Joe Ortwerth's
 Jeff City Update
Missouri Family E-News June 1, 2009
Tiller Killing a Tragic Reminder
The killing of late-term abortionist George Tiller will recharge in ugly terms the contentious debate over legalized abortion in the United States, particularly the grisly practice of destroying unborn children in the final weeks of pregnancy.  George Tiller was known as the leading abortionist in our nation who specialized in performing late-term abortions.  Tiller bragged about having more experience in "late abortion services over 24 weeks than anyone else currently practicing in the Western Hemisphere, Europe and Australia." He took pride in the methods he had perfected to exterminate the lives of children who could survive outside their mother's womb.
Without question, the killing of Tiller calls for the harshest possible condemnation.  It is never justified to take a human life, except with due process of law for capital crimes, or in instances of self-defense.  No matter how heinous the conduct of Mr. Tiller may have been, vigilante-style justice is never morally acceptable.  The only comfort in this sad saga is the knowledge that preborn children will no longer be murdered at the hands of a man who was an unrepentant serial killer.  This tragic incident reminds us of the age-old maxim that violence begets violence.  The violence of Mr. Tiller in destroying the lives of countless viable unborn children and the violence of the reckless gunman who perpetrated the crime against Mr. Tiller are equally reprehensible.
We pray that this long nightmare of injustice and inhumanity in Wichita, Kansas will inspire all Americans to unite behind a common cry:  "Stop the killing!"  Let us work together to restore respect for the sanctity of human life regardless of age, race, gender, religion, or level of function or dependency.  Let us pray that God will convict our hearts to value the dignity of every human person, and the potential of every human soul.  We are reminded that not one of us can stand before God's judgment without the redemption and righteousness of Jesus Christ.  (Ps. 130:3)  We pray for Mr. Tiller's wife and four children that they will seek solace in the mercies and comfort of our Lord and Savior.

Akin Sponsors
Religious Heritage Resolution
U.S. Representative Todd Akin has co-sponsored a resolution in the U.S. Congress recognizing America's religious heritage.  House Resolution 397 calls for the designation of the first week in May as "America's Spiritual Heritage Week" for appreciation of our nation's history of Christian faith.  The resolution was widely seen as a response to recent comments made by President Barrack Obama in Turkey that "we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation."  The President had made similar comments in speech in June 2007, saying "whatever we once were, we're no longer a Christian nation...We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers."  Akins's resolution states that "the religious foundations of faith on which America was built...form the inseparable foundation for our representative processes, legal systems, and societal structures.  The resolution also rejects efforts to remove, obscure, or omit the nation's Christian heritage from America's public buildings and educational resources. Akin has been a long-time proponent of the views expressed by the Founding Fathers, and was recognized in 2007 with the Christian Statesmanship Award by the Center for Christian Statesmanship.   

Focus on the Family Hosts Missouri Adoption Conference
 Focus on the Family is sponsoring a conference in Missouri aimed at promoting the adoption of children in the foster care system.  The event is called "Waiting No More:  Finding Families for Missouri's Waiting Kids."  It will be held on Saturday, June 6th at Calvary E-Free Church in St. Peters.  Focus on the Family reports that there are 1,400 children in Missouri's foster care system waiting for adoption.  "These waiting orphan kids deserve families," says Kelly Rosati of the Sanctity of Human Life Department at Focus on the Family.  "Many of them go to sleep at night hoping and praying that a family will come for them.  Our prayer is for their prayers to be answered as a result of 'Wait No More.'"  At a recent adoption conference held by Focus in Colorado Springs, 260 families stepped forward to start the adoption process.  For more information about the "Wait No More" campaign, you can click this link: www.icareaboutorphans.org
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How Would a Justice Sotamayor Rule?
The announcement by President Barrack Obama that he is appointing Judge Sonia Sotamayor to the U.S. Supreme Court has spawned considerable speculation as to how she would rule on matters of concern to the Christian community.  Some critics have immediately branded her as a "radical liberal", while others have proclaimed her a "moderate choice".  These observers miss the central question:  Is Judge Sotamayor a jurist who will review cases by carefully examining the Constitution and adhering to the rule of law, or will she render decisions based on her own attitudes about life or her own personal opinions about what constitutes a just society?
The one area where there is consensus is that a Justice Sotamayor is unlikely to tip the ideological balance of the nation's highest court.  She replaces David Souter, who clearly believed that the Supreme Court can and should legislate from the bench.  Souter joined a contingent of four justices who regularly ruled in favor of abortion on demand and homosexual rights, and in opposition to the free exercise of religion.  Four other justices including Chief Justice Roberts have taken a strict construction/original intent approach to the Constitution.  The deciding vote on many cases is that of Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose jurisprudence has been inconsistent and oftentimes convoluted.
Judge Sotamayor has served for eleven years on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which reviews federal cases in the states of New York, Vermont, and Connecticut.  Prior to that, she served six years on the U. S. District Court in southern New York.
While many of the judges under consideration by President Obama had established records of judicial activism, Judge Sotamayor's rulings demonstrate a greater level of judicial restraint.  In fact, some of her decisions provide rays of hope for those who believe in traditional values and yearn for a justice system that respects the Christian convictions of the authors of our Constitution.
Here are a sampling of rulings by Judge Sotamayor on issues of interest to Christian families and citizens:
*In the case of CRLP v. Bush, Judge Sotamayor upheld the Mexico City policy, which forbid the use of federal funds for abortions overseas.  Sotamayor rejected the claims of a pro-abortion group, ruling that the challenge did not involve a "fundamental right," and that "the government is free to favor the anti-abortion position over the pro-choice position, and can do so with public funds."
*In Lin v. Department of Justice, Sotamayor took her colleagues on the court to task who had ruled that only women, and not their husbands, could seek asylum based on China's forced-abortion policy.  She said "the termination of a wanted pregnancy under a coercive population control program can only be devastating to a couple, akin, no doubt to the killing of a child."  She further said it was important for the court to take heed of "the unique biological nature of pregnancy and special reverence every civilization has accorded to child-rearing and parenthood in marriage."
*In Amnesty America v. Town of W. Hartford, Sotamayor ruled against dismissal of a suit brought by pro-life protesters against the city of West Hartford, Connecticut.  The protesters charged that police used excessive force against them in a demonstration.  In her opinion, Sotamayor pointed out the assertions by the pro-lifers that "the police responded with far more force than was necessary, and inflicted severe pain on the demonstrators...One officer allegedly shoved and pinned a sitting protester's head to the floor with his foot, and some threatened those who were praying aloud that they would get more 'if they kept crying out in praise of the Lord.'"
*In Hankins v. Lyght, a 70 yr. old Methodist minister charged his church with age discrimination for forcing him into mandatory retirement.  Judge Sotamayor wrote that the federal government risks "an unconstitutional trespass" if it attempts to dictate to religious organizations who they can or cannot hire or dismiss as spiritual leaders.
*In Flamer v. City of White Plains, Sotamayor struck down a city resolution banning the fixed outdoor display of religious symbols in public parks.  She ruled that the resolution was a content-based regulation, and thus discriminated against religious speech. 
In Pappas v. Giuliani, Judge Sotamayor dissented from a ruling that the New York Police Department could terminate an employee from his desk job because he allegedly sent racist materials through the mail.  Sotamayor argued that the First Amendment protected speech by the employee "away from the office, on his own time," even if that speech was "offensive, hateful, and insulting."
While these examples are heartening, there are certainly other decisions or statements that Judge Sotamayor has made on the federal bench that are troubling, particularly those dealing with the Second Amendment, employment discrimination, and the application of international law.  Most disconcerting to many is her comment as part of a law school symposium 
that the federal courts are where "policy is made."
While Judge Sotamayor has not issued or participated in any rulings that support abortion rights or homosexual rights, it may well be because she has chosen, as a judge should, to respect precedent and the rulings of higher courts.  As a Supreme Court justice she would be in a different position where she is able to join other justices in determining the legal standard with which all courts and the nation must comply.
It is difficult to believe that President Obama would appoint someone who does not reflect his vigorous pro-abortion and anti-family views.  Yet it has happened often in the last few decades that presidents have appointed justices whose judicial conduct did not match their expectations.
In the case of Sonia Sotamayor, we must pray that that might be so.  Since it is nearly impossible for a filibuster to be mounted against her confirmation, we must be intent on the one force that can move mountains, namely the power of prayer.  We must pray that Judge Sotamayor will look to the Supreme Judge for the model of justice she should dispense as one the nation's leading jurists.
For the record, Sotamayor would become the sixth Catholic on the High Court.  There are two members of the Jewish faith, and only one who professes a Protestant affiliation.  All that is really of little significance.  What matters is whether God rules in the hearts of men.  In the case of Sonia Sotamayor, we pray that she will look to the one who is truly sovereign as the ultimate arbiter of truth, justice, and righteousness.  I urge you to make this woman the focus of your prayers in the days ahead.  
© 2009 A KTLLC Communications Solution