By Editorial Staff
Published May 2, 2008
Pro-lifers take back “no-free speech” buffer zone
By Meredith Raney
MELBOURNE (May 18, 1996) – Melbourne’s only abortion clinic has killed two days a week for the past seven years. The last four weeks they have only killed one day a week because they have lost their University of Florida residents who quit coming to Melbourne even before the July 1st effective date. Aware Woman can’t find another doctor to replace Dr. Gostal Arcelin and three other residents from the University of Florida Hospital in Jacksonville who had been coming on Saturday. Dr. Arcelin resigned in a letter to Christians For Life effective April 1, 1996 after only one day of picketing at his hospital and neighborhood. Christians For Life, a pro-life group in Melbourne, Florida organized a peaceful, one-day, 12-person picketing excursion that triggered all of this. Only God could have arranged the results.
In recent years, there has been much protest activity on the public property around the Aware Woman abortion clinic . In 1993, Judge McGregor issued an injunction against three organizations and six individuals and all persons “acting in concert” with them. This injunction requires these respondents to stay outside of a 36 foot buffer zone created on public property. To this day all of the named parties have obeyed the injunction and stayed out of the buffer zone.
- In 1993, 104 people, none of them named on the injunction, were convicted of violating this injunction. These trials were before a judge who was brought out of retirement from north Florida just for these trials. He was not accountable to the citizens of Brevard county. Also, no jury trial was allowed. All 104 defendants believe that they were unjustly convicted. They were on public property where they had every right to be as members of the public. No judge had ever told them to stay out of the buffer zone.
- In the Madsen case in June of 1994, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the 36-foot buffer zone part of the injunction as it applies to named parties. Since no non-parties were plaintiffs in the case, no ruling was made about the “in concert” clause.
- In the Alf case in the fall of 1995, the U.S. Supreme court refused to hear the case of the 104 non-parties even though it had basically invited this case in the opinion written in the Madsen case. The Supreme Court has refused to give a clear, definitive ruling on the “in concert” part of this injunction.
- Since June 1994, there have been over 20 injunction violation charges made by the Melbourne Police Department. Not one of these cases has been brought to trial. They have all been dismissed.
Yet the City Attorney is quoted in Florida Today as saying, “The injunction has been approved by the U.S. Supreme Court. It doesn’t get any better than that.” Yet more than 20 recent cases have been summarily dismissed.
At some point, arrest with the knowledge that there will be no prosecution becomes harassment. Being dragged off to jail, having to post bond, and then having to show up for as many as nine court dates over a period of nine months, as in one defendant’s case, just to see the charges dropped is harassment. This is unconstitutional. The sixth amendment to our Constitution guarantees that the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy trial and to be confronted with the witnesses against him.
After two years of court battles and over 20 individual arrests, pro-lifers were recently able to take back the buffer zone. Graham Dugas, who lives across the street from the Aware Woman Abortuary and its infamous 36-foot buffer zone, took the buffer zone back on Saturday, May 11, 1996. On the previous Thursday, Dugas had successfully defended himself in Court on a buffer zone violation charge. On May 11, he went back into the zone using the same props with the court evidence tags still attached. He was carrying a pro-life sign and the transmitting half of a baby monitor being used as a disposable remote microphone to pick up audio for the video camera when he was previously arrested. He was immediately warned again at which time he left the buffer zone and asked to speak to a supervisor. A lieutenant came out and after some discussion, withdrew the warning. Dugas then went back into the buffer zone and waved everyone over.
About 30 people walked, prayed and picketed in the buffer zone freely for the first time in three years. Two people, who had previously served jail time for buffer zone violations, were warned and chose to leave the buffer zone because they weren’t killing babies that day anyway. Scheduled trials this month should clear this problem up as well.
In the meantime, six separate prayer groups from six Melbourne area churches meet on the sidewalk one day a month to pray for the unborn. Sidewalk counseling is taking place on the sidewalk again for the first time in almost two years. The past has shown that when Christians pray and counsel women from this sidewalk more women are disuaded from having their babies aborted than when people are not allowed to come within the 36-foot zone.
Meredith Raney is a spokesman for Christians For Life of Melbourne, Florida.
Forerunner - Home » Pass The Word » Pass The Word - May/June 1996
Your comments are welcome!
High Quality Paperback — 200 pages
A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism
Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner
The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.
Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.
Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the Free Study Guide!
Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
$49.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
High Quality Paperback — 219 pages
Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy
Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.
Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.
Why Creeds and Confessions? provides a foundation of biblical orthodoxy as a defense against the false and truly heretical doctrines advanced by the spirit of this age.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
High Quality Paperback — 40 pages of dynamite!
Revival, Resistance, Reformation, Revolution
An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification
In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.
By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).
$7.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)