Cal’s Comments: Something Is Rotten In Denver
By Cal Zastrow
August 24, 2008
Before I blast away at tyranny in Denver, let me shout “GLORY!” For those of you that encouraged Focus on the Family to change their position and support the personhood amendment in Colorado, now you can thank them. They are now supporting it: Citizenlink.org.
While most Americans were sweating in the August heat, my kids and I were getting snowed upon in Winter Park, Colorado. We were evangelizing and distributing pro-life brochures at the Salute to American Veterans Rally and Festival. It wasn’t the fluffy, light, pretty flakes that float gently. No! It was the heavy wet clumps that leave you sopping wet. Positioned under overhangs on public sidewalks, we split into two teams and began talking to people as they streamed by. The crowd was tough and wet, being as this rally is combined with Colorado’s largest motorcycle rally. Stop and think. How many of you enjoy being wet in the snow? How many of you would enjoy riding a motorcycle in wet snow? We passed out all of our literature by late morning when the snow changed to rain. One biker told my fifteen-year-old daughter, “I have a granddaughter they almost aborted. I am so glad they didn’t. She is the sweetest little angel.”
Some had vile tattoos and decals displayed, but not one biker swore or yelled in disagreement to the Gospel or the pro-life message. What a tremendous surprise to see three Christian motorcycle groups evangelizing their fellow bikers. All three groups are supporting the personhood amendment and our campaign. Where these groups really were shining brightly was at the memorial service at the American Veterans Traveling Tribute.
The ceremony is held in front of a traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. Hundreds of us stood soberly to hear some patriotic songs sung by soldiers from Ft. Carson. They also sang about Jesus! A surprise speaker was introduced, looking like nearly everybody else with his biker attire, Rod Knutson. Captain Knutson rode his Harley-Davidson down from Montana to be there. He spoke to the crowd about being a P.O.W. in North Vietnam for over seven years. All present were riveted. When the event coordinator had us all move to the Wall, Captain Knutson went and touched the name of his fellow prisoner who had risked and gave all for teaching him the tap cope in prison. The lady next to me was touching the name of her father and weeping while she told her young daughter again about Grandpa.
Of course, I went directly to panel 33W line 44 and touched the name of my cousin, DALE W SCHWEFEL, and made another pencil rubbing of his name. Later, I took my kids to see the name of a Medal of Honor recipient, Rocky Versace. He was a P.O.W. in a tiny jungle cage. With one leg badly wounded and infected, he attempted to escape four times during his two years in captivity by crawling into a swamp. Repeatedly tortured for not accepting Communist brainwashing, he would not deny his faith in Christ or make statements to shame his country. Before his death, his fellow prisoners heard him singing defiantly to his torturers, “God Bless America.”
After the ceremony, I shook Captain Knutson’s hand and asked him what was the greatest act of love and honor he witnessed in prison. He said that there were too many to name. Honor. Duty. Sacrifice. There it was right in front of us.
On Wednesday, August 20th, my family and I attended the criminal trial of Mrs. Jo Scott in Denver circuit court. She was charged with violating the “bubble zone” law in Colorado that prohibits getting within eight feet of someone walking into a licensed medical facility. Jo is a very dear friend whom we have known since the early 1990’s.
For twenty years, she has sidewalk counseled five days each week with very few exceptions. She rescues between seventy and one hundred babies yearly, that she knows of. Planned Parenthood hates her and her effectiveness. The maximun penalty for violating this “law” is two years in prison. The thieves and thugs went through Judge Alfred Harrell’s courtroom quickly in the morning with probation and plea-bargains. Being as the jury pool took up the whole courtroom, the seventeen friends of Jo were not allowed to watch jury selection. What Jo remembers of jury selection is very disturbing. Of the names selected from the jury pool:
-one was married to a Planned Parenthood board member
-one worked for Planned Parenthood as an escort
-one said she couldn’t be fair about abortion
-one was a financial contributor to Planned Parenthood
-one worked at Planned Parenthood for QWest(?)Company
-one announced to everyone that she was a member of St. John’s Episcopal (pro-abortion and homosexual) “church” and that there was a restraining order against the Scotts
-one was a lobbyist
-one admitted to reading the Bible
Jo’s attorney could only excuse three of them, the prosecution excused the Bible reader, and the judge refused to excuse any more of the identified pro-abortion people. Meanwhile, a feminist appearing district attorney employee told me in the hallway that no chidren under twelve would be allowed in for the trial. I politlely explained to her that my children were people and Americans, and had the right to observe any trial, and that a trial needs to be public in order for it to be legal. She repeated herself. I repeated myself and told her that I’d be happy to talk to the judge about it when court resumed. Six jury members were selected and a break for lunch was declared. At least two of the jury members saw the large photographs of murdered preborn children on Ron Brock’s Truth Truck.
Jo’s husband, Ken, and five or six of her friends entered the courtroom before us when the door was unlocked. The judge was seated and attending to paperwork. He saw our family entering the middle row bench to sit down and barked, “No children in the courtroom under twelve! Court order! It’s a court order.”
I stood and and addressed him, “Sir, these are well-behaved children that have not caused a distraction. They are Americans and this must be open to the public and …” He raised his voice, “All children out of the courtroom or I’ll throw you in jail for thirty days for contempt of court!”
We stood up. The kids and my wife were heading out the door when I paused and looked him in the eye and said, “Tyranny. Tyranny.”
As I started to resume walking out, he shouted for me to sit down, that I was under arrest and going to jail! Sam Adams wasn’t there, but an elderly man who resembled his spirit stood behind me, pointed to the judge and cried, “Treason!”
John the Baptist couldn’t attend, so Ken Scott took his turn by standing and gently pleading with the judge to allow us to remain, that these were the very same kids that the judge had complemented on excelent behavior at the pre-trial recently. The door out of the courtroom was open. I saw my wife and kids in front of the jury members, and a bunch of armed deputies running toward them. She caught the cell phone as I tossed it to her, feeling relieved that the van keys were in her purse and not my pocket. As more than ten deputies burst into the courtroom looking for heads to thump, I was seated under some of them with a (falsified) peaceful gaze. We all breathed a sigh of relief when the judge didn’t point out individuals to be dragged off to jail, but huried the jury in to their seats. I had seen the jury members through the open door, but they all told the judge that they hadn’t seen or heard anything.
The case for the prosecution was presented by two district attorneys who were very well prepared. The first two witnesses were Planned Parenthood empolyees, Kevin Warner and Julie LaBarr. Under cross-examination by the defense attorney, Miss LaBarr made statements that contradicted her written statement to the police and the recorded conversation from the incident (from a concealed microphone worn by Mr. Warner). When confronted with her lie, Miss LaBarr said, “I was mistaken.”
The attorney pointed it out again and got her to admit to being a liar to the police. Planned Parenthood’s tape played clearly in the courtroom with the evidence, Mrs. Scott’s voice calmly saying, “We have all kinds of help available. … Let your baby live. … Don’t kill your baby.”
The district attorney called a special investigator that they had hired to testify. He had taken photographs and made measurements of the sidewalk where the “crime” had occured.
The defense attorney had Jo testify that she didn’t knowingly come within eight feet of the “victims.” Jo told about her ministry, “Girls respond to someone who cares about them.”
Under cross-examination from the prosecutors, Jo admitted: “I’m trying to save innocent baby boys and girls from being killed. … I’m also there to talk to people about Jesus.”
She was a faithful witness for Jesus Christ and the humanity of preborn children. I was most disappointed that my children weren’t watching and learning. This wasn’t a movie, play, or concert. I was watching a real hero in a real drama, with the lives of children at stake (and two years in prison). Why do people feel the need to go to theaters to have drama or heroics in their lives? Standing up for Jesus where preborn children get their heads cut off will provide more than enough real action.
The defense case rested after proving that the star witness for the prosecution admitted lying to the police, that no evidence was presented that this was a licensed medical facility (a necessary point in the law), and that the defendent didn’t “knowingly” come within eight feet (the word “knowingly” is also in the law).
The jury went into their room and quickly returned with a verdict of guilty. The judge sentenced Jo to court costs and 180 days in jail, suspended unless she is arrested and convicted within one year. A top priority for Planned Parenthood this next year will be to try to get Jo arrested again for something. Will you pray for her?
The morning after the trial, Jo was back out on the street, sidewalk counseling in front of Planned Parenthood. She was telling people about the love of Jesus, the preciousness of children, and the alternatives to “abortion.”
Duty. Honor. Sacrifice. Here it is, right in front of us. And, I’m training my children to cherish the pro-life heroes I put before them.blog comments powered by Disqus