Take Me to Church…Online

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At a time when society is experiencing a heightened degree of anxiety, many folks appear to be turning inward in search of the faith that they knew as a little child.

Our country has a treasure chest of faith traditions that are proving to be invaluable during these trying times in which we now find ourselves.

As human beings we need one another. This is a self-evident statement. Nevertheless it is a soothing one when freely acknowledged to self and others.

We have been forced to remain separate, but through the isolating experience we seem to have gained a greater appreciation for loved ones, colleagues, and even would-be friends.

While getting in touch with our most basic needs, many of us have discovered that the need to be together in worship is greater than we had ever imagined.

Saving grace to the rescue. Although our houses of worship have had to close their physical doors, digital windows the internet-over have been flung wide open.

Those, who for whatever reasons, had stopped attending holy wooden, steel, and brick and mortar structures are now filling digital pews in greater and greater numbers, thanks to online streaming and on demand viewing.

Ministry Brands is a leading provider of software for online religious streaming for churches, ministries, and faith-based organizations in the United States and Canada.

As indicated in a recent release by the company, its online service, ChurchStreaming.TV, reported an unprecedented surge in internet worship, due to the lack of availability of physical worship facilities during this period of home “sheltering.”

Amazingly, the streaming service has quadrupled its internet usage over the same period in 2019.

Life.Church is an evangelical multi-site worship center that serves congregants at 34 locations in 10 Midwest states. The church created technology back in 2006, Church Online Platform, which facilitates online services and makes it available to other churches free of charge.

Online church attendance through Life.Church’s platform has continued to increase significantly, breaking records with each consecutive weekend that passes. The church indicated in a news release that more than 7 million people attended services during the March 21-22 weekend, which was almost double the participation of the previous weekend. Thousands of new churches have been signing up to use the Life.Church technology.

Easter is rapidly approaching, which for many people is the highest of holy days. It remains the largest worship attendance day for Christians of all denominations.

Churches, ministries, and faith-based communities of all sizes are preparing for the challenge of holding Easter Sunday services while still practicing distancing. Online worship is the answer to many a prayer.

One of the most influential Christian congregations in Hollywood, Churchhome, is perhaps best known for its services held at a theater in Beverly Hills, where the front rows are reserved for celebrities.

In conventional times, the church draws thousands of people to its five locations spread throughout California and Washington.

“I think we have an opportunity, actually, to engage at a deeper level,” Churchome lead pastor Judah Smith told Fox News. “We’re finding that actually being home, engaging face-to-face is going to lead us actually to an interesting place in faith and I think will change how we worship going forward.”

Chruchhome, Zoe Church, Mosaic, Radius, VOUS, and Hillsong, are among the new breed of trendy worship centers that are attracting the famous. These churches have somewhat of an advantage over the more traditional denominations, because they have always incorporated the internet in their ministries, via online platforms and apps.

In addition to churches providing digital alternatives, an increasing number of pastors have turned to a much older concept to gather together their congregants; that being the drive-in venue. Churchgoers are driving into church parking lots, maintaining the appropriate distance from adjacent cars, and turning their radios on to listen to sermons. Some drive-in theaters that are now barred from showing movies are instead opening up their premises for local churches to utilize.

Although the future remains uncertain, new blessings will undoubtedly continue to emerge in this period of worship innovation.

In an article in Christianity Today, David Taylor, an assistant professor of theology at Fuller Seminary, writes, “I’ve discovered recently that my prejudices against media technology reflect an embarrassing ignorance about how such technologies might serve the deaf, the elderly, the homebound.”

Taylor adds, “Consider, then, not how this season of experimentation will make people woefully dependent on disembodied technologies, but rather how it may bring to your attention the people in your community who will be blessed long-term by adjustments that you make.”

Hope to see you at the online altar.

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Hope for a Coronavirus Cure

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In what seems like a split second, life has become very different from what it once was for America and the world.

Despite the surreal changes that COVID-19 has thrust upon us, all that we really need now is a hope that towers over fear.

This type of hope just may have arrived in the form of a medication that actor-producer Daniel Dae Kim describes as the “secret weapon” that helped him recover from the coronavirus.

Best known for his roles in “Lost” and “Hawaii Five-0,” Kim is also currently producing the television series “The Good Doctor.”

During the recent treatment of his coronavirus condition, Kim’s own good doctor prescribed him a “drug cocktail” that consisted of the antiviral medicine TamiFlu, a bacterial antibiotic Azithromycin, a lung disease inhaler treatment Glycopyrrolate, and the antimalarial drug Hydroxychloroquine.

Taking to his Instagram account, Kim revealed that he did not require any hospitalization and now feels “back to normal.”

He is presently displaying “no symptoms” other than a bit of congestion and is crediting the drug Hydroxychloroquine as the stealth remedy that placed him on the path to recovery.

“I am happy to report that my progress has continued and I practically feel back to normal. I am lucky enough to be in the 80% of diagnosed cases that have not required hospitalization,” Kim said in his Instagram video.

He also pointed out that Hydroxychloroquine was used with “great success in Korea in their fight against the coronavirus.”

President Donald Trump made mention of the drug during a recent White House press conference.

“This would be a gift from heaven,” the president said. “This would be a gift from God if it works. We are going to pray to God that it does work.”

Following the press conference, NBC News reporter Peter Alexander lodged an accusation against the president, stating that he was giving people a “false sense of hope.” Numerous media outlets repeated the outrageous line.

The truth is Hydroxychloroquine has been used for many decades to treat malaria and is already approved by the FDA for this purpose.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also invoked the virtue of hope at the daily White House press briefing.

“The president is talking about hope for people and it’s not an unreasonable thing to hope for people,” Dr. Fauci said.

Kim was of the belief that the evidence for the drug’s effectiveness was anecdotal. He wrapped up his Instagram footage with the statement, “Well, add my name to those personal accounts because I am feeling better.”

It is important to note that there is much more than mere anecdotal evidence for the antimalarial drug’s use on COVID-19. A study was conducted in Marseilles, France, which found that 70 percent of coronavirus patients treated with Hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic Azithromycin tested negative for the virus by the sixth day of treatment.

Critics point out that the study was small in scope, consisting of 20 treated patients. However, a rate of 14 out of 20 cures should not be cast aside as insignificant.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is not accepting the “false hope” rhetoric. New York will begin implementing trials with the drug and has acquired 70,000 Hydroxychloroquine, 10,000 Zithromax (a.k.a., Azithromycin), and 750,000 Chloroquine from the Federal Government, with the trials to commence on Tuesday.

Pharmaceutical company Mylan is not accepting the “false hope” label either. The manufacturer’s plant, located in Morgantown, West Virginia, is set to immediately restart production of Hydroxychloroquine.

The Israeli generic drug company Teva sees hope in Hydroxychloroquine and is stepping up the production of the antimalarial drug.

Also added to the hopeful list is the country of Australia. A group of patients has been successfully treated in a trial using a combination of the anti-HIV medication Kaletra (a.k.a., Lopinavir or Ritonavir) and Hydroxychloroquine. All patients experienced a complete recovery. Consequently, the Aussies have decided to distribute these drugs to coronavirus patients in 50 hospitals nationwide.

While it is true that we currently do not have an effective treatment available to combat the new strain of the virus, Hydroxychloroquine, when used in combination with either the antibiotic or the HIV medication, is proving to be effective and needs to be made available as a treatment option in the U.S. as soon as possible.

Thanking God for the researchers who are tirelessly working to find a cure and for a president who for over three years has epitomized the hope that towers over fear.

President Trump Shows Real Leadership in Coronavirus Response

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President Donald Trump’s rough and tumble experience in the business world of Manhattan’s real estate market came into full view in the recent launch of a series of federal actions to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Shortly after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus to be a global pandemic, President Trump began a threefold engagement in the battle against the outbreak. He unveiled an innovative plan that brought in the private sector in the form of some of the nation’s largest companies to work alongside government to get our country back on a healthy footing.

To allow for the speedy production of coronavirus tests, the Trump administration cut out the red tape and enlisted companies with private labs to effectuate the tests.

Also brought in were leaders of some of the country’s most significant enterprises in order to initiate a public-private plan that could address the nation’s concerns and mitigate the mainstream media-prompted anxiety that had heightened over the virus.

President Trump and his staffers engaged in a series of meetings with business leaders from various relevant industries. Multiple agreements with major firms were successfully negotiated in order to provide, among other crucial protocol, coronavirus testing for Americans.

As a beneficial result of negotiated deals, Target and Walmart will be contributing parking lot space for drive-through testing facilities. Google, via a subsidiary, will work on the construction of a website, which will enable individuals to determine whether a test is needed, and if so, directions to the nearest testing location will be provided.

Other companies joining in with the pro-active efforts include Swiss drugmaker Roche, which received a fast track FDA approval to produce a new coronavirus test. Thermo Fisher will also provide tests. LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics offered their labs for testing purposes. And LHC Group, a company that provides home health services, will provide testing to the homebound.

The facilitation of government working together in conjunction with private enterprise is President Trump’s forte. Reassuring for the nation is the fact that the partnership concept has a demonstrated track record. In times of war, private industry proved to be indispensable in helping to defend the country. No doubt the business sector will once again play a vital role.

President Trump’s acumen in the art of the deal has additionally come to the fore as he has overseen negotiations for a compromise bill, legislation that was passed by the House and is likely to be expeditiously passed by the Senate and signed into law.

The legislation adds significant power to the nation’s efforts to fight the coronavirus as well as provide additional protections with regard to the economy. Paid sick leave, no-cost coronavirus testing, enhanced unemployment insurance, and the provision of additional Medicaid payments in the event of a rise in hospital patients are part of a comprehensive plan.

Passage of the bill in the House came to fruition only after marathon negotiating sessions had materialized. The White House and the GOP were attentive to the necessity of maintaining a cooperative attitude so that a swift agreement could be reached. For example, the inclusion of paid sick leave was secured via the negotiated item of granting employers offsetting tax credits in order to ease the burdens of small business owners.

“People really pulled together. Nice to see!” President Trump tweeted.

It appears likely that the Senate will soon pass the bill.

Excluded from the measure is President Trump’s desired provision of granting a payroll tax cut for working people. The White House and Republican leadership have likely deferred the payroll tax cut for an inevitable future bill.

The third prong of the administration’s strategy involves an additional $50 billion to be made available via President Trump’s State of Emergency declaration.

All in all, the president’s expert leadership should allow the country to recover in the most salutary of ways as together we shake off negativity and live in the light.

Celebrities Hit New Low with Face Mask Selfies

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For weeks now the Democrats, complicit media, and activist resistors of all shapes and sizes have been encouraging the public to obsess along with them over the corona flu.

Media coverage has been non-stop, despite the fact that the percentage of Americans who have recently contracted the coronavirus remains a miniscule portion of the population.

As the left-tilted media are prone to do, reporting on the health-related issue has been anything but measured. Instead it has been hyperbolic in tone and frantic in nature, seemingly intended to eliminate reason and heighten fear in individuals and the public at large.

Media stories that have been put out have spread as swiftly as pre-school sniffles, with the negative impact bulldozing its way from Wall Street to Walmart. There have been market reactions, conference re-schedulings, school closings, sporting cancellations, movie postponements, and the like, all having an unsettling ripple effect of disruption, disquiet, and dismay.

Media images often embedded in recent coronavirus stories show people wearing face masks while engaging in otherwise normal activity. This, among other things, has contributed to a sort of panic buying of a variety of sanitizing agents as well as surgical and N95 respirator masks.

Leave it to celebrities in Hollywood to seize the self-centered moment. Many stars have joined in to assist in fanning the flames of fear and leading folks astray. Social media is their current marketing tool of choice.

The latest celebrity fad is to use social media to share a face mask selfie. Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Hudson, Kim Kardashian-West, Steve Harvey, OJ Simpson, Bella Hadid, Selena Gomez, and Brody Jenner have all posed for pictures in which they have partially hidden their features with face masks. Frequently accompanying their photos is a caption about the virus.

The social media posts are, at a minimum, a disservice to the public, according to experts. Masks will not protect an individual from contracting the virus.

Eli Perencevich, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Iowa and an infection specialist, explained the following via Twitter: “Masks won’t protect the average person. Because they will wear them incorrectly and autocontaminate themselves.”

Professor Perencevich told Forbes that the average healthy person has no need to don a mask. “There’s no evidence that wearing masks on healthy people will protect them,” he said.

Experts also point out that when the public contributes to a run on masks, as has recently been seen, it serves to create a shortage for those who actually need them and are expert in employing them — the medical professionals.

The misinformation that is making its way across the internet prompted the U.S. surgeon general to issue a statement urging people to “STOP BUYING MASKS!”; this is because of the lack of effectiveness of the masks with regard to the general public and the necessity to ensure their availability for health care providers.

The masked selfies by celebrities seem to have added to the anxiety of individuals over their coronavirus-related readiness, or lack thereof.

Harvey and his wife were shown sporting bedazzled masks.

Simpson posted a picture of himself wearing a white mask while stockpiling at Costco.

Paltrow posted a selfie on Instagram modeling a black mask on a flight to France. Her caption cited the 2011 movie in which she starred, “Contagion.”

“I’ve already been in this movie,” Paltrow wrote.

There was, of course, the spewing of obligatory Hollywood hate for President Donald Trump and growing animosity for Vice President Mike Pence. The online poison concerning the coronavirus added further fuel to the five-alarm fire.

Chelsea Handler, Rosie O’Donnell, Jeffrey Wright, Cher, Bradley Whitford, Bette Midler, Jason Alexander, Ron Perlman, Michael Ian Black, Barbra Streisand, John Leguizamo, Rob Reiner, Minnie Driver, Alyssa Milano, and Debra Messing repeated numerous false claims about the president and vice president and response to the public health problem.

Best to ignore Hollywood’s hype and hate. Instead we can remember to wash our hands often and fold them in prayer for the restoration of health and return to sanity.

Democrats and Media Allies Stoke Coronavirus Fears

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As the saying goes, “If it bleeds it leads.”

It has been this way across history for the dominant media of the day.

In their endless quest for the most compelling stories, natural disasters, widespread tragedy, political intrigue, criminal conduct, and the like have routinely provided the news and entertainment story fodder.

However, today’s times are unlike any that our country has previously experienced. This is mainly due to the fact that the dominant news and entertainment media have undergone a dramatic change in form and substance. The info-tainment industries have actually devolved in a way never anticipated, and unfortunately they have become an apparatus of one political party in particular, the Democratic Party.

In relation to the current reigning story, COVID-19, commonly referred to as the coronavirus, the Democrats and their news and entertainment cohorts have been working overtime to ratchet up the levels of public anxiety and alarm.

No doubt both the Democrats’ rhetoric and the media coverage of the coronavirus outbreak have grown increasingly duplicitous. Unfortunately, this is diametrically opposed to what is needed for our society to keep things in proper perspective, remain productive, and maintain a healthy outlook.

It is an axiom that when something poses a risk to the population, dissemination of accurate and objective information is key to reaching a solution. Presently, however, a kind of hysteria surrounding the coronavirus has been generated by partisan news media that have the ultimate goal of bringing down the approval ratings of President Donald Trump.

Democrats across the left-leaning spectrum and their willing media accomplices have politicized the current health-related issue to a sufficient degree that susceptible individuals have been driven into a state of uncertainty about their personal health and that of their families.

Such confusion about one’s personal circumstances may oftentimes lead to feelings of fear and apprehension that are not easily remedied even when the truth emerges.

With full knowledge that the public would likely overreact to exaggerated reporting, much of the news media have amplified the scare factor of the coronavirus story, creating a distorted perception in the minds of the public. The 24-hour cable news cycle and the social media have been working in conjunction to reinforce the misleading message.

Fear mongering by the left-leaning media is nothing new. The difference this time around, though, is that the media have abandoned all pretense of conveying factual information. They seem to have adopted a single rule with which to measure a publication’s worthiness: Will the “story” hurt President Trump? If the answer is yes, run with it.

Anything that can be blamed on the president will be.

Case in point: The U.S. newspaper of record, the New York Times, published a headline in its op-ed section that read, “Let’s call it Trump virus. If you’re feeling awful, you know who to blame.”

At a recent rally, President Trump brought up the way in which the coronavirus has been publicly discussed, highlighting a particular focus on an attempt by Democrats to massage the public psyche.

“Now, the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus…” Trump told the crowd.

The president then spoke about an individual who had suggested that the Democrats were perpetrating a hoax similar to the now-discredited Russia collusion narrative.

“One of my people came up to me and said, ‘Mr. President, they tried to beat you on Russia, Russia, Russia…they tried the impeachment hoax… they tried it over and over and they’ve been doing it since you got in…this is their new hoax.’”

When looked at in context, one should logically conclude that President Trump was referring to the Democrat and media attempts to accuse the administration of mishandling the response to the coronavirus. Rarely relying on logic, the left instead proceeded to mischaracterize his comment, taking aim directly at the word “hoax.”

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank tweeted, “Remember this moment: Trump in South Carolina just called the coronavirus a hoax.”

Ken Dilanian, a correspondent for NBC News, used his Twitter account to perpetuate the falsehood by posting, “Trump calls coronavirus Democrats’ ‘new hoax.’”

Other news outlets used distorted and misleading headlines to convey the notion that the president, shortly after creating a task force to deal with the coronavirus, called the virus itself a “hoax.”

Democrat House member Ted Lieu tweeted, “Dear @realDonaldTrump: I hope you apologize for using the term ‘new hoax’ in connection with the #coronavirus outbreak.”

Democrat presidential candidates Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg, and recent exiter Pete Buttigieg jumped in to repeat the lie.

The truth is no action that the president would have taken to respond to the coronavirus would have satisfied Democrats or the media.

Interestingly, ignored by the same partisan figures are the hundreds of thousands of lives lost each year due to tuberculosis and AIDS, as well as the tens of thousands who die because of the flu.

Another truth nugget is that our country has an amazing track record of dealing with the risk of contagious diseases. Ebola, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) were all handled with skill and expertise and were significantly contained.

When the facts are fully known, expect the U.S. response to the coronavirus to be successful.

Watch also for the doomsday predictions given by Democrat politicians and left-leaning media to end up on top of a trash heap of failed hoaxes.

Justice Sotomayor Criticizes Colleagues

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In a recent dissent to a Supreme Court decision, Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor crossed the bounds of judicial norms by accusing her fellow Supreme Court colleagues of being biased toward the Trump administration in carrying out their judicial work.

The case before the High Court, Wolf v. Cook County, deals with circumstances in which the government could deny visas or green cards to non-citizens who are looking to enter the United States.

In 2019 the Trump administration, via the Department of Homeland Security, issued a new rule to be used for the purposes of determining whether an individual could be granted legal entry into the United States.

The executive branch already had the authority to determine whether an individual who applies to enter the country is likely to become a “public charge,” i.e., a person “primarily dependent on the government for subsistence.”

However, certain non-cash financial aid items, such as food stamps, housing, and health care assistance, were not previously taken into account for such purposes, but were included under the new Trump administration rule.

Prior to hearing this case, the High Court had blocked two nationwide injunctions that were issued by lower courts, resulting in the enforcement of the new rule. However, a third injunction, which was limited only to Illinois, remained in effect, barring the implementation of the new rule in that state.

The Trump administration filed an application with the High Court for an emergency stay, which requested that the Justices block the Illinois injunction that allowed Illinois to continue to exclude non-cash financial aid items from being a part of the dependency assessment.

The High Court’s decision to halt the Illinois injunction and allow the state to consider non-cash financial aid thus enabled federal authorities to enforce the new policy in Illinois.

In her dissent, Justice Sotomayor enlisted a highly unusual comparison to bolster her argument against the majority’s approach to the government’s stay applications. Drawing similarities to arguments brought by those advocating for death row inmates, Justice Sotomayor accused fellow members of the High Court of showing greater concern for President Donald Trump than for convicts facing execution.

In an apparent incrimination of five of her fellow colleagues, Justice Sotomayor alleged that they had politicized their rulings.

Justice Sotomayor had voted in the subject case, Wolf v. Cook County, along with three Democrat-appointed Justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan.

As a Member of the Bar of the Supreme Court, I have had the privilege of having dozens of cases come before the High Court and found it disconcerting to read that Justice Sotomayor had written that the five Republican-appointed Justices were “putting a thumb on the scale in favor” of the Trump administration.

There is an unspoken yet palpable expectation that political opinion as it may potentially relate to a judicial ruling would be conspicuously left behind at the courthouse steps.

In addition, Justice Sotomayor was highly critical of the frequency of the relief from the High Court, in the form of stays against injunctions, which had been sought by the Trump administration.

“Claiming one emergency after another, the Government has recently sought stays in an unprecedented number of cases, demanding immediate attention and consuming limited Court resources in each,” Justice Sotomayor wrote. She went on to assert that the High Court is biased in favor of the Trump administration when it comes to these stay applications.

The notion asserted by Justice Sotomayor that the Republican-appointed justices on the High Court are politically biased does not appear to square with the records of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch.

In 2012, Chief Justice Roberts, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, wrote the majority decision in favor of the Affordable Care Act, which was a clear departure from conservative ideology. And Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch, both of whom were appointed by President Trump, have sided at times with the four Democrat-appointed justices in relation to several cases.

In her recent writing, Justice Sotomayor appears not to have taken into account the reason for the larger number of stay applications. The increase is due to the unprecedented use of the federal courts by opponents of the president.

In 2019, during a speech to the American Law Institute, Attorney General William Barr cited the widespread use during President Trump’s term of nationwide injunctions that affect presidential policies.

The numbers correspond with the misuse of the judiciary in an unparalleled way. During the entire 20th century, courts issued just 27 nationwide injunctions of this type; however, in the three short years that President Trump has occupied the Oval Office, activist judges have attempted to hamper his administration with 40 nationwide injunctions.

“When a nationwide injunction constrains a significant executive policy, the Justice Department has little choice but to seek emergency relief,” Attorney General Barr noted. “… the alternative is for the government to wait months or years for appeals to run their course before the executive may implement its policy at all.”

No Equal Justice, No Freedom

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Those who administer criminal justice in our country have historically sought to be consistent with the fundamental American tenet that all are “created equal.”

In recent times, though, criminal laws have been applied by powerful institutions in a manner that is dramatically unbalanced, and the contrast has been jarring.

Former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone was taken into custody in a mode that has traditionally been reserved for the most dangerous criminals. Twenty-nine heavily armed agents, 17 vehicles, a helicopter, and two amphibious units were deployed to carry out a pre-dawn raid on a 67 year-old man with no prior criminal record. By the way, CNN had been tipped off, and the tactical team showed up only after cameras were in place.

Stone was aggressively prosecuted for process crimes that had arisen during the investigation. Contrast this with the case of fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who lied under oath while in his official capacity. McCabe was neither arrested nor prosecuted. Instead he was allowed to cash in on his name recognition as a CNN contributor.

It has become crystal clear to anyone who has observed these cases, as well as other high-profile prosecutions or lack thereof, that the criminal justice system has not been equally applied.

Most Americans sense that fairness requires, even demands, a single justice system be firmly in place, as opposed to a multi-tiered one. Denying the constitutional mandate for the “equal protection of the laws” is dangerous to the freedom that our nation treasures.

The guardrail, which stands between our freedom and tyrannical rule, is much thinner than we think. If lack of equality in the administration of criminal law by a government is left unchecked, what will stop that government from engaging in more serious abuses of the legal process?

The use of the criminal justice system as a means of eliminating political opposition is a practice that has been consistently used by totalitarian regimes, and those governments that are on the road to totalitarianism.

The way fully developed unequal justice would manifest itself in a tyrannical regime is via a public trial in which the guilt of the accused is pre-determined by the judicial authorities before the process ever begins, a.k.a., a “show trial.”

By holding a counterfeit trial, an undemocratic government is able to eliminate foes and, at the same time, warn others as to the consequences of dissent or opposition. The misuse of criminal law and procedure is, in fact, the ultimate propaganda.

The world is full of examples of this malevolent misuse of judicial institutions. In Soviet Russia, criminal trials were meticulously staged. If the accused did not admit guilt for fabricated crimes, he or she was deemed to be “uncooperative” and would oftentimes be summarily executed without a public show trial.

In the early 1920s, fake criminal proceedings known as “model trials” were used by communist oppressors to make an example of individuals both in Russia and the Ukraine.

In the 1930s, the cold-blooded dictator Joseph Stalin used faux criminal justice to suppress any possible criticism, opposition, or dissent via the Moscow Trials of the Great Purge. The discredited New York Times reporter Walter Duranty claimed at the time that these due process-free trials were actually fair.

During the 1950s, after the communists took control of China, the Communist Party under Mao Zedong charged thousands of people with crimes and, after show trials, many ended with a death sentence.

In 1989 the memorable Tiananmen Square student-led protests took place. The demonstrations were indelibly stamped in the minds of Americans when video footage and photographs emerged of a lone man standing in front of a column of tanks. Show trials were given to many of the protestors who were arrested and charged as communist-termed “rioters and counter-revolutionaries.”

Between 1933 and 1945, the Nazi government established a large number of “special courts” that used made-up crimes to wage pre-determined prosecutions on individuals who were perceived as hostile to the regime. Thousands of German lives were taken on the orders of the “special courts.”

These examples compel us to pursue the ideals that are reflected in our founding documents and legal traditions.

A phrase that sums up the legal foundation of fairness is engraved on the front of the United States Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. It reads “EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW.”

These words re-phrase the Court’s unanimous decision applying the Fourteenth Amendment, when then-Chief Justice Melville Fuller wrote that “…no State can deprive particular persons or classes of persons of equal and impartial justice under the law.”