Tuesday, November 29, 2011

High-schooler "Harasses" Gov. Brownback

Our blogger is reluctant to share this link because he doesn't condone the language used in the story. But free speech is free speech. Did you hear about the high-schooler Emma Sullivan who tweeted some disparaging remarks about Gov. Brownback?

So Miss Sullivan was called to the principal's office and told to apologize.

What? Did Gov. Brownback seek an Injunction against Harassment? And who does the principal think he is? Judge Kenton Jones?

See, this is the mindset of those on the Left. They'll tell you that you have a First Amendment right to free speech. But what they really mean is that THEY have the right to free speech. They can even cuss in your face. But if you say anything they don't like, they'll tell you it's wrong. (Or run and get an Injunction Against Harassment against you.) Remember the DemocRATS telling the Republicans about devise speech and then immediately turning around saying "Let’s take these sons of bitches out"?

Indeed, that's what cheating Judge Mary Hamm did with our blogger. If you read Melody Thomas-Morgan's petition for an Injunction against our blogger, she quotes, out of context, that Judge Hamm said our blogger was "dangerous."

Here's the full context, quoting from the court transcript. In fact, what the cheating judge said was that the First Amendment is dangerous.

See, our blogger had sent letters to the late Mrs. Bodine's pastor and future son-in-law, warning them, in part, about the late Mrs. Bodine. Gasp! Not legally "acts directed at a person"—nor ever entered into evidence—but who cares about the law when you're a cheating judge anyway? Judge Mary Hamm said writing such letters was "dangerous."

We agree. The First (and Second) Amendment is(are) "dangerous." To tyrants.

They're so "dangerous" that the Founding Fathers thought it wise to protect these rights. Fortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court and even the Ninth Circuit still uphold our right to free speech, even if offensive to some.

From our bloggers federal lawsuit against Judge Kenton Jones,
In March 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 8-1 that "Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and—as it did here—inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker. As a Nation we have chosen a different course—to protect even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate." (Quoting Justice Roberts in Snyder v. Phelps, et al. 562 U. S. ____ (2011)) The case cited involved religious free speech. (The infamous Westboro Baptist church.)

27. Similarly, in mid-July 2011, the Ninth Circuit reversed a criminal conviction of a man who blogged about 50 caliber bullets and a presidential candidate. Ostensibly real, serious "death threats." But as Chief Judge Kozinski wrote, "Taking the two message board postings in the context of all of the relevant facts and circumstances, the prosecution failed to present sufficient evidence to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Bagdasarian had the subjective intent to threaten a presidential candidate . . . given any reasonable construction of the words in his postings, those statements do not constitute a “true threat,” and they are therefore protected speech under the First Amendment." United States v. Bagdasarian, 2011 WL 2803583 (9th Cir. July 19, 2011)

28. Taking the blog That Woman Jezebel in the context of all of the relevant facts and circumstances, given any reasonable construction of the words in the postings, the statements in the blog do not constitute a “true threat,” and they are therefore protected speech.

29. It is not necessary for the court to make this determination, for ironically, while crafting this complaint, I received a Cease & Desist letter from Thomas-Morgan's attorney. In the letter (Exhibit 3), Thomas-Morgan, through her attorney, acknowledges the blog is First Amendment protected speech, stating ". . . you certainly have the right to blog about your various fixations with Ms. Thomas-Morgan . . . "

30. And earlier, in her petition, she consistently puts the word "death" in quotes, making it clear that even she understands the word is not to be taken literally and knows there is no true threat.

31. Considering the popularity of blogging and micro-blogging (i.e., Twitter) in American society, it is in the public interest for this court to rule that blogging is protected speech and cannot be considered harassment.
So high-schooler Emma Sullivan was within her rights to tweet her comments about her Governor. The only good thing from the story is that Gov. Brownback's office apologized for overreacting.

We don't expect the late Melody Bodine will ever apologize. She's dead. Likewise, we don't hold any hope for Miss Melody Thomas-Morgan.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Double-minded woman

In the Bible, God talks about the "double-minded" man. (James 1:6-8) God says the double-minded man will not think he will receive ANYTHING from the Lord. He is unstable in all he does.

Same applies to double-minded women.

Which reminds us. In her petition for an Injunction Against Harassment against our blogger, Miss Melody Thomas-Morgan listed the father's oldest son, William, as a "victim." (Even though there have never been any acts directed at the children . . . let alone anyone.) Hey, she got away with it the first time. Why not try again?)

At first, our blogger thought this was an oversight by Judge Kenton D. Jones. For our blogger thought that William was over 18 years old at the time of petition. And, once 18, he cannot be listed on a parent's Injunction. If he is being harassed, he needs to get his own Injunction.

Turns out, he is over 18.

But see, our blogger attended a few hearings last fall and winter, where Miss Thomas-Morgan was being prosecuted by her first husband for contempt of court. At issue was that she refused to tell William that he was supposed to go to dad's house on dad's visitation days. (Divorced women do this a lot. Remember how Kim Basigner faced contempt for not allowing visitation?)

Miss Thomas-Morgan was adamant that because William was almost 18 (and this was in the fall and winter, remember), he was not as obligated to obey visitation orders as he might be if he were younger. Therefore, she didn't have to tell him to go visit dad.

The court (Judge Hess) agreed and said there was some smearing of the rules as a minor child approached the age of majority. If our blogger recalls correctly, there was even something to that effect in the Yavapai County Guidelines.

But in the spring, when it came time to put William on an Injunction Against Harassment, Miss Melody Thomas-Morgan thought he wasn't quite old enough to think for himself. She petitioned for the Injunction just weeks before William turned 18!

What a hypocrite.

That's worse than unstable. There is only one thing she will receive from the Lord. And He will work that out in His own good time.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The sin of malicious prosecution

This is the third, and last, Sunday post on the story in the Bible about the woman caught in adultery. (Not meant to be a "trinity" of postings, but kinda spiritual, doncha' think?)

If you've been following along, you'll recall that Prescott attorney Jay R. Eaton specifically asked for this in his Cease & Desist letter to our blogger. (Does anyone have a link for the law firm of O'Leary Eaton, P.L.L.C.? We can't find one.)

At issue was Mr. Eaton's incorrect understanding of Jesus' instructions to the lawyers and Pharisees of Jesus' day who tried to trap Jesus with a legal question.

Not much has changed with lawyers today, has it? This is one reason our blogger believes the Bible. It rings so true when it comes to reporting the hearts of unsaved man. So were we, until we repented and were born again.

Most people, even those who don't read the Bible, know a bit of the story about the woman caught in adultery. But, as is often said, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. So that you know the whole (short) story, here it is:
. . . but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

“No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Typically, at this point, everyone wonders what it was Jesus wrote on the ground. But don't lose focus, focusing on the minutia. It doesn't matter what Jesus wrote. (Or God would have told us.) We can speculate, and later we will, but first, there are serious sin issues in the facts we have before us.

Now, unless you've read the Bible for yourself, you might not catch one of the glaring (legal) errors of the lawyers and the Pharisees here when they brought the woman caught in adultery. Actually, it's a common sense thing. You don't have to know Old Testament law to spot the error. Can you figure it out? This is a case of malicious prosecution.

See, in this setting with Jesus, the Jews were still under the Old Testament law. Of sorts. A long time before, they had rejected God as their King and began a slow decay away from a Theocracy. As an expression of God's wrath, they were suffering their punishment under someone else's rule. (As God forewarned.) At the time, they were under the law of Rome. We'll come back to that shortly.

Now, hopefully you know the 10 Commandments. (If you don't, you had better ask yourself if you're really a Christian.) The 7th Commandment is . . . anyone? Bueller?

"You shall not commit adultery." (Exodus 20:14) And what was the penalty for this?

The law that the lawyers and the Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus with was probably Leviticus 20:10. "If a man commits adultery with another man's wife--with the wife of his neighbor--both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death."

So WHERE WAS THE MAN who committed adultery with the woman? As is said, "It takes two to tango."

Also, as a side note, neither God nor Moses said you had to stone them. While that was the punishment prescribed for some violations of the Commandments, it's not the norm for adultery. There is one specific case where stoning for adultery is called for, which involved a virgin pledged to be married. Maybe she was young and naive and smitten by a young lawyer?

Not terribly important - Jesus didn't dispute the sentence with the lawyers and Pharisees. There were other, more important violations of the law to deal with which would make this moot.

Now look, the lawyers and the Pharisees didn't really care about the Mosaic law or Justice and whether the woman had committed adultery or not. As Jesus said, they were hypocrites. Had they had cared about God's law, they would have simply killed the man and the woman pursuant to Moses without bothering Jesus.

No, this was one of their typical traps, as John says in the passage. The whole thing with the woman was a set up. After all, how, exactly, do you catch a woman in the very act of adultery? Don't the catchers have to be tipped off? And what happened to the man committing the very act? Maybe it was one of them? If it wasn't one of them, maybe they paid someone she knew to lure her into sin? This wouldn't be in the class of willful sin as with Brian's wife (if not others).

What was the specific legal trap? Well, as then and now, it was to trap to catch Jesus between "church and state."

You see, on one hand, Jesus, who claimed to be God (and is), was expected to uphold the Mosaic Law. Which, in fact, He did. Ultimately, He told the lawyers and the Pharisees to stone the woman. But if He hadn't, they would say He wasn't God because He failed to uphold His own Law.

On the other hand, now that they were under Roman law, it was illegal for the Jews to execute anyone. That was a power Rome reserved for itself. The Jews acknowledged this when they handed their Messiah over to Pilate to be murdered.
Pilate said, "Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law." "But we have no right to execute anyone," the Jews objected. (John 18:31)
Although, whenever it was convenient, the Jews often stoned Christians to death. Again, not much has changed today, except it's christians attacking true Christians. A sign of the end times.

If Jesus told them to execute the woman, they, like Melody Thomas-Morgan, would have run to the authorities telling them Jesus made a death threat. And/or that He was telling the Jews to take the law into their own hands, which would made Jesus guilty of insurrection against Rome. (The penalty being death.)

They thought they had Jesus. Whichever way He ruled, He would be wrong. So this singular case was a sham, distinguished (as lawyers say) as a case of malicious prosecution. As today, the lawyers and Pharisees weren't interested in right or wrong. They were just (mis)using the law for their own purposes. (Did we say how the Bible rings true?) Therefore, it does not set a new precedent that we are never to throw stones or carry out Justice. As we said before, if Mr. Eaton really believed that, then he ought to get out of the legal system and no judge could ever judge someone in court. (And we know a few judges who shouldn't!)

In the end, Jesus told the lawyers and the Pharisees to stone the woman. But it was they who decided to dismiss the charges after He wrote something in the ground.

So what did Jesus write? We don't know. We speculate it could have been the names of the all the women the lawyers and Pharisees had committed adultery with. Or, a favorite theory of ours, since Jesus always used Scripture to battle the devil, He might have quoted the law about stoning both adulterers (above) along with Deuteronomy 19:16-19, the command about what to do with false witnesses. (Oh, if only we obeyed this law today.)

UPDATE: Upon re-reading the prophet Hosea, it may be that the first thing Jesus wrote was Hosea 5:14. "I will not punish your daughters when they turn to prostitution, nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery, because the men themselves consort with harlots and sacrifice with shrine prostitutes--" Then, the second time He wrote, he may have written the names of the women the lawyers and Pharisees had committed adultery with.

When no one was left, Jesus was within the Law to not condemn the woman to death because elsewhere in Mosaic Law, He (Jesus) required that there be "two or three witnesses" to execute anyone.

Being God, He could have killed her on the spot. As He could kill us when we sin. ("For the wages of sin is death.") But He knew she had been trapped by the same lawyers and Pharisees who tried to trap Him. So He was merciful to her at the time. As the Spirit says in the Book of James, "Mercy triumphs over judgment."

So, in answer to Mr. Eaton: Can we throw stones? Yes. As we explained in our last post, God commanded us to. But you must first test to see if you have clean hands before you cast a stone.

How do you know if your hands are clean? Well, you better not be committing the same sin your executing for, or else you're a hypocrite. Then, test your attitude. While you should be happy that justice is being served, you should be sad it has to be served. As God says, "I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked." Neither should you.

Finally, Jesus told the woman caught in adultery, "Go now and leave your life of sin."

We pray that Mr. Eaton heeds Jesus' command. There will be hell to pay if he doesn't. (Oops. Can we say that? Or is that Harassment?)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Famous Amos Harasses

One of our blogger's favorite verses is Amos 5:15. "Love good, hate evil. Maintain justice in the courts" Indeed, the irony is we wouldn't be here today if cheating judges hadn't cheated and maintained justice in the courts.

Anyway, our blogger was reading through the book of Amos again, and it occurred to him that if Amos lived in Prescott, Arizona today he would find himself the victim of an Injunction Against Harassment. Here's the story, with our blogger's editorial comments [in brackets].
Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent a message to Jeroboam king of Israel: [think "Judge Kenton Jones"] "Amos is raising a conspiracy against you in the very heart of Israel. The land cannot bear all his words. [So a false report to the authorities to shut someone up - to stifle someone's First Amendment right to Free Speech.] For this is what Amos is saying: " 'Jeroboam will die by the sword, and Israel will surely go into exile, away from their native land.' " [Ironically, Amaziah quoted Amos exactly right. How much worse his punishment on Judgment Day, for showed he clearly heard the message, didn't he?]

Then Amaziah said to Amos, "Get out, you seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there. Don't prophesy anymore at Bethel, because this is the king's sanctuary and the temple of the kingdom." [Ah yes, "Shut up" in the name of Law & Order and religion."]

Amos answered Amaziah, "I was neither a prophet nor a prophet's son, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. [Same with our blogger. He was just minding his own business . . .] But the LORD took me from tending the flock and said to me, 'Go, prophesy to my people Israel.' [No one call's themselves to be a true prophet. Call it a 'calling.' Frankly, no one wants to be a true prophet. And that's how you can tell when someone is a false prophet. People have this bad habit of shooting the messenger. Forth-telling is not a fun job.] Now then, hear the word of the LORD. You say, " 'Do not prophesy against Israel, and stop preaching against the house of Isaac.' "Therefore this is what the LORD says: " 'Your wife will become a prostitute in the city [gasp! - Can you say that? Well, prostitution is not as bad as adultery when you're starving and doing it to stay alive], and your sons and daughters will fall by the sword. [What? Isn't that a death threat?] Your land will be measured and divided up, and you yourself will die in a pagan country. [Oh no! Another "death threat!" Quick! Run to Judge Kenton Jones and get an Injunction against this guy! We've got to shut him up!] And Israel will certainly go into exile, away from their native land'"
And you know what? Amos was right! The Israelites failed to maintain justice in the courts and all this happened as Amos foretold.

But no one wanted to listen to him. Worse, they wanted him to shut up.

Close your ears if you want, but it won't stop the message. Or listen and repent. It's your choice.