Monday March 8, 2010

Charges Dismissed Against Man Arrested After Questioning Rep. Kennedy on Abortion

By James Tillman

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island, March 8, 2010 ( — The Providence city prosecutor has dismissed criminal charges against Christopher Young, a Democratic mayoral candidate who was arrested and dragged away by the police after confronting Rep. Patrick Kennedy about the mandated funding of abortion in the health care bill. He had been charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

“This represents a victory for free speech, even when the view expressed gets an inhospitable reception,” said Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society, whose attorneys represented Young. “In this case, it was Young’s view that even a supposedly ‘unwanted’ infant is clothed with an inviolable dignity and endowed with an inalienable right to life.”

He continued: “Congressman Kennedy had opened the forum by arguing that all of us are ‘children of God’ who carry a ‘divine spark.’

“Young was entirely within his rights under the First Amendment when he called Kennedy to task for supporting the mass demise of so many millions of unborn human beings – all of whom are no less bearers of a ‘divine spark’ and ‘children of God.’”

Young had been arrested by the police during a public forum on health care at Brown University in Providence last November.

“Why would you mandate Catholics to support the funding of abortion when it goes against our religious beliefs?” he had asked Rep. Kennedy at the time. “This is not a free country. You are forcing people to support a bill that goes against the religious beliefs of the people of this country.”

Young also pointed out that a disproportionate number of abortions occur in the black population, tossing the DVD Maafa 21 on to Rep. Kennedy’s desk. Maafa 21 attempts to trace the pro-abortion cause to the racist eugenics movement.

Shortly afterwards, police took him away from the microphone and dragged him out of the building. Rep. Kennedy never answered or addressed Young’s questions. Kennedy later remarked that Young’s outburst was really “part of the whole process of politics these days.”

After the charges were dismissed, Young expressed relief. “I’m a free man again,” he said, according to the Brown Daily Herald. “It’s been a hard battle.”

He said that he was “seriously considering” civil charges against Brown University. He remains prohibited by the University from entering the campus.

“They’ve obviously violated my freedom of speech rights and freedom of religion rights, but also they’ve suppressed speech that is based on issues that involve race,” he said. “That is a constitutional violation that can’t be overlooked.”

Kennedy vaulted to prominence during debate over the health-care reform bill after questioning whether the United States bishops were pro-life for their opposition to the health-care reform bill.

Bishop Thomas Tobin of Rhode Island had quickly responded in a press release calling Kennedy a “disappointment to the Catholic Church and the citizens of Rhode Island.”

Speaking on Kennedy’s views, Brejcha said that “the Congressman’s stubborn insistence that he remains a faithful Catholic, while advocating both for abortion on demand and the suppression of conscience rights, is nothing less than living a lie.”

He concluded: “[Brown University’s] actions also belied its claim to be a place where ideas may be freely discussed – even the idea that human dignity is universally shared.

“We urge Brown to heed the message of Salman Rushdie, who lectured at Brown on the eve of Young’s last scheduled court date, urging that all speakers be given the right to speak, even those whose views some find ‘detestable.’”

See related stories on

Man Arrested for Questioning Rep. Kennedy on Abortion Goes to Court

Police Arrest Town-Haller Demanding Rep. Kennedy Explain Abortion Support


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