Robert Knight

Curing the GOP’s infection

Robert Knight
By Robert Knight

March 5, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - One of Bill Cosby's best-loved routines is "Tonsils."

Mr. Cosby relates how the doctor explained the need for surgery when he was a young boy. "Your tonsils guard your throat," the doc says. "They have hand grenades, bazookas and anything bad that comes into your mouth, they fight it off. In your case, your tonsils have lost the war. As a matter of fact, they've gone so far as to join the other side, and they're going to kill you...."

Watching the Republican Party establishment wage war on the Tea Party and social conservatives, it feels a lot like Mr. Cosby's scenario. If the GOP abandons its commitment to traditional values in pursuit of the ever-transient "youth vote," it will become the equivalent of infected tonsils. The party will cease to be an effective voice against moral and fiscal collapse, and will help facilitate America's demise.

More than 100 GOP establishment figures have joined a Supreme Court brief against California's voter-approved constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

The New York Times' Sheryl Gay Stolberg observed, "at this point, the Republicans who signed the document are taking a more expansive stance than President Obama, who favors same-sex marriage but has said he would leave it to the states, as opposed to making it a constitutional right."

In the American Spectator, Jeffrey Lord makes this observation in "GOP Elites and the Abolition of Marriage":

"It is fair to say that there are serious Republicans and conservatives out there who have zero problem with gays. Who, like myself, have their share of wonderful family members and friends who happen to be gay. But who nonetheless are very concerned that in this rush to political correctness, not to mention appealing for votes, the GOP elites who have signed this brief are oblivious to the idea that they are seen as signing not a Supreme Court brief-but a death warrant. The effective abolition of marriage in America."

The Republicans who signed the brief are infected tonsils. The Tea Party and other traditionalist Americans already suspect the GOP, as currently constituted, will not effectively resist the Democrats' relentless left-wing agenda. By failing to slow down the madness of Obamacare, gun control, out-of-control spending, unconstitutional appointments, bizarre nominees, unvetted "czars," and incentives for more illegal immigration, Republican leaders resemble worn-down speed bumps-in some cases, potholes.

Another case in point: On Wednesday, the Senate confirmed former White House chief of staff Jack Lew as Treasury secretary by 71-26. Mr. Lew epitomizes the "1 percent" that Mr. Obama has demagogued. Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, summarized the absurdity: When Mr. Lew "worked at tax-exempt New York University, he was given a subsidized $1.4 million mortgage. Now, Mr. Lew claims he cannot remember the interest rate he paid. Does this pass the laugh test? When Mr. Lew was executive vice president of NYU, the school received kickbacks on student loans from Citigroup. Then, Mr. Lew went to work for Citigroup."

Mr. Obama has railed against investors dodging taxes in the Cayman Islands, but, "Mr. Lew is a serial Cayman Islands investor. On his watch, Citigroup invested money there, and he invested his own money there," noted Mr. Grassley, who voted no, unlike 20 GOP colleagues.

When something important happens, have you noticed that there's almost always a handy Republican or two who joins liberal Democrats to make it "bipartisan?"

John McCain and Lindsey Graham, despite all their thunder about Chuck Hagel being unqualified to be defense secretary, allowed a vote to confirm him rather than continue to filibuster his nomination. Four Republicans--Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Mike Johanns of Nebraska, Richard Shelby of Alabama and Rand Paul of Kentucky--joined all 54 Democrats, plus Maine independent Angus King, in voting yes. 

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This, despite Mr. Hagel's disastrous hearing, anti-Israel record, naivete toward radical Islam, including a reluctance to back sanctions against Iran, and his support for nuclear disarmament. 

Last week, 87 House Republican tonsils, perhaps terrified of "war on women" rhetoric, helped Democrats reauthorize a Senate-expanded Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a piggy bank for the left. As conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly notes, "VAWA has somehow ducked accountability for the nearly a billion dollars a year it doles out to radical feminist organizations." 

Other developments, such as Obamacare's abortifacient mandate, are testing whether America will succumb to such extreme political correctness that it will extinguish the right of conscience. This assault on sanity and liberty could be blunted if the party of Abraham Lincoln found its voice. Too many in the GOP, however, are scared of the media or are listening to "conservative" pundits who tell them to be more like Democrats.

Despite winning every court case, the Boy Scouts are under enormous corporate pressure to commit suicide by allowing homosexual leaders and members. California Democratic State Sen. Ricardo Lara has introduced a bill to revoke the tax exemption of the Scouts and other youth groups that won't embrace San Francisco values.  

Where is the GOP when it comes to the Scouts? Largely silent, with honorable exceptions such as Texas Gov. Rick Perry. 

I'm hearing more and more people ask whether America is over. They say the moral rot and feckless "opposition" is landing us in a pit from which we will not escape because we no longer have the God-given values that sustained America through a civil war, a Depression and two world wars.

Pessimism to the point of paralysis is not the answer, despite the media's assurance that we're doomed to live in a socialist version of Sodom and Gomorrah. Thousands of Tea Parties all over America, plus a growing number of churches, are organizing and educating Americans about real constitutional rights. They will be a huge factor in the 2014 elections and beyond.

When the GOP is serious about regaining credibility, party leaders may want to attend some Tea Party meetings. Watching them work to save the country despite the betrayals by the infected tonsils, they could learn something about American character.

Robert Knight is a Senior Fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a columnist for the Washington Times, where this article first appeared.


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Quebec groups launch court challenge to euthanasia bill

LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

As announced when the Quebec legislature adopted Bill 52, An Act respecting end-of-life care, the citizen movement Living with Dignity and the Physicians’ Alliance against Euthanasia, representing together over 650 physicians and 17,000 citizens, filed a lawsuit before the Superior Court of Quebec in the District of Montreal on Thursday.

The lawsuit requests that the Court declare invalid all the provisions of the Act that deal with “medical aid in dying”, a term the groups say is a euphemism for euthanasia. This Act not only allows certain patients to demand that a physician provoke their death, but also grants physicians the right to cause the death of these patients by the administration of a lethal substance.

The two organizations are challenging the constitutionality of those provisions in the Act which are aimed at decriminalizing euthanasia under the euphemism “medical aid in dying”. Euthanasia constitutes a culpable homicide under Canada’s Criminal Code, and the organizations maintain that it is at the core of the exclusive federal legislative power in relation to criminal law and Quebec therefore does not have the power to adopt these provisions.

The organizations also say the impugned provisions unjustifiably infringe the rights to life and to security of patients guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. They further infringe the right to the safeguard of the dignity of the person, which is also protected by the Quebec Charter.

In view of the gravity of the situation and the urgent need to protect all vulnerable persons in Quebec, they are requesting an accelerated management of the case in order to obtain a judgment before the Act is expected to come into force on December 10, 2015.


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Colorado baker appeals gvmt ‘re-education’ order

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By LifeSiteNews staff

A Colorado cake artist who declined to use his creative talents to promote and endorse a same-sex ceremony appealed a May 30 order from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission to the Colorado Court of Appeals Wednesday.

The commission’s order requires cake artist Jack Phillips and his staff at Masterpiece Cakeshop to create cakes for same-sex celebrations, forces him to re-educate his staff that Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act means that artists must endorse all views, compels him to implement new policies to comply with the commission’s order, and requires him to file quarterly “compliance” reports for two years. The reports must include the number of patrons declined a wedding cake or any other product and state the reason for doing so to ensure he has fully eliminated his religious beliefs from his business.

“Americans should not be forced by the government – or by another citizen – to endorse or promote ideas with which they disagree,” said the cake artist’s lead counsel Nicolle Martin, an attorney allied with Alliance Defending Freedom. “This is not about the people who asked for a cake; it’s about the message the cake communicates. Just as Jack doesn’t create baked works of art for other events with which he disagrees, he doesn’t create cake art for same-sex ceremonies regardless of who walks in the door to place the order.”

“In America, we don’t force artists to create expression that is contrary to their convictions,” added Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “A paint artist who identifies as homosexual shouldn’t be intimidated into creating a painting that celebrates one-man, one-woman marriage. A pro-life photographer shouldn’t be forced to work a pro-abortion rally. And Christian cake artists shouldn’t be punished for declining to participate in a same-sex ceremony or promote its message.”

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In July 2012, Charlie Craig and David Mullins asked Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, to make a wedding cake to celebrate their same-sex ceremony. In an exchange lasting about 30 seconds, Phillips politely declined, explaining that he would gladly make them any other type of baked item they wanted but that he could not make a cake promoting a same-sex ceremony because of his faith. Craig and Mullins, now represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, immediately left the shop and later filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division. The case now goes to the Colorado Court of Appeals as Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Craig.

“Jack, and other cake artists like him – such as those seen on TV shows like ‘Ace of Cakes’ and ‘Cake Boss’ – prepare unique creations that are inherently expressive,” Tedesco explained. “Jack invests many hours in the wedding cake creative process, which includes meeting the clients, designing and sketching the cake, and then baking, sculpting, and decorating it. The ACLU calls Jack a mere ‘retail service provider,’ but, in fact, he is an artist who uses his talents and abilities to create expression that the First Amendment fully protects."

Celebrity cake artists have written publicly about their art and the significant expressive work that goes into the artistic design process for wedding cakes.


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Prisoner of conscience Mary Wagner appeals her conviction

Tony Gosgnach
By Tony Gosgnach

TORONTO -- As promised, Mary Wagner has, through her counsel Dr. Charles Lugosi, filed a formal notice of appeal on numerous points regarding her recent, almost two-year-long court case that ended on June 12.

Justice Fergus O’Donnell of the Ontario Court of Justice rejected every application made by the defence – including for access to abortion center records, public funding, standing for a constitutional challenge and for expert witnesses to be heard – before he found Wagner guilty and sentenced her to five months in jail on a charge of mischief and four months on four counts of failing to comply with probation orders.

He further levied two years of probation, with terms that she stay at least 100 metres away from any abortion site. However, because Wagner had spent a greater time in jail than the sentence, she was freed immediately. She had been arrested at the “Women’s Care Clinic” abortion site on Lawrence Avenue West in Toronto on August 15, 2012 after attempting to speak to abortion-bound women there. She then spent the duration of the trial in prison for refusing to sign bail conditions requiring her to stay away from abortion sites.

Wagner is using the matter as a test case to challenge the current definition of a human being in Canadian law – that is, that a human being is legally recognized as such only after he or she has fully emerged from the birth canal in a breathing state.

Wagner’s notice states the appeal is regarding:

  • Her conviction and sentence on a single count of mischief (interference with property),
  • Her conviction and sentence on four counts of breach of probation,
  • The order denying public funding,
  • The order denying the disclosure of third-party records,
  • The order denying the admission of evidence from experts on the applicant’s constitutional challenge concerning the constitutional validity of Section 223 of the Criminal Code,
  • The order denying the admission of evidence from experts concerning the construction of Section 37 of the Criminal Code,
  • The probation order denying Wagner her constitutional rights to freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion on all public sidewalks and public areas within 100 metres of places where abortions are committed,
  • And each conviction and sentence and all orders and rulings made by O’Donnell.

In the notice of appeal, Lugosi cites numerous points on which O’Donnell erred:

  • He denied Wagner her constitutional right to make full answer and defence.
  • He denied Wagner her right to rely on Section 37 of the Criminal Code, which permits “everyone” to come to the third-party defence and rescue of any human being (in this case, the preborn) facing imminent assault.
  • He decided the factual basis of Wagner’s constitutional arguments was a waste of the court’s time and that no purpose would have been served by having an evidentiary hearing on her Charter application because, in the current state of Canadian law, it had no possibility of success.
  • He misapplied case law and prejudged the case, “giving rise to a reasonable apprehension of bias and impeding the legal evolution of the law to adapt to new circumstances, knowledge and changed societal values and morals.”
  • He accepted the Crown’s submission that it is beyond the jurisdiction of the courts to question the jurisdiction of Parliament legally to define “human being” in any manner Parliament sees fit.
  • He ruled Section 223 of the Criminal Code is not beyond the powers of Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
  • He ruled Section 223 of the Criminal Code does not violate the Preamble to, as well as Sections 7, 11(d), 15 and 26, of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • He denied Wagner standing to raise a constitutional challenge to the validity of Section 223 of the Criminal Code.
  • He ruled that Section 223 of the Criminal Code applied generally throughout the entire Criminal Code and used it to deny unborn human beings the benefit of equal protection as born human beings under Section 37 of the Criminal Code.
  • He denied the production and disclosure of third-party records in the possession of the “Women’s Care Clinic” abortion site, although the records were required to prove Wagner was justified in using reasonable force in the form of oral and written words to try to persuade pregnant mothers from killing their unborn children by abortion.
  • He denied Wagner the defence of Section 37 of the Criminal Code by ruling unborn children did not come within the scope of human beings eligible to be protected by a third party.
  • He ruled Wagner did not come within the scope of Section 37 because she was found to be non-violent (in that she did not use physical force).
  • He ruled the unborn children Wagner was trying to rescue were not under her protection.
  • He denied Wagner the common-law defences of necessity and the rescue of third parties in need of protection.
  • He denied Wagner public funding to make full answer and defence for a constitutional test case of great public importance and national significance.
  • He imposed an unconstitutional sentence upon Wagner by, in effect, imposing an injunction as a condition of probation, contrary to her constitutional rights of free speech, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.

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Among the orders Lugosi is seeking are:

  • That an appeal be allowed against conviction on all counts and that a verdict of acquittal be entered on all counts,
  • That Section 223 of the Criminal Code be found unconstitutional  and contrary to Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982, as well as the unwritten constitution of Canada,
  • That the sentence be declared unconstitutional and contrary to Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982, and the unwritten constitution of Canada or that a new trial be conducted, with Wagner permitted to make full answer and defence, be given standing to make a constitutional attack on Section 223 of the Criminal Code, with the admission of expert witnesses,
  • That the Women’s Care Clinic abortion site be made to produce third-party records pertaining to patients seen on August 15, 2012 (when Wagner entered the site),
  • And that there be public funding for two defence counsels at any retrial and for any appeal related to the case.

No date has yet been established for a decision on the appeal or hearings.

A defence fund for Wagner’s case is still raising money. Details on how to contribute to it can be found here.


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