Tag Archives: Better Laws

Judge Fines, Releases Pastor Without Conditions

 

.jpg photo of Pastor jailed for refusing to limit the size of his congregation
Canadian Pastor Coates, who had been arrested and placed in jail for holding church services after the government ordered him to cease.

Pastor Coates released, hearing pending

Earlier this month, we alerted you to a Canadian pastor who had been arrested and placed in jail for holding church services after the government ordered him to cease.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have been holding GraceLife Church Pastor James Coates since March 15, after he refused to agree to a bail release condition that he stop holding church services.  Pastor Coates remained firm in his religious conviction to obey God rather than man.

Since that time, the government’s prosecutors have agreed to release Pastor Coates and withdraw all but one of the charges against him.  That one charge is for allowing more than 15% of his church members to attend Sunday worship services.

According to Pastor Coates’ attorneys, he is expected to be released today and will be challenging the remaining charge in court in May, forcing the government to prove why it has the right to limit congregational worship.

Pastor Coates is a hero of the faith and deserves our continued support and prayers. Rather than go away quietly, Pastor Coates will continue to challenge the government’s immoral laws threatening religious freedom.

Take Action

If you have not yet done so, sign our petition to Pastor Coates, letting him know you stand with him in prayer and for justice for Christians everywhere.

SIGN THE PETITION

Sincerely,
Tim Wildmon, President
American Family Association

If our mission resonates with you, please consider supporting our work financially with a tax-deductible donation. The easiest way to do that is through online giving. It is easy to use, and most of all, it is secure.

AFA Needs Our Support

.jpg photo of AFA graphic
Nancy Pelosi’s Election Bill Will DESTROY Free And Fair Elections!

Democrats radical agenda to
federalize state elections

The top legislative priority of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is to launch an assault against the First Amendment and against free and fair elections. Without these foundational freedoms, America will be unable to maintain her democratic republic.

Take action now before it’s too late and let your voice be heard.  Tell your U.S. senators and representative to publicly oppose and vote against the expansion of government regulation and censorship of state elections.

TAKE ACTION NOW

The House version (H.R. 1) and Senate version (S. 1) of Pelosi’s and Schumer’s bills are deceptively named the “For the People Act.”  Their bills are not about the citizenry but about Democrats preserving and cementing political power.  They would remove the constitutional authority of the individual states to run federal elections and put that power into the hands of those in the U.S. Congress and the administrative state.

These deceptive and destructive bills would require non-profit organizations like American Family Association to publicly disclose financial donors’ names to the federal government.  These names would then be made available to the public and searchable on government websites.  Names of donors could then be used, for example, to publicly intimidate those whose religious convictions define marriage as being between one man and one woman, or those who believe that sex is a fixed biological reality established at conception.  Such an act of intimidation of donors would harm the ability of non-profit organizations to advocate on behalf of their supporters.  These bills would weaponize the Federal Election Commission against Americans and use the force of government as a way to silence dissenting opinion.

Pelosi’s and Schumer’s versions of the bill would also federalize state elections by imposing unconstitutional mandates and would expand federal government regulation of state elections.  This agenda would violate the rights of states and their citizens to establish voter qualifications to ensure integrity at the polls by enforcing “progressive” laws on voter identification, absentee ballots, and mail-in voting.

Heritage Foundation has provided a good analysis of the “For the People Act.”  You can read it here.

The U.S. Congress could be voting on these bills soon.  Before it’s too late, let your voice be heard and tell your U.S. senators and representative to publicly oppose and vote against H.R. 1 and S. 1.

TAKE ACTION NOW

Sincerely,
Tim Wildmon, President
American Family Association

If our mission resonates with you, please consider supporting our work financially with a tax-deductible donation.  The easiest way to do that is through online giving.  It is easy to use, and most of all, it is secure.

NE School Supt First Hearing For Sexual Assault Of Child, CA Charges

.jpg photo of nebraska school superintendent arrested for sex assault of child
Timothy DeWaard, 56, is charged with felony child abuse.

Former Centennial superintendent
makes first appearance on
Child Abuse charge

LINCOLN, NE  –  A former superintendent of Centennial Public Schools accused of inappropriate contact with a student made his first court appearance Wednesday.

Timothy DeWaard, 56, is charged with felony child abuse.

NE School Superintendent Arrested Child Abuse, Sexual Assault Of Student

DeWaard resigned in July after being arrested on sexual assault of a child and child abuse charges after law enforcement received a tip regarding the alleged abuse of a high school-aged student.

Investigators said in an affidavit for his arrest that DeWaard began talking with the male student over the Snapchat app.  The talks escalated to DeWaard bringing the student into his office on multiple occasions and having him sit on his lap while he helped him with his school work, investigators wrote.  DeWaard also touched the boy’s inner thighs, according to the document.

The incidents took place over several months, with the alleged victim telling investigators he “felt he had to do this or he would fail out of school,” according to court documents.

Deputies with the Seward County Sheriff’s Office arrested DeWaard without incident at the school.  He was released after his wife paid five percent of his $50,000 bond.

DeWaard’s next hearing is scheduled for November.

NY Gov Dragging Feet Signing Legislation?

.jpg photo of girl legislation is named for
Erin Merryn

Child Sex Abuse victim advocates want
to know why Cuomo hasn’t signed
Erin’s Law

ALBANY, NY  –  Advocates for child sex abuse victims say Gov. Andrew Cuomo is dragging his feet on signing education legislation that could decrease future child sex abuse cases.

“Erin’s Law” requires at least one hour per school year to teach kids in kindergarten through eighth grade about abuse and how to report it.

A 2015 federal law championed by U.S. Senator Kirstan Gillibrand (D-NY) provides grant funding for the program.

It’s been passed in 37 states, including New York, when the bill cleared both legislative chambers on June 20.

“I don’t know what’s going on in New York.  It’s frustrating because I flew to New York and testified in 2011.  It’s been the most difficult state to get it passed.  Now we have to wait yet another year,” Erin Merryn, an abuse survivor from Illinois, for whom the legislation is named, told The Post.

Under the law, the state Education Department would be required to devise the curriculum, but a spokesman said the department does not comment on pending legislation.

“They made me repeat first grade because of what nobody knew was going on,” Merryn added.

“You’re actually saving money by teaching this because those kids that are being abused are the kids that you’re having to pour so much more funding into.”

“It’s important that [Gov. Cuomo] does this sooner than later, even though we’ve missed this year’s deadline, this is crucial for the children of the state of New York,” she said.

“Erin’s law actually prevents child abuse in a big way,” said child sex abuse survivor Gary Greenberg, who has pushed the bill for years.

“[It] is an even more important law than the Child Victims Act because it will actually go into every public school in the state and teach kids who to report to, and about appropriate touching.  As time goes on he’s signing all these bills, a lot of bills, and no Erin’s law,” he said of Gov. Cuomo.

The law would take effect on the July 1 after the bill is signed.

“We 100 percent agree with the intent of the bill and want to ensure it’s implemented correctly.  The bill language remains under review by counsel’s office,” said Cuomo spokeswoman Caitlin Girouard.

The state’s office of Children and Family Services said in 2018, the statewide central register hotline received 297,233 calls related to child abuse cases resulting in 199,047 reports flagged for further action.

Better Record Keeping To Combat Child Abuse

.jpg photo of New Hampshire Police Officer
N.H. Senate considering bills to better protect Children

Senate committee considers bills designed
to combat child abuse, neglect

“Proposals would keep records of alleged abuses longer, extend time frame in custody”

CONCORD, N.H.  –  A trio of bills aimed at protecting New Hampshire’s abused and neglected children got a favorable reception from a Senate committee on Tuesday, though the chairman questioned whether one measure would give police and state workers too much access to sensitive information.

The Health and Human Services Committee held public hearings on bills that would require the Division of Children, Youth and Families to keep records on file for longer periods of times, would give police and DCYF workers more time to prepare for initial court hearings after children are removed from homes, and would allow DCYF and police to access a child’s medical records once an investigation is underway.

Those bills, along with another that is up for a vote on Thursday, were developed by the Commission on Child Abuse Fatalities, a group of lawmakers, state officials and advocates.

DCYF has faced increased scrutiny since the deaths of two toddlers. Sadence Willott, 21 months, of Manchester, died Sept. 6, and her mother has since been charged with second-degree murder.  In Nashua, Katlyn Marin is charged with beating her 3-year-old daughter, Brielle Gage, to death in November 2014.

Rebecca Ross, a senior assistant attorney general and member of the commission, said together, the four bills aim to bridge the gaps between law enforcement, medical providers and the child protection system.

“What we need is more communication and more resources and tools to make sure everyone has accurate information” to do their jobs, she said.

The committee chairman, state Sen. Andy Sanborn (R), of Bedford, questioned whether the third bill was necessary, because investigators already can get a child’s medical records by going to court and getting a warrant.

But the bill’s supporters, including several police officers who testified, said that can take a long time, particularly if a judge decides to review the records before granting access.  In most cases, a parent will grant access to the records, but that is not the case when the parent may be the abuser.

“I think we would use this fairly sparingly, when the suspects are guardians who are denying us the records,” said Lt. Nicole Ledoux, who supervises the juvenile unit at the Manchester Police Department.  “There is no other crime I can think of where the perpetrator controls the evidence that may help you determine what happened to the victim.”

Under the first bill, reports deemed unnecessary to investigate would be kept for seven years instead of one, reports deemed unfounded after an investigation would be kept for 10 years instead of three, and reports deemed credible would be kept indefinitely instead of for seven years.

Sanborn suggested that records should be destroyed after a child turns 18, but supporters of the bill noted that the goal is be able to see potential patterns of abuse.  The records could help an abused child bring civil claims against an abuser once he or she becomes an adult, they said, or could help prevent a grandparent who abused his or her children from later being given custody of a grandchild.

State Sen. David Boutin, a Hooksett Republican, and chairman of the commission that wrote the bills, called them critical steps toward making the state safer for children.

“I think we wish we could all wave a wand and this problem would go away, but that’s not possible,” he said.