Monday, March 28, 2005

Culture Of Life and the Sex Offender

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There is nothing poetic in suffering. Pain endured out of some sort of bravery is as absurd as keeping someone alive who has no chance at retaining consciousness. Eight or nine days without food or water is extreme but is it so extreme for a body who has no idea that it is even functioning? The right wing, Culture of Lifers has said they will look at the actions of the Supreme Court in the Terri Schiavo matter closely. When Judge Rehnquist finally dies or resigns the pressure will be on President Bush to appoint someone his most ardent supporters will approve of. In the years to come it will not be good enough to profess to be a conservative, you will have to state categorically that you are a card carrying member of the Culture of Life. That means that in no circumstances do you side with anyone besides the zealots of the born again Christians now standing outside the Hospice in Florida.
One protestor, one Culture of Life member that has appeared on camera to support the religious right and the case for Terri Schiavo is Scott Heldrith, who is a registered sex offender. Editor and Publisher reports, “As protests outside the hospice housing Terri Schiavo in her final days mounted last week, numerous newspaper reports, many based on an Associated Press account, mentioned or quoted 10-year-old Joshua Heldreth and/or his father, Scott Heldreth. Josh was one of several youngsters arrested for crossing police lines in Pinellas Park, Fla., in an effort to take water to Schiavo. None of the stories revealed that Scott Heldreth, a religious activist and anti-abortion crusader, is a registered sex offender in Florida-- until The Charlotte Observer mentioned it on Sunday.”

The Culture of Life, the religious right have held signs and supported the words of a registered sex offender in their fervent prayers and emotionally draining nodding of heads and holding up of vigils. Who knows what Heldrith has done to his own son? Editor and Publisher also reports, “The former Naperville, Fla., resident remains listed on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's sex offender registry,” the Observer reported, “but he's not registered on North Carolina's; the N.C. equivalent applies to offenders convicted on or after Jan. 1, 1996.”According to the story, Heldreth claimed that his religious beliefs came to him while in jail. Before then, he said, "I basically agreed with everyone trying to kill Terri Schiavo." Then, he said, he accepted Christ and turned his life around.Heldreth declined to discuss the specifics of the incident that led to his jail time. Online research shows that Heldreth was arrested after an incident at Ohio University and charged with two counts of rape and one count of kidnapping."
Convicted of kidnapping, just what agents sent by Governor Jeb Bush wanted to do when they were faced with a wall of deputies from the Sheriff’s department. Governor Bush has got to be kicking the walls of his office that he can’t intervene. There are voters in that crowd of Culture of Life members outside the Hospice. Voters that backed his brother campaign for the presidency twice, the sea of white faces in the crowd is representative of this. Scott Heldrith whose sex crimes have gotten him listed as a sex offender in Florida but not in North Carolina where he lives protests for Congress to use the law to intervene. While nearby a school of six hundred kids have had to be moved to another location because the scene was to much for them, the signs and the crowd. Never mind that a registered sex offender armed with his son is that near six hundred children under the legal age of eighteen. The Culture of Life has their own religious activist and anti-abortion crusader in the crowd. Anti-Abortion crusader have been known to blow up building that inside housed medical workers they disapproved of, they have been known to kill doctors who performed abortions all in the name of god’s word which these days can be heard as a Culture of Life. How I have waited for the day when the Culture of Lifers would turn on one of their own.

- Chris Mansel

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