Pro-Life Alert: Media Blackout on Mass Arrest of Pro-Lifers

From ALL Communications Director Katie Walker:


Washington, DC (20 August 2008) On Aug. 1, 18 pro-lifers were falsely, brutally arrested on bogus charges by Maryland state police officers. Most were scared, crying teenage kids. They weren’t told the charges for which they were being arrested and they weren’t read their Miranda Rights. The girls were humiliatingly searched, and all were locked up. Most weren’t allowed to see their lawyers and were denied their phone calls.

This is one of the largest mass arrests of pro-lifers since the days of the clinic rescue movement which ended in the early 1990s. It’s a clear violation of First and Fourth Amendment rights.

It’s being ignored in a massive media blackout.

“This type of harassment has been used against peaceful protestors in the past and never have these tyrannical methods been acceptable,” said Jen Catelli, director of media relations at American Life League. “The pro-life community needs to stand up and demand media attention for these heinous abuses.”

Defend Life’s Maryland Face the Truth Tour had one final stop to make in Hagerstown, Maryland. They peacefully set up their signs along a stretch of highway and began to pray. State police officers soon showed up and demanded they take down their signs. The pro-lifers complied and moved to a different area.

State police followed and began making arrests.

“They violated all our rights,” said Jack Ames, president and founder of Defend Life. Ames spent the night locked in a cell with the other pro-lifers. Ames and his fellow pro-lifers spent the night praying and singing the Lord’s Prayer, the Ave Maria and Tantum Ergo. The next morning officials released the pro-lifers. Charges have since been dropped.

“American Life League is committed to making sure these people get the attention they deserve,” Catelli said. “This kind of blatant disregard for pro-lifers’ rights on the part of Governor Martin O’Malley’s state police won’t be tolerated. If these pro-lifers were pro-abortion activists or PETA protesters, this would have been on the front page of every newspaper on the East Coast.”

“As more information surfaces about this mass arrest, ALL will ensure that everyone in the pro-life movement hears about these heroes,” Catelli continued.

American Life League was cofounded in 1979 by Judie Brown. It is the largest grassroots Catholic pro-life organization in the United States and is committed to the protection of all innocent human beings from the moment of creation to natural death. For more information or media inquiries, please contact Katie Walker at 540.659.4942.

Covenant News: 18 Pro-Lifers Arrested in Maryland (4 August 208) Victory for 18 Arrested Pro-Life Demonstrators (15 August 2008)

Catholics & Abortion? – UPDATED

UPDATE: Good news—St. Thomas has backtracked, and Star Parker is set to speak there after all.
Two extremely disturbing stories regarding American Catholics. First, the University of St. Thomas shunned a planned pro-life speech by Star Parker. Ed Morrissey has the details. Second, the following is a column I just received via email from ALL’s Judie Brown:

Just when I thought there might not be anything worthy of a blog post, two news items came to my attention within the short span of five hours; In each case I was appalled at what the facts exposed.

Let me begin in San Francisco, which is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is also one of the most salacious. It wasn’t too long ago, last October to be exact, that we read about Archbishop George Niederauer giving the body and blood of Christ in Holy Eucharist to two members of the ‘Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.’ After several Catholics expressed outrage, the Archbishop
claimed he didn’t notice the garb these two men were wearing when they approached him for the sacrament during the Mass. While his apology was certainly appropriate, his original action boggles my simple little mind.

I almost believed that he had honestly not noticed the outrageous face makeup and costuming worn by the two gay “nuns.” But that was then and this is now.

Just yesterday I learned that when Catholic Charities hosted its annual banquet this past Friday, the Archbishop was scheduled to
present an award to George Marcus, a real estate investment mogul who is a large supporter of Planned Parenthood.

In selecting George Marcus as a 2008 honoree,
Archbishop Niederauer stated, “Through his passion for philanthropy, interfaith collaboration and insistence on making life more beautiful for all people, George M. Marcus is an example of how a single individual can positively impact the lives of many.”
Are we to suspect that the Archbishop simply didn’t know about Marcus’ involvement with the world’s leading promoter of abortion? I think not.
As if this April 11th news was not enough, I also learned that a coalition of Catholics described as liberals are mobilizing behind the scenes to provide Barack Obama with support for his campaign. As soon as Deal Hudson revealed this story to the media, Alexis Kelley and Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, of Catholics in Alliance responded that Mr. Hudson was mistaken. They wrote that the organization they represent is a “non-partisan, nonprofit organization that promotes the fullness of Catholic social teaching.”
But I would suggest to you that these ladies are protesting too much, and that it is quite certain that Hudson is not far off the mark with his comments.
Now why would I say this? Because these women represent the same organization that issued a call for “civility in politics” last November. While they have subsequently removed the document from their website, due in large part to our exposing the effort for what it truly was—a statement lacking all respect for the sacrament of Holy Eucharist—the fact remains that the group did issue it and that is a recorded fact.
I welcome you to read my commentary on this ridiculous statement and our call for the signers to remove their names. As I wrote in this column:

The first point in their series of bulleted statements reads, “As Catholics we should not enlist the Church’s moral endorsement of our political preferences. We should do this out of respect for our fellow Catholics of equally good will but differing political convictions and our interest in protecting the clergy from being drawn into partisan political to the detriment of the Church’s integrity and objectivity.”

This is the most inane representation of alleged acts of civility that I have ever seen; in fact I dare say it is purely evil in its intent. American Life League has repeatedly called for bishops, priests, deacons and Eucharistic ministers to protect Christ from sacrilege by denying the sacrament to public figures who claim to be Catholic while also supporting abortion. The group’s statement characterizes our actions as somehow exhibiting disrespect for our Church leaders who have been ordained to serve Christ. It is completely irrational to propose that out of respect for those who favor child killing, or as this group puts it, “Catholics of equally good will but differing political convictions,” we would withdraw our campaign to make sure that Christ, truly present in the sacrament of Holy Eucharist, is protected from sacrilege.

In light of these facts I believe that Hudson is right and the women are simply attempting to back down from what in my humble opinion is their political agenda at the current moment.
How can Catholics do such things? Why are such actions tolerated? Well, don’t ask Archbishop Niederauer.
I suppose you may be scratching your head and wondering what in the world is going on with “Catholics” these days? I must tell you that if I knew, perhaps I could sleep better at night. Sadly, it would appear these examples represent a trend that has no end in sight, at least for the foreseeable future. Moral relativism has crept into the statements and actions of even those called to lead Catholics and teach them. Such a situation should sadden each of us beyond description.
The antidote is, of course, total faith in Christ and resolve to defend the Catholic Church and her teaching regardless of the scandalous comments and behavior we see around us. And we should recall those ageless comments of Pope Benedict XVI, who said:

The human race—every one of us—is the sheep lost in the desert which no longer knows the way. The Son of God will not let this happen; he cannot abandon humanity in so wretched a condition. He leaps to his feet and abandons the glory of Heaven, in order to go in search of the sheep and pursue it, all the way to the Cross. He takes it upon his shoulders and carries our humanity; he carries us all—he is the good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep.
Inauguration as Pope, April 2005

Let us pray for the Holy Father and be confident that in God’s time all of the chaos within the Church will be exposed, and souls will be healed and brought into full union with Christ, our Shepherd.

Standing for Life: If Not Now, When?

ALL’s Michael Hichborn issues the following challenge to his fellow pro-lifers via email:

The ongoing effort to save preborn babies from the culture of death is akin to the epic battle between David and Goliath. While the pro-life movement struggles just to maintain its grassroots support base, the massive and powerful culture of death has access to all of the money, political power and propaganda it could ever want.

At least David had the nerve to show up for the fight. Right now, in Colorado, a 20-year-old law student has taken up David’s sling and is prepared to throw the deadly stone while some self-professed pro-life leaders, politicians and clergymen cower because they believe that “now is not the right time.”

In November 2007, Kristi Burton, founder of Colorado for Equal Rights, won an important victory in the state supreme court allowing her to move forward with Proposed Initiative 36. The initiative simply states that “the terms ‘person’ or ‘persons’ shall include any human being from the moment of fertilization.” This initiative is the lynchpin for restoring the right to life for all preborn babies, because in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, Justice Harry Blackmun wrote, “If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant’s case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment.”

Over the past 35 years, nearly 50,000,000 preborn babies have been legally butchered in their own mothers’ wombs. The most we have to show for our effort to stop this carnage is an alleged ban on the heinous practice of partially delivering a baby, stabbing him or her in the back of the head and then sucking his or her brains out. Hailed by some as a pro-life victory, the so-called ban on partial-birth abortion isn’t truly a ban because the Supreme Court decision itself included instructions permitting doctors to circumvent the ban by injecting the baby with poison before completing the grisly procedure. What is so completely baffling, however, is that organizations like the National Right to Life Committee will pop a champagne cork for a ruling that won’t stop a single abortion, but will not support or will even directly oppose the personhood initiative – which would directly end all abortions – because they claim that “now is not the right time.”

Some may ask, “If now is not the right time to save babies, when is?” But it’s more appropriate to ask, “Why not now?’ What do pro-life leaders, politicians and clergymen have to lose by acting now instead of waiting for “the right time”? If the initiative fails, do we admit defeat, tell the babies we’re sorry we couldn’t do better, pack up and go home? How many amendments and legislative measures are voted upon only once before being passed? The answer is less than one percent! If the initiative fails, you start over and try again and you keep trying until it works. It is hard, tedious and frustrating work, but when compared with the suffering of innocent preborn children who face dismemberment and death, the decision is an easy one. Only those locked in their lofty ivory towers, comfortable with merely drawing a salary to do “pro-life” work, remain silent or oppose real pro-life measures while they wait for “the right time.”

There is no “right time.” David went into battle against Goliath without military or combat training and without a sword, shield or helmet. He carried only a sling and some rocks. He was a mere boy and the timing was as much against him as his size and strength. But his courage and faith in God led to victory. In truth, the victory over the culture of death will not be ours to claim, just as the timing is not ours to decide. Kristi Burton heard the call from God to defend human life and answered it without question, without waiting for “the right time” and without compromise. Her leadership brings to mind the words of a shepherd who slew a giant:

“You come against me with sword and spear and scimitar, but I come against you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel that you have insulted. Today the LORD shall deliver you into my hand; I will strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will leave your corpse and the corpses of the Philistine army for the birds of the air and the beasts of the field; thus the whole land shall learn that Israel has a God. All this multitude, too, shall learn that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves. For the battle is the LORD’S, and He shall deliver you into our hands.” (1 Samuel 17: 45-47)

When doing the work of God and calling on people to support the defense of babies, can timing really be an issue? While pro-life leaders, politicians and clergymen stand idly by, waiting for “the right time,” Kristi Burton puts it all in God’s hands, stands in the arena, takes careful aim and throws.

(Hmm, where have I heard this
line of complaint before?)