses of the First Amendment. Those who bring their religion into the public square may not be compelled as the price of admission to abandon it.

But neither can they impose their views on others. Society may accommodate religious beliefs by, for example, not requiring a pharmacist to fill a prescription that violates his scruples. But the pharmacist cannot then impose his beliefs by refusing to identify an alternate source for medication whose dispensation remains a lawful, permissible activity.

To be sure, the balance is a delicate one. But it’s a line we must draw faithfully if we are to remain true to our history and the law.

Paul Rosenzweig is a senior legal research fellow at The Heritage Foundation and an adjunct professor of law at George Mason University School of Law.

First appeared on FOXnews.com

Healthcare Conscience Rule Could Stir Legal Backlash

by Deborah Kotz

Women’s groups, state governments, and a host of others have reacted harshly to the new conscience rights regulation put forth by the Department of Health and Human Services last week. I received a slew of press releases in my in box from such organizations as the National Family and Reproductive Health Association, which stated that the “new regulations will limit access to contraception to low-income and uninsured women and men and will create new hurdles for family-planning service providers,” and from the National Partnership for Women and Families, which said, “These regulations leave the term ‘abortion’ undefined, so individuals and institutions are free to classify birth control as abortion.” The ACLU also expressed its “grave concern.”

Newspaper editorial writers have gotten in on the act, too. The Albany Times Union called for Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York to fight the rule before she leaves office to become secretary of state. Of course, bloggers have been sounding off about this regulation since it was first proposed last summer, as I previously reported.

Most fascinating to me, though, is the decision by Connecticut’s attorney general, Richard Blumenthal, to challenge the regulation by filing a lawsuit or petition in federal court arguing that the rule tramples on states’ and patients’ rights. He’s worried that the rule will reverse a one-year-old law requiring all hospitals in the state to offer emergency contraception to rape victims. “The consequence of this regulation,” he tells me, “would be to blow apart the carefully crafted, painstaking compromise that we reached in our state statute.”

He says he’s considering challenging the new rule in federal court, but that can’t happen until it goes into effect on January 18. A dozen other states with similar laws for rape victims—including Maryland, Illinois, and Arizona—could join him in the legal battle.

Right of Conscience Affirmed

white_house_m

Conscience Regulations: A Christmas Gift We’ll Have to Fight to Keep

It is obvious that no one should be forced to have an abortion, but just as clear is that no one in the medical profession should be forced to perform an abortion in violation of their conscience.

The Bush administration on Thursday issued a rule that expands protections for health care workers who elect not to offer or participate in certain procedures, such as abortion, because of moral objections, the AP/Denver Post reports (Freking, AP/Denver Post, 12/18). Under the new “right of conscience” rule, any worker with a “reasonable” connection to the delivery of health care — including employees who clean equipment — can refuse to take part in services such as abortion, dispensing birth control drugs and other forms of contraception, or offering advice about such services.

These regulations will enforce three statutes-the Church, Coats, and Weldon Amendments that are already on the books that protect health care providers’ right of conscience. They will ensure that, instead of being overlooked, these conscience protection statues will be strongly enforced by the government in the same manner as our other civil rights laws.

HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said, “Doctors and other health care providers should not be forced to choose between good professional standing and violating their conscience” (Rosetta/May, Salt Lake Tribune, 12/18).

In our country and across the world, incidents of  religious oppression have continued to be an issue in the health care industry as the freedom to obtain controversial medical procedures has often superseded religious views of doctors and medical staff whose personal beliefs preclude them from participating in such procedures.   Our health care providers have a right to practice good medicine according to their conscience.

Thank you to the Bush administration and Mike Leavitt for taking a stand and providing verification of the right to conscientiously refrain from objectionable mandates.

This gift does not come without a price.  Already the negative rhetoric and opposition to the rule is mounting.  Planned Parenthood calls the move “an attack on women” and mere “political games.”  Speculation as to how long it will remain in force once President Elect Obama takes office is yet to be seen.   Religious freedom is never just political games.  It’s a freedom worth the fight.

—Beetle Blogger

It’s not right to force others to act in a way that is contrary to their beliefs, yet in many countries, including ours, this has happened and continues to happen.   This worldwide list of incidents of conscientious repression was compiled by  Consciencelaws.org

Repression List

State of Victoria, Australia demands referral, performance of abortions
Melbourne, Australia (August, 2008)

Oxford Division Motion for British Medical Association
United Kingdom (July, 2008)

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists continues attack on freedom of conscience
USA (November, 2007)

Assisted suicide bills require objectors to facilitate assisted suicide
Wisconsin, USA (April, 2007)

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Demands Compulsory Referral
USA (August, 2005)

Philippines Government launches attack on freedom of conscience
Philippines, (April, 2005)

Draft Code of Ethics for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians – Ontario College of Pharmacists
Ontario, Canada (March-September, 2005)

Missouri Senate Bill 458 Threatens Pharmacists
Missouri, USA (February, 2005)

New Jersey Senators Attack Freedom of Conscience for Pharmacists
New Jersey, USA (January, 2005)

‘Pro-choice’ groups attack freedom to choose
NARAL, NOW and Planned Parenthood: USA (November, 2004)

Attack on freedom of conscience in US House of Representatives
Congressional Record: November 20, 2004 (House)

South African nurse denied position
Vereeniging (Gauteng Dept. of Health: Kopanong Hospital) South Africa (2004)

Medical Student Failed
University of Manitoba, 2003-2004

Ambulance Attendant Fired
Elmhurst, Illinois, USA 2004

Police Used to Intimidate Objecting Pharmacist
Menomonie, Wisconsin, USA 2002

Alberta Pharmacist Vindicated for Pro-Life Stand
Alberta, Canada (November, 2003)

Testimony of Beth LaChance, RN Re: Wisconsin Assembly Bill 67
Wisconsin, U.S.A. (October, 2003)

Testimony of Pharmacist Grosskreuz Re: Wisconsin Assembly Bill 63
Wisconsin, USA (March, 2003)

Testimony of Pharmacist Klubertanz Re: Wisconsin Senate Bill 21
Wisconsin, USA (March, 2003)

The Campaign to Force Hospitals to Provide Abortion
United States (2002-2003)

Pharmacy colleges quash conscientious objection
Canada (October, 2002)

Traumatised Health Care Professionals Forced to Take Part in Abortion Procedures
South Africa (June, 2002)

Doctor’s faith under scrutiny: Barrie physician won’t offer the pill, could lose his licence
Barrie, Ontario, Canada (February, 2002)

Oregon Health Department Nurse Loses Job to Pro-Life Beliefs
Salem, Oregon, USA (January, 2002)

Question of Conscience
United Kingdom (1973-2001)

Testimony from the Gynaecological-Obstetrical Frontline
Europe (1968-2001)

Do it anyway: Canadian workers are being compelled to violate their own beliefs
Canada (2001)

More DC Medics Say They Were Forced to Have Abortions
Washington, D.C. (2001)

Testimony of Wang Guoql
United States House of Representatives  (2001)

Christian Doctor Denied Employment
Glasgow, Scotland (October, 2000)

Access to Appointments: The Effect of Discrimination on Careers
Glasgow, Scotland (October, 2000)

Objectors to be Denied Diplomas
United Kingdom (October, 1999)

Foothills Hospital Now Forces Nurses To Participate In Genetic Terminations
Calgary, Alberta, Canada (1999)

Nurses At Foothills Hospital Rebel Over The Horrifying Results Of Late-Term ‘Genetic Terminations’
Calgary, Alberta, Canada (1999)

“Can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen”:
Law professor tells senators how he deals with conscientious objectors

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (1995-2000)

Student pressured to participate in abortion
Saskatchewan, Canada (1999)

Souped-Up Agenda

rainbow_soup1

Campbell Soup Company Embraces Homosexual Agenda

This information is from the American Family Association —–Beetle Blogger

Send an email to Campbell Soup Company President Douglas Conant. Tell him you want his company to stop supporting the gay agenda.

December 19, 2008

Dear Friend,

In the December, 2008 and January, 2009 issues, Campbell Soup Company bought two, two-page advertisements in the latest issues of the nation’s largest homosexual magazine, “The Advocate.” The ads promote their Swanson line of broth.

In one of the December ads, the Campbell Soup Company highlighted the lives of two lesbians (according to their website, they are married) with their son. The others feature New York City chefs. See the ads here.

Campbell Soup Company has openly begun helping homosexual activists push their agenda. Not only did the ads cost Campbell’s a chunk of money, but they also sent a message that homosexual parents constitute a family and are worthy of support. They also gave their approval to the entire homosexual agenda.

Take Action!

  • Send an email to Campbell Soup Company President Douglas Conant. Tell him you want his company to stop supporting the gay agenda.
  • After sending your email, please call Campbell Soup Company (800-257-8443) and their Swanson division (1-800-442-7684) and ask the company to remain neutral in the culture war.
  • Forward this e-mail to your friends and family so they will know about Campbell’s support of the gay agenda.

Hate for Hate’s Sake

Marriot Hotel photo by José Carlos Cortizo Pérez

Marriot Hotel photo by José Carlos Cortizo Pérez

At Last—The Truth.

First they came after those who donated big to prop 8.  Then they came after the ones who donated a hundred dollars or less.  Now they’re coming after people who didn’t donate at all.

Is it principle or hate at the core of the boycotts?  Comments I’ve heard have couched all kinds of behavior in the comfy blanket of victimhood.  Everyone is excused from unconscionable behavior when they feel they’ve been wronged, right?

What if the target of the hate has done nothing?  Does it matter?  Or is the guise of victimhood just another excuse for the free exercise of blind fury?

Bill Marriott and his family own the Marriott Hotel chain.  They have come under fire from gay activists recently, not because of something they’ve done, but because of their religious affiliation.  What is their crime?  Bill Marriott and his family are Mormon, and they refuse to state their unequivocal support for the gay marriage movement.

See these quotes from the Huffington Post’s Marc Gunther on the boycott of Marriot Hotels:

“… why go after Marriott? According to my friend Bob Witeck, who runs a consulting firm called Witeck-Combs that specializes in gay issues and advises Marriott, neither Bill Marriott nor members of his immediate family donated to the campaign on behalf of Prop 8. What’s more (and this is undisputed), Marriott as an employer has an exemplary record around diversity in general and LGBT employees in particular. “

“… it would appear that the Marriott Corp. is under fire only because the family belongs to the Mormon church. Bob Witeck says this is unfair. “Their policies and practices have been good for a long time,” he told me. “This notion of targeting people because of their faith is deeply troubling.”

“… silence or neutrality is unacceptable… Either you’re for us or against us…”

Certainly anyone who has a wallet is free to use it however he chooses, but consider the motivation here.  Those proclaiming to be victims of hate are proving the case of the proponents of prop 8 who said that the gay marriage movement was about religious persecution as much as anything else.

I read a quote this morning from an LDS commenter at the Salt Lake Tribune that is particularly prescient:

“Just because a person is gay, I don’t assume they have AIDS,  just because I’m Mormon, don’t assume I hate gays.” 

Even reporters have been attacked.  Steve Lopez, who interviewed Marjorie Christoffersen (Mormon target of the El Coyote Restaurant boycott), had this to say today on the virulent reaction his readers gave him:

…I’ve never been called a bigot so many times as I have since I wrote in my Sunday column about the boycott of El Coyote, the Los Angeles cantina whose Mormon manager donated $100 to Proposition 8, the successful November ballot initiative to ban gay marriage.

No doubt these hate-dripping commenters are among the same group who believe that prop 8 was all about hate.  All the rainbow wavers with signs proclaiming peace and love, was all that a sham?  a show?  What about respect and diversity?  What of tolerance and love? Who truly owns the hate?

Maggie Gallagher writes of her experience on the Dr. Phil Show:

“…I sat next to a powerful politician — Mayor Gavin Newsom — who ritually rejected violence but refused to decry these extraordinary threats to ordinary voters’ livelihoods. I also sat next to Joe Solmonese, head of the Human Rights Campaign, when a young Mormon in the audience asked him, “Why are you singling out my faith when so many other people supported Prop 8?” Did Joe, an amiable guy, take a moment to call his troops to back off from religious bigotry, to refocus on the larger problem — 7 million Californians disagree with his organization’s gay marriage civil rights dogma?

No. I sat silent, dumbfounded, next to Joe when he pointed at the young man and cried,

“We are going to go after your church every day for the next two years unless and until Prop 8 is overturned.”

My mouth dropped. This was Joe’s response just a few days after white powder was sent to LDS temples in Utah and California.”

Hate is hate, and it’s never justified.  It’s clear that advocates of same-sex “marriage” present the idea as a step forward for tolerance and respect—but their actions present a different case, especially if you happen to be Mormon.

Please Teach Me—This provocative video response to the anti-Mormon religious intolerance was created by a first-year LDS college student.

Just a reminder that the nation is watching.  —Beetle Blogger

Co-opting Parental Rights

by cogdogblog

Empty child's chair---Photo by cogdogblog

Co-opt:

To Absorb, Assimilate, Take Over, Appropriate

Families are under incremental attack on many fronts.  I happen to be an optimist, as are many of you.  In our society, we take things as they are, for granted.  It’s human nature.

I like to see the glass  half full, to enjoy my leisure and believe the best of my fellow men, but the truth is, either by design or ignorance, there are freedoms and rights that are slipping away from us nearly unnoticed.   I read this quote over at United Families. It makes  my parental blood boil, because I have seen enough of social workers, family courts and foster care to know just how true it is.

“As a society grows lax in its defense of the traditional family, the goals of the anti-family movement draw closer to fulfillment.  Their desire is to create a genderless society that is run by the state – void of religion, marriage and parents.  They hope for a pleasure-filled culture with no responsibilities and zero accountability.”

There is no one societal element that encompasses all of these goals, but each separate element plays a part, and cohesively, they are overwhelming in power.  Identifying the trend is the first step in reversing it.  Then, get involved with both feet.

The idea that the family is somehow replaceable by bureaucrats, or that mothers and fathers don’t know what is best for their children is a natural outgrowth of the breakdown of the family.  The government takes on an increasing role in parenting as increasing numbers of parents ditch out on responsibility in lieu of personal pursuits.

Unfortunately, it’s a self feeding cycle.  Once the distrust of parents is entrenched, the guilt is by association, and the assumption that naturally comes is that the nanny state knows best.  It’s not just limited to child custody, the attitude is spreading like a cancer through the education system and into international waters.  In some countries, the culture of the child is preeminent and parents are nothing more than caregivers with no ability to teach, discipline or correct.  These trends must be reversed.

What is the state of these attitudes in our country?  Check out these stories from the parental rights front of the war on family over at ParentalRights.org

—Beetle Blogger

“PSYCHOLOGICAL CO-PARENTS”

WEST VIRGINIA—A West Virginia mother was shocked when a local circuit judge and a family court judge ordered her to share custody of her four-year-old daughter with two of the girl’s babysitters. Referring to the sitters as “psychological co-parents,” the justices first awarded full custody to them, only permitting the mother to visit her daughter four times a week at McDonalds. Eventually she was granted primary custody, but forced to continue to share her daughter with the sitters.

When her case finally reached the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals in October 2007, the beleaguered mother was relieved to finally be granted full custody of her daughter.

In their October 25 opinion, the Supreme Court justices wrote that they were “deeply troubled by the utter disregard” for the mother’s rights. One justice referred to the mother’s right as the “paramount right in the world.”

Chief Justice Robin Davis summed up the case in one simple question: “Why does a natural parent have to prove fitness when she has never been found unfit?”

SOURCE: http://www.wvrecord.com/news/203378-supreme-court-restores-full-custody-to-mother-from-babysitters


A FATHER SPEAKS OUT… AND GETS ARRESTED

MASSACHUSETTS—When his 5-year-old son came home from a school with a “Diversity Book Bag” including a book to be shared with his parents, David Parker began reading. He was distressed to find that one of the books, titled “Who’s in a Family” depicted two families led by homosexual partners.

Reluctant to expose his son to homosexuality at such an early age, David immediately contacted the school, intending to establish a dialogue as a concerned parent. His well-meant call, however, swiftly escalated into a dispute which pitted the father against the school.

After refusing to leave a scheduled meeting with school officials until the matter was resolved, David was charged with criminal trespassing and spent the night in jail—simply because he was concerned about the material being presented to his son.

A no-trespass order was issued, prohibiting Parker from setting foot on school grounds. While a local court has dropped the criminal trespassing charge against the father, he has procedurally been placed on “pre-trial probation” for one year.

SOURCE: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=4694


ONE MOTHER’S STRUGGLE TO GAIN TRUST

CONNECTICUT—As a proud new mother, Diana Owen’s joy at her daughter’s birth soon turned to deep concern for the baby’s health. At only a few months old, tiny Bryanna-Rose seemed prone to violent vomiting episodes, at times struggling for breath while her lips turned a bluish color.

When she first began to observe her daughter’s frequent incidents of projectile vomiting, the panicked mother rushed her baby girl to the hospital. For Diana, that day marked the beginning of many sleepless nights at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence while her baby daughter underwent numerous tests to determine her condition.

While doctors grappled for an explanation for Bryanna-Rose’s sporadic yet violent symptoms, Diana waited—having no idea that something more sinister was afoot: a growing suspicion of Diana’s reliability when it came to her claims about her daughter’s health.

When hospital personnel informed the anxious mother that they were taking her daughter into “protective custody,” she was shocked. But gradually the cold realization began to dawn on her: the medical personnel at the hospital were accusing her of Munchausen by Proxy, a mental disorder wherein a parent or primary caregiver actually induces or fabricates a child’s illness as a ploy for attention from doctors.

Turning a deaf ear to Diana’s cries, officials handed little Bryanna-Rose over to the Department of Social Services (DSS) and eventually a new foster mother. The new foster mother was floored, however, when Bryanna-Rose began violently vomiting. “It’s not the mother!” she told DSS, “This baby does have projectile vomiting!”

Even with the foster mother’s validation, Diana’s battle to gain trust continued to drag on. The day officials took her daughter, Diana could not have guessed that eleven months would go by before she was permitted to visit with her alone—and only after months of psychological evaluation and intrusive questioning by social workers.

Today, while Diana is delighted to have her daughter back, she feels bruised by the experience—particularly by the eleven months of separation from her daughter. “It is myself and my family that will face the consequences of this nightmare,” she says.

SOURCE: http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/11/04/a_mothers_battled_to_be_believed


The Problem With Atheists

atheist_signIs the  “Freedom From Religion Foundation” Really Free?

It doesn’t seem free at all to me.  Free to be glum, free to glower, free to spit in the eye of religion…the problem with Atheists is they aren’t FOR anything.  They’re the among the most negative, contrary people I’ve met.  This sign is a perfect example of what I’m talking about.  Instead of celebrating great secular minds, or creating a holiday celebrating “the winter solstice” or any other happening of their choosing, they spend their time and money making a sign to drag down and attack other’s beliefs.

They proclaim every year during the holiday season that they’re “Free From Religion”, but how free can they be?  These doom-and-gloomers celebrate their beliefs by raining on other people’s parades!  If the best thing they’ve got going for them is this sign, that’s a pretty sad statement.

Advice to the Atheists: build your own parade!  Find some happiness!  Good grief.

–Beetle Blogger

Atheists’ National Holiday?

by Chuck Norris

Atheists from England to the West Coast of America are stepping up their efforts this year to make a bigger antagonistic splash on the Christmas scene. From London and Washington, D.C., buses to Colorado billboards, skeptics are skewering religions with little respect to the adherents of the religions.

At the forefront is a group’s government-sanctioned posting of a sign by a Nativity scene in the Capitol of Washington state (and now also in Wisconsin and Illinois): “At this season of THE WINTER SOLSTICE may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”

I am a patriot, and I believe that atheists are free to believe, speak and post whatever they want. This is America, and that’s their First Amendment right. But to do so with harassment and hatred under the guise of free speech is despicable. An anti-religious poster filled with spite is in no way equal to a religious symbol, such as a Nativity scene. Where are the political correctness police when religious followers are the victims?

Read the rest of this excellent article here.

600,000 Vote Margin

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The Vote Is In!

Despite the antics of the opposition, it’s good to be reminded of who won this election and why.  The word is out from the 8 campaign, the votes are in and certified.  Californians raised their voices decisively on behalf of marriage and family.  —Beetle Blogger

It’s official!

The official Statement of the Vote has been released by the Secretary of State. Proposition 8 passed by a margin of 52.3% to 47.7%. We won by a margin of 600,000 votes: 7,001,084 to 6,401,483.  To provide some context for this vote:

  • Prop. 8 received 2,150,000 MORE votes than did Arnold Schwarzenegger when he was reelected in 2006
  • Prop. 8 received nearly 2 million MORE votes than Dianne Feinstein did when she was reelected to the US Senate in 2006
  • Prop. 8 received 250,000 MORE votes than did John Kerry when he carried California in 2004
  • Prop. 8 received 45,000 MORE votes than did Barbara Boxer in her landslide reelection to the U.S. Senate in 2004
  • Prop. 8 passed with approximately the same percentage of the vote that Barack Obama received nationally

You can review the county-by-county results of Proposition 8 by going to the California Secretary of State’s Web page. Click here.

Prop 8 Legal Defense to Be Filed this Week

Attorneys for the ProtectMarriage.com campaign will submit the next round of legal briefs to the California Supreme Court this week in our efforts to defend Proposition 8 against three legal challenges.  Legal briefing will continue through the holidays until we file our final papers in late January 2009.  Then, the seven-member Supreme Court will decide when to hold a hearing for oral arguments, possibly as soon as March 2009.

This week’s written arguments, filed on behalf of our campaign and the official proponents of Proposition 8, will show the Court that Prop. 8 is a properly enacted initiative constitutional amendment, and not an improper “revision” to the state constitution, which can be done only with a two-thirds vote of the Legislature.

The San Francisco Chronicle published a comprehensive article last month covering some of the legal issues surrounding the challenge to Proposition 8. Here are excerpts:

“Historically, the odds are against the challengers of Prop. 8’s constitutionality. The court has allowed some ground-breaking constitutional changes to become law by initiative – the Proposition 13 tax limitations, restoration of the death penalty, legislative term limits and a pro-prosecution overhaul of evidence rules – and declared only two measures to be constitutional revisions.

“A revision, the justices said in the Prop. 13 case, must be something fundamental, a ‘drastic and far-reaching change in the nature and operation of our governmental structure.’

“The court has never said that the repeal of a single right, like the right to marry, amounts to a constitutional revision. Opponents of Prop. 8 argue that the court should set a standard that protects a historically persecuted minority group from losing rights by majority vote.

“Although legal commentators are divided, most appear to consider the argument a long shot.

“’It’s very hard to argue that this narrowly written constitutional amendment changes the fundamentals of our state government,’ said Ethan Leib, a constitutional law professor at UC Hastings in San Francisco and a supporter of same-sex marriage. “The reason that California has a ‘flexible and inviting (constitutional) amendment procedure,’ he said, ‘is that the people, rather than the judges, get to say what the Constitution means.’

“Another Hastings professor, Calvin Massey, invoked the court’s 1978 ruling upholding the death penalty as a reason that the Prop. 8 challenge should fail. “’I can’t think of any more fundamental right than to not have my government put me to death,’ he said. ‘That was found to be an amendment, not a revision.’”

You can read the full article here.

To help support the Proposition 8 legal defense effort, see the coalition website at www.protectmarriage.com

Marjorie’s Story Finally Told

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El Coyote Mexican Restaurant photo by M Kasahara

Marjorie’s Story Finally Told

The outrage continues at the treatment of private donors as the L.A. Times discovers some of the civilian casualties caused by their publicity of the prop 8 donor rolls.  It’s great that the L.A. Times is the newest Johnny-come-lately to a realization of the damage being done by their public listings.  Honest civilians in the war on marriage have been targeted all across California in a wave of New McCarthyism as gay activists take revenge for their political losses at the polls.

Private donations are an expression of free speech, and as a major force in print media, the L.A. Times should have presented that facet of the issue first and foremost.  Instead, the Times ignored that and looked the other way while gay activists went to war with the information provided by their Times’ own website.  The blogs and other so-called “Pajama Media” put the big dogs to shame on this one.

Considering the Times was one of the most vocal proponents of publicizing the donor rolls, this sympathetic interview is good, but for civilians like Scott Eckern and Marjorie Christoffersen who lost their jobs, it will never be enough.

—Beetle Blogger

A life thrown into turmoil by $100 donation for Prop. 8

Steve Lopez– L.A. Times,  Dec. 14, 2008

Margie Christoffersen didn’t make it very far into our conversation before she cracked.Chest heaving, tears streaming, she reached for her husband Wayne’s hand and then mine, squeezing as if she’d never let go.

“I’ve almost had a nervous breakdown. It’s been the worst thing that’s ever happened to me,” she sobbed as curious patrons at a Farmers Market coffee shop looked on, wondering what calamity had visited this poor woman who’s an honest 6 feet tall, with hair as blond as the sun.

Well, Christoffersen was a manager at El Coyote, the Beverly Boulevard landmark restaurant that’s always had throngs of customers waiting to get inside. Many of them were gay, and Christoffersen, a devout Mormon, donated $100 in support of Proposition 8, the successful November ballot initiative that banned gay marriage.

She never advertised her politics or religion in the restaurant, but last month her donation showed up on lists of “for” and “against” donors. And El Coyote became a target.

A boycott was organized on the Internet, with activists trashing El Coyote on restaurant review sites. Then came throngs of protesters, some of them shouting “shame on you” at customers. The police arrived in riot gear one night to quell the angry mob.

The mob left, but so did the customers.

Sections of the restaurant have been closed, a manager told me Friday during a very quiet lunch hour. Some of the 89 employees, many of them gay, have had their hours cut, and layoffs are looming. And Christoffersen, who has taken a voluntary leave of absence, is wondering whether she’ll ever again be able to work at the restaurant, which opened in 1931 (at 1st and La Brea) and is owned by her 92-year-old mother.

“It’s been so hard,” she said, breaking down again.

A lot of customers saw Christoffersen as the face of the restaurant. She was the hostess who roamed from table to table with a pitcher of water, refilling glasses and schmoozing with friends.

Christoffersen, raised Mormon by her late father, told me she has no problem with gay people.

“I love them like everybody else.”

I sat on the patio with Wayne and two other El Coyote managers — Arnoldo Archila and Bill Schoeppner — who happen to be gay.

“We always joked around with Margie,” said Schoeppner, who’s been on the job 26 years. “I’m a Democrat and voted for Obama; she probably voted for McCain — so what? If she were a bigot or a homophobe, you wouldn’t have had all these gay people” working at the restaurant or eating at it.

Besides, the donation was personal.

“She didn’t cut a check from the restaurant,” added Archila, a 28-year employee. “The restaurant didn’t have anything to do with it.”

Archila said he and other employees voted no on Prop. 8 and gave money to the legal challenge. As someone who came to the U.S. 30 years ago from El Salvador, Archila said, he’s always cherished this country’s right of free speech and the diversity of opinion.

“You can express yourself as a citizen,” said Archila. “Not everyone has to believe the same things.” Read the entire article here.

More:

Marjorie Christoffersen Resigns

L.A. Times Promotes Gay Vigilantism

El Coyote Targeted for $100 Donation

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