Pro-life Advocates Win Court Victory in Free Speech Case


(Worthy News) - On January 29, 2018, a federal judge told participants in a lawsuit forcing pro-life sidewalk counselors to defend themselves against harassment charges, that leafletting is a “form of really protected speech,” and that sidewalks are recognized as the “quintessential public forum.” The words from the bench underscored the arguments of Thomas More Society Special Counsel Martin Cannon. Cannon is defending a group of pro-life advocates who are being charged by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman in a federal lawsuit that accuses them of threats and violence against abortion clinic patients.

A group of pro-life advocates with Church @ the Rock in Brooklyn, New York, has been targeted for their ongoing sidewalk counseling, prayer and protest activities outside of a Jamaica, New York, abortion clinic. Yesterday’s hearing was a request by the Thomas More Society for the court todismiss the lawsuit against those who have been gathering outside of the Choices Women’s Medical Center abortion facility.

U.S. District Judge Carol Bagley Amon’s questioning of Assistant Attorney General Sandra Pullman in yesterday’s United States District Court – Eastern District of New York hearing in People v. Griepp et al focused on the definition of harassment. The state’s interpretation seemed to focus on the reaction of a person to another’s actions, something that neither lined up with New York City’s city council harassment statue or according to Cannon, common sense. “The idea that harassment should be defined by someone’s reaction has no basis in any law or in any logic.”

“We expect to be vindicated,” stated Rev. Kenneth Griepp, a defendant in the lawsuit and the senior pastor at Church @ the Rock. “As a voice for the unborn, we are committed to raising awareness about the over 3,500 children that are being murdered every day here in America. We do so as peaceful people of God. Because the Thomas More Society attorneys understand that, they are able to ably defend us and protect the rights we are guaranteed under the US Constitution and First Amendment, including the freedom to speak out against what we believe to be the grave error of abortion and to offer lifesaving alternatives to women and their children.”

The judge took issue with the prosecution’s reference to what they labelled as “annoying behavior.” Amon commented that if harassment charges could be brought for being annoying, “I could sue all of you here today.”

Canon commented on the January 29, 2018, hearing, “These harassment charges are unconstitutionally vague. The prosecution’s very loose handling of a serious charge serves to highlight the baseless claims in a case solely intended to discourage any opposition to abortion.” He added that there are no documented or verified instances of the force, threat of force, physical obstruction, following and harassing, which Schneiderman claims has occurred.

Schneiderman claimed his lawsuit, filed in June 2017, was intended to end to what he charged is “a weekly pattern of threatening, obstructive and violent activity by a network of anti-abortion protestors.” He claimed to have received “complaints of the protesters’ extremely aggressive behavior.” He called the church members’ efforts to counsel women considering abortion and to advocate for the rights of the unborn, “horrifying” and “illegal.”

Schneiderman’s support of the abortion industry is well publicized. In April 2017, he openly opposed any defunding of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, proclaiming, “I was proud to lead a coalition of attorneys general in filing an amicus brief against the Ohio state law that would defund Planned Parenthood.”

“These pro-life advocates are life-affirming Christians who peacefully counsel women considering abortion. They conduct themselves reasonably and compassionately and offer information about alternatives to those willing to listen,” stated Cannon. The Thomas More Society is representing ten members of Church @ the Rock in Brooklyn, who are among the fourteen defendants named in the suit. The congregation has been witnessing for life outside of the abortion facility, weekly, since 2012.

The next major court hearing in this case will take place the week of February 12, 2018.

Read background on the Thomas More Society involvement with People v. Griepp et al here [https://www.thomasmoresociety.org/thomas-society-protects-church-members-unwarranted-harassment/].

About the Thomas More Society

The Thomas More Society is a national not-for-profit law firm dedicated to restoring respect in law for life, family, and religious liberty. Headquartered in Chicago and Omaha, the Thomas More Society fosters support for these causes by providing high quality pro bono legal services from local trial courts all the way up to the United States Supreme Court. For more information, visit thomasmoresociety.org.

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1 thought on “Pro-life Advocates Win Court Victory in Free Speech Case

  1. This article is confusing.

    So, on researching it, it is discovered that this Pro-Life group is into necromancy. Or it is tolerating Necromancers among them which the real Christians in that group need to separate themselves from. That is the meaning of being holy as saints here on this earth and true religion named so in James 1:27 ...and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." True religion, true Christianity, is not only to be charitable to widows and orphans (the fatherless, think how many "fatherless" children live in the USA) in their distress, it is to keep oneself and your group, unpolluted by the evil one and his minions.

    Therefore this commentator is living by:

    Ephesians 5:11, "Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them."

    Identifying The Church @ the Rock, in this article, is not clear on what denomination it is, though it is clearly not Roman Catholic. Though perhaps it is Episcopalian? Their own website states they believe in two sacraments: baptism and communion). Then it states that The Thomas More Society are their legal representatives. That sounds Catholic and to some degree it is, if one knows already that Anglican's in the USA call themselves Episcopalian as well as "catholic" with a small c. I believe they also call themselves Protestants which is a lie (of the Devil).

    The problem is, on checking into what this is really all about, did The Church @ the Rock's people really threaten violence while handing out pamphlets? That doesn't sound RC at all. Nor does it sound like Episcopalians here either. It seems much more the legal ploy of that State's Atty General. Perhaps one of the leaflet handerouters told someone about the hell they who murder and torture the unborn are destined to - if they do not repent. The ungodly often confuse their own fear of the Lord as stemming from with we who belong to Him. No. None of us is so powerful that anyone need be scared of us. It is the Lord, the All Powerful One, the Creator of the Universe, The Holy One of Israel whom all should be scared of, until reconciled to Him. That is wisdom. For He existed always. And we were created, as was our Earth and the heavens.

    The About Us page for The Thomas More Society advances people to pray to St. (Sir) Thomas More. While Sir Thomas More's life and integrity is something for all Americans to strive for, "praying" to a deceased person (saint or not) is Necromancy, a particular type of Witchcraft. Actually, only gossip and rebellion against God qualifies as witchcraft, outside of talking to the dead and/or demonic.

    Don't believe me? This is from that very The Church @ the Rock, About Us Page, where it gives an example of the kinds of praying to Sir (saint) Thomas More:

    "I pray, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, that I, with You, ST. THOMAS MORE, (emphasis mine) may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients’ tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul."

    Okay, that would explain the difficulties these people from The Church @ the Rock are now having because:

    Leviticus 20:6
    ''As for the person who turns to mediums and to spiritists, to play the harlot after them, I will also set My face against that person and will cut him off from among his people."

    Now, here's the current day definition of Necromancy, from Wikipedia,

    "Necromancy (/ˈnɛkrəˌmænsi, -roʊ-/[1][2]) is a supposed practice of magic involving communication with the deceased – either by summoning their spirit as an apparition or raising them bodily – for the purpose of divination, imparting the means to foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge, to bring someone back from the dead, or to use the deceased as a weapon, as the term may sometimes be used in a more general sense to refer to black magic or witchcraft."

    And, since this is advanced to us as an article about abortion and supposed Christians, let's see what the Bible has to say about God's people who speak to the "departed" aka deceased. Please notice that we give not one or two twisted up (interpretations) of God's written Word to all mankind, but His Word in over 28 places in the Bible, both New and Old Covenant (Testament) for us. The fact that the departed soul being addressed belongs to one (or more) of God's people, even a holy (which is the definition of "saint") person, changes not God's abhorrence for such practices and He calls it witchcraft. And presently, Wikipedia does also! We love it when God and secular collide to prove God's Word.

    These were copied (intact) from: bible.knowing-jesus

    "28 Bible Verses about
    Necromancy
    Most Relevant Verses

    Isaiah 8:19
    Verse Concepts
    When they say to you, "Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter," should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living?

    Deuteronomy 18:10-12
    "There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer,

    1 Samuel 28:7
    Verse Concepts
    Then Saul said to his servants, "Seek for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her." And his servants said to him, "Behold, there is a woman who is a medium at En-dor."

    Deuteronomy 18:11
    Verse Concepts
    or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.

    Deuteronomy 26:14
    Verse Concepts
    'I have not eaten of it while mourning, nor have I removed any of it while I was unclean, nor offered any of it to the dead. I have listened to the voice of the LORD my God; I have done according to all that You have commanded me.

    Isaiah 29:4
    Verse Concepts
    Then you will be brought low; From the earth you will speak, And from the dust where you are prostrate Your words will come. Your voice will also be like that of a spirit from the ground, And your speech will whisper from the dust.

    Leviticus 19:31
    Verse Concepts
    'Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.

    1 John 4:1
    Verse Concepts
    Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

    Revelation 21:8
    Verse Concepts
    "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

    2 Kings 21:6
    Verse Concepts
    He made his son pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and used divination, and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD provoking Him to anger.

    Leviticus 20:6
    Verse Concepts
    'As for the person who turns to mediums and to spiritists, to play the harlot after them, I will also set My face against that person and will cut him off from among his people.

    Deuteronomy 18:10
    Verse Concepts
    "There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer,

    Leviticus 20:27
    Verse Concepts
    'Now a man or a woman who is a medium or a spiritist shall surely be put to death. They shall be stoned with stones, their bloodguiltiness is upon them.'"

    2 Corinthians 11:14
    Verse Concepts
    No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

    1 Samuel 28:7-19
    Then Saul said to his servants, "Seek for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her." And his servants said to him, "Behold, there is a woman who is a medium at En-dor."

    1 Timothy 4:1
    Verse Concepts
    But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,

    1 Chronicles 10:13
    Verse Concepts
    So Saul died for his trespass which he committed against the LORD, because of the word of the LORD which he did not keep; and also because he asked counsel of a medium, making inquiry of it,

    Ephesians 6:11
    Verse Concepts
    Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

    Revelation 22:15
    Verse Concepts
    Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.

    Isaiah 19:3
    Verse Concepts
    "Then the spirit of the Egyptians will be demoralized within them; And I will confound their strategy, So that they will resort to idols and ghosts of the dead And to mediums and spiritists.

    Daniel 2:27
    Verse Concepts
    Daniel answered before the king and said, "As for the mystery about which the king has inquired, neither wise men, conjurers, magicians nor diviners are able to declare it to the king.

    Daniel 4:7
    Verse Concepts
    "Then the magicians, the conjurers, the Chaldeans and the diviners came in and I related the dream to them, but they could not make its interpretation known to me.

    Ephesians 5:11
    Verse Concepts
    Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;

    Acts 16:16
    Verse Concepts
    It happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave-girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortune-telling.

    Exodus 7:11
    Verse Concepts
    Then Pharaoh also called for the wise men and the sorcerers, and they also, the magicians of Egypt, did the same with their secret arts.

    Exodus 22:18
    Verse Concepts
    "You shall not allow a sorceress to live.

    Exodus 8:7
    Verse Concepts
    The magicians did the same with their secret arts, making frogs come up on the land of Egypt.

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    Verse Concepts
    But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good"

    It is worth noting that the first human King of Israel, Saul, lost the presence of the Holy Spirit and peace because he sought the experience of speaking to a departed soul. It was the dead Samuel, definiately a holy man, he'd annointed both Saul and David (the up and coming) King of Israel as well as assisting in all sorts of prophetic things. If it's wrong to contact Saul, it's necromancy to contact anyone else but Jesus, the Messiah (Christ).

    "Choose ye this day whom ye shall serve...." ya-all can look up where that last quote came from, yourselves.

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