Republicans Probably Don’t Want to Reverse Roe v Wade

Roe v Wade has been a gift to the Republican Party. A candidate can be a war monger, a corporate puppet, and eat puppies and kittens for breakfast, but if he or she is pro-life none of that will matter to conservative and religious voters.   At the same time, another candidate can have a great plan for the economy and a sterling political record, but if she is pro-choice, a large portion of the American electorate will never vote for her.   What would the Republicans do without Roe v Wade?

They use abortion to get votes the same way they use the bad behavior of foreign leaders to justify military intervention.  Their rhetoric implies that pro-choice voters are baby-hating monsters while it promotes suspicion of  every woman of child-bearing age.   And votes are just one part of the story.  The abortion issue allows them to coopt the conversation with constant threats, horror stories, and authoritarian legislation.  As a result, reasonable people find themselves fighting for the right of women they don’t know to have an abortion, as if it’s some kind of prize.

Some judges have said they will not enforce Alabama’s law, and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) is on record saying the legislation is so severe he is concerned that it won’t be effective in overturning Roe v Wade.   But maybe that is the purpose of Alabama’s extreme approach.

 

 

 

 

The Seducer State and the Free Labor of Mothers

This video argues that a birth strike is in progress as a result of American family and tax policies.  I wrote an article about this issue when the new Child Tax Credit was in the news.  This was the period in which Paul Ryan lewdly (yes, lewdly) told American women in a televised speech that they must bear more children.  Because this speech closely followed the passage of the scandalous tax bill that reduces taxes for the rich and therefore endangers funding for social programs that help mothers, Ryan’s proposal was indecent.

I regretted tying that article to the story of Adam and Eve.  I will write more about this connection, or lack thereof, in another article, and address the question of whether you can separate social policy from Christian theology.  However, in this article I don’t want to overshadow the undeniable effects of family and tax policy on American families.

The following video from Chris Hedges’ On Contact discusses government policies, which are meant to increase the birthrate in the face of decreasing financial support for families.

https://youtu.be/ZeY8p5rdy9M

 

Will a Higher Birthrate Lead to Love and Compassion for the World?

There was a time when it made sense for our politicians to argue that a higher birthrate was necessary to prop up an ailing social security system, but that argument is no longer convincing. Our government has shown an interest in eliminating or privatizing the social security program, it has demonstrated that it has every intention of reducing social spending, and it has indicated that it is willing to destroy the very earth on which we depend. Yet politicians like Paul Ryan continue to demand a higher birthrate without batting an eye.

From the government’s point of view there are several benefits to overpopulation. It provides a broad tax base; leads to high unemployment and a large pool of low-wage workers; and provides more children for the adoption mill. I’m not claiming the ability to read Paul Ryan’s mind, but regardless of his reasons we know that he, or his donors, expect benefits from a higher birthrate. We know this because even though they favor reducing other types of benefits they re willing to increase the Child Tax Credit. That’s why I view the Child Tax Credit as the modern version of bridewealth. But I haven’t forgotten that the CTC is not a gift.

The CTC is permission for women who bear and raise children to keep a little more of the money they would otherwise give to the government in taxes. When you compare this to the spirit behind the practice of bridewealth the cynicism is remarkable. But there is good news. It is merely a financial offer, meaning that women are free to take it or leave it. The big guns in this fight are ideological.

The chief ideological proposition is unspoken: human procreation is a virtue. So our first question should be, how (and why) did large families become a virtue?

Additional claims stem from this proposition. These include: large families are an act of solidarity with the human race; large families are an act of love and compassion; and a shrinking birthrate indicates that the whole society is giving up on humanity.

If you accept the first assumption the rest might make perfect sense, but are they true? This is an important question because these kinds of arguments do have an effect. What we need is evidence–perhaps we could start with a series of surveys. In the meantime I think I’ve noticed an inverse correlation between Paul Ryan’s compassion and his demand for a higher birthrate.

The State is Your Daddy

It’s been my policy to ignore the Republicans. However, I feel I should say something about the government shutdown and the House tax bill. Since the Republicans control both houses of Congress I suspect that they actually want the shutdown to happen. Therefore, their threats represent a clear and present danger and must be stopped by force if necessary.

As for the tax bill, I think it can be addressed on the basis of principle. It is important to be aware that certain ancient principles are still being honored today. The law of bridewealth is acknowledged in the Bible in a perverse way–in the changing of it. This takes place in the third chapter of Genesis.

And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

…Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to they husband and he shall rule over thee. (Genesis 3: 13, 16)

I would argue that this story is justification for marriage without compensation. It suggests that marriage by default was always the norm, however there is evidence that the custom of bridewealth was practiced in the Old Testament. T.M. Lemos provides evidence of marriage gifts in the legal and narrative texts of the Bible, and in extrabiblical sources. Lemos also lists biblical references to marriage gifts other than bridewealth. Obviously, indebtedness to childbearing women is not admitted today but I believe it is acknowledged in the story of Adam and Eve. Please keep this in mind as we discuss the increase in the Child Tax Credit.

The House Republican tax bill would increase the maximum Child Tax Credit (CTC) from the current $1,000 to $1,600 per child. However it would exclude 10 million children whose parents work for low pay—about 1 in 7 of all U.S. children in working families, including thousands of children in every state. Another 12 million children in working families would receive less than the full $600-per-child increase in the credit (in most cases much less). Altogether, about 1 in 3 children in working families would either be excluded entirely or only partially benefit from the CTC increase. In almost every state, 25 percent of children in working families would be partially or completely excluded. In 12 states, at least 40 percent would be excluded. If you include cuts to or elimination of 1 million immigrant children in low-income families, the total number comes to 23 million children.

The credit is partially refundable. The refundable portion is limited to 15 percent of a family’s earnings over $3,000. So a single mother with two children and earnings of $10,000 is eligible for a CTC of $1,050 or $525 per child, rather than for the $2,000 ($1,000 per child) that a middle-income family with two children receives. The poorest children qualify for only a very small CTC or none at all.

On the other hand, families with six-figure incomes would be made newly eligible for the credit or receive the largest CTC increases. The CTC of a married couple with two children earning $200,000 would rise from zero today to $3,200 under the plan.

The Rubio-Lee proposal would help but it still falls short. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Senators Sherrod Brown and Michael Bennet, and other lawmakers have also introduced improvements. They would improve the CTC proposal in the House tax bill but they would not touch the biggest shortcomings in the plan: its heavy tilt toward the highest-income households and profitable corporations, and its impact in substantially increasing budget deficits and debt. (Emily Horton Child Tax Credit Increase Excludes Thousands of Children, Available: https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-tax/house-tax-bills-child-tax-credit-increase-excludes-thousands-of-children-in-low

Rising deficits in turn would lead to increased pressure to make deep budget cuts in areas such as health care, food assistance for struggling families, and education – cuts that would fall heavily on low- and middle-income families and render them net losers, even if the plan’s CTC provisions are strengthened.

“Overall, the House tax bill is heavily skewed toward high-income households and profitable corporations. When fully in effect, 38 percent of its benefits would go to the 0.3 percent of filers with annual incomes over $1 million…”

Of course not even the full amount of the CTC will defray the costs of raising a child in the middle class. The Republicans seem to be counting on our ignorance of the principles involved here. I conclude that the central obligation in the resistance should belong to the parents of girls. Since the government seems to be playing the part of a spouse or in-law, I would also advise young women to cooperate with their parents to assure proper compensation from the government. I think this type of organization is a matter of self-defense under this regime.

Maybe this will lead to a society in which Paul Ryan and his ilk cannot seduce women into having more children for a few pennies, and fill the coffers of the rich while denying those same women the entitlements they’ve paid for.

See also: Emily Hales, Can government incentives reverse falling birth rates? Deseret news, June 27, 2014. Available: https://www.deseretnews.com/article/865605862/Governments-use-incentives-to-counter-falling-fertility-rates.html

Buttonwood, Political power follows economic power, The Economist, Feb 3, 2016. Available: https://www.economist.com/blogs/buttonwood/2016/02/economics-and-democracy

Humanity at the Crossroads

I just read the New York Times article about the baby homes in Ireland. Patriarchal ‘morality’ creates a throwaway culture. It turns love to hatred, beauty to ugliness, and human kindness to cruelty. If we really want to make things better we have to let it go. [1]

[1] Ireland wanted to forget but the dead don’t always stay buried New York Times, 10/28/2017 (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/10/28/world/europe/tuam-ireland-babies-children.html)

Irreconcilable Differences?

We’re all aware of the conflict in the Catholic Church between those who want the Church to be more modern and those who want it to maintain traditional discipline and forms of worship. For those of us on the outside, the public comments have been so cryptic and contradictory it’s impossible to know which way it is headed. That’s probably why a recent news story on Crux Now took me by surprise. The writer congratulated the pro-life faction on the election of Donald Trump because Trump plans to cut funding to Family Planning. This was published shortly after the bombs were dropped on Syria and Afghanistan. Apparently the Church is fine with Trump’s military brutality even as it applauds his pro-life agenda. This is very disappointing.

I’m sure you’ve heard the pro-life claim that protecting life in the womb will assure world peace. I would argue instead that the frantic determination to conquer the womb is the root cause of disorder in our society. For forty years conservatives in the United States have been using the abortion issue to attack our democracy. One of their most effective strategies has been electing presidents who will appoint Scalia-type justices to the Supreme Court. Now we can see where this has led us. Their persistent efforts have finally brought our republic to its knees.

Laudato Si’ Doesn’t Say That!

Another article I read today made me realize that I should inform you that the issue of reproductive rights was not part of the encyclical. I neglected to make that clear. Because reproductive rights has been a constant presence in our political rhetoric and in this blog for at least a year, I thought it might seem like a contradiction to my readers that I welcome the Pope’s encyclical and consider it authoritative. That’s why I chose to talk about the place of women in this new world. However, I have to confess that I’ve had a little trouble identifying the relevant factors behind the encyclical’s acceptance by the non-Catholic world, and figuring out the best way to talk about it.

Obviously, concerns about the environment are the glue that ties everyone together, but at the same time you can hardly deny the general importance of faith in the acceptance of such a document. Of course faith isn’t limited to belief in a specific religion. People need faith to move forward politically and economically. They especially need faith today to address the problems of the environment. This is no doubt why a theology of the environment is so welcome.

However, I’m beginning to understand that on an individual level, faith’s requirements can be quite stringent. It’s faith that requires us to try to fit all the parts together and make sense of them. It’s faith that makes us ask ourselves what this means for our own spiritual life. It’s faith that wants to believe.

We can’t forget that while the encyclical is a religious document it has political implications. Its interpretation and implementation will still have to be worked out. So if it was confusing that I inserted the reproductive rights issue in a discussion of Laudato Si’ I apologize for the confusion, but I probably won’t lose any sleep over it.

A Few Thoughts on the Encyclical Laudato Si’

In thinking about how to respond to critics of the encyclical, Laudato Si’, I’ve come to the realization that their words have no substance. These people are beginning to sound like the passing away of an old order. Some of you may doubt this because you know that the financial powers who pay the critics have been successfully fighting sane environmental policies for decades, but I have the feeling their tyranny has run its course. My first piece of evidence would be Pope Francis’s encyclical. With the publication of this document we have a body of relevant and important things to talk about and to compare with the nonsense of the paid shills.

The encyclical covers many areas of concern and each of them should be discussed at length. To this end I think it’s important that we try to clear away any lingering doubt and cynicism. I don’t say this in the spirit of contention. I say it with hope and with the realization, and the conviction, that we have common ground.

I realize that many women still harbor reservations about the Church’s part in the struggle over reproductive rights. At the other extreme, I’m sure that when many of them consider the enormity of the world’s environmental problems, they will decide that the issue of reproductive rights is a small matter by comparison. I know enough about women to know that this is what they do. When things get tough, they put their own needs last. This is obviously a good trait, that is, until they start giving away the farm in order to save it. In my opinion, both extremes—cynicism and capitulation—pose a problem for the conversation.

I think the important thing here is to establish boundaries or minimal expectations in the interests of a genuine sharing of ideas. Pope Francis demonstrated in his Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium how this might be done when he set boundaries for the Church’s part in the conversation. (In previous posts I mistakenly called Evangelii Gaudium an encyclical. I’m correcting that now.)

I want to be clear that I don’t think capitulation is the Pope’s aim. On the contrary, I think he’s made a great effort to include women. But there will always be pressures on women that threaten to make them less effective than they need to be.

So where am I going with this? First, I would like to ask women to be aware of the difference between defense of life and domination of life. In my opinion, the defense of the unborn must be pursued in a way that is integral to the other issues discussed in the encyclical. The current coercive approach is not acceptable.

So this is one direction for further discussion. If you want me to be more specific it might be interesting to apply the process of setting boundaries to Chapter Five of Laudato Si’. The Pope recommends a ‘system of governance for the whole range of so-called Global Commons’. He points to the weakening power of nation states and the growing power of economic and financial sectors, which have made it increasingly difficult to protect the environment.

I realize the idea of global governance is a red flag for some people, however I’m taking it seriously for reasons that I will explain in future posts. For now I’ll say that what he is suggesting makes sense in view of the abuses that are going on in the world and which are not being adequately covered by the media, not to mention the persistent lack of preparedness for a growing population. But this is not the point I want to make at this time.

We are told that local people should have a voice regarding any new economic projects. This sounds to me like an opportunity for a new kind of representation. One concern however is that those with something to gain will eventually find a way to corrupt the process even if it takes decades. For example, the Mormon Church, a church that currently operates as an agribusiness giant, would love to be in charge of such a government. I know this will annoy them, but suspicion about that Church’s intentions is a natural result of its secrecy regarding its business affairs. It’s in their power to correct that situation. Here are some rules that might guard against corruption in global governance of the global commons. These are rules that I wish we had in our present political system.

1. There should be no opportunities for personal enrichment; Representation should be a
duty and obligation with compensation limited to time and expenses.

2. There should be reasonable term limits

3. Our system of education should have the goal of preparing everyone to fulfill this
obligation if necessary.

4. Eligibility for representation should be limited to the children of native or local
women. This would guard against infiltration by foreign adventurers.
The criteria for being considered ‘local’ would have to be established.

5. The son or daughter of a representative would not be eligible. This
would guard against the formation of dynasties.

6. A representative should have no financial interests that conflict with the
interests of his or her community.

Concerning number 4 above, I think that when a woman’s childbearing role is paired with its logical functions in society, a number of social problems will disappear without coercion. And some form of matrilineal succession is the only method I’m aware of capable of maintaining the integrity of a community. This kind of system could probably operate within the world’s existing hierarchies.

It Depends on Your Definition of Tradition

The birth control debate has focused on single women. However married couples depend on birth control more consistently than single people. I’d like to invite the legislators to include married women in the discussion.

There is a disconnect in our understanding of sexual relations in marriage. We laugh about old television shows that depict married couples sleeping in twin beds because we think we know better. The implications of twin beds are lost to us because the control of fertility no longer depends on the control of sex.

Many people are not aware that married couples once slept in separate bedrooms. They also may not be aware that there used to be biological and seasonal prohibitions on marital sex. Apparently, ancient people understood the importance of population control. Or was it that they still saw women as people?

A decrease in marital sex is not what our legislators have in mind when they limit access to birth control. Their goal is a higher birthrate. These men may pose as defenders of tradition, but there is nothing traditional about what they are doing.

What Do You Do With a Problem Like the Priesthood?

We’ve been forced by the Ordain Women story to talk about the Mormon Church as if it represents the world at large. What a coup for a Church that, although it shares the modern world’s basic premises, remains somewhat fringe. For example, Mormonism shares with Christianity the concept of male priesthood. However, this comparison is complicated by the fact that some Christian denominations ordain women. It’s also complicated by the fact that Mormon priesthood is extreme by any standards.

A few facts about Mormon priesthood:

In the Mormon church, the priesthood is not a vocation. It is a natural result of being male. Boys become deacons at twelve but theoretically even younger boys outrank their own mothers.

Generally, priesthood is like a male trade organization with the purpose of controlling something that men don’t rightfully own—female fertility. This is doubly true of Mormonism. At its worst, it operates on the assumption that there is just not enough room in the female role for two genders and one of the genders has to go. Hence we see lip service for mothers combined with policies and attitudes that neuter women even as they carry out their duties.

My list of gripes about Ordain Women:

1. Mormon Bishops are appointed and then they choose their councilors. So even if women were ordained they could easily be denied higher offices. We know this happens because it’s already taking place in denominations that ordain women. How is this different from feminist strategy in the corporate world where women struggle to advance, and where even those who attain high positions are paid much less than men with the same title?

2. Women who succeed in the corporate world don’t naturally implement policies that help women. This problem is likely to be compounded in the Mormon Church where women are devoted to its doctrine and its leadership. Further, I predict that if the brethren were forced to appoint women as bishops, they would choose alpha-females—successful women who have no problem with anything they see or experience in the church.

3. Non-Mormons may not be aware that bishops are not paid! Nor are they trained to fill such a responsible position. In addition, they can be ‘released’ at any time. Because bishops carry out their duties while holding down regular jobs, they don’t normally object to being released. And because Mormon priesthood has nothing in common with a fight for income or advancement, no aspect of labor law could address it. Given this reality, what do you think would happen to a female bishop if she were willing to go against church policy?

4. A large majority of Mormon women don’t want the priesthood. Also, they tend to trust those who are in authority. Ordain Women carries out its tactics in spite of this. In the process they give us the worst of both worlds. Their tactics acknowledge church authority, allowing it to publicly demonstrate its power, while ignoring the real injustices perpetrated on those they claim to love.

Here is an example of the church’s contortions of femaleness as they play out among its female membership.

There was a girl in our ward (I’ll call her ‘A’) who used to babysit our kids. She loved to babysit and she loved our kids. She was an open, kind person. A’s sister (I’ll call her ‘B’) worked for a prestigious organization. She didn’t live in our town but she used to visit her family there. Some of the young women admired B and liked to sit by her in church. One day one of these women told her, “A just wants to get married and have kids.”

B answered, “She might as well; that’s all she’s good for.”

You’d think that if a safe haven exists in this world for a woman who just wants to get married and have kids, it would be in the Mormon Church, but it doesn’t work that way. These young women were in the minority, but I’m still amazed that they remained in the church even though they rejected the ideal of motherhood. More to the point, they betrayed something that should be acknowledged as basic in any religious tradition: the kindness, humility, and good will of A.

The majority of women I knew wanted the ideal, and part of the ideal is the male priesthood. So here I am arguing for the ideal of a tradition that I’m no longer a part of. What I’m really arguing for is the value of a woman’s noble ownership of the ideal and her efforts to achieve it. I think it’s possible to pursue this ideal in a noble way, even though it’s imbedded in a troubling environment. It’s when the ideal is used to entrap and coerce that it becomes a problem. On the surface, female ordination seems to offer a solution, but for the reasons I’ve stated above, it’s no solution at all.

There comes a time when one’s spiritual convictions must prevail. I don’t see that happening with Ordain Women. Perhaps we should assume this movement is not the result of spiritual convictions, but an example of feminist strategy transplanted into a realm that feminists don’t fully understand.

Toward a Solution

Any effort to help women must begin by discovering and restoring to the female gender the role of motherhood with all the authority it implies. Male priesthoods would like you to believe they have done this by promoting large families and a mother’s willingness to submit to male authority. They even have the audacity to call it righteousness. But anthropologically speaking, these things are a manifestation of the age-old reproductive strategy of the male of the species.

Mormonism, Priesthood and Gender

Kate Kelly argues that the roles of women have become more restrictive since the founding of the church, and that women were always meant to have the priesthood. The same thing has been said of Christianity. The reality is that modern culture is heir to ideas developed during the so-called Axial Age. (800 to 500 B.C.) Many of the religious and philosophical ideas developed during that time were aimed at women. Today these ideas remain influential in Mormonism and other modern sects, as well as in the more orthodox churches. If you have a problem with the place of women in religion and society, that’s where you’d have to look for the cause. However, people who are invested in these offshoots often try to correct the immediate problems instead. I understand that. I just wonder how successful they can be if their efforts are not based in reality.

As a former Mormon, I find Kelly’s approach curious for another reason: Abuse of women in the Mormon Church does exist, but not as a stated policy of the church. Unlike the male priesthood, injustice in the Church is more akin to the breaking of promises. It is done behind the scenes and on a personal level, and so its victims have no recourse. You could argue that it is facilitated by a male priesthood, but I think it’s doubtful the priesthood is the source of the problem. It’s more a symptom of the problem.

It’s important to point out that the Church knows how to present an attractive ideal to women. At the same time, the men’s behavior often indicates that they have no intention of adhering to this ideal. The result is that Mormon women are attracted to an ideal that never seems to materialize.

You might be asking which is the real Mormonism? Also, what is the nature and purpose of priesthood? In the process of trying to answer these questions, a third question might arise—about gender.

The website for Ordain Women ((Frequently Asked Questions, ordainwomen.org, Available: http://ordainwomen.org/faq/)) states:

“Many Mormons respond to questions about the inequity of an all-male priesthood by insisting that men and women have distinct but equal roles. Women have motherhood, they argue, and men have priesthood. What they fail to acknowledge is that fatherhood is the appropriate parallel to motherhood. Priesthood power is separate and distinct from parenthood and gender. Rhetoric that uses motherhood to circumscribe women’s lives has been used throughout history to deny women access to the voting booth, political office, education, employment, and spiritual empowerment. Ordain Women does not question the importance of motherhood and fatherhood. Rather, we reject the use of motherhood to justify limitations on women’s authority in the LDS Church.

“Equality is not about sameness; it is about removing obstacles to access and opportunity. We refuse to tolerate inequity in our secular institutions. Ordain Women asserts that we must also reject it in our homes and religious communities.”

I think it’s true that Mormons use rhetoric about motherhood in the wrong way. However, this shouldn’t be interpreted to mean that motherhood is an obstacle to women’s rights. If the assumption of Ordain Women is that women can only be given equal rights in spite of motherhood I think it misses the point. [intlink id=”1510″ type=”post”]I’ve argued[/intlink] instead that the rights and authority of women should stem from their motherhood.

So what is the nature of priesthood and how does gender come into it? Part of the above quote defines the problem:

“What they fail to acknowledge is that fatherhood is the appropriate parallel to motherhood. Priesthood power is separate and distinct from parenthood and gender.”

I disagree. Claims to religious and political authority are always based on parenthood and gender. Think of the birth of Greek gods from the body of Zeus.

If I’ve failed to make my point, you might think this last statement is another argument for female ordination. Hopefully my position will become clear in future posts.

 

 

 

 

Free Dorothy Lee Barnett

February 22, 2014

In this this article, I had two aims: to illustrate a principle about women and custody; and to help this woman avoid prison.  I’m still of the same mind, but I wish I hadn’t combined Barnett’s story with the source about battered women.  The source does describe what happens to women like Dorothy Lee Barnett in the courts, but it doesn’t fit Barnett’s case exactly, so I’ve deleted it. We shouldn’t demonize people who make mistakes. The culprits here are the court system and the judges, who should know better.   Family courts are influenced by the men who run Fatherhood Initiatives.  These men are also responsible.

Dorothy Lee Barnett is awaiting trial for extradition to the United States. She is charged with kidnapping her own daughter from her estranged stockbroker ex-spouse. Almost two decades ago, her ex won sole custody, even though the child was only nine months old and still nursing at the time. She felt the child was in danger, so she took her out of the country. If extradited, she faces up to 23 years in prison. I just signed the petition “US Attorney Office in Columbia: Free Dorothy Lee Barnett – Mother of Savanna Todd” on Change.org.

It’s important. Will you sign it too? Here’s the link:((http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/us-attorney-office-in-columbia-free-dorothy-lee-barnett-mother-of-savanna-todd))

Updated, Feb. 20, 2014:

Here’s the post of a signer of this petition, Bruce Michell of Australia:

Dorothy Lee Barnett was let down by people within the system.  During her trial she was subjected to abuse and vilification, and the judge neglected, failed and refused to file his orders into court within the mandated 30 days and in fact did not file for 75 days.  During that period, and without the signed order, Lee was unable to appeal and was effectively locked out of the legal process which should be everyone’s right to access.  The evidence accepted by the judge upon which he wrote a scathing decision was in the main, based on the uncorroborated word of the father.  She was castigated as an untruthful person for denying that she had a mental disorder and all evidence supporting her and contradicting the father, was suppressed.  There is such a gulf between the evidence and the final order, coupled with the misconduct of the judge, that the influence of the father, his attorney and the Guardian ad Litem must be considered suspect and should be the subject of a proper investigation by the authorities.

On the second visitation after the father had custody, whilst the judge had not filed the orders, the baby was injured whilst in the care of the father.  The injuries were consistent with those described by the father in his ‘autobiography’ during the hearing where he wrote that it was “OK to kick a baby in the face.”  Lee was extremely fearful for her baby given those circumstances, but could not appeal, given the lack of a signed order.  Lee waited another 6 weeks after this incident but still the judge refused to file the order.

Locked out of the legal system, fearing for the safety of her baby she obeyed the fundamental law of humankind which was to flee to safety.

These events are recorded in the chronology and the details are contained in the trial transcripts.  Lee was terrified of the power and influence of this man and remains that way today.  If he and his cohorts could influence a judge and subvert the judicial system, then the system of justice in South Carolina was corrupt and it is reasonable to question whether that power and influence still remains today.

It seems that Barry Goldstein may have been too kind when he said the family courts were making mistakes.  It seems this judge was acting deliberately.  This is his own responsibility.

Original Article:

We recognize what Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote from a Birmingham jail as sound principle because it’s in our Declaration of Independence. “…whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…,”

In King’s words:

“One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” ((Martin Luther King, Jr. Letter from a Birmingham Jail. April 16, 1963, African Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania.))

Child custody law is broken, and American family courts are perpetuating injustice. Both mothers and their children suffer from this injustice, but it is the children who are in danger. Watch the video from the APN Newsdesk.((http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/mother-facing-years-jail-over-kidnapping-daughter/2153734/))