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Attorney asked by judge to remove Ash Wednesday observance
Iowa Independent ^ | 02/19/10 | Lynda Waddington

Posted on 02/20/2010 6:28:41 AM PST by Free Vulcan

A Marshall County Attorney in the midst of prosecuting an attempted murder case was asked by the court Wednesday to remove a smudge of ash from his forehead, a Catholic custom done in conjunction with the beginning of Lent.

Conservative writer Ken Black of the Marshalltown Times-Republican reports that Paul Crawford, an assistant county attorney, returned to the courtroom following a lunch break with the ash on his forehead. Catholics place the mark, which is often done in the shape of a cross, on their foreheads as a sign of repentance. The ash itself is often a by-product of the burning of palm crosses from the previous year, mixed lightly with holy water and sacred oils. Many recipients of the mark will wear it until it naturally wears off.

Prior to the jury returning, an attorney for the defense objected to the marking, and indicated that it could influence the jury in the case.

Judge Michael Moon agreed and requested the Crawford remove the smudge before the case proceeded. The attorney did so and the case moved forward without further discussion or incident.


TOPICS: Catholic; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: ashwednesday; christians; church; cross; iowa; law; ruling; state
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For discussion.
1 posted on 02/20/2010 6:28:41 AM PST by Free Vulcan
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To: Free Vulcan

‘Paul Crawford’. a Catholic without conviction. UnF’n believable.< /s>


2 posted on 02/20/2010 6:32:27 AM PST by harpu ( "...it's better to be hated for who you are than loved for someone you're not!")
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To: Free Vulcan

What’s to discuss? It’s prejudicial. The only way it wouldn’t be is if everyone in the court had ash on their foreheads.


3 posted on 02/20/2010 6:33:26 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: Free Vulcan
I saw one of the leftwing atheist Bamanoids on tv the other day, conspicuously displaying ashes. It was most likely recommended by the 'rat consultants as a way to curry favor with those credulous catholic religious clingers in the electorate.
4 posted on 02/20/2010 6:33:33 AM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: Free Vulcan

He could have wiped it off himself without any prompting but this is a matter of religion and the judge had no authority to ask him to take it off.


5 posted on 02/20/2010 6:33:54 AM PST by tiki (True Christians will not deliberately slander or misrepresent others or their beliefs)
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To: 1rudeboy

So you believe that Muslim women should and could be asked to remove their head coverings in a courtroom setting because they are prejudicial?


6 posted on 02/20/2010 6:35:34 AM PST by La Lydia
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To: Free Vulcan

However, Ali Baba can do as he pleases!


7 posted on 02/20/2010 6:35:58 AM PST by SPC CHEESE
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To: tiki

Yea,I wonder what would happened to da judge if it was a yar
mulke or turban?


8 posted on 02/20/2010 6:36:37 AM PST by Dr. Ursus
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To: La Lydia

Yes.


9 posted on 02/20/2010 6:36:46 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: tiki
. . . and the judge had no authority to ask him to take it off.

What? Are you kidding?

10 posted on 02/20/2010 6:37:50 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: Free Vulcan

But burkhas are ok.


11 posted on 02/20/2010 6:38:32 AM PST by bunkerhill7 (God bless)
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To: 1rudeboy
What’s to discuss? It’s prejudicial. The only way it wouldn’t be is if everyone in the court had ash on their foreheads.

Was the case about religion? How is the display of ashes prejudicial in a criminal or civil case NOT involving religion?

12 posted on 02/20/2010 6:38:47 AM PST by raybbr
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To: Free Vulcan

Matthew 6:1 - “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.”


13 posted on 02/20/2010 6:39:26 AM PST by arturo ("A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it." - G.K. Chesterton)
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To: Free Vulcan
Prior to the jury returning, an attorney for the defense objected to the marking, and indicated that it could influence the jury in the case. ... Judge Michael Moon agreed and requested the Crawford remove the smudge before the case proceeded
*** For discussion. ***

Nah. I don't think I'll 'discuss' this. As if I follow the (cough) 'logical' progression of thought where this could (blank) lead, it just may get me banned.

And Saturdays are never a good day to get the zot. Plus it's Lent so I'm tryin' real hard to be nice.

14 posted on 02/20/2010 6:41:11 AM PST by Condor51 (The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits [A. Einstein])
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To: 1rudeboy

Apparently you’re unfamiliar with the phrase “...or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;...”


15 posted on 02/20/2010 6:43:26 AM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: 1rudeboy
In what possible way is it prejudicial?

I'd really like you to lay out the logic behind your statement.

16 posted on 02/20/2010 6:45:16 AM PST by wideawake (Why is it that those who like to be called Constitutionalists know the least about the Constitution?)
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To: raybbr
[Federal] Rule 403. Exclusion of Relevant Evidence on Grounds of Prejudice, Confusion or Waste of Time:
Although relevant, evidence may be excluded if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, or misleading the jury, or by considerations of undue delay, waste of time, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence.

17 posted on 02/20/2010 6:45:59 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: Condor51

How many times have we heard cases where a judge requested a jew to remove his yarmulke in the courtroom because the opposing attorney objected?

It’s bias, the judge was wrong, and the attorney was a coward to removing the ashes.


18 posted on 02/20/2010 6:46:19 AM PST by NoKoolAidforMe (1-20-09--The Beginning of an Error..............1-20-13--Change we can look forward to)
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To: wideawake

see my #17


19 posted on 02/20/2010 6:46:21 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: arturo
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.”

Ashes on one's forehead are hardly a mark of "righteousness" - they are a public admission that one is a sinner.

20 posted on 02/20/2010 6:48:15 AM PST by wideawake (Why is it that those who like to be called Constitutionalists know the least about the Constitution?)
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To: 1rudeboy

And do you really think that is ever going to happen? I don’t. Likewise, no judge is ever going to ask a Jew to remove his yarmulke, or a Hindu the bindi on her forehead. Christians are the only people in this country who cannot freely exercise their religion and signal their religious beliefs.


21 posted on 02/20/2010 6:48:24 AM PST by La Lydia
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To: 1rudeboy

The ashes on the prosecutor’s forehead are not evidence.


22 posted on 02/20/2010 6:48:24 AM PST by NoKoolAidforMe (1-20-09--The Beginning of an Error..............1-20-13--Change we can look forward to)
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To: 1rudeboy

How are ashes on the forehead evidence?


23 posted on 02/20/2010 6:48:57 AM PST by Francis McClobber
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To: NoKoolAidforMe
The ashes on the prosecutor’s forehead are not evidence.

"Are you suggesting, counselor, that the mark on Mr. Prosecutor's forehead is not a fact?"
[Judge stares balefully]

24 posted on 02/20/2010 6:51:14 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: NoKoolAidforMe

The attorney could have declined and asked for a continuance. Too bad he wiped them off his forehead.


25 posted on 02/20/2010 6:52:16 AM PST by Francis McClobber
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To: arturo
Matthew 6:1 - “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.”

Please--I realize that many people misunderstand this practice but receiving the mark of the cross in ashes is NOT a sign of outward piety. Rather, it is a reminder of our mortality. Sin entered the world through one man and death through sin--each of us is DYING. But the mark we receive is in the form of the Cross--the LIFE-GIVING Cross.

Further, the practice is not unique to our Catholic brothers and sisters. As a Lutheran pastor, I can testify to the power of the words "Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return." And even now I anticipate with joy the words of the Easter Vigil: "May the light of Christ, rising in glory, dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds."

26 posted on 02/20/2010 6:53:48 AM PST by Charlemagne on the Fox
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To: Free Vulcan

Matthew 16-18 - "Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you."

27 posted on 02/20/2010 6:55:26 AM PST by arturo ("A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it." - G.K. Chesterton)
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To: Free Vulcan

Can we expect objections to burkas, hijabs and scarves?


28 posted on 02/20/2010 6:55:45 AM PST by relictele
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To: 1rudeboy
Rule 403. Exclusion of Relevant Evidence on Grounds of Prejudice

(1)Ashes on the forehead of the prosecutor are not "evidence" by any stretch of the imagination.

Was the prosecutor asking the court to enter his own forehead into the record as "Exhibit A"?

(2) Federal rules of evidence are not applicable in state courts, even if this were a matter of evidence which - it should be blindingly obvious - it is not.

29 posted on 02/20/2010 6:56:57 AM PST by wideawake (Why is it that those who like to be called Constitutionalists know the least about the Constitution?)
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To: 1rudeboy

“Are you suggesting, counselor, that the mark on Mr. Prosecutor’s forehead is not a fact?”

In order for the defense attorney to prove prejudice, he would have to provide evidence that the ashes are prejudicial. Merely pointing out the fact that the attorney has ashes on his forehead is not evidence.


30 posted on 02/20/2010 6:57:38 AM PST by Francis McClobber
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To: relictele

Sure. And objections to bare feet, cigarettes, and Bozo the Clown outfits.


31 posted on 02/20/2010 6:57:57 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: arturo

That should be Matthew 6:16-18.


32 posted on 02/20/2010 6:58:32 AM PST by arturo ("A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it." - G.K. Chesterton)
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To: Free Vulcan

I am not a Roman Catholic.

I do not believe the RC Church represents true Christianity.

That said, I find it disgusting that people are objecting to the wearing of ashes, by this lawyer, by Joe Bidet or anyone else.

That is a traditional observance in their faith and should be respected as such.


33 posted on 02/20/2010 6:58:46 AM PST by slorunner
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To: tiki

I agree. The judge had no authority to ask him to remove it. Very dangerous precedence. The FF would not be happy. (Founding Fathers).


34 posted on 02/20/2010 7:00:01 AM PST by bboop (We don't need no stinkin' VAT)
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To: tiki

I think the judge has the right and obligation to consider whether it would be perceived as prejudicial. His responsibility is to the judicial proceedings. The attorney did the correct thing in his response to the judge’s request. I suppose if the attorney had refused, the judge could have postponed the proceedings, or cited him for contempt. It was a non-issue and this is really a non-story.

My fiancee (non-Catholic) kept hinting at me to wipe my forehead on Wednesday evening, (”Isn’t it bad for your skin?” “It looks like dirt!”). He was not raised in the Catholic tradition and apparently doesn’t see that many people with the ashes. I found that surprising coming from that tradition, and previously living in a part of the country with many more Catholics,and particularly since I worked for 27 years in Catholic higher education and most of my former co-workers would have ashes too.

I simply explained that one usually lets them wear off naturally. He was perplexed at why I would do that, but didn’t say anything else.


35 posted on 02/20/2010 7:00:43 AM PST by YankeeGirl
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To: NoKoolAidforMe
*** How many times have we heard cases where a judge requested a jew to remove his yarmulke in the courtroom because the opposing attorney objected? ***

Uh .. like ... never.

(And I'll leave it at that.)

36 posted on 02/20/2010 7:01:18 AM PST by Condor51 (The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits [A. Einstein])
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To: harpu

If Crawford was a Catholic without conviction, he would not have gotten the ashes in the first place. However, it is a losing battle for an attorney to refuse to obey a judge’s order in court. Crawford could have ended up in contempt of court. I think that it was wrong for the judge to tell him to remove the ashes and perhaps the Catholics of Marshall County should vote against the judge the next time he runs for office since he is clearly prejudiced against Catholics.


37 posted on 02/20/2010 7:01:24 AM PST by steadfastconservative
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To: 1rudeboy

Citing Rule 403 is not at all germane to the issue at hand. The ashes on the forehead were not introduced as evidence in a trial. Your cite is clearly off-point.


38 posted on 02/20/2010 7:01:27 AM PST by ought-six ( Multiculturalism is national suicide, and political correctness is the cyanide capsule.)
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To: Francis McClobber
Here's the way things work in the real world. Attorney objects, judge considers, and sustains or overrules. The issue is preserved for appeal if the objecting attorney doesn't get the outcome he wishes.

Let me try to clear up your confusion about "evidence." Ashes on one's forehead are evidence that one attended Ash Wednesday mass during one's lunch break. The issue is whether evidence that one attended Ash Wednesday mass during one's lunch break is admissible to a jury. It is not under Rule 403.

39 posted on 02/20/2010 7:04:14 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

No, it may,repeat may, have been predjudicial, and no evidence was offered that it was. But the judges ruling absolutely denied the First Amendment right of Freedon of Religion to the attorney.


40 posted on 02/20/2010 7:04:44 AM PST by xkaydet65
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To: ought-six

Please tell me you are not a lawyer. Please.


41 posted on 02/20/2010 7:05:00 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: xkaydet65

And your legal basis for expressing Freedom of Religion during a murder trial is?


42 posted on 02/20/2010 7:06:03 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

Evidence must be admitted to a court. Facts are not.


43 posted on 02/20/2010 7:06:11 AM PST by NoKoolAidforMe (1-20-09--The Beginning of an Error..............1-20-13--Change we can look forward to)
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To: NoKoolAidforMe

Please see my #39.


44 posted on 02/20/2010 7:08:36 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: slorunner
That said, I find it disgusting that people are objecting to the wearing of ashes, by this lawyer, by Joe Bidet or anyone else.

That is a traditional observance in their faith and should be respected as such.

I tend to have more respect for what Jesus has to say about such practices. Just my opinion.

45 posted on 02/20/2010 7:08:50 AM PST by arturo ("A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it." - G.K. Chesterton)
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To: arturo
Having ashes on your forehead does not mean that you have a gloomy appearance or that you have neglected your appearance. As pictured, Mr. Biden is clearly showered, clean-shaven, groomed and dressed to the nines in a tailored suit.

It also does not mean that you have not washed your face or "anointed your head" (something no one does these days unless they are a male model) that day either.

I would also point out that Jesus is a Jew and he fasted on Yom Kippur like every other observant Jew does. No Jew fasted in secret on Yom Kippur - it was a universal practice.

Similarly, among Christians, fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday is a universal practice.

It is clear from the context of the Scripture passage that Jesus was talking about the Pharisaic practice of not just fasting on Yom Kippur - like everyone else - but fasting twice a week every week and making a big show of it.

46 posted on 02/20/2010 7:09:07 AM PST by wideawake (Why is it that those who like to be called Constitutionalists know the least about the Constitution?)
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To: arturo
I tend to have more respect for what Jesus has to say about such practices

It is clear that you do not.

If you respect someone, then you do not quote them out of context.

47 posted on 02/20/2010 7:10:10 AM PST by wideawake (Why is it that those who like to be called Constitutionalists know the least about the Constitution?)
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To: 1rudeboy

No need to be condescending, I live in the real world and know how it works. I also understand the difference between facts and evidence.

“Ashes on one’s forehead are evidence that one attended Ash Wednesday mass during one’s lunch break.”

Did the judge question the lawyer on what he did during lunch? If so, then it is evidence that he went to Mass. If not, the fact that he had ashes on his forehead is only evidence that he had ashes on his forehead.


48 posted on 02/20/2010 7:11:10 AM PST by Francis McClobber
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To: NoKoolAidforMe

He was no coward. He was the prosecuting attorney. Why take chances on a mistrial. Not a time to make a constitutional issue here.


49 posted on 02/20/2010 7:12:16 AM PST by mfish13
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To: Free Vulcan

This is bald anti-Catholicism. The judge would never have tried this if it involved a Muslim custom or practice.


50 posted on 02/20/2010 7:12:35 AM PST by B Knotts (Calvin Coolidge Republican)
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