04/18/12

U.S. Appellate Court ruling will likely slay Holder’s DOJ photo ID lawsuits

By: Jeffrey Klein
Political Buzz Examiner

Attorney General Eric Holder’s unstated objective of allowing voter fraud in the November 2012 elections, hit a serious road block yesterday, as a result of a ruling by the full panel of 12 judges on the federal 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

The court’s decision upheld the provision in Arizona’s 2004 Proposition 200 law, requiring voters to produce a valid ID in order to cast their vote. In their opinion … ‘no proof was offered to show that the ID requirement gave Latinos fewer opportunities to vote,’ according to an AP article appearing in FOXNews today.

The court further opined that Arizona’s requirement to produce a valid ID before casting a ballot wasn’t a poll tax, and doesn’t violate equal protection rights under the Constitution.

However, the court did state that the federal National Voter Registration Act trumps another section of the Arizona law, which requires people to prove their citizenship in order to vote.

This may have been an attempt by the court to address the DOJ friend-of-the-court brief filed in the case, which urged that it overturn the state law, claiming it is invalid because of conflicts with the National Voter Registration Act.

Regardless, the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles is the only source for a drivers license or state issued photo ID, and the department requires applicants to provide two to three pieces of identification to issue one–one which did require proof of U.S. citizenship prior to issue, such as a drivers license from another state–except drivers licenses issued by the four states that do not require prior proof of U.S. citizenship–Illinois, New Mexico, Utah and Washington.

So, for all practical purposes, Arizona voters must prove U.S. citizenship prior to voting.

When questioned about suing states with laws requiring voters to produce Photo ID, with South Carolina and Texas most recently added to the list, Attorney General Eric Holder offered ‘a rather curious defense,’ according to Mytheos Holt’s February 29, 2012 article in The Blaze.

“There really is no statistical indication that in person vote fraud has to be cured by the introduction of voter photo ID,” Holder said.

Enter James O’Keefe, of Project Veritas, who famously videoed so many sessions of criminal activity, including voter fraud, by ACORN employees–which moved Congress to immediately defund them, forcing them to close, then liquidate in bankruptcy, and after dozens of criminal prosecutions, countless employees are serving prison sentences across the nation.

Earlier this month, using his trademark hidden camera and microphone, he created the perfect rebuttal to Holder’s disturbingly lame assertion of there being ‘no voter fraud,’ according to an April 9, 2012 article by Lou Dobbs, with the video imbedded.

O’Keefe boldly went to Holder’s own Washington, D.C. polling place, and asked if “Eric Holder” was registered. The poll worker replied yes, and offered O’Keefe, who is white, a voting ballot in Holder’s place.

Even though O’Keefe did not in fact say he was Eric Holder, the poll worker made the assumption and offered O’Keefe Holder’s ballot to complete and submit.

O’Keefe then said he felt the need to prove who he was by showing his ID to the poll worker, who replied … ‘as long as you here, and you say you are Eric Holder, you don’t need it.’

O’Keefe then replied he would prefer to show his ID, but that it was in his car, and told the poll worker he would return with it … “faster than you can say furious!”

Although this episode must be incredibly embarrassing for the nations’ highest ranking law enforcement officer; Holder will likely not have to worry about it actually happening, because it appears his frivolous lawsuits challenging states against such laws will ultimately be dismissed as a result of this appellate court ruling.

Another Obama campaign strategy bites the dust…thank God for us all.

04/18/12

Paving the Coptic Way to Jerusalem

By: Ashraf Ramelah
Voice of the Copts

Ashraf Ramelah speaking at Faith Under Fire in Chicago

Late last week, Egyptian Copts in Cairo booked private airline flights to Jerusalem to celebrate Easter holy week. Soon after, the joy they anticipated turned to anger when they faced rejection by a Coptic priest at the door of Jerusalem’s Saint Helena Chapel on Coptic Palm Sunday. This unlikely denial is understood only by comprehending the unlikelihood of the trip, for it was the first of its kind (a direct flight from Cairo airport to Ben Gurion airport) since the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1979 signed by Sadat. Unfortunately, for Egyptian Copts the intervention of an edict issued by their Pope Shenouda III in the same year known as, “the law that forbids Copts to travel to Jerusalem,” superseded the peace treaty.

Days before the holy weekend, hundreds of church members disregarded the longstanding prohibition issued by the late Pope forbidding all pilgrimages by Copts to Jerusalem’s holy sites. They were wrong to perhaps believe that in the few weeks since their Pope’s death, their bishops and priests would overturn or overlook church policy set by the Pope. To the chagrin of many Copts, the church remains in the grip of the Pope’s unsettling anti-Semitic 1979 edict prohibiting Copts from visiting Israeli “occupied” Jerusalem.

Their story was reported by the Egyptian newspaper, Al Youm el Sabeh, as well as Egypt Independent.com which stated that the Saint Helena Chapel Priest Misael stood his ground against Copts attempting entry, indicating that the Pope’s order barring visiting Copts must be respected. The late Pope’s political and longstanding pro-Muslim bias remains intact with the current acting Pope, Bishop Pachomius, who is reported as planning to continue to “follow in the footsteps” of Pope Shenouda III with regard to “national and Arab causes” (see Ramadan Al Sherbini, Egypt Independent.com, 4/8/12).

The late Pope Shenouda III was the out-spoken spiritual head of the Coptic Orthodox Church for the past forty years who curiously positioned the church against Christian teachings when he sided with the Egyptian Arab-Muslim point of view regarding the “liberation” of Jerusalem. His well-known quote: “Copts will only enter Jerusalem hand-in-hand with their Muslim brothers,” injected an unfortunate and inexcusable rationale which resulted in coldness toward Jews and has led to a deep divide between Copts and Jews.

Now is our opportunity to reverse the wrong. We must remember who we are. Apostle Mark who walked with Jesus and authored the Gospel of the same name founded Christianity in Alexandria and planted the noble yet humble origins on which the Coptic Church is based. The power invested in the authority of the Pope as the highest ordination of the Coptic Church and his responsibility as overseer, naturally made his directive final, backing the believer into a corner. Yet we must forgive the past and set a new course for the future based upon a spiritual and biblical teaching.

It should come as no surprise to find Egyptian news commentary relish in the upheld ban and malign Copts. Included in the fray was chief editor of Al Youm el Sabeh, Kaled Salah, in an op-ed article describing Copts in their trip to Jerusalem as “in one word, foolish” (see www1.youm7.com/News.asp?NewsID=646854&SecID=12). In spite of the fact that Christian Copt, Nagib Sawerers, is the majority shareholder of the newspaper and his employer, Salah labeled the Copts as “animal carcass,” — the accurate translation (correcting “foolish”) for the Egyptian Arabic word he used. Furthermore, his viewpoint is consistent with the official Islamic Egyptian position which led to blocking Jews from visiting Abu Hatzira’s tomb, a holy site in Egypt, a few months back (see www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/egypt-tells-israel-pilgrimage-to-tomb-of-jewish-holy-man-impossible-this-year-1.406709).

In a speech I gave at the Faith under Fire Conference in Chicago one week before the Pope’s death, I emphasized that the Coptic faith is under fire from within the Coptic Church particularly with the church policy instituted by Pope Shenouda III in his edict of 1979. It has only served to instigate tensions between Copts and Jews. In the past thirty-four years since its enactment, the church hierarchy selectively approved certain members for occasional visits to Jerusalem while disapproving all others, holding fast to the Pope’s decision and going as far as to withhold church sacraments as punishment – much like what Priest Misael did last week at the Jerusalem chapel.

Instead of issuing primitive rulings to join with and please the Islamic majority opinion feeding into anti-Semitic narratives taught to children in elementary school text books, the church’s role is to dispel this embedded prejudice through the teachings of Christian theology. The 1979 edict was nothing more than political maneuvering as it found favor with Muslims; and even worse, it opened the door for Muslim commentary on internal Coptic religious matters even as recently as last week in the wake of the Pope’s death. Ironically, as Muslims continue to voice their endorsement of this church edict, Coptic members prepare for journeys to Jerusalem by applying to Israel for visas, reportedly as many as 10,000 just recently.

In the months ahead, a new spiritual leader will be chosen by the church. The next Coptic Pope will be just that, not a pundit, not a parliamentarian; and he will have the chance to remove the 1979 edict and set the church free of unnecessary encumbrances and lead as the spiritual head. For almost two millenniums, the Coptic Church in Egypt has withstood persecution, first by the Romans and then by Islam, and not by playing politics, but by prayer and deep abiding faith in the living God. Our next Pope must spiritually guide our people through the storm of today’s rise of Islamic intolerance. Political edicts, compromises and political correctness will not bring about peace for Copts, but instead turn us into our own enemy.

04/18/12

Bishop Says Obama on Hitlerian Path

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

Comparing Obama to Hitler is something that the liberal/left used to blame on the Tea Party. However, posters and signs showing Obama with a Hitler moustache were inevitably traced to followers of Lyndon LaRouche. They sometimes tried to portray themselves as conservatives, but in reality LaRouche is a former Marxist who ran for president as a Democrat. They like to cause deliberate political confusion.

Now that an educated Catholic Bishop with knowledge of history and a commitment to religious freedom has made the comparison, however, the national media cannot decide on how to respond.

When I saw the headline, “Bishop Compares Obama Policies to Hitler, Stalin,” over an article on Newsmax.com, the conservative website, I thought at first it must be an error or exaggeration. Was a Catholic Bishop actually being this harsh? I have reported on the reaction of the Catholic Church to the Obama Administration’s birth control mandate affecting religious institutions. My local priest called it evil and demonic and has suggested the church will be persecuted and ministers jailed for resisting the federal onslaught. But comparing the President personally to Hitler and Stalin?

The Newsmax headline about the charge concerned a story from LifeSiteNews.com. The Daily Caller titled it: “Illinois Bishop: Obama ‘intent on following a similar path’ as Hitler, Stalin.”

I went to the www.LifeSiteNews.com and the headline over its story was only slightly different: “Obama taking ‘similar path’ as Hitler and Stalin: Illinois bishop.” The question then became—were these stories somehow exaggerating what the Catholic Bishop said?

The Catholic Post ran the full text of the homily of Bishop Daniel R. Jenky at the Mass during the April 14 “A Call to Catholic Men of Faith” in Peoria. The homily is also available on podcast. The headlines did indeed capture the essence of what he said. The Bishop goes by the title “Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., D.D.” CSC stands for the Congregation of the Holy Cross, the order that runs Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana. D.D. stands for Doctor of Divinity. He is an educated man. His education includes:

  • College: University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana
  • Novitiate: Holy Cross Fathers’ Novitiate, Bennington, Vermont
  • Seminary: Moreau Seminary, Notre Dame, Indiana
  • Theology: Moreau Seminary, Notre Dame, Indiana

Taking aim at Obama, Hollywood and the media, the Bishop said:

“For 2,000 years the enemies of Christ have certainly tried their best. But think about it. The Church survived and even flourished during centuries of terrible persecution, during the days of the Roman Empire.

“The Church survived barbarian invasions. The Church survived wave after wave of Jihads. The Church survived the age of revolution. The Church survived Nazism and Communism.

“And in the power of the resurrection, the Church will survive the hatred of Hollywood, the malice of the media, and the mendacious wickedness of the abortion industry.

“The Church will survive the entrenched corruption and sheer incompetence of our Illinois state government, and even the calculated disdain of the President of the United States, his appointed bureaucrats in HHS [Health and Human Services], and of the current majority of the federal Senate.” (Applause)

It turns out that the Bishop was just getting warmed up.

He went on:

“Remember that in past history other governments have tried to force Christians to huddle and hide only within the confines of their churches like the first disciples locked up in the Upper Room.

“In the late 19th century, Bismarck waged his ‘Kulturkampf,’ a Culture War, against the Roman Catholic Church, closing down every Catholic school and hospital, convent and monastery in Imperial Germany.

“Clemenceau, nicknamed ‘the priest eater,’ tried the same thing in France in the first decade of the 20th Century.

“Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care.

“In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, President Obama—with his radical, pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path.”

“This fall,” said Bishop Jenky, “every practicing Catholic must vote, and must vote their Catholic consciences, or by the following fall our Catholic schools, our Catholic hospitals, our Catholic Newman Centers, all our public ministries—only excepting our church buildings—could easily be shut down. Because no Catholic institution, under any circumstance, can ever cooperate with the instrinsic evil of killing innocent human life in the womb.”

Whether you agree or disagree, these were extraordinary comments and certainly worthy of national media attention. But the story remains mostly in the conservative media.

The Daily Caller noted, “Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York—considered the most powerful Roman Catholic cleric in the U.S.—has also had harsh words for the HHS mandate, charging that the administration is attempting to divide the Catholic Church.”

But charging that Obama is acting like Hitler or Stalin goes far beyond Dolan’s observation.

One group already taking note is the Soros-funded Think Progress, which said that Jenky’s homily “appears better suited to an episode of the Glenn Beck Show than to a celebration of religious faith.” According to Ian Millhiser, a Senior Constitutional Policy Analyst at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, Obama merely “wants all working women to have access to contraception, regardless of whether they work for a religious employer.” In fact, Obama wants to force religious employers to provide birth control pills and abortion drugs in violation of their religious beliefs.

This is a story that just won’t go away. And it has the potential to alert the public, Catholic and non-Catholic, to the grave constitutional crisis we find ourselves in.

The notion of Obama as an “extreme secularist,” if not a dictator wannabe, is widely shared within the Catholic Church. A Priest recently told me that the Catholic Bishops, who usually divide into liberal and conservative factions, are united against Obama in this controversy.

He said Obama is viewed as someone who believes in freedom of worship, not freedom of religion, an important distinction that Jenky was alluding to. In other words, Obama believes Christians should be free to worship within the confines of their church, but that when they exercise their freedom of religion in public life, they must conform to the secular dictates of the federal government. In this context, however, the ability to exercise freedom of religion, as the Constitution means it, becomes essentially meaningless.

It will be interesting to see whether the national media cover these sensational charges in a fair and balanced manner. Or will “the malice of the media,” to use the Bishop’s words, take over?

If Mitt Romney is correct that the media “are inclined” to do Obama’s bidding, then the Bishop can expect to be a major target in the near future.

Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected].