Roundup: In the Spotlight, Losing My Religion


Last month, when Rep. Michele Bachmann was rallying supporters against the passage of healthcare reform, the former tax attorney told her audience maybe they should stop paying up.  As crazy as the idea sounded then, she must not have been the only one touting that view.  The Christian Post is now reminding all of its faithful readers that yes, you really do have to pay taxes when you don’t agree with the government’s laws.

We cannot and must not bend the knee to Caesar, accepting the government as our ultimate sovereign. We cannot submit to accept idolatry and idolatrous practices. But paying taxes is a matter of our Christian obligation.

There is no Christian mandate against tax avoidance – which is the use of lawful and legitimate measures to limit tax exposure. In other words, Christians are not mandated to seek to maximize their tax bills. But tax evasion is another matter, as is tax resistance. Those who seek by illegitimate and illegal means to resist or evade taxes run into direct confrontation with the commands of Christ and the teaching of the apostles.

It’s a hopeful sign that maybe the rhetoric is being ratcheted down, and we can start recognizing we are a nation with laws, and that religious convictions do not allow you to bypass actual law.

It’s a lesson that a Texas man learned a little late.

Erlyndon Joseph “Joey” Lo, 27, of Plano, filed documents there Friday saying his religious beliefs entitled him to use deadly force to prevent an abortion. He listed the name of a clinic, its address and the time he was going to show up — noon that day.

“I plan on saving at least one human life in Dallas, Texas,” Lo wrote.

Lo equated abortion to murder, explaining his religious convictions required him to kill in order to prevent women from terminating pregnancies.

“My religious beliefs include the beliefs that an individual is alive at the moment of conception, abortion is murder and is the worst murder of all murders possible because these babies are completely defenseless, and I am entitled under my religious beliefs to use deadly force if necessary to save the innocent life of another,” Lo wrote.

Rachel Maddow points out on her show that this in many ways is just an escalation of the harassment already spent at numerous clinics throughout the country.

“[Lo] has been charged with transmitting an interstate communication containing a threat and using a threat of force to intimidate the employees of a reproductive health services provider. That last one is a law that only exists because of the organized and extreme long-standing anti-abortion movement in this country, a portion of which preaches force and intimidation to get what they want.”

Of course, most religious anti-choice activists would likely say that this is an isolated incident of one obviously mentally ill man.  After all, as Raw Story reports, he was attempting to sue the Supreme Court for $999 trillion dollars in damages for allowing abortion to exist, too.

But a look at his website via the Dallas Fox affiliate shows that on the surface at least, he doesn’t appear very different from many of devout anti-choice activists hoping to end abortion. 

Mini Roundup: A clinic supporter looks at who’s harassing who, a pharmacy that refuses to sell birth control goes belly up, and a push to remove tax payer funds from abortion care actually gets blocked for once.

April 7, 2010

Catholic group urges PM to include abortion in G8 initiativeWinnipeg Free Press

High Court To Decide Fate Of Anti-Abortion InitiativeKXNT

Man who wanted $999 trillion in abortion ‘damages’ arrested over threats  - Raw Story

Pre-abortion screenings measured advanced in Neb.NTV

Specialty plates touting right to abortion will face vote todayThe Virginian-Pilot

Church’s Opposition to Abortion and Gay “Marriage” behind Media “Hate …Tips-Q GLBT News

Texas Man Arrested For Threats Against Abortion ClinicMs. Magazine 

Stupak Faces Heat from All Sides; Could He Decide Not to Run for Re-Election?CBS News 

Catholic group urges Harper to include abortion in G8 planMacleans.ca

Bart Stupak Retiring? Democrats Worried Michigan Congressman May Not Run For …Huffington Post

David Cameron calls for abortion limit to be loweredDaily Mail

Tennessee House to Vote on Bill to Opt out of Abortion Funding Under Health CareLifeNews.com

States Reignite Abortion DebateWall Street Journal

‘Catholics for Choice’ Demands Abortion in Canada’s G8 Maternal Health PlanLifesite

2 Bills Would Complicate Women’s Access To AbortionKETV Omaha

The communication mandate – A proposition requiring parental notification for …Anchorage Press

Stupak considersPolitico

Michigan hit by decline in births  - Detroit Free Press

No birth control pharmacy in Va. closesWashington Post

Azerbaijan holds action under ‘Pregnancy planning – choose the right time’ sloganTrend News Agency

A Beijing university fires law professor for having two childrenAsiaNews.it

Shedding misconceptions (Guest View)Mason City Globe Gazette

Jacobs: How New Jersey budget cuts will hurt womenNorthJersey.com

Malawi defends plans to outlaw HIV transmissionBBC News

 

April 8, 2010

Measure to ban use of tax money for abortions failsNews Chief

Abortion-related bill advances, now requires giving women mental health infoLincoln Journal Star

GOP doctors challenge Stupak, Dingell in US House racesThe Detroit News

Fewer teen pregnancies in Sonoma CountySanta Rosa Press Democrat

LETTER: Picketers’ actions seem too personalWausau Daily Herald

Family planning: NJ budget cuts threaten poor women’s health careNJ.com

Condoms – A World Market Review – New Market Report PublishedOfficialWire

UAE proposes voluntary HIV testing clinicsKhaleej Times

World Vision scales up prevention for the youthThe Swazi Observer

World Health Day 2010… Protect Your Sexual HealthAbout – News & Issues

20 years after death, Ryan White’s legacy lives onIndianapolis Star

GOP questions funding for HIV/AIDS patientsSalt Lake Tribune

Bristol Palin urges teens to wait for pregnancyTimes of India

Man Turned Away for Breast Cancer Screening -ABC News 

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

Follow Robin Marty on twitter: @robinmarty