Pregnant Sudan Christian Mother Sentenced to Hang to Death

By Joanne Moudy

Early this morning a 27-year-old, pregnant Sudanese mother was sentenced to death by hanging for being a Christian, but not until after she receives a flogging of 100 lashes for committing adultery (with her Christian husband).

Dr. Meriam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag was accused of apostasy and adultery earlier this year. According to Reuters, she was arrested and imprisoned in February, along with her 20 month-old son. She was formally charged by the Sudanese government on March 4th. Following her brief trial, she was found guilty of the charges and convicted on May 11th – Mother’s Day. The court gave her three days to recant her faith and proclaim herself a Muslim.

Congressman Trent Franks, AZ-8, had this to say after the sentencing today:

“We have learned that Meriam Yahia Ibraham Ishag – a Sudanese Christian woman – has been sentenced to death by hanging after being accused of apostasy by a court that gave her ‘three days to recant’ and ‘return to Islam.’ Ms. Ishag, who is married to an American citizen, was raised as an Orthodox Christian by her mother, thus making a ‘return’ to Islam fundamentally impossible. She is also eight months pregnant.

“Such blatant disregard for the value of human life – and religious freedom – is an indescribable disgrace. I urge the U.S. State Department to immediately step in on Ms. Ishag’s behalf and to articulate conclusively that such blatant abrogation of the most basic human rights will be taken extremely seriously, and that Sudan is expected to fulfill its sworn obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

Although Meriam’s biological father was a Muslim, he deserted the family when Meriam was a mere six years old. She was raised by her mother.

Meriam finished college and then medical school and then married Wani, a Christian man from South Sudan, who happens to be an American Citizen. The couple has a 20 month-old son and Meriam is now eight months pregnant with their second child.

South Sudan is predominantly Christian and when the region seceded from Sudan in 2011, the Sudan government made it clear they would move forward with a 100% Islamic constitution and enforce Shari’a law. However, the new constitution has not yet been ratified.

According to Wani, last August someone posing as a relative reported Meriam in to the authorities for being a ‘Muslim who converted to Christianity.’ According to Shari’a law, any child born to a Muslim father must be brought up a Muslim. Anyone found guilty of converting from Islam to any other religion is guilty of apostasy and subject to the death penalty. Since Shari’a law does not recognize a Muslim woman’s marriage to anyone outside of Islam, the Sudan’s court also found Meriam guilty of adultery.

Wani further stated to Morning Star News that during the time Meriam has been incarcerated she has been beaten, personally abused, starved, and refused all medical treatment. There is concern the son will be executed as well.

This morning when Meriam was hauled into the district court in Khartoum for sentencing, she was placed in a cage and ‘counseled’ by Muslim religious leaders for thirty minutes. The court refused to use Meriam’s name, instead referring to her only by her father’s Muslim name of Adraf Al-Hadi Mohammed Abdullah.

According to Al Jazeera, at the end of the 30 minutes, Judge Abbas Mohammed Al-Khalifa asked her what she had decided. Meriam calmly stated, “I am a Christian and I never committed apostasy.”

Judge Abbas then sentenced her to a severe flogging for adultery, followed with death by hanging. Al-Shareef Ali al-Shareef Mohammed, Meriam’s attorney, did state they will appeal the sentencing within the next 15 days.

Manar Idriss, Amnesty International’s Sudan researcher said, “The fact that a woman has been sentenced to death for her religious choice, and to flogging for being married to a man of an allegedly different religion is appalling and abhorrent. Adultery and apostasy are acts which should not be considered crimes at all. It is flagrant breach of international human rights law.”

Even though Wani is a U.S. Citizen, he is being denied custody of his son and the child about to be born. The court has ignored the couple’s legal marriage certificate as well as the son’s legal birth certificate and claim that the only proof acceptable would be a positive DNA test – but that must be completed in the U.S. Such a test would require an inordinate amount of time, which neither Meriam nor her children have.

There is speculation that Meriam will be kept alive until her baby is born, but the fate of the child is unknown.

Chief Master Sergeant (Ret) Chuck Wooten, who is running for U.S. Congress in AZ-2 issued this statement:

“I am deeply saddened and outraged upon learning that Meriam was sentenced to death. Most especially when no crime was committed. Again, we must rely on the U.S. State Department to become engaged with the global community to mitigate this tragedy and to common citizens, it appears inaction has once again paralyzed the Department. There is a peaceful solution to destroying Meriam’s precious life, while she is carrying another precious life. Our diplomats should have already sprung into action to preclude further bloodshed in Sudan. I’m praying fervently for Meriam, her husband and her children this situation is swiftly and mercifully resolved.”

The Real War on Women? In the Sudan, Pregnant Mother on Trial for Christian Faith

By Joanne Moudy

Joanne MoudyFor all the malarkey the left spews about the fabricated War on Women in America, one would think there is real persecution happening within our borders. Yet the truth is that Sandra Fluke, Gloria Steinem, and the rest of the bra-burning brigade don’t have a clue and are an embarrassment of the worst order.

The real war against women is occurring right now, almost every day – in Muslin controlled countries, while hypocritical women like Hillary Clinton expound on and expand their platform for dividing America.

Consider Dr. Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, who according to Reuters is a 27-year-old Sudanese Christian physician who’s about to be flogged 100 times and then put to death. Her crime? The unthinkable sin of not being Muslim.

Dr. Ibrahim’s father was Muslim and ran off and left her home when she was six years old. Since her mother was a Christian, she raised Meriam in the same faith. Meriam is married to Daniel Wani, a South Sudanese Christian with U.S. citizenship. The couple has a 20 month old son and Meriam is eight months pregnant with their second child.

But the couple’s faith is a problem for the oppressive government in Sudan. Since the predominantly Christian South Sudan secession in 2011, the government of Sudan has made it clear they are aiming for a 100% Islamic constitution, without any outside influences. That equates to no Christianity. Although the new constitution has not yet been ratified, the government has apparently already adopted Shari’a law.

Meriam’s horrifying ordeal began last August, when someone posing as a relative reported to the authorities that she was a Christian. She was subsequently arrested in February and charged on March 4, for apostasy and for adultery. According to Shari’a law a Muslim woman is forbidden from marrying a Christian man, and thus the marriage to Wani was annulled by the Sudan court. The annulment set her up for the crime of adultery and she was convicted of both apostasy and adultery on Mother’s Day, May 11.

She was given three days to renounce her Christian faith and convert to Islam, or face a flogging of 100 lashes for adultery, followed by the death penalty for being a Christian. Her sentencing is set for today, Thursday, May 15.

According to Morning Star News, who chronicled her terrible journey, Wani has stated that while his wife has been incarcerated she has been severely abused and tortured, both physically and mentally. Critical prenatal medical care has been denied and she is drained to the point of exhaustion.

Meanwhile her 20 month old son is incarcerated within the same prison because Sudan authorities are refusing to recognize the couple’s union. Even though Wani has provided a legal marriage certificate and his son’s birth certificate, the court refused to acknowledge them and told Wani the only proof they would accept would be a DNA test, which must be drawn and then sent to the U.S. for testing. All of this takes an inordinate amount of time, precious time which Meriam is running out of.

If sentenced to death, the authorities plan to keep her alive until she delivers her child and then execute her immediately after she gives birth.

Congressman Trent Franks, AZ D-8, issued this statement on May 13. “Sudan is blatantly violating the universal right to freedom of religion by convicting a Christian Sudanese woman, under their strict enforcement of Shari’a law, solely because of her religious beliefs.

“I have closely followed Meriam’s case and was horrified to learn how this innocent mother was convicted on Mother’s Day. She now faces the unconscionable decision of either denying her Christian faith or receiving a death sentence.

“I urge Sudan to immediately and unconditionally release Meriam and uphold religious freedom standards within the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, of which Sudan is a signatory and under which apostasy and adultery are not criminal offences.”

Congressman Frank Wolf, VA D-10, joined in with this statement. “I am deeply troubled by the case involving Meriam Yehya Ibrahim.

“There is an urgent need for international attention to this injustice . . . This is a human rights travesty in which our State Department should be fully engaged, especially given that Meriam is married to an American citizen. I join my colleagues, in calling on the relevant government authorities in Sudan to immediately and unconditionally release Meriam and her young son and to respect basic tenets of religious freedom and belief.”

In Arizona, Representative(s) Ron Barber and Krysten Sinema offices were contacted, but neither one had a statement. Considering all the posturing the liberals do in this country about women’s rights, one would expect a bit of an outcry on this, yet they are remarkably silent.

Fortunately, Chief Master Sergeant (Ret) Chuck Wooten who is against Ron Barber had this to say. “Christian persecution is nothing new, but in our time the world should be standing firmly against this tragedy and every other one like it. The Muslim faith is saturated by extremism and we see too many stories like Meriam’s. Threatening murder on a Christian who will not renounce their faith is an abomination of the worst kind. We’ve seen with recent Internet videos that these barbarians who insist upon the conversion of Christians will still kill those, even though they succumb to the threat of death. The U.S. State Department should be fully mobilized to confront these situations and unite with our global counterparts and renounce and respond accordingly to this barbarism against Meriam and all in similar situations.”

One has to wonder if the left fail to speak up because Meriam is a Christian, a physician or a mother – or could it simply be a combination of the three? Considering the left’s collective silence, one can only speculate on their true motives.

Please contact your Senators and Representatives immediately, as the court will render judgment today. This is a most urgent situation.

Joanne Moudy is the author of “The Tenth,” a supernatural thriller exploring the very real trauma of abortion in a fictional realm. She proudly served as an officer in the military for nine years, before specializing in emergency nursing until retirement. She’s currently an ambassador for Alliance Defending Freedom, and regularly speaks about the horrors of abortion, and the impact of liberalism and secularism on all of humanity. You can follow her on Twitter @composedof1 or via her website at GatedCreative.com

So You Want To Be A Legislator And Support Religious Liberty?

Guest Opinion by Anonymous (for obvious reasons)

Kudos to you.  But you had better be prepared for a whole lot of hatred coming your way from the hypocritical left.  They have a real habit of telling you to be tolerant while telling you to die.  As the public face of support for SB1062, Arizona’s Religious Freedom bill, State Senator Al Melvin’s Facebook page was deluged with vile comments.  We don’t have space for all of them, but here are some excellent examples of what passes for political discourse and tolerance on the left these days:

Some folks just want to blame the Mormons…  Like Kay here.  She is a former member of the church who thinks it is a cult.  Of course, Kay also thinks the majority of GOP legislators are LDS, and she intends to make sure that everyone knows that.

Kay Doesn't Like Mormons

Shane wouldn’t blame the Mormons, because he likely considers it narrow-minded to blame just one group of Christians when you can blame ALL of the Christians.

Shane Hates the Bible

Jett seems less upset at organized religion and more upset at the Bible itself.  A lot more upset.

Jett Smith thinks you're scum

Bart here is apparently still smarting from losing his job as a nutrition counselor.  In fairness Bart, we’re pretty sure that’s not the 5-A-Day plan most people think about.

Bart has a 5 lb bag!

Ciaran was in a bit of a hurry, so we just get the short and sweet from Ciaran.  It gets weird when Ciaran seems to have some inside knowledge though.  First you want him to die, then you celebrate that he’s almost dead?  Does Ciaran know something we don’t know?

And Ciaran can't wait for Al to die

Ciaran thinks Al's a cunt
Comparatively speaking, David here is one of the good guys.  He doesn’t want Melvin dead, but he’s liking the idea of tracking down a State Senator and beating him, you know, “for good measure”?

David Allen wants to beat Al

James wants lots of people to die, so it isn’t personal, okay Senator Melvin?  We mean, he does want you to die, but he also wants lots of other people to die.

James Jefferies Wants You To Die

Richard seemed like a pretty good example of the basic profanity laced “I wish you were dead” comment.  Not exactly Lincoln-Douglas, but we’re sure he’s doing the best he can with what he has.

Richard wants Al dead too

And what would a leftist outburst be without invoking a Nazi reference or two?  Gary, what’s with that profile picture though?  Seriously?

Gary Dailey Nazi

Chris Thomas has anger issues.  He isn’t alone in that.  Melvin’s campaign says they’ve deleted “probably two hundred” posts that were not what we’d call family friendly.  But Chris seemed to be one of the more inspired authors of hate-filled rants.  And oddly, Chris is very pro-Common Core, which ought to have been a completely different debate.  Looks like Chris doesn’t like Melvin’s position against Common Core either.  Show of hands here, do you agree with Chris’ assertion that he is “apart of the human race?”

Chris Thomas 2

Remarkably, it looks like part of Melvin’s team actually took the time to respond to this guy.  They probably didn’t make that effort twice.  Chris is not pleased.  Now Chris wants Melvin’s people dead.  Also, Chris would like to add his voice to those who do not like the bible.  We know, you’re shocked.

Chris Thomas wants CQ dead too

Chris and Kay ought to talk.  Chris doesn’t like Mormons either.  He wants them to die.  Graphically.  In fact, he’s already decided how he wants them to die.  We think we speak for civilized society at large when we say we’re glad Chris doesn’t have it his way?

Chris Thomas Hates Mormons

Looks like Melvin’s campaign started deleting Chris’ comments.  Well OF COURSE they did!  We’d recommend not just deleting them, but using the BAN feature offered by Facebook.  Apparently they didn’t go that route, because Chris is back and he wants Al Melvin DEAD, weirdly enough, with the bullet that hit Gabby Giffords.  Although he’ll apparently settle for a .357 round.

Chris Thomas 1

The statement we received from Melvin’s campaign was relatively patient, considering.  They said “Al’s been at this a long time.  He has voted for Constitutional Carry, protecting marriage, SB1070, and the list goes on.  So this isn’t the first time he has taken a stand on an important issue.  Receiving hate from people who disagree with you is saddening but not surprising.  Comments usually fall into four groups:  People who agree with you or thank you.  People who disagree with you and want to debate the idea.  People who just want to call names without adding anything to the debate.  And the really ugly folks who flat out hate you and tend to lost control of their thoughts and emotions in their haste to express their hate.  The third and fourth groups are just best deleted, otherwise they obscure any rational debate that might actually occur, and they tend to drive away the decent people who may agree or disagree with you.”

Point taken.  And if it makes our blog readers feel better, Chris Thomas, like most of the folks captured in this post, isn’t even from Arizona.  That makes us feel a bit better, even if now we have to feel sorry for Chesapeake, Virginia!

 

 

Melvin Disappointed By Veto Of SB1062

Melvin Letterhead ArtEncourages Conservatives To Regroup And “Stay In The Fight”

“I am sorry to hear that Governor Brewer has vetoed this bill.  I’m sure it was a difficult choice for her, but it is a sad day when protecting liberty is considered controversial.” – Al Melvin, speaking on the Governor’s veto of SB1062.

Melvin encouraged the groups that supported the bill to regroup, stay in the fight, and come back stronger the next time.

“Let us learn from the process we have just come through so that we can do a better job next time of communicating our intent.  Let us do a better job of reaching out to groups who likely mean well but who are otherwise swept up in the hysteria and misinformation that greets legislation like this. We need to recognize that the attacks on Christian businesses we spoke about were in other states like New Mexico and Oregon.  Until people see it happening here in Arizona, our efforts will be too easily dismissed.” said Melvin, adding “It is unfortunate that we may to wait until people’s rights are being trampled here in Arizona before we can safeguard them, but that may well be the case.”

Melvin also urged disappointed Arizonans to remain engaged in the process.

“Already too many Christians avoid the political process, and defeats like this one can be demoralizing.  The most important thing is to remain involved in the process and to get your friends and family involved as well.  Our nation is a miracle, but that does not mean that God alone is responsible for its maintenance.  We are each called to be involved and to do our part.” Melvin said, continuing “For my part, I will continue my campaign for Governor and, if elected, will use that office to actively promote the cause of liberty here in Arizona.”

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Alliance Defending Freedom: Deception, distortion on SB 1062 results in veto

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Doug Napier regarding Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s decision Wednesday to veto SB 1062, a bill the state legislature recently passed to clarify Arizona’s 1999 Religious Freedom Restoration Act and bring it into conformity with federal law:

“Freedom loses when fear overwhelms facts and a good bill is vetoed. Today’s veto enables the foes of faith to more easily suppress the freedom of the people of Arizona. Even though the battle has become more difficult, Alliance Defending Freedom stands ready to defend any Arizonan who suffers the indignity of religious discrimination.

Read Statement.

Statement from Honorable Fife Symington III, Former Governor of Arizona regarding SB1062

“It’s ironic that more than twenty years after the MLK controversy, the State of Arizona is once again thrust into the spotlight with its national reputation and perhaps a Super Bowl at stake.  What is often underreported in the wake of the maelstrom from two decades ago is the fact that Arizona did the right thing.  In reality, Arizona is the only state in the union to have a voter approved MLK holiday.

“Governor Brewer’s deliberative process is the hallmark of her leadership.  From righting the fiscal ship to restoring the will of the voters to protect the most vulnerable, her leadership has proven time and again to yield thoughtful and positive results.  I know that she’ll do the right thing for the State of Arizona.”

Ralph Heap: Bob Worsley on SB1062: A Flip-Flop Only John Kerry Could Love

“Worsley co-sponsors SB 1062, votes for it, campaigns on it, and then calls on the governor to veto it.” 

(Mesa, AZ) Earlier this week, in a flip-flop that only John Kerry could love, State Senator Bob Worsley urged Governor Brewer to veto the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (aka SB1062) after not only voting for the legislation, but also co-sponsoring and touting the legislation on the campaign trail.

“This epic flip-flop says a lot about what kind of politician Bob Worsley is,” saidHeap for State Senate spokesman Dan Caldwell.  “Instead of taking the time to understand the legislation and make an informed vote, Worsley instead tried to make a political decision to curry favor with conservatives only to flip-flop and call for the veto of a bill he co-sponsored when serious opposition emerged.

“It begs the obvious question,” continued Caldwell,  “does Bob Worsley even bother to read legislation he sponsors? Or does he just throw his name onto bills that he thinks will benefit him politically in his next election without any real consideration about what the legislation will actually do?

“The voters of Legislative District 25 deserve better,” concluded Caldwell. “They deserve a State Senator who is willing to take a principled stand on important issues – not a state senator whose principles are completely dependent on which way the political winds are blowing.”

SB 1062 Analysis – Winners, Losers and Who Gets Stuck with the Bill

By Bill Beard

Politically it would seem that for the vast majority of folks in Arizona the signing of SB 1062 will lead to a lot of trouble. Every day that Governor Brewer waits to sign or veto this bill only prolongs the agony and entrenches all sides against each other. We still have an economy on shaky ground. Unfortunately the only winners in this will be attorneys for both sides that will rake in the big bucks. The other winner would appear to be the discrimination lobby consultants that will be able to squeeze out more dollars to muddy the water and further antagonize all sides.

Those ‘for’ the bill are well intentioned. The political wisdom of dragging the rest of us into this isn’t clear. The average outside observer could have seen this coming. In an attempt to secure Religious Freedom they have set things on a course where reputations will be damaged and leave the taxpayers hurting. The average guy and gal that earns a living related to tourism for business or pleasure will see smaller paychecks. I’m not exactly sure who would be against Religious Freedom but this approach seems doomed. A better alternative to alleviating the possibility of someone suing a business owner for discrimination because they don’t like gays or pick your cause du jour would have been a simple Tort Reform bill that allowed the marketplace to decide the wisdom of anyone denying anyone else the ability to do business. The court system does not need to be involved.

Politically this issue has gone beyond the intent of the supporters. At this point it will only be a loser for folks running for office this year. Forget any merits of the bill. If you have an R after your name you will have to address this in your campaign. Whether you run for Dog Catcher or Governor this issue will come up. Regardless of the real issues of your campaign you will need to take time to explain your position on the bill. Why you agree or disagree with the intent, the politics or the inevitable lawsuits. When the average citizen is more concerned with their personal economy your campaign will spend valuable time addressing this issue.

The average guy out there will not see this as a Religious Liberty issue. For them it will further separate them from their elected representatives. It will only add to the idea that the representatives just don’t get what’s going on in their lives. They struggle daily with paying bills, feeding the kids or trying to figure out where the money will come from to pay for the broken washing machine or car repair. They will get stuck with the bill for the attorneys, the bill for the loss of their representatives focus on keeping the economy moving forward and the bill for time defending what their leaders have done to their friends and family in the rest of the country. So much for of, by and for the people.

Poll: What is your understanding of Arizona’s SB 1062?

Fascist Constitutionphobes and Religiophobes Hope You Won’t Read

Reposted from The Playful Walrus

Have you heard about the legislation recently passed by the Arizona legislature? Have you heard that it is “anti-gay”? Do you know the name of the legislation? Have you even bothered to read it? It’s not very long or hard to find. I easily found it here. It is SB 1062.

The way the marriage neutering and homosexuality advocates have been engaging in their dramatic whining and over-the-top theatrics, and the way so many of their repeaters in the MSM have called it “anti-gay”, you’d think the legislation authorizes people to hunt down homosexual people where they live and burn down their homes.

Go ahead and search through the text.

You won’t find one mention of any of the following words or phrases:

gay
lesbian
homosexual
sexual orientation
same-sex
heterosexual

You won’t find euphemisms for those words or phrases, either.

What you will find is that the core language of the legislation is:

“STATE ACTION shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion…”

However, there are some very important and sizable exceptions:

“In furtherance of a compelling governmental interest.”
“The least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”

More core language:

“A person whose religious exercise is burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding…”

Again, there are some very important and sizable exceptions.

What is the big deal?

This seems to me like this is an application basic rights – rights specifically enumerated in the First Amendment.

If we consider this on the context of recent government actions, then this would appear to be a reaction to recent cases involving bakers and photographers who have opted out of participation in events that have offended their consciences and sincerely and strongly held religious convictions that have a long, public, mainstream, and widespread tradition can be informed by a basic reading of Scripture. These businesspeople have been sued or prosecuted by their own government. These situations have also been misportrayed as the someone “refusing to serve gay people”. I recall that one baker in particular had gladly served the homosexual people in question on different occasions. It was only when the baker was asked to participate in a specific event, a same-sex “wedding” ceremony, that the baker declined. Still, some people might insist that such a denial was “anti-gay”. However, I can demonstrate that it wasn’t. The same baker would have refused if two heterosexual women had asked for the baker to participate in their “wedding”.

Notice that the legislation does not mention such professions or events. The legislation could apply to many other things that have nothing to do with what homosexual people do with each other.

So why is it being called “anti-gay”?

I can think of two reasons right now.

1) Leftist homosexuality advocates are malignant narcissists. Everything in the world has to be about their orgasms. They see the entire world through their genitals and anal openings. Other people are to be judged by whether or not they think it is just groovy that one man likes to stick it in another man’s anus. They have some bizarre fixation on what other people think about their private bedroom (or public restroom) behavior. Legislation is to be evaluated by whether or not it will encourage one man to stick it in another man’s anus, or whether or not it empowers or celebrates such men nor not.

2) Homofascists want to reorganize all of society around their feelings, including the practice of religion, and anything that exempts anyone from being under the control of homofascists is labeled “anti-gay”. That would mean they are getting so upset because they fully intend to use the force of government to force everyone, even the deeply religious, to celebrate homosexual behavior.

Whatever happened to “leave us alone”? Now that’s not enough. Now they seek you out, quiz you, and if your answers aren’t right you’re facing a trip to economic Siberia.

Even if you disagree with the legislation, the hysterics from the Leftist homosexuality advocates, and the lockstep following of low information voters should concern you. Really, if signed into law and implemented, how would this law hurt a single homosexual person? Someone might ask a baker for a “wedding” cake with two grooms on top of it. The baker would say “Can’t do it.” Then the homosexual person could go to another baker. Who got hurt? Judging from the circus-like response to the legislation, there would be plenty of other people willing to participate in the “wedding” by making a cake. Comparisons to Jim Crow do not hold up. Jim Crow included government-enforced blanket segregation based on skin color. This would be a business, not government, deciding they could not participate in an event.

Is such legislation Constitutional? I don’t see how it isn’t. It is essentially a building upon the First Amendment.

Will it actually be implemented if signed into law? Don’t count on it.

As we’re seeing repeatedly, the Constitution doesn’t matter. The Executive Branch is under the control of Leftist homosexuality advocates who do not believe in letting states handle their own matters or being bound by existing legislation, and they have more and bigger guns than Arizona. Don’t kid yourself. That’s all it boils down to these days. Even if Arizona refuses to prosecute a baker for being true to their faith, Obama’s Department of Justice will.

Melvin Urges Governor To Sign SB1062

Challenges GOP Opponents to “Reverse Course”

Melvin Letterhead Art

“The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), also known as SB1062, protects the rights of every Arizonan to work and live according to their faith.  It prohibits punishing someone because of their faith.  It is common sense, it is good law, it was carefully crafted, it was supported by more than 90% of the Republicans in the Legislature, and I strongly urge the Governor to sign the bill.” – Al Melvin, speaking on SB1062.

Melvin spoke at a GOP candidate forum on Saturday and was the only candidate for Governor to support SB1062.

“I was disappointed how fast my fellow Republican candidates for Governor caved to the media and liberal pressure.  Each of them offered excuses, but none of them were willing to stand up and publicly fight to protect the religious liberties of Arizonan citizens and businesses.” said Melvin, adding “They need to look past the media-driven hysteria and look at the bill itself.  It is only two pages long and there is no excuse for them not to know better.”

Melvin went further, urging each of his opponents to reverse course and support the bill.  “We all make mistakes, but real leadership means being able to admit when you are wrong and correcting your course.  You don’t have to spend 30 years in the Naval Reserves as I did to know how important course correction is.”

SB1062 modifies Arizona’s existing protections and brings them into line with the federal RFRA.  Furthermore, SB1062 added language to ensure additional protection against the frivolous use of religious beliefs as a defense against behavior that might be considered discriminatory.

“The extremists on the left are using the same hysterical language they did when they opposed SB1070.  But SB1070 turned out to be right for Arizona, the hysterics were proven to be nothing more than simple fantasy designed to whip up opposition, and the Arizona Legislature and Governor Brewer were both vindicated for passing and signing it. My hope is that Arizonans will rally to fight for this bill by contacting the Governor and asking her to sign it.  If she does not, then I hope they will rally to my campaign so that we can elect someone who will sign the bill in 2015.”

Supporters of the bill are invited to join Al Melvin’s campaign for Governor at VoteAlMelvin.com.

Melvin serves as Chairman of the Commerce, Energy and Military Committee and founded the highly successful Mining Caucus and Tourism Caucus. He has had a long business career in international trade and transportation, is a graduate of the US Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, NY and received his MBA degree from Thunderbird-School of Global Management in Glendale, AZ.  Prior to his election to the Senate, he taught college level courses as an adjunct, in economics, international business and management.

Melvin is a military veteran and graduate of the US Naval War College. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for his service as Squadron Commander of COMPSRONTWO, then the largest ship squadron in the US Navy (14 ships) based at the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. In 1999, after 30 years in the US Naval Reserve, he retired as a Navy Captain, the equivalent of a full colonel.

He is a member of the VFW, American Legion, Military Officers of America and other military related organizations.  Sen. Melvin is a life Member of the NRA (National Rifle Association).  He is a member of the Elks, Rotary and Knights of Columbus, and he remains a proud Eagle Scout (class of ’61).

Al and his wife Kou reside in SaddleBrooke in Pinal County, just north of Tucson and attend Santa Catalina Catholic Church in Catalina.

# # #

Michelle Udall: Public Prayer, An Honored Tradition

Michelle UdallA few weeks ago, the Mesa School Board looked at their policy for prayer in public board meetings and recognized a need for a change.  Since then, they have sought legal counsel, listened to input from the community, and worked to formulate a more appropriate policy.  Beginning school board meetings with prayer is an honored tradition in Mesa, long upheld and appreciated by the community.  Likewise, the Supreme Court has noted that beginning public meetings of deliberative bodies with prayer is a part of the fabric of our society.  This valued tradition should be reincorporated into board meetings.  Doing so shows respect for the founders of our nation.

In Arizona, prayer has been a part of public meetings for more than 100 years.  In 1910, the Arizona Constitutional Convention was opened with an invocation and our State Legislature has opened with prayer since statehood.  Mesa City Council Meetings and Mesa School Board Meetings have also begun with prayer since their earliest beginnings.

An appropriate policy for beginning board meetings with prayer ought to show respect for the diverse perspectives of the community.  The opportunity to offer an invocation ought to be opened up to any and all faiths represented in the district.  The newly proposed policy will do so.  Such a policy provides the opportunity to invite members of the community who may not otherwise attend school board meetings.  They will have the chance to learn more about what is happening in Mesa schools and how they can get involved.  Greater community involvement in schools will benefit all students.

Beginning a meeting with prayer helps set the tone of the deliberations to follow.  It solemnizes the proceedings, encourages a sense of cooperation, and is a means of expressing confidence in the future and recognition for that which is worthy of appreciation in society.  Those who wish not to participate are always allowed to refrain.  Certainly there is a need for mutual respect for those of all faiths and beliefs.  School board meetings ought to be a place where tolerant, respectful behavior is modeled and promoted.

The founding fathers, authors of the Constitution, began their public meetings with prayer both before and after ratification of the Constitution.  The Supreme Court and our founding fathers recognize the value of elected officials seeking divine guidance and wisdom when making decisions that affect the entire community.  School board members ought to be as free as the founders to take advantage of such guidance and wisdom.  With the daunting task of educating the children of the community resting on their shoulders, they can use all the help they can get.  Heaven knows they need it!

Written by Michelle Udall, current Mesa School Board member.

Maricopa GOP Chair Rallies LD Censures

To all Arizona County and LD Republican Committee Chairmen -
Below is the front page article of the July 15 Arizona Capitol Times. I want to express my appreciation to those courageous and principled County and LD Republican Committees who have already conducted votes of “censure” and/or “no confidence.”
Jan Brewer, the legislators and their crony capitalist friends that support ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion have betrayed Americans, Arizona Republicans and the Republican Party Platform.  Their lack of ethics, integrity and egregious acts are motivated by only two things – greed and the lust for power – at the expense of hard working tax paying Americans.
The law was expected to cost $898 billion over the first decade when the bill was first passed, but this year the Congressional Budget Office revised that estimate to $1.85 trillion.  Money that will have to be borrowed from the Chinese or printed in the backroom of the Federal Reserve.  Latest polls indicate a majority of Americans are opposed to ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion with an overwhelming majority of Republicans in opposition.
During the past six months, we did everything we could to make a solid argument against ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion, we tried to reason with these people and even tried to make them see the light.  Unfortunately, our lobbying efforts fell on deaf ears and without success.
During one of Ronald Reagan’s difficult political battles he said,
               “When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.”
I’m asking all the County and LD Republican Committees to make these people feel the heat by passing public censures for their actions.  They are elitists who think what they have done should be forgiven. They are mistaken.  We are not going to be able to defeat all of them, but we can defeat a majority of them in the 2014 Primary Election.
You can go to “MCRC Briefs” and get examples of public censures that have already been passed.  http://briefs.maricopagop.org/  Just type “censure” in the search field on the left.
Warmest regards,
 A. J. LaFaro
Chairman, Maricopa County Republican Committee
P.S.  Please encourage all of your PCs to keep up their daily efforts in getting petition signatures for www.urapc.org  Getting ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion on the November 2014 ballot will be historic for Arizona’s grassroots conservatives.

Thoughts on the City of Phoenix LGBT Ordinance

A few thoughts on today’s culture war battle at the City of Phoenix.

I attended the meeting for the purpose of testifying against the tax on food. I signed a card for that specific agenda item having no intention of testifying on the LGBT ordinance.

My position on this has been very clear. I simply do not believe that the City of Phoenix should inject government policy into the personal and private lives of any Phoenicians except when a crime is committed. Some liberals and libertarians would say “keep government out of our bedrooms.” OK, so how about a little consistency by keeping government to a minimum in our private business matters? What the City of Phoenix did tonight was invite a huge conflict between Constitutional rights and individual sexual identity.

By now social conservatives should realize they have lost the culture war on issues related to sexual identity and behavior. The most reasonable position social conservatives can now take is to hold back any level of government from the power position of  picking winners and losers in the conflict between sexual identity and free speech, religious freedom and freedom of conscience.

Locally, social conservatives did not lose the culture battle in Phoenix tonight. Social conservatives lost the culture battle in November of 2011 when it failed to elect conservatives to the Phoenix city council.

We knew this was coming. The signs were there in 2011 when mayoral candidate Greg Stanton made wide overtures to the LGBT community and efforts to align Phoenix with San Francisco values. Anyone who dared to point it out was labeled a bigot. So goes the spirit of tolerance on the left.

(Too often, both sides fail to see this as a debate over public policy rather making it about personal attacks on individuals and their sexual identities.)

Tonight’s meeting was a reflection of the very intolerance those pushing for tolerance decry. Anyone who dared to oppose the ordinance was booed and jeered. No respect for human dignity and certainly no respect for the public policy process.

Social conservative did turn out at the meeting – certainly not in number. And those who did engage were speaking a different language to the huge LGBT majority who did turn out (probably with plenty of advance notice). Two different languages because there are two different worldviews – one based on faith, the other clearly sexual and secular in nature. There were translators in the testimonials – individuals who know the difference and can communicate between the two worldviews – Cathi Herrod from the Center for Arizona Policy, an attorney from the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Rev. Jarrett Maupin spoke. These individuals are bilingual on issues that tangle logic and emotions.

And there was a tremendous amount of emotion – mostly from the LGBT – about living with a sexual identity that conflicts with traditional societal norms. Who was going to argue with the dozen of transgendered individuals who gave personal stories of rejection, anger and sympathy?

Which brings me to my personal feelings on the whole matter.

My pastor, my church, my Jesus preaches love. The Word commands us to love God first and to love our neighbor as ourselves second. There are two commandments in the New Testament. That’s it – pretty simple. My pastor (who happens to oversee five campuses in Phoenix Metro) reminds us to look past a person’s self-identity and love them no matter what. We are to love them like Christ would love them – regardless of their sin(s) (I’m not going to name them here. You can look them up.) But most important, we are to bring others into a real and living relationship with Christ allowing Christ to work in their lives toward God’s glory.

This is where I separate matters of faith from the role of the state (in this case the City of Phoenix).

If I were Mayor of Phoenix I would have rejected the idea of injecting my sliver of government into the personal and private lives of individuals. To do otherwise is asking for the wailing and gnashing of teeth. This seems to be the only position a reasonable community of people can hold without forcing a cultural conflagration to take place.

Entangling sex and politics is a messy business as we learned tonight. Hopefully our politicians will take note and keep social engineering to a minimal melodramatic level in the future. Political social conservatives lost tonight but true Christianity continues to love on.

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Four More Years?

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Sometimes, we must see the future clearly to act boldly in the present.
Take a glimpse into the darkness of Obama’s America in 2016.
High unemployment. Record high gas prices. The Middle East in chaos.
Religion on the run. Record debt levels. America downsized.
America downgraded.

Yesterday’s Revealing Moment at the Un-Mainstream DNC Freakshow

During the Democratic National Convention boos break out for the vote to reverse the party’s position on Jerusalem (September 5, 2012).

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CNN’s Pannel of Anderson Cooper, John King, Gloria Borger and others take apart Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s untrue answers about the Democratic platform (September 5, 2012).

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Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day – August 1, 2012