Sunday, May 31, 2009

Doctor Who Performed Abortions Shot To Death

(CNN) -- Dr. George Tiller, whose Wichita, Kansas, women's clinic has been the target of anti-abortion protests for years, was shot and killed at his church Sunday morning, his attorneys said.
Dr. George Tiller was one of the few U.S. physicians that performed late-term abortions.

Dr. George Tiller was one of the few U.S. physicians that performed late-term abortions.
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Laura Shaneyfelt, an attorney with the firm of Monnat and Spurrier, confirmed Tiller's death to CNN.

The 67-year-old doctor was one of the few U.S. physicians who still performed late-term abortions. He survived a 1993 shooting outside his clinic.

Wichita police said they were searching for a powder-blue Ford Taurus in connection with the killing, which took place outside Reformation Lutheran Church shortly after 10 a.m.

Witnesses provided a license number of the car the killer used to speed away from the church, police spokesman Gordon Bassham said.

Abortion is one of the hottest buttons in U.S. politics, with opponents arguing the practice is tantamount to the murder of an unborn child. Abortion rights supporters argue the decision to terminate a pregnancy is best left to the woman.

The anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, which has led numerous demonstrations at Tiller's clinic, condemned the shooting as a "cowardly act."

"Operation Rescue has worked for years through peaceful, legal means, and through the proper channels to see him brought to justice," the group said in a statement. It offered its prayers for Tiller's family, "that they will find comfort and healing that can only be found in Jesus Christ."


* KWCH: Suspect in custody

In March, Tiller was acquitted of 19 counts of performing procedures unlawfully at his clinic. In 2008, a probe initiated by abortion opponents who petitioned state authorities to convene a grand jury ended without charges.

On its Web site, Operation Rescue refers to Tiller as a "monster" who has "been able to get away with murder." And Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry, who is no longer affiliated with the group, called Tiller "a mass murderer."

"We grieve for him that he did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God," Terry said in a written statement. "I am more concerned that the Obama administration will use Tiller's killing to intimidate pro-lifers into surrendering our most effective rhetoric and actions. Abortion is still murder, and we still must call abortion by its proper name."

The 1993 attack on Tiller left him wounded through both arms. An ardent foe of abortion, Shelley Shannon, was convicted of attempted murder and is serving a 20-year sentence in federal prison for the shooting.

If Tiller was slain because of his work, he would be the fourth U.S. physician killed by abortion opponents since 1993. In addition, a nurse at a Birmingham, Alabama, clinic was maimed and an off-duty police officer was killed in a 1998 bombing by Eric Rudolph, who included abortion among his list of anti-government grievances.

Rudolph admitted to that attack and three other bombings -- including the 1996 attack on the Olympic games in Atlanta, Georgia -- and is serving life in prison.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Law Will Force Churches To Employ Gay Staff'

Churches will be banned from turning down gay job applicants on the grounds of their sexuality under new anti-discrimination laws, a Government minister said.

Religious groups are to be forced to accept homosexual youth workers, secretaries and other staff, even if their faith holds same-sex relationships to be sinful.

Christian organisations fear that the tightened legislation, which is due to come into force next year, will undermine the integrity of churches and dilute their moral message.

It comes amid growing concern that Christians are being unfairly targeted by discrimination laws, following a number of high-profile cases of courts finding against believers who stand up for their faith.

Religious leaders had hoped to lobby for exemptions to the Equality Bill but Maria Eagle, the deputy equalities minister, has now indicated that it will cover almost all church employees.

"The circumstances in which religious institutions can practice anything less than full equality are few and far between," she told delegates at the Faith, Homophobia, Transphobia, & Human Rights conference in London.

"While the state would not intervene in narrowly ritual or doctrinal matters within faith groups, these communities cannot claim that everything they run is outside the scope of anti-discrimination law.

"Members of faith groups have a role in making the argument in their own communities for greater LGBT acceptance, but in the meantime the state has a duty to protect people from unfair treatment."

Under existing equalities legislation, any roles deemed to be necessary "for the purposes of an organised religion" are excluded from gay rights protection.

But the Equality Bill, which is currently passing through parliament, for the first time defines this as applying only to those who lead the liturgy or spend the majority of the time teaching doctrine - essentially just ministers, bishops and their equivalents in other faiths.

A spokesman for the Christian Institute, a religious charity, said that many churchgoers had deep concerns about how the bill would be enforced and accused politicians of hypocrisy.

"It would be absurd to pass a law demanding that the Labour Party employ card-carrying Conservative members, but that is effectively what churches are being told to do. We just want the same exceptions as political parties," he said.

"Christians are sick to the back teeth of equality and diversity laws that put them to the back of the queue. We are quite prepared to accept that people will take a different view to use on moral and ethical questions, but that should not mean we have to withdraw from public life."

Recent cases including the nurse suspended for offering to pray for a patient and the British Airways worker sent home for wearing a visible cross have left many believers afraid to go public with their faith at work.

Neil Addison, a Roman Catholic barrister and expert on religious discrimination law, said that the new legislation would leave churches powerless to defend the fabric of their organisation.

"This is a threat to religious identity. What we are losing is the right for organisations to make free choices," he said.

A spokesman for the Church of England said that while it supports the broad objectives of the Bill it "retains some concerns about the practical application of some specific aspects".

The Equality Bill, which was introduced to the Commons by Harriet Harman, the Minister for Women and Equality, will also strengthen laws against gender, age and disability discrimination.

A Government Equalities Office spokesman said: "The Equality Bill will not force a church to accept someone as a priest regardless of their sexual orientation or gender.

"Churches, synagogues, mosques and others will continue to have the freedom to choose who they employ in jobs which promote their religion. But where they provide services to the public they will have to treat everyone fairly."

By Matthew Moore

NY Assembly Passes Same-Sex "Marriage" Bill

NEW YORK, May 15, 2009 ( - The New York State Assembly approved a bill late Tuesday by a 89 to 52 margin to extend the legal definition of marriage to include same-sex couples.

The bill was introduced last month by Governor David Paterson.

The measure, like a similar version in 2007, passed easily in the Democrat-ruled Assembly; however, the earlier measure failed to garner support in the state Senate. Senate Democrats now constitute a slim majority, but the fate of the current bill is uncertain.

If the bill is passed, New York would become the sixth state to legalize same-sex "marriage."

Maine became the latest state to change the legal definition of marriage last week, as Gov. John Baldacci signed the legislation within an hour after its approval in the state legislature. New Hampshire's same-sex "marriage" bill, passed late last month in both chambers, still awaits approval by Gov. John Lynch.

See related coverage:

Maine Legalizes Homosexual "Marriage"

NY Governor to Introduce Homosexual "Marriage" Bill

New York Governor Memo Says State Agencies Must Recognize Gay "Marriage" Performed Outside the State

After The Rapture: Orlando Man Will Deliver Messages To Those Left Behind

Atheist Joshua Witter sells cards to Christians that he will deliver to those left behind after the rapture.

There are those who believe in the Rapture prophesied in the Bible. And there is Joshua Witter, avowed atheist.

They need each other.

At least some people think so -- those willing to pay Witter to be their post-apocalyptic postman, delivering cards and letters to their non-believing friends, relatives and neighbors who will be left behind when the Day of Reckoning arrives.

About 70 people have paid the Orlando man about $5 apiece to get their messages to those doomed to face the plagues, pestilence and darkness of Armageddon

As sure as the True Believers are they will escape this earth when the Rapture arrives, Witter is just as certain he will be left behind to deliver their mail. He has committed blasphemy to make sure.

"Anyway you look at it, I'm screwed. It's too late for me," said Witter, a 24-year-old computer software engineer who wears long sideburns and hip black-framed glasses.

Witter started his website -- -- as a joke, a satiric jab at those who see things like the swine flu, economic collapse and the election of a liberal president as sure signs the end is near.

But then he started receiving orders for his merchandise. Since 2005, Witter said he has sold more than 200 items, most of them T-shirts and coffee mugs, and many of those (he admits) to friends and fellow atheists.

Among the best sellers are the line of I-Told-You-So cards, which sell for $8. Some of those who ordered the cards -- Witter suspects they are not true Christians -- are willing to pay extra to have them sent early as Christmas cards.

Witter doesn't have a stack of cards or letters with Post-Rapture messages in a dresser drawer or safety deposit box. All the messages are stored in his computers, encrypted to protect their privacy and backed up by a fail-safe system. His website might be all in jest, but when it comes to his paying customers, Witter is a responsible entrepreneur. He doesn't share the contents of the messages with his friends over beers or mock those who take this whole end-of-the-world business more seriously than he does.

He concedes that delivering on his promise to hand-deliver the cards and letters entrusted to him may be difficult. Witter has read all the books of the popular "Left Behind" series, so he knows what to expect. Covered with boils, he will have to fight his way through perpetual darkness, clouds of insects, and meteors falling from the sky to deliver the mail.

"Your hope lies with me. I am your mailman," he vows. "I'll do my best come Hell or high water to deliver those letters."

On the other hand, should the Rapture not arrive in his lifetime, he gets to keep the money, which he promises to use to subsidize his sinful lifestyle.

And don't even think about asking him to forward a message from the future for free.

"I turn people away who ask for free letters," he said. "I'm not a charity."