New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 25, 1987, New Braunfels, Texas
Heraid-Ze/funp, New Braunfels, Texas
Have Kramer, Editor and Publisher Jim Webre, Managing Editor
Wednesday, February 25,1987Mike Rovko
Roberts and the devil
I don’t know how the Rev. Oral Roberts puts up with It. It It isn't ; pine thing, it's another.
Just the other night, he was on TV describing a terrifying experience he had in his own bedroom.
“The devil came to my room.” he Mid. “And I felt those hands on my throat, and he was choking the life out of me. I yelled to my wife, ’Honey, come.’.”
His wife rushed into the room.
“She laid her hands on me and rebuked the devil,” Roberts said, “and commanded the devil to get out of my room. I began to breathe and came out of my bed strong.”
That shows how lucky a man is to have a wife with good hearing — especially one who can rebuke the devil and make the nasty bugger take a walk. Some lazy woman might have slept through the whole thing.
Roberts told this story to show how difficult his life has been since he revealed that god has been putting the arm on him to raise money
As many of us know, some weeks ago the TV preacher revealed that God had warned him that if he didn’t raise $8 million for worthy causes by the end of March, he would die.
That kind of deadline can’t be an edsy thing to live with. Ifs one thing to get a computerized letter from American Express saying that you are a week overdue in paying for your htgh*livtng follies.
Or to have a bartender walk over and My: “I got these chits you signed the other night when you were in here and bought drinks for all those ... uh ... you remember? You wanna square it?”
But. it's something else when God himself tells you to come up with eight really big ones or else.
Making it even worse were those who doubted Roberts Other preachers said God is not an extortionist. God is not a terrorist. God doesn’t tell TV preachers to raise money or die.
This led me to urge people to withhold their contributions. As much as I admire Roberts. I had to point oui that if he fails to raise the money and drops dead on March 31. he will prove the skeptics wrong and cause a mass conversion of atheists, agnostics and other wandering souls.
But now we have this new element — Roberts being choked in his bedroom by the devil.
How much. I ask. can a man be expected to tolerate?
On the one hand, he has God telling him to hustle his TV congregation for eight mill or be wafted off to heaven.
Now. SS million isn't what it used to be. but ifs still a tidy sum And
ifs not like Roberts is Ivan Boesky and can run a scam on a bunch of Wall Street chumps. He has to de pend on the kindness of little old ladies watching TV in boardinghouses Many of them don’t have checking accounts. They have to totter to the currency exchange to get money orders
So, there is poor Oral, counting up all these little money orders, with God peeking over his shoulder, poised to zap him That’s pressure.
And after a hard day, what does he get? He goes home, eats dinner, tells his wife, “Don't worry, we’ve still got more than a month,” and turns in for a good night's sleep.
Under these trying circumstances. that's the least a preacher is entitled to — a good night's sleep But. as John Belushi would have said, Nooooooooo He wakes up in the middle of the night and there is the devil squeezing his throat.
I could understand how someone with a weaker spirit might say: “Hey. I’ve had it with the preacher business. Starting tomorrow, I sell used cars "
And who could blame him? I ve known corporate creatures who had nervous breakdowns because they weren't promoted from fourth vice president to third vice president Here we have a man who is being threatened by God with death Just when the golf season is starting — and along comes the devil chok ing him in his bedroom Roberts didn't say how he know it was the devil Assuming he doesn't use a night light. I would think that most furtive characters who choke you in your bed would look alike Maybe it was just a neighborhood mugger
But. I'll take his word that it was the devil Maybe the guy’s eyes glowed in the dark which would be a tipoff.
I'm just glad that his wife was there to rebuke the devil I just wish he had said what form the rebuke took
Under the circumstances does a wife say: You nasty thing. you.
take your hands off my husband s throat Are you some kind of pervert'”'
With five or six weeks belute God's deadline wlto knows what will happen next ’ Demons with pit chforks in tile breakfast nook? Underworld fiends in the family room'’
It isn’t easy tieing Oral Roberts or his wife Maybe they ought to buy a big mean dog
Gov Bill Clements Governor'sOffice State Capital Austin, Texas 78711 U.S. Rep. Mac Sweeney (Guadalupe County)
United States House OI Representatives 1713 Longworth House Office Bldg. Washington, D C 20515
U S. Rep. Lamar Smith United States House of Representatives SO* Cannon House Washington, D C 30S1S State Rep. Edmund Kuempai Texas House of Representatives P O Box 3910 Austin. Texas 78789
U S. Sen Phil Gramm United States Senate 370 Russell Senate Bldg Washington D C 20510 State Sen. Judith Zaffinni Capitol Station P O. Box 12068 Austin, Texas 78711 State Sen William Sims Capitol Station P O. Box 12068 Austin, Texas 78711 U S. Sen Lloyd Bentsen United States Senate 703 Hart Senate Bldg Washington. D C Tosin Ronald Reagan The President of the United States The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave Washington, D C 20500
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James K ilpatrick
Council should leave his honor alone
WASHINGTON Akee L Hastings is identified by his counsel as a black, liberal, activist Democrat In 1979. upon his nomination by Jimmy Carter. Hastings became a U S District judge for Hie Soulhei n District uf Florida Now the judge is in a heap of trouble The Judicial Council for the I Itll < ii coit has recommended that he be imp* a< lied.
Ifs a hum rap On tin* record. Hastings is not my kind of judge but no matter Its time for his fellow judges to get off his back You will recall that just a few months ago. the House and Senate went through the agonizing process of impeaching and conviction Judge Harry Claiborne of Nevada The Claiborne case and Hie Hasting ray ale wholly different C laiborne was indicted for income tax evasion Ile was convicted ai Kl sentenced to prison The rase against him was proved not merely beyond a reasonable ckniM bul beyond the shadow of a doubt
Hastings was indicted in December 1981 for conspiracy to accept a bribe He went on trial in February 1983 Hastings was not convicted He was acquitted Hie government s evidence against him was v.iaillv circumstantial. Not one tainted dune was traced lo Hastings pocket.
Notwithstanding this jury verdict two of his fellow judges vt rn motion a prolonged investigation of tile allegations against him A five man committee spent months compiling a 381-page report, accompanied by 2,800 exhibits and almost 4.900 pages of transcript, ail intended to si low that Hie jury verdict was a miscarriage of
justice. The committee concluded that Hastings had fabricated certain evidence at his trial. The Judicial Council for the lith Circuit accepted the committee's recomendation that Hastings be impeached. The matter now is pending before the Judicial Conference of the United States. In mid-March the conference Is expected to act upon the recommendation.
Nothing quite like the Hastings case ever has appeared in the annals of jurisprudence. The post-trial investigation and recommendation raise constitutional questions of grave importance Some questions involve the impeachment process: How did the judiciary get into the act? Under the Constitution, impeachment is solely the responsibility of the House of Representatives.
Other questions go to the issue of double jeopardy. "No person shall be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.’’ That is what the Constitution commands. Technically speaking, a trial after impeachment is not a criminal prosecution; it is a proceeding that may result in removal from office. The Constitution contemplates that in the event of conviction by the Senate, “the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgement and punishment. according to law."
But Hastings already has been subjected to indictment, trial and judgment according to the law. After a lengthy trial, vigorusly prosecuted by the government, a jury set Hastings free. The government had its opportunity to prove
Hastings guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and the government failed This ought to be an end to it. It seems to me patently unfair for the government. through the lith Circuit Judicial Council. to pursue the charges turther. A jury’s verdict, after a strongly contested trial, ought to count for something.
Tile charge against Hastings was to this effect: that a prominent lawyer in Washington, William Borders, had become Hastings’ close friend; that in the spring of 1981 Hastings presided over the trial of Thomas and Frank Romano under the federal ant-racketeering act; that the Romanos were convicted by a jury; that Judge Hastings ordered the defendants to forfeit 8846,000 in cash to the government; that Borders boasted to underworld figures of his ability to “fix" cases in federal courts, that Borders entered into a criminal conspiracy involving a bribe of $150,000 to get the Romans’ property returned and their sentences made minimal.
Hastings did indeed order the defendants' cash returned, but only because two decisions of the lith Circuit required him to do so. He did not treat the defendants lightly; he sentenced them to three yeais in prison Borders was arrested red-handed with marked money given to him by a disguised FBI agent. He subsequently was con victed. No money ever went to Hastings.
The judge's position is that he was the innocent victim of Borders' scam operation. Ifs a plausible defense. The jury believed it. Absent overwhelming evidence of Hastings’ perjury, that should suffice.
The irony of urging ohoiee for institutions
By DOUGLAS JOHNSON Legislative Director National Right to I Ile Committee At the beginning of the 99th Congress two years ago. a bill called the “Civil Rights Restoration Act" looked like a winner The bill’s sponsors said that it was a simple measuie to beef up
four federal civil rights laws. It was endorsed by over 200 liberal organizations and by half the members of Congress But a storm of controversy erupted when organizations opposed to abortion realized that one section of the bill would compel many colleges and hospitals to provide abortions.
In the subsequent legislative battle - which pitted the U.S. Catholic Conference, the National Association of Evangelicals, and the National Right to Life Commune (NRLC) against the National Organization for Women and its allies - the “Restoration Act" died.
Legally, the debate centers on a 1972 law called Title IX, which prohibits discrimination “on the basis of sex" in federally-funded educational programs During the Ford Administration, anonymous federal bureaucrats issued regulations which “interpreted" Title IX to compel colleges which receive federal funds to pay for elective abortions for their students and staff.
That interpretation wa* adapted in flagrant disregard of congressional intent. Abortion wee illegal In most states when Congress enacted Title IX In 1972 Obviously. Congress did not think that by banning “sex discrimination" it was requiring colleges ta pay for abortions. Nevertheless, th* abortion regula
tions have had legal force of law for the past 12 years
The "Restoration Act” would greatly expand the reach of federal anti-discrimination laws, Including Title IX Under the bill. Title IX (and the abortions regulations) would apply to thousands of institutions not currently covered - including many hospitals Advocates of the "Restoration Act” acknowledge that any hospital with even one medical student or nursing student on staff would be covered by the btu.
Many hospitals do not currently provide abortions because of religious afUistion, community sentiment. opposition by nurses, or for other reasons. Such “anti-abortion” hospitals would be vulnerable to “sex discrimination” lawsuits if the bill Is enacted.
At the urging of the U.S. Catholic Conference end other anti abortion groups, a majority of members of the House of Representatives were prepared to add an “abortion-neutral” amendment to the Restoration Act during 1908. Under the amendment, hoqUtals and colleges could either offer or not offer abortion et their option.
The abortion-neutral revision has drawn tbs support of many college and hospital administrators who recognized the “CtvU Rights Raetorition Act” es a threat to their own dvU rights.
For example, the New York State Council of Catholic Hospitals adopted a resolution calling the amendment “absolutely necessary if institutions which have implemented policies against abortion are to remain free of discrimination
When the sponsors of the bill were unable to muster the votes to defeat the abortion amendment during 1986. they scuttled their own bill
With a new Congress underway, the Restoration Act has been reintroduced Already, lobbyists for liberal groups are warning congressmen that support for the abortion-neutral amendment to the bill will be interpreted as opposition to “civil rights ”
That approach is unlikely to persuade the many congressmen who favor expansion of civil rights laws, btu who oppose abortion. A solid majority of current House members gave consistently voted against ■tract federal funding of abortion. It would clearly be Inconsistent for them to enact a bill which would penalize colleges end hospitals for refusing to subsidize abortion.
The renewed battle will be bitter, but the anti-abortion forces will prevail. Unless the liberal coalition gives up Its effort to equate antiabortion sentiment with sex discrimination, the CtvU Rialto Restoration Act is heeded for another crash.