By Bryan Fischer
Follow me on Twitter:@BryanJFischer, on Facebook at “Focal Point”
A pastor is on trial this week in Vermont, accused of helping a mother use a modern version of the Underground Railroad to protect her child from the clear and present danger of being raised in a homosexual household.
Here is a quick summary of the history of this case. Lisa Miller is the mom in question. She grew up in a sexually and emotionally abusive household, where a rancorous divorce between her parents left her shaken and insecure. Her own mother poisoned her mind against males, by repeatedly telling her that “all men are evil.”
Lisa entered into a troubled marriage at a young age, a marriage that didn’t last and left her seeking therapy for depression and suicidal thoughts. Her therapists - on at least two occasions - suggested that she experiment with lesbianism. And so she did, even though, in her own words, “I did not feel sexually attracted to women.”
She eventually hooked up with Janet Jenkins at an AA meeting, and though they lived in Virginia where such a relationship has exactly zero legal status, they entered into a civil union in the state of Vermont in 2000.
Lisa conceived a child through artificial insemination in Virginia (according to Lisa, Janet did not even accompany her to the fertility specialist for the procedure), where Isabella was born in 2002. Again, mind you, in a state where civil unions have no legal recognition whatsoever.
Four months after the birth of Lisa’s daughter, the lesbian couple moved to Vermont. Despite repeated appeals from Lisa, Janet refused to consider formally adopting Isabella. During their time in Vermont, Lisa converted to Christianity, and at the same time, Janet became increasingly abusive, both emotionally and physically. Ms. Jenkins had an explosive temper, and posted pictures of naked women on the screensaver of the household computer to boot.
Lisa left the relationship and eventually the state of Vermont when Isabella was 17 months old, moving back to Virginia for her protection and for the protection of her child. There, Lisa continued to grow in her Christian faith and left the lesbian lifestyle altogether. She filed to dissolve her civil union with Ms. Jenkins in 2003.
The civil union was dissolved in Vermont, and even though Lisa lived in Virginia where such orders had no legal force, she reluctantly and only under compulsion complied with an order from the Rutland County Family Court to allow Isabella to visit Ms. Jenkins in Vermont.
The Vermont judge granted parental status to Ms. Jenkins in violation of Vermont state law, which grants parental rights only to adults who have a connection to the child either through biology or adoption. Ms. Jenkins, of course, met neither standard.
It’s worthy of note that in the four years between the time Lisa left the relationship, taking Isabella with her, and the court-ordered visitations began, Ms. Jenkins had not once, during all that time, bothered to phone Isabella, or send her a note, a card, or so much as a birthday or Christmas present. Not once in four years.
Lisa was deeply disturbed, as any mother would be, by what happened to her precious daughter when she spent weekends with Ms. Jenkins.
When Isabella would return from her weekends with Ms. Jenkins, she experienced severe reactions. She suffered from nightmares and bedwetting. She was filled with fear that Ms. Jenkins would make good on her threat to take her away from the only mother she had ever known. She tried to harm herself and showed signs of sexual molestation, touching herself inappropriately and sexually.
Lisa pleaded with the Vermont judge to allow only supervised visitations, but the judge flatly refused even to consider the evidence of Isabella’s violent reactions.
Lisa, at that point, had no choice as a loving parent but to stop complying with the court ordered visitations for the safety of her own daughter. She would have been morally and in fact criminally negligent had she allowed her daughter to go even one more time into an environment that was an obvious threat to her emotional, physical and sexual health.
To make the cheese even more binding, the Virginia judge before whom Lisa appeared ruled in 2004 that Lisa “solely has the legal rights, privileges, duties and obligations as parent hereby established for the health, safety and welfare” of Isabella. No other person, wrote the judge, “has any claims of parentage or visitation rights.”
Virginia had enacted a marriage affirmation act on July 1, 2004 which is absolutely unambiguous. It not only prohibits recognition of civil unions in Virginia “between persons of the same sex purporting to bestow the privileges or obligations of marriage,” it declares flatly that civil unions performed in other states “shall be void in all respects in Virginia, and any contractual rights created thereby shall be void and unenforceable.”
Sadly, not only did the Vermont judge break Vermont law by awarding parental status to Ms. Jenkins, the Virginia Supreme Court broke its own law by overruling the lower judge in Virginia and granting the judge in Vermont the unprecedented right to dictate family structure to a resident of the state of Virginia. In so doing, the Virginia court not only broke Virginia state law but federal law as well, since the Defense of Marriage Act was passed precisely for the purpose of preventing one state from dictating family policy to another.
So with multiple judges conspiring to break the laws of their own respective states and the laws of the United States, the Vermont judge, angry with Lisa for protecting her daughter from the abusive treatment she was receiving from Ms. Jenkins, granted sole custody to Ms. Jenkins and ordered Lisa to turn her over full-time to her abuser on January 1, 2010.
Lisa and her daughter disappeared in September of 2009, and now are evidently living in Central America.
Kenneth Miller (no relation), the leader of a Beachy Amish Mennonite church in Virginia, is being prosecuted in a criminal trial this week for his alleged part in making travel arrangements for mother and daughter to Canada and from Canada to Managua, Nicaragua.
However, even the New York Times admits that Lisa was still legally free to make a flight at that time and that a warrant for her arrest was not issued until months later. So this pastor could go to prison for three years for helping a mother plan a perfectly legal trip.
My sympathies are entirely with the mother and with the pastor in this circumstance. The bloviating left has come completely unhinged, hysterically and ludicrously accusing me of supporting kidnapping raids on homosexual households to snatch children from their beds.
I, of course, have suggested no such thing.
In fact, I am trying to prevent a kidnapping. This was intended to be nothing less than a judicial kidnapping orchestrated by a judge marching in goose step with Big Gay and seeking to snatch a vulnerable young child from the only mother she had ever known and forcing her into a same-sex household where there was clear evidence of a train of life-scarring abuse.
I submit that it is not Lisa Miller nor this pastor who have broken the law, but the judges in Vermont and Virginia who are the true lawbreakers here. They issued rulings at variance not only with the laws of their respectives states but also with the laws of nature and nature’s God. An illegal order has no force of law, either legally or morally. You can check with Martin Luther King, Jr. on that one.
I do not see that this mother had any other option in exercising her unalienable, God-given right to direct the upbringing of her daughter. What loving parent would consent to such an outrageous, unethical, immoral and flatly illegal order, even if issued by a tyrant wearing a black robes? If we are a nation of laws, then this judge’s order had no validity and Lisa was under no moral obligation to obey it, particularly when to do so would have meant the sacrifice of her daughter’s sexual innocence and safety.
Peter famously said, in Acts 5:29, “We must obey God rather than men.” If a mother or a pastor are faced with a choice between doing what man commands them to do and what God directs them to do, they must follow the voice of God, especially when vulnerable young children are the ones at risk.
If there was ever a time for a parent and pastor to obey God rather than man, this is it.
This is not the only instance where similar reprehensible things have happened. A caller to my radio program told my listening audience about the sad saga of a personal friend of his. This woman’s husband left her to enter into a homosexual lifestyle after conceiving a child with her.
After the divorce, the ex-husband demanded custody, even though he had moved to a different state with his homosexual lover, and was awarded it by a judge on the grounds that the child would be better off in a home with two parents, even of the same sex, than in a household with just one. This mother will now only rarely even be able to see her child because of the distance and cost of travel.
Given the direction our society is headed, and its willingness to sacrifice children to the god of sexual perversion, Lisa Miller may not be the last mother who needs a modern version of the Underground Railroad to deliver her child from evil.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)