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Florida judge's pastor says removal of Schiavo's feeding tube would be unethical
Baptist Press ^ | Mar 15, 2005 | Michael Foust

Posted on 03/16/2005 8:17:15 AM PST by grassboots.org

The pastor of the Florida judge involved in the Terri Schiavo case has spoken out, saying that pulling the disabled woman's feeding tube would be tantamount to murder.

"This isn't about letting someone die; this is about causing someone's death. There is a huge difference," William E. Rice, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Clearwater, Fla., wrote in a column posted on the Florida Baptist Witness website.

Florida Judge George Greer is an inactive member of Calvary Baptist, where Rice has served as pastor for five months. Greer has ordered Schiavo's feeding tube be removed Friday. Rice, though, says removal of the tube would be unethical.

"Like evangelicals across the world, we are horrified at the thought that a handicapped woman could be, in effect, starved to death before a watching world," Rice wrote, noting that some have questioned Calvary Baptist's commitment to pro-life issues. "Like many pastors, I am not an expert in the law. I cannot debate the variances of custody rights, or even debate the medical analysis of a Persistent Vegetative State versus a Minimally Conscious State.

"But I know right from wrong. I know what God thinks about human life. I know there is only one way to describe the prospect of starving a woman to death because she cannot feed herself. It is wrong."

Schiavo is the woman at the center of a "right-to-die" case that has captured national interest. In 1990, she suffered brain damage after her heart stopped. She could improve were she provided rehabilitation services, her supporters say, although her legal husband, Michael, has refused to do so in recent years. Although Michael Schiavo says his wife would want to die, no written request from Terri exists. Meanwhile, he has lived in recent years with his girlfriend, with whom he has fathered two children.

For years now the parents of Terri Schiavo have been in a legal battle with Michael Schiavo over whether Terri should live or die.

In a recent interview with the St. Petersburg Times newspaper, Greer spoke of his frustration with Calvary Baptist's stance on the Schiavo case. He said he no longer donates to the church.

Apparently, the fact that the church supports the Florida Baptist Witness newspaper was instrumental in Greer's distancing himself from the church. The Witness -- the newspaper of the Florida Baptist State Convention -- has supported Schiavo's parents in keeping their daughter alive.

"Clearly this is a tortuous case," Rice wrote. "But it is precisely such moments when morality and truth must serve as our guide. Terri Schiavo is not on life support. She is not dying. Good evidence exists to suggest that she is responsive. All she receives is food and water, the same as you and me. Are we to conclude that she is less than human because she cannot feed herself? Can a month-old child feed himself? Is an elderly patient stricken with some debilitating disease and unable to feed herself suddenly less human? Do we now use an IQ test to determine if someone possesses the right to live? Isn't that God's choice? Only God can give life, and only He should take it away.

"Tread carefully if you think this is simply about a dying woman being allowed to die peacefully. Remember when we were told that Roe v. Wade was simply about helping women who had been raped or whose lives were imminently threatened? Today few abortions fall into that category, but millions of human lives have been sacrificed upon the altar of selfishness. And the slide down the slippery slope continues."

While the Schiavo case has many legal complexities, Rice asserted, it is ethically clear-cut.

"This case seems complex but it is as simple as four words: 'Thou shalt not kill.' If you need a compass for this complex case, you'll find it there. As we all know, the Sixth Commandment means it is wrong to murder -- to take the life of an innocent person without just cause. If I were the nurse in that hospice center and the directive were given to me to discontinue feeding a living human being and watch as he or she starved to death, I couldn't do it. I'd rather get fired, resign, or do something else.

"... Her name is Terri. She can open her eyes. She watches a balloon as it crosses the room. She listens to music. She responds to her mother's loving attention. She has something very precious, she has life; something only God can give. Her name is Terri and she matters to God. She should matter to us."

Rice compared Schiavo to another woman -- his mentally impaired sister, Sharon.

"My brother and I watched our parents care for her and somehow we learned an intuitive almost unspoken lesson," Rice wrote. "Her life is valuable, as valuable as that of her two brothers, both active in ministry. Whatever difference exists between her IQ and mine, imagine the gap between mine and God's! Yet He loved me and valued me so much that He would send the Jewel of Heaven to buy me back. He made me and redeemed me and that is the heart of our conviction about human life -- everyone matters to God."

Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, called the Schiavo case "as shameful a case as I can recall.

"Terri has been denied rehabilitation and the ordinary comforts of life -- including her husband's refusal to permit medication for her parched lips -- as he has relentlessly sought to kill her by denying her hydration and nutrition," Land told Baptist Press. "I am outraged as an American, as a Christian, as a human being and as a Southern Baptist, because Judge Greer, the chief legal culprit in this case, is regrettably a member of a Southern Baptist church.

"I believe it is incumbent upon all of us to lift up Terri Schiavo and her parents in prayer and to seek the Lord's intervention in this case. We also should do everything in our power legally to avert this terrible tragedy of a court in the United States of America allowing a woman to be legally starved to death."

The entire column by Calvary Baptist Pastor William Rice can be read online at

http://www.floridabaptistwitness.com/3995.article


TOPICS: US: Florida
KEYWORDS: baptists; euthanasia; judgegreer; pastor; terrischiavo
Will there be excommunication to follow?
1 posted on 03/16/2005 8:17:15 AM PST by grassboots.org
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To: Ohioan from Florida

Terri Ping!!


2 posted on 03/16/2005 8:18:52 AM PST by Jersey Republican Biker Chick (Never play leapfrog with a unicorn!)
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To: grassboots.org

baptists don't excommunicate....not in the catholic sense of the word.

Did you notice where it said the judge is an "INACTIVE" member of this church?

That means he doesn't attend. In other words, this pastor has no influence over this judge at all.


3 posted on 03/16/2005 8:20:29 AM PST by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of it!)
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To: grassboots.org

"Judge" Greer is as far away from Jesus as he could be.

And Jesus hasn't moved...


4 posted on 03/16/2005 8:22:46 AM PST by ApesForEvolution (I just took a Muhammad and wiped my Jihadist with Mein Koran...come and get me nutbags.)
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To: xzins

Public admonishment is a good thing. :>)


5 posted on 03/16/2005 8:23:49 AM PST by Lovergirl (Terri..I don't personally know you but I love you. God please save Terri.)
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To: grassboots.org

"But I know right from wrong. I know what God thinks about human life. I know there is only one way to describe the prospect of starving a woman to death because she cannot feed herself. It is wrong."

>>>

IT'S CRIMINAL - THERE'S BLOOD ON THIS JUDGE'S HANDS.

This evil man and his father, satan, will not win...


6 posted on 03/16/2005 8:24:51 AM PST by ApesForEvolution (I just took a Muhammad and wiped my Jihadist with Mein Koran...come and get me nutbags.)
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To: grassboots.org
"Her name is Terri. She can open her eyes. She watches a balloon as it crosses the room. She listens to music. She responds to her mother's loving attention. She has something very precious, she has life; something only God can give. Her name is Terri and she matters to God. She should matter to us."

Beautifully and simply stated! Terri matters A GREAT DEAL to many of us!

7 posted on 03/16/2005 8:25:05 AM PST by TAdams8591 (The call you make may be the one that saves Terri's life!!!!!!)
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To: xzins

Oh I forgot - that's what you get with independency.


8 posted on 03/16/2005 8:25:16 AM PST by grassboots.org (I Breathe and My Heart is Beating - I am by definition alive!)
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To: grassboots.org
"Her life is valuable, as valuable as that of her two brothers, both active in ministry. Whatever difference exists between her IQ and mine, imagine the gap between mine and God's! Yet He loved me and valued me so much that He would send the Jewel of Heaven to buy me back. He made me and redeemed me and that is the heart of our conviction about human life -- everyone matters to God."

Wise words!

I would like to hear this man preach.

9 posted on 03/16/2005 8:26:21 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (. . . Ministrix of ye Chace (recess appointment), TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary . . .)
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To: TAdams8591

Any news on how the federal legislation is coming along?

Perhaps a call to liberal Tom Harkin who is always making "hay" about his
love for the handicapped could help.


10 posted on 03/16/2005 8:27:21 AM PST by grassboots.org (I Breathe and My Heart is Beating - I am by definition alive!)
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To: All; amdgmary; Ohioan from Florida

11 posted on 03/16/2005 8:29:17 AM PST by Future Useless Eater (FreedomLoving_Engineer)
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To: xzins
"While the Schiavo case has many legal complexities, Rice asserted, it is ethically clear-cut."

The good pastor has summarized the case in one rational sentence.

12 posted on 03/16/2005 8:31:01 AM PST by verity (The Liberal Media and the ACLU are America's Enemies)
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To: grassboots.org
There is still ANOTHER option, even if its determined she MUST have the tube removed.... FEED her with her mouth again!





Electrical stimulation therapy
restores swallowing ability
.
So why KILL her?
  • Get her therapy
  • Get her OFF 'the tube'
  • Send her home with the Schindlers
  • Let Michael marry his fiance.



Judge Greer cited "news sources" that Sara Scantlin could BLINK her eyes on command "so she was not in PVS."

Father Pavone witnessed Terri's condition just one month ago [jump ahead to the 17 min mark] and he said:
  • She was very responsive.
  • She prayed with him, closed her eyes during the prayer, and opened them back up when done.
  • Mister Schindler kissed her and she kissed him back!



Documented Terri-vocabulary references
Words Witness
"mommy"
"momma"
"help me"
nurse - Heidi Law, certified nurse assistant
"pai[n]"     (meaning 'pain'
                when she was in discomfort)
'Haaaiiiii'   (meaning Hi,
                in response to 'Hi Terri')
'mommy'
'help me'
Nurse - Carla Sauer Iyer, R.N.

"'Help me' was, in fact, one of her most frequent
utterances. I heard her say it hundreds of times."
"stop"   (in response to one medical
                procedure being done on her)
Terri's MediPlex records
"ugh-hugh" (meaning yes)
"ugh-ugh" (meaning no)
"yea"
"No"
family members, and paralegal Tom Brodersen*

'yea' was a word she learned to speak in 2001.
    *
After Judge Greer heard of Tom Brodersen
secretly helping Terri learn to speak again,
Greer removed Brodersen from the
"approved visitor's list" permanently!




13 posted on 03/16/2005 8:32:10 AM PST by Future Useless Eater (FreedomLoving_Engineer)
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To: grassboots.org

>Oh I forgot - that's what you get with independency.<

Yes you get a Preacher Who speaks truth to power.Now let's see who has spoken truth to Ted Kennedy,John Kerry.....It sure wasn't their church.In fact I think it has been some independents.


14 posted on 03/16/2005 8:37:11 AM PST by Blessed
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To: Jersey Republican Biker Chick; floriduh voter; phenn; FreepinforTerri; kimmie7; Pegita; ...

Terri ping! If anyone would like to be added to or removed from my Terri ping list, please let me know by FReepmail!


15 posted on 03/16/2005 8:37:20 AM PST by Ohioan from Florida (The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.- Edmund Burke)
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To: grassboots.org
what you get with independency

That's partially the issue.

The other, of course, is that he is "inactive."

Inactive anythings...catholic/protestant/jewish/islamic...are not really subject to influence by whomever might currently be in charge of their former church.

16 posted on 03/16/2005 8:38:07 AM PST by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of it!)
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To: verity

I agree with the pastor....about the ethical side of this.


I don't think the legal issues are that complex. She can't be denied life, liberty, or property without due process of law.

That seems pretty clear to me.


17 posted on 03/16/2005 8:42:24 AM PST by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of it!)
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To: Blessed

I wasn't being critical of this courageous pastor. I was making the observation that independent churches can't/don't excommunicate.


18 posted on 03/16/2005 8:46:14 AM PST by grassboots.org (I Breathe and My Heart is Beating - I am by definition alive!)
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To: grassboots.org

Please get others on and off Freep to call Gov. Bush to ask him to visit Terri and to place her in protective custody. Ping your lists and post to your seperate state locales:

http://www.sptimes.com/2005/03/16/State/_Who_there_would_take.shtml

Michael Schiavo invites Florida Governor to visit Terri in person.

Please ask the Governor to do that.

Gov. Jeb Bush
850-488-4441
850-487-0801 (fax)
jeb.bush@myflorida.com, fl_governor@myflorida.com, jeb@jeb.org, jeb@myflorida.com

Executive Office of Governor, Legal Team to Jeb (ask to speak to the following individuals):

Robert H. Fernandez (Deputy General Counsel to Governor) -> fernanr@eog.state.fl.us

Raquel A. Rodriguez (General Counsel to Governor) -> raquel.rodriguez@myflorida.com

Christa Calamas (Assistant General Counsel to Governor) -> calamac@eog.state.fl.us
850 / 488-3494 (voice)
850 / 488-9810 (fax)

+++

Please call those FL House Reps / Senators, US Congressmen and Senators:

Contact info, etc.:

http://tekgnosis.typepad.com


Gov. Bush,

Please visit Terri. Per Michael Schiavo via the St. Pete Times has
given you an open invitation:

http://www.sptimes.com/2005/03/16/State/_Who_there_would_take.shtml

Regards,

Juan Schoch
Lake Mary, FL
407-925-4141
http://www.eeng.net/eeng/ribbon/Visit_Terri_Jeb.html

P.S. It is my opinion that Terri is in danger from Michael Schiavo as he is inviting you to visit her via the St. Pete Times while at the same time blasting you in the national media. Please place Terri into protective custody and appoint a special prosecutor.

Others believe that Terri is going to be medicated when you visit her so that you will believe she has no hope. Terri is in danger from this unstable man and the Hospice of the Florida Suncoast, Inc.

Terri is in danger and Michael is inviting you (via St. Pete Times) to visit Terri and blasting you at the same time. Terri needs protective custody and please Governor assign a special prosecutor. It's time that you stand up to Michael Schiavo.

From another:

Re: Niteline

Michael teased us with almost tears on Nightline tonight? I mean... it was difficult not to roll on the floor laughing one's rear off, don't you agree??? Did you watch his eyes? Did you look at him???? He looks like a pale pasty plastered on the wall of conversation and he doesn't even know anymore that lots of people don't care what he has to say. He has become a joke.

From another:

Re: Good Morning America

I just watch a tape message from Terri's husband and now more then ever I believe he is just getting rid of his excess baggage. He says he loves her and will always love her. Then blasted the governor and made remarks against people who are fighting for Terri to live. He says he will receive no money after her death. He has bags under his eyes and tears in his eyes ...

From another:

I called Jeb Bush re: Michael inviting Jeb to visit. I WARNED Jeb that if he takes Michael up on the offer, Michael runs the hospice and Terri will be heavily sedated so that Jeb will think Terri is pvs.

From another:

TERRI WILL BE DRUGGED-OUT IF BUSH COMES TO VISIT HER.

From another:

My first thoughts regarding MS's invitation to Governor Bush is that they're betting that he won't come. The second is that Terri will have been given drugs prior to Jeb's visit.

You think some people have hit rock bottom, then they find a way to dig a little deeper. MS and Felos are getting desperate.


19 posted on 03/16/2005 8:49:22 AM PST by pc93 (http://www.blogsforterri.com)
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To: grassboots.org
Florida Judge George Greer is an inactive member of Calvary Baptist

I think Greer is a Baptist in about the same sense that billyjeff clinton is a Baptist.

A good friend of mine is running a mobile home plant down in South Georgia. He says that most of his workers are what he calls "fallen baptists." From what I understood of his words, they consider themselves reprobate but they still have a strong sense of honor and family loyalty, almost tribal loyalty. They might commit a robbery to feed their family, but they would loyally stand by their family and friends.

That leads me to speculate that there are at least three kinds of baptists: Elect, fallen with honor, and fallen without honor. In the last group are bill clinton and judge greer.

20 posted on 03/16/2005 8:51:41 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: grassboots.org

bump and use


21 posted on 03/16/2005 8:57:51 AM PST by newsgatherer
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To: grassboots.org

Along with biblical church discipline exercised over members.


22 posted on 03/16/2005 9:16:00 AM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: xzins
""Like many pastors, I am not an expert in the law. I cannot debate the variances of custody rights, or even debate the medical analysis of a Persistent Vegetative State versus a Minimally Conscious State."

I believe that is referred to as humility.

23 posted on 03/16/2005 9:25:09 AM PST by verity (The Liberal Media and the ACLU are America's Enemies)
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To: verity

Call me an unhumble pastor, then. :>)


24 posted on 03/16/2005 9:29:18 AM PST by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of it!)
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To: xzins

Is that a new denomination? ;-)


25 posted on 03/16/2005 9:33:51 AM PST by verity (The Liberal Media and the ACLU are America's Enemies)
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To: grassboots.org; american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; ...
So, Judge Greer is a lapsed Baptist and Michael Schiavo, a lapsed Catholic. Both should be excommunicated from their respective churches for the unrepentant attempt to murder an innocent woman.

Catholic Ping - Come home for Easter and experience God’s merciful love. Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list

American Catholic - Lent Feature

26 posted on 03/16/2005 9:34:19 AM PST by NYer ("The Eastern Churches are the Treasures of the Catholic Church" - Pope John XXIII)
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To: Lovergirl

"Public admonishment is a good thing. :>)"

Absolutely! Anything public in this case is a good thing.. the more that comes to light, the less the evil can hide.


27 posted on 03/16/2005 9:51:53 AM PST by Awestruck (The artist formerly known as Goodie D)
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To: grassboots.org

BTTT!


28 posted on 03/16/2005 9:58:26 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: xzins

Did you see this?


29 posted on 03/16/2005 9:58:58 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: grassboots.org
"But I know right from wrong. I know what God thinks about human life. I know there is only one way to describe the prospect of starving a woman to death because she cannot feed herself. It is wrong."

If every pastor in America spoke as clearly, we'd sweep away much of the much from the '60s that pollutes our society today.

30 posted on 03/16/2005 10:04:25 AM PST by madprof98
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To: grassboots.org

The JINO could care less.


31 posted on 03/16/2005 10:05:34 AM PST by Saundra Duffy (Save Terri Schiavo!!!)
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To: verity

:>)

The UNited UNhumble UNshavens.

An offshoot of the Unhomed and Unfettered.


32 posted on 03/16/2005 10:13:56 AM PST by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of it!)
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To: Salvation

Yes, but thanks for the ping.


33 posted on 03/16/2005 10:16:11 AM PST by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of it!)
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To: grassboots.org
Hail Terri...

Child of God...

We pray those judicial sinners...

Do not cause the hour of thy death...

Amen !!!

.

34 posted on 03/16/2005 10:28:26 AM PST by GeekDejure ( LOL = Liberals Obey Lucifer !!!)
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To: GeekDejure

I just heard from Senator Martinez on Hannity that liberal Tom Harkin will support a bill protecting Terri Schiavo.


35 posted on 03/16/2005 1:18:08 PM PST by grassboots.org (I Breathe and My Heart is Beating - I am by definition alive!)
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To: grassboots.org

I just heard from Senator Martinez on Hannity that liberal Tom Harkin will support a bill protecting Terri Schiavo.

======

I'll believe it when I see it !!! ;-))


36 posted on 03/16/2005 3:28:49 PM PST by GeekDejure ( LOL = Liberals Obey Lucifer !!!)
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To: grassboots.org

We are independent and do not ex-communicate. A member can be be asked to leave but free to go to any other church he chooses. This pastor has been there for only 5 months. I admire him standing up for what is right but unfortunately one will probably have to leave now.


37 posted on 03/16/2005 3:45:51 PM PST by CindyDawg
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To: ApesForEvolution

This entire case smells so bad that people in Europe are now aware of the stink.


38 posted on 03/16/2005 6:49:14 PM PST by chiefqc
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To: chiefqc
THE ATTEMPTS TO MURDER TERRI (BY COURT ORDERED DENIAL OF NUTRITION, THE LATEST ATTEMPT) ARE SHEER DEATH CULTIST FOLLY - INSPIRED BY THE PRINCE OF DARKNESS HIMSELF BTTT!

39 posted on 03/16/2005 7:00:05 PM PST by ApesForEvolution (I just took a Muhammad and wiped my Jihadist with Mein Koran...come and get me nutbags.)
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To: ApesForEvolution
>> I just took a Muhammad and wiped my Jihadist with Mein Koran.

That must be extremely uncomfortable.

40 posted on 03/16/2005 7:38:04 PM PST by T'wit (What shall keep us free? 2 Corinthians 3:17: "...where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.")
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To: T'wit

...it's no walk in the park, my friend. ;)


41 posted on 03/16/2005 7:38:56 PM PST by ApesForEvolution (I just took a Muhammad and wiped my Jihadist with Mein Koran...come and get me nutbags.)
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