By Meredith Raney
Published March 1, 2000
MELBOURNE, FL — The following letter was sent to U.S. Representative Dave Weldon of the 15th Congressional District of Florida by pro-lifer Meredith Raney requesting a Congressional investigation of certain discriminatory practices by the U. S. Department of Justice in the enforcement of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) law.
2488 Burns Ave
Melbourne, FL 32935
March 1, 2000
U. S. Representative Dave Weldon
2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way
Melbourne, FL 32940-8006
Re: Request for Congressional investigation
Dear Congressman Weldon,
As you know, several citizens, including myself, have been working with your staff in your local office on the issue of getting the FBI to investigate local incidents of FACE violations against certified pro-life referral counselors. As you also know, FACE protects all reproductive health service providers whether they counsel toward abortion and death for the unborn child or toward life for everyone.
I am afraid that the FBI and the Justice Department are not applying the FACE law equally. I offer two letters from the Justice Department as evidence.
The first letter was written to my attorney, Chris Sapp on November 19, 1999 by Albert N. Moskowitz, Section Chief, Criminal Section, Civil Rights Division, U. S. Department of Justice. In the last paragraph of the letter, he says the Justice Department “ will continue its vigorous enforcement of applicable statutes against all those who attempt to use violence to achieve their ends. “ The FACE law does NOT read that way and has NOT been applied that way when used against pro-lifers. You have personal knowledge of one incident where two of your constituents, Eric Olson and Ray Unterburger, were prosecuted and convicted under FACE for a totally peaceful, non-violent sit-in at an abortion clinic in Palm Beach County . They spent four months in prison. The case number is 9:95cr08025, USA v. Olson . Other peaceful pro-lifers were convicted of FACE recently in Washington, DC. Still another trial of peaceful pro-lifers is pending in Dayton, Ohio. Similar peaceful sit-ins during the civil rights movement resulted in the Woolworth’s lunch-counter from that store in Greensboro, NC being installed in the Smithsonian Institution in celebration of these peaceful, non-violent sit-ins that resulted in the overturn of unjust segregation laws. See http://www.si.edu/i+d/sitins.v2.4.html on the Internet.
Violation of the FACE law does not require violence as evidenced by Ray and Eric’s conviction among others. Intimidation, or attempted intimidation is all that is required to be in violation. The Justice Department seems to have a different enforcement policy when pro-lifers are on the receiving end of FACE violations. Protection under the law is to be equal without regard to viewpoint.
The Justice Department is not providing equal protection under the FACE law for pro-lifers. See the second letter from the Justice Department. This one is from the U. S. Attorney in the Southern District of Florida, Thomas E. Scott. The addressee’s name and address is covered to protect the source of this copy of the letter. It is an invitation “ to a regional briefing of law enforcement officials on the nature and pattern of violence and potential violence against reproductive health care providers. “ The letter goes on to say, “ This briefing is one of a number of such briefings being conducted nationwide. “ Among other things, the briefing included, “ A review by representatives of national organizations involved in clinic security and local reproductive health clinics of current trends and patterns of violent activity in this region and throughout the country. “ I don’t know of one pro-life individual or organization, national or otherwise, who was invited.
The addressee was encouraged to bring “ any other personnel you feel could benefit from this information. Also, I expect that clinics in this area will participate by sending key staff members and/or doctors to exchange information about security issues. “ Again, I know of no pro-life “ clinics in this area “ or pro-life “ key staff members and/or doctors “ who were invited.
The letter went on, “ This briefing is designed to provide the most up-to-date information and resources available to assist you in addressing possible violence at reproductive health care clinics. “ Again, I know of no pro-life reproductive health care clinics or crisis pregnancy centers, or even “places of religious worship”(also specifically protected by FACE, para. (a) ) who were invited. The recent shootings at the Wedgwood Baptist Church (a place of religious worship) in Fort Worth was a blatant violation of FACE but so far no FACE charges have been filed by the U.S. Department of Justice. Why not? Please don’t let them tell you that it was because the shooter killed himself. Paul Hill was immediately captured after he murdered the abortionist in Pensacola. He was no longer a threat to anybody. That didn’t stop the Justice Department from sending out federal marshals to guard abortion clinics all over the country. Two federal marshals were guarding the abortion clinic in Melbourne every hour they were open for eleven months after the Paul Hill murder. I know of no federal marshals dispatched to churches, or “places of religious worship,” after the Wedgwood shootings. Why not? Both murders were FACE violations.
Had I known about this briefing before it happened, I would have signed up and been right there to benefit from the knowledge being dispersed and coordinated by my government using my tax dollars. Neither I, nor any other pro-lifer I know of, was given this opportunity.
FACE is a content neutral law that protects both sides of the abortion issue as well as places of religious worship and not just the abortion industry. The Justice Department is enforcing it as if it were a law protecting just the abortion industry. They apparently only invited people from the abortion industry and intentionally avoided inviting anyone from the religious worship or pro-life industry. This is unequal protection under the law which may even rise to the level of a conspiracy in violation of 42 U.S.C. 1985 which was passed in 1871 to protect abolitionists from conspiracies plotted out by former slaver owners and the K.K.K., and thus should likewise apply to discriminatory plans raised against religious worshipers and pro-lifers.
Please have Congress investigate this apparent conspiracy against religious worshipers and pro-lifers. If there were any religious worshipers, pro-lifers or related organizations invited, I would like to know who they were. In fact, under the Freedom of Information Act, I would like a complete list of all the attendees. Also, I would like a complete list of all such “ briefings being conducted nationwide “ and a complete list of attendees at those briefings as well.
(signed) Meredith Raney
1) Letter to Chris Sapp dated Nov. 19, 1999 from U.S. Justice Dept. See http://www.forerunner.com/fyi/images/dojltr111999.jpg
2) Letter to (covered) dated 12/21/99 from U.S. Justice Dept.
See part 1 http://www.forerunner.com/fyi/images/dojltr122199p1.jpg
part 2 http://www.forerunner.com/fyi/images/dojltr122199p2.jpg
PS: One other thing on the local level I would like to point out to you. It has been relayed to me through various people in the Brevard County administration that Brevard County Sheriff Phil Williams insisted that the county put up that $4,000 fence around two sides of the Suntree Plaza abortion clinic based on a conversation with a “powerful Washington, DC attorney” or words to that effect. I suppose that the county administrators in charge of putting up the fence assumed that this lawyer was from the Department of Justice or some other government agency in Washington. This is not the case. This lawyer is Sara Love, a private lawyer who is the Legal Defense Director for the Feminist Majority Foundation, and an attorney in a Chicago law firm which litigated the NOW v. Scheidler case on behalf of NOW. She is a lawyer for the abortion industry. I don’t know how she represented herself to Sheriff Williams, but she is far from an unbiased advisor and she is definitely not from the government in Washington, DC.
Since December, when the fence was put up, Sheriff Williams has been promising something in writing justifying putting up that fence. To date nothing in writing has been provided.
Note: FACE = Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances law, 18 USC §248.
Forerunner - Home » Florida's Murder Industry »
Your comments are welcome!
With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?
Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?
Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?
These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)